There are still some fresh kings being reported in the lower Niagara River. Capt. Ted Keesler of Rivermaster Charters reports that he’s still seeing some new salmon showing up in Devil’s Hole, catching fish this week with clients from Mississippi. He was using small chunks of cured salmon skein on a No. 4 hook and 12-pound test fluorocarbon leader off his three-way set-up. Less fishing pressure seems to be helping. Shore fisherman Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield agrees, not seeing as many anglers during the week now. Monday he actually caught three kings and had seven on the hook casting glow in the dark spoons and spinners – especially before sunrise. Key is the presentation, looking for fish-holding areas in current seams or behind large rocks. Green and blue have also been good colors for Davila. “Learning how to navigate the water has really helped me this season,” said Davila. Don’t be afraid to move around and look for active fish. Find where fish are holding and cast accordingly, adjusting length and depth of your cast. One day, he found that the spoons needed to be on the bottom. The next day he found that he had to let his spinner swing in the current and about mid-depth he would get a hit. In fact, he had four hits in a row on that particular occasion. While many of the casters prefer first light and lower water conditions, Davila says he catches fish even after the water comes up. He just moves around to find the right spots. Some trout are starting to move into the river right now, too. A few have been caught in Devil’s Hole and along Artpark. Egg sacks, egg imitations and Kwikfish lures could entice one or two to hit. Above Niagara Falls in the upper river, it’s been a little tough for muskellunge because of the excessive amount of weeds. Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island has been starting to pick up some nice muskies and it should continue to improve as water temperatures continue to decrease. It should be below 60 degrees this week. Bass fishing is still good, especially at the head of the river.
Lake Ontario and tributaries
The recent rain events have helped pull some more fish into 18 Mile Creek. Salmon and trout are being reported at Burt Dam, as well as throughout the creek system. Use eggs or egg imitations at the dam.
Salmon are still in the deeper holes and treated egg skein is the way to go, fished under a float. That will also work off the piers if the winds cooperate. Casting spoons, spinners or stickbaits will all produce salmon and/or brown trout on any given day. Some success is still being reported off the beaches near the creek mouths for fish. For example, any fish trying to find its way into Fourmile Creek will have a difficult time of it – the creek mouth is closed. Casting the mouth could produce a trout or two with spoons or spinners. Perch and pike are still showing up for anyone willing to target them in Wilson or Olcott harbors. Over in the Oak Orchard River, a total of 57 anglers competed in the St. Mary’s Archer’s Club catch and release tournament last week. The most surprising thing was the numbers of Atlantic salmon being reported, including one that stretched the tape at 37 inches long. Decent numbers of fish are being reported there, too. More rain is on the way for all of the tributaries!
All of the tributaries off Lake Erie received a good shot of rain the past week and Vince Tobia with Cattaraugus Creek Outfitters reports that fish responded to that precipitation, coming into the lower stretches with some moving further upstream. Fishing is decent right now, but it should continue to get better. Tobia uses flies exclusively. His best attractions right now are wooly buggers, egg patterns and black stone flies. His tip for this week is to keep moving to find the active fish! We’ve heard of fish in the Catt, 18 Mile and Canadaway creeks. More rain is on the way. If the larger streams are muddy, go to the smaller one and seek out clearer conditions.
Lake Erie action has been spotty at best due to recent weather patterns keeping boats off the lake. If you can get out there, perch should be available west of Sturgeon Point in 50 to 70 feet of water and big bass should be pounding live bait, tubes or jigging spoons/sonars as they bulk up for the winter around any kind of structure. Lake water temperature should be under 60 degrees by the time of this report.
The walleye bite is still on target from Ashville Bay to the bridge in 12 to 16 feet of water according to local guide Craig Robbins. Try trolling jointed stickbaits in black and silver or perch colors at 2.1 to 2.3 miles per hour. Smallmouth bass have started to move up into the shallows at Warners Bay near the buoys. Use 3- inch camo tubes or blue fleck spinnerbaits. Keep them just off the bottom. A rocky bottom is preferred. John Jarosz of Lakeview reported a productive morning on perch recently while fishing with his son out of the Mayville launch in 10 to 12 feet of water. John used a piece of nightcrawler on an Aberdeen hook and a split shot while his son used small tube jigs. The tube jigs won out but they both managed to boat 70 fish in just 2-1/2 hours of fishing – most of the fish around the 10-inch mark.