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Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

August 26 to September 2, 2016

Lake Erie and Harbors

Angler holding 21 pound lake trout caught in 80 feet of water off Dunkirk Harbor.
21 pound lake trout caught off Dunkirk Harbor
on worm harness run near the bottom.

The walleye bite has generally been fair from Sturgeon Point to the PA line in 60-90 feet of water, with some more productive patches interspersed. Out of Dunkirk, trollers report decent walleye action in 75-100 feet of water off Van Buren Point and to the northeast in 65-90 feet of water. Sturgeon Point anglers have done well in 63-70 feet of water by trolling or bottom bouncing with worm harnesses. Walleye trollers west of Dunkirk can diversify their catches by running some spoons for lake trout.

Some yellow perch reports are finally starting to trickle in. Out of Dunkirk, anglers report decent perch catches in 62-70 feet of water. Anglers have also located cooperative perch northwest of Cattaraugus Creek in 80 feet of water. If you plan to anchor out there, bring lots of rope! Emerald shiners are the best perch bait if available, but other small minnows will also work. Smallmouth bass fishing remains spotty. For more bass fishing information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page.

Attention Anglers: Rehabilitation of the Dunkirk Fishing Platform has been completed and it is now open for fishing.

Upper Niagara River

A few walleye have shown at the head of the river, but smallmouth bass continue to be the top upper river target. Boaters can target smallmouth bass throughout the river. Drifting and bottom bouncing with crayfish, shiners or tubes works well outside weed edges in 10-20 feet of water, or on the backside of humps or other bottom structure.

Chautauqua Lake

Anglers report good walleye action in both basins. In the north basin, anglers are catching more undersized walleye than keepers in 12-25 feet of water. Sizes have been a little better in the south basin in 14-18 feet of water. Vertical jigging with blade baits, trolling with worm harnesses or slow trolling with stickbaits have all been effective. Muskellunge fishing remains a little slow, but anglers are still catching some along weed edges and over deeper water of 35-40 feet, on gear run 15-20 feet down. Anglers are catching decent numbers of yellow perch in the north basin from weed edges out to 20 feet of water, with better sizes at the deeper end of that zone.

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; michael.todd@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

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