LAKE ERIE AND TRIBUTARIES
Lake Erie anglers are finding Jack perch in several locations on Lake Erie. Perch are hitting on shiners fished just off the bottom. Anglers may have to do a little searching, but there are good catches off Sturgeon Point in 50 to 60 feet of water. Out of Cattaraugus Creek, anglers are doing well in 50 to 65 feet of water.
At Dunkirk Harbor, good catches are being reported off the departure buoy in 40 to 50 feet of water.
Shore anglers are doing well for smallmouth in Dunkirk Harbor. Small jigs heads with white split twister tails are working well. Offshore anglers are catching bigger smallmouth on and around reef and shoal areas in 10 to 30 feet of water. The major structure areas at Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef and Van Buren Bay are good bets, but any smaller structure areas will hold bass as well. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails and deep-diving stick baits are good baits. A drop-shot rig with tubes or plastics are the best bet for fishing deeper water.
On Lake Erie and its tributaries, anglers can keep one bass more than 20 inches per day and the use of live or natural baits is permitted. On all other waters of Western New York, bass fishing is by catch and release only and artificial lures only until June 15.
Yellow perch are biting in many locations with emerald shiners fished just off the bottom working best. Anglers may have to do a little searching, but there are good catches to be had off Sturgeon Point in 52 to 59 feet of water.
Out of Cattaraugus Creek and to the east toward Evangola State Park, anglers see decent catches in 50 to 65 feet of water.
Due to cooler water temperatures on Chautauqua Lake, crappie are still being caught. While it takes a little a bit of work to find the schools, northern basin bays such as Mayville and upper Dewittville seem to be anglers’ best bets. A slip bobber with 8-pound test line with a 1/32-once jig head topped off with 1-inch tube jig tipped off with a minnow is producing best on the outside of the weed edges.
With the regular season of bass season opening at midnight on Saturday, anglers will find largemouth bass holding on shallow structures such as boat docks, rocky shoals, lily pads and breakwalls. Spinner baits, topwater and plastic worms work best.
The opening of bass season in Chautauqua County also signals the start of the muskie season. Casters find the weedbeds off Mayville and Prendergast launches good for throwing larger Swicks and jerk baits. Muskie trollers will find the deep water channel off Chautauqua Institution in 30 to 55 feet of water. Trollers working deep-diving crank baits in perch and fire tiger color are a good starting point.
For area fishing and travel information, visit tourchautauqua.com/Fishing.aspx.
UPPER NIAGARA RIVER
Shore anglers at Broderick Park and along Squaw Island are catching a mix of yellow perch, white perch and white bass on emerald shiners and worms. Anglers fishing the stretch near the Ontario Street boat launch are getting a mix of yellow perch, white perch and rock bass.
Anglers are catching smallmouth bass from the head of the river to down past Strawberry Island.
Bass fishing in the upper river north of Peace Bridge is by catch and release only and artificial lures only until Saturday. The harbors, marinas and inlets are good spots to target panfish and largemouth bass.