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Fishing Reports

Captain Matt's  Fishing Reports Archive
2012   2013
(Archive reports for the following years are temporarily unavailable.)
2015 | 2016 | 2017


Fishing Report

from Bill Hilts

The Fishing Beat - Sept. 20. 2018

Great Lakes fishing in Erie and Ontario continue to move forward into fall patterns, but some good fishing is still available for those willing to put a little time in to locate fish. National Hunting and Fishing Day is Sept. 22 and it's a free fishing day around the state.

  Lake Ontario and Tributaries

While maturing salmon have found their way closer to the piers in Wilson and Olcott, deep water prospects are still an option for trollers hitting the open water. Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls and Capt. Alan Sauerland of Instigator charters sought out stable water conditions in 350 feet of water and connected with a mix of steelhead and salmon. They were 20 for 26, catching numerous steelhead over 10 pounds as they used a mix of spoons, meat and flashers to catch-and-release their fish. Most of the bites came 50 to 75 feet down using riggers, divers and copper line set-ups.

  Lake Erie

Lake Erie walleye action can still be very good if you can find the schools of fish swimming around. Joe Yaeger of Amherst hit the waters off Buffalo near the International line in 58 to 62 feet of water. It was all Torpedo divers with worm harnesses 40 feet down to the bottom to take their limits of 'eyes. Off Sturgeon Point we received a note from Nate Diegelman who reported that last week's Fishing Beat was right on as they hit suspended fish around 40 down over 60 to 65-foot depths. He was using in-line weights off boards with orange, green or chartreuse harnesses. They were not marking many fish on their electronics, but they still caught a limit. Anglers fishing out of Cattaraugus Creek were also seeing some great walleye fishing, too. Capt. Jim Skoczylas of Ultimate Outdoors of WNY has been fishing east of the Catt towards Evans Bar in 65 to 75 feet of water. When the lake flipped around Sept. 9, it pushed the fish up. It's pretty much back to normal water temperatures now.

  Niagara River

More salmon are making it up into the lower river system but water temperatures are still too warm for them for any sustained survival. Gianni Etopio of Youngstown reeled in a couple nice king salmon off the New York Power Authority fishing platform over the weekend and they still put up a great fight when those fish are fresh. He noted that he's seen pods of 10 to 50 salmon migrating up into the gorge. A few boats caught as many as 4 salmon in Devil's Hole, but numbers of fish have been slow in coming and they don't hang around long.

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

September 21 to September 28, 2018

FREE FISHING DAY: National Hunting and Fishing Day, Saturday, September 22, is a designated free fishing day in New York. Anyone can fish the fresh waters of New York State and no fishing license is required! All other freshwater fishing regulations still apply.

  Niagara River

Despite warmer than ideal conditions in the lower river, king salmon are slowly moving in. Most catches have come from the NYPA fishing platform, however drifters are just starting to catch a few in the Devils Hole drift. The lower river salmon run will continue to build over the next couple of weeks. Smallmouth bass and walleye are available from Artpark through the mid-river drifts.

  Lake Ontario - Tributaries, Harbors and Piers

Mature king salmon are staging in nearshore waters off major tributary mouths, and at times the fishing has been productive. However, nearshore waters are still a bit warm, which seems to dampen the bite. But the fish are there. In general, fishing is typically best at dawn for staging salmon and the bite can pick back up again near dusk. Before daybreak, salmon can be just a short distance off pier heads. After sunrise, depths of 50-100 feet of water are a better bet.

  Lake Erie, Tributaries & Harbors

Last week there were some reports of smaller steelhead in the low section of Cattaraugus Creek. However, that has shut down with daytime creek temperatures climbing into the mid to upper 70s. Cooler weather and rain are needed to trigger a run.

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.