Buffalo NY Fishing Report – 12/17/2023

by | Dec 17, 2023

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Observations from 12/11/2023 – 12/17/2023

Here’s our latest Buffalo NY fishing report:  I was WAY OFF in my last report – the weather this past week didn’t quite turn out as forecasted.  I managed to get out on Monday…that’s it.  Later that evening, the winds kicked up and didn’t stop for a few days.  Huge waves muddied up the system and it stayed that way all week.  However, it’s coming into shape as I type this, and we should have a good week ahead of us.  Keep reading for more details.

Days on the Water: 1

Who we fished with: friends/clients

Where we fishedLower Niagara

What we caught:  lake trout, steelhead

Tactics: 3-way rig with live bait, beads, or plugs; drop shots, bucktail jigs, swimbaits

Episode 72 of Two Angles on Angling:  After a week of big winds, waves, snow, and rain, our discussion about our time on the water is brief.  Considering that both of us spent much of the week cooped up, Jordan and I get deep about the content we’ve been consuming.  From movies to podcasts to books, we discuss the various subjects that are grabbing our attention lately and why. https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/two-angles-on-angling

Detailed Reporting/Daily Observations

Weather Breakdown

Monday – Fished the Lower Niagara with Matt, Jim, and Justin.  These guys have been fishing with me for the past 4 years or so and are all excellent anglers.  A stiff NW wind kept us confined to Devils Hole.  Steadily degrading water clarity throughout the day further complicated matters.  It was a grind, but we managed to have a good time and boat some quality fish.




Tuesday – I blocked this day off to get some cosmetic work done on the boat – the wrap and some of the non-skid needed repair.  Huge wind throughout the day would have made a session extremely difficult anyway. 

Wednesday – Muddy water – didn’t fish

Thursday – Muddy water – didn’t fish

Friday – Muddy water – didn’t fish

Saturday – Slightly windy, but otherwise pleasant weather.  However, I looked at the water clarity the evening prior and it was marginal at best.  So, I rescheduled my trip.  I ended up going to the Lewiston launch in the morning just to see who ended up going out and how the water looked.  A handful of boats made it out and the water clarity improved markedly overnight.  Still, there was maybe 2′ of visibility – good enough – but not great.  I made the right call.  

Sunday – The water clarity improved even more.  Temperatures in the 40s with a consistent rain kept me off the water.  

Seasonal Assessment/General Observations

On the Conditions

Sorry, folks – I don’t have anything enlightening to add this week considering that I only fished one day and spent that entire day in one zone.  I will say that action SHOULD BE excellent once the weather stabilizes.  Water temperatures are still in the mid-40s, and clouds of bait continue to be everywhere.  With the brown trout and lake trout spawn being over, meat is the menu item of choice for all the regional game fish, and everything is gorging on it now.

Buffalo NY Fishing Report – Forecast for 12/18/2023 – 12/24/2023

Weather Breakdown

    I’m always apprehensive about offering a prediction about the upcoming week after getting is so wrong in the previous report.  Still, I’ve gotta go for it anyway.  I’m optimistic about the forecast – I think I’ll be able to spend most of the week on the water.

    After a big drop in temperatures and a little bit of snow early in the week, it looks like things will stabilize and east winds will be the norm for the back half.  If those east winds remain in the single digits, everything – from Erie to Ontario – will be in play all week long.  So long as this forecast holds, water clarity won’t be an issue throughout.

    There’s a really good chance I’ll end up fishing Lake Erie, the Upper, the Lower, and Lake Ontario throughout the week.  I’m only booked a couple of days (if you’re looking for an opportunity to get out to escape holiday madness, call ASAP), but I’ll fish with friends and family on the “non-booked” days if I don’t get any last-minute calls.  I really need some biggie smalls in my life – but I’m very curious about the steelhead situation in the lower.  I’m also wondering if any more kings are hanging around the bar.  There’s lots to do and it looks like we’ll have the weather to do it.  I hope to see you out there.

    Stay healthy my friends – mentally and physically,