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July 2003

Orleans County

Spring has sprung. The fishing reports are great everywhere. Turkeys are strutting in the sunshine. Pheasants are cackling for their hens. It gets greener every day. I love this time of year. Fishing on Lake Ontario is great, book your charter and participate in the $1,000 a day salmon tournament. And now the reports.

Sharon at Narby’s Superette and Tackle reported that stream fishing in Oak Orchard has been good. Northern pike are being caught on live baits and red and white daredevils. Perch (some good-sized ones at times) are being caught using all the live baits. Minnows are especially effective. Bass are being reported, but remember bass season does not open until the third Saturday in June.  Pike and walleye opened last Saturday and walleye are being reported. There are still some steelhead and browns in the stream but they are starting to go back into the lake as the temperatures start going up. The temperature of the lake is 45 degrees, so you may get some fish around the pier area. They are using small rapalas or stick baits and little cleos in various colors. Blue and Greens have been hot.

In the lake they are fishing in 20-40 foot of water anywhere from 15-30 foot down. Planner boards are being used with spoons or small stick baits. Again, colors vary. A little west of the river around Johnson’s Creek has been good.

Marsh Creek has been productive and Lake Alice has very good reports for all types of fish. I have heard that some great catches of walleyes are coming from here.  Lots of fish in the 3-5 lb. Range.  Try worm harnesses and jigs. For bigger walleyes, try the breakwall on Oak Orchard with some live minnows. Ron Bierstine at Orleans Outdoors reports that there is good shoreline action casting for trout and salmon now and it should last through the month of May.

Some nice browns and leaping steelhead have been caught at Point Breeze.  Small boat anglers with simple spreads just flat lining baits have had good success. River mouths are good bets like at Point Breeze or anywhere along the shoreline where 3 to 5+ feet of warmer water is within casting distance. Brown trout are the main quarry, but shore anglers may encounter salmon and steelhead.  Still fishing with egg snacks, casting spoons and retrieving streamers can all be productive. Nothing like the jarring strike of a hungry trout while you are on the retrieve.

Warmer in-shore waters are what the trout and salmon are drawn to. Calm or light west winds are best. East winds tend to make fishing more difficult. Light north winds can keep the inshore waters from heating up too much allowing shore anglers casts to productive water.

There are some smallmouth bass now being encountered and look for many incidental catches of bass now through May. Panfish, like perch and rock bass can be caught by the bucket full during the spring period. The Erie Canal is filled so the seasonal consistent water feed for the Oak has commenced keeping flows at a moderate level. The Oak has a few steelhead or browns in the middle river course and again in the downstream slower water. Other larger tribs like the Cattaraugus Creek and Niagara River will hold onto some good steelhead action. It’s time to get out into the great outdoors and share some quality time with those you cherish. Go fishing. Go hiking. Take a picnic. Call a turkey. Go bird watching. Just get out there and enjoy! Tight lines, screaming reels.  Doc

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