Buffalo NY Fishing Report – 05/05/2024

by | May 6, 2024

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Observations from 04/29/2024 – 05/05/2024

Here’s our latest Buffalo NY fishing report:  This past week was…emotional.  High highs and low lows, but all in all good times were had by all.  I managed to fish all 7 days and once again, was able to fish the entire system.  You’ll have to forgive me for the lack of detail in this report – I’ve been running hard lately so creativity is lacking.  Hopefully the pictures will tell the story.  Keep reading for more details.

Days on the water: 7

Who we fished with: friends/clients

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

What we caught:  king salmon, lake trout, smallmouth bass, white bass.

Tactics: 3-way rig with live bait, drop shots, spoons, bucktail jigs, stick baits, crank baits, tubes

Episode 83 of Two Angles on Angling:  It was a long week of fishing and little sleep, so Jordan and I get straight to the point.  After fishing 7 days this past week, covering the entire system, I provide my assessment of the current pattern.  I also spend some time discussing getting humbled and how I recover.  Jordan fished in PA this past week, so he discusses that trip and his continuing effort to learn to fly fish.  He also provides his observations of the land and air – the region is in full bloom right now.     


Detailed Reporting/Daily Observations

Weather Breakdown

04/29/2024 – Fished Lake Ontario with Kristen, Randy, and Mike.  The weather was perfect and luckily, we found fish as soon as I stopped the boat.  There wasn’t another boat in sight – wonderful.  Action didn’t stop for hours – one of the best king salmon bites I’ve experienced.  After wearing out their arms for a few hours, we decided to fish the river for bass to relax and take in the scenery.  Awesome session!   



04/30/2024 – Fished Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara with Ray and Paul up from VA.  The guys wanted to hunt giants because when Ray was here last, that’s all he caught so he wanted his brother to get a chance to do the same.  It was a tough day – no wind at all.  In the spirit of complete transparency, I struggled to find a pattern.  Don’t get me wrong, we caught fish, but it was a grind.  Days like this are heartbreaking for me – especially when the anglers travel a long way to fish here.



05/01/2024 – Fished Lake Ontario with John from NC.  He and I have been fishing together for 7 years now and he always comes up for at least 3 days.  Lake Ontario was socked in with fog all day – it was a surreal experience.  A pine warbler, on it’s way to northern Canada, must’ve gotten lost in the fog and landed on our boat.  He stuck around for about a half hour eating midges and other flies off the boat.  He flew away fat and happy.  Oh yeah, the salmon bite was good.  



05/02/2024 – Day 2 with John.  We fished Lake Erie for smallmouth bass.  It was another calm day and once again, we struggled to get a good bite going.  I’m not sure what happened.  Needless to say, I had a hard time sleeping that night wondering what I was missing. 




05/03/2024 – Day 3 with John.  We returned to Lake Ontario in pursuit of kings.  There was a big NE blowing and Lake Ontario was rolling.  The bite wasn’t as good as it was on day 1, but we got into fish. 




05/04/2024 – Fished Lake Ontario with Rick, John, and Dave.  Every time I fish with this crew, we have a blast!  Lake Ontario was glassy to start and the boat traffic was thick.  The bite was faily consistent throughout the morning in deep water (over 90′).  Then I decided to creep in shallow (less than 50′) and that’s when we encountered a large school of bait and MANY kings.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I left my phone in the truck, so all these pics were taken by the guys.    


I did an afternoon trip with Mark, Odie, and Jordan.  The last time I fished with these guys was 2017 – on a frigid winter day.  It was brutal, but they caught fish all day long.  Anyway, I hadn’t heard from Mark in years until this past winter when he called to let me know that he was coming back up here to visit.  The reason for the lack of contact was that he had some sort of blood cancer and that he finally beat it and was ready to fish again.  At 82, all he wanted to do was try to catch a king.  I warned him that Lake Ontario was rolling with 1-3′ waves, but he was undeterred.  We made it happen!



05/05/2024 – Fished Lake Erie with Dave and Elizabeth from PA.  As per usual, we had a blast.  THe bite in the harbor was good.  The Lake was rolling a bit so we didn’t stray too far.




Seasonal Assessment/General Observations

On the Conditions

Sorry folks, I’ve gotta be lazy this week – too little sleep.  I’ll keep it quick and to the point.  


The Lake Ontario bar bite is dwindling.  The water temperature coming out of the river is 52 degrees.  If you want to find trout and salmon, go deeper, and look for bait.  You’ll see a fleet of boats out there – that’s a good starting point if you don’t know where to go.  When you find fish, you’ll get bit.  I’ve learned a hard lesson taught to be me by some of my colleagues – sometimes you just have to grind them out.    

Smallmouth bass

If you listen to the podcast, you’ll get a deeper perspective about the bass bite.  In short, there are fish in all phases right now – spawning, staging, and post spawn.  It’s a weird year – things seem to be happening in fits and flurries.  One day it’s really good, the next it’s a dud.  

Many folks are using stickbaits, crank baits, and blade baits right now.  All are excellent.  I have one favor to ask, switch the trebles out with inline circle hooks – ILS Inline Single 4X | VMC (rapala.com)

I promise you, your hook up rates will IMPROVE and you’ll do little if any damage to fish. Have you ever wondered why some of the bass you catch have a cloudy or missing eye?  The answer is STICKBAITS with TREBLE hooks.  Please, make the change – it’s a win-win.  

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Forecast for 05/06/2024 – 05/12/2024

Weather Breakdown

    Forecast Commentary

    This upcoming week looks like another chaotic one.  The next 3 days will be nice – the entire system will be fishable and pleasant.  The back half of the week looks a little sketchy – rain, drastic drop in temperatures, N winds, not the most enjoyable weather to fish in.  However, if you want to fish, you’ll have plenty of water out of the worst of the elements to make it happen.  I’ll be out there – every day.  Stay tuned.   

    Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,