By Craig Robbins
All of the Lake Erie tributaries, except Cattaraugus Creek are in good shape. The medium sizes streams have moderate flows with clearing conditions. Cattaraugus Creek is running a bit high and will be dropping the end of the week.
Anglers have been catching mostly darker steelhead with a few fresh fish mixed in. Brown trout have also shown in the Chautauqua County tributaries.
Spring run steelhead hit a variety of baits including egg sacs, egg pattern flies, trout beads, jigs with grubs (fished under a float), minnows, nightcrawlers, streamer patterns and bugger patterns.
Anglers are still catching steelhead and brown trout at Dunkirk Harbor, from the city pier, fishing platforms and from boats. There has also been some great action for brown trout at Barcelona Harbor. Minnows or jigs with grubs fished under a float and casted spoons and spinners are good offerings for harbor trout.
Good places to target crappie include Rock and Grass Islands, Lakewood Bar, Ashville Bay, along the narrows between the bridge and ferry, Mayville flats and in the canals. Jig heads (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) with one inch tubes in hot colors and tipped with a minnow are good bets.
Search around to find the tight crappie schools. Perch and bluegills are being picked up in the narrows between the Bridge and Ferry on the Stow side in 6-10 feet under a bobber, tipped off with a nightcrawler.
Bullhead are hitting well in the canals and shoreline areas. Worms, leeches or chicken livers fished on the bottom at night work well for bullheads.
UPPER NIAGARA RIVER
The harbor, bay and inlet areas are good places to target yellow perch and sunfish in the upper river, and along Grand Island and the Tonawandas.
These areas warm more quickly than the main river channel, attracting both bait and panfish.
Emerald shiners are the top bait for perch and sunfish, but other small minnows and worms will work too.
Look for crappie schooling in the backwater areas of Tonawanda Creek, between the confluence with the Erie Canal and the Niagara River. Anglers usually catch some rainbow trout at this time of year from Bird Island Pier and Broderick Park. Target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows or by casting spoons and spinners