Niagara Gazette — 1. Lake Ontario and tributaries
Despite the cold clutches of winter still trying to hold on, some warmer weather finally broke through to get the streams flowing again. This weekend looks even better! Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek has been a good place to be, with egg sacs, single eggs or jigs fished under a float and tipped with a wax worm the best approach. White has been a good color to start with. Steelhead is the primary focus, but there might be a few browns around. Bob Ashley of Mentor, Ohio was fishing the Burt Dam area last week and reported some excellent action on browns, as well as a few steelhead, using larger-sized egg sacs made up of salmon or brown trout eggs. It was all catch-and-release and he managed to reel in 40 fish over three days.
Four Mile Creek is holding some nice steelhead, too, and Gary DeBacco of Niagara Falls managed to outduel five nice trout last weekend on egg sacs. Keg Creek is also a good option to try – not just in the creek but casting off the mouth.
With the warmer weather starting to be a bit more consistent, look for pier action to start and take off, too. Casting spoons or spinners is the best bet. Further to the east, Johnson Creek and the Oak are both reporting runs of steelhead and open water.
While April 1 is usually at big day inland for the trout fishermen, remember that Great Lakes tributaries have trout fishing all year long. However, early April is the start of the many pen-rearing projects along the south shore of the lake. The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association (LOTSA) will be getting their pens ready to put into the water on April 5 at the Town of Newfane Marina starting at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed to help with the project, including with feeding of the fish once they arrive. The salmon and trout must be fed five times a day for at least three weeks. Just show up at the marina or sign up online at www.lotsa.org. The Oak Orchard pen project will be starting at 8 a.m. on April 5 at the Lake Breeze Marina. Two bullhead contests are on the calendar for April – the 3rd Annual Wilson Conservation Club bullhead contest April 11 to 13; and the Second Annual Jean’s Bullhead Contest April 25 to 27. Hopefully we get more warm weather to turn these fish on!