Days on the Water: 4
Who we fished with: friends/clients
What we caught: steelhead, lake trout, coho salmon, king salmon, smallmouth bass
Tactics: Lower Niagara – 3-way rigs with beads, jigs, or live bait; Lake Ontario – trolling spoons and stick baits; Upper Niagara – blade baits, swim baits, drop shots
Commentary for the Week of 04/18/2022 – 04/24/2022
Well – my predictions for this week were WAY OFF. Huge winds from every direction trashed the fishery early in the week and conditions didn’t improve until the weekend. Plus, a lot of rain and snow made an appearance making things even more difficult. However, when the weather broke and things cleared up, the action improved and a little bit of magic happened.
Tap the icon below to listen to our latest podcast or subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Daily Conditions Analysis
- Monday – Fished Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara for smallmouth bass. East winds kicked in much bigger than forecasted, which made it VERY tough. We caught fish but it was a struggle in the wind and cold.
- Tuesday – Ended up cancelling the trip. West winds kicked in huge making bassing on Erie or the Upper nearly impossible. Plus, it snowed – miserable conditions. Ontario could’ve been an option EARLY in the day, but conditions degraded out there quickly as well.
- Wednesday – Cancelled the trip. Water color was trashed from the wind/waves the day prior. Ontario was huge in the morning but laid down by the afternoon. Dirty water was thick from the Niagara to Olcott.
- Thursday – Lots of rain in the AM. Huge wind out of the south. Water color was still mud from Erie to Ontario. Cancelled the trip.
- Friday – water color in the river remained muddy. Opted to fish Lake Ontario. Perfect conditions – flat”ish” lake, clear water, minimal wind. We did well.
- Saturday – Wanted to go on an adventure so we fished Lake Ontario again. East winds made it like the Bering Sea but we did very well anyway. By mid morning, the winds picked up even more and the waves got bigger so we moved to the Lower Niagara – it was slow.
- Sunday –
Seasonal Assessment/General Observations
I don’t have a lot of new commentary to add considering that I fished so few days. I’ll put this out there though – remember my commentary from a few weeks ago about the slow crescendo into a spring pattern? It seems like that’s what’s starting to unfold. Compared to the warming trend of the previous 2 years, we’re a little more than two weeks behind. However, all it’ll take is a handful of warm days and the water will heat up quickly.
The smallmouth bass bite on Lake Erie and the Niagara River is starting to improve. It isn’t on fire by any stretch, but fish are getting caught. 3-4″ swim baits have been the ticket but blade baits are coming in a close second. The fish are starting to stage near their spawning grounds – albeit very slowly – BUT surely.
Lake Ontario is heating up – literally and figuratively. Kings and cohos are getting increasingly consistent with every outing and the lake trout are in their prime. Lake O is only going to get better in the upcoming weeks.
Looking Forward to the Week of 04/25/2022 – 05/01/2022
Fishing Conditions Looking Forward
This upcoming week is looking good. Wind will continue to be the main factor of concern, but it doesn’t look like it’ll get too crazy on any of the days if the current forecast holds. Wednesday could be dicey for us small boat guys on Lake Ontario or on Lake Erie but that’s about it for problems. If those big winds come to pass, I’ll stay in the river. I’m hopeful that it won’t get so big as to generate mud creating waves – fingers crossed!
As I mentioned above, I’m a little disappointed in the bass fishing thus far. We’re WAY behind the activity levels I’ve experienced in my previous 5 years. However, it has been colder than “normal” this year so I’m hopeful there’s only a little bit of lag left. The majority of my trips this upcoming week will be bass focused so I’ll have more to report soon.
We’re booked daily and you know me – covering water throughout the fishery is the goal this time of year. Looking forward to it!
Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,
Tap any image below to swipe through the gallery