Overall, the walleye fishing has been slow this past week with the better, but modest, catches to the west. Barcelona trollers have been working hard for a few walleye in 75-110 feet of water, with stickbaits and worm harnesses running between 65 feet down and the bottom. Most Dunkirk anglers are concentrating efforts in 80-95 feet of water. Trollers have also picked up a few walleye in around 65 feet of water off Dunkirk.
West of Dunkirk, walleye trollers are also seeing the occasional steelhead, brown trout or lake trout catch. An extra line can be 6-8 feet of fluorocarbon line with a snap swivel on one end and spoon on the other. After you have dropped your downrigger ball to desired depth, attach the snap swivel to downrigger fishing rod’s line. Toss the lure into the water and the cheater line will slide down to the bow in the line, approximately half way down. Trollers have been heading out to the international line and working west at depths over 80 feet.
Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss this week. Anglers are marking a lot of fish off Silver Creek. Out of Cattaraugus Creek good catches have been found at times in 55-75 feet of water. A couple favorable catch reports have also come off of Silver Creek in 55-65 feet of water. The time of year to target lake trout on Lake Erie is now. Spoons trolled near the bottom at depths over 80 feet are often very productive. Last week, a DEC survey showed a strong concentration of lake trout outside Brocton Shoal in 80-115 feet of water, especially between 90-95 feet of water
Weed edges are a good place to catch a variety of warm-water species. Largemouth bass and sunfish are common along weed edges and open pockets in the weeds.
Muskellunge fishing along weed edges improved this week. Trolling tight to weed edges with large stickbaits or bucktail trolling spinners is a good bet. Walleye trollers were catching a few walleye in the north basin in 20-25 feet of water. White perch catches are widespread on worms fished near the bottom.
Walleye anglers are finding the little lake of Cassadaga tucked in the corner of Chautauqua County off the weed edges in front of the Jobs Corps. The outside edges are best in the evening hours, drifting a split shot with night crawler. Keeping the bait bouncing on the bottom seems to be triggering more strikes.
UPPER NIAGARA RIVER
At mid-week, thick schools of white bass started providing some awesome fishing at Broderick Park. The white bass are keying on schools of small emerald shiners moving along the shoreline towards Lake Erie. White bass are easily caught near the surface when they push a school of emerald shiners to the surface (to feed on). Small white twister tails on a hook or small jig head and emerald shiners work great. Broderick Park anglers also report decent yellow perch fishing. Repairs to Bird Island Pier have finally been completed and the barricade has been removed. Anglers can once again fish from this pier that separates the Black Rock Canal from the Niagara River. Smallmouth bass fishing is generally good at this time of year on the river-side of the pier, south of the Peace Bridge. Boaters target smallmouth bass around Strawberry, Motor and Grand Islands. Drifting outside weed edges with a three-way bottom bouncing rig and crayfish is a good bet