Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Western New York Fishing Hotline

August 19 to August 26, 2016

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Angler holding large Lake Ontario chinook salmon
Chinook salmon are the "kings" of Lake Ontario.

Winds have recently riled waters and prompted upwellings on Lake Ontario. Despite wacky temperature profiles, trollers off Olcott report good, yet brief, staging king salmon action in 50-100 feet of water, just before sunrise and after sunset. During the low light bite, a variety of lures including large spoons, J-Plugs, flasher-fly combos and meat rigs have worked well when run near the bottom. Nearshore trollers also see some brown trout catches mixed in. During the day, mature king salmon push outside 100 feet of water and are suspended. Over deep waters of 300 feet plus, anglers are catching king salmon of mixed sizes and steelhead in the top 70 feet. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

Wilson-Tuscarora State Park boat launch was closed for dock work today, and the closure may extend into Saturday. Call the park before you go, 716-751-6361.

Olcott Pier anglers have been catching mostly smallmouth bass and rock bass. Brown trout and king salmon should start to show within casting distance of pier heads soon, especially following a stiff north wind. Wilson and Olcott Harbor anglers have been catching yellow perch, bluegill and big rock bass. Northern pike are available too, and are likely nearby if the panfish bite quickly goes cold.

Lower Niagara River

Walleye fishing has been improving in the lower drifts. Walleye tend to show on the Niagara Bar in late summer as well. Drifting with a 3-way bottom bouncing rig with worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) are traditional river walleye tactics. Smallmouth bass fishing has slowed again. Anglers normally target lower river bass by drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with shiners, crayfish and tubes, or by casting stickbaits towards shore. Fishing at the NYPA platform has been very slow. Parks have announced that the Whirlpool State Park stairs have been repaired and reopened, providing anglers with a safer decent to the gorge floor. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Fishing

All of the area streams have low flows and many have warm water. Keep in mind that hooking and playing trout in warm waters can be lethal to trout.

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, fishing equipment and techniques.

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; fwfish9@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

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