Buffalo NY Fishing Report – 04/28/2024

by | Apr 29, 2024

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Observations from 04/22/2024 – 04/28/2024

Here’s our latest Buffalo NY fishing report: What a week!  We didn’t have perfect weather, but it was more than good enough.  Only one day, Wednesday, was formidable, so we rescheduled the trip.  I managed to fish the other 6 days and in so doing, covered the entire system – form Lake Erie to the Niagara to Lake Ontario.  Finally, conditions lined up and the fishing was excellent.  Keep reading for more details.

Days on the water: 6

Who we fished with: friends/clients

Where we fishedLak Erie, Upper Niagara, Lower Niagara, Lake Ontario

What we caught:  king salmon, brown trout, lake trout, smallmouth bass, walleye (by-catch), northern pike (by-catch), white bass.

Tactics: 3-way rig with live bait, drop shots, spoons, bucktail jigs

Episode 82 of Two Angles on Angling:   After spending 6 days on the water, there’s a ton to talk about.  Jordan and I talk about the big changes in the pattern lately from Lake Erie to the Niagara to Lake Ontario.  The whole region is in bloom and the fishing is excellent right now so that dominates the discussion.  We get deep about mental resiliency – how to build it, how fragile our mind state is, how a song can change your mood, how physical fitness plays a role, and much more…  https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/two-angles-on-angling

Detailed Reporting/Daily Observations

Weather Breakdown

04/22/2024 – Fished the Upper Niagara with Rick and Von from PA.  These guys have been fishing with me for years.  They are bass fanatics and excellent sticks.  We had near perfect conditions (water clarity was a bit off – but it didn’t matter much).  The guys did what they always do – caught the hell out of smallmouth.  We had 9 doubles – not milking it – 9 legit doubles.  Wild action all day – drop shots and crankbaits were the ticket.   



04/23/2024 – Fished the Lower Niagara with Rick and Von.  We had some insane wind – 30+mph gusts out of the south/southwest.  In other words, it was borderline unmanageable, but we made it work.  We started on the Lake Ontario bar and managed to jig up a couple lake trout.  However, it didn’t take long for it to get too nasty out there, so we moved into the river.  We spent the rest of the day fishing smallmouth – they did well as per usual.     



04/24/2024 – Frigid temperatures, rain, a chance of snow, and a stiff north wind caused us to reschedule the trip.  The guys wanted to target kings and that wasn’t going to happen in those conditions.  



04/25/2024 – Fished Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara with Larry, Jim, and Paul from PA.  It was a gorgeous day – cold at the start but sunny the whole time with only a light breeze from the east.  We started on Lake Erie.  The water ended up being more stained than I expected, so we poked around a few spots to see if we could get a pattern going.  We caught fish, but it was very slow.  So, I made the call to move to the river.  That was a completely different scene – consistent action in every zone.  Minus the occasional Canadian angler dropping in below us here and there, it was an awesome session. 



04/26/2024 – Fished with Brandon, Kate, and Torrey.  Brandon is from here, but his sister Kate and Torrey live in the ADKs.  Every time this crew has fished with me, they’ve done very well.  Also, nearly every time they’ve fished with me, the conditions have been hostile…this was another hostile day.  We started on the bar – picking up kings and lake trout.  However, it didn’t take long for a huge east to kick up that kicked us off the lake.  We spent the rest of the day jigging bucktails for smallmouth bass, browns, and white bass.



04/27/2024 – Fished the Lake Ontario bar with Steve and Alex.  The day started off on fire – king after king.  Action was fastanf furious – I didn’t take many pics.  All I ran were my 2 downriggers – that’s it.  Fish were all over the place once we got past the main current.  By late morning, the rain and wind showed up and the bite slowed down.  So, we went into deep water for about an hour and managed to hook a GIANT king that came unbuttoned by the boat.  We also landed a coho.  Cold and wet, we decided to head back onto the bar before we called it a day.  We managed to hook another king but dropped that one too.  Fulfilled with the day – we called it a bit early to go in, dry off, and get warm.



04/28/2024 – Fished Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara with Tim and Elias from Ontario.  The team crushed it.  BTW – Elias, the 8 year old son, totally outfished his father – he just got “tired” holding fish so he just let his dad do it.  Good times!



Seasonal Assessment/General Observations

On the Conditions

Finally, Mother Nature was kind enough to clear up the system and allow me to fish all of it.  In short, spring insanity is in full swing – and it’s just getting started.


The salmon bite has been ridiculous lately.  With all the mud finally flushed out of the system, Lake Ontario is clear from the bar all the way past Olcott.  I didn’t fish anything deeper than 90′ this past week.  Most of my fish were in less than 30′.  I just stayed in that 47ish degree water and kept crossing them.  Spoons in orange, pink, and chartreuse were effective – but I bet just about any color pattern will work.

Lake trout have been thick on the bar as well as on the flatter, deeper areas throughout our basin.  I’ve caught them on suckers, plugs, bucktails, and spoons.  Get to a level gradient, look for the layers of lasagna on the bottom, and start working.

I can’t say much about the steelhead and brown trout.  I’ve picked up some random browns here and there mixed in with the lakers on the bar and in the river with the bass.  All ate bucktails – but live bait will work as good or better.  Steelhead are dropping out of the system as their spawn is over.  Most are emaciated and are hanging out in those various pockets throughout the lower that offer some relief from the fast current.  Don’t plan on a high catch rate – more of a by-catch situation.

Smallmouth bass

The smallmouth bass are in the meat of their pre-spawn mode so action is awesome right now.  A few are concentrated inside points/current breaks, but the bulk of the fish have spread out along drop offs where rock meets sand/gravel.  Drop shots, bucktails, and crankbaits have all been effective.

A quick note on bass fishing tactics.  Cover water folks – PLEASE, DO NOT SPOT LOCK.  There are a lot of boats around out there – mostly Canadian anglers fishing U.S. water – so spread out.  I promise you, if you pay attention to where you’ve been catching fish and search out other areas that look similar, you’ll find more.

There are a ton of fish around, so abusing the same group of them over and over doesn’t make much sense.  In fact, that much pressure will likely change their behavior or worse, lead to mortality and an unsuccessful spawn.  It’s catch and release fishing folks – solve the problem for the spot you’re fishing, then move on and solve another.  That’s what catch and release fishing is all about.  They are a resilient fish – but there’s no need to test their limits.

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Forecast for 04/29/2024 – 05/05/2024

Weather Breakdown

    Forecast Commentary

    This upcoming week looks excellent and I have a full schedule.  I will end up fishing the entire system throughout.  Moreover, all the clients on the docket are excellent anglers to be prepared for an incredible fishing report for next week.  Looking forward to seeing you on the water!

    Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,