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Western New York Fishing Hotline

September 26 to October 3, 2014

Lake Ontario

Angler holding large chinook salmon caught from Lake Ontario, near Hamlin.
Lake Ontario offers some of the best King Salmon
(Chinook) fishing in all of the Great Lakes.

Boaters still have good opportunity to catch king salmon (chinook salmon) and trout off tributary mouths. Near dawn and dusk, the staging kings have been caught from just off the piers, out to 80 feet of water. Good spots to try include the waters off Olcott, Oak Orchard, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Off Olcott, boaters have caught some nice silvery kings much of the past week. Heavier trolling traffic has tended to shut things down. Boaters have done better by casting spoons or drifting skein. Another option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or deep diving stickbaits.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors and Piers

Pier anglers are catching some king salmon at night, however the best action is yet to come. Casting heavy (3/4 oz plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons work best, but egg sacs or skein fished under a float can be productive under calmer conditions. Salmon catches are generally best from the piers at the mouths of the major tributaries like Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek and the Genesee River. However, trout and salmon are available from any pier that extends into Lake Ontario. Daytime casters see a few hook-ups with brown trout and steelhead.

There has been some slight trout and salmon action in the major western tributaries, but a good rain is needed to really kick start the run. At Eighteenmile Creek's Fisherman's Park, there have been a few salmon catches at first light. However, daylight quickly chases them back down to deeper "frog" water. Catches have been a little better at Oak Orchard Creek where anglers have managed light catches king salmon, brown trout and steelhead. All other tributaries are low, clear and practically void of trout and salmon. For those new to stream salmon fishing, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps.

Yellow perch have shown in decent numbers at Olcott Harbor and the lower section of Oak Orchard. Live minnows are a good bet for perch.

Lower Niagara River

Charter boats working the Devils Hole drift continued to see good king salmon action through this week. On Thursday, charters were returning with 4 to 5 king salmon on average. Drifting with a three-way rig and cured salmon skein (nickel to quarter size) has worked very well, but a three-way with Kwikfish is also effective at times. Keep in mind that conditions are hazardous in the Devils Hole drift, and only the most experienced boaters should attempt to fish there. Smallmouth bass are still available around the mouth of the river and on the Niagara Bar.

Shore anglers are catching some king salmon from the NYPA fishing platform, with a few brown trout, steelhead and smallmouth bass mixed in (see user info for NYPA platform below). Spoons, spinners and jigs with mister twisters have been good offerings for platform anglers. Shore anglers can also target king salmon from shore at Whirlpool and Devils Hole State Parks by casting large spoons, Vibrax spinners, rattle-traps and jigs with twister tails, or by drifting egg sacs or cured salmon skein under a float. Anglers fishing from shore at the state parks generally do better near dawn and dusk. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has announced the re-opening of the fishing pier at the base of the Niagara Power Project. Because the construction project on the access road is still ongoing, NYPA has enacted some restrictions on use of the pier. The pier will only be accessible via a free shuttle service that will run to and from parking lot C at the Power Vista every half hour between 7am and 5pm. Familiarize yourself with all rules that are in place by listening to the recording at 716-796-0135, extension 45.

Inland Trout Fishing

Fall is a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and many other anglers have shifted their focus to the Great Lakes tributaries. The area streams are running low and clear, but water temperatures remain cool. Anglers may see light hatches of isonychia, tricos or BWO on some streams. Terrestrials such as ants, beetles or grasshoppers are good bets for surface action. 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 a 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.

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; mailto:fwfish9@gw.dec.state.ny.us). Good Luck Fishing!

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