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    fishing Report for Western new york                                                                                                                                               with Ron Schroder

WESTERN/CENTRAL NEW YORK FISHING - WEST TO EAST

 

2 - 21 - 20   

 

*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.)

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

 

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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/)

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TIP #2: ICE SAFETY FROM DEC: Ice fishing opportunities abound in New York State. Winter anglers catch a variety of fish; primarily perch, sunfish, pickerel, northern pike and walleye. In addition, many waters throughout New York State are open to fishing for trout, lake trout and landlocked salmon. Check the "Special Regulations By County" sections of the Fishing Regulations Guide.

Fishing through the ice requires skill and knowledge as does open water angling. But, anyone can ice fish successfully if he/she does the homework. Learning about the water to be fished, the equipment and its capabilities, proper clothing and safety precautions are all part of a successful, enjoyable winter fishing experience. Perhaps the best way to get started is to accompany a friend or neighbor on a half-day ice fishing outing. If you are unable to locate anyone to go with, the next best alternative is to visit a tackle shop in a popular ice fishing area. The proprietors are interested in seeing that you have a successful and enjoyable trip and will provide you with all of the necessary equipment. You may also watch for announcements of local ice fishing contests or tournaments run by local sportsmen's clubs -- ice fishermen tend to be a highly social group, eager to share tips, techniques and stories.

For a first trip, try to pick an opportune weather day -- remember those blustery January days will soon fade into mild February and spring-like March days which often provide some of the most productive ice fishing of the season. Whatever the day you decide to go ice fishing, be sure to check the ice for safety.

The Waters. . .

Most all ponds and lakes offer ice fishing potential. Their characteristics define the kinds of fish that may be caught. Large, shallower ponds and lakes favor species such as chain pickerel, northern pike, yellow perch and sunfish. Deepwater lakes need to be fished selectively to get good catches of northern pike, walleye or lake trout. Brown trout, rainbow trout and landlocked salmon, where they may legally be taken, are often found in deep lakes, which provide necessary cool temperatures in the summertime. However, when these lakes are ice-covered, trout are frequently caught while cruising just a few feet under the ice. The local tackle shop where you purchase your bait should be able to advise you on where fish are currently being caught.

Regardless of the fish species that you are seeking, concentrations of anglers or the presence of many old holes will provide an indication of areas where good catches have recently occurred.

Cutting the Ice...

Getting through the ice is not as hard as it might seem. There are a variety of tools available that make this "essential task" fairly simple. Perhaps the simplest is an old-fashioned "spud" bar which your grandfather may have used on his ice fishing trips. Spuds are often the cheapest way to cut a hole in the ice and work reasonably well on ice up to about a foot thick. Hand-powered augers, which are slightly more expensive than spud bars, are easy to operate and offer the best all-around compromise for moderate ice conditions. Try to purchase an auger appropriate to the species of fish that you are seeking. Anglers who fish for yellow perch, sunfish and other pan fish frequently favor ice augers 4", 5" or 6" in diameter because of their light weight and the speed that they bore through the ice. Anglers who fish for larger fish, such as trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon and northern pike, frequently prefer an ice auger which will make a larger hole -- an appreciated feature during the often-tricky landing of these large fish. But remember, cutting an 8" hole requires the removal of almost twice as much ice as a 6" hole, so don't buy an ice auger much bigger than you will need. For the avid ice angler or for thicker, more extreme ice conditions, more expensive, gas-powered augers provide the ultimate in speed and convenience, albeit at a sacrifice in weight and portability. Power augers come in diameters up to 10" and the size of the hole makes little difference in the speed or difficulty of cutting the hole.

Ice Fishing Methods...

Ice fishing methods include "jigging" with short, light fishing rods and using tip-ups. There are many different kinds of jigging poles and tip-ups. Much of the equipment is easy to make.

Jigging involves the use of a jigging rod or hand line and a small jigging spoon or lure which is often "sweetened" with a piece of bait. The jig is designed to dart around in different directions when it is jerked up and down by the angler.

The tip-up is basically a spool on a stick holding a baited line suspended through a hole in the ice. When the bait - usually a minnow - is taken by a fish, the pull on the line releases a signal, such as a red flag.

Clothing...

For safe ice fishing outings, anglers need to be well prepared. Proper clothing is critical because most people do not move around much while ice fishing. Dress warmly, paying extra attention to your head, feet and hands - dressing in layers is essential.

Ice Safety...

Safe ice is the number one consideration. A minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is the general rule for safety. Ice thickness, however, is not uniform on any body of water. The guidelines presented here (based on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) are based on new clear ice on non-running waters. Remember, your own good judgment is essential! Since ice thickness can vary on a lake, check the ice periodically to stay safe.

Ice Thickness Table for new, clear ice only:

Ice Thickness                            Permissible Load

2 inches or less                           Stay Off

4 inches                                         Ice Fishing or other Activities on foot

5 inches                                         Snowmobile or ATV

8-12 inches                                   Car or small pickup

12-15 inches                                 Medium Truck

Note: This guide is based on new, clear ice on non-running waters. Slush ice is about 50 percent weaker. Clear, ice over running water is about 20 percent weaker. Double the recommendations for white ice. Many ice anglers do not like to fish on less than five inches of ice, and do not like to drive a pick-up truck on less than 15 inches of ice. Use common sense!

Be cautious in areas where "bubblers" are used to protect docks. They can produce thin, unsafe ice some distance away. Be especially alert in areas near shore, over moving bodies of water and on lakes and ponds where streams enter or exit.

Remember, use the buddy system while ice fishing - it saves lives.

And, last but not least, the fishing regulations...

Review the ice fishing regulations to let you know where you can ice fish, how many lines you are permitted, and information about the use of ice shanties.

 

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.

 

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 may be possible at the Small Boat Harbor with a little more cold weather. 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 have been in fishable shape, the steelhead bite has been 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 water is clearing and hopefully wind and rain won’t change it. Times like this are when shore fishermen can still pick up a few fish in the gorge. When conditions have permitted, lower river boaters have seen a good trout bite in the drifts near Lewiston, down near the mouth of river and out on the Niagara Bar. River anglers are catching 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 has 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. 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. 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 was an area mentioned for walleye. 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. (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 have moderate-high, clear flows. 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 north end 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. Be careful. The bite is slow. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Some ice reported around the edges but it’s not reported safe. It needs more freezing time. (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. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31.  (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. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. (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 3 – 4 inches of ice. No word on north end ice. The bluegill bite was fair. (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 iceat 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 but no word on how much ice or fishing conditions. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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.  Remember, trout fishing in the Finger Lakes tribs ended December 31st. 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 very slow. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND:  There is some safe ice reported on the pond at 5 – 6 inches. There are no reports on the bite but lots of anglers have been 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.” 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. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: There is ice on all the bays, however it is starting to melt with the warmer temps and recent rain. Currently, the south end of Sodus has 5 to 6 inches and Port Bay has approximately the same. The perch are hitting off the points in Port Bay. They have been scattered, however if you drill a productive hole which gives you 12-inch fish…stick with it. 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. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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 and Braddock Bay. Reports from the Greece ponds indicate 2 – 5 inches of ice and Braddock Bay is reported at 2 – 3 inches. There are no reports from Irondequoit. (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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good 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)

Cuba Lake (Allegany County) Less than 4 inches of ice reported, but it is variable so spud as you move.

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) A few fishing but only about 2.5 inches reported.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) 1 – 2 inches of ice UNSAFE.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

 

FEBUARY 2020

1 - 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.)

1-2 - S-VE Sportsman’s Club Sportsman Days at the Spencer-Van Etten High School, S-VE High School, 16 Darts Cross Road, Spencer, NY (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Sponsored by the Spencer-Van Etten High School Sportsman’s Club. From hunting with dogs to hunting with guides. Artists, taxidermists, wood carvers, archery shops, fishing experts and guides. Archery range and fly casting area for kids. Free venison samples. Youth 3D archery tournament. Youth game calling contest. National Guard, seminars, Book Signing, DEC officers and Cornell deer researchers. Bring your deer mounts to hang in our “hall of Horns”. Food and drinks available for sale by our student council. Free! (For information call Doug 607-589-6512 or email @ cheveefann@aol.com)

1-9 - National Rifle Association’s Great American Outdoor Show at the State Farm Show Complex, 2300 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA. This is a nine day event celebrating hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions that are treasured by millions of Americans and their families. The show features over 1,100 exhibitors ranging from shooting manufacturers to outfitters to fishing boats and RV’s, and archery to art covering 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! Not to mention a jam packed schedule including country concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and much more! (Admission to the 2016 Great American Outdoor Show is as follows: • Adult: $13.00, • Child (6-12): $6.00, • Senior (65 or older): $11.00 and • 2-Day Pass: $22.00.) The show’s website, www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org, features an interactive floor plan and exhibitors list.

3 - Speaking of Nature Talk - Honeoye Lake Fishery Update at the FLCC Muller Field Station, 6455 County Road 36, Honeoye, NY. (4:30 – 6:00 pm) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation biologist Pete Austerman will discuss the current status of sport fish populations in Honeoye Lake. The presentation will include discussion of recent fingerling walleye stocking and future fishery management options for bass and panfish. Seating is limited and reservations are required! (For information/reservation contact Nancy Lawson at 585-785-1257 or Nancy.Lawson@flcc.edu.)

4 – Buffalo Harbor Telemetry Study Update from DEC’s Chris Driscoll at the Niagara Musky Association monthly meeting, at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad Street, Tonawanda, NY. (7:00 pm)

7-9 - Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) in the Snow Winter Workshop at Allegany State Park. Winter in New York can last up to six months. Why not learn to enjoy it to the fullest? Training sessions will include: Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Winter Camping & Survival, Fat Tire Biking, Trapping, Dutch Oven Cooking, Wild Game Cooking, Ice Fishing, K-9 First Aid, Firearm Safety and more! Registration will be open from November 19 through December 3, 2019, and DEC will choose registrants via lottery. Limited spaces available! Registration form, course descriptions and scholarship information will become available on November 19th. (For information e-mail BOW for more information.)

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.)

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

 

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*TIP:       

  

 

*TIP #2: ICE SAFETY FROM DEC: Ice fishing opportunities abound in New York State. Winter anglers catch a variety of fish; primarily perch, sunfish, pickerel, northern pike and walleye. In addition, many waters throughout New York State are open to fishing for trout, lake trout and landlocked salmon. Check the "Special Regulations By County" sections of the Fishing Regulations Guide.

Fishing through the ice requires skill and knowledge as does open water angling. But, anyone can ice fish successfully if he/she does the homework. Learning about the water to be fished, the equipment and its capabilities, proper clothing and safety precautions are all part of a successful, enjoyable winter fishing experience. Perhaps the best way to get started is to accompany a friend or neighbor on a half-day ice fishing outing. If you are unable to locate anyone to go with, the next best alternative is to visit a tackle shop in a popular ice fishing area. The proprietors are interested in seeing that you have a successful and enjoyable trip and will provide you with all of the necessary equipment. You may also watch for announcements of local ice fishing contests or tournaments run by local sportsmen's clubs -- ice fishermen tend to be a highly social group, eager to share tips, techniques and stories.

For a first trip, try to pick an opportune weather day -- remember those blustery January days will soon fade into mild February and spring-like March days which often provide some of the most productive ice fishing of the season. Whatever the day you decide to go ice fishing, be sure to check the ice for safety.

The Waters...

Most all ponds and lakes offer ice fishing potential. Their characteristics define the kinds of fish that may be caught. Large, shallower ponds and lakes favor species such as chain pickerel, northern pike, yellow perch and sunfish. Deepwater lakes need to be fished selectively to get good catches of northern pike, walleye or lake trout. Brown trout, rainbow trout and landlocked salmon, where they may legally be taken, are often found in deep lakes, which provide necessary cool temperatures in the summertime. However, when these lakes are ice-covered, trout are frequently caught while cruising just a few feet under the ice. The local tackle shop where you purchase your bait should be able to advise you on where fish are currently being caught.

Regardless of the fish species that you are seeking, concentrations of anglers or the presence of many old holes will provide an indication of areas where good catches have recently occurred.

Cutting the Ice...

Getting through the ice is not as hard as it might seem. There are a variety of tools available that make this "essential task" fairly simple. Perhaps the simplest is an old-fashioned "spud" bar which your grandfather may have used on his ice fishing trips. Spuds are often the cheapest way to cut a hole in the ice and work reasonably well on ice up to about a foot thick. Hand-powered augers, which are slightly more expensive than spud bars, are easy to operate and offer the best all-around compromise for moderate ice conditions. Try to purchase an auger appropriate to the species of fish that you are seeking. Anglers who fish for yellow perch, sunfish and other pan fish frequently favor ice augers 4", 5" or 6" in diameter because of their light weight and the speed that they bore through the ice. Anglers who fish for larger fish, such as trout, lake trout, landlocked salmon and northern pike, frequently prefer an ice auger which will make a larger hole -- an appreciated feature during the often-tricky landing of these large fish. But remember, cutting an 8" hole requires the removal of almost twice as much ice as a 6" hole, so don't buy an ice auger much bigger than you will need. For the avid ice angler or for thicker, more extreme ice conditions, more expensive, gas-powered augers provide the ultimate in speed and convenience, albeit at a sacrifice in weight and portability. Power augers come in diameters up to 10" and the size of the hole makes little difference in the speed or difficulty of cutting the hole.

Ice Fishing Methods...

Ice fishing methods include "jigging" with short, light fishing rods and using tip-ups. There are many different kinds of jigging poles and tip-ups. Much of the equipment is easy to make.

Jigging involves the use of a jigging rod or hand line and a small jigging spoon or lure which is often "sweetened" with a piece of bait. The jig is designed to dart around in different directions when it is jerked up and down by the angler.

The tip-up is basically a spool on a stick holding a baited line suspended through a hole in the ice. When the bait - usually a minnow - is taken by a fish, the pull on the line releases a signal, such as a red flag.

Clothing...

For safe ice fishing outings, anglers need to be well prepared. Proper clothing is critical because most people do not move around much while ice fishing. Dress warmly, paying extra attention to your head, feet and hands - dressing in layers is essential.

Ice Safety...

Safe ice is the number one consideration. A minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is the general rule for safety. Ice thickness, however, is not uniform on any body of water. The guidelines presented here (based on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) are based on new clear ice on non-running waters. Remember, your own good judgment is essential! Since ice thickness can vary on a lake, check the ice periodically to stay safe.

Ice Thickness Table for new, clear ice only:

Ice Thickness                            Permissible Load

2 inches or less                           Stay Off

4 inches                                         Ice Fishing or other Activities on foot

5 inches                                         Snowmobile or ATV

8-12 inches                                   Car or small pickup

12-15 inches                                 Medium Truck

Note: This guide is based on new, clear ice on non-running waters. Slush ice is about 50 percent weaker. Clear, ice over running water is about 20 percent weaker. Double the recommendations for white ice. Many ice anglers do not like to fish on less than five inches of ice, and do not like to drive a pick-up truck on less than 15 inches of ice. Use common sense!

Be cautious in areas where "bubblers" are used to protect docks. They can produce thin, unsafe ice some distance away. Be especially alert in areas near shore, over moving bodies of water and on lakes and ponds where streams enter or exit.

Remember, use the buddy system while ice fishing - it saves lives.

And, last but not least, the fishing regulations...

Review the ice fishing regulations to let you know where you can ice fish, how many lines you are permitted, and information about the use of ice shanties.

 

*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.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could be productive. Hardwater action may be possible at the Small Boat Harbor with a little more colder weather. Currently there is between 2 – 3 inches of ice. Still not really safe.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained and in some cases – frozen over. But when the creeks have been in fishable shape, the steelhead bite has been 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. 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 water clearing and hopefully wind and rain this weekend won’t change it. Times like this are when shore fishermen can still pick up a few fish in the gorge. When conditions have permitted, lower river boaters have seen a good trout bite in the drifts near Lewiston, down near the mouth of river and out on the Niagara Bar. River anglers are catching 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 has 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 is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. 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. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Anglers are awaiting good, safe ice. Fishing prospects are in limbo at Chautauqua Lake. The lake has froze over and broken up a couple times lately. Now it’s about 2 inches but no one’s fishing. 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. (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 have moderate-high, clear flows. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. 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 north end 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 bite is slow. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

* CONESUS LAKE: No word on ice, if any. (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. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31.  (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. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. (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 3 – 4 inches of ice. No word on north end ice. The bluegill bite was fair. (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:  Still waiting for good, safe ice. Waneta has reported about 2.5 inches of ice but also a some open water – nothing safe. 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 but no word on how much ice or fishing conditions. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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.  Remember, trout fishing in the Finger Lakes tribs ended December 31st. 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 1-4 inches of ice. The ice is not uniform so be careful and spud as you move around. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND:  There is some safe ice reported on the pond. The area off the Wig-Wam supposedly has 4 -5 inches but refrozen chunk ice may pose an obstacle in getting 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: Temperatures have been up and down and although some areas of the lake have iced over, most of the ice is not safe at this time. Warm temperatures and high winds are not a good formula for ice formation.  The Sylvan Beach area some solid ice but areas of 5 inches are mixed with areas of 2 inches or less. If you do go out be extra careful. Some extended forecasts show temperatures dropping later this week for a more extended period. Please be patient and wait for safe conditions. 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 still providing 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 high but fishable. 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. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Ice has disappeared from the bays and Canal and now it’s replaced by slush. If you do try to fish from a boat, make sure you know what you’re doing. Wear the PFD and don’t take any chances because the water temps are in the high 30’s. Hypothermia is a very quick killer. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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 and Braddock Bay. Reports from the Greece ponds indicate 2 – 5 inches of ice and Braddock Bay is reported at 2 – 3 inches. There are no reports from Irondequoit. (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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good 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)

Cuba Lake (Allegany County) Ice on lake but no details. Snow on ice with slushy spots.

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) A few fishing but only about 2.5 inches reported.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) 1 – 2 inches of ice UNSAFE.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

JANUARY 2020

 

24-26 - New York Sportsman’s Expo at the New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Fri - Noon to 7:00 pm/Sat – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm/Sun – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) This year's show will include more than 40 new exhibits, including outfitters from across the globe . The schedule also includes seminars, a kids' trout pond and more. (Admission: $10 ages 13-64; $5 for children 6 – 12; 5 and under no charge. Seniors are $7 and Military/Fire and Police are $7 with ID) (For information go to http://www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com/)

25 – Free Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club at the Club, 433 E Terrace Avenue, Lakewood, NY. (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited. (For information call 716-763-3955.)

25 – Fly Tying 101 at Orvis Buffalo, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – noon) (For information/register contact Adam Slavinski at 716-276-7200 or go on line at www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

25 - Reptile and Amphibian Lecture by Dr. Peter Ducey, distinguished teaching professor at SUNY Cortland, at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST), 500 S. Franklin St. Syracuse, NY. (10:00 – 11:00 am) The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps sponsors this presentation about the biology of the many amphibian and reptile species found in the Onondaga Lake ecosystem and how the recent restoration efforts have influenced these populations. (For information/register email montezuma@audubon.org with the subject line "Onondaga Lake" or call 315.365.3588 by January 24. Space is limited and registration is required.)

26 - The Start Of Online Registration For The DEC's 2020 Summer Camps Program. (10:00 am) Applications should be submitted through the online registration program available through a link from the Summer Camps website. Parents and guardians are encouraged to register early since some of the weeks fill up quickly. Camps for children are: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake (Franklin County); Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County), and Pack Forest in Warrensburg (Warren County). Campers will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of outdoor adventures and are encouraged to try new things. Activities may include fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, and hunter safety education. (For more information visit the DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov, or call 518-402-8014.)

 

FEBUARY 2020

 

1-2 - S-VE Sportsman’s Club Sportsman Days at the Spencer-Van Etten High School, S-VE High School, 16 Darts Cross Road, Spencer, NY (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Sponsored by the Spencer-Van Etten High School Sportsman’s Club. From hunting with dogs to hunting with guides. Artists, taxidermists, wood carvers, archery shops, fishing experts and guides. Archery range and fly casting area for kids. Free venison samples. Youth 3D archery tournament. Youth game calling contest. National Guard, seminars, Book Signing, DEC officers and Cornell deer researchers. Bring your deer mounts to hang in our “hall of Horns”. Food and drinks available for sale by our student council. Free! (For information call Doug 607-589-6512 or email @ cheveefann@aol.com)

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

 

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TIP:         

 

TIP #2: IT’S COMING - - ICE SAFETY: Here are 13 tips to follow when going on ice:

*Always remember that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.

*Fish or walk with a friend. It’s safer and more fun.

*Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish.

*Carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.

*Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss.

*Wear creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.

*Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.

*Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself—or others—out of the ice.

*Do not travel in unfamiliar areas, or at night.

*Know if the lake has inlets, outlets, or narrows that have currents that can thin the ice.

*Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.

*Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.

*Take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair.

*Driving on ice is always a risk. Use good judgment and consider alternatives.

 

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.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could be productive.

 

LAKE ERIE - TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained. But when the creeks have been in fishable shape, the steelhead bite has been 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. 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. Anglers are collecting some emerald shiners at the foot of Ferry Street.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The water was terribly off-color following the wind and rain from last weekend. Charters were cancelled in Monday and Tuesday, but times like this is when shore fishermen can still pick up a few fish in the gorge. When conditions have permitted, lower river boaters have seen a good trout bite in the drifts near Lewiston, down near the mouth of river and out on the Niagara Bar. River anglers are catching 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 has 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 is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. 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. 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 lately. Egg sacs do the trick brown trout and steelhead. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Anglers are awaiting good, safe ice. Fishing prospects are in limbo at Chautauqua Lake. The lake has froze over and broken up a couple times lately. 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. (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 have moderate-high, clear flows. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. 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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Some reports indicate anglers have been out but no safe ice is reported. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Waiting for good,safe ice. Some shore ice around the lake but nothing safe (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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31.  (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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. (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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Lake did ice over but only reported at 2 inches and warm temps took care of that. (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. 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:  Waiting for good, safe ice. Waneta has a lot of ice but also a lot of open water – nothing safe. Try shore or boat fishing for bass, perch, crappie and/or bullhead. Largemouth bass (catch & release/artificials only) 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. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs. (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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 few more walleye and tiger musky (open until March 15) are being taken with the cooling waters. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for the tigers and don't forget the wire leaders. It’s worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. Some tigers are reported being caught from the causeway fishing with large minnows under a bobber. If you do catch a tiger musky that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color) do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to the fwfish7 link below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch. Browns have turned on out there as well.  No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake. Smallmouths and largemouths (catch & release)are being taken in shallow water (10 – 15 feet) near shore and around the docks with wacky rigged stickworms. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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.  Remember, trout fishing in the Finger Lakes tribs ended December 31st. 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:  Waiting for good, safe ice. Reports had the Reservoir locked up with 1-2 inches but disappeared and it’s open water now. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND:  Waiting for good, safe ice. There is no safe ice on the pond. Although there were some areas that had iced over, the wind along with warmer temperatures up through yesterday have not been favorable for solid ice formation (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: Anglers are waiting for good, safe ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: Waiting for ice. Temperatures have been up and down and although some areas of the lake have iced over, the ice is not safe at this time. Warm temperatures and high winds have not been a good formula for ice formation. Colder temperatures moved in. Keep your fingers crossed. 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 still providing 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 high and muddy but fishable. 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. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Ice has disappeared from the bays and Canal. If you do try to fish from a boat, make sure you know what you’re doing. Wear the PFD and don’t take any chances because the water temps are in the high 30’s. Hypothermia is a very quick killer. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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 waiting for sate ice. Some ice has formed on County ponds and some anglers have been out but reports have it unsafe and recent warm temps didn’t help. Inland you can try panfish in the county park waters. Currently there is no ice reported on the bays or Greece ponds. (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. Good size, fresh steelhead (15+ lbs) were reported earlier in the week. 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 that happened recently. 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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good 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)

 

JANUARY 2020

 

17-19 - The Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. In conjunction with that show, the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Salmon School set for Jan. 18 is now open for registrations at www.lotsa1.org.

18 – Free Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club at the Club, 433 E Terrace Avenue, Lakewood, NY. (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited. (For information call 716-763-3955.)

18 – Fly Tying 101 at Orvis Buffalo, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – noon) (For information/register contact Adam Slavinski at 716-276-7200 or go on line at www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

24-26 - New York Sportsman’s Expo at the New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Fri - Noon to 7:00 pm/Sat – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm/Sun – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) This year's show will include more than 40 new exhibits, including outfitters from across the globe . The schedule also includes seminars, a kids' trout pond and more. (Admission: $10 ages 13-64; $5 for children 6 – 12; 5 and under no charge. Seniors are $7 and Military/Fire and Police are $7 with ID) (For information go to http://www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com/)

25 – Free Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club at the Club, 433 E Terrace Avenue, Lakewood, NY. (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited. (For information call 716-763-3955.)

25 – Fly Tying 101 at Orvis Buffalo, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – noon) (For information/register contact Adam Slavinski at 716-276-7200 or go on line at www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

25 - Reptile and Amphibian Lecture by Dr. Peter Ducey, distinguished teaching professor at SUNY Cortland, at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology (MOST), 500 S. Franklin St. Syracuse, NY. (10:00 – 11:00 am) The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps sponsors this presentation about the biology of the many amphibian and reptile species found in the Onondaga Lake ecosystem and how the recent restoration efforts have influenced these populations. (For information/register email montezuma@audubon.org with the subject line "Onondaga Lake" or call 315.365.3588 by January 24. Space is limited and registration is required.)

26 - The Start Of Online Registration For The DEC's 2020 Summer Camps Program. (10:00 am) Applications should be submitted through the online registration program available through a link from the Summer Camps website. Parents and guardians are encouraged to register early since some of the weeks fill up quickly. Camps for children are: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake (Franklin County); Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County), and Pack Forest in Warrensburg (Warren County). Campers will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of outdoor adventures and are encouraged to try new things. Activities may include fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering, and hunter safety education. (For more information visit the DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov, or call 518-402-8014.)

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*TIP: Jan. 1, 2020 was the trigger date for Brianna’s Law, a new law that requires all boaters to take a boating safety class over a 5 year window. For phase 1, all boat operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1993 must complete a safety course to operate a motorized vessel starting in 2020.

 

*TIP #2: IT’S COMING - - ICE SAFETY: Here are 13 tips to follow when going on ice:

*Always remember that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.

*Fish or walk with a friend. It’s safer and more fun.

*Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish.

*Carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.

*Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss.

*Wear creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.

*Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.

*Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself—or others—out of the ice.

*Do not travel in unfamiliar areas, or at night.

*Know if the lake has inlets, outlets, or narrows that have currents that can thin the ice.

*Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.

*Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.

*Take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair.

*Driving on ice is always a risk. Use good judgment and consider alternatives.

 

 

NO UPDATE ON FISHING REPORT – NOT ENOUGH CHANGE. Warm, rainy weather will limit open water fishing and whatever ice you may find is not recommended for hard water fishing. For those of you who need to fish last week’s report follows.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could be productive.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. With the coming warmer temperatures melting snow should sustain flows. 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. 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. Anglers are collecting some emerald shiners at the foot of Ferry Street.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river waters are currently in poor fishing shape with a green coloration. There are good numbers of trout around the upper drifts and near the mouth of the river and lakers are again legal. Boaters report catches of mostly steelhead and a few brown trout in the Devils Hole and Artpark drifts. Near the mouth, brown trout catches outnumber steelhead on some days. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with live shiners, egg sacs or trout beads has worked well. Shore fishermen will be the first to hit the lower river as they work spinners, jigs and beads or sacs in tight to shore in the clearer waters. All angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline, parking lot) at the NYPA Power Vista are closed for the winter season. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Weather permitting, the lake is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Trout are in the larger tribs and that signals the demise of the lake fishing. 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. Recently, most creeks are running high and muddy. Smaller streams will clear before the larger ones. Oak Orchard Creek remains high and stained, but is fishable. Oak anglers are mostly catching a mix of steelhead and brown trout, but some king salmon continue to show up in that creek. Eighteenmile Creek is in similar shape with high flows. Anglers report decent action for trout. There has been low effort on Johnson Creek lately, but water conditions are better. There are no trout in Keg Creek due to a gravel bar blocking the mouth. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Anglers are awaiting good, safe ice but winds and warm temps are in the way. 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. (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 have moderate-high, clear flows. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. 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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Some reports indicate anglers have been out but no safe ice is reported. The warm temps coming this week make such reports unlikely. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Waiting for good,safe ice. Lots of shore ice around the lake but nothing safe (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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31.  (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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. (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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Lake did ice over but only reported at 2 inches and the coming warm temps will take care of that. (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. 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:  Waiting for good, safe ice. Waneta has a lot of ice but also a lot of open water – nothing safeTry shore or boat fishing for bass, perch, crappie and/or bullhead. Largemouth bass (catch & release/artificials only) 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. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs. (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 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: 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: 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. 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: 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: 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 few more walleye and tiger musky (open until March 15) are being taken with the cooling waters. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for the tigers and don't forget the wire leaders. It’s worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. Some tigers are reported being caught from the causeway fishing with large minnows under a bobber. If you do catch a tiger musky that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color) do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to the fwfish7 link below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch. Browns have turned on out there as well.  No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake. Smallmouths and largemouths (catch & release)are being taken in shallow water (10 – 15 feet) near shore and around the docks with wacky rigged stickworms. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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.  Remember, trout fishing in the Finger Lakes tribs ended December 31st. 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:  Waiting for good, safe ice. Reports had the Reservoir locked up with 1-2 inches but more cold is needed. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND:  Waiting for good, safe ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Many anglers are waiting for good, safe ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: Waiting for ice. Boat traffic has all but disappeared from Oneida Lake with the cold and snow. Some ice did happen but disappeared. The shore bite has slowed but a few walleye are being picked up casting sticks from shore around dusk and dawn. 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 still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that is the demise of much of the lake fishing. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. 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. 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. Lake trout are once again legal. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Ice has disappeared from the bays and Canal. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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 waiting for ice. Some ice has formed on County ponds and some anglers have been out but reports have it unsafe and recent warm temps didn’t help. Inland you can try panfish in the county park waters. Currently there is no ice on the bays or Greece ponds. (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. Good size, fresh steelhead (15+ lbs) were reported earlier in the week. 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 that happened recently. 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 and do well. 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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good 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)

Marsh Reservoir – Erin, Chemung County: Reported ice at about 5 inches but no comment on quality.

 

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

 

JANUARY 2020

11 – Free Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club at the Club, 433 E Terrace Avenue, Lakewood, NY. (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited. (For information call 716-763-3955.)

11 - Fly Tying Workshop Series at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY. (6:00 – 8:00 pm) The Leon Chandler Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Tompkins County Cooperative Extension 4-H Program offer you (youth and adults) the finest in fly-fishing education, featuring some of the most talented angler/tiers in the state! This Introduction to Fly Tying features nine two-hour sessions (January 11 - March 7, 2020) with several different instructors who will teach you the basics of tying the dry fly, wet fly, nymph and streamer patterns that are the most effective in our area. Tuition includes nine weeks of instruction, all tools, hooks and tying materials. All students receive: complete tying kits (including vises, scissors and related tools); all tying materials necessary to complete the course and practice tying outside of the class (feathers, dubbing, hooks and related materials); as well as a comprehensive introductory text on Fly Tying. Tuition fees are $160 for adults (19 and up), $135 for children (between the ages of 13 and 18) and $235 for a child and adult combination. There are a limited number of partial scholarships available for children between the ages of 13 and 18. A 50% tuition deposit must accompany your application in order for us to hold your place. (for information/register contact Athena Steinkraus, 4-H Administrative Assistant, ahs38@cornell.edu or (607) 272-2292 ext. 139.

11 – Fly Tying 101 at Orvis Buffalo, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – noon) (For information/register contact Adam Slavinski at 716-276-7200 or go on line at www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

17-19 - The Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. In conjunction with that show, the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Salmon School set for Jan. 18 is now open for registrations at www.lotsa1.org.

18 – Free Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club at the Club, 433 E Terrace Avenue, Lakewood, NY. (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited. (For information call 716-763-3955.)

18 – Fly Tying 101 at Orvis Buffalo, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (10:00 am – noon) (For information/register contact Adam Slavinski at 716-276-7200 or go on line at www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

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*TIP: Jan. 1, 2020 was the trigger date for Brianna’s Law, a new law that requires all boaters to take a boating safety class over a 5 year window. For phase 1, all boat operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1993 must complete a safety course to operate a motorized vessel starting in 2020.

 

*TIP #2: IT’S COMING - - ICE SAFETY: Here are 13 tips to follow when going on ice:

*Always remember that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.

*Fish or walk with a friend. It’s safer and more fun.

*Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish.

*Carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.

*Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss.

*Wear creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.

*Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.

*Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself—or others—out of the ice.

*Do not travel in unfamiliar areas, or at night.

*Know if the lake has inlets, outlets, or narrows that have currents that can thin the ice.

*Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.

*Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.

*Take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair.

*Driving on ice is always a risk. Use good judgment and consider alternatives.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could be productive.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. With the coming warmer temperatures melting snow should sustain flows. 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. 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. Anglers are collecting some emerald shiners at the foot of Ferry Street.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river waters are currently in poor fishing shape with a green coloration. There are good numbers of trout around the upper drifts and near the mouth of the river and lakers are again legal. Boaters report catches of mostly steelhead and a few brown trout in the Devils Hole and Artpark drifts. Near the mouth, brown trout catches outnumber steelhead on some days. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with live shiners, egg sacs or trout beads has worked well. Shore fishermen will be the first to hit the lower river as they work spinners, jigs and beads or sacs in tight to shore in the clearer waters. All angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline, parking lot) at the NYPA Power Vista are closed for the winter season. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Weather permitting, the lake is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Trout are in the larger tribs and that signals the demise of the lake fishing. 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. Recently, most creeks are running high and muddy. Smaller streams will clear before the larger ones. Oak Orchard Creek remains high and stained, but is fishable. Oak anglers are mostly catching a mix of steelhead and brown trout, but some king salmon continue to show up in that creek. Eighteenmile Creek is in similar shape with high flows. Anglers report decent action for trout. There has been low effort on Johnson Creek lately, but water conditions are better. There are no trout in Keg Creek due to a gravel bar blocking the mouth. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Anglers are awaiting good, safe ice but winds and warm temps are in the way. 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. (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 have moderate-high, clear flows. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. 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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Some reports indicate anglers have been out but no safe ice is reported. The warm temps coming this week make such reports unlikely. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Waiting for good,safe ice. Lots of shore ice around the lake but nothing safe (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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31.  (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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Remember the tributary trout season ended December 31. (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: Waiting for good, safe ice. Lake did ice over but only reported at 2 inches and the coming warm temps will take care of that. (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. 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:  Waiting for good, safe ice. Waneta has a lot of ice but also a lot of open water – nothing safeTry shore or boat fishing for bass, perch, crappie and/or bullhead. Largemouth bass (catch & release/artificials only) 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. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs. (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 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: 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: 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. 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: 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: 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 few more walleye and tiger musky (open until March 15) are being taken with the cooling waters. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for the tigers and don't forget the wire leaders. It’s worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. Some tigers are reported being caught from the causeway fishing with large minnows under a bobber. If you do catch a tiger musky that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color) do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to the fwfish7 link below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch. Browns have turned on out there as well.  No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake. Smallmouths and largemouths (catch & release)are being taken in shallow water (10 – 15 feet) near shore and around the docks with wacky rigged stickworms. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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.  Remember, trout fishing in the Finger Lakes tribs ended December 31st. 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:  Waiting for good, safe ice. Reports had the Reservoir locked up with 1-2 inches but more cold is needed. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND:  Waiting for good, safe ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Many anglers are waiting for good, safe ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: Waiting for ice. Boat traffic has all but disappeared from Oneida Lake with the cold and snow. Some ice did happen but disappeared. The shore bite has slowed but a few walleye are being picked up casting sticks from shore around dusk and dawn. 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 still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that is the demise of much of the lake fishing. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. 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. 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. Lake trout are once again legal. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Ice has disappeared from the bays and Canal. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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 waiting for ice. Some ice has formed on County ponds and some anglers have been out but reports have it unsafe and recent warm temps didn’t help. Inland you can try panfish in the county park waters. Currently there is no ice on the bays or Greece ponds. (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. Good size, fresh steelhead (15+ lbs) were reported earlier in the week. 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 that happened recently. 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 and do well. 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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good 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)

Marsh Reservoir – Erin, Chemung County: Reported ice at about 5 inches but no comment on quality.

 

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

 

JANUARY 2020

1 - Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)

1 - Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

4 – Free Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club at the Club, 433 E Terrace Avenue, Lakewood, NY. (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited. (For information call 716-763-3955.)

11 – Free Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club at the Club, 433 E Terrace Avenue, Lakewood, NY. (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited. (For information call 716-763-3955.)

11 - Fly Tying Workshop Series at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY. (6:00 – 8:00 pm) The Leon Chandler Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Tompkins County Cooperative Extension 4-H Program offer you (youth and adults) the finest in fly-fishing education, featuring some of the most talented angler/tiers in the state! This Introduction to Fly Tying features nine two-hour sessions (January 11 - March 7, 2020) with several different instructors who will teach you the basics of tying the dry fly, wet fly, nymph and streamer patterns that are the most effective in our area. Tuition includes nine weeks of instruction, all tools, hooks and tying materials. All students receive: complete tying kits (including vises, scissors and related tools); all tying materials necessary to complete the course and practice tying outside of the class (feathers, dubbing, hooks and related materials); as well as a comprehensive introductory text on Fly Tying. Tuition fees are $160 for adults (19 and up), $135 for children (between the ages of 13 and 18) and $235 for a child and adult combination. There are a limited number of partial scholarships available for children between the ages of 13 and 18. A 50% tuition deposit must accompany your application in order for us to hold your place. (for information/register contact Athena Steinkraus, 4-H Administrative Assistant, ahs38@cornell.edu or (607) 272-2292 ext. 139.

 

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12 - 27 - 19   

 

 

NO FISHING UPDATE THIS WEEK. LAST WEEK’S REPORT IS STILL IN EFFECT.

 

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

DECEMBER 2019

1-31 -  Celebrate Canadice Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the highest and smallest Finger Lake! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

15 - Close of Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

31 - Close of Fishing Season for Trout in the Finger Lakes Tributaries

 

JANUARY 2020

1 - Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)

1 - Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

4 – Free Fly Tying Class sponsored by the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club at the Club, 433 E Terrace Avenue, Lakewood, NY. (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) Free pizzas and beverages will also be provided. Instruction will be provided by the mentors from Kids On the Fly. You are invited. (For information call 716-763-3955.)

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

 

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12 - 20 - 19

TIP: SEASON REMINDERS: November 30 was the end of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Black Bass and Muskellunge. The Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season closed December 15 and December 31 is the close of fishing for trout in the Finger Lakes tributaries. Bass Season in western Finger Lakes (Seneca Lake and west) and Tiger Musky Season in Otisco Lake remain open until March 15, 2020.

TIP 2: IT’S COMING - - ICE SAFETY: Here are 13 tips to follow when going on ice:
*Always remember that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.
*Fish or walk with a friend. It’s safer and more fun.
*Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish.
*Carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.
*Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss.
*Wear creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.
*Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.
*Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself—or others—out of the ice.
*Do not travel in unfamiliar areas, or at night.
*Know if the lake has inlets, outlets, or narrows that have currents that can thin the ice.
*Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.
*Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.
*Take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair.
*Driving on ice is always a risk. Use good judgment and consider alternatives.

LAKE ERIE: Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones could be productive.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. With the coming warmer temperatures melting snow should sustain flows. 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. 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. Anglers are collecting some emerald shiners at the foot of Ferry Street.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river waters are currently in good fishing shape with a green coloration. There are good numbers of trout around the upper drifts and near the mouth of the river. Boaters report catches of mostly steelhead and a few brown trout in the Devils Hole and Artpark drifts. Near the mouth, brown trout catches outnumber steelhead on some days. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with live shiners, egg sacs or trout beads has worked well. Shore anglers in the gorge are catching a decent mix of steelhead and brown trout. All angler access (platform, stairs to shoreline, parking lot) at the NYPA Power Vista are closed for the winter season. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Weather permitting, the lake is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Trout are in the larger tribs and that signals the demise of the lake fishing. 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. Fortunately, most creeks are back in good fishing shape. Oak Orchard Creek remains a bit high and stained, but is fishable. Oak anglers are mostly catching a mix of steelhead and brown trout, but some king salmon continue to show up in that creek. Eighteenmile Creek is in good shape with moderate flow today, and anglers report decent action for trout. There has been low effort on Johnson Creek lately, but water conditions are near prime today. Some of the smaller creeks like Twelvemile and East Branch are a bit icy at present. There are no trout in Keg Creek due to a gravel bar blocking the mouth. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Anglers are awaiting safe ice but winds and warm temps are in the way. 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. (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 have moderate-high, clear flows. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fishing weighted nymphs such as a prince or pheasant tail has been productive. 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: Waiting for safe ice. Some reports indicate anglers have been out but no safe ice is reported. The warm temps coming this week make such reports unlikely. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: Waiting for safe ice. Lots of shore ice around the lake but nothing safe (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: Waiting for safe ice. (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: Waiting for safe ice. (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: Waiting for safe ice. Lake did ice over but only reported at 2 inches and the coming warm temps will take care of that. (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: Waiting for ice. Try shore or boat fishing for bass, perch, crappie and/or bullhead. Largemouth bass (catch & release/artificials only) 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. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs. (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 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. 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. 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: 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. 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: 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: 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 few more walleye and tiger musky (open until March 15) are being taken with the cooling waters. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for the tigers and don't forget the wire leaders. It’s worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. Some tigers are reported being caught from the causeway fishing with large minnows under a bobber. If you do catch a tiger musky that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color) do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to the fwfish7 link below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch. Browns have turned on out there as well. No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake. Smallmouths and largemouths (catch & release)are being taken in shallow water (10 – 15 feet) near shore and around the docks with wacky rigged stickworms. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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. Remember, trout fishing in the Finger Lakes tribs ends December 31st. 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: Waiting for ice. Some reports had shore ice up to 3 inches but that will be gone in the next few days. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND: Waiting for ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: Many anglers are waiting for ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: Waiting for ice. Boat traffic has all but disappeared from Oneida Lake with the cold and snow. The shore bite has slowed but a few walleye are being picked up casting sticks from shore around dusk and dawn. 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 still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that is the demise of much of the lake fishing. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. The browns and steelhead are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a decent 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. Some steelhead have also been caught in Maxwell. 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 browns coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Slushy conditions have limited bay and canal fishing. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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 waiting for ice. Some ice has formed on County ponds and some anglers have been out but reports have it unsafe and the coming warm temps won’t help. Inland you can try panfish in the county park waters. (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. Fish are being seen – and caught – throughout the river. A mix of browns and steelhead were reported earlier in the week being picked up mainly on beads and eggs. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. Over the last couple of days the most productive patterns have been estaz eggs, sucker spawn, glo-bugs, egg sucking leeches, conehead woolly buggers, conehead muddlers and fish skull zonkers. Anglers who were bottom bouncing with spinning gear or float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms and trout beads. Anglers have been getting into fish in the Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Trestle Pool, Pineville, Longbridge/Staircase, Black Hole and DSR. The best reports for smallmouth bass come from the lower end of the river. The smallmouth bass generally hold in the slow and softer water along the edges of the deeper holes and larger runs. 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 that happened recently. 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 and do well. 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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good 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)
Loon Lake – Steuben County - had about 4 inches of reported ice but 40 degree temps will make unsafe.
Cayuta Lake – Schuyler County – had 2.5 – 3 inches of poor ice reported in spots.

                                                                                                                             >))))*>

THIS WEEK’S “Fish” EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)
DECEMBER 2019
1-31 -
Celebrate Canadice Lake Month
at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the highest and smallest Finger Lake! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)
31 - Close of Fishing Season for Trout in the Finger Lakes Tributaries

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

 

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12 - 13 - 19     

 

NO FISHING UPDATE THIS WEEK. LAST WEEK’S REPORT IS STILL IN EFFECT.

                                                                                    >))))*>  

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

DECEMBER 2019

1-31 -  Celebrate Canadice Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the highest and smallest Finger Lake! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

15 - Close of Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

 

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

12 - 6 - 19   

 

*TIP: REMINDER: November 30 was the end of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Black Bass and Muskellunge. The Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season remains open until December 15. Bass Season in western Finger Lakes (Seneca Lake and west) and Tiger Musky Season in Otisco Lake remain open until March 15, 2020.

 

*TIP 2: IT’S COMING - - ICE SAFETY: Here are 13 tips to follow when going on ice:

*Always remember that ice is never completely safe under any conditions.

*Fish or walk with a friend. It’s safer and more fun.

*Contact local sport shops to ask about ice conditions on the lake or river you want to fish.

*Carry a cell phone, and let people know where you are going and when you’ll return home.

*Wear proper clothing and equipment, including a life jacket or a float coat to help you stay afloat and to help slow body heat loss.

*Wear creepers attached to boots to prevent slipping on clear ice.

*Carry a spud bar to check the ice while walking to new areas.

*Carry a couple of spikes and a length of light rope in an easily accessible pocket to help pull yourself—or others—out of the ice.

*Do not travel in unfamiliar areas, or at night.

*Know if the lake has inlets, outlets, or narrows that have currents that can thin the ice.

*Look for clear ice. Clear ice is generally stronger than ice with air bubbles in it or with snow on it.

*Watch out for pressure ridges or ice heaves. These can be dangerous due to thin ice and open water.

*Take extra mittens or gloves so you always have a dry pair.

*Driving on ice is always a risk. Use good judgment and consider alternatives.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones is recommended. Walleye prospects are good from Cattaraugus Creek to the PA line and limit catches are still possible. Straight out of the Catt and to the west, trollers report good walleye catches in 50-70 feet of water. From Dunkirk to the PA line, depths of 70-80 feet have been best. Anglers are catching walleye from 20 feet down to the bottom, however gear run 50-60 down has been most productive. Worm harnesses, stickbaits and spoons are good walleye offerings. Anglers fishing Dunkirk and to the west also report the occasional steelhead catch. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss out of Cattaraugus Creek lately, with good catches one day and a struggle the next. Depths of 50-60 feet of water is a good starting point. One angler found the perch in 61-63 feet of water and the key was finding the bait. If you can find bait, you’ll find the perch. He was fishing straight off Crystal Beach on the mud flats. There have also been reports of anglers casting spoons off the City of Dunkirk Pier catching walleye while targeting trout. Depths of 85 feet plus have been productive for lake trout out of Dunkirk and Barcelona, with some lakers pushing 20 pounds. The best bite has typically been on spoons and flasher-fly combos run between 80 feet down and the bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing remains spotty with lighter angler effort. Target smallmouth bass around shoal and reef structure in 20-40 feet of water. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are all good bass baits. A drop-shot rig with tubes or live bait works well when fishing deeper waters. Remember as of December 1st the limit is 1 fish at least 20 inches long to be a keeper. Caution: There is a sandbar forming at the mouth of Sturgeon Point Marina, but boats were still successfully launching out of the harbor at report time. A narrow channel heading out is marked with buoys, water is 4½ to 5 foot deep.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained at report time. Without additional precipitation, the smaller streams and gorge section of Chautauqua Creek could be ready at some point in the near future. Anglers should have more fishable options by Sunday. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. With the current high water event, look for presence of fresh steelhead in the lower sections of creeks. 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. 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 waters are in good fishing shape at report time. Boat and shore anglers have seen a good trout bite this past week. Catches have consisted of a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout from both boat and shore. Be aware that lake trout season is currently closed on the lower river and will reopen on January 1st. Incidentally caught lake trout should be immediately released. Trout action has been best for boaters in the Devils Hole, Artpark and Coast Guard drifts. Controlled drifting with a three-way bottom bouncing rig and egg sacs, trout beads, shiners, Kwikfish and Mag Lips lures works well. Shore anglers are doing well at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Egg sacs, trout beads, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs fished under a float, or casted spoons and spinners are good trout offerings. Casting spoons and spinners from docks at Fort Niagara is also producing some trout catches. Anglers report good smallmouth bass action (catch & release/ artificals only) in the lower drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. Some walleye catches also continue in the lower river. Walleye are available from mid-river down to the Niagara Bar. Controlled drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) are traditional lower river walleye tactics. Be aware, there is a minimum size of 18" and daily limit of 3 for walleye in the lower river. The New York Power Authority has closed its fishing platform in the Niagara Gorge. This includes stairway access along Upper Mountain Road in Lewiston behind the Upper Mountain Road Fire Company. In addition, the stairs that lead to the shoreline of Devil’s Hole are already closed due to serious erosion issues. A new number has been established to allow for regular updates. Call 286-6662 to find out the status of the fishing platform. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Weather permitting, the lake is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Trout are in the larger tribs and that signals the demise of the lake fishing. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Many of the tributaries off Lake Ontario have been fighting a little slush in the morning with the colder weather this week. If there is an issue, the streams have been opening a bit more by the afternoon when things warm up. The water has been high and lightly stained due to snow melt. This is perfect for big fish to move throughout the creek systems and feed in a post spawn manner. Bug streamers have been working well for fly fisherman targeting browns. Other baits that are working are beads, egg sacs and jigs. Steelhead are moving into the creeks in better numbers as well. You still must move around to seek out active fish. Fishing pressure continues to be down due to hunting seasons. Fishing on the Lake Ontario tributaries is now primarily for a mix of brown trout and steelhead, although the odd fresh salmon can still surprise you. Atlantic salmon are a possible catch at Oak Orchard Creek as well. Northern pike and smallmouth bass are present around piers at this time of year. Be cautious as waves can still top the piers depending on wind speed and direction. Moving up the tribs, angling pressures are moderate to light with the opening of deer season. On Lake Alice, the impoundment created by Waterport Dam, some nice bass (catch & release/artificals only) are being picked up in 8 to 14 feet of water along diminishing weed beds. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The fishing has been decent at Chautauqua Lake. Smaller sized walleye have moved into the deeper holes, while the larger fish patrol the edges of the same areas. Vertical jigging programs work well. Try a black hair jig tipped off with a nightcrawler. Trolling with three colors of lead core line towing Hot-N-Tots at the southern end of the lake has also been productive. The yellow perch bite near shore continues to be steady. Earlier in the week some skim ice was forming in the channels but not enough to think “hard water”. It might pay to check these areas for a return of the crappie. In the event of a few calm days returning, it might be worth your while to try fishing or trolling the shallows by Van Buren. Remember muskellunge and regular black bass seasons close on November 30. However, anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. (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 have moderate-high, clear flows. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fly anglers can also, 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.  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: Waiting for ice. Walleye, bass and pike are providing some action. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. For the bass try both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. One angler’s suggestion - perch and bass are hitting jiggin raps and use small Chartreuse tube jigs for the crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Waiting for ice. The lake has been fishing well for bass with the eastern shore showing the better smallmouth bite. A mix of baits has been working. Jig and pig, creature baits, drop shotting and just about any other method will fool the largemouth. Colors vary according to the water clarity. Watermelon Red, Kudzu, and Green pumpkin have been very good. Weather conditions and the amount of natural light can determine where the fish position, so pay attention and adjust your bait presentation accordingly. Pike have been active at the south end, hitting sucker chubs all hours of the day. (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: Waiting for ice. A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Try a downrigger, leadcore or a flatline for the lakers. Lots of bass and bluegills being seen in the shallows but the bite is slow. A few bass are being picked up on plastics fished in the grass in 12 to 18 fow.  (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: Waiting for ice. It’s suggested you fish the southwest portion of the lake in 80 - 90 fow for lake trout. Try down riggers and white spoons fished 10 feet off bottom.  Fish for browns and rainbows in the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower.

(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: Waiting for ice. The walleye bite has slowed but fish are still being caught. Trollers and drifters are moving slowly with bottom-bouncing rigs rigged with small worm harnesses; depths as shallow as 15 feet can hold ’eye schools. You can also try jigging in about 10 fow with chartreuse jigs and spinner jig heads. A suggested area - around deeper holes north and south of Log Cabin Point. The bass fishing has been on and off for anglers. One report had “wacky rigged Zoom trick worms” doing well. If the bite slows or stops, switch to a Texas rigged worm or baby brush hog. If water conditions are murky use baits that make some vibration or noise and your catch rate should increase. Give baits and presentations time to work, but if you don't catch fish, change color, presentations and last locations. Larger panfish were reported being caught on small jig spinners, similar to the Beetle Spin. The key to triggering a bite was to retrieve the bait very, very slowly. (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:  Waiting for ice. Try shore or boat fishing for bass, perch, crappie and/or bullhead. Largemouth bass (catch & release/artificials only) 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. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs. (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 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. 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. 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: 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. 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: 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: 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 few more walleye and tiger musky (open until March 15) are being taken with the cooling waters. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for the tigers and don't forget the wire leaders. It’s worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. Some tigers are reported being caught from the causeway fishing with large minnows under a bobber. If you do catch a tiger musky that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color) do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to the fwfish7 link below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch. Browns have turned on out there as well.  No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake. Smallmouths and largemouths (catch & release)are being taken in shallow water (10 – 15 feet) near shore and around the docks with wacky rigged stickworms. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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:  Waiting for ice. Try for smallmouths (keeper season has ended) along shore with tube baits or wacky rigged stickworms. Look for walleye in the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses. Try shore fishing for perch and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND:  Waiting for ice. There is some activity taking place on the pond. Anglers are finding a fair perch bite and some crappies. Walleye and pike are present but no reports on the action. Most anglers are now waiting for ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Many waiting for ice. Action should be had lake fishing. Also for something different try for gar. Fishing live or dead bait is much more productive than artificials in general and night fishing is a good way to catch them.  Other fish species present are bluegill; pumpkinseed; yellow perch; common carp; drum, channel catfish; brown bullhead; crappie, tiger musky and walleye. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: Waiting for ice. Boat traffic has all but disappeared from Oneida Lake with the cold and snow.  The shore bite has slowed but a few walleye are being picked up casting sticks from shore around dusk and dawn. 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 still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that is the demise of much of the lake fishing. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. The browns and steelhead are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a decent 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. Some steelhead have also been caught in Maxwell. 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 browns coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Bay fishing continues to be rated fair-good. Largemouth bass are hitting spinnerbaits top water bait and plastic rigs but bass season is closed so remember to return your catch. Fish the docks or the weedlines at the south end of the bay. Some smallmouths were caught near the Sodus Bay channel. They were hitting rubber minnows. On Sodus and Port Bay, perch are starting to school with some nice 12-inch fish hitting off the two points in the middle of the bays. They are also catching some nice bluegills and crappies at the south end of Port Bay. Just use small jigs with spikes. For the perch use 2-inch Power Bait…shad or minnow colors. On the Canal wide waters anglers are catching perch, fishing the weedlines on the south side of the waterway. Crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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 mainly waiting for ice. Open water - fish are around the pier in Charlotte and anglers are picking up a few throwing Cleos and other lures around dusk. Fair numbers of fish are in the river and being caught at the falls. Inland you can try panfish in the county park waters. No word on any perch fishing in any of the Greece ponds but some reports are coming from Irondequoit Bay. Mostly small, you have to search for size. (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. Fish are being seen – and caught – throughout the river. A mix of browns and steelhead were reported earlier in the week being picked up mainly on beads and eggs. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. Over the last couple of days the most productive patterns have been estaz eggs, sucker spawn, glo-bugs, egg sucking leeches, conehead woolly buggers, conehead muddlers and fish skull zonkers. Anglers who were bottom bouncing with spinning gear or float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms and trout beads. Anglers have been getting into fish in the Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Trestle Pool, Pineville, Longbridge/Staircase, Black Hole and DSR. The best reports for smallmouth bass come from the lower end of the river. The smallmouth bass generally hold in the slow and softer water along the edges of the deeper holes and larger runs. 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: Float fishing with beads is a great way to catch steelhead and brown trout in the Oswego River this time of year. Plenty of eggs in the river right now as kings and browns are spawning. Marabou jigs are starting to produce some trout also, but eggs are a hot ticket until the kings and browns are finished spawning. Besides fishing the upper half of the river (Utica Bridge to the Varick Dam) for trout and salmon right now, the lower half of the river (Utica Bridge to the mouth) is underutilized for how many fish can hold there. Downstream of the Rte. 104 bridge on both sides of the river can be very good fishing when the water is high for trout from now through the spring. In addition to using egg sacs or beads, anglers do well with stickbaits, lipless cranks, swimbaits, and hair jigs in the lower section of the river. More information for anglers is available at Fishing for Pacific Salmon.

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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good 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)

 

NOVEMBER 2019

15 - First Day Ice Fishing Tip-Ups Can Be Used Statewide (>4/30/15)

30 - End of Statewide Fishing Season for Black Bass

30 - End of Lake Erie and Tributaries and Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

DECEMBER 2019

1 - Start of Statewide Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>6/15?/20)

1 - Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries Black Bass trophy (20 inch +) season (>6/14/20)

1-31 -  Celebrate Canadice Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the highest and smallest Finger Lake! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

12 - Joint meeting of the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association and the Niagara County Fisheries Development Board at North Amherst Fire Company, 2200 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst, NY. (7:00 pm) Tentative guest speaker will be Steve Hurst, Chief of the Bureau of Fisheries for DEC.

15 - Close of Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

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

 

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11 - 29 - 19   

 

TIP: REMINDER: November 30 (Tomorrow) - End of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Black Bass and Muskellunge. The Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season remains open until December 15. Bass Season in western Finger Lakes (Seneca Lake and west) and Tiger Musky Season in Otisco Lake remain open until March 15, 2020.

 

TIP 2: There must be a U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device must be worn by all persons on board any vessel, personal watercraft (PWC) (under 21’), canoe, kayaks and rowboats while they are underway, from November 1 to May 1. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

 

TIP 3: Many of the dock structures at the DEC boat launches will be removed shortly, or may have been removed already. So plan accordingly; some DEC docks that have been removed are; Port Byron (Seneca River) and Bonstead Road (Oneida River).

 

LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones is recommended. Walleye prospects are good from Cattaraugus Creek to the PA line and limit catches are still possible. Straight out of the Catt and to the west, trollers report good walleye catches in 50-70 feet of water. From Dunkirk to the PA line, depths of 70-80 feet have been best. Anglers are catching walleye from 20 feet down to the bottom, however gear run 50-60 down has been most productive. Worm harnesses, stickbaits and spoons are good walleye offerings. Anglers fishing Dunkirk and to the west also report the occasional steelhead catch. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss out of Cattaraugus Creek lately, with good catches one day and a struggle the next. Depths of 50-60 feet of water is a good starting point. One angler found the perch in 61-63 feet of water and the key was finding the bait. If you can find bait, you’ll find the perch. He was fishing straight off Crystal Beach on the mud flats. There have also been reports of anglers casting spoons off the City of Dunkirk Pier catching walleye while targeting trout. Depths of 85 feet plus have been productive for lake trout out of Dunkirk and Barcelona, with some lakers pushing 20 pounds. The best bite has typically been on spoons and flasher-fly combos run between 80 feet down and the bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing remains spotty with lighter angler effort. Target smallmouth bass around shoal and reef structure in 20-40 feet of water. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are all good bass baits. A drop-shot rig with tubes or live bait works well when fishing deeper waters. Remember as of December 1st the limit is 1 fish at least 20 inches long to be a keeper. Caution: There is a sandbar forming at the mouth of Sturgeon Point Marina, but boats were still successfully launching out of the harbor at report time. A narrow channel heading out is marked with buoys, water is 4½ to 5 foot deep.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained at report time. Without additional precipitation, the smaller streams and gorge section of Chautauqua Creek could be ready at some point on Saturday. Anglers should have more fishable options by Sunday. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. With the current high water event, look for presence of fresh steelhead in the lower sections of creeks. 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. 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.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river waters are in good fishing shape at report time. Boat and shore anglers have seen a good trout bite this past week. Catches have consisted of a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout from both boat and shore. Be aware that lake trout season is currently closed on the lower river and will reopen on January 1st. Incidentally caught lake trout should be immediately released. Trout action has been best for boaters in the Devils Hole, Artpark and Coast Guard drifts. Controlled drifting with a three-way bottom bouncing rig and egg sacs, trout beads, shiners, Kwikfish and Mag Lips lures works well. Shore anglers are doing well at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Egg sacs, trout beads, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs fished under a float, or casted spoons and spinners are good trout offerings. Casting spoons and spinners from docks at Fort Niagara is also producing some trout catches. Anglers report good smallmouth bass action (catch & release/ artificals only) in the lower drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. Some walleye catches also continue in the lower river. Walleye are available from mid-river down to the Niagara Bar. Controlled drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) are traditional lower river walleye tactics. Be aware, there a minimum size of 18" and daily limit of 3 for walleye in the lower river. The New York Power Authority has announced the seasonal closure of its popular fishing platform in the Niagara Gorge will take place at the end of the day Nov. 30. This includes stairway access along Upper Mountain Road in Lewiston behind the Upper Mountain Road Fire Company. In addition, the stairs that lead to the shoreline of Devil’s Hole is already closed due to serious erosion issues. A new number has been established to allow for regular updates. Call 286-6662 to find out if the fishing platform is open. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Weather permitting, the lake is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Trout are entering the larger tribs and that signals the demise of the lake fishing. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Oak Orchard Creek anglers are catching a mix of brown trout and steelhead, with the occasion Atlantic salmon or king salmon mixed in. Canal water releases and snowmelt have sustained slightly higher and stained flows at Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks. Eighteenmile anglers are catching a decent mix of brown trout and steelhead. Most of the other small to medium sized streams are running at moderate to slightly high levels with a heavy stain. There has recently been a good trout bite on Johnson Creek, which currently has moderate flow with a slight stain. Smaller streams such as Twelvemile and Keg Creeks have lower flow and icy conditions. Anglers have been catching trout and  salmon from the piers at Olcott, Oak Orchard and Genesee River. When fishing the piers at night, use blues and glows for spoon colors. Decent numbers of brown trout are also showing at pier sites. Northern pike and smallmouth bass are also present around piers at this time of year. Be cautious as waves can still top the piers depending on wind speed and direction. Moving up the tribs, angling pressures are moderate to light with the opening of deer season. On Lake Alice, the impoundment created by Waterport Dam, some nice bass (catch & release/artificals only) are being picked up in 8 to 14 feet of water along diminishing weed beds. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The fishing has been decent at Chautauqua Lake. Smaller sized walleye have moved into the deeper holes, while the larger fish patrol the edges of the same areas. Vertical jigging programs work well. Try a black hair jig tipped off with a nightcrawler.

Trolling with three colors of lead core line towing Hot-N-Tots at the southern end of the lake has also been productive. The yellow perch bite near shore continues to be steady. Earlier in the week some skim ice was forming in the channels but the warmer temperature has removed that situation. It might pay to check these areas for a return of the crappie. In the event of a few calm days returning, it might be worth your while to try fishing or trolling the shallows by Van Buren.

(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 have moderate, clear flows. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fly anglers can also, 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.  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: Walleye, bass and pike are providing some action. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. For the bass try both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. One angler’s suggestion - perch and bass are hitting jiggin raps and use small Chartreuse tube jigs for the crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: The lake has been fishing well for bass with the eastern shore showing the better smallmouth bite. A mix of baits has been working. Jig and pig, creature baits, drop shotting and just about any other method will fool the largemouth. Colors vary according to the water clarity. Watermelon Red, Kudzu, and Green pumpkin have been very good. Weather conditions and the amount of natural light can determine where the fish position, so pay attention and adjust your bait presentation accordingly. Pike have been active at the south end, hitting sucker chubs all hours of the day. (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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Try a downrigger, leadcore or a flatline for the lakers. Lots of bass and bluegills being seen in the shallows but the bite is slow. A few bass are being picked up on plastics fished in the grass in 12 to 18 fow.  (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: It’s suggested you fish the southwest portion of the lake in 80 - 90 fow for lake trout. Try down riggers and white spoons fished 10 feet off bottom.  Fish for browns and rainbows in the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower.

(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 walleye bite has slowed but fish are still being caught. Trollers and drifters are moving slowly with bottom-bouncing rigs rigged with small worm harnesses; depths as shallow as 15 feet can hold ’eye schools. You can also try jigging in about 10 fow with chartreuse jigs and spinner jig heads. A suggested area - around deeper holes north and south of Log Cabin Point. The bass fishing has been on and off for anglers. One report had “wacky rigged Zoom trick worms” doing well. If the bite slows or stops, switch to a Texas rigged worm or baby brush hog. If water conditions are murky use baits that make some vibration or noise and your catch rate should increase. Give baits and presentations time to work, but if you don't catch fish, change color, presentations and last locations. Larger panfish were reported being caught on small jig spinners, similar to the Beetle Spin. The key to triggering a bite was to retrieve the bait very, very slowly. (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: Try shore or boat fishing for bass, perch, crappie and/or bullhead. Largemouth bass (catch & release/artificials only)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. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs. (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 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. 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. 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: 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. 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: 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: 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 few more walleye and tiger musky (open until March 15) are being taken with the cooling waters. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for the tigers and don't forget the wire leaders. It’s worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. Some tigers are reported being caught from the causeway fishing with large minnows under a bobber. If you do catch a tiger musky that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color) do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to the fwfish7 link below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch. Browns have turned on out there as well.  No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake. Smallmouths and largemouths (catch & release)are being taken in shallow water (10 – 15 feet) near shore and around the docks with wacky rigged stickworms. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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: Try for smallmouths (keeper season ends tomorrow) along shore with tube baits or wacky rigged stickworms. Channel catfish should be hitting on cut-bait or worms. Look for walleye in the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses. Try shore fishing for perch and crappie and check out your favorite bullhead spots. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: There is some activity taking place on the pond. Anglers are finding a fair perch bite and some crappies. Walleye and pike are present but no reports on the action. Most anglers are now waiting for ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: Good action should be had lake fishing. Also for something different try for gar. Fishing live or dead bait is much more productive than artificials in general and night fishing is a good way to catch them.  Other fish species present are bluegill; pumpkinseed; yellow perch; common carp; drum, channel catfish; brown bullhead; crappie, tiger musky and walleye. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: Boat traffic has all but disappeared from Oneida Lake with the cold and snow.  The shore bite remains solid for those casting sticks from shore around dusk and dawn.  Also, we are getting solid reports still coming in from the wall, especially in the early morning.  We have a while yet, but many are just waiting for the ice to come. 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 still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that is the demise of much of the lake fishing. There is some smallmouth action found in the shallows. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. The browns and steelhead are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a decent 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. Some steelhead have also been caught in Maxwell. 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 browns coming out of Salmon Creek in Pultneyville. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Bay fishing continues to be rated fair-good. Largemouth bass are hitting spinnerbaits top water bait and plastic rigs but bass season closes tomorrow so remember to return your catch. Fish the docks or the weedlines at the south end of the bay. Some smallmouths were caught near the Sodus Bay channel. They were hitting rubber minnows. On Sodus and Port Bay, perch are starting to school with some nice 12-inch fish hitting off the two points in the middle of the bays. They are also catching some nice bluegills and crappies at the south end of Port Bay. Just use small jigs with spikes. For the perch use 2-inch Power Bait…shad or minnow colors. On the Canal wide waters anglers are catching perch, fishing the weedlines on the south side of the waterway. Crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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:  Fish are around the pier in Charlotte and anglers are picking up a few throwing Cleos and other lures around dusk. Fair numbers of fish are in the river and being caught at the falls. Inland you can try panfish in the county park waters. No word on any perch fishing in any of the Greece ponds but some reports are coming from Irondequoit Bay. Mostly small, you have to search for size. (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. Fish are being seen – and caught – throughout the river. A mix of browns and steelhead were reported earlier in the week being picked up mainly on beads and eggs. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. Over the last couple of days the most productive patterns have been estaz eggs, sucker spawn, glo-bugs, egg sucking leeches, conehead woolly buggers, conehead muddlers and fish skull zonkers. Anglers who were bottom bouncing with spinning gear or float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms and trout beads  The best reports for smallmouth bass come from the lower end of the river. The smallmouth bass generally hold in the slow and softer water along the edges of the deeper holes and larger runs. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season dates are April 1 through November 30, so it will be closing tomorrow. 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: Float fishing with beads is a great way to catch steelhead and brown trout in the Oswego River this time of year. Plenty of eggs in the river right now as kings and browns are spawning. Marabou jigs are starting to produce some trout also, but eggs are a hot ticket until the kings and browns are finished spawning. Besides fishing the upper half of the river (Utica Bridge to the Varick Dam) for trout and salmon right now, the lower half of the river (Utica Bridge to the mouth) is underutilized for how many fish can hold there. Downstream of the Rte. 104 bridge on both sides of the river can be very good fishing when the water is high for trout from now through the spring. In addition to using egg sacs or beads, anglers do well with stickbaits, lipless cranks, swimbaits, and hair jigs in the lower section of the river. More information for anglers is available at Fishing for Pacific Salmon.

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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good for smallmouth bass and walleye. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters. 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)

Western New York Trout Stockings: Between October 17th and 24th, DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters were stocked: Quaker Lake received 550 brown trout (12"-24") and 245 rainbow trout (18"-28"); Red House Lake received 605 brown trout (12"-18"); Allen Lake received 170 brook trout (12"-18"), 50 brown trout (12") and 50 rainbow trout (22"); Harwood Lake received 225 brown trout (12"-24"); Case Lake received 660 brook trout (12"-18"), 280 brown trout (12"-24") and 170 rainbow trout (22"-28"); New Albion Lake received 250 brown trout (12"-24") and 50 rainbow trout (22"); Genesee River received 600 brown trout (12"-24") and 300 rainbow trout (22"-28"), stocked between Wellsville and the PA line.

 

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

 

NOVEMBER 2019

1-30 -  Celebrate Hemlock Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, protected by NYS to be "forever wild"! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

15 - First Day Ice Fishing Tip-Ups Can Be Used Statewide (>4/30/15)

30 - End of Statewide Fishing Season for Black Bass

30 - End of Lake Erie and Tributaries and Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

DECEMBER 2019

1 - Start of Statewide Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>6/15?/20)

1 - Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries Black Bass trophy (20 inch +) season (>6/14/20)

1-31 -  Celebrate Canadice Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the highest and smallest Finger Lake! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

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

 

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11 - 22 - 19   

 

*TIP: REMINDER: November 30 - End of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Black Bass and the end of Lake Erie and Tributaries and Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season. Bass Season in western Finger Lakes (Seneca Lake and west) remains open until March 15, 2020.

 

*TIP 2: There must be a U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device must be worn by all persons on board any vessel, personal watercraft (PWC) (under 21’), canoe, kayaks and rowboats while they are underway, from November 1 to May 1. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

 

*TIP 3: Many of the dock structures at the DEC boat launches will be removed shortly, or may have been removed already. So plan accordingly; some DEC docks that have been removed are; Port Byron (Seneca River) and Bonstead Road (Oneida River).

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones is recommended. Walleye prospects are good from Cattaraugus Creek to the PA line and limit catches are still possible. Straight out of the Catt and to the west, trollers report good walleye catches in 50-70 feet of water. From Dunkirk to the PA line, depths of 70-80 feet have been best. Anglers are catching walleye from 20 feet down to the bottom, however gear run 50-60 down has been most productive. Worm harnesses, stickbaits and spoons are good walleye offerings. Anglers fishing Dunkirk and to the west also report the occasional steelhead catch. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss out of Cattaraugus Creek lately, with good catches one day and a struggle the next. Depths of 50-60 feet of water is a good starting point.. There have also been reports of anglers casting spoons off the City of Dunkirk Pier catching walleye while targeting trout. At the same time, perch fishing off Cattaraugus Creek was generally slow. A few boats that were able to find smaller active pods (and stay on them) did better. Depths of 50-65 feet is a good starting point. Depths of 85 feet plus have been productive for lake trout out of Dunkirk and Barcelona, with some lakers pushing 20 pounds. The best bite has typically been on spoons and flasher-fly combos run between 80 feet down and the bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing remains spotty with lighter angler effort. Target smallmouth bass around shoal and reef structure in 20-40 feet of water. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are all good bass baits. A drop-shot rig with tubes or live bait works well when fishing deeper waters. Caution: There is a sandbar forming at the mouth of Sturgeon Point Marina, but boats were still successfully launching out of the harbor at report time. A narrow channel heading out is marked with buoys, water is 4½ to 5 foot deep.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All streams are running high and stained at report time. Without additional precipitation, the smaller streams and gorge section of Chautauqua Creek could be ready at some point on Saturday. Anglers should have more fishable options by Sunday. Steelhead were previously spread throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. With the current high water event, look for presence of fresh steelhead in the lower sections of creeks. 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. Tributary bass fishing is winding down with very few bass left in the creeks.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Upper river anglers have another week to target musky before the season closes after November 30. Target muskie by casting large stickbaits or by drifting and jigging large shiners or large (8"-10") tube jigs. Trolling around the outer Buffalo Harbor and breakwall gaps can produce a muskie catch as well. In addition anglers can catch a variety of warmwater species at sites throughout the upper Niagara River. Good numbers of smallmouth bass are available around the Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. Time of day is key. Focus on early morning or later afternoon/early evening. Crabs and golden shiners are the best live baits for bass. Decent numbers of walleye are also showing around the head of the river down to at least Strawberry Island. Catches of bass, yellow perch, sheepshead and sunfish are common at shore sites. White bass sometimes show as well. Anglers are catching some walleye at night along Unity Island and off Broderick Park. Smallmouth bass fishing is picking up for boaters drifting with tube jigs. Worm harnesses, minnows and swim baits also work well. Bass fishing has been very good there as well.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river waters are in good fishing shape at report time, however today's winds may cloud the waters a bit. Boat and shore anglers have seen a good trout bite this past week. Catches have consisted of a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout from both boat and shore. Be aware that lake trout season is currently closed on the lower river and will reopen on January 1st. Incidentally caught lake trout should be immediately released. Trout action has been best for boaters in the Devils Hole, Artpark and Coast Guard drifts. Controlled drifting with a three-way bottom bouncing rig and egg sacs, trout beads, shiners, Kwikfish and Mag Lips lures works well. Shore anglers are doing well at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Egg sacs, trout beads, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs fished under a float, or casted spoons and spinners are good trout offerings. Casting spoons and spinners from docks at Fort Niagara is also producing some trout catches. Water levels have receded and the NYPA fishing platform has been reopened. The NYPA fishing platform typically closes on December 1st or with the onset of ice and snow. Call 716-796-0135 extension 45 for updates on platform. Anglers report good smallmouth bass action in the lower drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. Drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and live shiners and crabs is a good tactic. Some walleye catches also continue in the lower river. Walleye are available from mid-river down to the Niagara Bar. Controlled drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) are traditional lower river walleye tactics. Be aware, there a minimum size of 18" and daily limit of 3 for walleye in the lower river. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Weather permitting, the lake is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Trout are entering the larger tribs and that signals the demise of the lake fishing. There is some smallmouth action found in the shallows. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: As frigid temperatures moved out, the trout bite picked up at Oak Orchard Creek. Oak anglers are catching a mix of brown trout and steelhead, with the occasion Atlantic salmon or king salmon mixed in. Canal water releases and snowmelt have sustained slightly higher and stained flows at Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks. Eighteenmile anglers are catching a decent mix of brown trout and steelhead. Most of the other small to medium sized streams are running at moderate to slightly high levels with a heavy stain. There has recently been a good trout bite on Johnson Creek, which currently has moderate flow with a slight stain. Smaller streams such as Twelvemile and Keg Creeks have lower flow and icy conditions. Anglers have been catching trout and  salmon from the piers at Olcott, Oak Orchard and Genesee River. When fishing the piers at night, use blues and glows for spoon colors. Decent numbers of brown trout are also showing at pier sites. Northern pike and smallmouth bass are also present around piers at this time of year. Be cautious as waves can still top the piers depending on wind speed and direction. Moving up the tribs, angling pressures are moderate to light with the opening of deer season. On Lake Alice, the impoundment created by Waterport Dam, some nice bass are being picked up in 8 to 14 feet of water along diminishing weed beds.  Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Walleye prospects are good in the north basin at depths of 25-50 feet around the deeper holes. Vertical jigging programs work well. Try a black hair jig tipped off with a nightcrawler.

Smallmouths are found along deeper rocky points and drops outside of the weedline. Live crayfish, shiners and leeches work well. Target weed edges and pockets with live minnows and worms for a mix of yellow perch, white perch, white bass and bluegill. Musky anglers are trolling the protected bay areas in the South end of the lake before the musky season ends at the end of the month. Some canals were producing crappie and yellow perch catches before skimming over with ice. (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 have moderate, clear flows. Smaller nymphs and buggers will work well. Fly anglers can also, 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.  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: Walleye, bass and pike are providing some action. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. For the bass try both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. One angler’s suggestion - perch and bass are hitting jiggin raps and use small Chartreuse tube jigs for the crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: The lake has been fishing well for bass with the eastern shore showing the better smallmouth bite. A mix of baits has been working. Jig and pig, creature baits, drop shotting and just about any other method will fool the largemouth. Colors vary according to the water clarity. Watermelon Red, Kudzu, and Green pumpkin have been very good. Weather conditions and the amount of natural light can determine where the fish position, so pay attention and adjust your bait presentation accordingly. Pike have been active at the south end, hitting sucker chubs all hours of the day. (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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Try a downrigger, leadcore or a flatline for the lakers. Lots of bass and bluegills being seen in the shallows but the bite is slow. A few bass are being picked up on plastics fished in the grass in 12 to 18 fow.  (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: It’s suggested you fish the southwest portion of the lake in 80 - 90 fow for lake trout. Try down riggers and white spoons fished 10 feet off bottom.  Fish for browns and rainbows in the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower.

(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 walleye bite has slowed but fish are still being caught. Trollers and drifters are moving slowly with bottom-bouncing rigs rigged with small worm harnesses; depths as shallow as 15 feet can hold ’eye schools. You can also try jigging in about 10 fow with chartreuse jigs and spinner jig heads. A suggested area - around deeper holes north and south of Log Cabin Point. The bass fishing has been on and off for anglers. One report had “wacky rigged Zoom trick worms” doing well. If the bite slows or stops, switch to a Texas rigged worm or baby brush hog. If water conditions are murky use baits that make some vibration or noise and your catch rate should increase. Give baits and presentations time to work, but if you don't catch fish, change color, presentations and last locations. Larger panfish were reported being caught on small jig spinners, similar to the Beetle Spin. The key to triggering a bite was to retrieve the bait very, very slowly. (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: Try shore or boat fishing for bass, perch, crappie and/or bullhead. Also, on Waneta you can add Musky. Try using a River Run Manta or a Drifter Tackle Hellhound glide bait. Some guys tweek their cranks with scent or a small dash of sparkle nail polish.? If you use a boat, watch out for floating debris. Recommended colors to start with are silver and blue, red and white or chartreuse. 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. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs. (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 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. 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. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season is 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 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: 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. 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: 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, 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 few more walleye and tiger musky are being taken with the cooling waters. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for the tigers and don't forget the wire leaders. It’s worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. Some tigers are reported being caught from the causeway fishing with large minnows under a bobber. If you do catch a tiger musky that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color) do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to the fwfish7 link below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch. Browns have turned on out there as well.  No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake. Smallmouths and largemouths are being taken in shallow water (10 – 15 feet) near shore and around the docks with wacky rigged stickworms. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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: Try for smallmouths along shore with tube baits or wacky rigged stickworms. Channel catfish should be hitting on cut-bait or worms. Look for walleye in the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses. Try shore fishing for perch and crappie and check out your favorite bullhead spots. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: There is some activity taking place on the pond. Anglers are finding a fair perch bite and some crappies. Walleye, pike and bass are present but no reports on the action. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Good action should be had on the lake fishing for bass using Superflukes, topwater and spinnerbaits. Also for something different try for gar. Fishing live or dead bait is much more productive than artificials in general and night fishing is a good way to catch them.  Other fish species present are bluegill; pumpkinseed; yellow perch; common carp; drum, channel catfish; brown bullhead; crappie, tiger musky and walleye. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: Boat traffic has all but disappeared from Oneida Lake with the cold and snow.  The shore bite remains solid for those casting sticks from shore around dusk and dawn.  Also, we are getting solid reports still coming in from the wall, especially in the early morning.  We have a while yet, but many are just waiting for the ice to come. 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 still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that signals the demise of much of the lake fishing. There is some smallmouth action found in the shallows. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. The browns are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a decent 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. Some steelhead have also been caught in Maxwell. 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. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Bay fishing continues to be rated fair-good. Largemouth bass are hitting spinnerbaits top water bait and plastic rigs. Fish the docks or the weedlines at the south end of the bay. Some smallmouths were caught near the Sodus Bay channel. They were hitting rubber minnows tip with spikes. On Port Bay, perch are starting to school with some nice 12-inch fish hitting off the two points in the middle of the bay. They are also catching some nice bluegills and crappies at the south end of the bay. Just use small jigs with spikes. For the perch use 2-inch Power Bait…shad or minnow colors. On the Canal wide waters anglers are catching largemouths fishing the weedlines on the south side of the waterway. Crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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:  Fish are around the pier in Charlotte and anglers are picking up a few throwing Cleos and other lures around dusk. Fair numbers of fish are in the river and they are being caught at the falls. Inland you can try for bass and panfish in the county park waters. No word on any perch fishing in any of the Greece ponds or the bays but some are being taken from the piers. (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. Fish are being seen – and caught – throughout the river. A mix of browns and steelhead were reported earlier in the week being picked up mainly on beads and eggs. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. Over the last couple of days the most productive patterns have been estaz eggs, sucker spawn, glo-bugs, egg sucking leeches, conehead woolly buggers, conehead muddlers and fish skull zonkers. Anglers who were bottom bouncing with spinning gear or float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms and trout beads  The best reports for smallmouth bass come from the lower end of the river. The smallmouth bass generally hold in the slow and softer water along the edges of the deeper holes and larger runs. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season dates are April 1 through November 30, so it will be closing soon. 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: Float fishing with beads is a great way to catch steelhead and brown trout in the Oswego River this time of year. Plenty of eggs in the river right now as kings and browns are spawning. Marabou jigs are starting to produce some trout also, but eggs are a hot ticket until the kings and browns are finished spawning. Besides fishing the upper half of the river (Utica Bridge to the Varick Dam) for trout and salmon right now, the lower half of the river (Utica Bridge to the mouth) is underutilized for how many fish can hold there. Downstream of the Rte. 104 bridge on both sides of the river can be very good fishing when the water is high for trout from now through the spring. In addition to using egg sacs or beads, anglers do well with stickbaits, lipless cranks, swimbaits, and hair jigs in the lower section of the river. More information for anglers is available at Fishing for Pacific Salmon.

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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good for smallmouth bass and walleye. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters. 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)

Western New York Trout Stockings: Between October 17th and 24th, DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters were stocked: Quaker Lake received 550 brown trout (12"-24") and 245 rainbow trout (18"-28"); Red House Lake received 605 brown trout (12"-18"); Allen Lake received 170 brook trout (12"-18"), 50 brown trout (12") and 50 rainbow trout (22"); Harwood Lake received 225 brown trout (12"-24"); Case Lake received 660 brook trout (12"-18"), 280 brown trout (12"-24") and 170 rainbow trout (22"-28"); New Albion Lake received 250 brown trout (12"-24") and 50 rainbow trout (22"); Genesee River received 600 brown trout (12"-24") and 300 rainbow trout (22"-28"), stocked between Wellsville and the PA line.

 

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

 

NOVEMBER 2019

1-30 -  Celebrate Hemlock Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, protected by NYS to be "forever wild"! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

15 - First Day Ice Fishing Tip-Ups Can Be Used Statewide (>4/30/15)

30 - End of Statewide Fishing Season for Black Bass

30 - End of Lake Erie and Tributaries and Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

DECEMBER 2019

1 - Start of Statewide Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>6/15?/20)

1 - Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries Black Bass trophy (20 inch +) season (>6/14/20)

1-31 -  Celebrate Canadice Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the highest and smallest Finger Lake! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

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11 - 15 - 19

TIP: Go Big: By the time fall rolls around, all of the little fish that were born in the spring and summer have grown up a little. Because anglers should always use a lure that, at least, imitates the size of the primary forage, larger lures make sense in the fall. The other reason to use larger baits in the fall is because the walleyes are feeding heavily to get ready for winter and--female walleyes in particular--are eating so they can nourish the eggs growing in their bodies.
Fall Walleye Fishing Tips | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/way_5379777_fall-walleye-fishing-tips.html#ixzz1ep6gboYv

Tip #2: Reminder: November 30 - End of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Black Bass and the end of Lake Erie and Tributaries and Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

TIP #3: There must be a U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device must be worn by all persons on board any vessel, personal watercraft (PWC) (under 21’), canoe, kayaks and rowboats while they are underway, from November 1 to May 1. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

TIP # 4: Many of the dock structures at the DEC boat launches will be removed shortly, or may have been removed already. So plan accordingly; some DEC docks that have been removed are; Port Byron (Seneca River) and Bonstead Road (Oneida River).

LAKE ERIE: Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones is recommended. Walleye prospects are good from Cattaraugus Creek to the PA line and limit catches are still possible. Straight out of the Catt and to the west, trollers report good walleye catches in 50-70 feet of water. From Dunkirk to the PA line, depths of 70-80 feet have been best. Anglers are catching walleye from 20 feet down to the bottom, however gear run 50-60 down has been most productive. Worm harnesses, stickbaits and spoons are good walleye offerings. Anglers fishing Dunkirk and to the west also report the occasional steelhead catch. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss out of Cattaraugus Creek lately, with good catches one day and a struggle the next. Depths of 50-60 feet of water is a good starting point.. There have also been reports of anglers casting spoons off the City of Dunkirk Pier catching walleye while targeting trout. At the same time, perch fishing off Cattaraugus Creek was generally slow. A few boats that were able to find smaller active pods (and stay on them) did better. Depths of 50-65 feet is a good starting point. Depths of 85 feet plus have been productive for lake trout out of Dunkirk and Barcelona, with some lakers pushing 20 pounds. The best bite has typically been on spoons and flasher-fly combos run between 80 feet down and the bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing remains spotty with lighter angler effort. Target smallmouth bass around shoal and reef structure in 20-40 feet of water. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are all good bass baits. A drop-shot rig with tubes or live bait works well when fishing deeper waters. Caution: There is a sandbar forming at the mouth of Sturgeon Point Marina, but boats were still successfully launching out of the harbor at report time. A narrow channel heading out is marked with buoys, water is 4½ to 5 foot deep.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: After a push of fresh steelhead, fishing was decent to good on most streams through last weekend. By most accounts, caught steelhead have been on the larger side this season. The bite slowed as frigid temperatures set in. However, there are now decent numbers of steelhead scattered throughout the Lake Erie tributaries' reaches. Cattaraugus Creek is currently running slightly high and stained, but is fishable. All other streams are currently in good to prime fishing shape. 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. Tributary bass fishing is winding down with very few bass left in the creeks. Channel catfish are available in the lower section of Cattaraugus Creek. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers or raw shrimp fished on the bottom works well, especially at night. The deeper holes down low in the other creeks may hold catfish as well. Anglers can also catch catfish along the Lake Erie shoreline on calm nights, especially near stream inlets.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Upper river anglers have a couple more weeks to target musky before the season closes after November 30. Target muskie by casting large stickbaits or by drifting and jigging large shiners or large (8"-10") tube jigs. Trolling around the outer Buffalo Harbor and breakwall gaps can produce a muskie catch as well. In addition anglers can catch a variety of warmwater species at sites throughout the upper Niagara River. Good numbers of smallmouth bass are available around the Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. Time of day is key. Focus on early morning or later afternoon/early evening. Crabs and golden shiners are the best live baits for bass. Decent numbers of walleye are also showing around the head of the river down to at least Strawberry Island. Catches of bass, yellow perch, sheepshead and sunfish are common at shore sites. White bass sometimes show as well. Anglers are catching some walleye at night along Unity Island and off Broderick Park. Smallmouth bass fishing is picking up for boaters drifting with tube jigs. Worm harnesses, minnows and swim baits also work well. Bass fishing has been very good there as well.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river waters were back in good fishing shape at mid-week and the trout bite has been good since. Shore anglers fishing at the State Parks in the gorge are mostly catching steelhead and lake trout, along with a few brown trout and the very occasional Atlantic salmon. Egg sacs, trout beads, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs fished under a float, or casted spoons and spinners are good trout offerings. Casting spoons and spinners from shore at Fort Niagara is also producing some trout catches. At report time, the NYPA fishing platform was closed due to icy conditions. Call 716-796-0135 extension 45 for updates on platform. Boaters working the Devils Hole drift are catching a mix of steelhead and lake trout. The Fort Niagara drift has been producing catches of brown trout. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, flatfish style lures or shiners works well for boaters. Be aware that lake trout season is currently closed on the lower river and will reopen on January 1st. Incidentally caught lake trout should be immediately released. Anglers report good smallmouth bass action in the lower drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. Drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and live shiners and crabs is a good tactic. Some walleye catches also continue in the lower river. Walleye are available from mid-river down to the Niagara Bar. Controlled drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) are traditional lower river walleye tactics. Be aware, there a minimum size of 18" and daily limit of 3 for walleye in the lower river. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Weather permitting, the lake is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that signals the demise of much of the lake fishing. There is some smallmouth action found in the shallows. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks are currently running slightly high and stained, with about two feet of visibility. The sustained slightly high flows are likely influenced by draining of Erie Canal. Expected snowmelt next week will continue to sustain flows. Since last weekend, fishing has generally been decent on these creeks, although some anglers have struggled. Catches have mainly been a mix of steelhead and brown trout. Most of the remaining Chinook salmon have been quite moldy, however a smaller fresh pod of salmon showed up at Burt Dam on Saturday. Perhaps more salmon could still show up. Anglers at the Oak also report the occasional Atlantic salmon catch. There has recently been a good trout bite on Johnson Creek, which currently has moderate flow with a slight stain. Smaller streams such as Twelvemile and Keg Creeks have lower flow and icy conditions. Anglers have been catching trout and salmon from the piers at Olcott, Oak Orchard and Genesee River. When fishing the piers at night, use blues and glows for spoon colors. Decent numbers of brown trout are also showing at pier sites. Northern pike and smallmouth bass are also present around piers at this time of year. Be cautious as waves can still top the piers depending on wind speed and direction. Moving up the tribs, angling pressures are moderate to light with the opening of deer season. On Lake Alice, the impoundment created by Waterport Dam, some nice bass are being picked up in 8 to 14 feet of water along diminishing weed beds. Those new to tributary salmon fishing see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Walleye are to be had in the deep waters off Long Point, Burtis Bay and Lighthouse Point. Anglers are doing well when deep drop off and shelves are found in 20-plus feet of water with a black hair jig tipped off with a nightcrawler. The tip of the week is, mature “eyes” seem to like the bait tight to the bottom structure with a short jigging action.
Smallmouths are found along deeper rocky points and drops outside of the weedline. Live crayfish, shiners and leeches work well. Target weed edges and pockets with live minnows and worms for a mix of yellow perch, white perch, white bass and bluegill. Musky anglers are trolling the protected bay areas in the South end of the lake before the musky season ends at the end of the month. Not a lot of activity in the channels lately. (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 moderate-high flows. 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.

SILVER LAKE: Walleye, bass and pike are providing some action. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. For the bass try both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. One angler’s suggestion - perch and bass are hitting jiggin raps and use small Chartreuse tube jigs for the crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: The lake has been fishing well for bass with the eastern shore showing the better smallmouth bite. A mix of baits has been working. Jig and pig, creature baits, drop shotting and just about any other method will fool the largemouth. Colors vary according to the water clarity. Watermelon Red, Kudzu, and Green pumpkin have been very good. Weather conditions and the amount of natural light can determine where the fish position, so pay attention and adjust your bait presentation accordingly. Pike have been active at the south end, hitting sucker chubs all hours of the day. (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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Try a downrigger, leadcore or a flatline for the lakers. Lots of bass and bluegills being seen in the shallows but the bite is slow. A few bass are being picked up on plastics fished in the grass in 12 to 18 fow. (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: It’s suggested you fish the southwest portion of the lake in 80 - 90 fow for lake trout. Try down riggers and white spoons fished 10 feet off bottom. Fish for browns and rainbows in the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower.
(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 walleye bite has slowed but fish are still being caught. Trollers and drifters are moving slowly with bottom-bouncing rigs rigged with small worm harnesses; depths as shallow as 15 feet can hold ’eye schools. You can also try jigging in about 10 fow with chartreuse jigs and spinner jig heads. A suggested area - around deeper holes north and south of Log Cabin Point. The bass fishing has been on and off for anglers. One report had “wacky rigged Zoom trick worms” doing well. If the bite slows or stops, switch to a Texas rigged worm or baby brush hog. If water conditions are murky use baits that make some vibration or noise and your catch rate should increase. Give baits and presentations time to work, but if you don't catch fish, change color, presentations and last locations. Larger panfish were reported being caught on small jig spinners, similar to the Beetle Spin. The key to triggering a bite was to retrieve the bait very, very slowly. (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. Be prepared to deal with water fleas. Flea-flicker lines or using a larger pound test monofilament sometimes help, and vertical jigging is also an option if fleas get too bad. (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: Try shore or boat fishing for bass, perch, crappie and/or bullhead. Also, on Waneta you can add Musky. Try using a River Run Manta or a Drifter Tackle Hellhound glide bait. Some guys tweek their cranks with scent or a small dash of sparkle nail polish. If you use a boat, watch out for floating debris. Recommended colors to start with are silver and blue, red and white or chartreuse. 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. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs. (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 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. 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. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season is 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. 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. Off Dean’s Cove, Taughannock, Myers and Long Point are areas being mentioned. 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. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. 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 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: 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. 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: 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, 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 few more walleye and tiger musky are being taken with the cooling waters. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for the tigers and don't forget the wire leaders. It’s worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. Some tigers are reported being caught from the causeway fishing with large minnows under a bobber. If you do catch a tiger musky that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color) do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to the fwfish7 link below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch. Browns have turned on out there as well. No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake. Smallmouths and largemouths are being taken in shallow water (10 – 15 feet) near shore and around the docks with wacky rigged stickworms. (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 in good/high fishing shape. 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: Try for smallmouths along shore with tube baits or wacky rigged stickworms. Channel catfish should be hitting on cut-bait or worms. Look for walleye in the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses. Try shore fishing for perch and crappie and check out your favorite bullhead spots. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND: There is some activity taking place on the pond. Anglers are finding a fair perch bite and some crappies. Walleye, pike and bass are present but no reports on the action. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: Good action should be had on the lake fishing for bass using Superflukes, topwater and spinnerbaits. Also for something different try for gar. Fishing live or dead bait is much more productive than artificials in general and night fishing is a good way to catch them. Other fish species present are bluegill; pumpkinseed; yellow perch; common carp; drum, channel catfish; brown bullhead; crappie, tiger musky and walleye. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: Boat traffic has all but disappeared from Oneida Lake with the cold and snow. The hardcore anglers on Oneida Lake are reporting excellent catches of perch, walleye and bass in 22 to 26 FOW on blade baits. The shore bite remains solid for those casting sticks from shore around dusk and dawn. Also, we are getting solid reports still coming in from the wall, especially in the early morning. We have a while yet, but many are just waiting for the ice to come. 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 still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that signals the demise of much of the lake fishing. There is some smallmouth action found in the shallows. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. The browns are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a decent 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. Some steelhead have also been caught in Maxwell. 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 green beads are also working. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Bay fishing continues to be rated good. There has been crappie and bullhead action at the south end of Sodus Bay. Active largemouth bass are hitting spinnerbaits top water bait and plastic rigs. Fish the docks or the weedlines at the south end of the bay. Some smallmouths were caught near the Sodus Bay channel. They were hitting rubber minnows tip with spikes. The pike fishing at Sodus has been good. Troll between the islands, especially the north side of LeRoy. Walleye have been hard to find. On Port Bay, perch are starting to school with some nice 12-inch fish hitting off the two points in the middle of the bay.
They are also catching some nice bluegills and crappies at the south end of the bay. Just use small jigs with spikes. For the perch use 2-inch Power Bait…shad or minnow colors. Pike, too, are at the south end. On the Canal wide waters anglers are catching largemouths fishing the weedlines on the south side of the waterway. Crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. Channel cats are hitting in the deep pools near Palmyra, use cut bait or shrimp. The cats give an excellent fight. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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: Fish are around the pier in Charlotte and anglers are picking up a few throwing Cleos and other lures around dusk. Fair numbers of fish are in the river and they are being caught at the falls. Inland you can try for bass and panfish in the county park waters. No word on any perch fishing in any of the Greece ponds or the bays but some are being taken from the piers. (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 on the Salmon River has been up and down lately. Fish are being seen – and caught – throughout the river. A mix of browns and steelhead were reported earlier in the week being picked up mainly on beads and eggs. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. Over the last couple of days the most productive patterns have been estaz eggs, sucker spawn, glo-bugs, egg sucking leeches, conehead woolly buggers, conehead muddlers and fish skull zonkers. Anglers who were bottom bouncing with spinning gear or float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms and trout beads The best reports for smallmouth bass come from the lower end of the river. The smallmouth bass generally hold in the slow and softer water along the edges of the deeper holes and larger runs. A reminder - the Upper Fly Section season dates are April 1 through November 30, so it will be closing soon. 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: Float fishing with beads is a great way to catch steelhead and brown trout in the Oswego River this time of year. Plenty of eggs in the river right now as kings and browns are spawning. Marabou jigs are starting to produce some trout also, but eggs are a hot ticket until the kings and browns are finished spawning. Besides fishing the upper half of the river (Utica Bridge to the Varick Dam) for trout and salmon right now, the lower half of the river (Utica Bridge to the mouth) is underutilized for how many fish can hold there. Downstream of the Rte. 104 bridge on both sides of the river can be very good fishing when the water is high for trout from now through the spring. In addition to using egg sacs or beads, anglers do well with stickbaits, lipless cranks, swimbaits, and hair jigs in the lower section of the river. More information for anglers is available at Fishing for Pacific Salmon.
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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good for smallmouth bass and walleye. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters. 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)
The first ice report for the area goes to Dryden Lake in Tompkins County. But don’t get too excited, it’s less than an inch.
Western New York Trout Stockings: Between October 17th and 24th, DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters were stocked: Quaker Lake received 550 brown trout (12"-24") and 245 rainbow trout (18"-28"); Red House Lake received 605 brown trout (12"-18"); Allen Lake received 170 brook trout (12"-18"), 50 brown trout (12") and 50 rainbow trout (22"); Harwood Lake received 225 brown trout (12"-24"); Case Lake received 660 brook trout (12"-18"), 280 brown trout (12"-24") and 170 rainbow trout (22"-28"); New Albion Lake received 250 brown trout (12"-24") and 50 rainbow trout (22"); Genesee River received 600 brown trout (12"-24") and 300 rainbow trout (22"-28"), stocked between Wellsville and the PA line.

>))))*>



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

NOVEMBER 2019
1-30 - Celebrate Hemlock Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, protected by NYS to be "forever wild"! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)
15 - First Day Ice Fishing Tip-Ups Can Be Used Statewide (>4/30/15)
15 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - Lake Erie Work Group at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070)
16 - Scouts BSA Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (12:00 – 3:00 p.m) Please be prepared to go outside and dress appropriately for the weather. Pre-requisites/pre-registration is required. All Scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone. (Fee: $8/Scout. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information/register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)
30 - End of Statewide Fishing Season for Black Bass
30 - End of Lake Erie and Tributaries and Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

 

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11 - 8 - 19   

 

*TIP: CARP AND FLY FISHING. Those are two words you likely never thought you'd see together. But believe it or not, carp fishing on the fly is an extremely popular, if niche, way of carp angling. Yeah, a carp isn't quite as beautiful as big rainbow trout. But few other fish are going to give the battle a 10- or 20-pound carp will on a fly rod.

Carp fishing flies are generally bulkier than what you'd use for other game fish species. Patterns like the Woolly Bugger or other large insect flies are what you'll find most fly anglers using. One thing to keep in mind with fly fishing for carp is that they require a much slower presentation than you'd normally use. Remember that carp aren't fast and aggressive unless they need to be.

Chasing carp on a fly will certainly test your patience, but the reward of catching such an unusual species with fly tackle is hard to beat. No wonder this type of fishing is taking off so quickly. (https://www.wideopenspaces.com/carp-fishing-tips-for-the-uninitiated/?utm_source=wideopen&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=wos_daily&utm_content=%7B%7BEXTERNAL+%60https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wideopenmediagroup.com%2Fgetresponse%2F%3Fsite=wos%26articlenumber=1%26type=title%60%7D%7D)

 

*TIP # 2: DEC PUBLIC MEETINGS to present “the latest science that will help guide the state and the Province of Ontario to determine the trout and salmon stocking levels for 2020.” Remaining meeting dates and locations are as follows:

Wednesday, Nov. 13: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, Niagara County.

Thursday, Nov. 14: 6:30 - 9 p.m.: This meeting will be conducted online. To join the meeting, click here. If asked for a meeting number or a password use the following: Meeting number: 641 790 213, Password: PCVMcPX3

 

*TIP # 3: A reminder that from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

 

*TIP # 4: November 11 - FREE FISHING DAY in New York State. No license required.

 

*TIP # 5: Many of the dock structures at the DEC boat launches will be removed shortly, or may have been removed already. So plan accordingly; some DEC docks that have been removed are; Port Byron (Seneca River) and Bonstead Road (Oneida River).

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones is recommended. Walleye prospects are good from Cattaraugus Creek to the PA line and limit catches are still possible. Straight out of the Catt and to the west, trollers report good walleye catches in 50-70 feet of water. From Dunkirk to the PA line, depths of 70-80 feet have been best. Anglers are catching walleye from 20 feet down to the bottom, however gear run 50-60 down has been most productive. Worm harnesses, stickbaits and spoons are good walleye offerings. Anglers fishing Dunkirk and to the west also report the occasional steelhead catch. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss out of Cattaraugus Creek lately, with good catches one day and a struggle the next. Depths of 50-60 feet of water is a good starting point.. There have also been reports of anglers casting spoons off the City of Dunkirk Pier catching walleye while targeting trout. At the same time, perch fishing off Cattaraugus Creek was generally slow. A few boats that were able to find smaller active pods (and stay on them) did better. Depths of 50-65 feet is a good starting point. Depths of 85 feet plus have been productive for lake trout out of Dunkirk and Barcelona, with some lakers pushing 20 pounds. The best bite has typically been on spoons and flasher-fly combos run between 80 feet down and the bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing remains spotty with lighter angler effort. Target smallmouth bass around shoal and reef structure in 20-40 feet of water. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are all good bass baits. A drop-shot rig with tubes or live bait works well when fishing deeper waters. Caution: There is a sandbar forming at the mouth of Sturgeon Point Marina, but boats were still successfully launching out of the harbor at report time. A narrow channel heading out is marked with buoys, water is 4½ to 5 foot deep.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Rain and runoff brought area stream levels up again, greatly expanding steelhead fishing options. Pods of steelhead have been moving in and all of the popular Erie tributaries are now producing some catches. Anglers have been fishing Cattaraugus Creek for the past month, with scattered steelhead reported up through Gowanda. On all other streams, steelhead have just recently started to migrate in earnest, so the lower sections are a better bet for catches. Downsize baits, lines and move stealthily if fishing those streams. The medium-sized Erie County streams have high/moderate flows at present. 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. Channel catfish are available in the lower section of Cattaraugus Creek. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers or raw shrimp fished on the bottom works well, especially at night. The deeper holes down low in the other creeks may hold catfish as well. Anglers can also catch catfish along the Lake Erie shoreline on calm nights, especially near stream inlets.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Anglers can catch a variety of warmwater species at sites throughout the upper Niagara River. Good numbers of smallmouth bass are available around the Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. Time of day is key. Focus on early morning or later afternoon/early evening. Crabs and golden shiners are the best live baits for bass. Decent numbers of walleye are also showing around the head of the river down to at least Strawberry Island. Catches of bass, yellow perch, sheepshead and sunfish are common at shore sites. White bass sometimes show as well. Anglers are catching some walleye at night along Unity Island and off Broderick Park. Smallmouth bass fishing is picking up for boaters drifting with tube jigs. Worm harnesses, minnows and swim baits also work well. Anglers can target muskellunge along weed edges with large stickbaits or 8-10 inch tube jigs. The Upper river and Buffalo Harbor is the best place to be for consistent musky action. Bass fishing has been very good there as well. The foot of Ferry Street is a good place to target.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: At present, lower river waters are very turbid following a bout of high winds on Lake Erie. As clarity improves, look for the bite to pick up in the slightly calmer water along the shoreline first. Most anglers are now focused on trout and shore anglers have recently reported decent action along Artpark State Park and the NYPA fishing platform. Catches have primarily been a mix of steelhead, brown and lake trout, with the occasional king salmon or walleye mixed in. Be aware that lake trout season is currently closed on the lower river and will not reopen until January 1st. Incidentally caught lake trout should be immediately released. Egg sacs, trout beads, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs fished under a float, or casted spoons and spinners are good trout offerings. Anglers report good smallmouth bass action in the lower drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. Drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and live shiners and crabs is a good tactic. Some walleye catches also continue in the lower river. Walleye are available from mid-river down to the Niagara Bar. Controlled drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) are traditional lower river walleye tactics. Be aware, there a minimum size of 18" and daily limit of 3 for walleye in the lower river. If we see some snow and ice, there’s a good chance that the New York Power Authority fishing platform will close temporarily. Call 796-0135, Ext. 45 to find out if it’s open. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Weather permitting, the lake is still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that signals the demise of much of the lake fishing. There is some smallmouth action found in the shallows. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Rain has all the small to medium-sized freestone streams running high and muddy for at least a couple days. The subsequent influx of trout will improve opportunity on these creeks where fishing has been relatively slow lately. Eighteenmile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek levels rose to slightly high and stained overnight, but they remain fishable. Levels have peaked and should now slowly recede with clarity improving through the weekend. Fishing on each creek had improved over the past week, with fresh pods of fish pushing up. Anglers reported catching decent to good numbers of brown trout, steelhead and king salmon. The remaining salmon are a mix of fresh and moldy fish. Anglers have been catching trout and  salmon from the piers at Olcott, Oak Orchard and Genesee River. When fishing the piers at night, use blues and glows for spoon colors. Decent numbers of brown trout are also showing at pier sites, with best catches coming from the Wilson pier. Northern pike and smallmouth bass are also present around piers at this time of year. Be cautious as waves can still top the piers depending on wind speed and direction. Moving up the tribs, angling pressures are moderate to light with the opening of deer season. On Lake Alice, the impoundment created by Waterport Dam, some nice bass are being picked up in 8 to 14 feet of water along diminishing weed beds. 

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The channels are loaded with panfish including yellow perch and crappie. Musky fishing has picked up at the southern end of the lake, casting jerkbaits tight to the weedlines.  There has been some nocturnal walleye action along the shore line for anglers casting stick baits. Offshore fishing on Chautauqua Lake has anglers taking walleye vertical jigging around the deeper holes in the north basin. Use No. 9 jigging raps, Snap Raps, Flat raps and Gotchas in 30 to 50 feet of water. Largemouth bass are still readily available in shallower, weedy areas. Try surface lures, live shiners and spinnerbaits. Smallmouths are found along deeper rocky points and drops outside of the weedline. Live crayfish, shiners and leeches work well. Target weed edges and pockets with live minnows and worms for a mix of yellow perch, white perch, white bass and bluegill.  (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 moderate-high flows. 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.

 

*SILVER LAKE: Walleye, bass and pike are providing some action. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. For the bass try both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. One angler’s suggestion - perch and bass are hitting jiggin raps and use small Chartreuse tube jigs for the crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: The lake has been fishing well for bass with the eastern shore showing the better smallmouth bite. A mix of baits has been working. Jig and pig, creature baits, drop shotting and just about any other method will fool the largemouth. Colors vary according to the water clarity. Watermelon Red, Kudzu, and Green pumpkin have been very good. Weather conditions and the amount of natural light can determine where the fish position, so pay attention and adjust your bait presentation accordingly. Pike have been active at the south end, hitting sucker chubs all hours of the day. (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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Try a downrigger, leadcore or a flatline for the lakers. Lots of bass and bluegills being seen in the shallows but the bite is slow. A few bass are being picked up on plastics fished in the grass in 12 to 18 fow.  (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: It’s suggested you fish the southwest portion of the lake in 80 - 90 fow for lake trout. Try down riggers and white spoons fished 10 feet off bottom.  Fish for browns and rainbows in the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower.

(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 walleye bite has slowed but fish are still being caught. Trollers and drifters are moving slowly with bottom-bouncing rigs rigged with small worm harnesses; depths as shallow as 15 feet can hold ’eye schools. You can also try jigging in about 10 fow with chartreuse jigs and spinner jig heads. A suggested area - around deeper holes north and south of Log Cabin Point. The bass fishing has been on and off for anglers. One report had “wacky rigged Zoom trick worms” doing well. If the bite slows or stops, switch to a Texas rigged worm or baby brush hog. If water conditions are murky use baits that make some vibration or noise and your catch rate should increase. Give baits and presentations time to work, but if you don't catch fish, change color, presentations and last locations. Larger panfish were reported being caught on small jig spinners, similar to the Beetle Spin. The key to triggering a bite was to retrieve the bait very, very slowly. (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. Be prepared to deal with water fleas. Flea-flicker lines or using a larger pound test monofilament sometimes help, and vertical jigging is also an option if fleas get too bad. (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: Try shore or boat fishing for bass, perch, crappie and/or bullhead. Also, on Waneta you can add Musky. Try using a River Run Manta or a Drifter Tackle Hellhound glide bait. Some guys tweek their cranks with scent or a small dash of sparkle nail polish.? If you use a boat, watch out for floating debris. Recommended colors to start with are silver and blue, red and white or chartreuse. 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. Bullhead fishing has picked up for those night fishing. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs. (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 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. 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. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season is 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. 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. Off Dean’s Cove, Taughannock, Myers and Long Point are areas being mentioned. 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. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. 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. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Look for largemouth bass 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: 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 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass, panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at 15 - 35 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite.  Some bullhead and black crappie are still being caught on the south end. No catch reports on pickerel. (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, 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. The bullhead bite is good at the Inlet at the south end. Some black crappie are also being caught on the south end. Scattered action on northern pike is also noted. (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 few more walleye and tiger musky are being taken with the cooling waters. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits, spinnerbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for the tigers and don't forget the wire leaders. It’s worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. Some tigers are reported being caught from the causeway fishing with large minnows under a bobber. If you do catch a tiger musky that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color) do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to the fwfish7 link below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch. Browns have turned on out there as well.  No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake. Smallmouths and largemouths are being taken in shallow water (10 – 15 feet) near shore and around the docks with wacky rigged stickworms. (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.) 

For tiger muskies, cast jerkbaits, chatterbaits, or spinnerbaits around the weedbeds on the north end and along shore. Largemouth bass can be found in the weedbeds while fishing with Texas-rigged baits or by working jigs or rubber worms in the 10- to 15-foot zone on the edge of weeds. Tiger muskies are also being caught on these same baits by anglers targeting bass, so don’t be surprised if you hook into something big or get bit off.

If you catch a tiger muskie that has been tagged (the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color), do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to fwfish7@dec.ny.gov or call 607-753-3095, ext. 213, to report your catch.

 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area streams are in good/high fishing shape. 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: Try for smallmouths along shore with tube baits or wacky rigged stickworms. Channel catfish should be hitting on cut-bait or worms. Look for walleye in the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses. Try shore fishing for perch and crappie and check out your favorite bullhead spots. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: There is some activity taking place on the pond. Anglers are finding a fair perch bite and some crappies. Walleye, pike and bass are present but no reports on the action. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Good action should be had on the lake fishing for bass using Superflukes, topwater and spinnerbaits. Also for something different try for gar. Fishing live or dead bait is much more productive than artificials in general and night fishing is a good way to catch them.  Other fish species present are bluegill; pumpkinseed; yellow perch; common carp; drum, channel catfish; brown bullhead; crappie, tiger musky and walleye. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: There’s some good fishing to be found. Bass are in the shallows (5 – 15 feet) with tubes being effective. Bass guys are also reporting that they are getting a nice mix with walleye and pickerel as well. With all the chain pickerel in the lake you may want to use a wire leader if throwing one of your expensive bass lures. With the cooler temperatures the night walleye bite has picked up. Casting stickbaits from shore just before and after dark is a suggested application for walleye this time of year. If you are still interested in fishing the deeper waters for them, worm harnesses, blade baits, and stickbaits are suggested baits to try. Keep an eye out for debris and high water conditions. 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 still providing some fishing but reports are limited. Salmon are entering the larger tribs and that signals the demise of much of the lake fishing. There is some smallmouth action found in the shallows. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. The browns are still in Maxwell Creek, and there is a decent 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. Some steelhead have also been caught in Maxwell. 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 green beads are also working. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Bay fishing continues to be rated good. There has been crappie and bullhead action at the south end of Sodus Bay. Active largemouth bass are hitting spinnerbaits top water bait and plastic rigs. Fish the docks or the weedlines at the south end of the bay. Some smallmouths were caught near the Sodus Bay channel. They were hitting rubber minnows tip with spikes. The pike fishing at Sodus has been good. Troll between the islands, especially the north side of LeRoy. Walleye have been hard to find. On Port Bay, perch are starting to school with some nice 12-inch fish hitting off the two points in the middle of the bay.

They are also catching some nice bluegills and crappies at the south end of the bay. Just use small jigs with spikes. For the perch use 2-inch Power Bait…shad or minnow colors. Pike, too, are at the south end. On the Canal wide waters anglers are catching largemouths fishing the weedlines on the south side of the waterway. Crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. Channel cats are hitting in the deep pools near Palmyra, use cut bait or shrimp. The cats give an excellent fight. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. The high water has left mats of weeds floating in the bays, so keep your nautical eyes open. (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:  Fish are around the pier in Charlotte and anglers are picking up a few throwing Cleos and other lures around dusk. Good numbers of fish are moving in the river and they are being caught at the falls. Inland you can try for bass and panfish in the county park waters. No word on any perch fishing in any of the Greece ponds or the bays but some are being taken from the piers. (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 on the Salmon River has been up and down lately. Fish are being seen – and caught – throughout the river now. A mix of browns and steelhead were reported earlier in the week being picked up mainly on beads and eggs. Some anglers were able to bring a fish or two to hand, while a few others went home without a tug on the line. Over the last couple of days the most productive patterns have been estaz eggs, sucker spawn, glo-bugs, egg sucking leeches, conehead woolly buggers, conehead muddlers and fish skull zonkers. Anglers who were bottom bouncing with spinning gear or float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs, pink worms and trout beads  The best reports for smallmouth bass come from the lower end of the river. The smallmouth bass generally hold in the slow and softer water along the edges of the deeper holes and larger runs. 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 rain brought in new fish but anglers are anglers are having access problems getting to them. There are plenty of fish along the wall, downstream of the powerhouse. Anglers fishing off the wall have been catching salmon with skein under slip floats and with deep diving thundersticks. Chartreuse beads have been working well and marabou jigs enticed a couple browns as well. Anglers are also targeting smallmouth bass, walleye, rockbass, sheepshead, channel cats, carp, and longnose gar in the river. Bottom bouncing and slip float fishing with gulp minnows, crayfish, and night crawlers has been effective for catching fish from shore over the past week or so. More information for anglers is available at Fishing for Pacific Salmon.

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. Once it settles, the fishing should be good for smallmouth bass and walleye. Look for bronzebacks with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters. 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)

Western New York Trout Stockings: Between October 17th and 24th, DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters were stocked: Quaker Lake received 550 brown trout (12"-24") and 245 rainbow trout (18"-28"); Red House Lake received 605 brown trout (12"-18"); Allen Lake received 170 brook trout (12"-18"), 50 brown trout (12") and 50 rainbow trout (22"); Harwood Lake received 225 brown trout (12"-24"); Case Lake received 660 brook trout (12"-18"), 280 brown trout (12"-24") and 170 rainbow trout (22"-28"); New Albion Lake received 250 brown trout (12"-24") and 50 rainbow trout (22"); Genesee River received 600 brown trout (12"-24") and 300 rainbow trout (22"-28"), stocked between Wellsville and the PA line.

 

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

 

NOVEMBER

9 – Invasive Species of Onondaga Lake Talk and Walk at Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake Visitors Center, 280 Restoration Way Syracuse, NY. (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps is proud to welcome Ben Zimmerman, Branch Manager at Applied Ecological Services, for a presentation about invasive plant identification and management at Onondaga Lake followed by a short walk along the lake shoreline. (Fee: $5/person, $15/family. Please bring exact change or a check to the event). (For information/register email montezuma@audubon.org with the subject line "Onondaga Lake" or call 315.365.3588 by November 7. Space is limited and registration is required.)

11 - FREE FISHING DAY in New York State. No license required.

12 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - NE Lake Ontario Work Group at the West Carthage Fire Hall, 61 High Street, West Carthage, NY.  (1:00 - 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Emily Sheridan, Emily.Sheridan@dec.ny.gov, 315-785-2382.)

13 - Great Lakes Action Agenda Work Group Meeting - SE Lake Ontario Work Group at the Wayne County Cornell Coop Extension, 1581 Route 88 North, Newark, NY. (1:00 - 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share information on funding and resources, key project updates and collaborative opportunities relevant to sub basin work plans and discuss progress of EBM demonstration area watersheds and identify next steps. (For information contact Emily Sheridan at 315-785-2382 or email Emily.Sheridan@dec.ny.gov,)

13 - Public Meeting on Trout and Salmon Stocking Levels for 2020 sponsored by DEC at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, Niagara County. (6:30 – 9:00 pm) A big focus will be the status of the lake’s alewife population. Alewife are a small bait fish that make up a significant portion of the lake’s trout and salmon, particularly Chinook salmon. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback at the meetings, DEC said. Those who cannot attend a meeting can provide comments via email at fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov. (For further information contact Chris Legard by calling (315) 654-2147 or by mail to: DEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station.)

14 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - SW Lake Ontario Work Group at the Tinker Nature Park, Hansen Nature Center, 1525 Calkins Road, Pittsford, NY (1:00 - 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070)

14 - Public Meeting on Trout and Salmon Stocking Levels for 2020 sponsored by DEC.  This meeting will be conducted online. To join the meeting, click here. If asked for a meeting number or a password use the following: Meeting number: 641 790 213, Password: PCVMcPX3. Upon joining the meeting, the caller will be prompted to connect to audio using their computer. Those who prefer to connect to audio via phone may do so by calling this toll free number: 1-844-633-8697, access code: 641 790 213. (6:30 – 9:00 pm) A big focus will be the status of the lake’s alewife population. Alewife are a small bait fish that make up a significant portion of the lake’s trout and salmon, particularly Chinook salmon. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback at the meetings, DEC said. Those who cannot attend a meeting can provide comments via email at fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov. (For further information contact Chris Legard by calling (315) 654-2147 or by mail to: DEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station.)

15 - First Day Ice Fishing Tip-Ups Can Be Used Statewide (>4/30/15)

15 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - Lake Erie Work Group at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070)

16 - Scouts BSA Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (12:00 – 3:00 p.m) Please be prepared to go outside and dress appropriately for the weather. Pre-requisites/pre-registration is required.  All Scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone. (Fee: $8/Scout. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information/register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

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TIP: FISHING TIPS FOR NORTHERN PIKE: When you go to pick a lure make sure you get one with a lot of flash and go by the phrase ‘bigger is better’. Pike can and will hit on a big lure, don’t be afraid to use them because they are big and you don’t think you’ll catch anything with it

For example: Try a large jointed floating Rapala, one that is 6-9 inches and is a deep runner.. For some reason, pike are generally attracted more to the jointed Rapalas than the not jointed ones. I have found this to be true from experience.

Things you can try are:

1. trolling with a spinner bait, spoon, Rapala

2. If legal in your area! Put a hook through a small bluegill, perch, crappie, or shad on a big bobber and cast it along a weed line. You can always use pike minnows for live bait.

3. Try spoons (ex. red devils). This is probably the most popular way to catch pike.

4. Plastics that you would normally use for bass. I have caught many northern on these while going for bass.

5. When there are lily pads around or moss on top of water, throw a frog. I prefer a yum buzz frog. It is an amazing lure. I have tried two colors of these so far and they work wonders. (Carolina pumpkin/yellow and watermelon red flake.) You can get them almost anywhere that sells Yum products. Also buy some Gamagatsu size 4 offset hooks. Make sure the point of the hook is on TOP of the frog not underneath. These will work best in the morning or evening in non-vegetation areas or anytime during the day in heavy vegetation areas.

6. If fishing from shore I would fish the 6-8 feet deep part of a channel.

As for a steel leader, They do take away action from the lure. You need to decide if you’d rather have more action (which brings in more bites) or less action(wobble) and also less chance that a fish will bite through your line. Just a matter of preference. You WILL catch pike either way but, you’ll be more likely to catch them without the leader.

(From Sportsmen’s Paradice Online http://blog.sportsmansparadiseonline.com/2009/07/29/35/ )

 

TIP # 2: DEC PUBLIC MEETINGS to present “the latest science that will help guide the state and the Province of Ontario to determine the trout and salmon stocking levels for 2020.” Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

Wednesday, Nov. 6: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester, Monroe County.

Thursday, Nov. 7: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, Oswego County.

Wednesday, Nov. 13: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, Niagara County.

Thursday, Nov. 14: 6:30 - 9 p.m.: This meeting will be conducted online. To join the meeting, click here. If asked for a meeting number or a password use the following: Meeting number: 641 790 213, Password: PCVMcPX3

 

TIP # 3: A reminder that from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

 

TIP # 4: November 11 - FREE FISHING DAY in New York State. No license required.

 

NO FISHING UPDATE THIS WEEK. LAST WEEK’S REPORT IS STILL IN EFFECT.

 

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

 

NOVEMBER 2019

1-30 -  Celebrate Hemlock Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, protected by NYS to be "forever wild"! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

2-3 - Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds, 501 Erie Street, Little Valley, NY. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) (For information call Daniel Johnson at 716-938-9749.)

3 – Tim Wittek Memorial Tournament hosted by the Niagara Musky Association, held on the upper Niagara River. (7:00 am – 4:00 pm) You must be a club member to participate. This is a catch and release event. (Cost: $25.00) (For information call Scott McKee at 225-3816.)

6 - Public Meeting on Trout and Salmon Stocking Levels for 2020 sponsored by DEC at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester, Monroe County. (6:30 – 9:00 pm) A big focus will be the status of the lake’s alewife population. Alewife are a small bait fish that make up a significant portion of the lake’s trout and salmon, particularly Chinook salmon. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback at the meetings, DEC said. Those who cannot attend a meeting can provide comments via email at fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov. (For further information contact Chris Legard by calling (315) 654-2147 or by mail to: DEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station.)

7 - Public Meeting on Trout and Salmon Stocking Levels for 2020 sponsored by DEC at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, Oswego County. (6:30 – 9:00 pm) A big focus will be the status of the lake’s alewife population. Alewife are a small bait fish that make up a significant portion of the lake’s trout and salmon, particularly Chinook salmon. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback at the meetings, DEC said. Those who cannot attend a meeting can provide comments via email at fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov. (For further information contact Chris Legard by calling (315) 654-2147 or by mail to: DEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station.)

9 – Invasive Species of Onondaga Lake Talk and Walk at Honeywell’s Onondaga Lake Visitors Center, 280 Restoration Way Syracuse, NY. (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) The Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps is proud to welcome Ben Zimmerman, Branch Manager at Applied Ecological Services, for a presentation about invasive plant identification and management at Onondaga Lake followed by a short walk along the lake shoreline. (Fee: $5/person, $15/family. Please bring exact change or a check to the event). (For information/register email montezuma@audubon.org with the subject line "Onondaga Lake" or call 315.365.3588 by November 7. Space is limited and registration is required.)

11 - FREE FISHING DAY in New York State. No license required.

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

 

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TIP: FINDING FALL CRAPPIE: Your best bet for finding crappie in the fall is to use jigs and drift along a drop off, fishing at different depths until you find them. The absolute best time to go fishing in the fall is just prior to a major cold front. Crappie should be shallow, filling up their stomachs. As the front passes, they will usually move back off the bank to deep water drop offs. If they quit biting, using a minnow should be enough to trigger them back to biting. Typically the cold temperatures don’t last long after a fall front. As the days warm, Crappie will move back shallow again. Being out there on the water, fall color all around you, a little nip to the fall air, and there you are, hauling in a limit of crappie to stock your freezer until spring. That’s pretty hard to beat. (By Larry Whiteley, Host of the awardwinning Outdoor World Radio For more tips go to  basspro.com.)  

 

TIP # 2: DEC PUBLIC MEETINGS to present “the latest science that will help guide the state and the Province of Ontario to determine the trout and salmon stocking levels for 2020.” Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

Wednesday, Nov. 6: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester, Monroe County.

Thursday, Nov. 7: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, Oswego County.

Wednesday, Nov. 13: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, Niagara County.

Thursday, Nov. 14: 6:30 - 9 p.m.: This meeting will be conducted online. To join the meeting, click here. If asked for a meeting number or a password use the following: Meeting number: 641 790 213, Password: PCVMcPX3

 

TIP # 3: A reminder that from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Weather conditions keep many anglers off Lake Erie, but when conditions permit, heading back to previously productive zones is recommended. Walleye prospects are good from Cattaraugus Creek to the PA line and limit catches are still possible. Straight out of the Catt and to the west, trollers report good walleye catches in 65-85 feet of water. From Dunkirk to the PA line, depths of 75-90 feet have been best. Anglers are catching walleye from 20 feet down to the bottom, however gear run 50-60 down has been most productive. Worm harnesses, stickbaits and spoons are good walleye offerings. Anglers fishing Dunkirk and to the west also report the occasional steelhead catch. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss out of Cattaraugus Creek lately, with good catches one day and a struggle the next. Depths of 50-60 feet of water is a good starting point. There have been some quality catches off Sturgeon Point in around 60 feet of water, with at least one group limiting out. However, you may have to launch at another location as the sand bar continues to grow at the mouth of the harbor. Best to call ahead. There have also been reports of anglers casting spoons off the City of Dunkirk Pier catching walleye while targeting trout. At the same time, perch fishing off Cattaraugus Creek was generally slow. A few boats that were able to find smaller active pods (and stay on them) did better. Depths of 50-65 feet is a good starting point. Depths of 85 feet plus have been productive for lake trout out of Dunkirk and Barcelona, with some lakers pushing 20 pounds. The best bite has typically been on spoons and flasher-fly combos run between 80 feet down and the bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing remains spotty with lighter angler effort. Target smallmouth bass around shoal and reef structure in 20-40 feet of water. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are all good bass baits. A drop-shot rig with tubes or live bait works well when fishing deeper waters. Caution: There is a sandbar forming at the mouth of Sturgeon Point Marina, but boats were still successfully launching out of the harbor at report time. A narrow channel heading out is marked with buoys, water is 4½ to 5 foot deep.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Rain and runoff brought area stream levels up twice in the past week, greatly expanding steelhead fishing options. Pods of steelhead have been moving in and all of the popular Erie tributaries are now producing some catches. Anglers have been fishing Cattaraugus Creek for the past month, with scattered steelhead reported up through Gowanda. At report time, the Catt is slightly high at 460 cubic feet per second, but fishable. On all other streams, steelhead have just recently started to migrate in earnest, so the lower sections are a better bet for catches. After flows peaked on Tuesday night, the Chautauqua County streams quickly dropped back to slightly low flows by Thursday. Downsize baits, lines and move stealthily if fishing those streams. The medium-sized Erie County streams have moderate flows at present. 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. Channel catfish are available in the lower section of Cattaraugus Creek. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers or raw shrimp fished on the bottom works well, especially at night. The deeper holes down low in the other creeks may hold catfish as well. Anglers can also catch catfish along the Lake Erie shoreline on calm nights, especially near stream inlets.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Anglers can catch a variety of warmwater species at sites throughout the upper Niagara River. Good numbers of smallmouth bass are available around the Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. Time of day is key. Focus on early morning or later afternoon/early evening. Crabs and golden shiners are the best live baits for bass. Decent numbers of walleye are also showing around the head of the river down to at least Strawberry Island. Catches of bass, yellow perch, sheepshead and sunfish are common at shore sites. White bass sometimes show as well. Anglers are catching some walleye at night along Unity Island and off Broderick Park. Smallmouth bass fishing is picking up for boaters drifting with tube jigs. Worm harnesses, minnows and swim baits also work well. Anglers can target muskellunge along weed edges with large stickbaits or 8-10 inch tube jigs. The Upper river and Buffalo Harbor is the best place to be for consistent musky action. Bass fishing has been very good there as well. The foot of Ferry Street is a good place to target.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river king salmon fishing has continued to be slow. Anglers are catching a few, but most anglers are now targeting trout. Trout numbers are building and shore anglers have recently reported some good catches from Artpark State Park and the NYPA fishing platform. Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks are good shore options too. Anglers in the gorge are catching a mix of steelhead, brown trout and incidental lake trout. Be aware that lake trout season is currently closed on the lower river and will reopen on January 1st. Incidentally caught lake trout should be immediately released. Egg sacs, trout beads, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs fished under a float, or casted spoons and spinners are good trout offerings. Charter boats working the Devils Hole drift have worked hard for just a few kings. The NYPA fishing platform has also produced few salmon this week, less than expected for October. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig with cured salmon skein is the top technique. Shore anglers are picking up the occasional king salmon from the NYPA platform, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Large spoons, Vibrax spinners and cured salmon skein are good offerings. Hopefully the upcoming cold temperatures will draw more kings into the river. Boaters and shore anglers are also catching some brown trout and a few steelhead above Lewiston. Anglers report good smallmouth bass action in the lower drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. Drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and live shiners and crabs is a good tactic. Some walleye catches also continue in the lower river. Walleye are available from mid-river down to the Niagara Bar. Controlled drifting with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness or yellow sally rig (with worm) are traditional lower river walleye tactics. Be aware, there a minimum size of 18" and daily limit of 3 for walleye in the lower river. Also remember that the lake trout season is closed. If you catch one, release it quickly and unharmed. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST:  Fishing for staging king salmon has been slow and spotty. In general, fishing is typically best at dawn, but the bite near dusk can be productive too. Boaters target staging king salmon by trolling with J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas, flasher-fly combos and large spoons. There has been some decent fishing off Oak Orchard for steelhead. Gear run between 40-50 feet down works for steelhead. The night bite has reportedly been good for anglers working the waters off the piers. When fishing the piers at night, use blues and glows for spoon colors.  There has been some word of brown trout catches in the nearshore zone, but not much available detail. Running medium-sized spoons or stickbaits in the bottom half of the water column is a typical tactic for brown trout. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Overall, there are decent to good numbers of salmonids in Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks. However, angler effort has been very high at times, resulting in slow fishing for spooky fish. Brown trout remain the dominant catch at Eighteenmile Creek, along with fair numbers of king salmon and the occasional steelhead. Currently, Eighteenmile Creek has slightly low and clear conditions, while Oak Orchard Creek is running moderate to slightly low and clear. There are better numbers of king salmon in Oak Orchard Creek, with majority of catches coming from section immediately below dam. Oak anglers are also catching a fair mix of brown trout and steelhead, along with a few real nice Atlantic Salmon. Johnson Creek has low and clear flow with modest numbers of trout and salmon scattered in stream. Anglers have been catching the occasional king salmon from the piers at Olcott, Oak Orchard and Genesee River. When fishing the piers at night, use blues and glows for spoon colors. Decent numbers of brown trout are also showing at pier sites, with best catches coming from the Wilson pier. Northern pike and smallmouth bass are also present around piers at this time of year. Be cautious as waves can still top the piers depending on wind speed and direction. Moving up the tribs, angling pressures are moderate to light with the opening of deer season. On Lake Alice, the impoundment created by Waterport Dam, some nice bass are being picked up in 8 to 14 feet of water along diminishing weed beds. 

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The open-lake season is winding down, but good fishing prospects remain.  Walleye are still available in the north basin along weedlines, although action is now also good at depths of 20-30 feet of water near the bottom. Around the rims of the deeper holes is worth a try also, as some walleye move into the holes in fall. Try trolling worm harnesses and stickbaits along weedlines or 20 feet down over 30-40 feet of water, and by jigging Rapalas and jigs tipped with a nightcrawler within the weeds. An angler reported that his group did very well Sunday afternoon casting for walleye from shore, catching 24 walleye with only 3 shorts in the mix. Swimbaits were key to their success, while stickbaits were practically ignored. The shoreline bite may even be better after dark. There are no strong weedlines in the south basin, so anglers have done best by trolling around the deeper section of the basin. Vertical jigging works well. Musky fishing has picked up as water temperatures are dropping. Largemouth bass are still readily available in shallower, weedy areas. Try surface lures, live shiners and spinnerbaits. Smallmouths are found along deeper rocky points and drops outside of the weedline. Live crayfish, shiners and leeches work well. Target weed edges and pockets with live minnows and worms for a mix of yellow perch, white perch, white bass and bluegill.  The blue gill fishing has been on fire south of Bemus Bay and yellow perch action has improved under the bridge by Cheney’s Point and DeWittville. Where you find weeds, you will find fish. Anglers need to be aware that Duck Season opens Oct. 19, so trollers should avoid docile flocks of ducks, that could very well be a decoy spread. (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 moderate-low flows. Rains may improve the situation. Water temperatures are cooling. 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'