Western New York Fishing Hotline
May 17 to May 24, 2013
See the 2013 Warmwater Fishing Forecast for recommendations on walleye, northern pike, pickerel and bass fishing locations.
Lake Ontario and Tributaries
This large male steelhead was caught from shore
in the lower Niagara River on a drifted trout bead.
The trout and salmon bite improved over the past week with the westerly winds. Trollers are picking up a few king salmon in 60-80 feet of water at first light. After that, the majority of the action seems to be in 100-200 foot zone. Running a program of spoons and flasher-fly combos has worked well. Gear run between 60-80 feet down has caught a mix of immature king salmon, coho salmon, steelhead and lake trout. Gear run deeper, between 80-120 feet down has produced fair catches of big king salmon and lake trout.
I have not received many reports from the Niagara Bar. However, at this time of year, anglers generally catch lake trout and coho salmon on the bar, outside of the green buoy. Drifting, jigging or trolling can all be effective on the bar. Trollers also commonly target king salmon along the ledge (outer edge of bar) at this time of year.
Fishing for a mixed bag of warmwater species is a good bet in the lower, slower moving sections of the tributaries, up to the first riffle. Anglers can catch northern pike, black bass, rock bass, crappie, bluegill and yellow perch. Good waters to try include Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek and the Genesee River.
Lake Ontario Harbors & Piers
Anglers can still target brown trout from the Lake Ontario piers. Casting spoons or fishing a minnow under a float are good bets. Harbor areas are holding a mix of bass, yellow perch, sunfish and northern pike. Emerald shiners work well for perch, rock bass and bluegill. Large shiners and stickbaits are good bets for pike. Bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only.
Lower Niagara River
There is still opportunity to catch steelhead in the lower river. The Devils Hole and Artpark drifts are the best bets for boaters. Shore anglers can target trout from Whirlpool, Devils Hole and Artpark State Parks. Smallmouth bass are moving in and anglers are starting to report catches. Bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only.
The New York Power Authority Fishing Platform is open for the season, daily from dawn till dusk. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.
Inland Trout Streams
Western New York's inland trout streams are in great shape with moderate flows. Plenty of bugs are hatching now, including sulphurs, March browns and caddisflies. Fly anglers do well with imitation dry flies or sub-surface with nymphs such as stoneflies, hares ear, pheasant tails and caddisflies. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.
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 area's best trout streams.
Spring Trout Stocking
The DEC has stocked all of western New York's trout stocking waters with at least their first stocking increment. Throughout the month of May, hatchery staff will stock select waters with additional trout. Anglers can call the Randolph Fish Hatchery Fish Stocking Hotline at (716) 358-4950 for stocking updates. For complete lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout stocked, check the 2013 Spring Trout Stocking pages.
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; email@example.com). Good Luck Fishing!
The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 855-FISH.