Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Western New York Fishing Hotline

July 22 to July 29, 2016

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Angler holding large Lake Ontario chinook salmon
Chinook salmon are the "kings" of Lake Ontario.

Anglers continue to enjoy excellent salmon and trout fishing from the Niagara Bar to just west of Oak Orchard, with lots of limit catches before noon. Off Niagara and Orleans Counties, the productive king (Chinook) salmon and steelhead fishing is spread out over a large area in 100-400 feet of water, with the strike zone between 40-90 feet down. Boats that are working deeper waters of 250 feet plus, are catching the majority of the bigger steelhead in the 10-15 pound range. Captain Bob Fontaine of Reel Pleasure Charters provided details of yesterday's excellent outing. They dropped lines starting in 105 feet of water and headed north on a zig-zag pattern. Hits started right away on lures run 50-80 feet down. Green was the magic color, with both spoons and flasher-fly combos getting plenty of attention from king salmon and steelhead. Many of the kings were in the 10 pound range, with the largest tipping the scales at 28.5 pounds. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

Anglers have seen good catches of yellow perch and a variety of sunfish on live bait at Wilson and Olcott Harbors lately.

Lower Niagara River

Smallmouth bass continues to improve on the lower river, with some white bass, sheepshead and the odd walleye mixed in. Boaters can target smallmouth bass by drifting with a bottom bouncing rig with shiners, crayfish or plastics; or by casting towards shore with stickbaits, jerkbaits and spinners. The same baits and lures work from shore as well. White bass catches at the NYPA fishing platform have tapered off this week. Platform anglers continue to catch decent numbers of smallmouth bass on live bait. Be advised that the platform may be closed at times due to a project to repair the elevator. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Inland Trout Fishing

All of the area streams have low flows and many have warm water. Keep in mind that hooking and playing trout in warm waters can be lethal to trout.

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.