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Local Pond  Fishing Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,  Here's the first open water report of 2016. Some of the area lakes south have open up completely or are close to doing so. A minnow worked under a slip float took nice bluegill and a few bass along the outside weedlines. It was good to get the long rods out despite having such a short hard water season. I notice a few

TTYL frogs swimming around after a long winters slumber. I'm thinking the early risers might have made a mistake.

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Waterworks fishing team


Niagara NY Fishing Forcast by Bill Hilts, Jr.

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – At the time of this report, we are in the middle of receiving between one and two inches of rain. Luckily it’s not cold enough for ice or snow or we would be buried. That said, the water flow at 18 Mile Creek had been down to 550 cfs and it was a little dirty from snow melt. After this rain, though, conditions will undoubtedly be high and muddy. When things settle down, the first wave of big breeder steelhead should be arriving according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. There are some brown trout in the creek, too. The ice is out of the harbor in Olcott, but there was ice on the piers before the rains. That ice could be gone after the rain. Wilson is still in a transition with some unsafe ice still hanging around and open water starting to take over. Keg Creek was fishable before the rain with reports of steelhead and suckers moving in. However, you will have to wait until things settle down right now. And when the waters start to clear there should be plenty of perch around, too. So in the meantime there is some inside business that you can attend to. On March 3 there will be a State of Lake Ontario meeting for updates on status of the lake’s fisheries with numerous management agencies. It will be held at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport starting at 6:30 pm. It’s important to get people attending, especially after the year we had on the lake last year, to get some answers to your questions. One of the big considerations will be a change in the pen rearing programs around the lake. Also, the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs is seeking nominations for its annual awards program, an opportunity to recognize people behind the scenes as it pertains to our natural resources, shooting sports, fisheries and hunter safety training. It’s important to get those nominations in because, like the state lottery, you have to be in it to win it! Deadline to register is Feb. 29. To get a nomination form, see a Federation delegate or contact John Butcher at 433-1014. Take 5 minutes to give someone a pat on the back – it’s the least we can do!
  2. Lower Niagara River – In the lower Niagara River, action was pretty good last weekend but who knows what will happen after the rain and wind hits the area. Earlier in the week fishing was tougher for drifters using minnows or Kwikfish to try and take some trout. It was a difficult bite on Monday, probably because of a north wind affecting the drift. The storm at mid-week could hurt the current conditions. Wind direction will continue to play a role in whether or not the water will muddy up. The worst wind is southwest and it didn’t look like it was part of the forecast. The excessive amount of rain could stain the water up, though. Shore casters may have the advantage once again. Spoons, spinners, eggs or egg imitations will all catch fish.
  3. Upper Niagara River – Winds and rain are putting a damper on the upper river action. You might want to consider attending the Western New York Boat Show at the Buffalo Bills Field House in Orchard Park through February 28th. The 27th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Show will be held at the Lockport Elks Lodge No. 41 on North Canal Road on Saturday, March 5 from 11 am to 2 pm. If you have some old fishing tackle lying around, this is the perfect opportunity to break it out. Call Dan Bedford at 713-9410 for more info.

Bill Hilts, Jr. - Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation

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Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Rain and light snow made ice roads a little messy this weekend but it didn’t stop anglers from putting some fish in the bucket. Ice fishing was up and down this week a lot of fish on the electronics, but tough to get bites. Continually changing bait and presentation is important. Rattle bait on jigging rod and plain hook with minnow on dead stick best. Patience is needed as the fish follow jigs up and down half a dozen times before biting or disappearing. Ice averages 15-22 inches. Prime fishing in 7-10 miles off of Pine Island. Fishing in 27-35’. Mainly saugers with a walleyes mixed in. Some 16+” saugers being caught along with a few slot walleyes. Pike, tulibee, and perch mixed in as well. Ice roads are letting out most trucks but contact your resort for exact information.

The Rainy River is iced over and being fishing by locals who know the ice. Fishing the river has produced a few fish but is overall unpredictable. Walleyes, pike, and ellpout in the mix in the 16-18’ range. For safety, work through resorts. Safety first. Most anglers fishing the lake.

Up at the NW Angle, fishing was hot then cold again this week on the Minnesota side. 22” of ice is the average. Many species are being caught. Fishing around 30-33’ in the mud. Reefs around 26’ are producing fish too. Pike, jumbo perch, and eelpout mixed in. Solid numbers of crappies are being caught around the 33’ mark with guides on the Ontario side. Ice fishing through March (depending upon weather), walleyes open to April 14. Resort listings at

Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism |

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