Buffalo NY Fishing Report – 06/09/2024

by | Jun 10, 2024

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Observations from 06/03/2024 – 06/09/2024

Here’s our latest Buffalo NY fishing report:  This past week lent itself well to recon missions, fishing/spending time with family, and getting some rest for the upcoming surge in summer business.  Early June is often like this.  It’s a time of recovery from a couple months of frenzied activity – exhibited above and below the surface.  Anglers and their target species alike are transitioning to a “summer pattern” where we can expect long days, stable weather, and high catch rates.  I, for one, am taking advantage of this little lull while it lasts.  Keep reading for more details.

Days on the water: 5

Who we fished with: friends/clients

Where we fishedLake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara, Lake Ontario

What we caught:  smallmouth bass, walleye, freshwater drum

Tactics:  trolling worm harnesses, jigging bucktails, drifting bait

Episode 86 of Two Angles on Angling: 

Jordan and I did a mid-week podcast drop (Wednesday, 06/05/2024).  We didn’t record last Sunday because Jordan was in Michigan on a fishing trip.  We both had commitments for Sunday (today), so we couldn’t record an episode. However, we didn’t want to wait any longer to discuss Jordan‘s trip. The bulk of the discussion covers the play-by-play of Jordan’s adventure.  Following the discussion of Jordan’s trip, I discuss the local fishing conditions from the last 10 days and provide an angling forecast for the upcoming week.  We’ll be back on schedule next weekend.    https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/two-angles-on-angling

Detailed Reporting/Daily Observations

Weather Breakdown

06/03/2024 – Fished Lake Erie with my brother (Tim) and nephew (Gabriel).  It was glassy out there so we had to pull baits around all day.  Fish were caught (many drum), but it was a grind for the target species of walleyes and smallmouth bass.  Gabriel managed to land his first walleye – super stoked for him!   



06/04/2024 – Fished Lake Erie for walleyes with the whisperer and the silent assassin.  Again, it was another glassy day ou thterel  We managed a couple walleyes, but it was a grind (none were photo worthy).  The whisperer picked up this nice bass on the way in.    



06/05/2024 – Nice day – a little breeze with sporadic rain.  I wasn’t booked – had a doctor’s appointment and an interview with the Buffalo Niagara Waterkeepers so I stayed off the water.  



06/06/2024 – Another beautiful day.  Did a recon trip on the Lower Niagara with my buddy Joe.  We covered a ton of water and landed very few fish.  Plus, the free floating algae was somewhat problematic. 



06/07/2024 – Fished the Lower Niagara and Upper Niagara with my brother, Tim.  Even though Joe and I had poor results the day prior, I still wanted to give it a shot.  My brother had never fished the Lower Niagara so I wanted to show him and just poke around all the drifts.  We had the same result as the day prior. 

So, we moved to the Upper Niagara.  By then, strong west winds kicked up and cells of thunderstorms started passing through.  The current was raging, the algae was THICK, and catch rates were low.  However, Tim managed to pull a fish out of a spot I’ve been wanting to try for a while now – so a small victory.   



06/08/2024 – With a small craft advisory in effect and a father and young son on the docket, we opted to reschedule the trip.   



06/09/2024 – Fished Lake Erie through a small craft advisory with my friend Robert from VA.  He’s an incredible author (Home | Robert Brighton (robertbrightonauthor.com)) and loves nothing more than celebrating our city and going on adventures.  Surfing 3’+ waves and hammering on drum and smallmouth is a riot.  Granted, it takes folks of a certain constitution. Say what you want about freshwater drum, catching them in huge waves is a blast.  The giants come out.



Seasonal Assessment/General Observations

On the Conditions

I’m going to do a little something different for this week’s summary.  Instead of a by-species breakdown, I’ll focus on the bodies of water.

The Niagara River

Everything that follows will apply to both the Upper and Lower Niagara.  First and foremost, the free-floating algae (or Grinch hair as I like to call it) is problematic at minimum and prohibitive at maximum.  Sure, there are areas where concentrations will be fleetingly sparse, but if you’re planning on spending a day on the river, be prepared to be frustrated by frequently having to clean that green stringy stuff of your line/lures.

It’s hard for me to describe the pattern on the river because of all the “interference” caused by the algae.  I’ll say this much – beds/spawning zones are empty, so the fish are on the move.  On both of my outings on the river, catch rates were low, and I covered a ton of water.  I had a decent screen in some of the locations, but fast current due to wind, the presence of a ton of bait (Lower Niagara), and baits getting covered by algae leave me wondering if a good catch rate would’ve been possible anyway.

Bottom line on the river – I’m going to poke around once per week in the near term.  However, until the algae clears out, I’ll spend the majority of my time on Lake Erie.  Fingers crossed, conditions will improve by the end of the month.  By then, the fish will have occupied their summer zones and the catch rate will increase.

Lake Erie

The couple of days I spent on Lake Erie this past week were a grind.  Both days were windless and required trolling.  I focused on walleyes most of the time, fishing “off the windmills” and some of the reefs and shoals between Buffalo and the mouth of 18-mile creek.  Often times, I had a good screen, but couldn’t get bit.  From talking to the guys at the cleaning station and a few of my colleagues, they had the same experience.  Bottom line, if you commit a whole day to walleye fishing, you’ll get into them.  Limits are rare right now but can happen if you just keep crossing them.

I only spent a couple of hours this past week focused on smallmouth bass.  Every one we caught was post spawn and near a reef.  Most threw up crawfish and gobies but some of them continue to take advantage of the schools of bait making their way to colder water.  When I was out on Monday with my brother and nephew, my brother noticed something strange.  We were trolling a reef in over 35’ of water when he noticed a large smallmouth bass hanging out in the prop wash, inches from the surface.  It spooked when we tried to cast to it.

This time of year, resident walleyes and smallmouth bass slowly migrate to deeper water and rock piles where they can find a reliable source of food.  However, schools of emerald shiners are still pouring out of the river.  These schools of emeralds allow some of the fish that have been sand oriented for the past month to stay put vs migrating.  That bass we saw on the surface, was likely up there poking around for those little snacks.  In other words, there’s a lot of real estate out there and fish are doing a lot of moving around.

If exploring and grinding isn’t your style, you have another option.  Consistent catch rates are a strong possibility inside the walls of the harbor.  Freshwater drum will likely dominate the bite, but if you put in work, bass and walleyes will make an appearance too.

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Forecast for 06/10/2024 – 06/16/2024

Weather Breakdown

    Forecast Commentary

    The forecast for this upcoming week looks great.  So long as the forecast holds, daytime highs will fluctuate between spring and summer and rain and wind won’t pose too much of a problem throughout.  I’ll be on the water at least 5 days.

    My focus for this upcoming week will be Lake Erie.  Walleyes will be the priority target with smallmouth bass as the backup.  The plan is to do some recon work around the “summer zones” and the “in between” areas.  I’m looking forward to see what happens.     

    Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,