In the ice fishing arena, it’s been a good ice fishing year so far but with the recent rain and warm weather, you will really want to be very careful out there. The last time this happened a few weeks ago, the ice in Olcott Harbor was affected due to the excessive flow coming through the 18 Mile Creek system. Wilson was not as severely affected and at last report there was up to 6 inches of ice. There is quite a bit of water open right now at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek and with the added flow of water, it should be pulling in some fresh fish into the system. Anglers are reporting steelhead with the occasional brown trout mixed in. White or black jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float was working for Greg Schloerb of Amherst this past week.
In the lower Niagara River, fishing for trout and walleye has been surprisingly good. While melting snow, run-off and rain could muddy things up for a bit, there are plenty of trout available from boat or shore. If you are fishing from shore, again, extreme caution should be taken in the gorge area where most of the fishing is taking place. Jigs seem to be the bait of choice right now. From boat, the Lewiston launch ramp is the easiest access to get you on the water. Fish can be caught from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar. Steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleye are all being caught with regularity and the bait you use is dependent upon the conditions. If the wind is out of the south or southwest, use a lure like a MagLip or Kwikfish off a three-way rig. If the drift is slower, use a minnow or an egg sac. Several reports came in the last two days of boaters catching a limit of trout and walleye. If you do target walleye, remember that you are only allowed one fish per person from Jan. 1 to March 15.