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The Fishing Beat (Nov. 9)

Lake Erie and tributaries

According to Danny Colville with Colville Outfitters and Custom Tackle in Hamburg, there is a good amount of 1.5-year-old scouts in 18 mile and Cattaraugus Creek (Catt). The larger trout that ran early have spread throughout the system and with the recent rain they are hard to find. However, you can catch them if you cover a lot of water. White jigs have been working well along with soft plastic beads; egg sacks have also been producing well. The creeks have been dropping fast and clearing quick, making it


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Catches of the Week

challenging. There have been many anglers on the water this year, making traditional presentations not as effective. The Catt seems to be the best bet for a high-number fish day and there were some very nice fish caught on the reservation and into Gowanda last week. There are a handful of fish being caught at Scoby Hill, but with the dirty water it has been hard to get a good read on actually how many fish are up there. The large amount of pink salmon anglers have seen this year have spawned and there are a few left in the upper stretches of the creeks. Colville has also seen some really nice Chinook in the 12-15 pound range come out of the Catt and 18 Mile on streamers and egg sacs. Those fish are wild and should be released because they will continue to reproduce. If you can catch the creeks as they are dropping after a “blow out,” those conditions will give you the best chance at putting together a good day. The Buffalo

Capt. Jim Hanley put himself - instead of clients - on the Lake Erie bass for a change.

Capt. Jim Hanley put himself - instead of clients - on the Lake Erie bass for a change.

River tribs just received their first push of fish and the anglers fishing the lower ends of the three rivers that feed into the Buffalo River are catching a few fish on eggs, jigs, and soft plastic beads. Amber and natural translucent shades have been the most productive along with pink. There have been reports of a couple fish up top on these Buffalo tribs, but it doesn't seem worth targeting them up high yet. Out in the lake, Bruce Cavage of Marilla found the perch again, this time to the northeast toward Buffalo in 63 feet of water out of Sturgeon Point. He was able to obtain some live emeralds to score big. Other perch anglers have struggled so it’s important to find the schools. Bass fishing has been good all along the lake shore according to Capt. Jim Hanley of Angola. Focus your efforts in 20 to 40 feet of water with Gulp minnows on drop shot rigs and Zman Ned baits on a jig head. Water temp was 57 on the lake Monday. Speaking of bass, remember that the freshwater fishing regulations proposals deadline is coming up on Nov. 11. Go on the DEC website at for details on how you can comment.

Niagara River


Tiffany came up from Kentucky and caught this laker while fishing with Capt. Ryan Shea.

The best two spots to fish right now are the Artpark drift or on the Niagara Bar -- if the winds cooperate. Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters will be working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week to try and catch lake trout for tagging purposes, part of a study to learn more about this indigenous species. In the meantime, it’s been a mix of lake trout and steelhead for anglers drifting or casting from shore. Yablonsky has been working a Mag Lip 3.0 bait from Yakima with a silver and green scale color pattern called a “green machine.” Remember that lake trout season is closed. Capt. Ryan Shea of Brookdog Fishing Company has been using beads to take trout in the lower river. Other shore action for casters has been good with spoons, spinners, egg sacs or egg imitations. Above the falls, Shea has been picking up a musky a day on the fly as waters continue to cool down slightly. In the Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament run by the Niagara Musky Association last Sunday, honoring the memory of the longtime board member of the group, a dedicated group of 22 competitors turned out. A total of 13 muskies were caught and released. In the end it was Ken Szymanski of Buffalo setting the pace with a 48-inch musky taken while trolling. Second place was John Miller of Lackawanna with a 42.5 inch fish, caught while jigging. Third place was Daniel Lacko of Kenmore with a 42-inch fish, reeled in while casting.

Lake Ontario and tributaries


Pierre Parfaite of Salem, Ohio caught this nice lake trout while fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters on the lower Niagara River this week.

Scott Rohe and his son Evan from Cheektowaga, as well as Keith Brydalski of West Seneca, reported some good action at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek recently. Their best baits were switching between salmon skein and trout beads, fished under a float. Water was on the low side and clear in the creek, but there seemed to be a good number of fish – salmon and trout. Winners of the King of the Creek contest were announced on Tuesday by All in the Same Boat Tackle in Newfane. Grand prize winner was Josh Wittcop in the Stream Division with a 27.93 pound king. Bob Rustowicz was the grand prize winner of the Boat Division with a 29.85 pound salmon. Pier action at Wilson and Olcott is still producing some nice trout with spoons and spinners.

Chautauqua Lake

Nothing changed too much from last week in the musky ranks as trolling is still taking place from the bridge to Ashville Bay in 10 to 15 feet of water. Use black and silver over-sized crankbaits according to local guide Craig Robbins. Perch are still all over the place and John Jarosz of Lake View was fishing with his some Matt this week off Mayville and the magic depth was 12 feet. Any shallower they caught smaller fish; any deeper it was a liquid desert. They managed to box over 50 perch up to 11 inches in length. A piece of crawler and small tubes both worked, but straight tubes worked the best for sure. Color didn’t seem to matter according to Jarosz. A slight pinch on the barb of the hook helped with taking fish off when the action was fast.

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