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from Bill Hilts
The Fishing Beat - November 14, 2018
With the Southern Zone regular big-game opener kicking off Saturday, look for decreased fishing pressure in WNY waters. There are still plenty of fish around. However, if you are fishing off the beaten path, it's not a bad idea to wear some fluorescent orange. Better to be safe.
Lake Ontario and Tributaries
Reports have been good from almost all Lake Ontario streams. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott says that any tributary with a dam has fish stacked up – both trout and salmon. Egg, jigs tipped with wax worms and spikes, crystal meth and sucker spawn, beads and more beads. Colors seem to be changing every day. White woolly buggers, pink and orange eggs, egg sacs with a white bead – plenty of options to use and many seem to be working.
According to Drew Nisbet, fishing manager with The Orvis Shop in Williamsville, the Lake Erie tributaries have been fishing well with recent influxes of rain and snow melt. With each drop and fall of water levels, there seems to be more fish pulled in from Lake Erie. Eighteenmile Creek in Hamburg has been giving anglers the best opportunity at fresh steelhead and even a few wild Coho salmon in recent days. Heading farther south, Chautauqua Creek also has been producing but pods of fish have been fewer and further between.
After a full week of mud water, the color was slowly starting to improve Tuesday. Some boats hit the water in Devil's Hole and Artpark, and they found that 3.0 MagLips in gold, egg sacs and beads would catch a mixed bag of fish. Nothing spectacular, but steelhead, brown trout and lake trout all were hitting their offerings from a boat, fished off three-way rigs. Shoreline casters can still use spoons, spinners and eggs or egg imitations.
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
November 16 to November 30, 2018
Only a couple weeks left to target muskellunge in the upper river, before the season closes on November 30th. November is traditionally a top month for muskellunge fishing in the upper river. Target musky by casting large stickbaits or by drifting and jigging large (8"-10") tube jigs. Trolling around the outer Buffalo Harbor and breakwall gaps can sometimes produce a musky catch.
Lower river waters have cleared up and conditions are currently prime. Trout fishing started to pick back up early in the week and then really turned on over last few days. Steelhead are now the dominant catch, with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. Be aware that lake trout season is closed in the lower river until January 1st. Incidentally caught lake trout should be quickly returned to the water.
Lake Ontario - Tributaries, Harbors and Piers
Most of the Lake Ontario tributaries are in good fishing shape, giving anglers plenty of options this weekend. Eighteenmile Creek has moderate flow, but has bumped up slightly from a couple days ago. There are still lots of king salmon around Eighteenmile, but the majority are a bit "old". Good numbers of brown trout and fair amount of steelhead as well. Oak Orchard has slightly high and slightly stained flow. Oak anglers report good catches of brown trout with some steelhead, king salmon and coho salmon mixed in. Oak Orchard Creek is also the top regional spot for a chance at an Atlantic salmon catch, although they are less numerous than the other salmonids in that creek. The snow/sleet/rain that fell recently will help sustain flows and fishing opportunities on Fourmile, Twelvemile & East Branch, Keg, Johnson, Marsh and Sandy Creeks.
Lake Erie, Tributaries & Harbors
There has been no shortage of water in the Erie tributaries this fall, bringing in more fish with each high water day. Currently, steelhead numbers and catches are good on all streams. Cattaraugus Creek is the only unknown, as it has been too high to fish for the past month. The small to medium sized streams have bumped up to slightly high levels following yesterday's wet wintery mix. The smallest streams are the best bet at the start of the weekend. Be aware that fall fingerling rainbow trout were recently stocked in Eighteenmile, Cattaraugus, Canadaway and Chautauqua Creeks. Please handle with care.
With water temperatures now in the 30s, expect steelhead to be more lethargic. They tend not to move far to grab bait and will generally strike less aggressively. Keep drifted offerings slow and low along slower moving "seams." Downsize your float to detect light biters. Egg flies, nymphs, egg sacs, trout beads and jigs with feathers or mister twister work well.
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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