Weather really hasn’t been cooperating for fair weather fishermen, but those who have braved the elements have been rewarded with some nice fish. Rains could impact many of the tributaries this week.
Lake Erie and tributaries
Limited opportunities for lake fishing still resulted in a few nice catches. Jim Reichert of Marilla hit the eastern end of Lake Erie casting X-Raps in Clown and Hot Metal patterns to produce a mixed bag of fish. Smallmouth bass, steelhead and lake trout were all in the mix as Reichert worked the waters off Smokes Creek and in the south gap of the outer harbor breakwall. The biggest bass tipped the scales at nearly 5 pounds.
Off Cattaraugus Creek, Steve Brzuszkiewicz of Marilla managed to go out searching for yellow perch last weekend. He found some in 55 feet of water, but fish were scattered. He caught 15 nice ones. The best he heard was 30-40 by one angler in 66 feet of water. East wind shut the fishing down.
There were no side docks at the state launch at the Catt, but the Hanover launch still had them. Tom Baskerville of Marilla had a good day recently casting blue and silver Cleos at the mouth of the Catt to take three respectable steelhead. If we get the rain that is forecast, things should improve for the weekend.
Stream action has been hit or miss recently. One bait that worked for Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters was a black woolly bugger (streamer) with an orange hot conehead tied in. The conehead gives it weight and is an attractor, too. Until we start getting freezing temperatures, water will dissipate quickly.
Out in the lake again, Brad Brodnicki reports bass will be deeper 35-45. General areas such as Seneca shoal, Myers reef or off the Dunkirk area are good spots to start. Fish will be grouped up feeding on bait, Brodnicki said. Tube jigs, drop shot presentations, and spoons will all catch fish. However, minnows work best right now. Walleye will be grouped up with smallmouth, too.
While salmon are still available, the fishery seems to be transitioning from Chinook and Coho to trout on a more consistent basis. Shore anglers such as Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls and Anthony LaRosa of Lewiston still managed to catch a mix of fish that included kings, steelhead and lake trout casting No. 4 spinners and jigs last weekend off the NYPA fishing platform. Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield did the same thing using spoons and spinners along the Artpark area.
Boaters are starting to target steelhead now in Devil’s Hole, catching a few. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls switched gears this week to focus on smallmouth bass and did very well using a Strike King Rage Swimmer, bouncing bottom downriver. They managed to catch 30-35 bass up to 5-1/2 pounds, releasing all their fish. Musky action is starting to turn on with dropping water temperatures, especially in the upper Niagara River, where Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island reported fish up to 49 inches long. Timing is perfect for the Tim Wittek Memorial Catch and Release Musky Tournament on Sunday. It is hosted by the Niagara Musky Association from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. You must be a club member to participate. Cost for the tournament is $25. For more information, call Scott McKee at 225-3816.
Lake Ontario and tributaries
Fishing has been good in Lake Ontario tributaries with good water flow. Salmon, brown trout and steelhead are all available, according to Karen Evarts at the Boat Doctors in Olcott. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Peach and orange beads have been catching fish, too. The Olcott and Wilson piers have been producing some pike and steelhead for casters using spoons and spinners.
Water flow is still an issue in many of the smaller streams in the lake. When they do get water, it pulls fish in, and many times those fish will be stranded in some of the deeper holes. If you notice any illegal activity, call 844-DEC-ECOS. You can remain anonymous. If you can take a photo of a license plate, do it. Any other information about the illegal activity would be appreciated by the DEC.
The numbers of anglers have dropped off with the increase in hunting seasons. Capt. Mike Sperry with Chautauqua Reel Outdoors reported a big musky last weekend using a 9-inch Leo jerkbait casting a weed edge. During some nasty weather, he also caught his personal-best walleye, a 30-inch ‘eye that hit a Snap Rap while jigging. Water temperatures were 45 degrees to the south and 47 degrees to the north.
Capt. Bob’s Outdoors derby update
Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga took overtook Doug Woroniecki of Orchard Park in the Brown Trout Division in the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors fishing derby held out of the Clarence shop. Rustowicz caught a 29-3/4-inch brown trout off Lake Ontario using an egg sac. Rustowicz is still leading the Salmon Division, too, with a 38-1/2-inch king.
Matt Gantress of Amherst is the early Steelhead Division leader with a 31-inch lower Niagara River fish caught on an egg sac. Barry Ball of Alden has the top perch at 12-3/4 inches caught in Lake Erie on a minnow.
For more information, stop into the shop at 10295 Main St., Clarence, or call 407-3021.