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Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

July 30 to August 7, 2015

Lake Erie

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

Walleye anglers continue to see good action from Buffalo to Barcelona. Most of the activity from Buffalo to Sturgeon Point has been along the international line, where anglers are picking up bottom-hugging and suspended walleye. During low light periods, Buffalo anglers are also catching some "eater" size walleye at the south gap, middle gap and along the outside of the breakwall. From Evangola to Dunkirk, the better bite remains outside 70 feet of water, where walleye are suspended and scattered within the water column. Barcelona trollers are doing very well in 65-80 feet of water, and are starting to see a few steelhead mixed in with their walleye catches. Worm harnesses and stickbaits work well for walleye. Anglers are also catching lots of white bass, so check your lines often for stripped harnesses or dragging white bass.

The lake trout action has been stellar for the few boats that have been targeting them. Recent outings west of Dunkirk have netted excellent catches in 115 feet of water on spoons run near the bottom. Many of the lakers were in the 8 pound range, with a few others over 20 pounds. Late summer lake trout fishing is generally best from Dunkirk to the PA line at depths over 90 feet. Lake trout are often tight to the bottom, but may also be suspended.

Yellow perch fishing has been very slow, with no quality catch reports lately. Anglers are catching some smallmouth bass, but the bite has been relatively light. Target bass around structure areas like reefs, rock piles and drop-offs in 20-40 feet of water. Drop-shot rigs combined with crayfish, minnows, plastics or tubes works well. For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page.

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

Smallmouth bass are available throughout the upper river. Good spots to try include the head of the river, around Strawberry and Motor Islands and along the west side of Grand Island. Live shiners, crayfish or tube jigs are good baits 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 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

The muskellunge fishing slowed a little this past week, but trollers and casters are still catching some along weedlines on large stickbaits and bucktail spinners. Trollers can also target suspended musky over deeper waters of 25 feet plus. Largemouth bass fishing is good around docks and weedbeds out to 15 feet of water. Live shiners, weedless rigged power worms, wacky rigged senkos and topwater lures work well. Anglers see good catches of keeper yellow perch and sunfish around weedbeds. Small minnows are top bait for perch. Small jigs with grubs or piece of worm and fished under a float, will catch a mix of perch and sunfish.

Inland Trout Fishing

The area streams have good water flow, but water temperatures are getting a little high in the late afternoon. Tricos are now hatching on some streams, and anglers can do well with imitations in the morning hours. There are also some hatches of isonychia, golden stoneflies and cahills in the area. Anglers also see surface action on dry terrestrial patterns like ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial 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. 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.