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Taking A Close Look At The Niagara Area Fishing Waters
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Fishing Reports

Captain Matt's  Fishing Reports Archive
2012   2013    2014    2015

Fishing Report

from Bill Hilts

FEBRUARY 8, 2016

  Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Water was flowing nicely over the weekend and according to Taz Morrison of Barker, the best two streams have been 18 Mile Creek and the Oak Orchard River. Trout have been scattered throughout the systems and look for some fresh fish to migrate up soon. The warm rain on Tuesday night into Wednesday could be the catalyst for pulling in some fresh steelhead. Best bait has been a jig fished under a float and tipped with a wax worm. Egg sacs will also work.

  Niagara River

Lower river trout action has been inconsistent. Anglers have really had to work for their fish. Kwikfish, egg sacs, emerald shiners with or without beads above the offering - have all been catching steelhead and lake trout with other fish thrown in for incidentals. Walleye, brown trout, sturgeon were all reported last week. Water was off-color but fishable on Tuesday, but the high winds and rains will undoubtedly have an effect on water clarity and fish-catching. Rick Kustich of Getzville has been having some luck from shore using his two-handed fly rod with white or purple spey-style flies. His new book, "Hunting Musky with a Fly" is now out if you are interested in a reel challenge.

  Lake Erie and Tributaries

Nick Sagnibene of Ellicottville's Adventurebound on the Fly sends word that most inland streams were in decent shape. Some were even a little too clear. That is going to change with the rain, increasing flows and stain. Look for good fishing this weekend. Sagnibene likes smaller nymph patterns like stoneflies and pheasant tails. If the water is a little more stained and higher, black or olive wooly buggers are a good option. One of the better creeks off Erie has been 18 Mile and egg sacs have been a good bait to use.

Bill Hilts Jr. is a past president of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association. Hilts is an avid outdoorsman, an outdoor writer who has contributed articles to numerous national and local magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Hilts is also responsible for Niagara County Tourism Sportfishing Programs. He freelances from his home in Sanborn N.Y. Hilts was inducted in the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in the Spring of 2007!

NYSDEC Fishing Report

February 9 to February 17, 2017

Free Ice Fishing Weekend: President's Day weekend (February 18-19, 2017) has been designated as a free fishing weekend in New York, to encourage more people to try ice fishing. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the waters of New York State without a license, providing great opportunity to learn about this popular activity.

  Lower Niagara River

Bouts of muddy water and chunk ice has made for tough fishing lately. Currently, river waters are murky, but improving. When conditions permit, boaters are catching lighter numbers of steelhead and lake trout with the rare brown trout or walleye mixed in. Drifters are running three-way rigs with egg sacs, Kwikfish lures or emerald shiners to entice bites. Floating chunk ice packed along the shoreline leaves limited fishable slots for shore anglers. The New York Power Authority fishing platform is closed for the winter season.

  Lake Ontario Tributaries, Harbors and Piers

Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks are currently the top steelhead options. Flows are moderate to slightly high with a very slight stain. Muddy water from rain and snowmelt has not impacted these dammed streams, at least yet. There has been relatively light fishing pressure lately. Anglers report fair catches of steelhead with the occasional brown trout. Eighteenmile anglers also report yellow perch catches all the way up to the dam. The smaller creeks are currently higher and muddy, but all ice has been flushed out. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings.

NYS Fishing Reports courtesy New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website. Visit them at NYSDEC

If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716) 851-7010. Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 855-FISH.

Capt. Matt Yablonsky

Cell: (716) 550-0413

Email: e-mail Wet Net Charters

Our Clients say ...

"I wanted to thank you for the great day of fishing we had on Sunday. We had over 30 lake trout on, and boated 21 of them! You were great to work with! What amazed me and my friend Mark the most was how there were over thirty boats fishing that day and the most we saw any other boat pull in was two to three fish! It seemed we were constantly drifting by the other boats with fish on while they watched. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously and look forward to many more trips with you"
Randy Hastings | North Tonawanda, NY

  A New York State Freshwater Fishing License is required for adults
(16+ years old).

They can be easily obtained at any Walmart Store in New York State or at
Lewiston Town Hall, Lewiston, NY. (at the 'Red Brick School House').
Ask Captain Matt  to help you get yours, when you call to book your fishing charter!

You can also get your licenses online.
For New York State. For the Province of Ontario.
And yes... you may need both!

Need more information?