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Buffalo, NY Fishing: The Reemergence of the City of Lights

Buffalo, NY Fishing: The Reemergence of the City of Lights
Published: Saturday, March 20th, 2021
Updated on: Sunday, June 6th, 2021

Buffalo may not have been a popular tourist destination before (thanks mainly to its industrial past—not to mention it’s the second-most populous city in the state next only to NYC) but with the transformation of the city in the past years, it is slowly becoming one of the favorite tourist spots in the region. 

Most of you would probably assume many come here just because it’s just minutes away from Niagara Falls (although yes, it is still one of the city’s major tourist draw) but, nope, the majestic waterfall isn’t just what visitors come here for with the many attractions the city has now to offer. In fact, it’s become a cultural hotspot in recent years; what with the number of art galleries and museums spread around the city, the recent boom of its party scene, its burgeoning craft beer scene, and of course, the architectural gems in its historic neighborhoods just to name a few. Buffalo is also littered with world-class hotels, charming bed & breakfasts, and comfortable bed and breakfast places that you wouldn’t have any problems looking for a place to settle in. The city is situated along the eastern shores of the scenic Lake Erie. And with the construction of parks and trails along one of the Great Lake’s shores, not to mention the rolling hills, cavernous ravines, and towering forests along the city’s borders, it has become a mecca for urban outdoor adventures. 

So, it really seems Buffalo has turned full circle the past decades when it comes to providing guests and locals alike with a place to spend their vacation. It’s where one can enjoy a number of fun things to do without having to leave the comforts of a metropolitan city. 

Buffalo Fishing

With Buffalo’s close proximity to two Great Lakes—namely Lake Erie and Lake Ontario—an angler looking for an adventure will definitely have a great time here. Not only do these bodies of water support huge populations of popular game fish such as perchsteelheadsmallmouth basstrout, walleyeand salmon, you’d be treated to some of the most awesome views in the country. And because there are literally hundreds of fishing charters and guides operating in the city, finding your next favorite fishing spot is going to be a breeze as these seasoned guides have all the know-how in where you can best cast your line to catch a trophy fish. 

If you’re not really into fishing on a boat or if you don’t feel like going to one of the Great Lakes, there is also a variety of inland ponds, streams, rivers, and creeks just within the city limits where you can try your luck fly fishing onshore for rock bass, bluegill, carp, Northern pike, and brown trout. 


Buffalo’s Top Fishing Locations

If you’re planning a fishing trip in Buffalo, NY, here are some of the best fishing spots in and around the City of Lights:

The Great Lakes

Lake Erie on the city’s western side and Lake Ontario just a few minutes’ drive north of Buffalo don’t really need any introduction as they’re two of the most famous fishing locations in the world.


Buffalo River

With the water flowing from Lake Erie, this bountiful river just on the western shores of the city is great for catching largemouth bass, bluegill, bullhead, suckers, and steelhead trout. You can cast your line from different fishing access points including the Harlem Road Fishing area, Bailey Avenue Peninsula, Mutual Riverfront Park, Red Jacket River Front Park, and Ohio Street Boat Launch.


Erie Canal

You can target some prized game fish from the Widewaters Park shoreline fishing areas, including largemouth bass, rock bass, smallmouth bass, and bluegill.


Hyde Park Lake

It’s a lake within an outdoor recreation park and a golf course that’s just a few minutes’ drive northward from the city and a couple of miles east of Niagara Falls. The lake is restocked with trout every year, but largemouth bass, carp, bullhead, catfish, and panfish can also be caught here.


Niagara River

A river that connects the two great lakes Ontario and Erie? Of course, there are going to be plenty of fishing opportunities here. There are also more than ten fishing access around the river including Joseph Davis State Park, Fort Niagara State Park, Lewiston Landing, Artpark State Park, and NYPA Fishing Platform, to name a few. Plus, you can catch pretty much any fish species you can catch from the Great Lakes with including different types of bass, trout, salmon, and perch.


Top Ten Fish Species in Buffalo, NY

The top ten fish species in Buffalo are smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, brown trout, rainbow trout, northern pike, chinook salmon, coho salmon, steelhead, muskieand walleye.

Buffalo, NY Fishing: The Reemergence of the City of Lights Fish species
Smallmouth Bass 
Smallmouth Bass  fish

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 4 Pounds

Length: 12" - 27"

American Yellow Perch
American Yellow Perch fish

Habitat: River, Lake, Backcountry

Weight: 1 - 4 Pounds

Length: 1" - 10"

Brown Trout
Brown Trout fish

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 2 - 40 Pounds

Length: 13" - 39"

Steelhead Trout
Steelhead Trout fish

Habitat: Coastal, rivers

Weight: 2 - 35 Pounds

Length: 12" - 46"

Common Carp
Common Carp fish

Habitat: River, Lake, Backcountry

Weight: 5 - 100 Pounds

Length: 16" - 47"

Walleye fish

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 10 Pounds

Length: 12" - 42"

Northern Pike
Northern Pike fish

Habitat: Onshore

Weight: 2 - 34 Pounds

Length: 16" - 29"

Bluegill  fish

Habitat: Lake, Pond, River

Weight: 1 - 2 Pounds

Length: 6" - 16"

Buffalo’s Seasonal Fishing

Many of us don’t have the luxury of time that we can drop everything we’re doing and head out to a body of water and fish anytime we want. Good thing, though, that Buffalo is one of those places that actually offer all-year-round fishing, so yes, you can come here any time you’re free.  Targeting certain fish species? Here’s a quick rundown on the fish species you can expect to catch every month:

January – Go ice fishing in Lakes Erie and Ontario for northern pike, brown trout, and perch.

February – Ice fishing for walleye and perch is still in full blast at both Great Lakes, or you can target some lake trout or pike on the Niagara River.

March – With the ice melting a bit, you can catch some steelhead, muskie, or pike in the deeper parts of the Great Lakes.

April – Lake and brown trout, steelhead, perch, walleye, chinook, and coho salmon are some of the species you catch this month.

May – Salmon, walleye, and trout are known to be more actively biting during this month.

June – This is the best month to target some muskie, salmon, walleye, and smallmouth bass around the city’s waterways.

July – It’s summertime, and you can pretty much target most fish species now, with salmon, trout, and walleye among some of the top targets.

August – Fall is fast approaching, but the bodies of water around the city are still teeming with active salmon, walleye, trout, and bass.

September – With the temperature slowly dropping, king and coho salmon are becoming a bit aggressive. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are beginning to make their way to the rocks and vegetation near the lake beds.

October – Lakes Ontario and Erie, as well as Niagara River, are teeming with quality steelhead, salmon, brown trout, perch, and walleye 

November – Jumbo perch and rainbow, brown, and lake trout are best fished during this month.

December – Much like January, northern pike, brown trout, and perch can be caught via ice fishing during the holiday month, with the king salmon also making their rare appearance.


Buffalo, More than Just the Wings

1.Fishing Charters

Consider fishing charters to maximize your trip. Expert guides would know where and when exactly to take you.


2. The Buffalo Wing Trail

Yes, a trip to Buffalo wouldn’t be complete without trying out those world-famous chicken wings where it originally came from. This time, however, the preparation goes well beyond the traditional deep-fried fried wings soaked in hot sauce and butter as there are so many unique variants available now in each of the thirteen pubs along the Buffalo Wing Trail. 


3. Escape Room Games

It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s a great way to bond with your family or friends. There are many escape room game centers in the city—you can either choose one, or you can try them all out. Some of the most popular include the Lock & Key Escape Room, the 5 Wits Buffalo, the 3600 Escape, and the Enigma Escape Rooms. If you haven’t tried this before, then you’re in for a real treat!