April 1 was the designated opener for the NY Power Authority Fishing Platform in the Niagara Gorge and the reservoir is now open for business as of April 1, too. However, a wind storm is ripping through the region today and a high wind warning is in place. Thanks to those winds, the Power Authority Platform is closed today. It’s under water. If you want to check before heading down there so you don’t waste a trip, call 796-0135 Ext. 45 for regular updates. We’d been told that the ice boom wasn’t going to be pulled until there was less than 250 square miles. Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. The wind broke the ice boom loose today. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
Lower River action has been up and down … like the water. Egg sacs, beads, spoons and spinners are all working from shore. Boaters are using egg sacs and minnows when the conditions call for it. Capt. Mark Vilardo of Kingfisher Charters reports that his last trip out saw clearer conditions in the Devil’s Hole area but varying degrees of stain further down river below the power plants. Clarity depends on wind and runoff. Finding the best color is key. When the winds aren’t a factor, the Niagara Bar has been productive for browns and lake trout. Large golden shiners have been the bait of choice on the bar according to Vilardo.
Out in the lake, Capt. Matt Yablonsky with Wet Net Charters has been working the shoreline from Wilson to Fort Niagara in 8 to 15 feet of water for cookie cutter browns with a few bigger ones mixed in. Aidan Pachucinski of Collins reeled in a 15 pounder while using a firetiger Rapala. Other hot baits have been Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors along the mud line using Offshore inline planers. Down off Olcott, best depths have been 12 to 18 feet of water with clown-colored Scatter Raps. At least that worked for John Van Hoff and Wade Winch of North Tonawanda over the weekend.
Trout are still available in 18 Mile Creek. Anthony Henley of Buffalo hit some nice ones over the weekend fishing a jig under a float. When the water clears again, look for perch in Wilson and Olcott harbors and off the piers. With all the north wind, not too much action off those piers, though. The weather has not been cooperative.
If you like fishing for bullhead, the Wilson Conservation Club will be holding its 5th Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament from 5 p.m. on April 6th to 1 p.m. on April 8. Call Eric at 628-6078 for details. You can also register at the Slippery Sinker in Olcott. The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association is looking for some volunteers to help put their pens together and get them ready for the salmon and trout stockings April 9. On April 7, volunteers will be meeting at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott at 9:30 a.m. to work on the pens. For more information contact Alan Sauerland at 504-7789. At the LOTSA meeting on April 12 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78) Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker Charters will be the featured speaker starting at 7 p.m. talking spring kings. Don’t forget that the Niagara County Federation of CC will be holding its annual awards banquet on April 14 at Terry’s Corners Fire Hall starting at 5 p.m. Call Dave Whitt at 754-2133 for advance sale tickets.