Trolling off the pier heads in Olcott has been producing some mature kings on J-plugs, spoons, flasher-fly and flasher-meat rigs inside 100 feet. Best bite according to Capt. Vince Pierleoni with Thrillseeker has been in the 200 to 480 feet of water column. Focus on the top 80 feet with DW spoons and spin doctors with A-Tom-Mik flies. Olcott pier casters are picking up both salmon and trout by casting glow spoons like Cleos and KO Wobblers, rattlebaits and spinners. Chris and Keegan Walczak of Amherst have picked up both salmon and trout off the west pier. Take note that the east pier is now open for business, too. No reports at Burt Dam yet. A few fish have made it in at the Oak so if a tributary has good flow, you should start seeing some fish no matter where you are.
Shoreline casting is producing some good action on king salmon, bass and walleye. Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield was 5 for 7 on kings Tuesday morning using glo-in-the-dark spinners put together by Chuck Booker specifically for targeting low-light conditions. They worked in the Devil's Hole area. Evening was also a good time to try and target kings, but water level fluctuations were a bit difficult to deal with. Don't take any unnecessary chances. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) fishing platform has been producing some consistent king action in the corner at the tailrace.
Perch action is starting to really pick up and reports are coming in hot and heavy from anglers. Bruce Cavage of Marilla couldn't decide if he was going to target perch or walleye while fishing out of Cattaraugus Creek on Monday. When he couldn't find any emerald shiners, he decided to target walleye. Just in case, he brought along some salted minnows he had in his freezer. After limiting out on some nice walleye, he decided to drop in some of the minnows in 80 feet of water. Bang! Nice perch. He ended up catching over 30 before he decided to call it a day. Yes, they are out there.
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!
King salmon have shown up early in the lower river this year. Charter boats and some recreational anglers have reported an excellent king salmon bite in the Devils Hole drift for over a week. A three-way rig with treated egg skein or kwikfish lure have produced limit catches of kings along with some walleye, bass and channel catfish mixed in. Smallmouth bass are still cooperating for drifters working the lower section of river. Shore anglers also report catches of king salmon along Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks during low light periods. Casting large glow spoons and Vibrax spinners works well. Be aware that the Devils Hole State Park stairs are closed for repair project. Access to the gorge is by the Whirlpool State Park stairs, and the Devils Hole drift shoreline is accessible by the metal stairs at the NYPA fishing platform's lower parking lot. Anglers at the NYPA platform are catching kings daily as well.
Lake Ontario anglers report a good bite for staging king salmon from Olcott to Oak Orchard, along with some brown trout mixed in. Depths of 50-80 feet of water has been productive during the morning hours. The last couple hours of daylight is also a good time to target staging kings. Flasher fly combos and meat rigs run near the bottom have worked well. Between Wilson and Olcott there has been steady action in 200-400 feet of water. Working the top 80 feet has produced steelhead and king salmon of mixed ages. The salmon bite along the Niagara Bar's ledge has gone cold. Tributary fishing is just getting started with limited numbers of fish available..
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