Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Lake Ontario and Trib’s
The big news locally was the announcement yesterday that three poachers – we can’t call them fishermen – took two enforcement agencies on a wild fish chase around the Burt Dam area of 18 Mile Creek. They were finally caught and brought to justice. In their possession were 69 salmon ranging from 5 to 35 pounds, using weighted treble hooks at night to illegally take the fish. They were charged with 32 violations. Yes, 69 fish in one night. If you were wondering why the salmon run has been down a bit when you arrive in the morning, this could very well be one of the reasons. It’s highly unlikely that this is the first time that this has ever happened. It’s important to police our own ranks. There are nearly 70 fish that law-abiding citizens CAN’T catch. Call 844-DEC ECOs for any fish and game law infraction. You can remain anonymous. In the meantime, despite the illegal activity, there has still been some decent numbers of fish around at Burt Dam and in 18 Mile Creek. At the dam, eggs or egg imitations top the list of best baits to use for salmon. Brown trout like small flies, egg sacs and live bait like worms. Down the creek further, some salmon are still being caught in some of the deeper holes from boat by using treated egg skein under a float. Casters off the piers – at least when you can get out there – are doing pretty well on brown trout right now. Cast spoons or spinners. Both harbors – Wilson and Olcott – are good spots for pike and perch. If you want to target bass, both largemouth and smallmouth can be caught. The Wilson pier is a good spot for browns, too.
Lower Niagara River
The salmon run is slowly being replaced by the trout run – steelhead, lake trout and even an occasional brown. In fact, a stocking of brown trout is going to take place next week along with a Coho stocking. In the meantime, one of the best drifts on the river has been along Artpark with Kwikfish lures from boat. Shoreline casters are tossing eggs or egg imitations and fishing under a float to take trout. Spoons and spinners will also work for you. Part of the gorge trail under the Whirlpool Bridge is closed down for some repairs right now. Devil’s Hole is still producing a few salmon and some trout are moving in. Bass and walleye can also be caught on occasion. Remember that lake trout season is closed through Dec. 31. If you catch one, please release it as soon as possible.
Upper Niagara River
With water temperatures in the lower 50’s now, the muskellunge are responding nicely. A nice musky was caught at the foot of Ferry Street earlier in the week while he was casting for bass and walleye. Walleye have also hitting off the wall at Broderick Park. Bass and walleye are on their fall feed right now. Our biggest recommendation we can give you is to know exactly where you are in the river and make sure you stay in New York waters if you don’t have a Canadian fishing license or failed to call into the Canada Border Services Agency. They are really starting to play hardball over there, enforcing laws on the books for bait, working papers (if you are a charter captain), licenses and customs issues.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!