Days on the Water: 3
Who we fished with: friends/clients
Where we fished: Lake Erie
What we caught: smallmouth bass, freshwater drum
Tactics: neds, live bait
Commentary for the Week of 09/19/2022 – 09/25/2022
Here’s our latest Buffalo NY fishing report: Tough week due to lots of wind and rain but we ended up getting out a few days despite the conditions. Fishing was good – size and numbers of smallmouth bass are starting to increase. We also got a healthy dose of cooler temps, which pushed the water temperature down a couple of degrees. It’s a slow crescendo toward the peak days of fall fishing but things are getting better with each outing. Keep reading for more details.
Episode 26 is live: Jordan and I ended up spending more time on the water than expected this past week as the weather turned out to be more favorable than forecasted. Plus – we fished together on Sunday, which led to a bait vs artificials discussion. As per usual, we also provide a forecast for the upcoming week…and deeper convo follows.
Daily Conditions Analysis
Monday – scattered showers throughout the day plus big winds/waves – had to reschedule the trip. Did some boat maintenance.
Tuesday – day off
Wednesday – day off – had new wrap material put on boat so was off the water. Winds didn’t kick up until much later in the day than forecasted.
Thursday – day off – picked the boat up mid-day. Heavy NW winds – would’ve been fishable though.
Friday – fished Lake Erie for smallmouth bass for a few hours. NW wind had some decent rollers going out there. Did OK – decent size but numbers were lackluster.
Saturday – fished Lake Erie for smallmouth bass. Winds shifted to the SE and stayed in the low teens most of the morning. Had a decent bite going until the wind died off. Moved into current – drummy with a side of bass.
Sunday – fished Lake Erie for smallmouth bass with Jordan. Bait vs. artificials – take a guess what caught the most and biggest. There was a point that I thought the artificial bite was going to keep pace, but I pulled away rapidly in the last hour or so of the day. Forecast was way off about the winds – was supposed to get big by mid-morning – that didn’t happen. Rained consistently though. Overall, the action was lackluster – not sure why – overcast conditions? There was a little frenzy of schoolies that kicked in during a brief downpour but otherwise it was slow.
Seasonal Assessment/General Observations
As I mentioned in last week’s report, this wasn’t supposed to be a big fishing week for me. With boat maintenance, new wrap material installation, and some dicey weather in the mix, only a handful of outings were possible. I’m happy I was able to get a few days in – especially because I got to spend that time with friends.
All 3 outings this past week focused on Lake Erie bassing. The handful of colder nights we’ve had lately dropped the water temperature a couple degrees, so I was hoping for a major uptick in action. However, I should’ve tempered my expectations as it’s still a little warmer than historical averages (not by much though). Since it’s still a little too warm for a frenzy down there, the bite has remained kinda picky. I have bass thumb on both hands, so the action is certainly at entertaining levels/is markedly better than the past few weeks but not quite crazy just yet.
Smaller fish/schoolies are coming together and forming increasingly large hunting packs lately. Most of these fish are in the 2lb range and when you find them, they’ll keep you entertained between bites from the biggies. That’s a fun year class of fish as they often fight way above their weight. It’s funny, when you land these fish/hold them, they are warmer than the air temperature. In other words, it’s still toasty down there but it’s getting close to optimal.
The pattern remains the same in general – fish have been near/on structure. The one slight deviation from the past couple weeks is that the larger fish seem to be hanging out on sand/gravel instead of the rocks. We’ve pulled some biggies out of rocks lately, don’t get me wrong, but they seem to be moving to deeper/sandier stuff. Live crawfish and dropshots have been the ticket.
Looking Forward to the Week of 09/26/2022 – 10/02/2022
Fishing Forecast for Next Week
Monday and Tuesday look like they’ll be exercises in mental and physical endurance – i.e. big winds/waves and rain. I’ll likely seek shelter in Devils Hole on both days and try to pick up some walleyes, bass, and kings in the process. Beyond Tuesday, the rest of the week looks great. NW winds in the teens on Wednesday will put me on Lake Erie as the rest of the region will be tough to fish. The rest of the week is calling for light and variable winds from a few directions that shouldn’t create much of a problem.
The colder temperatures will continue – YES!!! I’ve gotta put this out there – it felt SO GOOD wearing boots, bibs, and a jacket this past week. If the forecast holds, I’ll remain stoked all week in that same gear. I’ll be out most if not all days – keeping an eye on things as they develop.
The plan is to split my time between the Lower Niagara, maybe a little slice of the Upper Niagara, and definitely Lake Erie. I hope to stab a couple kings with crankbaits on the Lower Niagara. I’ll also poke around to see how the bass fishing is coming along. I’ll try to hit some of the prime lies on the Upper to see how that’s going as well. I’m betting Lake Erie will produce some biggies this upcoming week so I’m excited to spend more time out there too.
One last reminder – fall is here my friends. The calendar is packed but I’m sure I can get you in somewhere if you waited til the last minute to book. Give me a call!
Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,
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