Buffalo NY Fishing Report – 04/14/2024

by | Apr 14, 2024

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Observations from 04/08/2024 – 04/14/2024

Here’s our latest Buffalo NY fishing report:  It was a wild weather week.  First, the eclipse, followed by a couple more nice days.  Then came the deluge and HUGE wind.  I managed to eke out a couple days on the water before the storms – both sessions were a blast.  I spent the rest of the week selling the old boat, picking up the new one, getting the wrap put on, and installing some accessories.  She’s a beast, my friends.  I’m looking forward to giving many of you the opportunity to coat it with fish slime.  Keep reading for more details.

Days on the water: 2

Who we fished with: friends/clients

Where we fishedUpper Niagara, Lake Erie

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

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

Episode 80 of Two Angles on Angling:  It was a wild weather week. From the eclipse to huge winds to floods – Jordan and I spent most days either fishing or assessing the impacts of Mother Nature’s wrath. We get deep about Jordan’s upcoming fishing trip. He took the first step of picking the dates – detailed planning ensues.  https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/two-angles-on-angling

Detailed Reporting/Daily Observations

Weather Breakdown

04/08/2024 – The eclipse!  Fished the Upper Niagara and Lake Erie with Steve and Ethan from New Hampshire.  The fishing was excellent all day until we started losing light.  Starting around 30mins prior to the eclipse and lasting until around 30mins after, the bass was non-existent.  However, once the light returned, so did the action.  Awesome experience and I was happy to share it with a couple of great guys (and anglers).


04/09/2024 – Gorgeous day – but I picked up the new boat so I didn’t have an opportunity to fish.  I didn’t mind missing a day on the water considering the outcome. 

04/10/2024 – Fished the Upper Niagara with Joe and Mike.  It was a solid day, but I failed to charge my phone and it ended up dying on me early on.  In other words, I didn’t get to take many photos.  These guys didn’t care though – we had a blast all day.  



04/11/2024 – Had the day set aside for downrigger installation in the new boat.  It rained much of the day so I didn’t regret missing the time on the water.  


04/12/2024 – BIG wind and a couple inches of rain kept me off the water.  Had to reschedule the trip.



04/13/2024 – BIG wind and more rain kept me off the water.  Plus, all the flooding that occured the day prior trashed the water clarity.  Had to reschedule the trip.  



04/14/2024 – Nice day but the water clarity remained marginal (at best) from the flooding and wind that hit the region earlier in the week.  However, the system cleared markedly throughout the day.  



Seasonal Assessment/General Observations

On the Conditions

Unfortunately, the weather unfolded almost as meteorologists predicted the week prior.  As you saw in the play-by-play above, I didn’t get to fish very much.  Although I was disappointed to lose the business/trips, I was happy to have the extra time to get the new boat ready.  Although I had her ready to work by Thursday, Mother Nature wasn’t too interested in accomodating my fishing plans.  

All the rain and cooler days/nights of late have kept the water temperatures at bay.  As of this writing, the water coming out of Lake Erie is 41 degrees.  That’s roughly aligned to historical norms for this time of year.  For example, 41 degrees has been the water temperature on 4/14 for the past 5 years (give or take a degree).  The pattern I’m seeing on the water aligns with this as well.


I spent no time targeting trout this past week due to the crappy weather.  Folks are still getting browns and lake trout on the bar.  Kings are making an appearance here and there as well.  Just about everyone is aware of this so it’s been crowded out there.

It’s been very difficult to get a good assessment of what’s happening on Lake Ontario due to poor water clarity.  The Niagara River has been dumping a lot of mud out there, so the water out in the “trolling zones” (areas out of the main current of the Niagara) has been too stained to be worthwhile.  Once things clear up, the bite will be ON.  In the meantime, if you’ve just gotta get into trout, look shallow for a color line (where clear water meets the muddy stuff) and troll a spread.  You’ll likely cross more than a handful of browns.

Smallmouth bass

I don’t have much new info to add about the smallmouth bass bite.  They’re still in staging mode, tightly packed inside current breaks and transition zones between rock and gravel.  I noticed a little more “spreading out” this past week, but not much.  In other words, instead of spot locking a lot like I had been doing in previous weeks, I spent more time drifting and covering water.  I found a handful more outside of the tightly packed groups, but not many.  It’s early.

Drop shots with white flatworms were the ticket all week.  There were a couple times when my clients wanted to drift bait to give casting a break.  When they did this, I would fish off to the side with a dropshot – and often caught fish when they weren’t.  I’ve talked about this dozens of times in previous reports, but for some reason, white soft plastics outperform live bait when the water is this cold.

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Forecast for 04/15/2024 – 04/21/2024

Weather Breakdown

    Forecast Commentary

    I’ll start off by saying that I’m taking a bullish view on this upcoming week’s forecast.  We’ve had a ton of very erratic weather lately, but I’m trying to stay optimistic. Here it goes. 

    Right now, as I type this, there are bands of clear water flowing down the Niagara.  Parts of East River and almost all of West River are clear enough to fish.  Unfortunately, all the tributaries – mainly Buffalo River and the Erie Canal – are dumping A LOT of mud.  So much so that it’s all mixing up where the two branches of the river join, sending heavily stained water over the falls.  In other words, the Lower Niagara is a complete mess.

    There is hope though.  The forecast for this upcoming week looks OK.  Wind will be a factor here and there, but not a major issue – every day will offer opportunities.  There’s more rain on the way, but nowhere close to what we just received.  I doubt it’ll be enough to damage the system.

    Bottom line, if one was so inclined, one could fish every day this upcoming week.  You’ll have to be creative, but it can be done.  I’m going for it folks.  To be continued…

    Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,