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Even with above-average water temperatures, trout and salmon exhibit their predictable autumnal activities as daylight shortens.
Warm-water species such as bass, walleye, the pike family and assorted panfish all present anglers with moves and schooling patterns that often become less predictable than salmon sprees and trout treks as the fall season starts to unfold.
Bass can appear in area shallows the way smallies - and especially largemouth bass - might. Crappie, bluegill and many a yellow perch also begin strafing shoreline shallows in search of the larger minnows that disappeared from deeper structure edges.
Night trollers traditionally see an uptick in musky and walleye activity. In the Buffalo area, walleye trollers report more activity than those into musky mania.
Take along baits and lure bodies that work in warmer or cooler conditions. The bite right now can vary as a result of what fishing experts call a transitional period.
Try holding a live bait stock still; give a slow-moving body bait an occasional sweep to see if anyone is chasing. The bite could come from anywhere right now. Poke around and give lures variations in depth, movement and retrieval speeds.
Lake Erie
Bait schools have moved closer to shore as surface temperatures dropped into the upper 60s. But fish buckets list best when boaters get over depths of 60 to 65 feet between Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek.
Shore casters and waders along larger creeks are seeing some nice trout movement.
Fish can rarely get into the smaller feeders, but waders at the mouth of Eighteen Mile Creek and around Cattaraugus Creek (along the breakwater and well upstream) have seen and hooked into fair numbers and mixed sizes of rainbow/steelhead trout.
"We need a lot more rain," said Dave Watts at Dave's Bait & Tackle in Derby, adding, "but at least the fish [trout] are starting to show at the mouth of the creeks."
Casters have done well with spinners, Little Cleo spoons and other heavy casting spoons around creek mouths. Egg sacks as well as hardware connect in stream currents.
Niagara River
The lower river salmon bite is at or near its peak, according to charter captain Frank Campbell.
Shore casters are doing well off the power plant fishing platform; boaters drift either egg sacks or Kwikfish for mature kings.
Lake Ontario
King salmon at Oak Orchard Creek have made it up to the Waterport Dam, with some steelies but no browns as company.
Kings have also found their way into Eighteen Mile Creek at Olcott, Sandy Creek, Johnson's Creek near the Oak. But smaller feeders are still hurting for enough water to draw a salmon run.

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