Happy New Year’s! Now that the ball has dropped on 2019, area fishermen should be aware of some changes in regulations. Lake trout season is now open below Niagara Falls in the Niagara River and on the Niagara Bar in Lake Ontario. Also, walleye fishermen must note that the daily limit drops from 3 to 1 fish per person from Jan. 1 to March 15 in the lower river. If you fish the Canadian side of the river, in either the upper or lower stretches, the new license year also started up Jan. 1. Be aware of these changes if you take advantage of the mild winter conditions we are now experiencing. As far as Niagara River fishing conditions, it was a little spotty before the last wind and rain storm New Year’s eve. Fortunately, water conditions weren’t destroyed. Action should be good going into the weekend with mild conditions in the forecast. Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston says there are steelhead, brown trout and walleye all being caught. Anglers seem to be using more pinks and oranges when using egg sacs, beads and spinners. Kwikfish and MagLips are also hot lures off three-way set-ups at times. Minnows are working to take fish, too. In the Upper Niagara River, lake trout and walleye are being caught around the Thompson’s Hole area on jigs.
In the Lake Ontario tributaries, Gianni Etopio of Youngstown caught a dozen trout to start off the New Year using jigs, egg sacs and beads in 18 Mile Creek. His biggest brown was 28 inches and his biggest steelhead was 29-1/2 inches. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that wax worms are also producing a few trout – on a single hook or on a jig and fished under a float.
The Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is Jan. 18-20 at the Conference center in Niagara Falls. Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com for details. Mark your calendar for the new “Birds on the Niagara” Festival set for Jan. 25 and 26. More to come on that one before the event.