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Western New York Fishing Hotline

September 15 to September 22, 2017

Lake Ontario, Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

Lake Ontario anglers report a good bite for staging king salmon from Olcott to Oak Orchard, along with some brown trout mixed in. Depths of 50-80 feet of water has been productive during the morning hours. The last couple hours of daylight is also a good time to target staging kings. Flasher fly combos and meat rigs run near the bottom have worked well. Between Wilson and Olcott there has been steady action in 200-400 feet of water. Working the top 80 feet has produced steelhead and king salmon of mixed ages. The salmon bite along the Niagara Bar's ledge has gone cold.

Tributary fishing is just getting started with limited numbers of fish available. At Eighteenmile Creek, anglers are catching some steelhead up near Burt Dam, but no confirmed king salmon yet. There is slightly lower flow in the upper section, while the rocks near the trestle remain submerged due to the high lake level. Some king salmon have pushed up to the dam at Oak Orchard and kings are surfacing nightly in the area near the bridges. Limited number of kings have also pushed up to the falls on the Genesee River and trollers are picking up a few in the lower section of river. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

Good news for pier anglers at Olcott as the east pier has re-opened. Anglers report catches of king salmon, brown trout and steelhead from the piers at Olcott, Oak Orchard and the Genesee River. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night is a top technique for king salmon. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive under calmer conditions. For steelhead and brown trout, cast medium-sized spoons and spinners during low light periods. Don't forget a long-handled net if you are fishing the piers.

Lower Niagara River

King salmon have shown up early in the lower river this year. Charter boats and some recreational anglers have reported an excellent king salmon bite in the Devils Hole drift for over a week. A three-way rig with treated egg skein or kwikfish lure have produced limit catches of kings along with some walleye, bass and channel catfish mixed in. Smallmouth bass are still cooperating for drifters working the lower section of river. Shore anglers also report catches of king salmon along Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks during low light periods. Casting large glow spoons and Vibrax spinners works well. Be aware that the Devils Hole State Park stairs are closed for repair project. Access to the gorge is by the Whirlpool State Park stairs, and the Devils Hole drift shoreline is accessible by the metal stairs at the NYPA fishing platform's lower parking lot. Anglers at the NYPA platform are catching kings daily as well. The platform is open from dawn to dusk. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Streams

The area streams are in good shape with cool water temps and moderate to slightly low flows. There are some tricos hatching in the morning hours, at which time trico emergers and spinners are good flies to tie on. 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.