Buffalo NY Fishing Report – 11/26/2023

by | Nov 26, 2023

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Observations from 11/20/2023 – 11/26/2023

Here’s our latest Buffalo NY fishing report:  Time with friends and family took priority over angling this past week, but we managed to spend 4 days on the water.  As forecasted, the weather was hostile for a few of the days with frigid temperatures, precipitation, and stiff winds, but the fish didn’t seem to mind.  Action remains excellent, but the pattern of life is changing underwater.  Keep reading for more details.

Days on the Water: 4

Who we fished with: friends/clients

Where we fishedLower Niagara, Lake Ontario

What we caught:  smallmouth bass, lake trout, brown trout, steelhead, king salmon, walleye

Tactics: 3-way rig with live bait, beads, or plugs

Episode 69 of Two Angles on Angling:  Jordan and I spend the entire session discussing what’s been happening on the water. We both fished this past week and have plenty to discuss about the current pattern and what to expect in the upcoming weeks.  We’re going to restructure the show in the upcoming weeks.  Stay tuned for a new format.  https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/two-angles-on-angling

Detailed Reporting/Daily Observations

Weather Breakdown

Monday – We fished the Lower Niagara in pursuit of the trout slam.  Mission accomplished.  It was a tough day with big crowds and clients that were new to fishing the Lower, but we made it work.  




Tuesday – Heavy rain, cold temps, and a BIG NE wind caused me to reschedule my trip.            




Wednesday – Fished the Lower Niagara and Lake Ontario in pursuit of the trout slam (+) (the “+” indicates brown trout, lake trout, steelhead, PLUS something else – either a king salmon, smallmouth bass, or walleye).  The forecast was slightly off in that the winds didn’t kick in as early as expected.  We took advantage of that by heading straight to Lake Ontario.  Action was immediate and consistent.  Then, a stiff N wind started to kick up so we pushed upriver and continued to slay.  What a day!



Thursday  – Thanksgiving – took the day off.




Friday – Frigid temperatures, a closed boat launch in Lewiston, and a big NW wind posed challenges to getting on the water.  Launching from some sketchy, wind exposed, ramps on the Lower Niagara wasn’t gonna happen.  Lake Erie would’ve been the only option for the day.  Although I have the gear (water proof bib and coat for below freezing temperatures), my clients didn’t have that kind of equipment.  We opted to reschedule vs enduring pain.    




Saturday – It was another busy day on the Lower Niagara, but I had some great company and we had a blast.  The lake trout were all fired up.  Good times with awesome folks.  




Sunday – Fished the Lower Niagara and Lake Ontario with the Whisperer, the Silent Assassin, and Captain America.  I’m still trying to process the day.  It was incredible.  We boated a couple kings, a bunch of browns (none worth taking a photo of), lots of lakers, some steel, smalljaws (just because), and 2 wicked, walleyes – one was the biggest I’ve ever seen in person.  Yeah, that’s a lot of alliteration and yes, it was a lot of fish.  Count ’em – that’s 6 species in one outing.  I’m stoked it happened with clan Jarosz. 

Seasonal Assessment/General Observations

On the Conditions

Well, it’s finally getting cold and starting to feel like we’re at the doorstep of winter.  However, the water temperatures are still warm (49 as of this writing) – a few degrees warmer than the historical average but nothing noteworthy.  In other words, it may be cold outside, but the underwater action is still hot.  With all the bait and eggs around, the fall feed ain’t over yet.

Smallmouth Bass

I’m ashamed to say that I don’t have any commentary about the smallmouth bass bite.  I’ve been unsuccessful in convincing my clients to fish Lake Erie…and I get it.  I mean, I have to think of it in a non-smallmouth biased way (which is hard for me).

Given the following options, it’s fairly obvious what folks will choose:

  • The opportunity to catch entertaining numbers of large, hard fighting fish – a few different species too – while holding a rod (in other words, the angler hooks, fights, and reels them in vs. hauls them in after a hook up like when trolling).  Crowds will likely be an issue, but that’s part of the experience.
  • The option of catching large numbers of chunky smallmouth bass.  Crowds won’t be an issue at all.  In fact, it’s entirely possible you won’t see another angler.

So, the bass bite on Lake Erie will remain a mystery to me for another week or so.  Everything remains the same on the Lower Niagara.  As I mentioned last week, I’ve spent very little time targeting them.  However, every time I do, we boat a few fish.  Nothing giant lately, but all very healthy.


The lake trout and brown trout spawn has been going on for a few weeks now and their eggs are still on the menu for both those fish, plus steelhead.  However, that can’t last too much longer.  There will come a time in the not-so-distant future where all the trout in the system will convert to eating fish (bait) over eggs.  Bottom line, if you’re fishing the Lower Niagara for trout, beads will likely be the best bait for the next 10 days or so.  However, keep some minnows or 3-4” white Mr. Twisters handy for when the bead bite slows down.

In the interest of spreading out/not beating up a single zone:  if you’re in pursuit of trout, the Lake Ontario bar is an excellent option right now too.  Every day is different out there, so keep an eye on the forecast.  If there’s a light west or south wind blowing, the action can be incredible and boat control is easy to manage.  Negotiating the crowds will be your main obstacle – as it often is this time of year.  Pulling plugs or drifting live bait are the most reliable tactics, but jigging swim baits and ripping blade baits can be a riot too.

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Forecast for 11/27/2023 – 12/03/2023

Weather Breakdown

    If the forecast for this upcoming week holds, Mother Nature is going to hand out the first real beat down of the season.  With the water temperatures now in the 40s and a couple days 30mph+ W winds at the beginning of the week (plus some rain), a blow out is likely in store.  NOAA already issued gale warnings for Lake Erie and Lake Ontario starting tonight.  They’re forecasting waves over 10’.  If that happens, chocolate milk is in our future. 

    If we’re lucky, the wind won’t be that bad and things will clear up enough to be fishable by Thursday.  Worst case scenario, Saturday will be alright.  I’ll be monitoring the water color daily, so if you’re on the calendar for this upcoming week, please stay flexible and be prepared for some last minute calls. 

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens after this.  Muddy water and raging current caused by all that wind will surely push a lot of eggs out of the system.  Plus, angling pressure will be near zero so real-time info won’t be available.  There’s only one way to find out.  I’ll see you out there my friends. 

    Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,