Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek has been stained but still producing a mix of salmon and trout if you work at it according to Jim Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Eggs or egg imitations normally work fine this time of year but crawlers, spikes and wax worms are catching some fish, too. The Oak Orchard River has also been producing a mix of salmon and trout on a variety of baits.
As long as we are on the subject of musky, these toothy fish were snapping earlier this week as Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island reported have a very good day on Monday with three fish using large common shiners as bait. He's been targeting 12 to 16 feet of water and there has not been a consistent time for taking fish. Sometimes they hit early in the morning, sometimes its mid-day. On his first pass on Monday, Dick Radel of Williamsville reeled in a 36-inch fish, a musky that Cinelli felt has just migrated in from the lake and set up in the river. Connor Cinelli reeled the next one in, followed by another by Radel. Spending time on the water is key.
Christopher Finitz with Hold the Line Outfitters sends word that all of the tributaries are holding fish. Good numbers of fish, and fishermen, could be found along Eighteen Mile Creek. Cattaraugus Creek was on the drop and should be in good shape by the end of the week … but the threat of a looming storm could throw a wrench into the fishing action. Smaller creeks have been fishing well, too. The key is to move around and find active fish according to Finitz. Off the mouth of the Catt, cast spoons or troll stickbaits to pick up steelies.
Bill Hilts Jr. is a past president of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association. Hilts is an avid outdoorsman, an outdoor writer who has contributed articles to numerous national and local magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Hilts is also responsible for Niagara County Tourism Sportfishing Programs. He freelances from his home in Sanborn N.Y. Hilts was inducted in the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in the Spring of 2007!
Attention anglers: Lake trout season is closed as of October 1st, on the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. Lake trout season will reopen on those waters on January 1st.
Due to high wind and wave action on Lake Erie, lower river waters are heavily stained today. It will take at least a couple days for waters to settle out (without additional wind). Previously, drifters were doing well in the Devils Hole and Artpark Drifts for a mix of trout and the occasional late salmon. Steelhead are now the top target, but catches also include plenty of lake trout. Keep in mind that lake trout season is closed until January 1st, so all incidentally caught lakers should be quickly released. Three-way bottom bouncing rigs with Kwikfish lures, egg sacs or live shiners work well for trout. Shore anglers entice trout bites with egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners, jigs with plastics, spoons and spinners.
Not much boating activity on Lake Ontario lately, however nearshore trollers still have opportunity to catch staging brown trout and steelhead. Areas in proximity to tributary mouths are a good bet.
There are some salmon still hanging around the Lake Ontario tributaries, however trout are now the predominant catch. Eighteenmile Creek has slightly lower flow and about 2 feet of visibility. Anglers at Fisherman's Park report good catches of brown trout and steelhead. Oak Orchard Creek has had consistently higher, but fishable flow this fall. Currently the Oak is slightly high with about a foot of visibility. Oak anglers are seeing decent catches of large brown trout, steelhead and the occasional fresh coho salmon. High flows at mid-week on the freestone streams have subsided, giving anglers more options for the weekend.
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