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After some wind and wave action and the high trib outflows, small boat trollers and charters alike are back out on the open Lake Ontario waters off Point Breeze.  Over the past couple days, trollers were working outside and around the mudline at 40 - 50 fow.  Warmer nearshore waters all around from trib outflows may for now be taking away some of the love usually found mainly at the Niagara bar for good early spring action right here out of the Oak.  Now, the shallower near shore waters are clearing some - so beside the good King action in that 40 + fow of water zone, guys should be able to slide back in for brown trout action too.  Watch the weather and marine forecast ahead as things may be changeable with more rain in the forecast and stiffer East winds for the midweek.

Capt. Jon Forder from Mister Sportfishing charters found some good King action earlier this week.  "After the blow left, there was a bunch of mud in the shoreline.  We fished in and out of it and into green pockets.  We ran long lines with stickbaits and spoons on riggers in 15 - 60 fow.  The king action was non stop!"  The pics and happy anglers prove that!
Another small boat civilian Lake veteran had action on slide divers out 50, five color leadcore, riggers down 27 ft & 45 ft and a diving stick bait.  "Fish were pretty spread out in the water and we marked what was probably lakers on the bottom in 45 - 55 fow.  Almost every rod got bit, the best was probably the rigger at 27 ft down.  We worked just outside the mud that was out to about 40 - 50 fow."
Flows are on the retreat all around.  There’s a nice stretch of weather for the begin part of this week and things are drying out slightly.  Forecast ahead for mid week and end of week is for chance of rain or showers again.  Accumulations could be around 0.50 – 1.00 inch and a cooler E wind is expected Wed and Thu.  Flows in the Oak are slightly high with diminished overflow water.  There was overflow water for 2 – 3 days thru the past weekend.  As flows drop water color is improving at about 1 foot of viz.  The other area smaller waterways have med – slightly high flows with water color about 1 foot or greater of viz.  Precipitation on the future forecast could raise flows up again with stained water color.  Should still be some steelhead chances especially in the Oak since water temps have not spiked too warm yet.  Good chance some fish have dropped out back to the Lake and hopefully some of the overflow fish rode out the previous higher flows.  Look for drop back fish especially around the Archers Club area and some remaining spawning and fresh fish.  Some fish will always linger at the dam too and smallmouth bass are reported to be moving upstream in good numbers too.  Good pierhead and lakeshore casting chances now too primarily for brown trout on the backside of the previous wind and dirty water.  Hit the semi stained water chances or work the trib outfalls as that water color doesn’t look like its going away anytime soon.

In the tribs, especially the Oak, there is still good steelhead action to be had.  There does not seem to be a lot of angler pressure, with the higher and stained water possibly keeping some guys away?  Knowing though that there are only so many steelhead drifting chances ahead until the next cold water season, at least one float angler making good, deep, checked bead drifts did good around the Archer’s Club hole scoring multiple hook ups just this past weekend.  Looks like right time right presentation for some drop back action like the nice steelhead in the pic below.  Not a lot of change in the flow today from the weekend – call it slightly high but the water color is coming around to about a foot of visibility.  Chance of a near term drop in flows and more clearing, but the forecast after todays exceptional warm and clear skies is for slightly cooler and definitely wetter right thru the upcoming weekend.  So with any future significant precipitation, flows may be back on the rise and going off color again.  Other area smaller waterways have medium and slightly stained flows.  All around, the trib water temps are moving thru the 40°F's plus.  Near shore and pier casting chances were just recently finding a slight brown stain from light east winds or darker at the trib mouths like the Oak.  For now things may be looking clearer, that is until the winds that are likely on the backside of forecasted precipitation may stir things back up again.  Where you can find some stain at trib plume edges or even a touch on the clearer side, the caster can still have some success on a stealthier presentation vs a trolling spread.  A fat 10 lb brown like in the pic below is the reward for all that casting!

Trollers take notice that the Point Breeze east side launch ramps are in.  Everyone seemed to get thru the April 08 eclipse goings on ok and now its time for some serious fishing!  

Capt. Lou from Get the Net Fishing Charters says "a quick afternoon trip out of Bald Eagle Marina found the conditions perfect and the fish chewing.  We worked 10 - 15 fow for a good brown trout bite and a bonus spring King.  We ran 4 surface lines.  One rigger and one Chinook diver.  All fish came on Warrior Lures flutter XL spoons.  Many Kings were caught this past weekend, let's hope its a sign of good things to come!"
Capt. Chas from Searchers Charters most recently has found the shallower waters getting gin clear.  He says "the good water is at 40 - 60 fow and I'm fishing 20 ft down to the bottom.  There are Kings and Lakers in there going east all the way to Bald Eagle.  The Lakers do what they do but the Kings are a little more temperamental and all the hookups don't translate to all fish landed."  That's fishing, I guess, and "he's happy to get the good weather days in now during the spring."
Perch and panfish are coming on too and smallmouth bass in the tribs as things warm up.  The night time shift has been into bullheads too. 

Ten thousand (10,000) steelhead and 138,210 chinooks were received from NYSDEC hatchery personnel for the Oak Orchard pen rearing project on April 2.  The fish are placed in downstream pens and fed and cared for over the next 3 – 4 weeks before release.  Salmon numbers are another increase after the 2023 increase and represent NYSDEC’s findings of greater preyfish numbers moving forward.  These stocking numbers represent just some of the stocking allotment for Oak Orchard with more direct stocked steelhead, browns, lakers and Atlantics to follow.  Many thanks to all involved including Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina, NYSDEC, hatchery personnel, Orleans County Tourism, Seth Green Chapter TU, charter captains and all the volunteers.  Efforts are underway here in all the Orleans County waters to secure a brighter and better fishy future!

Here’s some eclipse info relevant to anglers that may be in the area around that time…  The eclipse will take place on Apr 08, 2024 and Orleans County is squarely in the area of totality happening mid afternoon.  This event has the potential to bring a significant amount of people to the area before, during and after the event.  There is the potential for traffic congestion or difficulty in moving around.  Of particular note is that the public boat launches at Point Breeze both east and west side will be closed on Mon Apr 08.  Private launches at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina and Captains Cove will be available as alternative sites.

Anglers, both trib and Lake, are into spring action.  Think steelhead in the Oak and browns in the near shore Lake Ontario waters.  Check out Lindsey’s nice steelhead below from the Oak just last week.  This week’s so far cool weather is not causing any great warm up in trib water temps at least for now.  And there is the chance for a good amount of precipitation thru this week’s forecast going over to snow chances for the end of week or weekend.  So with the chance for rising and cool flows there could be the chance for fresh fish migrations that may well be some of the last push of steelhead this season. 

For now flows are moderate and mostly clear in the Oak where there has been light fishing pressure.  The other area smaller waterways have low and clear flows.  With any significant precipitation there is the chance for trib flows going high and off color.  Near shore cast or troll chances are yielding a good number of brown trout hook ups when anglers find agreeable water and wave action.  Strong east winds thru the mid week period don’t look conducive for boating or near shore chances but on the backside of the weather when that semi stained green water hangs in there should be some eager brown trout biters!

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