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Western New York Fishing Hotline

January 30 to February 13, 2015

Attention anglers: The Western New York Fishing Hotline will not be updated for the week of February 6 to February 13.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

Angler holding two black crappie caught at the north end of Conesus Lake
Black crappie iced at the north end of
Conesus Lake.

There are only a couple current options for winter steelhead anglers. At Oak Orchard Creek there is an open section between the dam and Archer's Club. There is also an open section on Eighteenmile Creek below the dam. Anglers have caught a few steelhead and brown trout on both streams recently. Small jigs with grubs have worked best. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on equipment, baits and fishing techniques.

Lower Niagara River

Charter boats continued to see some good trout action this week in the Devils Hole drift. A three-way rig with egg sacs have worked well for a mix of steelhead and lake trout. Shoreline areas are quite treacherous with ice build up. Those who have been able to find a fishable spot from shore, have caught some steelhead on jigs with grubs (fished under a float). Egg sacs, egg flies and minnows are also good offerings. Exercise extreme caution when shore fishing in the lower river, as icy access stairs, icy shoreline rocks and swift currents make these areas hazardous. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Ice Fishing

With the extended cold weather, most lakes in western New York have good solid ice. Anglers should still keep in mind that ice thickness can vary greatly on the same body of water, especially if there are springs, stream inlets or heavy snow cover. Before you head out on the ice this winter, remember that a minimum of 3 to 4 inches of solid ice (blue or black, not white) is the general rule for safety, for individuals on foot. Five inches of solid ice is more suitable for small groups fishing together. Drilling holes or tapping with a spud bar to check ice thickness is recommended on your way out, or when moving around. Safety ice picks, boot cleats, throw rope and a floatation device are recommended safety supplies. Use good judgment and fish with a friend when possible. Those new to ice fishing can check the Ice Fishing Basics page for more information. See the Lake Contour Maps page for maps organized by county.

Silver Lake

Silver Lake has thick ice of 10 to 12 inches lake-wide. The bluegill bite at the south end shallows remains non-existent. Some sunfish have shown in slightly deeper areas off weedlines. Anglers report a good yellow perch bite at depths over 20 feet. Anglers have had to weed through many small perch for a few keepers. Ice anglers can access the south end at Silver Lake State Park on the west side or by Mack's Restaurant on the east side. There is also public access on the northeast side at Village of Perry Public Beach.

Honeoye Lake

Honeoye has good ice of around 9 inches lake-wide. Yellow perch remain tight-lipped in the deeper areas of 20 feet plus. Plenty of perch are showing on sonar and cameras, and anglers have thrown everything at them. Those who have cracked the perch code have caught some nice sized perch. The shallower areas in 6 to 15 feet are a better bet for cooperative sunfish, largemouth bass and chain pickerel. Jigs and grubs work well for sunfish, and tip-ups with shiners are a good bet for bass and pickerel. Anglers can find public access at the southeast corner of the lake at Honeoye Lake Public Boat Launch and at the north end at Sandy Bottom Beach.

Conesus Lake

Conesus has ice of 9 inches or more. Anglers see excellent bluegill and pumpkinseed action at the north end in 6 to 10 feet of water off Vitale Park. However, expect to weed through many runts for a modest number of keepers around 7 inches. Anglers have also caught the occasional crappie, but no concentrations yet. In the same area, it has been slow for pike and tiger muskellunge. There has been better pike/tiger musky action in 8-12 feet of water between Camp Stella Maris and McPherson Point. Tip-ups with large shiners is a good bet. There have also been some vague reports of quality sized yellow perch caught at depths over 20 feet. Anglers can find access at the north end at Vitale Park, at the Conesus Lake Public Boat Launch off East Lake Road near McPherson Point and at the south end DEC car top boat launch off West Lake Road.

Hemlock Lake

Hemlock has ice around 6 inches thick at both ends of the lake, extending beyond the drop-offs. No word on ice thickness at mid-lake. At the shallower ends, anglers can catch sunfish, bass and chain pickerel. Lake trout are available in deeper areas. After dark, anglers equipped with a lantern often catch smelt just under the ice. Access is available at both ends of the lake at boat launches off Route 15A.

Canadice Lake

Canadice has ice around 8 inches thick. After dark, anglers are targeting suspended smelt schools. Small glow jigs tipped with a spike or waxworm work well. Anglers can target lake trout over deeper water by jigging with spoons or with large shiners on tip-ups.

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.