Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Observations from 08/21/2023 – 08/27/2023
Here’s our latest Buffalo NY fishing report: Unfortunately, I was only able to spend 3 days on the water this past week. I spent one of those sessions on a recon mission. The other 2, well, remember that “fall-like” feeling I mentioned in last week’s report? We got another healthy dose of that pattern – wind/waves, mild temperatures, consistent action, and BIGGIE smalls. Keep reading for more details.
Days on the Water: 3
Who we fished with: friends/clients
Where we fished: Lake Erie
What we caught: smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, walleye
Tactics: 3-way rig with live bait, worm harnesses
Episode 61 of Two Angles on Angling: It was a light week on the angling front for both Jordan and I so we decided to take the week off from the podcast. If you didn’t listen to our last episode, check it out by tapping this link: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/two-angles-on-angling
Detailed Reporting/Daily Observations
Monday – Day off
Tuesday – Day off
Wednesday – Did a short recon mission for walleyes with the whisperer and Captain America. Got one right away, then a short and a few white perch and yellow perch. It was chilly and raining with constantly changing winds. We had marks most of the session so I’m not ready to write this area off.
Thursday – Fished Lake Erie for smallmouth bass. Did a half day trip with new clients. Action was excellent for the first few hours then slowed down a bit for the last hour. Lots of fish of varying sizes but plenty of tanks in the mix. Great day!
Friday – Fished Lake Erie. Little to no wind to start but the big winds and rain from the night prior left some lingering rollers that kept us moving at a perfect clip. Weirdly, action started off slow. As the lake laid down, the wind shifted and started coming from the N. The drift slowed markedly but so did the direction. That’s when things got exciting…no idea why that was the trigger but so be it. Oh yeah, we were inside a cloud all day – non-stop mist/fog/limited visibility.
Saturday – Day off
Sunday – Day off
Seasonal Assessment/General Observations
On the Conditions
Although I didn’t exactly log a ton of hours on the water this past week, I can confirm that the bass pattern remains the same. Comb every rock pile you can find that’s deeper than 25’ and you’ll cross more than a handful. Live crawfish and goby imitations have been productive, but I bet most everything will work once you find them. Use the smallest profile bait you can get away with. Baits less than 2” are an easy snack – tough for just about every predator to refuse.
In addition to the bass bite being so productive lately, I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by some nice walleyes joining the party. Yeah, if you want limits, the best bite right now is out of the Catt or further south. However, if you’re not into trolling and you’re not focused on filling your freezer, fish structure “for bass” and walleyes will show up. Often big ones too. Drift a 1” smile blade with a couple beads and a slow death hook baited with a crawler and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. (tip – if gobies are robbing your crawlers, pull your rig off the bottom and it’ll happen less).
Clarification of “Our Fishery”
After publishing hundreds of fishing reports to date, I only just now realized that many folks who read them might not fully understand how I look at the region. In other words, I’m not sure how many people know the area I’m describing in these reports. After all, the Buffalo Niagara Region is a big place. So, here is my attempt to make that a little clearer.
I’m sure this is a “condition” instilled in me back in the Marine Corps days but I’m a huge fan of maps. I generally crave a multi-thousand-foot view of the area around me. I don’t care if it’s an analog or digital view of that area – I just need to see something that gives me a wider view than I can obtain with my own eyes.
Why? In my opinion, terrain is THE limiting factor – it’s the chess board. Call me a freak if you want, but I like to close my eyes and try to imagine how and why all the living things in that block of space move and/or behave. I do this to help me predict where my target species will be and when. However, there are limitations to how much “area” I can imagine.
A little more background might be in order before I get any deeper. As many of you are aware, I was an officer in the Marine Corps for a huge chunk of my adult life. During that period, I lived in southern California, south Florida, Coastal North Carolina, and the Washington, D.C. area. Take a second and look up the areas of the country where traffic is the worst – at least 3 of those locations are on every list. In short, I LOATHE commuting and vowed that when I started my own business, I wouldn’t spend hours every day sitting in my car, driving to and from my house.
My Area of Operations
With a short commute in mind, the longest I’m willing to drive to “work” is 45mins. That’s the MAX, but the goal is less than 25mins. Sure, that sounds arbitrary, but when you really think about it, nearly all borders are to some extent. For example, a river seems like a nice natural border between 2 areas but deciding what bank “belongs” to one area vs the other gets really “human” and subjective. Stated a little differently, there has to be some way of focusing attention on an area or constraining one’s view in order to gain a more nuanced understanding. Screw sitting in my truck in traffic – wherever I can get to in less than 45mins is a good start.
Draw a 45-minute range ring around my house and you’ll notice Sturgeon Point, NY on Lake Erie, and Olcott, NY on Lake Ontario are at the edge of that ring. Not coincidentally, I fish out of those places, but only a handful of times throughout the year. Additionally, it’s around those locations that the terrain transitions into something different such that beyond it, the fishery starts to pose different challenges/exhibit different patterns.
I spend the bulk of my time within a 25-min range ring from my house. If you plot that, you’ll notice that includes all the terrain in sight of Buffalo, NY, as well as the Niagara River and the Lake Ontario bar. So, unless I specify otherwise, what you read about in my fishing reports is intelligence MOSTLY gleaned from within that 25-min ring.
Hopefully this description of where I operate helps you picture where I’ve been when recalling the prior week’s activities. It’s a huge area with a lot of little nuances that will take a lifetime to really “know.” Nearly every time I venture into it, I cover a new patch to try to confirm or deny the presence of life. I spend a ton of time out there and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon so my mental picture of the area will become clearer with each report.
Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Forecast for 08/21/2023 – 08/27/2023
The schedule was a little light this past week because I had a couple days blocked for some end-of- summer partying and just didn’t end up filling the others. Such is the time of year and I welcome keeping things at a slower pace for the next few weeks because fall is getting close. Once that season gets rolling, time off will only occur if Mother Nature allows for it.
Although the forecast for this upcoming week looks excellent, I won’t be out there daily. I have a few days booked and another day slated for recon but time on the water will, once again, be limited. Rest assured, that pattern ain’t gonna last long, my friends. The fall calendar is packed.
Labor Day is this upcoming weekend – that’s the “official” end to summer activity here in the Buffalo Niagara Region. If the long-term forecast holds, expect things to get wild on the water toward the end of the week as recreational boaters and anglers alike take advantage of the last long weekend of summer weather before things turn toward cold.
Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,