Lake Ontario, Niagara River, Outdoor Show
Lake Ontario and Trib’s
The recent weather rollercoaster has been tough on fishermen. Many areas received a pile of rain this past week, creating higher flows in the streams, like 18-Mile Creek below Burt Dam and into the Harbor at Olcott. The water was pushing 170 cubic feet per second down the creek, which should attract some fresh fish into the system. The water is stained, though, so use brightly-colored jigs fished under a float, salted minnows, live emerald shiners or nightcrawlers to try and trick a trout to hit. Steelhead, brown trout and the occasional Coho salmon are still showing up.
The harbor is wide open, thanks to the rain and temperatures in the upper 50’s this past week. Both pike and perch should be available if you want to try and chase them. Off the piers, casting spoons or spinners are options, but only if the wind is not blowing out of the north. Today that wind is out of the northwest and the piers are under water. The ice in Wilson Harbor is shot. You also have an opportunity to do some pier fishing there if the winds cooperate. Some of the smaller streams like Keg Creek or 4-Mile Creek could be open if the flow has increased enough, but we’ve not had any reports yet on those trib’s.
This could be your lucky day!
Ice is still coming down the river and the water is stained – two strikes against anglers from both boat and shore. The ice was causing some problems for drifters and casters, ice coming down from Lake Erie after the high winds and rain really created quite a turmoil. We’ll have to play it by ear when anglers can get back on the water again. Steelhead and lake trout top the list of targets right now, but you have an outside chance at catching a brown trout or a walleye, as well.
Shore casters are using spoons and spinners in bright colors; boaters are drifting plugs like MagLips and Kwikfish lures; egg sacks or egg imitations; as well as minnows. Use those baits from three-way rigs from boats, once the ice has disappeared. If the winds cooperate, take a drift or two out on the Niagara Bar to see if there are any active trout around.
If you’ve never tried the Niagara River from a boat, give one of the lower river educational lessons a try through the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo set for Jan. 20-22 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. Morning trips are being offered by several charter captains for $100 each to give you an on-water lesson. Sign up at the Expo website at www.niagarafishingexpo.com. While you are on the site, check out the long list of speakers – a total of 70 giving some 130 seminars over the course of the three days. One keynote speaker that just came on board last week was Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Mark Menendez, giving talks Saturday at noon and Sunday at 10 a.m. There is a little bit of everything for the angler – from beginner to seasoned veteran.
There’s a big section on ice fishing, too. Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com to see what’s happening Jan. 20-22 at the Conference Center in Niagara Falls. Huge!
Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!