Niagara Gazette — 1. Lake Ontario and tributaries
Lake fishing is slowly starting to improve with the warming weather trends. Boat trollers have been working along the mud line to take brown trout and coho salmon, although a nice Atlantic salmon was reported this week. Pier action has slowed a bit with the muddier conditions, but a few fish are still being caught on spoons. Some of the trout have had alewives in the stomach contents, which mean that king salmon shouldn’t be far behind. Lake water temperature was 41 to 42 degrees inside of 20 feet of water and creek temperatures were in the mid-40’s so things should be taking off soon. Perch and bullhead have been hitting over in Wilson. Most of the creeks are still a bit high and muddy after the rain. Some trout are still available in 18 Mile Creek at Burt Dam, but you will have to use brightly colored baits and work for them. Keg Creek was low and clear at last report, but the suckers have started to move in. Remember the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby starts on May 3. Registered in area shops or online at www.loc.org. A 24-pound brown trout was caught near the Oak last week.
2. Lower Niagara River
Things are finally starting to settle in with water color and fish cooperation after the pile of rain the area received last week. While boats still caught fish, it was a struggle and they really had to work for them. Water was stained a bit on Wednesday and they are forecasting high winds on Friday so that could impact conditions. Action continues to be for a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout. Top baits continue to be minnows, pink egg sacs and banana baits like Kwikfish lures, all fished off three-way rigs. Shore fishermen are also reeling in trout off Artpark, Devil’s Hole and the Whirlpool. While the main run of smelt has not shown up yet, a few dippers are starting to pick up a few here and there off Lewiston. Up to 100 smelt were reported by at least one dipper north of Lewiston. Things seem to be getting close.