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Western New York Fishing Hotline

July 30 to August 7, 2015

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Angler holding 27 pound king salmon from Lake Ontario.
Mature 27 pound king salmon (chinook salmon)
from Lake Ontario.

Trout and salmon fishing in Ontario's western basin continues to improve. Off Olcott, trollers are catching some mature king salmon (chinook salmon) at daybreak, 60 feet down over 80 feet of water. As the morning progresses, the better action shifts to 150-250 feet of water where anglers catch a variety of trout and salmon. Run lures 90-120 feet down for mature kings. Trollers working depths of 250 feet plus, are catching a mix of steelhead, coho salmon and king salmon in the top 70 feet. Large spoons, flasher-fly combos and meat rigs are all catching kings. In addition, brown trout are hitting spoons inside 80 feet of water. Off Oak Orchard, the best action for a mix of trout and salmon has been in 250-300 feet of water. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

Warmwater species are plentiful in the harbors and slow moving sections of the tributary streams. Anglers have been catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. You never know what you'll catch next.

Lower Niagara River

The smallmouth bass bite has cooled off lately. Bottom bouncing rigs with live bait have produced catches of smallmouth bass, sheepshead, white bass and the rare walleye. Casting stickbaits towards shore will also produce bass catches. There has been a good walleye bite around the mouth of the river and out onto the Niagara Bar. Drifting with a 3-way bottom bouncing rig and worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) are traditional river walleye tactics. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Anglers should keep in mind that some swifter flowing areas of the river within the gorge are very dangerous. Shore anglers should only fish in areas with good footing. Avoid slippery algae covered rocks and shoreline, and never wade into the river. Only experienced boaters with adequately sized vessels should attempt to fish above Artpark (Devils Hole drift).

Inland Trout Fishing

The area streams have good water flow, but temperatures are getting a little high in the late afternoon. Tricos are now hatching on some streams, and anglers can do well with imitations in the morning hours. There are also some hatches of isonychia, golden stoneflies and cahills in the area. Anglers also see surface action on dry terrestrial patterns like ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. 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. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, fishing equipment and techniques.

Wiscoy Creek Angler Diary Program

DEC Region 9 Fisheries Unit will be running an angler diary program for Wiscoy Creek in Allegany and Wyoming Counties during 2015, and is currently looking for anglers to keep diaries. If you fish Wiscoy Creek (even once) and would like to keep a diary, please call DEC Fisheries at (716) 372-0645 or email at fwfish9@dec.ny.gov. The program will run March 1st through October 31st. This program duplicates one run in 2012 (2012 survey summary) and will be used in conjunction with a late-summer electrofishing survey to evaluate the fishery's overall quality.

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.