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Western New York Fishing Hotline

August 11 to August 25, 2017

Lake Ontario

The best trout and salmon action remains well offshore at depths over 400 feet, with good catches reported from west of Wilson to east of the Oak. Deep water anglers are catching a mix of steelhead and coho salmon in the top 100 feet of water, with the occasional mature king salmon mixed in. Spoons are a must if targeting steelhead. Run a mix of gear for a mix of salmonids. It's still a bit early to see mature kings staging closer to shore, but anglers did locate some mature kings off the Niagara Bar drop in 100 feet of water earlier this week. It won't be long and mature kings will start staging inside 150 of water off major tributary mouths. Time to pick up a few new J-Plugs. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

Warmwater species are plentiful in the harbors and slow moving sections of the tributary streams. Anglers can catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. You never know what you'll catch next.

Lower Niagara River

Boaters are picking up some walleye in the lower drifts and on the Niagara Bar just off the river mouth. Drifting with a 3-way bottom bouncing rig and worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) are traditional river walleye tactics. Smallmouth bass are also available from Devils Hole down to the Niagara Bar. Boaters typically target lower river bass by drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with shiners, crayfish and tubes, or by casting stickbaits towards shore. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Streams

The region's trout streams have moderate to slightly lower flows. There are some tricos and caddisflies hatching in the area. Stimulator patterns and terrestrials (ants, beetles, grasshoppers) will also draw trout to the surface. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

Genesee River Angler Diary Program

DEC Region 9 Fisheries Unit will be running an angler diary program for the Genesee River during 2017, and is currently looking for anglers to keep diaries. The diarist program aims to record data for trout and bass fishing trips on the Genesee River from the Pennsylvania line downstream through Letchworth State Park from March 1st through October 31st, 2017. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to contribute your observations by keeping a diary, please call DEC Fisheries at (716) 379-6372 or email

If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 855-FISH.