Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Niagara River

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, April 8, 2016

1.Lake Ontario and tributaries – The topsy-turvy weather has put a damper on fishing action for sure. Cold temperatures and a few inches of snow at the very least kept many fishermen home instead of on the water the past week. Piers were ice covered again when they weren’t under water; high winds kept boaters from trolling the shoreline. Some action in the tributaries for trout in places like 18 Mile Creek and Burt Dam, but water was high and muddy. The better fishing was in the smaller streams like Keg Creek. It probably won’t warm up at all until next week. A few bullhead and catfish are being caught in Wilson, but it’s not easy fishing. Worms and dead minnows are producing a few fish. The Wilson Conservation Club will be running a bullhead contest this weekend starting April 8 at 5 pm and running through April 10 at 1 pm. Weigh in for your best two fish will be held on Sunday morning between 9 am and 1 pm at the Wilson Conservation Club, Route 425, Wilson. Register at the Slippery Sinker in Olcott (778-0713) or CMC Auto Repair in Wilson. We told you about the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. getting their pens ready to accept fish from the state on April 9th. Be at the Town of Newfane Marina at 9 am to help. They will also need help feeding the fish after they are put into the pens, which it was just announced that it would take place on April 13 at 1 pm. Check out the group’s website at for details on how you can help. Speaking of LOTSA, the group will be holding its monthly meeting on April 14 and keynote speaker will be Capt. Rich Hajecki with Crazy Yankee Sportfishing, one of the top tournament fishermen on the lake. The meeting will take place at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78), Lockport starting at 7 pm.

2. Lower Niagara River – After the recent storms muddied the water up earlier in the week, things started getting clear by Tuesday. Wednesday was good for Capt. Frank Campbell with a couple customers from Georgia (Chip and Douglass Holloway) who were in town visiting Craig Avery of Lewiston. Using chartreuse colored Pautzke Fire Dye on minnows, they caught about a dozen steelies in three hours, the biggest tipping the scales at 13 pounds. However, we’ll have to wait and see what the 40-plus mile an hour winds will do on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening to the water conditions. Trout can be found from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar when it’s fishable, but the bigger numbers seemed to be down river. Minnows, egg sacs and wobbling baits like Kwikfish or Mag-Lips are all good baits to try when you can get back out there. Steelhead and lake trout top the list; a few browns are also available. Shore casters can use spinners, egg sacs or egg imitations fished under a float. Remember that the stairs at Whirlpool State Park are closed. And when we get wintery weather like this, the NYPA fish platform gets shut down, as does the shoreline access and the reservoir. It will re-open when it gets warmer. No reports on smelt by dippers yet.

3. Upper Niagara River – Stained water and winter conditions impacted fishing the past week. Trout should still be available off Unity Island and out of Broderick Park, as well as off Bird Island Pier when you can get out there. Egg sacs, minnows and spoons or spinners will catch fish. Use emerald shiners for perch or other panfish. On April 8, Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield will receive 200 rainbow trout and 100 two year old browns at 10 am. That same day at 11 am, Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls received 1,720 brown trout and 200 two year old browns. Gill Creek, the outflow of the lake, will also receive 560 yearling browns. Get out there and take advantage of those trout!

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Director, Outdoor Promotions, Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation,10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303; p: 716.282.8992 x.303 | 1.877 FALLS US; f:  716.285.0809
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