Tributary fishing improved off Lake Ontario and Lake Erie seemingly overnight as salmon and trout turned on. With the advent of additional hunting seasons opening, it should help lessen fishing pressure. In the meantime, with the outstanding fishing in Western New York, we will have to be more accepting when it comes to sharing our natural resources.
Lake Erie and tributaries
Mother Nature has not been kind to anglers this week. Winds have riled things up and rains have added murky water to the mix. If you can get on Lake Erie, there are perch, walleye and bass for the taking. You should be able to find perch off Cattaraugus Creek or Sturgeon Point. Once you find them, stay on the school. Walleye are still hanging around. Maybe not in the numbers that we came to expect all year, but you can pick up a quick limit off Dunkirk and Barcelona.
The recent cold snap has triggered staging trout to run many of the creeks and fish can now be caught a bit more readily. According to Drew Nisbet, fishing manager with Orvis Buffalo in Williamsville, we’ve seen more steelhead recruitment this week, but it’s still not in the numbers we saw this time last year.
Cattaraugus Creek is high and muddy right now, but Nisbet believes there may be an opportunity to hit it this weekend before rain and colder-than-average overnight air temperatures help dissolve the sediment faster.
Smaller creeks to the south have had a few fish enter the systems. “Anglers can do best covering lots of water and targeting creeks that are dropping and clearing after precipitation events,” Nisbet said. He recommends swinging small streamers on sink tips to cover water quickly. Running softhackles, stoneflies and egg patterns under an indicator through the tailouts of deeper pools and buckets can work well.
Lake Ontario and tributaries
It was the day after last week’s Fishing Beat that action turned on for salmon and trout in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries, according to Karen Evarts at the Boat Doctors in Olcott. It’s been tough keeping up with tackle and bait as anglers were doing well at Burt Dam, off the piers and in many of the streams. The pier action has slowed the last couple of days, but creek and harbor fishing has been pretty good.
Check out the Catches of the Week online gallery for some impressive fish that were reeled in. Egg sacs and skein are the hot ticket, but black woolly buggers and a Booker white death fly have been enticing fish to bite. A fair number of Atlantic salmon are being reported. Salmon and trout fishing have been good to the east in some of the bigger waters. The yellow perch bite has been good in Port and Sodus bays, which usually means perch will be biting elsewhere if you have a favorite spot.
Recent storms turned the river muddy over the weekend, but that normally affects the boaters more than the shore guys. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls had a banner couple of days casting No. 4 spinners to take salmon, walleye and steelhead off the NYPA Fishing Platform in the Niagara Gorge. The shoreline around the rocks also was producing a mix of salmon and trout. With stained water, the fish will normally cruise closer to shore, increasing your chances at catching salmon or trout.
Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield scored big in the gorge and his best baits were spoons, Rat-L-Traps and spinners. His son, Eli, recently caught his first salmon off the platform. When waters start to clear, make sure that you get that boat out there to take advantage of the end of the salmon run in the river. The Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament will be held Nov. 4 on the upper Niagara River from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. You must be a club member to participate. Cost for tourney is $25. For more info call Scott McKee at 225-3816. This is a catch and release event.
Fishing has slowed a bit the past week. Mike Sperry of Chautauqua Reel Outdoors reported that a few muskies were caught Monday. A 36-inch fish hit a Leo jerkbait for one caster, and they picked up a shorter one trolling a Leo Shayla Shad. The water was 48 degrees at the time. Skip Bianco at Hogan's Hut reported that daytime walleye fishing has been rather good.
Anglers are having most success from 30-50 feet. Jigging Rapala's, Gotcha's, Pline Spoons are working well. Nighttime fishing for walleye is working. Try casting floating stick baits, jointed Rapala's, 7s and 9s with various colors. Hot spots at night are Long Point, Bemus near the ferry, Prendergast boat ramp, and Cheney's Point. Perch, Bluegills and Crappies are starting to bite well in the weed beds.
Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Contest
The fall contest for Capt. Bob’s Outdoors in Clarence is underway and some nice catches have come in.
Some of the early leaders after the first week: Brown trout – Doug Woroniecki of Orchard Park reeled in a 21.5-inch fish from a Lake Ontario tributary using a VooDoo Bead Jig. Chinook salmon – Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga hauled in a 38.5-inch king from a Lake Ontario tributary. Not far behind was Patrick Woods of Depew with a 36.5-inch king he caught from his jon boat. Both used skein.
For more information, visit the shop at 10295 Main St., Clarence, or call 407-3021.