Buffalo NY Fishing Report – 03/31/2024

by | Apr 1, 2024

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Observations from 03/25/2024 – 03/31/2024

Here’s our latest Buffalo NY fishing report:  Happy Easter!  For once, the forecast unfolded pretty darn close to what was predicted.  Every day this past week was fishable – and I took full advantage.  In addition to being an excellent week of fishing, I have a little something special to let you all know about.  Keep reading for more details.   

Who we fished with: friends/clients

Where we fishedLower Niagara, Lake Ontario, Upper Niagara

What we caught:  lake trout, steelhead, brown trout, smallmouth bass.

Tactics: 3-way rig with live bait, beads, or plugs; drop shots, bucktail jigs, swimbaits

Episode 78 of Two Angles on Angling:  This past week was gorgeous here in the Buffalo Niagara Region so – Jordan and I spent more days than not on the water.  Ourangling exploits dominate the conversation as does the impending reversion to winter. Various rants follow. Topics include – fly fishing, does working out make sense when you guide daily, the ideal diet for a guide during busy season, my challenge to Jordan, and more…  https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/two-angles-on-angling

Detailed Reporting/Daily Observations

Weather Breakdown

03/25/2024 – Gorgeous day – but I wasn’t booked – so I stayed off the water.  Plus, I had a boat “opportunity” pop up that I had to investigate.  More on that later.  



03/26/2024 – Fished with Shari and her uncle on the Lower Niagara.  As per usual, we did well.  We had a fairly hard SE wind so the Lake Ontario Bar was out/we stayed in the river.  The trout bite was FAR slower than expected but the bass bite more than made up for it.


03/27/2024 – The wind kicked up a little bigger than forcasted but it didn’t hurt the water clarity.  I wasn’t booked so I stayed off the water.  I spent most of the day developing the emerging boat opportunity I mentioned earlier and getting some work done on the truck.



03/28/2024 – Another gorgeous day…but I had to do some more work on the boat opportunity.  Plus, my truck ended up needing a lot of work – breaks being the biggest problem – so I left it at the mechanics overnight/didn’t have a truck in the morning.  I picked it up at the end of the day – all is good – she’s ready to keep on trucking even after 165K miles.    

Side Note: this is the first vehicle I’ve ever owned outright.  I haven’t made payments on it in years.  I either leased or traded in all my previous vehicles before having the title.  It’s awesome not having monthly payments.  It’s even more awesome that I’ve been in a vehicle that’s never caused me any problems.  It’ll be emotional when it’s on its last leg.  Weirdly, I couldn’t imagine keeping a boat this long.  3 years would be a record for me.  


03/29/2024 – Fished the Upper Niagara with the whisperer and silent assassin.  There was a harsh NW wind that prevented us from fishing it in it’s entirety.  However, we found staging fish in nearly all the pre-spawn spots.  When we found them, we hammered.  Great day!




03/30/2024 – Fished the Lower Niagara with Seth and Jim.  Bites came in fits here and there but it was fairly slow.  Still, it was a gorgeous day and great times were had with some new clients. 



03/31/2024 – Easter!  It was another gorgeous day with new clients – David and Nicholas – visiting from Virginia.  I gave them 3 options and they chose the most adventurous one – to fish Lake Ontario in a NW wind.  It didn’t end up being nearly as bad as forecasted – 1-2’ waves.  It took a little while to get a bite going but when we found them, it was game on.  Those gentlemen went home with a lot of meat for the smoker.  Oh yeah, we dropped a nice king too.



Seasonal Assessment/General Observations

On the Conditions

Yep – it’s that time of year where I need to break things down by species.  It’s getting hard to decide what to do every day as nearly all the game fish are active or getting really close.  Here it goes…


The steelhead bite in the Lower Niagara river is REALLY tough.  Some days are OK but more often than not, it’s been a struggle.  If you put in work on all the drifts, you’ll catch fish but don’t bank on numbers. 

The brown trout are thick on the Lake Ontario bar.  Because action there has been good, that’s where most of the boats have been spending their time.  Expect to catch a lot of small browns with the occasional biggie in the mix.

The lake trout have been here and there on the Lake Ontario Bar.  However, they are starting to get thick out in the deep water.  I only spent one day out there (today/Sunday), so not a big sample size.  Still, this is right around the time of year they start to line up in that 50-100’ zone east of the bar.  They’re down there munching on gobies right now…likely waiting for the smelt and alewives to push in.  Look for clear water – you’ll find them. 

Smallmouth bass

I wanted to fish Lake Erie with the whisperer and the silent assassin this past Thursday, but the NW winds kept us in the Upper Niagara.  I’ve mentioned this more than a handful of times in previous reports BUT a NW wind is the worst possible wind around here.  Especially when it’s a big one.  Like I said earlier in this report, it didn’t matter – the bass were on the feed. 

The bass bite on the Lower Niagara and east of the bar on Lake Ontario is good right now.  All the deep staging zones are holding fish, and some are starting to show up in shallow water.  Poke around with drop shots and you’ll have steady action all day.       

On a Personal Level

I’m hesitant to get too deep about this – mainly because humans are involved – but there’s a REALLY GOOD chance that I’ll be in a new boat very soon.  There is someone very interested in buying my boat and if that goes through, I’ll pick up the new one.  There’s a tight timeline involved; fingers crossed everything goes through.

If you fished with me in the past couple years, you fished in my Warrior 198.  Everyone that’s fished from my boat remarks how on smooth the ride is, how capable it is in waves and current, and how much it can store while leaving a TON of open space from which to fish.  So, you might be wondering why I’m buying a new one.  If you’ve been fishing with me since year one, you likely aren’t shocked by this move.

The reason why my buying a new boat doesn’t come as “breaking news” to my long-time clients is because this will be my 5th boat in 8 years.  Some of you might think that’s crazy – that’s a reasonable thought.  However, in year one, I made a commitment to ensure that my clients are always in a top-tier boat, fishing with the best tackle available.  Toward that end, as my business grows, so do the investments in upgrades to my program.

In other words, from my perspective, I owe it to myself/my brand AND my customers, to provide the best service I can.  Having a boat that’s impeccably clean and organized while keeping anglers comfortable and in the game is one part of my definition of the word “best.”   My Warrior 198 lived up to these standards for the past couple years, but I’m ready to step up my game.  Stay tuned!

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Forecast for 04/01/2024 – 04/07/2024

Weather Breakdown

    Forecast Commentary

    I’m not going to sugar coat it – this upcoming week looks very messy.  Tomorrow (Monday) will be excellent.  After that, we’re looking at a reversion to winter.  Cold temperatures, hard east and north winds, freezing rain, and snow.  Yeah – all the good stuff. 

    I’m not booked Monday – I’m hoping to firm up the boat situation.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are when the nightmarish weather passes through.  Friday and Saturday look cold with N and NW winds.  Sunday looks OK.  In other words, I’ll be lucky to fish 2 days this upcoming week.

    It’s all good through – spring fishing has been heating up a little too quickly.  This little obstacle will force things to settle down a bit so the season can escalate are a more “normal” pace.  Plus, all the horrible wind is coming from the E and N.  I’m optimistic that the water clarity will remain good through the storm.  Fingers crossed! 

    Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,