LAKE ERIE AND TRIBUTARIES
Anglers are reporting excellent smallmouth bass action on the Great Lake of Erie.
Dunkirk Harbor anglers see good bass action inside the harbor and along the breakwall with lipless deep running baits such Rapala’s working best when bounced off structures.
For deep water smallies, Van Buren Bay in 25 plus feet of water is producing well for the special trophy smallmouth bass season.
Walleye night bite is still going, but catches are starting to decline has vegetation begins to start showing up in the shallows. With offshore walleye hunters doing well from the dumping grounds off Dunkirk Harbor to just west of Barcelona. Trolling with worm harnesses or stick baits just off the bottom, or slow trolling (1 mph or less) and bottom bouncing (rig) with small worm harnesses seems to be the best bet.
Barcelona trollers report decent catches in 60 feet of water. Worm harnesses or stickbaits run within 10 feet of bottom is a good bet.
Cattaraugus Creek is in good fishing shape while the other tributaries have dropped to lower, clear flows. Smallmouth bass are still available in the lower sections of the tributaries.
Considering the conditions, Cattaraugus Creek is the best bass option this weekend. Fly anglers do well with woolly buggers and minnow patterns. Spinning anglers do well with stickbaits, marabou jigs with grubs (under a float) and natural baits like minnows, crayfish or worms.
Now that Cattaraugus Creek is not muddy, the catfish catches are mainly at night. Anglers are catching catfish from the mouth to up past the Thruway bridge. Keep in mind that the section of creek above the Route 5 and 20 bridge is on Seneca Nation lands and a fishing license issued by the Seneca Nation is needed to fish that stretch.
Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, raw shrimp or cut bait fished on the bottom works well for catfish
The crappie bite has dropped, but some anglers report some small schools in southern basin shoals such as Rock Island and Lakewood Bar.
The largemouth bass action has been very good in and around docks in Ashville, Bemus Point and Dewittville Bays. Shallow diving stickbaits, spinnerbaits, tube jigs and other plastics have worked well. With early morning and evening top-water bite being the most fun in above mentioned areas.
The special catch-and-release bass season continues until the third Saturday in June.
Bluegill are plentiful in the shallows and around docks. Nightcrawlers or small jigs with grubs work well.
The walleye bite has been decent along weed edges in 8-12 feet of water at night and low light periods. Trolling with jointed stickbaits or drifting and jigging with nightcrawlers or leeches has produced on weed edges has been producing good numbers.
UPPER NIAGARA RIVER
Smallmouth bass prospects are good on the upper river. Boaters report good action on tube jigs around Strawberry and Motor Islands, as well as near the Huntley Plant. Anglers are also catching smallmouth from shore sites on tubes, plastics and spinners.
Keep in mind that bass fishing is by catch and release only. Use artificial lures only in the Niagara River (north of Peace Bridge) until the third Saturday in June.
At Broderick Park, live emerald shiners are producing a mix of yellow perch, white bass and sheepshead. Yellow perch catches were slow. However, anglers said perch catches have been better on calmer, warm days.
On the Black Rock Canal side, smallmouth bass are available along Bird Island Pier, south of the Peace Bridge.