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the Lower Niagara River, Niagara Bar, Lake Ontario & Lake Erie!
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Fishing Reports



Captain Matt's  Fishing Reports Archive

2018
For a complete list of past fishing reports (2012-2017),
please check out our Facebook page!

Fishing Report

from Bill Hilts

The Fishing Beat - February 14, 2019

This is a free fishing weekend in New York State. No fishing license is required, but you have to abide by state fishing regulations and the body of water you may be fishing. Good luck.

  Lake Ontario and Tributaries

There were a few trout being caught this past week on the tributaries where water was ice-free according to local guide Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters. Most of the action was on Oak Orchard River due to its warmer water from the dam as a tailwater fishery. All the smaller streams and non-tailwaters were frozen. The Oak has high flows with about 1 to 2 feet of visibility as of Tuesday, according to Ron Bierstine with Oak Orchard Tackle and Lodge. There is a mix of old and fresh steelhead available in the river. To the east, the yellow perch fishing continues to be very good in Sodus Bay through the ice. Many of the fish are 10 to 12 inches long.

  Lake Erie

Not much to report this week. The key is to locate open water in the streams. Once you do, you can catch trout. A few catches of the week gallery fish came from Erie tribs, but you do have to work for them. There have been quite a few ice fishermen on Buffalo Harbor with a mix of reports.

  Niagara River

Fishing has been very good in the lower stretch of the Niagara River if you can get out. Strong southwest winds last week filled the river with ice and made for some tough access for boaters. But by the weekend, they were back out there hitting steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleyes. Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls hit the river Monday and his customers had an excellent day, catching double-digit steelhead on pink and chartreuse egg sacs fished off three-way rigs throughout the river. All the drifts had fish on them. They even caught some incidental bonus walleye on egg sacs.

Bill Hilts Jr. is a past president of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association. Hilts is an avid outdoorsman, an outdoor writer who has contributed articles to numerous national and local magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Hilts is also responsible for Niagara County Tourism Sportfishing Programs. He freelances from his home in Sanborn N.Y. Hilts was inducted in the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in the Spring of 2007!


NYSDEC Fishing Report


February 8 to February 15, 2019

  Niagara River

Currently, lower river waters are very murky and with all this wind, may turn more to brown by the end of the day. After winds cease, look for water conditions to improve. Before the blow, charter boats reported very good action for a mix of steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleye. That mix of fish is available from Devils Hole down to the mouth. Emerald shiners and golden shiners are working well. Egg sacs, trout beads and Mag Lip lures will catch fish also, all combined with a 3-way bottom bouncing rig The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Fishing Platform is closed for winter season.

  Lake Ontario - Tributaries, Harbors and Piers

All Lake Ontario tributaries are currently blown out with levels at near peak. The thaw has flushed out much of the ice, and the increased flow could draw in some fresh steelhead.

  Lake Erie, Tributaries & Harbors

With the latest warm-up, the Lake Erie tributaries are pretty much wide open. All creeks currently have high and muddy flows. Some streams may be an option by Sunday. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low.



NYS Fishing Reports courtesy New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website. Visit them at NYSDEC


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. Good Luck Fishing!

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


Taking A Close Look At The Niagara Area Fishing Waters

WET NET CHARTERS provides comfortable fishing aboard a NEW 2075 Lund Tyee Magnum fishing boat that takes you along the eight-mile stretch of the Lower Niagara River, Niagara Bar, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie.

The Lower Niagara is one of the best trout and King salmon fisheries in the world. Lake Ontario offers the finest fresh water King Salmon and trout fishing available. Lake Erie provides Smallmouth Bass and Walleye fishing that is second to none.

WET NET guide service offers twelve months of trophy fishing seven days a week for a variety of warm and cold water fish. Targeted species are: Rainbow Trout (Steelhead), King Salmon, Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Coho Salmon, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth bass, Walleye, Perch and Musky

Have a specific time, day or date that you'd like to go fishing?

Give us a call or send us a text at 716-550-0413 and book your fishing trip or check out our "Book a Charter NOW" link below for more information and our easy-to-use online reservation form.


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Our Clients say ...

"As a fellow charter captain and friend of Matt I enjoyed watching him become one of the top guides in our region. He has the respect of his peers and is truly a first class guide and person. He will give you every pennies worth on your trip!!"
Joseph C.


  A New York State Freshwater Fishing License is required for adults
(16+ years old).

They can be easily obtained at any Walmart Store in New York State or at

Village of Lewiston Offices. 145 N 4th St., Ste 1, Lewiston, NY 14092
Clerk's Office  716-754-8271.

Ask Captain Matt to help you get yours, when you call to book your fishing charter!

You can also get your licenses online.
For New York State.