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Western New York Fishing Hotline

August 28 to September 5, 2014

Attention anglers: The Western New York Fishing Hotline will not be updated again until Friday, September 19th.

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.

With colder nearshore water temperatures, the better trout and salmon bite continues to be over deeper water in Lake Ontario's western basin. Out of Olcott, trollers are catching steelhead and king salmon (chinook salmon) of mixed ages in 250-450 feet of water. Trolling with large spoons, flasher fly combos and especially cut bait in the top 70 feet has worked well. Oak Orchard anglers see similar catches over depths of 300-500 feet, on gear run between 40-90 feet down.

Catches of mature king salmon in the nearshore areas has been few and far between. However, over the next couple weeks, increasing numbers of staging king salmon should show in shallower water of 40-100 feet. Look for kings at the shallower end of that zone at first light and work progressively deeper water as the sun climbs in the sky. J-plugs, flasher-fly combos, cut bait rigs and large spoons are good offerings for staging king salmon.

King salmon catches at the Niagara Bar's drop-off, well, dropped off. This week, action has been better on the bar for lake trout and walleye. Some nice catches of large walleye have come on worm harnesses trolled near the bottom in the vicinity of the green buoy. Trolling with spoons near the bottom is a better bet for lake trout. Smallmouth bass are also available on the bar, especially near the mouth of the river. Bass anglers do well with a 3-way rig with shiners or tubes.

Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors and Piers

Olcott Pier anglers have reported large fish jumping in the waters off the pier near dawn and dusk, but so far there have been no confirmed king salmon landed. Right now, casting Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Krocodile spoons are better bets for brown trout.

Olcott Harbor has seen an influx of bait schools, which have northern pike and smallmouth bass holding in the area. Harbor/pier anglers can target smallmouth bass with crayfish or shiners. Larger goldens or chubs are a better bet for pike.

Lower Niagara River

Anglers are still catching walleye in the lower river and out on the Niagara Bar. In the river, anglers are picking up some walleye from multiple drifts by drifting with a 3-way bottom bouncing rig and worm harness. River anglers saw some improved smallmouth bass catches this week. The cold nearshore waters of Lake Ontario pushed smallmouth bass into the lower river. Smallmouth can be found all the way up to Devils Hole, but the catches were best near the mouth of the river, off Fort Niagara State Park and in the Coast Guard Drift. Drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and crayfish, shiner or tube is a good bet. 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

The area streams are in good shape, with moderated to slightly lower flows. Tricos are still hatching in the morning hours on some streams. Anglers may see some caddisflies as well. Using terrestrials like ants, beetles and grasshoppers are good options, especially in areas with moderate to heavy vegetation. 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.