Lower Niagara River – Trout action has been decent of late as the weather conditions finally settle down. A call from Mike Fox of Lewiston noted that he reported good numbers of smelt on Wednesday night and hopefully that will continue with the warmer weather finally arriving. While the Lewiston smelt festival will not be held until May 6, the early dippers can do well. Keep your fingers crossed! Trout can be found from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar. Minnows, egg sacs and wobbling baits like Kwikfish or Mag-Lips are all good baits to use, but it seems to change daily and you need to be flexible. Steelhead and lake trout top the list; a few browns are also available. Capt. Jeff Draper of Grand Island had the brown trout touch earlier this week using minnows to take double digit browns on the Niagara Bar – fish up to 10 pounds. Shore casters can use spinners, egg sacs or egg imitations fished under a float. Remember that the stairs at Whirlpool State Park are closed. The NYPA fish platform is open again, as is the shoreline access and the reservoir.
Upper Niagara River –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. Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield received 200 rainbow trout and 100 two year old browns last Friday; Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls received 1,720 brown trout and 200 two year old browns. Gill Creek, the outflow of the lake, also received 560 yearling browns. Those fish have been cooperating for anglers.
Bill Hilts, Jr.
Director, Outdoor Promotions
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!