It’s November 30 and there are quite a few noteworthy occurrences that take place. For example, muskellunge season closes today with one exception – the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The upper Niagara River produced a few nice late-season fish like the 50 inch trophy reeled in by Rebecca Gaulteri of Hamilton, Ontario. She was fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island over the weekend and managed to catch a fish of a lifetime. Joining her was her husband, Francesco and her dad Chris Mills (who also caught a 45-inch fish the same morning). John Anthone of Sanborn hit a 30-plus pound 49 incher on Nov. 29, also fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli. Below Niagara Falls, water was stained but still fishable after the most recent storm. The lower river had been hot the past week as waters cleared and trout fishing took off. Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston reported that beads, egg sacs and Kwikfish/MagLips lures fished off three-way rigs from boats has been good to very good for a mixed bag of trout. Just ask 87-year-old George Gregory of Lewiston who was fishing with his son Kurt and Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston. They caught double-digit trout over the long weekend using primarily egg sacs, catching steelhead up to 13 pounds and some nice browns. What had them talking, though, was a lake trout that both father and son caught at the same time. Remember that lake trout season is closed on the NY side until Dec. 31. However, on the Canadian side of the river, the lake trout season opens on Dec. 1. Shore fishermen are still doing well with the good conditions, especially off the NYPA fishing platform. However the platform closes as dusk on Nov. 30. Nancy Colavecchia of Niagara Falls caught her first-ever steelhead with a green egg sac while fishing off the platform. She was fishing with Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls who caught nearly double-digit steelies on egg sacs and 4 walleyes on jigs. Drabczyk also reported that spinners and beads are also working in chartreuse, orange and pink colorations. The Niagara Musky Association will be hosting the John Henning Memorial Lower River Musky Tournament, a catch-and-release event that will be held Dec. 2 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. You must be a member of NMA. Contact Scott McKee at 225-3816.
Fishing has been a bit slow in some of the Lake Ontario tributaries for steelhead and browns. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor in Olcott says that there are fish (mostly browns) around, but not much pressure from anglers. Hot baits in the tributaries have been spikes, egg sacs and beads. Gianni Etopio of Youngstown has been using his own hand-tied marabou jigs to take a mix of salmon, steelhead and browns.
Dec. 1 starts up the catch and release season for bass fishing. The only exception is for Lake Erie where anglers can keep one fish if they so desire, but the minimum size is 20 inches in length. Consult the DEC regulations at www.dec.ny.gov.