Anglers are starting to score closer to shore.
Lake Erie's deep-water perch presence is being augmented with some fair schooling along shore. Lake Ontario's perch and salmonid fisheries rarely call for depths of more than 15 feet.
Inland lakes also offer near-shore and on-shore options for dayside panfish and nighttime bullhead runs.
Chilling breezes have canceled many open-water boating runs, but inland streams and shoreline shallows can be a panfish panoply or a site for trophy-sized trout.
State of Lake Erie on Thursday
The NY Sea Grant State of Lake Erie Meeting starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at the new Southtowns Walleye Association clubhouse on Southwestern Boulevard in Hamburg.
The Department of Environmental Conservation, Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will make presentations. The meeting is free and open to all. For details and directions, check with Helen Domske at 645-3610 or email: email@example.com.
Weekenders did well on perch on either side of Cattaraugus Creek and stream waders still could reach rainbows on the bigger creek. Smaller feeders fell short on depth and flow.
Off Buffalo, the perch run continued at depths of 46 to 55 feet, but a good number of pre-spawners were showing along shoreline shallows in the harbor and along the canal walls.
Perch schooling intensified this past week around much of the upper river. Shoreline bite continues strong. Many a savvy shoreline caster has come home with a pail of respectable ringbacks.
As for smelt dipping in the lower river, the fish have moved in before the anglers this year. Most evenings, schools are made up of the larger 2-year-old rainbow smelt.
Harbor and bay anglers see mixed moves of perch and trout. Shoreline trollers go with stick baits for brown trout and increased numbers of coho salmon out of Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard. Many minnow-type baits work, but the Junior Thunderstick with a UV finish gets most recent mentioning.
The New York Sea Grant at Oswego now offers anglers a free "Salmon and Trout of Lake Ontario Visual Identification Guide." For a mailed copy, call (315) 312-3042 or write: Sea Grant New York, SUNY College at Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126-3599.
The Randolph Hatchery has stocked these sites in time for weekend anglers:
Allegany County -- Dyke Creek (Andover), 1,440 brown trout and 200 2-year-old brown trout; Cryder Creek (Independence), 1,270 brown trout and 200 2-year-old brown trout; Black Creek (West Almond), 1,190 brown trout; Canasaraga Creek (Burns), 1,610 brown trout and 200 2-year-old brown trout; Caneadea Creek (Rushford), 1,100 brown trout; California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), 420 brown trout; Hunt Creek (Alma), 2210 brown trout; and Root Creek (Bolivar), 850 brown trout.
Cattaraugus County -- Birch Run Pond No. 1 (Allegany), 190 brook trout; Five Mile Creek (Allegany), 2,460 brown trout; Rice Brook (Carrollton), 250 brown trout; Quaker Lake (Elko), 400 2-year-old brown trout; Quaker Run (Cold Spring), 100 2-year-old brown trout; New Albion Lake (New Albion), 200 2-year-old brown trout; Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), 1,430 2-year-old brown trout; Lake Flavia (Dayton), 1,870 brook trout; Perrysburg Conservation Club Pond (Dayton), 90 brook trout; Cattaraugus County Pond A (Randolph), 100 brook trout; Cattaraugus County Pond B (Randolph), 190 brook trout; Ischua Creek (Franklinville), 1,780 brook trout, 1,520 brown trout and 370 brook trout; Cattaraugus Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), 370 brook trout; Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), 650 brown trout; Elton Creek (Freedom), 1,270 brown trout and 200 2-year-old brown trout; Maples Club Pond (Otto), 280 brook trout; and Crandall Pond (Ashford), 280 brook trout.
Erie County -- Little Buffalo Creek, 710 brown trout and 200 2-year-old brown trout; Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), 3,370 brown trout and 600 2-year-old brown trout; Ellicott Creek, 1,250 brown trout; Cazenovia Creek -- East Branch, 3,370 brown trout and 300 2-year-old brown trout; Eighteen Mile Creek (Boston Town Park), 670 brown trout; Sprague Brook Park Ponds A and B, 200 rainbow trout and 100 2-year-old brown trout; and Sprague Brook Park Veteran's Pond, 200 rainbow trout and 100 2-year-old brown trout.
Niagara County -- Oppenheim Park, 200 rainbow trout and 100 2-year-old brown trout; Hyde Park Lake, 1,770 brown trout and 200 2-year-old brown trout; and Gill Creek, 580 brown trout.
Wyoming County -- Oatka Creek (Warsaw), 1,590 brook trout; Parry Park Pond (Perry), 90 brook trout; and Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls), 280 brook trout.