LAKE ERIE AND TRIBUTARIES
Walleye trollers are doing well on the deeper bite out to 70 feet of water between Cattaraugus Creek and Dunkirk. Northeast winds have trollers running deep for walleye out of Barcelona. Both worm harnesses and stick baits have worked well for suspended walleye in 110 feet of water.
Yellow perch catches remained scattered this week. The best reports continue to come from the traditionally productive area between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point. Live emerald shiners can’t be beat, but live fathead minnows or smaller golden shiners will also work. Anglers have not had much luck with salted minnows lately.
Smallmouth bass have moved deeper as lake waters warm. Target structure areas around reefs, rock piles and drop-offs with drop-shot rigs combined with crayfish, minnows, tube jigs or other plastic baits. Depths of around 25 feet off Barcelona Harbor and off Lake Erie State Park west of Dunkirk Harbor are a good starting points, and work deeper for larger bronzebacks.
Walleye anglers been finding the bite good with worm harnesses trolled along weed edges. Catches have been best in the north basin near the Miller Bell Tower and Dewittville Bay, and in the south basin near Cheney Point.
Largemouth-bass fishing has been very good inside the weed edges in 10 feet of water. Top water lures, weedless rigged power worms and wacky rigged senkos are working well. Live minnows, crayfish and plastic grubs have produced decent smallmouth bass catches outside weed edges.
Anglers can also work weed edges for musky by casting large stickbaits and bucktail jigs or by trolling with Hot’n Tots, bucktail spinners or large stickbaits
UPPER NIAGARA RIVER
Last week, anglers at Broderick Park (foot of Ferry Street) were catching good numbers of smaller yellow perch, with the occasional keeper. Decent numbers of rock bass and smallmouth bass were also part of the catches.
Worms and minnows worked well for perch.
The bite was slower at other shore sites at the foot of Ontario Street and Niawanda Park, where anglers saw fair catches of rock bass, smallmouth bass and a few largemouth bass. Boaters target smallmouth bass outside of weedlines, often over a rocky bottom.
Try around Strawberry Island and along the southwest side of Grand Island for smallmouth bass. Watch your drift if fishing along the southwest side of Grand Island, as the international border (Canada) runs pretty close in that area. Live crayfish work great for smallmouth bass.
As a side note, a recent DEC elecrofishing survey showed good numbers of muskellunge and northern pike along Grand Island in the east river, in the vicinity of the Holiday Inn and Spicer Creek. Key on weed edges
INLAND TROUT STREAMS
The inland trout streams are in excellent shape for early July, with good flows and cooler temperatures. Overall, fly hatches are light with some cahills, isonychia and golden stoneflies showing. If no visible hatches are occurring, drifting nymphs such as hare’s ear, pheasant tail and golden stonefly are good alternatives to surface flies.
Fly anglers can also see surface action on terrestrials such as ants, beetles and grasshoppers. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners.
If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook