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Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

August 28 to September 4, 2015

Lake Erie

Angler holding walleye caught from Lake Erie off Myers Reef.
Lake Erie walleye caught while trolling stickbaits
off Myers Reef.

Trollers are targeting walleye from Sturgeon Point to the PA border. Out of Sturgeon Point, anglers are catching good numbers of eater-size walleye near the international line at depths over 60 feet. Cattaraugus area anglers are doing well in 75-95 feet of water, on lures run 40-60 feet down. Straight out of Dunkirk and west to Van Buren Point, trollers have been catching walleye everywhere from 50-120 feet of water, with the best action in 90-100 feet of water. Off Barcelona, anglers have recently done well in 80-120 feet of water.

There continues to be very little yellow perch fishing information available due to low angler effort. However, there were some good perch catches in the "perch grounds" off Dunkirk this week. Smallmouth bass have been about the only cooperative gamefish species near Buffalo lately. Anglers have seen a decent bass bite in 25-35 feet of water around Meyers Reef and Seneca Shoal. Try a drop-shot rig with live crayfish and shiners or tubes and plastics that imitate crayfish, gobies or shiners. For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page.

Lake trout are available outside 75 feet of water, west of Dunkirk. Anglers have recently done very well on spoons run near the bottom. Lakers in the 8 pound range have been common, with a few 20 pound fish mixed in.

Picture of walleye, showing location of external loop tag.
Look for orange loop tag on walleye's back with
handling and reward information.

Walleye Reward Tag Program: The New York State DEC Lake Erie Research Unit, along with other jurisdictions around Lake Erie are conducting a walleye movement study. If you catch a tagged walleye, there is a $100 reward for the return of the whole fish and its internal transmitter. Tag handling and reward information are displayed on an orange external loop tag on the walleye's back. Your cooperation with this research is greatly appreciated!

Upper Niagara River

Walleye have shown for boaters at the head of the river and the head of Strawberry Island. Shore anglers are also picking up a few walleye along Unity Island (formerly Squaw Island). Boaters can target smallmouth bass throughout the river. Drifting and bottom bouncing with crayfish works well outside weed edges in 10-20 feet of water. The east side of Strawberry and Motor Islands is a good bet. Worms, crayfish and minnows produce a mixed catch of perch, rock bass and smaller black bass from City of Buffalo shore sites. Shore anglers should be aware that the Ferry Street bridge to Broderick Park is closed for repairs until early 2016. Currently, Unity Island is only accessible from the bridge at the north end of the island.

Chautauqua Lake

Submerged weed beds are relatively sparse this year, lake-wide. Find the weed beds and you will find a variety of warmwater fish species. Muskellunge are available near weeds, and casters are doing well with large jerkbaits and crankbaits. Largemouth bass fishing remains strong in the shallows. Live shiners, topwater lures, stickbaits, tubes and jigs with plastics are good bass baits. Small minnows and worms produce yellow perch and sunfish catches around weed beds. Recently off Mayville in 10-12 feet of water, nightcrawler pieces fished right at the bottom produced a nice mix of keeper perch and sunfish.

Inland Trout Fishing

The area streams are in good fishing shape. Tricos are still hatching in the morning hours on some streams. Anglers may see some caddisflies as well. Using terrestrial patterns like ants, beetles and grasshoppers are good options, especially in areas with moderate to heavy overhanging 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. 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; michael.todd@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.