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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.
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.
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
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
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