Lake Erie Fishing Hotline
May 24 to May 31, 2013
Jumbo yellow perch (3 lbs, 15 inches) caught
on an emerald shiner in 47 feet of water off
Evangola State Park.
The nearshore walleye bite heated up this week, including some limit catches. Lake Erie surface temperatures are now around 55-56 degrees in the nearshore zone, which is ideal for congregating walleye. Night trolling at around 2 mph over rocky and rubble areas is a good bet. Minnow-type stickbaits and worm harnesses work well in 8-15 feet of water. Good catches were reported off Hoak's Restaurant (Hamburg), along Lake Erie State Park and Van Buren Bay. Other good spots to try include; Bournes Beach, off DJ's Campground, Evans Bar, off the mouth of Smokes Creek and outside Buffalo Harbor's outer breakwalls.
There are still some smallmouth bass hanging around the major harbors (Barcelona, Dunkirk, Buffalo), but the hot bite has been along rocky nearshore areas in 5-25 feet of water. Anglers are catching many bass in the 3 to 4 pound range, with the occasional 5 to 6 pound lunker. Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef, Evans Bar and Van Buren Bay/Reef are good bets. However, many smaller reefs, rock piles and humps along the Erie shoreline also hold good numbers of bass. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are good smallmouth bass baits. For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page.
The yellow perch bite was back this week, with most anglers returning to port with good catches of sizeable perch. The best action was off of Cattaraugus Creek and to the northeast off Evangola State Park and Point Breeze. Anglers caught perch from 52 to 65 feet of water, with 61 to 62 foot depths getting most mention. Off Sturgeon Point, anglers did well in 50-55 feet of water. Out of Dunkirk, anglers picked up nice catches east of the departure buoy in 50-55 feet of water. Live emerald shiners fished just off the bottom can't be beat.
Lake Erie Tributaries
Smallmouth bass are still available in the lower sections of the Lake Erie tributaries. Anglers can target smallmouth bass on Cattaraugus Creek from mid-Seneca Reservation down to the mouth (need fishing license issued by Seneca Nation to fish on Seneca lands); on Chautauqua, Canadaway and Eighteemile Creeks from the thruway down to the mouths; and below the confluence of Buffalo and Cayuga Creeks (Harlem Road access). Channel catfish have moved into the lower sections of the tributaries, settling into deeper holes. Fishing at night with nightcrawlers, raw shrimp, chicken livers or cut bait on the bottom could have you hooked into a huge catfish. The lower section of Cattaraugus Creek and near the mouth of Eighteenmile Creek are top locations. Shore anglers can also target catfish along the Lake Erie shoreline on calm nights, especially near stream inlets.
Upper Niagara River
Yellow perch are still hitting well in the section below the Ontario Street boat launch. Boat and shore anglers are picking through many small perch for a decent creel of keeper perch. Boat and shore anglers also see decent perch action just below the Black Rock Canal lock (northern tip of Squaw Island). Emerald shiners are the top bait for perch. Anglers are catching some walleye at Broderick Park and along the wall running north. Minnows fished near the bottom have worked well. Anglers are catching smallmouth bass from the head of the river to down past Strawberry Island. Bass fishing in the upper river (north of Peace Bridge) is by catch and release only, artificial lures only until June 15th. The harbors, marinas and inlets are good spots to target panfish and largemouth bass.
Keeper crappie are still biting in 6-10 feet of water in many sheltered bays. Fishing near dawn and dusk with small minnows or small jigs (1/32 oz) with a minnow is a good bet. Anglers are picking up some walleye along weed lines (8-10 feet of water) in the north basin by trolling with stickbaits and worm harnesses near dawn and dusk. Good largemouth and smallmouth bass action can be found inside 10 feet of water. As a reminder, fishing for black bass in Chautauqua Lake is by catch and release only, artificial lures only, until June 15th.
Inland Trout Streams
The inland trout streams are in good shape with moderate to slightly lower flows. A variety of bugs are hatching now, including sulphurs, March browns, Grey Foxes and caddisflies. With cooler temperatures in the forecast, look for better fly hatches in the late afternoon. Fly anglers can see good results by using the appropriate imitations. 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 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 has stocked all of western New York's trout stocking waters with at least their first stocking increment. Throughout the month of May, hatchery staff will stock select waters with additional trout. Anglers can call the Randolph Fish Hatchery Fish Stocking Hotline at (716) 358-4950 for stocking updates. For complete lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout stocked, check the 2013 Spring Trout Stocking pages.
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; email@example.com) or Jim Markham (716-366-0228; firstname.lastname@example.org). Good Luck Fishing!
The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.