Another cold blast of winter is keeping some anglers down this week and wind chills dipped once again below zero for most of the week. Look for a warm up this weekend as Saturday could see the mercury hit 40 degrees and Sunday it could be over 50, but with a significant rainfall – good and bad news. At the top of our list is the fact that the State of Lake Ontario meeting is set up for March 7. In the past, much of the meeting focused on the open lake. They are now including a significant portion on the tributaries, too. It’s important to attend and hear what’s going on with the lake. Meeting time and location will be Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78), Lockport starting at 6:30 p.m.
March 7 to 10 is the WNY Sport and Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg.
As far as the fishing in the lower Niagara River, action can be good but super cold weather conditions can put a damper on things. Saturday should be your best day this week. Last Saturday, Paul Schirmer of Cambria was fishing with Capt. Jim Rores of Grand Island with minnows (out of Schirmer’s boat) when they hit a 12-pound steelhead to take the top prize in the Niagara River Anglers Association’s Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest. Second place went to Richard Brant of Buffalo with a 10.26-pound steelie, fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown. The fish was caught on an egg sac in 14 feet of water. Third place went to Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island with a 9.75-pound steelhead. Cinelli also took the special prize for the largest brown trout caught for the contest, checking in at 6.74 pounds. A total of 51 anglers fished in the competition. A vote was taken at the awards ceremony and the date for the 2020 tournament will be Saturday, February 22. Shore fishermen can toss jigs, spinners or egg sacs to take trout. Remember that walleye season closes on March 15.
Ice fishing is still going on in Wilson Harbor and open water in 18 Mile Creek is limited. Wait for the warmer weather this weekend. March 15 is also the final day for northern pike and pickerel, as well as the statewide tiger musky season. Speaking of muskies, the Niagara Musky Association was honored last weekend, celebrating 25 years as a club. Their annual banquet will be held on April 6 in Buffalo at the Pearl Street Grill.