CANADA: Lake Ontario, Upper & Lower Niagara River

Lake Ontario and tributaries – From below zero temperatures to 60 degrees in the matter of a week. Throw in some extreme wind conditions and Mother Nature has kept anglers guessing as to how, when and where they can go fishing. The back bay in Wilson Harbor had some ice cover, but with the amount of rain we received and the warm temperatures on Tuesday and Wednesday, hard water anglers will have to wait for the cold temperatures to set things back up again. One of the best open water spots will be 18 Mile Creek in the Town of Newfane. In 18 Mile Creek, steelhead and the occasional brown trout are both available for casters around Fisherman’s Park. Best bait has been a small jig fished under a float and tipped with a wax worm. That said, with all the rain that has been pouring down mid-week, look for all the streams to be high and muddy going into the weekend. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this will undoubtedly attract new fish into the systems so when things settle down and start to clear, go after them! Lake Ontario tributaries are eligible in the Niagara River Anglers steelhead contest on Feb. 16 so keep that in mind.

Lower Niagara River – In the lower river, shore fishermen and boat drifters can target trout from the gorge to Artpark. Boaters have the advantage because fish are spread out all the way to Lake Ontario. However, if the water turns dirty, which it was starting to change over on Wednesday, the shore fishermen have the advantage in that the clearer water is usually in tight to shore in the gorge area. If the winds cooperate, the Niagara Bar has been a good spot for lake trout and browns. Minnows or banana baits like Kwikfish or Mag Lips can catch fish all winter long using a three-way rig to get your baits to the bottom. Remember that the Niagara River Anglers Assn. is holding its annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead contest on Feb. 16 and both shore and boat anglers are eligible to compete. Check out www.niagarariveranglers.com.

Upper Niagara River – With the water turning muddy on Wednesday and 50 mile per hour winds in the forecast for Thursday, you can pretty much rule out any fishing for a few days. If the waters do clear, you can try for trout at the head of the river or around the upper rapids areas.

Lake Ontario Outdoors