Tonawanda News


January 3, 2014

FISH FORECAST: Ice fishing picking up on Lake Ontario

Tonawanda News — 1. Lake Ontario and tributaries

Happy New Year!

Ice fishing in the Wilson area has taken off again with some safe ice of up to 5 inches being reported, according to Matt Wilson of North Tonawanda. There’s been a good mix of perch and panfish with the occasional trout, with one of the best baits being small chartreuse tear drop ice jigs tipped with wax worms. Fish were being caught at both Wilson Harbor in the back bay and at Roosevelt Beach.

While 18 Mile Creek was a bit muddy earlier in the week, look for conditions to improve by the weekend with the influx of cold weather for both steelhead and browns. One of the best spots has been at the dam at Lyndonville on Johnson Creek. Greg Stanley at All in the Same Boat in Newfane landed a 16-pound steelhead there earlier in the week on a black and red jig. Chartreuse will also work, clean or tipped with a wax worm. Olive-colored jigs in a 1/32-ounce size and tipped with a wax worm or meal worm will also catch trout.

It is cold out there this week, with temperatures into the single digits and wind chills below zero. There will be a slight warm up over the weekend, but it will return to cold temperatures by Monday.

There’s still been no word as to when the sporting license site will be up and running again as they switch over to a new system. If you are in need of a license before then, you are out of luck. The website will announce when it’s working again or you can contact your local license issuing agent as to operational status. 

2. Lower Niagara River

Just when things were looking for up last weekend, the dirty water finally caught up with the lower river and shut things down. And with 40-mph winds in the forecast blowing in the new year, water conditions probably won’t improve much by the weekend. Single-digit temperatures and below zero wind chills will keep people from fishing until the short warm up over the weekend. Add in the fact that access will be limited due to construction issues at the NYPA access road and Artpark, and you might be better off staying in front of the fireplace until things settle down.

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