The inland trout and salmon opener is April 1 but the Great Lakes are open all year! In the Lower Niagara River, there are plenty of trout available. However, the river water is super clear, and fish are getting really picky according to Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls. Your presentation must be perfect, or you won’t get the bites. Long leaders with 6-pound test fluorocarbon fishing line is a must. Downsize your baits with small egg sacs about the size of a pea in pink or yellow. Chartreuse micro yarn flies have been working for DeLorenzo and that bait produced a 16-pound steelhead over the weekend that was caught by George Peterson of North Tonawanda. Shoreline casters have been using jigs, spoons and spinners, as well as egg sacs. April 1 is traditionally the opening of the lower Niagara River’s fishing platform at the NY Power Authority, as well as the reservoir access off Upper Mountain Road and the water intakes area in the upper Niagara River. It looks good for that to happen on Monday. Feel free to check before heading down at 796-0135 Ext. 45.
Tributary action has been good off Lake Ontario in waters big and small and, with rain in the forecast for this weekend, look for some fresh fish to arrive. Jigs and egg sacs or egg imitations are working. Casting the mouths of the creeks is another option. Small boats are fishing in the harbors and some are out trolling in the shoreline in 6 to 18 feet of water with spoons and small stickbaits. The piers are producing a few trout, too. Cast spoons and spinners off Wilson and Olcott. Lots going on right now!
DEC does plenty of stocking in its inland waters. Call the Randolph Hatchery stocking hotline at 358-2050 for details. Some area waters that receive inland stockings include Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield, as well as Hyde Park Lake and Gill Creek in Niagara Falls. The stocking date will be April 11 starting at Oppenheim at 10 a.m. followed at 11 a.m. by the other sites. Another sure sign of spring is the 7th annual Wilson Bullhead Contest starting April 5 at 5 p.m. and running through April 7 at 1 p.m. Best total weight of 2 fish earns top dog. For more information call Eric at 628-6078. Weigh in will take place Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilson Conservation Club.
The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association will be assembling and floating the net pens for the 2019 project season starting at 9:30 a.m. on April 6. This will take place at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. Remember that April 6 is also the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs annual awards banquet starting at 5:30 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara. Call Dave Whitt at 754-2133 for tickets.