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    fishing Report for Western new york                                                                                                                                               with Ron Schroder

WESTERN/CENTRAL NEW YORK FISHING REPORT

4 - 3 - 20   

 

*TIP #1: Anglers must continue to follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, as well as colds and flu:

• Keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others.

• Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging and kissing.

• Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

• Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails and playground equipment.

The DEC recommends avoiding busy waters. If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, they should consider going to another parking lot. If an angler is fishing upstream, they should fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day.

 

*TIP #2: The "New York State on PAUSE" Executive Order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone during the COVID-19 response, includes a directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason. At this time, fishing guides or charters of any size have been determined to be not essential and are subject to workforce reduction requirements of the Executive Order. 

 

*TIP #3: RENEW YOUR FISHING LICENSE: Now that your annual fishing license is good for 365 days from the date of purchase, it is very easy to forget when it expires. Be sure to check the expiration date before heading out. Anglers desiring to receive an e-mail reminder to renew their fishing license each year should be sure to add their e-mail address to their DECALS profile.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Perch action in the lake is starting to turn on in 50 to 65 feet of water from a variety of locations – off Buffalo, Evangola, Sturgeon Point and Silver Creek, for starters. Minnows fished on or just off the bottom are working. Some limit catches were reported. Reports indicate that small to moderate perch schools are slowly roving around. The key to a limit catch is to find a school and stay on them. Remember Lake Erie has a special trophy bass season that is now a go. Boat launches at Barcelona, Dunkirk, Cattaraugus Creek and Buffalo are open. Launch docks are in place at Buffalo Harbor, but may not be at other launch sites. You may need waders and possibly a step ladder. Sturgeon Point Marina has access issues with the sand bar and is closed. Inner Buffalo Harbor anglers are catching smaller yellow perch with the occasional keeper mixed in.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: The creeks should be running in good fishing shape. The exception is Cattaraugus Creek which remains a little high with a heavy stain. Without additional precipitation, the Catt could be ready in a couple days. There are still decent numbers of steelhead around, along with plenty of suckers, and some smallmouth bass are starting to show. Spring run steelhead hit a variety of baits including egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads, jigs with grubs or twister tails, minnows, worms, streamer patterns, and bugger patterns. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Emerald shiners are schooling in many harbors and marinas around the upper Niagara River, attracting yellow perch. Catches of some good sized perch have been reported in Grand Island marinas. Emerald shiners area available for dipping at marina/harbor sites and work great for perch. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs may produce rainbow trout catches from Broderick Park and Bird Island Pier.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Trout action is still solid. The river remains a bit cloudy. Recently the upper drifts have been productive for boaters and the gorge section has been best for shore anglers. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs and live shiners, cured shiners, pink egg sacs, trout beads and Kwikfish work well for boaters. From shore, casting spoons, jigs or spinners will work. Drifting egg sacs or egg imitations will also produce a trout or two. Remember social distancing. If someone is fishing a spot, say in the lower Niagara River from shore, pay attention to how they are fishing the area, too. If the river current takes their lure downriver and they are working the shoreline back up, make sure you are giving adequate distancing from that individual for more than just the virus. It will be more than 6 feet. In fact, ask them if it’s okay. Common courtesy can go a long way toward a better angling experience for everyone. The water temperature is about right for smelt dipping, however there has been no sign of them close to shore yet. Be aware that walleye season closed on March 15. The New York Power Authority angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline and parking lot) typically was to open for the season on April 1, weather permitting. (No word.)

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Lake Ontario's spring shoreline bite is off to a good start. From the Niagara Bar to Rochester, trollers are picking up solid numbers of brown trout, with some steelhead, lake trout and the odd chinook salmon mixed in. Key on depths of 8-20 feet of water. Action tends to be better in slightly murky waters (not muddy) and in areas with slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. Spring casting at pier sites can also be productive for brown trout, as long as there is greenish water within casting range. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. All the launch ramps are open in the state parks here, as well as the town launch in Wilson. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Steelhead catches are starting to taper off in the Lake Ontario tributaries, but there are still decent numbers of fish around in Eighteenmile, Oak Orchard and Johnson Creeks. Anglers are reporting more catches of suckers and the first of the smallmouth bass as well. Niagara and Orleans County streams are running low and clear at report time. Downsize lines and baits/flies to trick spooky trout. Spring casting at pier sites can also be productive for brown trout, as long as there is greenish water within casting range. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Be aware of the following regulation changes in the Lake Ontario tributaries as of April 1st. The brown trout daily limit has been reduced to 1 (down from 3 in combination) and the rainbow trout/steelhead minimum size has been increased to 25 inches (up from 21 inches).Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.  Bullhead are available in the harbors and lower sections of streams. Twelvemile Creek, Wilson-Tuscarora Harbor, Olcott Harbor and Golden Hill State Park are traditionally productive spots. Common bullhead baits include nightcrawlers, raw shrimp, chicken livers, dead minnows/cut bait and prepared baits.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Crappie catches are improving in the open lake, while the canals are producing mostly catches of smaller crappie and yellow perch with some keeper-sized crappie mixed in. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville. Key on areas around green weeds and structure. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube (or other small plastic) and fished under a float, works well for crappie. Look for bullhead along the shorelines, especially during low light periods. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.) (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are at good levels. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. If fishing some colored water, try wooly buggers or streamer patterns in a variety of colors. Sometimes baitfish take on a pale hue in winter, so white is never a bad option. Make sure you’re breaking the surface of the water and getting into the strike zone as the water is cold and fish are sluggish. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners.  If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*SILVER LAKE:  No current reports on the bite.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: No current reports on the bite except a few bullhead are starting to show up. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. Also closed, walleye, tiger musky and pike. A few pike and walleye are starting to show up in the Inlet – nothing major yet. (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HEMLOCK LAKE: No current on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CANADICE LAKE: No current reports on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HONEOYE LAKE: No current info on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE:  Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 30 to 90 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 75 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-25 feet of water using worms as bait. At either the north or south end. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: It’s open water fishing but we have no reports on the bite. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported good on the lake fishing off the points. Try trolling or jigging at 35-65 feet in 80-100 feet of water with Spin Doctors, white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 65 to 75 foot of water is also producing some lake trout, especially at the south end. Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 40 to 75 feet over 90 to 180 feet of water. The lakers caught were full of perch. Yellow perch were being caught on small jigs fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. Lots of rock bass in 15 – 25 feet of water.  Bass season is closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SENECA LAKE: Browns and Atlantic salmon are hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 75 to 150 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been catching lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. Lower lake temps are down into the low 40s.  Lake trout now have run of the entire lake from shallow to deep and everywhere in between.  Lake trout are being taken in 85 – 130  feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 75 to 100 foot level over a 150 to 300 foot bottom. Flashers and flies, and cowbells with spin-n-glo's are working. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. Look for yellow perch on the north end. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. Look for largemouth bass (catch & release) on the north end near shore and around any weed beds. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. The lake level is currently low so plan accordingly for launching, for example you may want hip boots. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Trolling 25 to 50 feet down with small spoons is working for trout and salmon. Rainbows are starting to hit for anglers fishing from shore with the time-tested marshmallow and worm rig. Smallmouth bass are also being taken near shore by anglers. Fishing tube baits, wacky rigged stickworms, jerkbaits or drop-shot rigs in 10 to 20 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass, panfish, rock bass and some perch. Remember bass are catch & release/artificals only. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at 15 - 35 feet. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*OWASCO LAKE: Anglers are catching perch on the north end of the lake using fathead minnows and minnow-like, swimbaits. For the swimbaits, get them close to, or on the bottom and reel slow, occasionally jigging them. Weather permitting, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (catch & release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*OTISCO LAKE: Try shore or boat fishing. No reports on the bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are at fishable levels. No reports on the Finger Lakes tribs. Fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.  Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Activity is rather quiet now as ice fishing has ended. Just a reminder, walleye season is closed and does not reopen until the first Saturday in May. Some reports of crappie being caught are coming from this water. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: Activity is rather quiet now on the pond as ice fishing has ended. Just a reminder that walleye and northern pike seasons are closed and do not reopen until the first Saturday in May. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on fishing activity. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: It’s now fishing from shore or a boat. Just remember walleye season is closed and doesn’t reopen until the first Saturday in May. The Cleveland Dock Fishing Access Site is CLOSED until further notice due to site improvement construction. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ;  Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first.  (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST:  Weather permitting, the lake is providing some brown trout fishing on stickbaits and spoons (Bay Rat shallow divers, Southwick and Rapala). Start trolling at 20 feet. Natural colors have been best in clear water. Brighter colors are working when the water is stained. They will concentrate around creek and river mouths looking for warmer water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are at good fishable levels. Steelhead are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a good flow of water. You can fish either side of Lake Road. The south side has some nice pools considering Maxwell is one of the smaller streams. The bait is the usual mix, nothing elaborate. You can drop shot some egg sacs under a torpedo bobber. Throw it out and let if drift down the stream. Bright beads are also working. There are also some steelhead coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. 

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Perch are in Port and Sodus Bays. Schools are in 20 feet of water and some are shallower, three to ten feet. The best bait right now is white minnow rubber bait, 2 inches. Tip it with spikes. The most productive presentation is a sinker on the bottom with your hook tied 15 inches above. On the canal, crappies are being caught near the Port Gibson Bridge. You can launch a boat at Widewaters or fish the canal from the shore. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  Anglers are fishing from shore or using a boat and some nice perch are being taken. Brown trout are reported showing up in the lake shallows so keep an eye on Braddock Bay and the piers at the mouth of the Genesee. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SALMON RIVER: Fishing has been up and down lately with the flow of the river. Good size, fresh steelhead have been reported. Some anglers are finding a good bite, while a few others are without a tug on the line. For those anglers who are fly fishing the most productive patterns have been stoneflies with glo bugs and wooly bugger type patterns also taking strikes. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms, trout beads and marabou jigs have all produced results. Both float fishing and bottom bouncing have been working, if not having action with one method try the other as it does seem to make a difference depending on the day and location. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season is now open. (Salmon River Pools Tutorial Video. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GTv_FSz8mY&list=PLlWqnCjYul-QrKK15mfz7iTwkuOXGR83o&index=7)

 

*OSWEGO RIVER: The Oswego River is running high and dirty with the rain. With that in mind, high water spots along the shore should produce steelhead in the days to come as the water clears up. Beads, jigs, and egg sacs either fished under a float or bottom bouncing are working. Fathead minnows, night crawlers, spikes, meal worms and egg sacs are suggested live bait. Float fishing marabou jigs is an effective technique for catching trout along Lake Ontario tributaries especially in the spring.

Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

*OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are running high. Be careful. Once it settles, the fishing should resume for smallmouth bass. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters (catch & release). Try cut-bait or worms for the catfish. Also available are bullhead and panfish. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html)

DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking trout. As of Friday March 27, the following waters have been stocked:

Broome County- Dudley Creek (March 20), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (March 20), and Nanticoke Creek (March 20).

Onondaga County -is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery, their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and stocking reports can also be seen at fishonondagacounty (leaves DEC website). As of March 17 the following streams have been stocked: Geddes Brook, Spruce Pond, Onondaga Creek, Tannery Creek, Furnace Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, Carpenter's Brook, and Ninemile Creek.

Tioga County- East Branch Owego Creek (March 19), Owego Creek (March 19), and West Branch Owego Creek (March 20).

Tompkins County-Fall Creek (March 19), and Salmon Creek (March 19).

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

*THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

APRIL 2020

1 - Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (See fishing regulation guide. Great Lakes and tributaries as well as some inland waters are open all year)(>10/15)

1 - Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

3-5 - 8th Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club. (4/3 5:00 pm – 4/5 1:00 pm) The contest is simple. Best two bullheads based on total weight will win the top prizes. Tiebreaker is total length for those two fish. You may only fish in Niagara County waters. The weigh-in will take place at the club, located at 2934 Wilson Cambria Road, Wilson, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Awards to follow. Register at CMC Auto Repair in Wilson or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott. You can also register through PayPal. (For more information contact Eric at 716-628-6078.)

4 - 13th Annual Trout Derby, 2020 headquarted at the Phelps Fire Hall, 77 Ontario Street, Phelps, NY (Sunrise – 12:30 pm) The fishing area for the derby is Canandaigua Outlet & Flint Creek. Weigh-In: BY 12:45pm, At Headquarters: Phelps Fire Hall. (Entry fee: Adults $10 / 15 & Under $5 (Due by 4/2/20 @ 5:00 PM. The fee includes: Entry to the derby and a chance to win a Lake Ontario Fishing Charter (donated by Scream'n Reel Charters) (For information contact Michael Vienna? 585-752-0863.)

4-5 - Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds, off Route 353, Little Valley NY. (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) ($5.00 admission) (For information call Jim Miller at 716-938-6928)

4-5 – Tri-County Trout Derby headquarted at the Arcade Fire Department, 145 North St, Arcade, NY (Fishing starts 5:00 am both days.) (Entry Fee: Adult Registration – $20/After March 16 – $30/Child Registration (12 and under)  $20) Register at Arcade Area Chamber of Commerce Office, Machias Outdoors, Pioneer Motorsport or on line. Registration Pick-Up Friday, April 3rd, 2:00 – 7:00 pm at Pioneer Motorsport, 12220 Route 16, Chaffee, NY. Prizes: Trophy ($750); Rainbow Trout ($500); Cast-Off ($400); Bobber ($250); Jig ($200); and Lunker ($100). (For information cal 585-492-5103 or email office@arcadechamber.org.)

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3 - 27 - 20

TIP #1: Anglers must continue to follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, as well as colds and flu:
• Keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and others.
• Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
• Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
• Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails and playground equipment.
The DEC recommends avoiding busy waters. If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, they should consider going to another parking lot. If an angler is fishing upstream, they should fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day.

TIP #2: SEASON CHANGES:
March 31 - Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am B 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section 2 mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)
APRIL 1 - Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (See fishing regulation guide. Great Lakes and tributaries as well as some inland waters are open all year)(>10/15)
APRIL 1 - Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

TIP #3: RENEW YOUR FISHING LICENSE: Now that your annual fishing license is good for 365 days from the date of purchase, it is very easy to forget when it expires. Be sure to check the expiration date before heading out. Anglers desiring to receive an e-mail reminder to renew their fishing license each year should be sure to add their e-mail address to their DECALS profile.

LAKE ERIE: Perch action in the lake is starting to turn on in 50 to 60 feet of water from a variety of locations – off Buffalo, Evangola, Sturgeon Point and Silver Creek, for starters. Minnows fished on or just off the bottom are working. Off Evans Bar they’re reported a little deeper at 60 – 65 feet. Some limit catches were reported. Remember Lake Erie has a special trophy bass season that is now a go. Launch docks are in place at Buffalo Harbor, but may not be at other launch sites. You may need waders and possibly a step ladder. Sturgeon Point Marina has access issues with the sand bar and is closed. Inner Buffalo Harbor anglers are catching smaller yellow perch with the occasional keeper mixed in.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: There has been a decent steelhead bite on the Lake Erie tributaries this week. Fish seem to be spread throughout the creeks rather than stacked up in select spots, so anglers covering more ground have generally caught more fish. Spring run steelhead hit a variety of baits including egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads, jigs with grubs or twister tails, minnows, worms, streamer patterns, and bugger patterns. The trout action is starting to wind down as suckers are starting to show up in the streams. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Emerald shiners are schooling in many harbors and marinas around the upper Niagara River, attracting yellow perch. Catches of some good sized perch have been reported in Grand Island marinas. Emerald shiners area available for dipping at marina/harbor sites and work great for perch. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs may produce rainbow trout catches from Broderick Park and Bird Island Pier.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river anglers continue to catch good numbers of steelhead, with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. The upper drifts and gorge shoreline were very productive. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs and live shiners, cured shiners, pink egg sacs, trout beads and Kwikfish work well for boaters. Be aware that walleye season closed on March 15. The New York Power Authority angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline and parking lot) typically open for season on April 1, weather permitting.

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Lake Ontario's spring shoreline bite is off to a good start. From the Niagara Bar to Rochester, trollers are picking up solid numbers of brown trout, with some steelhead, lake trout and the odd chinook salmon mixed in. Key on depths of 8-20 feet of water. Action tends to be better in slightly murky waters (not muddy) and in areas with slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. Spring casting at pier sites can also be productive for brown trout, as long as there is greenish water within casting range. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Steelhead catches are starting to taper off in the Lake Ontario tributaries, but there are still decent numbers of fish around in Eighteenmile, Oak Orchard and Johnson Creeks. Anglers are reporting more catches of suckers and the first of the smallmouth bass as well. Niagara and Orleans County streams are running low and clear at report time. Downsize lines and baits/flies to trick spooky trout. Spring casting at pier sites can also be productive for brown trout, as long as there is greenish water within casting range. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. Bullhead are available in the harbors and lower sections of streams. Twelvemile Creek, Wilson-Tuscarora Harbor, Olcott Harbor and Golden Hill State Park are traditionally productive spots. Common bullhead baits include nightcrawlers, raw shrimp, chicken livers, dead minnows/cut bait and prepared baits.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Boat and shore fishing areas that were productive through the ice should remain so. Look to the canals for possible influx of crappie, yellow perch and bluegill. The main thing to remember is try to utilize the same baits and presentation that were working, while fishing through the ice. Continue to use small jigs, light lines and s-l-o-w vertical presentations. he canals are producing catches of mostly small yellow perch. There are some crappie around the canals too, but no significant concentrations yet. Bullhead are just starting to show in the nearshore shallows. Look for bullhead fishing to improve as the lake warms. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.) (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are at good levels. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. If fishing some colored water, try wooly buggers or streamer patterns in a variety of colors. Sometimes baitfish take on a pale hue in winter, so white is never a bad option. Make sure you’re breaking the surface of the water and getting into the strike zone as the water is cold and fish are sluggish. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

SILVER LAKE: No current reports on the bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No current reports on the bite except a few bullhead are starting to show up. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. Also closed, walleye, tiger musky and pike. A few pike and walleye are starting to show up in the Inlet – nothing major yet. (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: No current on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: No current reports on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE: No current info on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 30 to 90 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 75 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-25 feet of water using worms as bait. At either the north or south end. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: It’s open water fishing but we have no reports on the bite. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported good on the lake fishing off the points. Try trolling or jigging at 35-65 feet in 80-100 feet of water with Spin Doctors, white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 65 to 75 foot of water is also producing some lake trout, especially at the south end. Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 40 to 75 feet over 90 to 180 feet of water. The lakers caught were full of perch. Yellow perch were being caught on small jigs fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. Lots of rock bass in 15 – 25 feet of water. Bass season is closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SENECA LAKE: Browns and Atlantic salmon are hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 75 to 150 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been catching lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. Lower lake temps are down into the low 40s. Lake trout now have run of the entire lake from shallow to deep and everywhere in between. Lake trout are being taken in 85 – 130 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 75 to 100 foot level over a 150 to 300 foot bottom. Flashers and flies, and cowbells with spin-n-glo's are working. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. Look for yellow perch on the north end. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. Look for largemouth bass (catch & release) on the north end near shore and around any weed beds. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. The lake level is currently low so plan accordingly for launching, for example you may want hip boots. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: Trolling 25 to 50 feet down with small spoons is working for trout and salmon. These fish are feeding on young of the year perch so keep moving around until you mark these schools of perch. Rainbows are starting to hit for anglers fishing from shore with the time-tested marshmallow and worm rig. Smallmouth bass are also being taken near shore by anglers. Fishing tube baits, wacky rigged stickworms, jerkbaits or drop-shot rigs in 10 to 20 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass, panfish, rock bass and some perch. Remember bass are catch & release/artificals only. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at 15 - 35 feet. Access note: the DEC launch has been closed for the season. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OWASCO LAKE: Anglers are catching perch on the north end of the lake using fathead minnows and minnow-like, swimbaits. For the swimbaits, get them close to, or on the bottom and reel slow, occasionally jigging them. Weather permitting, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (catch & release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: Try shore or boat fishing. No reports on the bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are at fishable levels. No reports on the Finger Lakes tribs. Fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Activity is rather quiet now as ice fishing has ended. Just a reminder, walleye season is closed and does not reopen until the first Saturday in May. Some reports of crappie being caught are coming from this water. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND: Activity is rather quiet now on the pond as ice fishing has ended. Just a reminder that walleye and northern pike seasons are closed and do not reopen until the first Saturday in May. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: The lake is open but no reports on fishing activity. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: It’s now fishing from shore or a boat. Just remember walleye season is closed and doesn’t reopen until the first Saturday in May. The Cleveland Dock Fishing Access Site is CLOSED until further notice due to site improvement construction. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ; Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first. (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, the lake is providing some brown trout fishing on stickbaits and spoons. Natural colors have been best in clear water. Brighter colors are working when the water is stained. They will concentrate around creek and river mouths looking for warmer water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are at good fishable levels. Steelhead and browns are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a good flow of water. You can fish either side of Lake Road. The south side has some nice pools considering Maxwell is one of the smaller streams. You can spin cast, fly rod, or center-pin for browns. The bait is the usual mix, nothing elaborate. You can drop shot some egg sacs under a torpedo bobber. Throw it out and let if drift down the stream. Bright beads are also working. There are also some steelhead and browns coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. Some browns were being caught at the mouth of Bear Creek in the town of Ontario.

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: On the bays it’s now open water fishing. Crappie have been hitting at the Bay Bridge and it’s perch around LeRoy Island on Sodus and anglers are trying for perch at the northern end of Port Bay. The canal widewater’s ice is breaking up and as soon as the water warms a little look for crappie and panfish. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers are fishing from shore or using a boat if they have one on the water. Some nice perch are being taken. Brown trout are reported showing up in the lake shallows so keep an eye on Braddock Bay and the piers at the mouth of the Genesee. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SALMON RIVER: Fishing has been up and down lately with the flow of the river. Good size, fresh steelhead (15+ lbs) have been reported. Some anglers are finding a good bite, while a few others are without a tug on the line. For those anglers who are fly fishing the most productive patterns have been stoneflies with glo bugs and wooly bugger type patterns also taking strikes. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms, trout beads and marabou jigs have all produced results. Both float fishing and bottom bouncing have been working, if not having action with one method try the other as it does seem to make a difference depending on the day and location. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season opens April 1. (Salmon River Pools Tutorial Video. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GTv_FSz8mY&list=PLlWqnCjYul-QrKK15mfz7iTwkuOXGR83o&index=7)

OSWEGO RIVER: The Oswego River is running high and dirty with the rain. With that in mind, high water spots along the shore should produce steelhead and some brown trout in the days to come as the water clears up. Beads, jigs, and egg sacs either fished under a float or bottom bouncing are working for steelhead and browns. Fathead minnows, night crawlers, spikes, meal worms and egg sacs are suggested live bait. Float fishing marabou jigs is an effective technique for catching trout along Lake Ontario tributaries especially in the spring.
Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are running high. Be careful. Once it settles, the fishing should resume for smallmouth bass. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters (catch & release). Try cut-bait or worms for the catfish. Also available are bullhead and panfish. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html)
DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking trout. As of Friday March 27, the following waters have been stocked:
Broome County- Dudley Creek (March 20), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (March 20), and Nanticoke Creek (March 20).
Onondaga County -is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery, their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and stocking reports can also be seen at fishonondagacounty (leaves DEC website). As of March 17 the following streams have been stocked: Geddes Brook, Spruce Pond, Onondaga Creek, Tannery Creek, Furnace Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, Carpenter's Brook, and Ninemile Creek.
Tioga County- East Branch Owego Creek (March 19), Owego Creek (March 19), and West Branch Owego Creek (March 20).
Tompkins County-Fall Creek (March 19), and Salmon Creek (March 19).

               >))))*>

THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php) (CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)
MARCH 2020

29 - Finger Lakes Trollers Fishing Tackle, Outdoor Show and Flea Market at the Community Center at Clute Park, Watkins Glen, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) New, used and antique fishing tackle,fishing charters,archery, turkery hunting stuff,etc. There will be about 70 tables set up. (Tables are sold out). (Admission is $2.00 with kids under 10 free. Parking is free.) (For information call Mike Burt 607-765-9866)
31 - Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am B 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section 2 mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)
APRIL 2020
1 - Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (See fishing regulation guide. Great Lakes and tributaries as well as some inland waters are open all year)(>10/15)
1 - Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

1 - 58th Annual Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby. (CANCELLED) Entry is by pre-registration only - registration sites are Sutton’s Sporting Goods, Main Street, Naples, NY (During business hours) and the Derby Headquarters - Naples Fire Hall, Vine St (3/31/19 – 5:00 - 10:00 pm, 4/01/20 - 4 am to sunrise) (Entry Fees - $8 Ages 16-64, $5 under 16, $5 ages 65 and over) Enter fish at Derby Headquarters, Naples Fire Hall, Vine Street, Naples, NY (For additional information contact Joyce Doran 585-374-2782 or go to https://www.facebook.com/naplestroutderby)
1 - 17th Annual Riedman Foundation Opening Day Trout Derby (POSTPONED) at the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park, 154 Park Road, Pittsford, NY (Register at Powder Horn Lodge – 6:30 am/Fishing 7:00 am – Noon) All ages are welcome to join in the fun at the Opening Day Trout Derby to benefit the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park. Again this year, the contestant weighing in the largest brown trout will be recognized with the Bank of America Angler Award, a $500 prize. There will also be "largest catch" prizes awarded in three age categories. Entry is only $5 per angler age eight and older. Fishing will take place in designated areas of Irondequoit Creek within the boundaries of Powder Mills Park. The derby weigh station is at Powder Horn Lodge. Prizes will be awarded at noon. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.fishpowdermill.org. (For information call Ron Mitchell 585-586-1670 or email info@fishpowdermill.org.)
3-5 - 8th Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament (CANCELLED) sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club. (4/3 5:00 pm – 4/5 1:00 pm) The contest is simple. Best two bullheads based on total weight will win the top prizes. Tiebreaker is total length for those two fish. You may only fish in Niagara County waters. The weigh-in will take place at the club, located at 2934 Wilson Cambria Road, Wilson, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Awards to follow. Register at CMC Auto Repair in Wilson or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott. You can also register through PayPal. (For more information contact Eric at 716-628-6078.)
4 - 13th Annual Trout Derby, 2020 headquarted at the Phelps Fire Hall, 77 Ontario Street, Phelps, NY (Sunrise – 12:30 pm) The fishing area for the derby is Canandaigua Outlet & Flint Creek. Weigh-In: BY 12:45pm, At Headquarters: Phelps Fire Hall. (Entry fee: Adults $10 / 15 & Under $5 (Due by 4/2/20 @ 5:00 PM. The fee includes: Entry to the derby and a chance to win a Lake Ontario Fishing Charter (donated by Scream'n Reel Charters) (For information contact Michael Vienna? 585-752-0863.)
4-5 - Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds, off Route 353, Little Valley NY. (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) ($5.00 admission) (For information call Jim Miller at 716-938-6928)
4-5 – Tri-County Trout Derby headquarted at the Arcade Fire Department, 145 North St, Arcade, NY (Fishing starts 5:00 am both days.) (Entry Fee: Adult Registration – $20/After March 16 – $30/Child Registration (12 and under) $20) Register at Arcade Area Chamber of Commerce Office, Machias Outdoors, Pioneer Motorsport or on line. Registration Pick-Up Friday, April 3rd, 2:00 – 7:00 pm at Pioneer Motorsport, 12220 Route 16, Chaffee, NY. Prizes: Trophy ($750); Rainbow Trout ($500); Cast-Off ($400); Bobber ($250); Jig ($200); and Lunker ($100). (For information cal 585-492-5103 or email office@arcadechamber.org.)

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*TIP #1: SEASON CHANGES - MARCH:
15 - Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye
15 - Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.
16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)
16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/31)
31 - Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am B 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section 2 mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)

*TIP #2: 2020-2021 FRESHWATER FISHING DIGEST NOW AVAILABLE: Pick up your copy of the 2020-21 Freshwater Fishing Digest (Season Guide) at any license sales vendor. The new guide provides some great information for anyone interested in getting more involved in the sport of fishing, particularly women. The online version will be available April 1.

*TIP #3: ANGLER DIARISTS NEEDED: The New York State DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program on the Genesee River in Allegany and Wyoming Counties from March 1st through October 31st, 2020. This program will cover the river from the PA line downstream through Letchworth State Park and will record data for both trout and bass fishing trips. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC please call the Region 9 Fisheries Office at (716) 379-6379 or e-mail at fwfish9@dec.ny.gov. This diary program will be used to evaluate the quality of the fishery and determine future management actions.
Also, DEC looking for new participants in the Angler Diary Cooperator Program for the Finger Lakes. Numbers have dropped in recent years, and new cooperators are needed now more than ever. If you fish Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake or any of their tributaries and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 7 Fisheries office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213, or on-line at fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.
If you fish Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

*LAKE ERIE: Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could produce fish. Some boaters have recently started to target yellow perch off Cattaraugus Creek. Specific catch reports have not been available, but 50-60 feet of water looks like a good starting point. Emerald shiners are available for dipping in spots around the upper Niagara River and are the best bait for Lake Erie perch. The launches at Barcelona, Dunkirk, Cattaraugus Creek and Buffalo are open. Launch docks are in place at Buffalo Harbor, but may not be at other launch sites. Sturgeon Point Marina is closed. Inner Buffalo Harbor anglers are catching smaller yellow perch with the occasional keeper mixed in. If you do go out for perch, etc. be aware that the docks have not been replaced at most of the launch sites. Most likely you will need waders and possibly a step ladder.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: There has been a decent steelhead bite on the Lake Erie tributaries this week. Fish seem to be spread throughout the creeks rather than stacked up in select spots, so anglers covering more ground have generally caught more fish. All creek levels came up overnight and are running high and heavily stained at report time. The smallest streams are the best bet for fishable water on Saturday. The Erie County streams will take longer to come around. Spring run steelhead hit a variety of baits including egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads, jigs with grubs or twister tails, minnows, worms, streamer patterns, and bugger patterns. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Emerald shiners are schooling in many harbors and marinas around the upper Niagara River, attracting yellow perch. Catches of some good sized perch have been reported in Grand Island marinas. Emerald shiners area available for dipping at marina/harbor sites and work great for perch. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs may produce rainbow trout catches from Broderick Park and Bird Island Pier.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Both shore and boat anglers reported excellent steelhead action in the lower Niagara River for much of the past week. The upper drifts and gorge shoreline were very productive. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs and live shiners, cured shiners, egg sacs or trout beads works well for boaters. Todays high winds will certainly stain river waters. Look for the steelhead bite to pick back up when favorable water conditions return. Be aware that walleye season closed on March 15. The New York Power Authority angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline and parking lot) typically open for season on April 1, weather permitting.

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Anglers are starting to troll along the shoreline for brown trout. Early spring brown trout action is typically good at depths of 8-20 feet of water, especially near stream/harbor mouths, in slightly murky waters (not muddy) and in areas with slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. Spring casting at pier sites can also be productive for brown trout, as long as there is greenish water within casting range. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks are in decent shape with moderate flows and visibility of 2-3 feet on the Oak and 1-1.5 feet on Eighteenmile. Steelhead fishing on the Oak has been most productive near the dam, while steelhead are more spread out on Eighteenmile Creek. Steelhead and brown trout action on Johnson Creek was very good earlier in the week. The creek level is down to slightly low and clear today. Keg Creek is very low and clear, but anglers are still catching the occasional steelhead. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. Bullhead will start moving into Lake Ontario harbors, if not already. Twelvemile Creek, Wilson-Tuscarora Harbor, Olcott Harbor and Golden Hill State Park are traditionally productive spots. Common bullhead baits include nightcrawlers, raw shrimp, chicken livers, dead minnows/cut bait and prepared baits.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Boat and shore fishing areas that were productive through the ice should remain so. Cast stickbaits off creek mouths and look to the canals for possible influx of crappie, yellow perch and bluegill. The main thing to remember is try to utilize the same baits and presentation that were working, while fishing through the ice. Continue to use small jigs, light lines and s-l-o-w vertical presentations. he canals are producing catches of mostly small yellow perch. There are some crappie around the canals too, but no significant concentrations yet. Bullhead are just starting to show in the nearshore shallows. Look for bullhead fishing to improve as the lake warms. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.) (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are running high. Once conditions improve smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. If fishing some colored water, try wooly buggers or streamer patterns in a variety of colors. Sometimes baitfish take on a pale hue in winter, so white is never a bad option. Make sure you’re breaking the surface of the water and getting into the strike zone as the water is cold and fish are sluggish. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

*SILVER LAKE: No current reports on the bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: No current reports on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. Also closed, walleye, tiger musky and pike. (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: No current on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: No current reports on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE: No current on the bite. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 30 to 90 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 75 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-25 feet of water using worms as bait. At either the north or south end. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: It’s open water fishing but we have no reports on the bite. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported good on the lake fishing off the points. Try trolling or jigging at 35-65 feet in 80-100 feet of water with Spin Doctors, white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 65 to 75 foot of water is also producing some lake trout, especially at the south end. Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 40 to 75 feet over 90 to 180 feet of water. The lakers caught were full of perch. Yellow perch were being caught on small jigs fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. Lots of pickerel and rock bass in 15 – 25 feet of water. Bass season is closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SENECA LAKE: Browns and Atlantic salmon are hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 75 to 150 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Bass season is now closed and it’s now catch and release/artificals only. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been catching lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. Lower lake temps are down into the low 40s. Lake trout now have run of the entire lake from shallow to deep and everywhere in between. Lake trout are being taken in 85 – 130 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 75 to 100 foot level over a 150 to 300 foot bottom. Flashers and flies, and cowbells with spin-n-glo's are working. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Look for yellow perch on the north end. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. Look for largemouth bass (catch & release) on the north end near shore and around any weed beds. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. Reports from the south end indicate low water and problems at some launce ramps. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Trolling 25 to 50 feet down with small spoons is working for trout and salmon. These fish are feeding on young of the year perch so keep moving around until you mark these schools of perch. Rainbows are starting to hit for anglers fishing from shore with the time-tested marshmallow and worm rig. Smallmouth bass are also being taken near shore by anglers. Fishing tube baits, wacky rigged stickworms, jerkbaits or drop-shot rigs in 10 to 20 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass, panfish, rock bass and some perch. Remember bass are catch & release/artificals only. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at 15 - 35 feet. Access note: the DEC launch has been closed for the season. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OWASCO LAKE: Anglers are catching perch on the north end of the lake using fathead minnows and minnow-like, swimbaits. For the swimbaits, get them close to, or on the bottom and reel slow, occasionally jigging them. Weather permitting, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (catch & release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: Try shore or boat fishing. No reports on the bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are at fishable levels, Fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Activity is rather quiet now as ice fishing has ended. Just a reminder, walleye season is closed and does not reopen until the first Saturday in May. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND: Activity is rather quiet now on the pond as ice fishing has ended. Just a reminder that walleye and northern pike seasons are closed and do not reopen until the first Saturday in May. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: The lake is open but no reports on fishing activity but eagle watching is reported good. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: It’s now fishing from shore or a boat. Just remember walleye season is closed and doesn’t reopen until the first Saturday in May. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ; Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first. (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, the lake is providing some brown trout fishing but reports are limited. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are at good fishable levels. Steelhead and browns are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a good flow of water. You can fish either side of Lake Road. The south side has some nice pools considering Maxwell is one of the smaller streams. You can spin cast, fly rod, or center-pin for browns. The bait is the usual mix, nothing elaborate. You can drop shot some egg sacs under a torpedo bobber. Throw it out and let if drift down the stream. Bright beads are also working. There are also some steelhead and browns coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. Some browns were being caught at the mouth of Bear Creek in the town of Ontario.

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: On the bays it’s now open water fishing. Crappie have been hitting at the Bay Bridge on Sodus and anglers are trying for perch at the northern end of Port Bay. The canal widewater’s ice is breaking up and as soon as the water warms a little look for crappie and panfish. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers are fishing from shore or using a boat if they have one on the water. Some nice perch are being taken. Brown trout are reported showing up in the lake shallows so keep an eye on Braddock Bay and the piers at the mouth of the Genesee. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SALMON RIVER: Fishing has been up and down lately with the flow of the river. Good size, fresh steelhead (15+ lbs) have been reported. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. For those anglers who are fly fishing the most productive patterns have been stoneflies, pheasant tails, hare’s ear, prince nymph, steelhead hammer, small woolly buggers, estaz eggs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms, trout beads and marabou jigs have all produced results. Both float fishing and bottom bouncing have been working, if not having action with one method try the other as it does seem to make a difference depending on the day and location. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season closed November 30. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html) (Salmon River Pools Tutorial Video. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GTv_FSz8mY&list=PLlWqnCjYul-QrKK15mfz7iTwkuOXGR83o&index=7)

*OSWEGO RIVER: The Oswego River is running high and dirty with the rain. With that in mind, high water spots along the shore should produce steelhead and some brown trout in the days to come as the water clears up. Beads, jigs, and egg sacs either fished under a float or bottom bouncing are working for steelhead and browns. Fathead minnows, night crawlers, spikes, meal worms and egg sacs are suggested live bait. Float fishing marabou jigs is an effective technique for catching trout along Lake Ontario tributaries especially in the spring.
Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

*OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are running high. Be careful. Once it settles, the fishing should resume for smallmouth bass. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters (catch & release). Try cut-bait or worms for the catfish. Also available are bullhead and panfish. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html)

                                           >))))*>

*THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

MARCH 2020
24 & 31 - The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. (7:00 – 8:30 pm) This program is in its 19th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com)
15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.
15 - Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye
15 - Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)
15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.
16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)
16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/31)
29 - Finger Lakes Trollers Fishing Tackle, Outdoor Show and Flea Market at the Community Center at Clute Park, Watkins Glen, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) New, used and antique fishing tackle,fishing charters,archery, turkery hunting stuff,etc. There will be about 70 tables set up. (Tables are sold out). (Admission is $2.00 with kids under 10 free. Parking is free.) (For information call Mike Burt 607-765-9866)
31 - Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am B 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section 2 mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)

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TIP #1: Walleye, northern pike, chain pickerel, and tiger musky seasons end Sunday, March 15.

 

TIP #2: RAINBOW TROUT SAMPLING DATES FOR FINGER LAKES: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the dates and locations for the annual sampling of the rainbow trout run in Finger Lakes tributaries. This year, sampling is scheduled for Thursday, March 19, 9 a.m., at Naples Creek, just north of the village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Rt. 245 bridge; and Friday, March 20, 10 a.m., at Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County.

 

TIP #3: ONLINE MEETING TO PRESENT 2020 LAKE ONTARIO CHINOOK SALMON STOCKING STRATEGY:  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that an online public meeting will be held on March 18, to discuss changes in 2020 Chinook salmon stocking locations on Lake Ontario. The online meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., on Wednesday, March 18. Participants can use the following link to join the meeting: WebEx Meeting. Participants are directed to use the meeting number 647 538 274, password: Chinook2020.

 

TIP #4: ANGLER DIARISTS NEEDED:  The New York State DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program on the Genesee River in Allegany and Wyoming Counties from March 1st through October 31st, 2020. This program will cover the river from the PA line downstream through Letchworth State Park and will record data for both trout and bass fishing trips. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC please call the Region 9 Fisheries Office at (716) 379-6379 or e-mail at fwfish9@dec.ny.gov. This diary program will be used to evaluate the quality of the fishery and determine future management actions.

Also, DEC looking for new participants in the Angler Diary Cooperator Program for the Finger Lakes. Numbers have dropped in recent years, and new cooperators are needed now more than ever. If you fish Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake or any of their tributaries and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 7 Fisheries office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213, or on-line at fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.

If you fish Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up,  contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could produce fish. If you do go out for perch,

etc. be aware that the docks have been removed at most of the launch sites. Most likely you will need waders and possibly a step ladder.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained but they are receding. When the creeks are back in fishable shape, the steelhead bite should be pretty good. Some fresh steelhead have been scattered around the streams too. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. The best bets for fishable flows are on Silver Creek, Walnut Creek and the gorge section of Chautauqua Creek. The lower section of Chautauqua and Canadaway Creeks will follow.  When fishing winter conditions, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are more lethargic and hugging the bottom.  Fly anglers typically target steelhead by drifting egg patterns, trout beads, nymphs and woolly buggers or by swinging streamers. Egg sacs, trout beads, pink plastic worms and jigs are common offerings by spinning or center pin drifters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page. Historically bull heads will start to bite after a few warm rains. That’s a good time to head for the channels for some crappie action also.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Emerald shiners are schooling in many harbors and marinas around the upper Niagara River, attracting yellow perch. Catches of some good sized perch have been reported in Grand Island marinas. Emerald shiners area available for dipping at marina/harbor sites and work great for perch. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs may produce rainbow trout catches from Broderick Park and Bird Island Pier.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river anglers have had to deal with marginal to poor conditions on most days lately. However, boaters were still picking up some nice fish in marginal conditions. River waters are currently chalky-green, and conditions may worsen with high winds. Boaters have been catching decent to good numbers of steelhead, with some brown trout, lake trout and occasional walleye mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs and live shiners, egg sacs or trout beads works well for trout. Shore anglers at the State Parks in the gorge have been catching predominantly steelhead. However, some brown trout and lake trout also showed along the shoreline on Sunday. Be aware that walleye season closes on March 15 at end of day. All angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline, parking lot) at the NYPA Power Vista are closed for the winter season and may open around April 1.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  With the general lack of ice in some harbors and the early removal of the Niagara Ice Boom, anglers may start trolling along the shoreline for brown trout any day now. Early spring brown trout action is typically good at depths of 8-20 feet of water, especially near stream/harbor mouths, in slightly murky waters (not muddy) and in areas with slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. Spring casting at pier sites can also be productive for brown trout, as long as there is greenish water within casting range. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks are in decent shape today with slightly high flows and visibility of 2-3 feet on the Oak and 1-1.5 feet on Eighteenmile. Steelhead fishing on the Oak has been most productive near the dam, while steelhead are more spread out on Eighteenmile Creek. Anglers have been catching a fair mix of steelhead and brown trout on Johnson Creek. Johnson and Twelvemile Creeks currently have moderate stained flows. Keg Creek is low and clear with just a few steelhead around. Egg sacs do the trick for brown trout and steelhead. It’s a good idea to downsize flies, baits and tippet to fool wary trout if fishing clear water. Trout are around in all the creeks but don’t be afraid to look around at some of the smaller creeks. Fishing pressure is fairly light. Stream bank conditions could be icy so use caution as you move along the stream. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Theice is pretty much gone off the lake and what is left is unsafe. Boat and shore fishing areas that were productive through the ice should remain so. Cast stickbaits off creek mouths and look to the canals for possible influx of crappie, yellow perch and bluegill. The main thing to remember is try to utilize the same baits and presentation that were working, while fishing through the ice. Continue to use small jigs, light lines and s-l-o-w vertical presentations. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.) (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are running high. Once conditions improve smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. If fishing some colored water, try wooly buggers or streamer patterns in a variety of colors. Sometimes baitfish take on a pale hue in winter, so white is never a bad option. Make sure you’re breaking the surface of the water and getting into the strike zone as the water is cold and fish are sluggish. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners.  If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

SILVER LAKE:  No current ice report if ice remains and no reports on the bite.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: No current ice report if ice remains and no reports on the bite.  (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

HEMLOCK LAKE: No current ice report if ice remains and no reports on the bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CANADICE LAKE: No current ice report if ice remains and no reports on the bite. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

HONEOYE LAKE: No current ice report if ice remains and no reports on the bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CANANDAIGUA LAKE:  Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 30 to 90 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 75 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. Largemouth bass are hitting senko rubber worms. Seems like the smaller 3"-4" worms are working better. Green pumpkin and purple were working. Just bump the worm off the bottom. The weight of the worm and hook should be enough. Work it slowly though because the fish are very slow to take the worm. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-25 feet of water using worms as bait. At either the north or south end. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No current ice report if ice remains and no reports on the bite. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported good on the lake fishing off the points. Try trolling or jigging at 35-65 feet in 80-100 feet of water with Spin Doctors, white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 65 to 75 foot of water is also producing some lake trout, especially at the south end. Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 40 to 75 feet over 90 to 180 feet of water. The lakers caught were full of perch. Yellow perch were being caught on small jigs fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. Lots of pickerel and rock bass in 15 – 25 feet of water.  No reports on the bass bite but it should be good. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SENECA LAKE: Browns and Atlantic salmon are hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 75 to 150 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Bass season remains open but no reports on their activity. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been catching lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. Lower lake temps are down into the low 40s.  Lake trout now have run of the entire lake from shallow to deep and everywhere in between.  Lake trout are being taken in 85 – 130  feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 75 to 100 foot level over a 150 to 300 foot bottom. Flashers and flies, and cowbells with spin-n-glo's are working. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Look for yellow perch on the north end. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. Look for largemouth bass (catch & release) on the north end near shore and around any weed beds. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

SKANEATELES LAKE: Trolling 25 to 50 feet down with small spoons is working for trout and salmon. These fish are feeding on young of the year perch so keep moving around until you mark these schools of perch. Rainbows are starting to hit for anglers fishing from shore with the time-tested marshmallow and worm rig. Smallmouth bass are also being taken near shore by anglers. Fishing tube baits, wacky rigged stickworms, jerkbaits or drop-shot rigs in 10 to 20 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass, panfish, rock bass and some perch. Remember bass are catch & release/artificals only. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at 15 - 35 feet. Access note: the DEC launch has been closed for the season. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

OWASCO LAKE: Anglers are catching perch on the north end of the lake using fathead minnows and minnow-like, swimbaits. For the swimbaits, get them close to, or on the bottom and reel slow, occasionally jigging them. Weather permitting, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (catch & release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

OTISCO LAKE: Reports indicate the ice is disappearing and what remains is unsafe. Try shore fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are running high. Once conditions improve fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.  Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports indicate the Reservoir ice is disappearing and what remains is unsafe. Try shore fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: With the warmer temperatures the ice fishing season on the pond has come to a close. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: The lake is starting to open up but no reports on fishing activity but eagle watching is reported good. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: The ice conditions have deteriorated and it’s recommended anglers stay off what ice that may be left. Give shore fishing a try.  For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ;  Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first.  (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST:  Weather permitting, the lake is providing some brown trout fishing but reports are limited. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are at good fishable levels. Steelhead and browns are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a good flow of water. You can fish either side of Lake Road. The south side has some nice pools considering Maxwell is one of the smaller streams. You can spin cast, fly rod, or center-pin for browns. The bait is the usual mix, nothing elaborate. You can drop shot some egg sacs under a torpedo bobber. Throw it out and let if drift down the stream. Bright beads are also working. There are also some steelhead and browns coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. Some browns were being caught at the mouth of Bear Creek in the town of Ontario.

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: The bays are opening up so it’s now open water fishing. Crappie have been hitting at the Bay Bridge on Sodus and anglers are trying for perch at the northern end of Port Bay. The canal widewater’s ice is breaking up and as soon as the water warms a little look for crappie and panfish. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  Anglers are fishing from shore or using a boat if they have one on the water. Some nice perch are being taken. Brown trout are reported showing up in the lake shallows so keep an eye on Braddock Bay and the piers at the mouth of the Genesee. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SALMON RIVER: Fishing has been up and down lately with the flow of the river. Good size, fresh steelhead (15+ lbs) have been reported. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. For those anglers who are fly fishing the most productive patterns have been stoneflies, pheasant tails, hare’s ear, prince nymph, steelhead hammer, small woolly buggers, estaz eggs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms, trout beads and marabou jigs have all produced results. Both float fishing and bottom bouncing have been working, if not having action with one method try the other as it does seem to make a difference depending on the day and location. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season closed November 30. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html) (Salmon River Pools Tutorial Video. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GTv_FSz8mY&list=PLlWqnCjYul-QrKK15mfz7iTwkuOXGR83o&index=7)

 

OSWEGO RIVER: The Oswego River is running high and dirty with the rain. With that in mind, high water spots along the shore should produce fish in the days to come as the water clears up. Beads, jigs, and egg sacs either fished under a float or bottom bouncing are working for steelhead and browns. Fathead minnows, night crawlers, spikes, meal worms and egg sacs are suggested live bait. Float fishing marabou jigs is an effective technique for catching trout along Lake Ontario tributaries especially in the winter and spring.

Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are running high. Be careful. Once it settles, the fishing should resume for smallmouth bass. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters (catch & release). Try cut-bait or worms for the catfish. Also available are bullhead and panfish. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html)

 

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THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php) (CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. SOME ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

MARCH 2020

17, 24 & 31 - The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. (7:00 – 8:30 pm) This program is in its 19th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com)

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

15 - Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye

15 - Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

15 - Eastren Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Assoc. Nautical and Fishing Tackle Sale at the Brewerton Firehouse, Route 11, Brewerton, NY (9:00 am – 1:30 pm)

16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)

16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/31)

19 - NYSDEC Electro Shocking of Naples Creek – Crew starts just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge. (9:00 am) The sampling is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast. (For information call 585-226-5324)

20 – NYSDEC Electro Shocking of Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) – Crew starts in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County. (10:00 am) The sampling is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices

and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast. (For information call 585-226-5324)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

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3 - 6 - 20

 

NO UPDATED FISHING REPORT AGAIN THIS WEEK

 

TIP #1: The weather forecast for the next week is up & down temperatures (into the 50s), wind, snow and rain. This will ruin ice fishing on most waters. This mandates additional caution be used if you go out. Shore ice will be a specific area to watch. Be prepared for unsafe, sloppy conditions.

 

TIP #2:        

 

 

TIP #3: RAINBOW TROUT SAMPLING DATES FOR FINGER LAKES: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the dates and locations for the annual sampling of the rainbow trout run in Finger Lakes tributaries. This year, sampling is scheduled for:

Thursday, March 19, 9 a.m., at Naples Creek, just north of the village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Rt. 245 bridge; and Friday, March 20, 10 a.m., at Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County.

 

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THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

 

MARCH 2020

 

5-8 - WNY Sport & Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds Event Center, 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY. (Thu & Fri Noon-9:00pm/Sat 10:00 am – 8:00 pm/Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm) WNY Sport & Travel Expo will be dedicated to the outdoor enthusiast. Special guests include Greg Miller from the hit show In Pursuit Bwana Jim and his Wildlife Show, Jim Beverly Retriever Training, and Clint Taylor. WNY Sport & Travel Expo will showcase excellent entertainment and seminars on hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities for all age group. There will be very large display of goods and services related to sport and travel. Interactive games will make it more entertaining for the participants. (Cost: $9.00/Children 10 and under free/Scouts in uniform free/Free Parking) (For information go to http://10times.com/wny-sport-travel)

8 – Genesee Charter Boat Assoc. Flea Market at 1000 North River Street (Port Authority Bldg/Ferry Terminal, 2nd floor), Charlotte, Rochester, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) Come on down and haggle with the captains and squeeze them for the latest info on the big lake.  Proceeds to be used towards our pen rearing project. (For information call 585-217-2151.)

9 – International Fly Fishing Film Festival at the Joylan Theater, 11 West Main Street, Springville, NY. (5:30 pm) The Festival is to benefit the Springville Community Trout Pond Renovation Project. (General admission $15.) (For information call Tyler at 716-361-7417.)

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

15 - Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye

15 - Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

15 - Eastren Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Assoc. Nautical and Fishing Tackle Sale at the Brewerton Firehouse, Route 11, Brewerton, NY (9:00 am – 1:30 pm)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

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2 - 28 - 20   

 

NO UPDATED FISHING REPORT THIS WEEK

 

TIP #1: The weather forecast for the next week is up & down temperatures (into the 40s), wind, snow and possible rain. This will not ruin ice fishing on waters with current, good ice but it does mandate additional caution be used. Shore ice will be a specific area to watch. Also, be prepared for sloppy conditions.

 

TIP #2:         

 

TIP #3: RAINBOW TROUT SAMPLING DATES FOR FINGER LAKES: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the dates and locations for the annual sampling of the rainbow trout run in Finger Lakes tributaries. This year, sampling is scheduled for:

Thursday, March 19, 9 a.m., at Naples Creek, just north of the village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Rt. 245 bridge; and Friday, March 20, 10 a.m., at Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County.

 

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THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

 

FEBRUARY 2020

26-3/1 - Western New York (Buffalo) Boat Show at the s ADPRO Sports Training Center, 1 Bills Drive, Orchard Park, NY. (Wed 5:00-9:00 pm/Thur & Fri 12:00 – 9:00 pm/Sat 10:00 am – 9:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 5:00 pm) The region's largest and best boat show. From cruisers to runabouts, pontoon boats to fishing boats, ski boats to personal watercraft and boat trailers - the show has it all. All of the area's top dealers will have product on display and everything will be on-sale! All major manufacturers will have show promotions / rebates in place and lenders will have discounted boat show financing rates, as well. You'll find everything else you need: boat lifts and dock displays, local Marinas, Boat Insurance, boat service providers, accessories, electronics, and much more. (Admission: $8.00/Kids 12 & under Free) (For information call 585-237-5185 x104 or go to https://wnyboating.com/)

27-3/1 - The World Fishing and Outdoor Exposition at the Rockland Community College Field House, Suffern, NY(Thur 2 – 9 pm/Fri 1 – 9 pm/Sat 9:30 am – 7 pm/Sun 9:30 am – 5 pm) This show  is the sport fishing super show and is the only sport show in the metro New York area.  The show features all of the major fishing tackle manufacturers displaying fishing gear, fishing tackle, bait, hunting gear, trailers, clothing plus information on sportfishing charters, whale watching and fishing tours, camps, lodges, clubs and guide services.  The show also offers daily seminars and demonstrations given by the pros and activities for the kids. (Admissions: Adults: $13.00/Children (6-11): $3.00/Children (5 and under): Free) (For Information call 603-431-4315; E-mail ASA/Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition, LLC or visit the World Fishing and Outdoor Expo - Suffern, NY Website.)

29 – About Boating Safety  by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary  at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY. (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) This is a NYS approved Course. (For information/register contact Martin Laufer at 716-390-7727.)

29 - Fly Tying 101 at The Orvis Shop, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – Noon) (Free.) (Call the store at 716-276-7200 information/register go to www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

29-3/1 - Catteraugus County Sportsman Show at Seneca Allegany Event Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, NY (Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Hosted by York-Penn Shows of New York. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. 400 tables. (Cost: $8.00) (For information call James Buck at 716-569-6810 or email topdrake@yahoo.com)

MARCH 2020

- Start of Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on North McMillan Creek and Conesus Inlet WMA from Conesus Lake South to the Dam (Livingston County) except the canal west of the inlet and that portion of the north of the canal. (>5/3)

1 - Niagara Region Winter 3D Shoot at Alden Rod and Gun Club, County Road (south of Broadway), Alden., NY. Registration from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Walk-on shooters welcome. For a complete 12-week schedule, contact John Florian at 725-5822.

3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 - The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. (7:00 – 8:30 pm) This program is in its 19th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com)

5-8 - WNY Sport & Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds Event Center, 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY. (Thu & Fri Noon-9:00pm/Sat 10:00 am – 8:00 pm/Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm) WNY Sport & Travel Expo will be dedicated to the outdoor enthusiast. Special guests include Greg Miller from the hit show In Pursuit Bwana Jim and his Wildlife Show, Jim Beverly Retriever Training, and Clint Taylor. WNY Sport & Travel Expo will showcase excellent entertainment and seminars on hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities for all age group. There will be very large display of goods and services related to sport and travel. Interactive games will make it more entertaining for the participants. (Cost: $9.00/Children 10 and under free/Scouts in uniform free/Free Parking) (For information go to http://10times.com/wny-sport-travel)

8 – Genesee Charter Boat Assoc. Flea Market at 1000 North River Street (Port Authority Bldg/Ferry Terminal, 2nd floor), Charlotte, Rochester, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) Come on down and haggle with the captains and squeeze them for the latest info on the big lake.  Proceeds to be used towards our pen rearing project. (For information call 585-217-2151.)

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*TIP #1: The weather forecast for the next week is warmer temperatures (into the 40s) and possible rain. This will not ruin ice fishing on waters with current, good ice but it does mandate additional caution be used. Shore ice will be a specific area to watch. Also, be prepared for sloppy conditions.

 

*TIP #2:

 

*TIP #3: ANGLER DIARISTS NEEDED:  The New York State DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program on the Genesee River in Allegany and Wyoming Counties from March 1st through October 31st, 2020. This program will cover the river from the PA line downstream through Letchworth State Park and will record data for both trout and bass fishing trips. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC please call the Region 9 Fisheries Office at (716) 379-6379 or e-mail at fwfish9@dec.ny.gov. This diary program will be used to evaluate the quality of the fishery and determine future management actions.

Also, DEC looking for new participants in the Angler Diary Cooperator Program for the Finger Lakes. Numbers have dropped in recent years, and new cooperators are needed now more than ever. If you fish Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake or any of their tributaries and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 7 Fisheries office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213, or on-line at fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.

If you fish Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up,  contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could produce fish. Hardwater action at the Small Boat Harbor is a no go at this time but if open water remains, anglers may have some perch action casting from the docks. Currently reports have the area only partially skimmed over.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained. But when the creeks are back in fishable shape, the steelhead bite should be pretty good. Some fresh steelhead have been scattered around the streams too. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. When fishing winter conditions, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are more lethargic and hugging the bottom.  Fly anglers typically target steelhead by drifting egg patterns, trout beads, nymphs and woolly buggers or by swinging streamers. Egg sacs, trout beads, pink plastic worms and jigs are common offerings by spinning or center pin drifters. One angler  reports trout success utilizing live shiners near the mouth of Canadaway, weather permitting. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page. Tributary bass fishing is winding down with very few bass left in the creeks.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Anglers can catch a variety of warmwater species at sites throughout the upper Niagara River. Time of day is key. Focus on early morning or later afternoon/early evening. Decent numbers of walleye are showing around the head of the river down to at least Strawberry Island. Catches of yellow perch, sheepshead and sunfish are common at shore sites. White bass sometimes show as well. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs may produce rainbow trout catches from Broderick Park and Bird Island Pier.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The weather will be the determining factor on what happens in the lower river. If waters can remain somewhat clear boaters should see a good trout bite in the drifts. River anglers should catch primarily steelhead, with some brown trout and the occasional walleye mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with live shiners, egg sacs (pink and chartreuse) Kwikfish or trout beads have worked well for trout. Downriver, the brown trout and lake trout were hitting a bit more and MagLips were added to the list of preferred lures. Minnows were also used to hit both trout and walleye. A fair number of bonus king salmon were being caught as anglers drifted off the mouth of the river near the green buoy marker. Shore anglers didn’t fare as well of late. Walleye are more apt to hit rigs with shiners. All angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline, parking lot) at the NYPA Power Vista are closed for the winter season.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Weather permitting, the lake can provide some fishing but reports are limited. One report did have some brown trout caught off Olcott in 10 – 15 fow trolling stickbaits. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: The weather will be the determining factor this week. It will determine the flows and clarity of the tribs. Hook ups are coming for guys who hit it for at least a few hours on a mixed bag of fresh or darker and semi spawned fish.  Post spawn browns and Atlantics are still being caught too. Egg sacs do the trick for brown trout and steelhead. It’s a good idea to downsize flies, baits and tippet to fool wary trout if fishing clear water. Trout are around in all the creeks but don’t be afraid to look around as some of the smaller creeks. Fishing pressure is fairly light. Stream bank conditions could be icy so use caution as you move along the stream. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Reports indicate anglers have been out on the lake on up to 6 inches of ice, but the quality varies with white slush ice being part of the total. Use caution. Ice fishing on Chautauqua Lake has started to pick up again. The walleye bite has been pretty good the last couple of weeks; mostly jigging on the north basin in 15 to 30 feet of water. Try using No. 5, 7 and 9 Jigging Rapalas in a variety of colors. Thundermist jigging spoons have been working well in a quarter- and half-ounce sizes. Live bait (medium sized golden Shiners) under a tip up is becoming more popular on the lake, too. Perch have been hitting jigs tipped with minnows or wax worms. Bluegills are biting jigs tipped with a spike. Crappie action has been hit and miss, but there are reports of some nice-sized fish. A jig tipped with an Emerald shiner is the ticket for crappies. The where reported: walleye fishing has been productive north of Long Point. Anglers fishing the weedline and at the deeper pools are hooking up with a lot of male walleye lately. Low light continues to be the most productive time frame. Pan fishing has been good at any of the bay areas on Chautauqua Lake that have weeds. Yellow perch in a variety of sizes have been active across the entire lake. Crappie action was reported out of Mayville and blue gill activity out of Bemus. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.) (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are running high. Once conditions improve smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. If fishing some colored water, try wooly buggers or streamer patterns in a variety of colors. Sometimes baitfish take on a pale hue in winter, so white is never a bad option. Make sure you’re breaking the surface of the water and getting into the strike zone as the water is cold and fish are sluggish. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners.  If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*SILVER LAKE:  Reports indicate anglers have been out on the lake on up to 8 inches of ice, but the quality varies with white slush ice being part of the total. The bite changes from day to day with the action provided by pike and panfish. The better bite is reported at the north end. Be careful if you go out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Some ice (up to 6 inches) reported around the lake. Warmer forecasted temperatures will create slushy areas and enlarge any holes or cracks in the ice so use extra caution. Reports on fishing have been good through the ice. Big northern pike and a fair panfish bite are reported. Bass are also being caught regularly. One suggestion was if you are fishing in 8 feet of water, the weeds come into play on Conesus and fish can’t see your rig if you are down off the bottom. Don't be afraid to put your bait right under the ice.  (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HEMLOCK LAKE: No word on ice, if any.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CANADICE LAKE: Ice is reported up to 6 inches but it’s a mix – bottom 2 inches – black and rest white, frozen slush. Center of lake is open water. Some pickerel action. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HONEOYE LAKE: The south end is drawing anglers with 4 - 6 inches of ice off the launch. Out further it drops down to 3 inches. The ice is half white and half black so be careful. No word on north end ice. The bluegill/perch bite is fair. The weather will create slushy areas, and enlarge any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution. Be prepared for slick ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE:  No word on ice, if any. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 30 to 90 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 75 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Largemouth bass are hitting senko rubber worms. Seems like the smaller 3"-4" worms are working better. Green pumpkin and purple were working. Just bump the worm off the bottom. The weight of the worm and hook should be enough. Work it slowly though because the fish are very slow to take the worm. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-25 feet of water using worms as bait. At either the north or south end. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES:  Waneta reports 7 - 8 inches of safe ice at the south end but as you move north ice gets thinner and there are patches of open water. Lamoka Lake also reports safe ice but stay away from the channel oat the south end. No reports on the bite. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*KEUKA LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Laker action is reported good to excellent on the lake fishing off the points. Try trolling or jigging at 35-65 feet in 80-100 feet of water with Spin Doctors, white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 65 to 75 foot of water is also producing some lake trout, especially at the south end. Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 40 to 75 feet over 90 to 180 feet of water. The lakers caught were full of perch. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Yellow perch were being caught on small jigs fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. Lots of pickerel and rock bass in 15 – 25 feet of water.  No reports on the bass bite but it should be good. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SENECA LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Browns and Atlantic salmon are hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 75 to 150 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season remains open but no reports on their activity. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CAYUGA LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been catching lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. Lower lake temps are down into the low 40s.  Lake trout now have run of the entire lake from shallow to deep and everywhere in between.  Lake trout are being taken in 85 – 130  feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 75 to 100 foot level over a 150 to 300 foot bottom. Flashers and flies, and cowbells with spin-n-glo's are working. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors. A reported hot spot was out of Long Point casting swim jigs. Some pickerel were active also. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Look for yellow perch on the north end. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. Look for largemouth bass (catch & release) on the north end near shore and around any weed beds. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. Pike fishing is also productive on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Trolling 25 to 50 feet down with small spoons is working for trout and salmon. These fish are feeding on young of the year perch so keep moving around until you mark these schools of perch. Most of the action has been north of Lourdes Camp but the perch fry are spread out across the lake over a variety of depths. Rainbows are starting to hit for anglers fishing from shore with the time-tested marshmallow and worm rig. Smallmouth bass are also being taken near shore by anglers. Fishing tube baits, wacky rigged stickworms, jerkbaits or drop-shot rigs in 10 to 20 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass, panfish, rock bass and some perch. Remember bass are catch & release/artificals only. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at 15 - 35 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. No catch reports on pickerel. Access note: the DEC launch has been closed for the season. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*OWASCO LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Anglers are catching perch on the north end of the lake using fathead minnows and minnow-like, swimbaits. For the swimbaits, get them close to, or on the bottom and reel slow, occasionally jigging them. Weather permitting, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (catch & release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*OTISCO LAKE: A report has the lake frozen over and some anglers have been out on the north end, but no ice thickness depths are reported. Warmer weather will create slushy areas and  enlarge any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are running high. Snow may limit your movement along the streams and on smaller streams prevent access. Once conditions improve fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.  Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports have the Reservoir locked up, with up to 10 inches of ice reported. The complicating factor is that in some areas the good ice is mixed with frozen slush. The ice is not uniform so be careful and spud as you move around. The bad news is action was reported slow. Forecasted weather may create slushy areas and enlarge any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND:  There is safe ice reported on the pond at 5 – 6 inches. The area did not receive significant snow as forecasted with only a dusting to an inch or so.  Some anglers found a decent perch bite but you need to sort through the small ones. Snow may cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on ice conditions or fishing activity but eagle watching is reported good. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: The ice conditions have improved this week, but bring your spud and be careful because the ice is not uniform.  Reports off Lewis Point are from 5-7″ of ice but guys are going off to the right with reports of some problem areas to the left.  Sylvan Beach and moving into Edgewater are the same with the ice shoves still present on the beach. You could be drilling through a lot of stuff to get to the water. Reports vary but there are reports of 6″ of good ice that get thinner as you move out further into the lake. People are getting out of Jewel as well and reports are 5-6″ and more in some spots and access was reported as pretty good.  Moving down the north shore, a report came in saying Godfrey Point has some issues with access, but once you are out, there is good ice moving into Cleveland. At Taft Bay, more issues and more than one person reported they are waiting another day. Big Bay has improved nicely since this weekend, but it gets thinner quickly as you move out.  It’s 4-6″ off of Williams Park but more reports of uneven spots. There are some cracks to deal with around the lake. The consensus is the lake is not ready for machines.  There are some very slick spots out there so creepers should be in your gear bag to move.  While it is slick, the drag is pretty easy. Information from most spots is the fishing is tough to okay, not many are setting the world on fire and the perch seem to be cooperating a bit more than the walleye.  Still, there were reports of limits being taken from Lewis Point, Sylvan Beach, and an “undisclosed location on the north shore.” The forecasted warmer weather will create slushy areas, and uncover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ;  Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first.  (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST:  Weather permitting, the lake can provide some fishing but reports are limited. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are at good fishable levels. Steelhead and browns are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a good flow of water. You can fish either side of Lake Road. The south side has some nice pools considering Maxwell is one of the smaller streams. You can spin cast, fly rod, or center-pin for browns. The bait is the usual mix, nothing elaborate. You can drop shot some egg sacs under a torpedo bobber. Throw it out and let if drift down the stream. Bright beads are also working. There are also some steelhead and browns coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. With the colder weather you may be dealing with skim and/or slush ice at times so be extra careful. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: There is ice on all the bays, however, it may not be totally safe. Be sure and check as you move around. Currently, ice conditions vary on Sodus Bay. The north end is open water. Ice thickness straight out from Shaker Road is six to eight, however if you go east or west from Shaker, ice is not solid. There are some soft spots, around tributary mouths and bubblers used for dock protection. The perch are hitting in 20 feet of water. Move around if you don’t find them. They are hitting small spoons with fresh spikes. Port Bay has safer ice than Sodus, however, stay away from the channel area. The perch have been hitting off the points along theeast side and near the narrows of the bay. Use smaller jigs and tip them with spikes or perch eyes and keep your line light. Some pike are being caught near LeRoy Island on the east side of Sodus Bay. Pike minnows are working. Some anglers have been out on the canal wide waters but no reports on ice conditions or the bite. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  Anglers are going out on County ponds but reports have fishing slow. Inland you can try for panfish in the county park waters. Along Lake Ontario you can try the Greece Ponds. Reports from these ponds indicate 2 – 5 inches of ice with bad shore ice. Braddock Bay now reports open with some shore ice up to 5 inches and some pike are being reeled in. Reports from Irondequoit indicate open water. If you do venture out, exercise extreme caution! (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SALMON RIVER: Fishing has been up and down lately with the flow of the river. Good size, fresh steelhead (15+ lbs) have been reported. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. For those anglers who are fly fishing the most productive patterns have been stoneflies, pheasant tails, hare’s ear, prince nymph, steelhead hammer, small woolly buggers, estaz eggs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms, trout beads and marabou jigs have all produced results. Both float fishing and bottom bouncing have been working, if not having action with one method try the other as it does seem to make a difference depending on the day and location. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season closed November 30. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html) (Salmon River Pools Tutorial Video. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GTv_FSz8mY&list=PLlWqnCjYul-QrKK15mfz7iTwkuOXGR83o&index=7)

 

*OSWEGO RIVER: The Oswego River is running high and dirty with the snow melt and rain. With that in mind, high water spots along the shore should produce fish in the days to come as the water clears up. The lower end of the river, downstream of the Rte. 104 bridge, will produce walleye and trout this time of year with the high water flows. Some anglers even fish the lower river at night. Beads, jigs, and egg sacs either fished under a float or bottom bouncing are working for steelhead and browns. Fathead minnows, night crawlers, spikes, meal worms and egg sacs are suggested live bait. Float fishing marabou jigs is an effective technique for catching trout along Lake Ontario tributaries especially in the winter and spring. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

*OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are running high and banks maybe icy. Be careful. Once it settles, the fishing should resume for smallmouth bass and walleye. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters (catch & release). For walleye try jigging with 3/8-ounce with chartreuse, white or black shad Twister Tails. Fish them with a slow stop-and-go retrieve downstream of islands or any slack water along the faster currents in 1-6 feet of water.  Try cut-bait or worms for the catfish. Also available are northern pike, bullhead and panfish. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html)

 

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*THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

 

FEBRUARY 2020

22 - Fly Tying 101 at The Orvis Shop, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – Noon) (Free.) (Call the store at 716-276-7200 information/register go to www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

22 - The Niagara River Anglers Association’s Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest. (Sunrise – 2:00 pm) Tournament boundaries include Lake Ontario and its tributaries, as well as the Lower Niagara River. Fish can be caught from boat or shore. Sign up at Creek Road Bait and Tackle, Lewiston, the Slippery Sinker in Olcott or at the launch ramp in Lewiston the morning of the contest. (For more information check out www.niagarariveranglers.com or call Paul Jackson at 731-4780. Entry forms should also be available at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston and The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. (Entry fee is $20 with $5 brown trout division.) This is a date change. You must be a NRAA member. (For information contact Ken Jackson at 716-946-6810.)

27-3/1 - The World Fishing and Outdoor Exposition at the Rockland Community College Field House, Suffern, NY(Thur 2 – 9 pm/Fri 1 – 9 pm/Sat 9:30 am – 7 pm/Sun 9:30 am – 5 pm) This show  is the sport fishing super show and is the only sport show in the metro New York area.  The show features all of the major fishing tackle manufacturers displaying fishing gear, fishing tackle, bait, hunting gear, trailers, clothing plus information on sportfishing charters, whale watching and fishing tours, camps, lodges, clubs and guide services.  The show also offers daily seminars and demonstrations given by the pros and activities for the kids. (Admissions: Adults: $13.00/Children (6-11): $3.00/Children (5 and under): Free) (For Information call 603-431-4315; E-mail ASA/Eastern Fishing & Outdoor Exposition, LLC or visit the World Fishing and Outdoor Expo - Suffern, NY Website.)

29 - Fly Tying 101 at The Orvis Shop, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – Noon) (Free.) (Call the store at 716-276-7200 information/register go to www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

29-3/1 - Catteraugus County Sportsman Show at Seneca Allegany Event Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, NY (Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Hosted by York-Penn Shows of New York. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. 400 tables. (Cost: $8.00) (For information call James Buck at 716-569-6810 or email topdrake@yahoo.com)

MARCH 2020

1 - Start of Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on North McMillan Creek and Conesus Inlet WMA from Conesus Lake South to the Dam (Livingston County) except the canal west of the inlet and that portion of the north of the canal. (>5/3)

 

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TIP #1: Free Fishing Weekend - February 15-16, 2020   

 

TIP #2:       

 

TIP #3: GENESEE RIVER ANGLER DIARISTS NEEDED:  The New York State DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program on the Genesee River in Allegany and Wyoming Counties from March 1st through October 31st, 2020. This program will cover the river from the PA line downstream through Letchworth State Park and will record data for both trout and bass fishing trips. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC please call the Region 9 Fisheries Office at (716) 379-6379 or e-mail at fwfish9@dec.ny.gov. This diary program will be used to evaluate the quality of the fishery and determine future management actions.

Also, DEC looking for new participants in the Angler Diary Cooperator Program for the Finger Lakes. Numbers have dropped in recent years, and new cooperators are needed now more than ever. If you fish Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake or any of their tributaries and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 7 Fisheries office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213, or on-line at fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.

If you fish Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up,  contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could produce fish. Hardwater action at the Small Boat Harbor is a no go at this time but if open water remains, anglers may have some perch action casting from the docks. Currently reports have the area only partially skimmed over.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained and in some cases – frozen over. But when the creeks are back in fishable shape, the steelhead bite should be pretty good. Some fresh steelhead have been scattered around the streams too. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. When fishing winter conditions, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are more lethargic and hugging the bottom.  Fly anglers typically target steelhead by drifting egg patterns, trout beads, nymphs and woolly buggers or by swinging streamers. Egg sacs, trout beads, pink plastic worms and jigs are common offerings by spinning or center pin drifters. Some of the better reports come from the Laona Falls spot on Canadaway Creek, Chautauqua Creek and Cayuga Creek. One angler  reports trout success utilizing live shiners near the mouth of Canadaway, weather permitting. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page. Tributary bass fishing is winding down with very few bass left in the creeks.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Anglers can catch a variety of warmwater species at sites throughout the upper Niagara River. Time of day is key. Focus on early morning or later afternoon/early evening. Decent numbers of walleye are showing around the head of the river down to at least Strawberry Island. Catches of yellow perch, sheepshead and sunfish are common at shore sites. White bass sometimes show as well. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs may produce rainbow trout catches from Broderick Park and Bird Island Pier.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river boaters should see a good trout bite in the drifts. River anglers should catch primarily steelhead, with some brown trout and the occasional walleye mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with live shiners, egg sacs (pink and chartreuse) Kwikfish or trout beads have worked well for trout. Downriver, the brown trout and lake trout were hitting a bit more and MagLips were added to the list of preferred lures. Minnows were also used to hit both trout and walleye. A fair number of bonus king salmon were being caught as anglers drifted off the mouth of the river near the green buoy marker. Shore anglers didn’t fare as well of late. Walleye are more apt to hit rigs with shiners. All angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline, parking lot) at the NYPA Power Vista are closed for the winter season.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Weather permitting, the lake can provide some fishing but reports are limited. One report did have some brown trout caught off Olcott in 10 – 15 fow trolling stickbaits. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers have had to pick their days recently due to frequent fluctuations in flow and freeze up of the streams. Recently, most creeks are running high and muddy. Anglers have reported fair trout fishing on higher stained flows at Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks. Eighteenmile anglers are catching a mix of steelhead and browns. Oak anglers are catching mostly steelhead, with better action in section near the dam. Johnson Creek and some other smaller creeks are in good shape, but levels are rising on all streams. Johnson Creek anglers have been catching mostly steelhead. Egg sacs do the trick for brown trout and steelhead. Trout are around in all the creeks but don’t be afraid to look around as some of the smaller creeks like 12 Mile or 4 Mile. Keg Creek is still locked out with gravel at the mouth serving as a barrier. Fishing pressure is fairly light. Stream bank conditions could be icy so use caution as you move along the stream. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Reports indicate anglers have been out on the lake on up to 6 inches of ice, but the quality varies with white slush ice being part of the total. Reports have blue gill and pan fishing good out of Bemus. Mayville is the place to go for yellow perch action. Anglers have to move around to find the bigger size ring backs, but Mayville is the place to go especially if you want to take the kids and show them some action. Anglers are also picking up occasional crappie. Walleye have also been active, especially at low light. The fish have been hanging around the weedline edges and they have been found over the deep holes. Jigging rapalas, swedish pimples tipped with meat and traditional jigging spoons have all been working. Remember, if you do go out, muskellunge and regular black bass seasons closed on November 30. However, anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Snow may make moving around on the ice difficult, create slushy areas, and cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.) (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are running high. Heavy snows will limit your movement along the streams and on smaller streams prevent access. Once conditions improve smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. If fishing some colored water, try wooly buggers or streamer patterns in a variety of colors. Sometimes baitfish take on a pale hue in winter, so white is never a bad option. Make sure you’re breaking the surface of the water and getting into the strike zone as the water is cold and fish are sluggish. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners.  If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

SILVER LAKE:  Reports indicate anglers have been out on the lake on up to 8 inches of ice, but the quality varies with white slush ice being part of the total. The bite changes from day to day with the action provide by pike and panfish. Be careful if you go out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Some ice (up to 6 inches) reported around the lake. Snow may make moving around on the ice difficult, create slushy areas, and cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use. Reports on fishing have been good through the ice. Big northern pike and a fair panfish bite are reported. Bass are also being caught regularly. This weekend it’s the Sixth Annual Conesus Lake Frostbite Ice Fishing Derby. (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

HEMLOCK LAKE: No word on ice, if any.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CANADICE LAKE: No word on ice, if any. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

HONEOYE LAKE: South end is drawing anglers with 4 - 5 inches of ice off the launch out further down to 3 inches. No word on north end ice. The bluegill/perch bite is fair. Heavy snow may make moving around on the ice more difficult, create slushy areas, and will cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CANANDAIGUA LAKE:  No word on ice, if any. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 30 to 90 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 75 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Largemouth bass are hitting senko rubber worms. Seems like the smaller 3"-4" worms are working better. Green pumpkin and purple were working. Just bump the worm off the bottom. The weight of the worm and hook should be enough. Work it slowly though because the fish are very slow to take the worm. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-25 feet of water using worms as bait. At either the north or south end. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES:  Waneta reports 4 – 4.5 inches of safe ice at the south end but as you move north ice gets thinner and there are patches of open water. No word on Lamoka. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

KEUKA LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Laker action is reported good to excellent on the lake fishing off the points. Try trolling or jigging at 35-65 feet in 80-100 feet of water with Spin Doctors, white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 65 to 75 foot of water is also producing some lake trout, especially at the south end. Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 40 to 75 feet over 90 to 180 feet of water. The lakers caught were full of perch. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Yellow perch were being caught on small jigs fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. Lots of pickerel and rock bass in 15 – 25 feet of water.  No reports on the bass bite but it should be good. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SENECA LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Browns and Atlantic salmon are hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 75 to 150 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season remains open but no reports on their activity. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CAYUGA LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been catching lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. Lower lake temps are down into the low 40s.  Lake trout now have run of the entire lake from shallow to deep and everywhere in between.  Lake trout are being taken in 85 – 130  feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 75 to 100 foot level over a 150 to 300 foot bottom. Flashers and flies, and cowbells with spin-n-glo's are working. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors. A reported hot spot was out of Long Point casting swim jigs. Some pickerel were active also. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Look for yellow perch on the north end. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. Look for largemouth bass (catch & release) on the north end near shore and around any weed beds. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. Pike fishing is also productive on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

SKANEATELES LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Trolling 25 to 50 feet down with small spoons is working for trout and salmon. These fish are feeding on young of the year perch so keep moving around until you mark these schools of perch. Most of the action has been north of Lourdes Camp but the perch fry are spread out across the lake over a variety of depths. Rainbows are starting to hit for anglers fishing from shore with the time-tested marshmallow and worm rig. Smallmouth bass are also being taken near shore by anglers. Fishing tube baits, wacky rigged stickworms, jerkbaits or drop-shot rigs in 10 to 20 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass, panfish, rock bass and some perch. Remember bass are catch & release/artificals only. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at 15 - 35 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. No catch reports on pickerel. Access note: the DEC launch has been closed for the season. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

OWASCO LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Anglers are catching perch on the north end of the lake using fathead minnows and minnow-like, swimbaits. For the swimbaits, get them close to, or on the bottom and reel slow, occasionally jigging them. Weather permitting, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (catch & release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

OTISCO LAKE: A report has the lake frozen over and some anglers have been out on the north end, but no ice thickness depths are reported. Heavy snow will likely make moving around on the ice more difficult, create slushy areas, and will cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

 

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are running high. Snow will limit your movement along the streams and on smaller streams prevent access. Once conditions improve fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.  Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports have the Reservoir locked up, but the ice condition varies from 2 - 5 inches of ice reported. The complicating factor is that in some areas the good ice is mixed with frozen slush. The ice is not uniform so be careful and spud as you move around. The bad news is action was reported slow. Snow may make moving around on the ice more difficult, create slushy areas, and cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND:  There is safe ice reported on the pond at 5 – 6 inches. The area did not receive significant snow as forecasted with only a dusting to an inch or so.  Some anglers found a decent perch bite but you need to sort through the small ones. Snow may cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on ice conditions or fishing activity. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: The ice conditions have improved this week, but bring your spud and be careful because the ice is not uniform.  Reports off Lewis Point are from 5-7″ of ice but guys are going off to the right with reports of some problem areas to the left.  Sylvan Beach and moving into Edgewater are the same with the ice shoves still present on the beach. You could be drilling through a lot of stuff to get to the water. Reports vary but there are reports of 6″ of good ice that get thinner as you move out further into the lake. People are getting out of Jewel as well and reports are 5-6″ and more in some spots and access was reported as pretty good.  Moving down the north shore, a report came in saying Godfrey Point has some issues with access, but once you are out, there is good ice moving into Cleveland. At Taft Bay, more issues and more than one person reported they are waiting another day. Big Bay has improved nicely since this weekend, but it gets thinner quickly as you move out.  It’s 4-6″ off of Williams Park but more reports of uneven spots. There are some cracks to deal with around the lake. The consensus is the lake is not ready for machines.  There are some very slick spots out there so creepers should be in your gear bag to move.  While it is slick, the drag is pretty easy. Information from most spots is the fishing is tough to okay, not many are setting the world on fire and the perch seem to be cooperating a bit more than the walleye.  Still, there were reports of limits being taken from Lewis Point, Sylvan Beach, and an “undisclosed location on the north shore.” The heavy snow of the last few days  will likely make moving around on the ice more difficult, create slushy areas, and will cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. There were some large cracks out there so use caution. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ;  Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first.  (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST:  Weather permitting, the lake can provide some fishing but reports are limited. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are at good fishable levels. Steelhead and browns are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a good flow of water. You can fish either side of Lake Road. The south side has some nice pools considering Maxwell is one of the smaller streams. You can spin cast, fly rod, or center-pin for browns. The bait is the usual mix, nothing elaborate. You can drop shot some egg sacs under a torpedo bobber. Throw it out and let if drift down the stream. Bright beads are also working. There are also some steelhead and browns coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. With the colder weather you may be dealing with skim and/or slush ice at times so be extra careful. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: There is ice on all the bays, however, it may not be safe. Be sure and check as you move around. Currently, ice conditions vary on Sodus Bay. The north end is open water. Ice thickness straight out from Shaker Road is six to eight, however if you go east or west from Shaker, ice is not solid. There are some soft spots, around tributary mouths and bubblers used for dock protection. Port Bay has safer ice than Sodus, however, stay away from the channel area. The perch have been hitting off the points and near the narrows of the bay. Use smaller jigs and tip them with spikes or perch eyes and keep your line light. Some pike are being caught near LeRoy Island on the east side of Sodus Bay. Pike minnows are working. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  Anglers are going out on County ponds but reports have fishing slow. Inland you can try for panfish in the county park waters. Along Lake Ontario you can try the Greece Ponds. Reports from these ponds indicate 2 – 5 inches of ice with bad shore ice. Braddock Bay now reports open with some shore ice up to 5 inches and some pike are being reeled in. Reports from Irondequoit indicate open water. If you do venture out, exercise extreme caution! (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SALMON RIVER: Fishing has been up and down lately with the flow of the river. Good size, fresh steelhead (15+ lbs) have been reported. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. For those anglers who are fly fishing the most productive patterns have been stoneflies, pheasant tails, hare’s ear, prince nymph, steelhead hammer, small woolly buggers, estaz eggs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms, trout beads and marabou jigs have all produced results. Both float fishing and bottom bouncing have been working, if not having action with one method try the other as it does seem to make a difference depending on the day and location. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season closed November 30. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html) (Salmon River Pools Tutorial Video. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GTv_FSz8mY&list=PLlWqnCjYul-QrKK15mfz7iTwkuOXGR83o&index=7)

 

OSWEGO RIVER: The Oswego River is running high and dirty with the snow melt and rain. With that in mind, high water spots along the shore should produce fish in the days to come as the water clears up. The lower end of the river, downstream of the Rte. 104 bridge, will produce walleye and trout this time of year with the high water flows. Some anglers even fish the lower river at night. Beads, jigs, and egg sacs either fished under a float or bottom bouncing are working for steelhead and browns. Fathead minnows, night crawlers, spikes, meal worms and egg sacs are suggested live bait. Float fishing marabou jigs is an effective technique for catching trout along Lake Ontario tributaries especially in the winter and spring.

Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are running high and banks maybe icy. Be careful. Once it settles, the fishing should resume for smallmouth bass and walleye. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters (catch & release). For walleye try jigging with 3/8-ounce with chartreuse, white or black shad Twister Tails. Fish them with a slow stop-and-go retrieve downstream of islands or any slack water along the faster currents in 1-6 feet of water.  Try cut-bait or worms for the catfish. Also available are northern pike, bullhead and panfish. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html)

 

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THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

 

FEBRUARY 2020

15-16 - FREE FISHING WEEKEND in New York State. No license required.

15-16 – 8th Annual Twin Tiers Outdoor Expo  at the Grand Central Plaza, 1020 Center Street, Horseheads, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm) (Admission: $5.00/Military Discount $1 off/ 12 Years and Under Free) (For information call 607-937-5000 or go to http://www.twintiersoutdoorexpo.com/)

22 - Fly Tying 101 at The Orvis Shop, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – Noon) (Free.) (Call the store at 716-276-7200 information/register go to www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

22 - The Niagara River Anglers Association’s Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest. (Sunrise – 2:00 pm) Tournament boundaries include Lake Ontario and its tributaries, as well as the Lower Niagara River. Fish can be caught from boat or shore. Sign up at Creek Road Bait and Tackle, Lewiston, the Slippery Sinker in Olcott or at the launch ramp in Lewiston the morning of the contest. (For more information check out www.niagarariveranglers.com or call Paul Jackson at 731-4780. Entry forms should also be available at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston and The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. (Entry fee is $20 with $5 brown trout division.) This is a date change. You must be a NRAA member. (For information contact Ken Jackson at 716-946-6810.)

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*TIP:         

 

*TIP #2: ICE SAFETY FROM THE COAST GUARD: If you’re planning to participate in recreational ice activities, remember the acronym I.C.E. before you head out. (I.C.E. = Information, Clothing, and Equipment).

Get the right Information on weather and ice conditions before going out. Ice thickness is rarely consistent. Water currents, particularly around narrow spots, bridges, inlets and outlets are always suspect for weak ice. Stay away from cracks, seams, pressure ridges, slushy areas and darker areas for these may represent areas of unstable ice. Know where you are going, how to get there and how to call for help; share this information with friends and family prior to departing. This information can be valuable to first responders in an emergency.

Ensure you wear the proper Clothing to prevent hypothermia and choose bright colors to be easily seen by others. It is not uncommon for people to become disoriented while on the ice, especially in low visibility or deteriorating weather conditions.

Never venture onto the ice without proper safety Equipment. Carry a whistle or noise-making device to alert people of distress and a waterproof VHF-FM radio or Personal Locator Beacon to contact local emergency responders. Please remember that cellular phone signals can be limited and unreliable in remote areas. Carry two ice awls or screwdrivers. These instruments can aid in pulling yourself out of the water onto solid ice in an emergency and are more effective than hands alone.

For more information about cold water safety, recommended safety gear and tips for handling emergencies, visit the Cold Water Boot Camp web site at: http://www.coldwaterbootcampusa.org/.

 

*TIP #3: Mark Your Calendars: Free Fishing Weekend - February 15-16, 2020

 

*TIP #4: GENESEE RIVER ANGLER DIARISTS NEEDED:  The New York State DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program on the Genesee River in Allegany and Wyoming Counties from March 1st through October 31st, 2020. This program will cover the river from the PA line downstream through Letchworth State Park and will record data for both trout and bass fishing trips. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC please call the Region 9 Fisheries Office at (716) 379-6379 or e-mail at fwfish9@dec.ny.gov. This diary program will be used to evaluate the quality of the fishery and determine future management actions.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could produce fish. Hardwater action at the Small Boat Harbor is a no go at this time. Currently reports have the area only partially skimmed over.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained and in some cases – frozen over. But when the creeks are back in fishable shape, the steelhead bite should be pretty good. Some fresh steelhead have been scattered around the streams too. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. When fishing winter conditions, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are more lethargic and hugging the bottom.  Fly anglers typically target steelhead by drifting egg patterns, trout beads, nymphs and woolly buggers or by swinging streamers. Egg sacs, trout beads, pink plastic worms and jigs are common offerings by spinning or center pin drifters. Some of the better reports come from the Laona Falls spot on Canadaway Creek, Chautauqua Creek and Cayuga Creek. One angler  reports trout success utilizing live shiners near the mouth of Canadaway, weather permitting. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page. Tributary bass fishing is winding down with very few bass left in the creeks.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Anglers can catch a variety of warmwater species at sites throughout the upper Niagara River. Time of day is key. Focus on early morning or later afternoon/early evening. Decent numbers of walleye are showing around the head of the river down to at least Strawberry Island. Catches of yellow perch, sheepshead and sunfish are common at shore sites. White bass sometimes show as well. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs may produce rainbow trout catches from Broderick Park and Bird Island Pier.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The weather has struck again. Snow and ice will disrupt shore fishing and boat fishing alike. When conditions permit, lower river boaters should see a good trout bite in the drifts near Lewiston, down near the mouth of river and out on the Niagara Bar. River anglers should catch primarily steelhead, with some brown trout and the occasional walleye mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with live shiners, egg sacs (pink and chartreuse) or trout beads have worked well for trout. Walleye are more apt to hit rigs with shiners. Shore anglers in the gorge are catching decent numbers of steelhead. All angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline, parking lot) at the NYPA Power Vista are closed for the winter season.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Weather permitting, the lake can provide some fishing but reports are limited. One report did have some brown trout caught off Olcott in 10 – 15 fow trolling stickbaits. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Lake Ontario anglers have had to pick their days recently due to frequent fluctuations in flow and freeze up of the streams. Recently, most creeks are running high and muddy. Anglers have reported fair trout fishing on higher stained flows at Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks. Eighteenmile anglers are catching a mix of steelhead and browns. Oak anglers are catching mostly steelhead, with better action in section near the dam. Johnson Creek and some other smaller creeks are in good shape, but levels are rising on all streams. Johnson Creek anglers have been catching mostly steelhead. Egg sacs do the trick for brown trout and steelhead. Trout are around in all the creeks but don’t be afraid to look around as some of the smaller creeks like 12 Mile or 4 Mile. Keg Creek is still locked out with gravel at the mouth serving as a barrier. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Ice has returned to Chautauqua Lake. As of Wednesday afternoon, anglers were having success on the north side of Bemus Point and Bemus Bay, targeting crappie and bluegills. Long Point and Prendergast were areas mentioned for walleye. Reports have bluegills and yellow perch being taken at Mayville, Bemus and Long Point. Remember, if you do go out, muskellunge and regular black bass seasons closed on November 30. However, anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Heavy snow may make moving around on the ice difficult, create slushy areas, and cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.) (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are running high. Heavy snows will limit your movement along the streams and on smaller streams prevent access. Once conditions improve smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. If fishing some colored water, try wooly buggers or streamer patterns in a variety of colors. Sometimes baitfish take on a pale hue in winter, so white is never a bad option. Make sure you’re breaking the surface of the water and getting into the strike zone as the water is cold and fish are sluggish. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners.  If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*SILVER LAKE:  Reports indicate anglers have been out on the lake on about 4 inches of ice. At the south end ice is reported varyable – 4 inches in one spot and only 1 inch a short distance away. The quality of the ice varys also. Be careful if you go out. The bite is slow with a lot of small perch for every keeper. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Some ice (up to 5 inches) reported around the lake but the edges are not reported safe. It needs more freezing time. Heavy snow may make moving around on the ice difficult, create slushy areas, and cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out.  (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HEMLOCK LAKE: No word on ice, if any.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CANADICE LAKE: No word on ice, if any. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HONEOYE LAKE: South end is drawing anglers with 4 - 5 inches of ice off the launch out further down to 3 inches. No word on north end ice. The bluegill/perch bite is fair. Heavy snow may make moving around on the ice more difficult, create slushy areas, and will cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE:  No word on ice, if any. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 30 to 90 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 75 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Largemouth bass are hitting senko rubber worms. Seems like the smaller 3"-4" worms are working better. Green pumpkin and purple were working. Just bump the worm off the bottom. The weight of the worm and hook should be enough. Work it slowly though because the fish are very slow to take the worm. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-25 feet of water using worms as bait. At either the north or south end. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES:  Waneta reports 4 – 4.5 inches of safe ice at the south end but as you move north ice gets thinner and there are patches of open water. No word on Lamoka. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*KEUKA LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Laker action is reported good to excellent on the lake fishing off the points. Try trolling or jigging at 35-65 feet in 80-100 feet of water with Spin Doctors, white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 65 to 75 foot of water is also producing some lake trout, especially at the south end. Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 40 to 75 feet over 90 to 180 feet of water. The lakers caught were full of perch. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Yellow perch were being caught on small jigs fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. Lots of pickerel and rock bass in 15 – 25 feet of water.  No reports on the bass bite but it should be good. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SENECA LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Browns and Atlantic salmon are hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 75 to 150 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season remains open but no reports on their activity. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CAYUGA LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been catching lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. Lower lake temps are down into the low 40s.  Lake trout now have run of the entire lake from shallow to deep and everywhere in between.  Lake trout are being taken in 85 – 130  feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 75 to 100 foot level over a 150 to 300 foot bottom. Flashers and flies, and cowbells with spin-n-glo's are working. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors. A reported hot spot was out of Long Point casting swim jigs. Some pickerel were active also. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. Look for yellow perch on the north end. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. Look for largemouth bass (catch & release) on the north end near shore and around any weed beds. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. Pike fishing is also productive on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Trolling 25 to 50 feet down with small spoons is working for trout and salmon. These fish are feeding on young of the year perch so keep moving around until you mark these schools of perch. Most of the action has been north of Lourdes Camp but the perch fry are spread out across the lake over a variety of depths. Rainbows are starting to hit for anglers fishing from shore with the time-tested marshmallow and worm rig. Smallmouth bass are also being taken near shore by anglers. Fishing tube baits, wacky rigged stickworms, jerkbaits or drop-shot rigs in 10 to 20 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass, panfish, rock bass and some perch. Remember bass are catch & release/artificals only. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at 15 - 35 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. No catch reports on pickerel. Access note: the DEC launch has been closed for the season. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*OWASCO LAKE: No word on ice, if any. Anglers are catching perch on the north end of the lake using fathead minnows and minnow-like, swimbaits. For the swimbaits, get them close to, or on the bottom and reel slow, occasionally jigging them. Weather permitting, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (catch & release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*OTISCO LAKE: A report has the lake frozen over and some anglers have been out on the north end, but no ice thickness depths are reported. Heavy snow will likely make moving around on the ice more difficult, create slushy areas, and will cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are running high. Heavy snows will limit your movement along the streams and on smaller streams prevent access. Once conditions improve fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.  Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports had the Reservoir locked up, with 4.5 - 5 inches of ice reported off the park and 4 – 6 inches by the islands. The ice is not uniform so be careful and spud as you move around. The bad news is action was reported slow. Heavy snow will likely make moving around on the ice more difficult, create slushy areas, and will cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND:  There is safe ice reported on the pond at 5 – 6 inches. Some anglers found a decent perch bite but you need to sort through the small ones. Heavy snow will likely make moving around on the ice more difficult, create slushy areas, and will cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on ice conditions or fishing activity. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: The ice conditions have improved a lot this week, but bring your spud and be careful because the ice is not uniform.  Reports off Lewis Point are from 5-7″ of ice but guys are going off to the right with reports of some problem areas to the left.  Sylvan Beach and moving into Edgewater are the same with the ice shoves still present on the beach. You could be drilling through a lot of stuff to get to the water. Reports vary but there are reports of 6″ of good ice that get thinner as you move out further into the lake. People are getting out of Jewel as well and reports are 5-6″ and more in some spots and access was reported as pretty good.  Moving down the north shore, a report came in saying Godfrey Point has some issues with access, but once you are out, there is good ice moving into Cleveland. At Taft Bay, more issues and more than one person reported they are waiting another day. Big Bay has improved nicely since this weekend, but it gets thinner quickly as you move out.  It’s 4-6″ off of Williams Park but more reports of uneven spots. There are some cracks to deal with around the lake. The consensus is the lake is not ready for machines.  There are some very slick spots out there so creepers should be in your gear bag to move.  While it is slick, the drag is pretty easy.

Information from most spots is the fishing is tough to okay, not many are setting the world on fire and the perch seem to be cooperating a bit more than the walleye.  Still, there were reports of limits being taken from Lewis Point, Sylvan Beach, and an “undisclosed location on the north shore.” The heavy snow of the last few days  will likely make moving around on the ice more difficult, create slushy areas, and will cover any holes or cracks in the ice so use extreme caution and your own good judgment if venturing out. There were some large cracks out there so use caution. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ;  Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first.  (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST:  Weather permitting, the lake can provide some fishing but reports are limited. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are at good fishable levels. Steelhead and browns are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a good flow of water. You can fish either side of Lake Road. The south side has some nice pools considering Maxwell is one of the smaller streams. You can spin cast, fly rod, or center-pin for browns. The bait is the usual mix, nothing elaborate. You can drop shot some egg sacs under a torpedo bobber. Throw it out and let if drift down the stream. Bright beads are also working. There are also some steelhead and browns coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. With the colder weather you may be dealing with skim and/or slush ice at times so be extra careful. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: There is ice on all the bays, however it started to melt with the warmer temps and now has a heavy snow cover. Currently, Sodus and Port Bays have 5 to 8 of ice. There are some soft spots, however, around tributary mouths and bubblers used for dock protection. The perch are hitting off the points in Sodus and Port Bays. They have been scattered, however if you drill a productive hole which gives you 12-inch fish…stick with it. Depths have been 20 – 25 feet. Use smaller jigs and tip them with spikes and keep your line light. Some pike are being caught near LeRoy Island on the east side of Sodus Bay. Pike minnows are working. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  Anglers are going out on County ponds but reports have fishing slow. Inland you can try panfish in the county park waters. Along Lake Ontario you can try the Greece Ponds. Reports from these ponds indicate 2 – 5 inches of ice with bad shore ice. Braddock Bay now reports a lot of open water and again unsafe shore ice. There are no reports from Irondequoit. The heavy snow cover will not improve conditions. If you do venture out, exercise extreme caution! (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SALMON RIVER: Fishing has been up and down lately with the flow of the river. Good size, fresh steelhead (15+ lbs) have been reported. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. For those anglers who are fly fishing the most productive patterns have been stoneflies, pheasant tails, hare’s ear, prince nymph, steelhead hammer, small woolly buggers, estaz eggs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms, trout beads and marabou jigs have all produced results. Both float fishing and bottom bouncing have been working, if not having action with one method try the other as it does seem to make a difference depending on the day and location. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season closed November 30. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html) (Salmon River Pools Tutorial Video. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GTv_FSz8mY&list=PLlWqnCjYul-QrKK15mfz7iTwkuOXGR83o&index=7)

 

*OSWEGO RIVER: The Oswego River is running high and dirty with the snow melt and rain. With that in mind, high water spots along the shore should produce fish in the days to come as the water clears up. The lower end of the river, downstream of the Rte. 104 bridge, will produce walleye and trout this time of year with the high water flows. Some anglers even fish the lower river at night. Fathead minnows, night crawlers, spikes, meal worms and egg sacs are suggested live bait. Float fishing marabou jigs is an effective technique for catching trout along Lake Ontario tributaries especially in the winter and spring.

Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

*OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are running high and banks maybe icy. Be careful. Once it settles, the fishing should resume for smallmouth bass and walleye. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters (catch & release). For walleye try jigging with 3/8-ounce with chartreuse, white or black shad Twister Tails. Fish them with a slow stop-and-go retrieve downstream of islands or any slack water along the faster currents in 1-6 feet of water.  Try cut-bait or worms for the catfish. Also available are northern pike, bullhead and panfish. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html)

 

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*THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

 

FEBRUARY 2020

8 - Elbridge Rod and Gun Club Sportsman Swap Meet at 6275 Laird Road, Jordan, NY (9:00 am to 3:00 pm) (For information call 315-857-4663 or 315-689-7339.)

8 - Outfitter Fair at the Southtowns Walleye Club, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, NY (11:00 am – 3:00 pm) New and used fishing and hunting equipment. No guns or ammunition. (For information call 716-796-5372 or 716-864-2938.)  

8 – Sportsman Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Lyons Road (Route 14N), Geneva, NY (9:30 am) Over 300 Guns • Shotguns • Rifles • Handguns • Knives • Ammo • Scopes • Bear Traps • Decoys • Hunting & Fishing Items • '04 Yamaha Sx Venom 600 Smowmobile • 10 Day South African Hunt. (For more information call 315-789-9349 or 585-734-6082 or go to www.hessney.com)

8 - Fly Tying 101 at The Orvis Shop, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – Noon) (Free.) (Call the store at 716-276-7200 information/register go to www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

15-16 - FREE FISHING WEEKEND in New York State. No license required.

15-16 – 8th Annual Twin Tiers Outdoor Expo  at the Grand Central Plaza, 1020 Center Street, Horseheads, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm) (Admission: $5.00/Military Discount $1 off/ 12 Years and Under Free) (For information call 607-937-5000 or go to http://www.twintiersoutdoorexpo.com/)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

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*TIP 3: LAKE STURGEON TAGS:  Scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are looking for satellite tags that were attached to lake sturgeon last season. These unique tags are programmed to "pop off" of (detach from) each fish once they have collected data on lake sturgeon movements. Scientists use these data to determine annual movements, migration, behaviors and habitat use of lake sturgeon in the eastern Lake Erie basin. Once these tags become detached from the fish, they float to the surface, and are easily recognized by their unique shape and bright orange coloration. They tend to drift from Buffalo Harbor into the Upper Niagara River and occasionally become entangled in riverside vegetation. Should you encounter a floating pop off tag, collect and contact USFWS using the information printed on the body of the tag. The responsible scientist will assist you in sending it back to the appropriate office. In addition, once the data are downloaded, scientists will provide a detailed letter about that particular sturgeon's migration and movement patterns within the eastern Lake Erie Basin.

 

 

 

 

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*TIP: RIGGING SOFT PLASTICS:  Soft plastic lures are some of the most popular fishing lures.  Their popularity stems in large part from their versatility.  Body styles vary, with those made to mimic worms, lizards, leeches, fish, and other less identifiable creatures. With soft, pliable bodies, these lures produce amazing life-like action that fish find irresistible.  Supple design also gives soft plastics a better mouth-feel than hard or rigid lures and fish are much less likely to immediately let go after striking.  To enhance this aspect, manufacturers will often impregnate soft plastics with scents and flavors.  One of the greatest features of soft plastics is the variety of ways in which they can be rigged and fished, allowing you to target fish in open water, at depth, through weeds, and around structure.  Here are some tried-and-true methods that every angler should have in their arsenal:

Rigging weightless – This is a simple form of rigging a rubber worm or soft plastic. The hook is tied directly to the mainline with no weight or sinker.  A small swivel can be added to reduce line twist if the lure spins.  This is a great style to cast along shorelines, into mangroves, docks, or weeds.  Hide the point of hook in the body of the lure to minimize snags. 

 

“Texas Style”  rig – Texas-style with a twist:  a wooden toothpick is inserted in the tapered end hole of the sliding sinker, locking it in place at the head of the lure. The benefit of doing this is that it makes the rig virtually weedless when the hook point is inserted back into the side of your soft plastic. You can also buy premade sinkers with a corkscrew wire molded into the flat end, which screws into the head section of a soft plastic lure.

“Texas Style” weighted hook rig - This is a modern approach to the traditional Texas Style Rig, in which a premade hook with a sinker molded to its shank is used in combination with the soft plastic lure. The advantage of the center-weighted hook is that it allows the bait to sink horizontally rather than vertically, which can be helpful with a more natural presentation.

 

 

“Carolina Style” rig – The Carolina Style rig is commonly used for bottom fishing in an area free of debris or snags. A bullet weight/sinker is threaded onto the mainline, followed by a plastic or glass bead.  A swivel is then tied to the mainline and a length of leader (12” or more) is tied to the swivel with a hook and soft plastic on the other end.  This rig creates a clicking noise as the angler raises and drops the rig back to the bottom and the bead and weight hit each other, adding a new level of fish attracting action.  
 

Splitshot rig – A soft plastic and hook are attached to the mainline and a splitshot is simply squeezed 18-24” on the mainline above the lure. The splitshot rig is commonly used with lighter line or when a soft plastic lure requires some weight but not excess weight that would otherwise alter the action of the soft plastic, such as in flowing water.

Wacky rig – A very simple method of hooking a soft plastic that is highly effective on bedding largemouth bass. Tie a drop shot style hook onto the mainline.  Then symmetrically hook your bait through the center. Determine  the center of the bait by bending it in half and placing the hook through the center of the bend.  The senko worm is a common soft plastic used with the wacky rig method.  
When dropped into water, a terrestrial worm such as a nightcrawler waves both ends of their body spastically back and forth in alternating U-shaped motions.  Use this visualization to understand how and why this style of rigging works so effectively.

Dropshot rig – A lightweight hook is tied, usually with a palomar knot, to the mainline while retaining a long 10” to 30” tag end.  The tag end of the knot is looped and tied back up to the eye of the hook, securing the hook point in an upward position. A small drop sinker is then tied to the tag end, usually 5-25” below the lure. The soft plastic is typically hooked in the front or can be wacky-rigged (see above), which helps

minimize line twisting.  

Jighead and soft plastic – A pre-made jighead is used in combination with the soft plastic body. The advantage of the jighead and soft plastic combo is that it is simply a two-piece combination in which the soft plastic is threaded onto the hook and provides a low profile lure combination that can be cast accurately and over long distances.  This style can be retrieved through the water or jigged along the bottom without the upward-pointing getting snagged.