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The Fishing Beat (Nov. 21)

Plenty of fishing opportunities are available as we hit Thanksgiving. While it will be a cold one, the weekend should offer up some warmer temperatures for those of you looking to wet a line. Hopefully the storm blowing in at mid-week will not do too much damage to the fishing conditions.

Lake Erie and tributaries

Most of the tributaries have been a little high and stained but fishing well. According to Nick Sagnibene of Adventure Bound on the Fly in Ellicottville, trout have been spread throughout many of the streams flowing into Lake Erie, giving anglers the chance to seek out active fish and find new areas. If you want to get away from other fishermen, this is a good time to do that. Nymphs, such as stone flies, have been working well, Sagnibene said. White, black and olive buggers were also producing some trout, as well as some egg imitation flies. Out in the lake, we’ve not had any successful reports, only reports of attempts. Casting the creek mouths with hardware is still an option, but no successful reports the past week. Sagnibene also said the inland trout action, where catch and release fishing with artificials is still an option in certain waters, has been difficult. Colder temperatures combined with brown trout spawning have slowed things down for now.

Niagara River

The lower Niagara River (below Niagara Falls) has really taken off for trout action. Headliners the past week have been the steelhead and brown trout. As of Monday, river conditions were near perfect, according to Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. Pink egg sacs were the ticket for steelies in Devil’s Hole and along Artpark. Head down river for brown trout. Egg sacs were working on them as well. Gary Hall of Niagara Falls had a good day fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell on Monday, and he was rewarded with a big musky on a MagLip lure in silver and chartreuse. Remember that musky season is open until Dec. 15 in the lower river and Lake Ontario. The Niagara Musky Association will be hosting the John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament on Dec. 2. Call Scott McKee at 225-3816. You must be a member to participate. Lake trout continue to be caught, too. Lake trout season is closed until the end of the year. One popular fishing spot will be closing for the winter on Nov. 30 at dusk. The NYPA fishing platform in the gorge, as well as the parking area and stairs, will be shutting down for the season because of the winter conditions. This also includes the Upper Mountain Road access point for the reservoir. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls is still picking up a few fresh salmon and some walleyes at the platform on spinners and jigs. Swimbaits work, too. In the Upper Niagara River, Capt. Ted Kessler was reporting some good musky action recently, including a doubleheader for two brothers – Virgil Mosiman of Kenai, Alaska, and his brother Brad from Warsaw, N.Y. with 47-inch and 38-inch ‘skies while fishing with Capt. Ted Kessler of Grand Island in the Upper Niagara River. The season closes Nov. 30 in the upper river and Lake Erie, as well as the rest of the state, except for the lower river and Lake O.

Lake Ontario and tributaries

The action in the streams off Lake O. has slowed for browns and steelhead, as well as the occasional late king salmon. We’ve heard a few Cohos being caught, too. Water has been slightly stained and conditions aren’t too bad, but fish have been finicky. It’s a good bet that many people are hunting. The only perch report that we’ve heard about has been from Chris Kenyon in Wayne County, where perch were hitting in many of the bays in Sodus last weekend. That said, there hasn’t been a lot of fishing pressure.

Chautauqua Lake

Not much to report at all. Most people are hunting, according to Mike Sperry at Chautauqua Reel Outdoors. Remember that musky season ends Nov. 30 and the catch and release bass season kicks off Dec. 1.

Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Fishing Contest Update

Steve Hawkins at Capt. Bob’s Outdoors in Clarence sends word of the most recent update on his fishing contest. Joel Meister of Akron took over second place in the Steelhead Division with a 30.75-inch fish from the lower Niagara River, using a 10 mm glow roe trout bead. California Joe Pavalonis of Buffalo also took over the Rudd Division lead with a 15-inch fish from the upper Niagara River. The contest continues through Dec. 22.

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