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Western New York Fishing Hotline

September 23 to September 30, 2016

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Angler holding large king salmon caught from Lake Ontario.
Staging king salmon caught off Olcott Beach
on a Dreamweaver trolling plug.

There have been a couple off days, but the most consistent mature king salmon fishing has been along the Niagara Bar drop-off. Large kings are concentrated along the drop waiting to run the river. Trollers have done well in 70-150 feet of water on flasher-fly combos and large spoons. Recently off Olcott, anglers have been seeing plenty of suspected salmon marks on their electronics, but bites were few. However, there have been some bright spots, including a productive outing by Thrillseeker Sportfishing charter on Tuesday. The crew put five mature king salmon in the box by 8:30am, with green Dreamweaver plugs working well run 40-70 feet down over depths of 73-110 feet. The first and last couple hours of daylight are best times to target staging mature kings. Another option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

Some king salmon and brown trout have been caught from the piers at Olcott and Genesee River, although far and few between. Northeast winds today through Sunday should shake things up. 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. Catches are generally best from the piers at the mouths of major salmon tributaries like Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard and the Genesee River. Casting medium-sized spoons during low light periods is a good bet for brown trout.

Yellow perch fishing has improved at Wilson and Olcott Harbors. Some perch catches have been reported along the lower stretch of Oak Orchard Creek as well. Small minnows work best. Some salmon have been cruising in and out of Olcott Harbor at night. A couple of scout salmon have been spotted up at the dams on Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks. More salmon should start to push upstream as water temperatures fall. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps.

Lower Niagara River

Anglers reported some very good yellow perch catches this past week. Boaters did well by working the weedline from Lewiston Landing to Joe Davis State Park. Anglers also had some decent perch catches from shore at Lewiston Landing. Live emerald shiners work best. King salmon are starting to show at sites in the lower river. Anglers have been catching kings daily from the NYPA fishing platform. A few salmon have been caught from shore at Whirlpool and Devils Hole State Parks as well. Large casting spoons, Vibrax spinners and cured salmon skein are good offerings from shore. There has not been any charter boat activity in the Devils Hole drift, suggesting that is not productive yet. Another spot where shore anglers can now fish within the gorge is at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center. An elevator, running between 7:30 AM and 5:00 PM (through 10/31), takes anglers (and other pedestrians) to the base of the old Schoellkopf Power Plant site. There is no formal fishing access, however there are a few spots where anglers can get to the shoreline. Fishing here is at your own risk. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Fishing

The region's trout streams are still running low and clear, but cool nights have helped bring creek temperatures down. Anglers should still avoid fishing in the late afternoon on warm and sunny days. Tricos, small attractor patterns, ant and beetle patterns are good surface flies at this time of year. 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, 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.