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Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

July 24 to August 1, 2014

Lake Erie

Angler holding large lake trout caught from Lake Erie off Dunkirk.
Large lake trout caught off
Dunkirk in 120 feet of water on a
NK magnum spoon.

Walleye trollers continue to catch suspended walleye over deeper water. Buffalo area anglers are catching a few walleye off the windmills, but see better catches along the international line at depths over 50 feet. Between Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek, anglers concentrate efforts in 60-70 feet of water. On Tuesday, anglers saw particularly good walleye action in 64 feet of water off Evangola State Park and in 46 feet of water off Evans Bar. Dunkirk anglers are doing well to the west off Van Buren Point in 80-100 feet of water. Barcelona trollers are catching good numbers of walleye in 90-130 feet of water on lures run 30-35 feet down. Worm harnesses and stickbaits work well for walleye.

With most anglers chasing walleye, very little yellow perch information has been available. For those who have been out, the fishing has been hit or miss. A good starting point would be between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point in 50 feet of water. Live emerald shiners fished just off the bottom work best for perch. If emeralds are scarce, try other small minnows/shiners or salted minnows.

Anglers report good smallmouth bass catches in Buffalo Harbor and around the breakwalls. On the open lake, target bronzebacks in 25-45 feet of water around reefs, rock piles and drop-offs. Drop-shot rigs combined with crayfish, minnows, tube jigs or other plastic baits works well. For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page.

Anglers reported good lake trout action off Dunkirk in 100-120 feet of water. NK magnum spoons in green/black, run between 100 feet down and the bottom, produced large lakers with some steelhead mixed in. July and August are traditionally the best months to target lake trout in Lake Erie. Head for prime depths of over 90 feet deep, northwest of Dunkirk to the PA line. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom is a productive method, although lakers may also be suspended in the water column.

Upper Niagara River

Smallmouth bass are plentiful in the upper river. Target smallmouth bass outside weedlines, often over rocky or gravel bottom. Some good recent catches have come from around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and in the west river. A 3-way rig with shiners or crayfish is a good bet for bass. Anglers can target muskellunge along weed edges with large tube jigs or stickbaits. Either side of Strawberry Island can be productive. Shore anglers catch a mix of sunfish, perch, black bass and sheepshead from Buffalo area shores sites. Live bait (minnows, crayfish and worms) is best.

Chautauqua Lake

Trollers are catching good numbers of muskellunge along weed edges. Trolling with large perch pattern stickbaits, hot-n-tots and bucktail trolling spinners are good bets. Largemouth bass catches are common around docks, weedlines and open pockets in weed beds. Top water lures, weedless rigged power worms and wacky rigged senkos work well. Walleye fishing has been slow lately.

Inland Trout Fishing

Steam conditions are excellent for mid-summer, with moderate flows and cooler temperatures. Tricos are hatching throughout the area at first light, and are the go-to pattern at that time. Anglers may also see hatches of isonychia, cahills and caddisflies. Terrestrials such as ant dry flies, foam beetles, grasshopper and cricket patterns will take trout. Fish these patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. 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.

Spring Trout Stocking

The DEC completed stocking of all western New York trout stocking waters back in May. For lists of stocked waters (by County) and numbers of trout stocked, check the 2014 Spring Trout Stocking page.

Genesee River Angler Diary Program

The New York State DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program on the Genesee River in Allegany and Wyoming Counties. The program will run from March 1st through October 31st, 2014. This program will cover the portion of the river from the PA line, downstream through Letchworth State Park, and will record data for both trout and bass fishing trips.

If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC please call the Region 9 Fisheries Office at (716) 372-0645 or e-mail fwfish9@gw.dec.state.ny.us. This diary program will be used to evaluate the quality of the fishery and determine future management actions.

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.