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Lake Erie Fishing Hotline

From The NYS DEC

April 29 to May 6, 2016

Attention Anglers: Cayuga Creek in the Town of Lancaster is was stocked with 3,150 yearling rainbow trout on Thursday, April 7. Trout were stocked within Como Lake County Park from the area near the Casino, upstream to the park pavilion on Bowen Road.

Lake Erie and Harbors

Illustration of the Lake Erie yellow perch fishing rig.
Variation of the Lake Erie yellow perch rig.

Recent yellow perch runs between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point have been productive, with limit catches for some anglers. Best action has been at depths of 45-60 feet of water. Productive areas change, so some searching may be required. Try to locate perch schools with electronics before dropping anchor. It is best to locate a school that is up off the bottom a few feet, as these schools tend to be more active than those tight to the bottom. If perch are biting well and then stop, try raising and lowering the baits (10 feet of the bottom) to draw them back in. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait, and work best when fished close to the bottom. Many successful Lake Erie perch anglers employ a fluorocarbon rig (See description of rig below and diagram on right, provided by a seasoned Erie perch angler). Emerald shiners are available for dipping at harbor and inlet sites around the upper Niagara River. If you are dipping bait for use on Lake Erie, be sure you stay within the Designated Overland Transportation Corridor.

Double Fluorocarbon Perch Rig: Tie a 6 foot section of 6 pound test fluorocarbon line onto the main line using a surgeon's knot. Side a #6 Aberdeen hook onto fluorocarbon line to 3 foot from end, and tie a double overhand knot, leaving a 1.5 inch loop with hook attached. Slide a second hook onto the line to 12-15 inches below the first hook and secure same as first hook. Attach a 1 or 2 ounce sinker, 12-15 inches below the bottom hook.

Lake Erie Tributaries

Cattaraugus Creek is in good shape with a flow of about 330 cubic feet per second. The Catt is the best bet for any remaining steelhead. Smallmouth bass have moved well up into the creek, and channel catfish are just starting to show in the lowest section. Bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only until the special black bass season opens on May 7th. All of the other tributaries are low and clear. They are now mostly void of steelhead, but may have some smallmouth bass in the lowest sections.

Upper Niagara River

Harbor, bay and inlet areas are good places to target yellow perch and sunfish in the upper river, along Grand Island and the Tonawandas. These areas warm quicker than the main river channel, attracting both bait and panfish. Emerald shiners are the top bait, but other small minnows and worms will work. Anglers usually catch some rainbow trout at this time of year along Unity Island. Target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows or by casting spoons and spinners.

Chautauqua Lake

Anglers continue to catch crappie around the lake at depths of 6-12 feet of water, with the best action during morning and evening hours. Good locations to target crappie in the south basin include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island and Grass Island. In the north basin, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, Magnolia Bay and the flats off Mayville are worth a try. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Yellow perch are biting well in nearshore and deeper areas. Live minnows are the top perch bait. There has been a good bullhead bite in the south basin. The night bite is best, but some have also been caught during the day by crappie anglers. Worms, leeches, dead/salted minnows or chicken livers fished on the bottom work well. Walleye season opens on Saturday, May 7th.

Inland Trout Fishing

The region's inland trout streams are in good shape with moderate to lower and clear flows. light hatches of blue-winged olives and hendricksons are starting on some streams. The majority of action is still below the surface on nymphs. Small streamers or buggers also work. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release anglers and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.

Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, fishing equipment and techniques.

Spring Trout Stocking

Most of Region 9's trout stocking waters have been stocked. Hatchery staff are now delivering additional stocking increments to the larger and more popular area waters. Anglers can call the Randolph Hatchery Fish Stocking Hotline at (716) 358-4950 or check back here for weekly stocking updates. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout stocked, check the 2016 Spring Trout Stocking pages. The following waters will receive an additional stocking increment between 5/2 and 5/6.

Allegany County: Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville). First stocking: Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville).

Cattaraugus County: Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Bone Run (South Valley), Case Lake (Franklinville), Quaker Lake (Elko), Red House Lake (Red House).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton).

Erie County: First stocking: Springville Field & Stream Creek (Concord).

If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; michael.todd@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.