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Western New York Fishing Hotline

July 24 to August 1, 2014

If you would like to see your picture of western New York caught fish posted on this hotline page, email them to fwfish9@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

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.

Overall, the trout and salmon fishing has been decent, and is slowly improving. The most consistent action has been over deep water, with fish riding high in the water column. Off Olcott, trollers report better action outside 400 feet of water. Spoons, flasher-fly combos and cut bait rigs have produced good numbers of large steelhead with a fair number of nice-sized king salmon mixed in. A few coho salmon, lake trout and even the occasional Atlantic salmon or brown trout round out the deepwater catches. The scenario is much the same off Oak Orchard. The better catches have come over depths of 300-450 feet, high in the water column. Oak anglers are also catching mostly steelhead with some nice kings mixed in.

There are some catches coming from shallower depths of 150-250 feet of water. However, it has been hit or miss. A bit of searching is required to find smaller pods of feeding salmonids. Brown trout are still available inside 60 feet of water on spoons run near the bottom.

Harbor fishing has been fair for a variety of warmwater species. Predators like bass and pike have been taken on stickbaits, spinnerbaits and live shiners. Sunfish and perch catches have been spotty.

Lower Niagara River

Now that moss has dissipated in the lower river, anglers can get more moss-free drifts. Anglers catch smallmouth bass from Devils Hole down to the mouth of the river. Boaters can drift with a 3-way rig with golden shiners, crayfish or tube jigs, or can cast towards shore with jerkbaits and stickbaits. Walleye usually start to show in the lower river by mid-summer. Drifting with a 3-way rig and worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) is a good bet. The best drifts for walleye include the Stella drifts, Artpark drift and Coast Guard drift. Out on the Niagara Bar, trolling with worm harnesses has produced some walleye catches. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Tonawanda Creek / Erie Barge Canal

Tonawanda Creek and the Erie Barge Canal are good places to catch smallmouth bass. Besides bass, anglers can catch a number of other warmwater species such as rock bass, bluegill, northern pike and channel catfish. Downstream of Route 277, multiple municipal parks offer shore access to Tonawanda Creek. Upstream of the confluence with the Erie Canal, Tonawanda Creek is best fished from a canoe or kayak. There is plentiful shore access to the Erie Canal east of Lockport.

Inland Trout Fishing

Steam conditions are excellent for mid-summer, with moderate flows and cooler temperatures. Tricos are hatching throughout the area at first light, and are the go-to pattern at that time. Anglers may also see hatches of isonychia, cahills and caddisflies. Terrestrials such as ant dry flies, foam beetles, grasshopper and cricket patterns will take trout. Fish these 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.

Spring Trout Stocking

The DEC completed stocking of all western New York trout stocking waters back in May. For lists of stocked waters (by County) and numbers of trout stocked, check the 2014 Spring Trout Stocking page.

Genesee River Angler Diary Program

The New York State DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program on the Genesee River in Allegany and Wyoming Counties. The program will run from March 1st through October 31st, 2014. This program will cover the portion of the river from the PA line, downstream through Letchworth State Park, and will record data for both trout and bass fishing trips. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC please call the Region 9 Fisheries Office at (716) 372-0645 or e-mail fwfish9@gw.dec.state.ny.us. This diary program will be used to evaluate the quality of the fishery and determine future management actions.

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@gw.dec.state.ny.us). Good Luck Fishing!

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