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from Bill Hilts
The Fishing Beat - April 17, 2019
The ice boom is still in place, tributary fishing had been good until the streams were blown out with rain and Lake Ontario proper is slowly turning up the action as waters continue to warm.
Lake Ontario and Tributaries
In some of the creeks, steelhead were hitting flies on the surface. Browns have been hitting eggs, so sacs and beads will do the trick, according to Drabczyk. In the lake, trolling stickbaits in shallow water is working in front of 4 Mile and Wilson to take browns. Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown reports good action on a mixed bag, including six Coho salmon on Dreamweaver Super Slim "Get 'er Done" spoons and Jr. Challenger Lady Bug lures off the boards, the downriggers and flatlining off the back of the boat in relatively shallow water.
For the most part, all major tributaries are blown out. According to Nicholas Sagnibene of Ellicottville, some upper reaches of the inland tributaries will be fishing soon, but expect things to be high and off color into Thursday, when more rain is expected to keep them that way. He believes a real good spring cleanout is happening. If the weather picks up, the fishing will become great.
The ice boom is still in place. As of Tuesday morning, there was 372 square miles of ice. There needs to be 250 square miles of ice or less before the boom is pulled, perhaps next week, according to officials. Ice thickness varies from 6 inches to 28 inches. In the meantime, ice chunks have been floating through the river system. Perch have been hitting around Beaver Island State Park at the marina as well as many of the small bays around the island, according to Jeff Pippard at Niagara Outdoors in North Tonawanda. Just look for the Emerald shiners. He also said rainbow trout and lake trout were being caught around Gratwick Park on spinners.
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
April 19 to April 26, 2019
It has been announced that the ice boom removal is expected to start on Monday, April 22. Floating ice chunks will limit fishing in the open river until the ice mass passes through the system. Around the upper river, harbor, bay and inlet areas are currently good spots to target yellow perch and sunfish. These areas warm quicker than the main river, attracting both bait and panfish. Emerald shiners are available for dipping at many harbor and inlet sites and work great for perch bait.
Steelhead are still biting well in the upper drifts and a mix of trout are available in the mid to lower drifts.
Lake Ontario - Tributaries, Harbors and Piers
Trollers are enjoying an excellent brown trout bite from the Niagara Bar to Rochester. Stickbaits and medium-sized spoons run behind planer boards in 10-20 feet of water are producing lots of brown trout in the 2-3 pound range, with the occasional lunker mixed in. Nearshore anglers are also catching fair numbers of coho salmon and lake trout. The nearshore brown trout bite is generally best near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters and in areas with a slightly higher water temp. Some king salmon are starting to show inside 150 feet of water.
Lake Erie, Tributaries & Harbors
Most of the Lake Erie tributaries dropped back to fishable levels yesterday, after running high since Monday. Today's rain will blow them all out again. Prior to this week there were mixed steelhead reports. Some anglers did very well while other struggled. Catches have been dominated by smaller jacks and larger drop-backs, with better numbers of steelhead in the upper sections of creeks. With warmer air temperatures and today's warmish rain, expect declining numbers of steelhead along with a slug of suckers and smallmouth bass to enter the creeks following the high water event.
Ice on Lake Erie continues to delay open lake fishing. The harbors are open and offer fishing opportunity.
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
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