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Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

December 2 to December 9, 2016

Lake Erie Tributaries

Angler holding 45 inch muskellunge caught from upper Niagara River.
Forty-five inch muskellunge caught
from the upper Niagara River.

There have been some good days, however steelhead fishing was generally slow for much of November. Rains brought all stream levels up on the first day of December, and hopefully a fresh slug of steelhead will have moved in on the water surge. The smallest streams are the best bet for fishable conditions today. Without additional measurable precipitation, all streams except Cattaraugus Creek should be options for the weekend.

Lake Erie steelhead commonly hit natural baits like egg sacs or worms, flies such as egg imitations, black stone flies, streamer and bugger patterns, and lures like minnow-type stickbaits, in-line spinners and small spoons. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps.

Upper Niagara River

Muskellunge, tiger muskellunge and regular black bass seasons are closed on the upper river as of November 30th. Anglers may still target black bass on the upper river, however bass fishing is now by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs usually produces some rainbow trout catches this time of year from Broderick Park and Bird Island Pier.

Chautauqua Lake

Muskellunge and regular black bass seasons are closed as of November 30th. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Anglers can still find nice sized yellow perch and sunfish in nearshore areas. Key on weed beds with small minnows, worms or small ice fishing jigs tipped with a wax worm.

Inland Trout Fishing

Fall can be a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and many other anglers have shifted their focus to the Great Lakes tributaries. The area trout streams currently have moderate to slightly high flows. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

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.