Weather conditions certainly impacted the fishing this past week. High winds and rain resulted in water temperatures dropping 5 degrees since last weekend. That said, it could be just what the fish doctor ordered to force a transition into the next phase of fall fishing.
In the Upper Niagara River, the last month of musky fishing action improved with the adverse weather, just in time for the Niagara Musky Association’s Tim Wittek Memorial Catch and Release Tournament on Nov. 5 out of the launch ramp area at the foot of Sheridan from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. To get your blood circulating again, there will be a post-tourney chili fest at the foot of Sheridan in Tonawanda. Cost is $25 to enter this catch-and-release “iron man” tournament. Call Scott McKee at 225-3816 for more information. If you just want to find our more information about fall musky fishing in the Niagara, stop in at the NMA monthly meeting at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad St., Tonawanda on Tuesday night (Nov. 7) starting at 7 p.m. Guest speaker will be Marc Arena with Red October Baits. Water conditions were murky this week thanks to the wind. The lower river musky season extends to Dec. 15.
And speaking of the lower river, we had a report that there were some boats on the water today, just prior to the weekend and the first fish they caught was a musky – drifting MagLips off three-way rigs. They also caught a walleye before they hit some trout – steelhead and lake trout. Lake trout season is closed until the end of the year, but sometimes you just can keep them off the hook! In the gorge area of the lower river, shoreline casters are still catching a mix of salmon and trout. Treated egg skein fished under a float has been a consistent producer for Rich Pisa of Kenmore around the whirlpool area. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was picking off some steelhead and salmon on a No. 4 spinner while casting the New York Power Authority Fishing Platform before he was chased off due to high water levels (probably due to the high winds). If you want to check whether or not the platform is open, call 796-0135 Ext. 45. It usually closes down for the winter around Dec. 1.
In Olcott and 18 Mile Creek, good reports of steelhead and brown trout have surfaced to complement the salmon that are still hanging around at Burt Dam. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that there are king and Coho salmon in various stages of their life cycle, including some fresh ones entering into the system. Egg skein and egg sacs work best. If the water is stained, Chartreuse and Orange colored egg sacs are best. If we get the rain we are supposed to receive, you can try drifting an egg sac or a single egg in some of the smaller streams like Keg Creek to the east of Olcott or 12 Mile Creek at Wilson. Fishing pressure should drop off a little bit as whitetail deer fall into their rut stage as crossbow season opens Nov. 4 and the regular big game season kicks off for the Southern Zone on Nov. 18. Waterfowl and other small game are also open to spread the activity out. No reports on perch in the harbors but if the waters are clear enough, they should be starting to move in and become active. If you catch any nice fish, please share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe!