By Will Elliott
The first solid sign of fall fishing showed up this past week with a few nice steelhead trout hitting at 65-foot depths off Cattaraugus Creek.
Rick Miller at Miller’s Bait & Tackle heard of a couple smaller steelies stealing into mouth-of-the-creek waters. “If we get some more cool nights, the runoff from upstream at Gowanda and Springville should cool waters down here and have trout in the creek in a week or so,” he said.
He also noted a much better take on perch than walleye this past week. Boaters anchor over depths of 50 to 65 feet for fair numbers of ringbacks. Most good catches average 20 to 30 fish, but larger schools of bigger perch have been showing directly off and slightly east of the Catt.
Walleye numbers were down over the weekend and northeast winds earlier this week moved water column temperatures and schools of bait off deeper waters from Cattaraugus Creek to west of Dunkirk.
In close (less than 100-foot depths) trollers have been running downrigs at 50 feet. Deeper, a 70-foot set is a better bet for suspended fish.
The bass bite continues off Buffalo Harbor at depths of 25 to 40 feet. Live or artificial baits all work well. Crayfish lead among live offerings; Berkley’s emerald shiner gulp has been a steady strike for getting bass at varying depths.
The bass bite continues in the lower Niagara River and well out into Lake Ontario around the Niagara Bar. Bumping baits along bottom also could produce a walleye or two anywhere along the Lewiston to Youngstown drifting lanes.
LOC Derby contestants and recreational anglers have had to make adjustments in their trolling programs, following a stiff northeasterly breeze earlier this week. High winds moved waters around, bringing cool water to the surface and scattering bait schools.
Boaters out of Olcott had done well prior to this blow; launch- site parking at Olcott was full much of last weekend. But that turnover and temperature inversions have sent boaters in all directions to find both trout and salmon.
“The better fishing is out deeper over 400-500 feet some five to eight miles from shore,” said Capt. Bob Cinelli. “Turnover waters have sent both trout and salmon out deep, but the bite has been mainly in the top 50 feet throughout the day.”
Shore anglers have had more fun with northern pike at Wilson Harbor and perch at both Olcott Harbor and the Point Breeze section of Oak Orchard Creek.
Bass have been the most mentioned catch at Chautauqua, but Lisa Green at Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle in Ashville has started hearing word of walleye as much as bass for more than a week. Some angers have come in with a three-fish limit of walleye over the 18-inch legal length measurement.
Day-side ‘eyes go for either a leech, worm harness or jig-and- nightcrawler rigs; night trollers mainly go run Rapalas.
Anglers with good photos of great catches can have their trophy shots displayed on the fishing page of The News’ Web site (buffalonews.com/fishing).
To get your photo published, e-mail it along with a brief description of the catch, including the name and home (city, town or village) of the angler, the location of the catch and how the fish was caught to the e-mail address listed below.
Originally published by NEWS OUTDOORS REPORTER.
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