As this is being written, it’s raining throughout WNY, providing some much-needed water flow in the Lake Ontario tributaries and hopefully pull more salmon and steelhead into them. There are a fair number of kings at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott. Mixed reports from anglers – some catching a few, some striking out. Pier action has been slow. Some anglers with small boats are working the creek in some of the deeper holes and picking up some salmon. The dam has a good mix of fish but getting them to hit with all the pressure has been tough. With the added rains, one option might be to seek out streams away from the high-pressure areas for a mix of trout and salmon. With the opening of numerous hunting seasons this weekend, stream pressure should be lighter, and the weather should be good.
The Niagara River action continues to be slow in the lower river. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls reports he finally caught two salmon off the NYPA fishing platform this past week, tossing a No. 3 spinner with an orange body and a silver blade. For the most part the action has been slow. Boat fishermen targeting salmon in the Devil’s Hole area have also been struggling. Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle reports that bass fishing is still good in the lower Niagara downriver. A few walleyes, too. Shore fishermen in the upper stretches of Artpark casting for steelhead and salmon are starting to hook up with lake trout on occasion. Remember that the lake trout season is closed if you catch one. Release it quickly and unharmed. In the upper river, smallmouth bass fishing has been very good. When the winds are strong, though, it makes fishing tough because of boat control. This was evident in the Canadian Tire Lake Erie Open Bass Tournament last Saturday. Quality was there as fish up to 6 pounds were caught. Numbers were not as catching 5 fish for a team was tough. The winners were Ryan Samland of Grand Island and Ian Cashdollar of West Seneca, the first-ever U.S. team to win the contest. Teams were required to fish in the river due to the high winds on Lake Erie. They boated 21 pounds of bass, including a lunker largemouth that tipped the scales at 5.10 pounds. They won $7,500 for their efforts.