Home Fish News Youth Photos Humor Clubs Contact
Your ?? Hunt Trap Calendar Links Web Extras Bios Join us on Facebook
 

    fishing Report for Western new york                                                                                                                                               with Ron Schroder

WESTERN/CENTRAL NEW YORK FISHING - WEST TO EAST

 

3 - 22 - 19   

 

*TIP #1: SEASON CHANGES:

March 15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

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

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

March 15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

 

*TIP #2: 2019-2020 FRESHWATER FISHING DIGEST NOW AVAILABLE: Pick up your copy of the 2019-20 Freshwater Fishing Digest (Season Guide) at any license sales vendor. The new guide provides some great information for anyone interested in getting more involved in the sport of fishing, particularly women. The online version will be available April 1.

 

*TIP #3: SAFTY ON ICE:

The warmer weather conditions have posed problems for hard water anglers on area waters. The warm/cold temperatures this week, coupled with winds, have diminished ice quality mandating anglers going out be extra cautious. Previous small holes have become bigger holes and in most cases shore ice has disappeared. Keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

 

*LAKE ERIE: Ice quality has deteriorated both on the lake and in the harbor areas. On the Small Boat Harbor shore ice may hold up for the weekend but beyond that is doubtful.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Cattaraugus Creek is running slightly high, but is fishable. Anglers are catching some steelhead around Gowanda and up at the dam. Anglers are fishing near the mouth of the “Cat” as well as under the Route 5 and 20 bridge with some success. The City of Dunkirk Pier continues to draw attention, with the trout showing up at various times of the day, but favoring late morning and early afternoon. Anglers have been catching some fresh steelhead over the past couple weeks, and more will surely show as we transition to spring. Prospects look good tomorrow as water temps will rise a bit with the warm-up. Small bumps in water temperatures have been known to really turn on the steelhead fishing in late winter. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Anglers have caught a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout. Also providing some action are silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019, to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river water conditions and action are good at present. Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout are all available in the river system below Niagara Falls. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. Take extreme caution walking the shoreline and use some type of ice grippers on your boots. From boats (if you can get out), top baits include MagLips and Kwikfish, pink egg sacs, minnows (emerald shiners and golden shiners) and imitation egg flies or beads. Bounce your offering along the bottom using three-way rigs from boat. From shore, using a float can be productive. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait, like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Remember that walleye season closes March 15 (along with pike, pickerel and statewide tiger musky). (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: If you want the big water, and weather permits, look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. There are a few browns close to shore. Try trolling the shoreline between 5 to 20 feet of water. Use small stickbaits or spoons, either flatlining off the back or working the shoreline with in-line planers. Lure colors - gold/black/orange spoons or black/gold Jr reef runners. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Flows are all pretty typical of springtime, higher and stained. Just what steelhead like for fresh migrations and staging to spawn. Even a tiny water temp warm-up is likely to bring some steelhead to gravel. There is still ice cover on Lake Alice and when that goes away look for warming temperatures in the Oak. Anglers fishing below the dams at Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile creeks reported a mix of dark and silvery steelhead. The Oak was running slightly high with about two feet of visibility, while Eighteenmile Creek had moderate flow. The upper sections on the small to medium sized creeks were open and ranged from moderate to slightly high and stained flow. All creeks will likely be running high and stained/muddy during periods of snowmelt. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Remember that walleye season closed March 15 (along with pike, pickerel and statewide tiger musky).

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Chautauqua Lake has varying ice thickness of 0 to 6 inches. However, there is some dangerous thin ice and open spots off creek inlets and some significant pressure cracks have opened up. In regards to pressure cracks, if you see the lake water pushing up and onto the ice, avoid that area. Also, some portions of the lake perimeter lost shore ice. Anglers are catching yellow perch throughout the lake, with shallower areas seemingly better for perch of keeper size. Depths of 6-10 feet of water off Mayville and at the north end of Beamus Bay have been productive for a mix of bluegill, crappie and yellow perch. White perch and white bass are deep in the holes from 40 to 50 feet on the north end, but action has been slower. Also, remember that walleye season closed March 15 (along with pike, pickerel and statewide tiger musky). A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most creeks are opening up. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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: Ice is reportedly between 5 and 8 inches lake-wide, and is a mix of clear and white ice. The safety factor varies with every step. Deep sections of the lake are a better bet for yellow perch at depths of 30 feet. Anglers have recently been catching fair numbers of 8 to 10 inch perch with many throw-backs. For the perch try salted minnows and grubs. Consistently cycling through different jig/plastic/grub combinations helps turn more lookers into biters. Getting fish to rise up a few feet off bottom helps to entice a bite as well. Anglers targeting perch in north half of lake are also catching some short crappie, with the rare keeper mixed in. Also, remember that walleye and pike seasons closed March 15 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: No reports on ice conditions but the shore ice is questionable. Depths of 6-10 feet of water are a good bet for bluegill and a few perch. Some spots seem to be void of fish, so if not catching fish in a particular spot, move. The north end off Vitale Park is a good spot for bluegill. (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 reports on ice and no reports on catches. If you try it, be extra careful especially on the shore 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: No word on ice and no reports on catches, other than a few nice lakers. If you try it, be careful, especially along shore. Some anglers are trying night fishing for smelt and having some good success. Others are fishing during the day for lake trout. For the smelt try tiny hooks with Berklely gulp white maggot pieces. One angler reported success using a small piece of pantyhose and a mousie. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HONEOYE LAKE: No current word on ice conditions but expect the worse. Deeper sections of the lake are typically good for yellow perch. Shallow weedy areas are best for bluegill, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The bonus walleye catch is possible in shallow and deep water. Fish have been finicky according to early reports. Consistently cycling through different jig/plastic/grub combinations helps turn more lookers into biters. Getting fish to rise up a few feet off bottom helps to entice a bite as well. (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: Open water fishing, weather permitting, remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. No current report on ice conditions. If you try it, be extra careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable. (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: On open water, weather permitting, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. Remember that bass, pike and pickerel seasons close March 15th. (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: On the open water, anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. Remember that bass, pike and pickerel seasons closed March 15th. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter. (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 reports on ice at the north end. On the open water -  The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Taughannock, Myers and Long Point are areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  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. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: On the open water, weather permitting, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow. There are no reports of safe ice. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, 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 before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and 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. Remember that pike and walleye seasons closed March 15th. (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: Ice was reported up to 10 inches but it’s a lot thinner now and open water is also reported. Stay away from narrows and don't get to close to the dam. No word on the panfish bite. 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, but there are fish up to 13 inches. A reminder that walleye and tiger musky seasons closed March 15th. (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: Most creeks are opening up. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line 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. 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 area's best trout streams.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports had up to 12 inches of ice on the reservoir but with the warm temperatures both quality and quantity have decreased No word on the bite. If you try it, be careful and keep an eye on the shore ice. A reminder - walleye season closed March 15th. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: Anglers are getting out on the pond and icing some yellow perch. No reports on current walking condition, but with warm weather and rain in the forecast things will likely be getting slushy. Watch the shore ice. Anglers have found a decent perch bite. Also be cautious of scattered gas holes in the ice. Remember pike and walleye seasons close March 15th. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on ice conditions but we are now into the Spring conditions. If you try it, be extra careful and check the ice as you go. A side note on the lake for bird watchers, fifty + bald eagles are reported at the south end on Murphy’s Island. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: Ice is reported on the lake but its condition and depth is unknown. Use caution when moving around on the lake as there are some big pressure cracks out there and with the rain/warm weather from last week there is likely some big holes. Also with the rain and snow melt use caution around the shoreline and areas where they may be flowing water. Anglers were still getting out pretty much all around the lake at the time of this report, and yellow perch fishing remains good with fish being found in 12 to 35 foot of water. Remember walleye, pike and pickerel seasons closed March 15th. Everyone should be mindful of new cracks out there, you can always follow on Twitter (@oneidafishing) as information is posted on cracks as they come in.  Feel free to tweet any information that would be helpful to others, such as gas holes, cracks, or any other hazards. 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: The lake fishing is beginning for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake, but watch the weather. Try trolling the shoreline between 5 to 20 feet of water. Use small stickbaits or spoons, either flatlining off the back or working the shoreline with in-line planers. Lure colors - gold/black/orange spoons or black/gold Jr reef runners. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable with no ice or snow on the banks. Steelhead and holdover browns are in the creeks. The steelies are hitting red small spoons, bright beads and egg sacs. The water flow is perfect on both sides of Maxwell at Lake Road. Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted. The ice should be melted on the piers. If not today, then tomorrow when the temps will hit 50 degrees. You can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos from the pier. Just be extra careful because the water temperatures are in the low 40’s which is lethal if you fall in. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: No ice fishing is recommended. Middle ice is soft and shore ice is gone. As soon as the ice disappears go after the perch using your boat. Remember, you need to wear your pfd if you are in a boat. That safety law is in effect until May 1st. Also remember, walleye, pike and pickerel seasons closed March 15th. 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:  Ice conditions on county waters are unsafe. A lot of open water is reported. Be careful if you go out and watch the shore ice. A few anglers fish the river at the lower falls for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Remember walleye, pike and pickerel seasons close March 15th. (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: Anglers getting into fish are fishing in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. With the recent drop in water level the fish have been holding in and around the deeper and larger runs. The Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Ellis Cove, Bovines, Trestle Pool and Pineville are where most anglers have been fishing. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success dead drifting with nymphs and single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been wiggle stones, rusher nymphs, steelhead hammer, black stoneflies, steelhead buggers, estaz eggs, steak-n-eggs and glo-bugs. Anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing had the most success with blue and pink egg sacs, beads and pink worms. 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 river flow has been changing with the weather making conditions for shore fishing unpredictable. Recent high waters have triggered a fresh run of chrome steelhead and turned the brown trout and walleye bite on. Anglers using jigs and soft plastic swimbaits have been producing walleye and brown trout in the lower river. Jigs, pink worms, wax worms and egg sacs have been taking steelhead throughout the entire river. The walleye season closed March 15th. 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 high and muddy. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

 

MARCH 2019

1-31 - Celebrate Owasco Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, home to both cold water & warm water fisheries!  (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

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

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

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

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

16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/4)

23 - 8th Annual Fisherman’s Paradise Flea Market/Swap Meet at the Alexander Firemen’s Rec Hall, 10708 Route 98, Alexander, NY.

23 – Lake Ontario Fisheries Symposium sponsored by NY Sea Grant and the Lake Ontario Sportfishing Promotion Council at the Finger Lakes Mall (adjacent to Bass Pro), Auburn, NY. (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)  Come see presentations and expert panels to learn about everything from fish basics to cutting edge technology. Door prizes, kids activities, fish tanks and displays, outdoor and fishing gear vendors, and more. Something for everyone from beginners to seasoned veterans. Presenters and panelists will include professional anglers, managers, and scientists from around Lake Ontario. (For information/register for free go to https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/LakeOntarioFisheriesSymposium_112.)

30 - Otisco Lake Rod & Gun Club Traders Day at the Club, Rte. 174 (3015 Marietta Rd.), Marietta, NY (one mile south of Rte. 20). For more info call Keith Severson, 607-343-1906.

31 - Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am B 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section 2 mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)

31 - Finger Lakes Trollers Fishing Tackle, Outdoor Show and Flea Market at the Community Center at Clute Park, Watkins Glen, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) New, used and antique fishing tackle,fishing charters,archery, turkery hunting stuff,etc. There will be about 70 tables set up. (Admission is $2.00 with kids under 10 free. Parking is free.) (For information call Mike Burt 607-765-9866)

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

3 - 15 - 19   

 

There will be NO Fishing Report update this week. Weather conditions have greatly changed ice conditions from last week so be sure to follow the safety precautions spelled out in Tip #4.

 

Tip #1: NYSDEC Electro Shocking: March 21 - NYSDEC Electro Shocking of Naples Creek – Crew starts just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge. (9:00 am) and March 22 – NYSDEC Electro Shocking of Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) – Crew starts in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County. (10:00 am) The sampling is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast. (For information call 585-226-5324)

 

Tip #2: Informational Meeting On The State Of Skaneateles Lake Fisheries on March 20th, at the Homer Intermediate School auditorium, 58 Clinton Street, Homer, NY. (6:30 – 8:30 pm) At the meeting, DEC will present summaries of the latest available fisheries research and management strategies and actions on Skaneateles Lake, including future management of the recently established walleye population and contributions from the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program and Eastern Finger Lakes Angler Diary Cooperator Program. The formal presentation is expected to last approximately one hour. An informal question and answer session related to Skaneateles Lake fisheries will follow DEC's presentation. DEC annually stocks Skaneateles Lake with trout. An ongoing Angler Diary Cooperator Program for gamefish provides DEC Fisheries staff with useful data on population trends. Information on the Angler Diary Program and recent reports can be viewed on DEC's website. DEC is continually seeking new cooperators and interested volunteers are encouraged to contact the Region 7 Fisheries Office at (607) 753-3095 ext 213 or fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.

 

TIP #3: "STATE OF LAKE ONTARIO" MEETING: The public will have the opportunity to learn about the State of Lake Ontario fisheries at the remaining public meeting: Tuesday, March 19: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, Oswego County The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association. For further information contact Christopher Legard, NYSDEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station, (315) 654-2147.

 

TIP #4: SEASON CHANGES:

March 15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

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

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

March 15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

 

TIP #5: SAFETY ON ICE:

The changing weather conditions have posed some problems on area waters. The warm/cold temperatures this week coupled with high winds mandate anglers going out be extra cautious. Previous small holes have become bigger holes and in some cases shore ice has deteriorated. Keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out to enjoy some hard-water fishing. The heavy snow may cause travel problems as might the slickness of the ice. Bring creepers.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the new I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF). Additional valuable information, including where to fish recommendations, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Ice Fishing Chapter (PDF) of the DEC's I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

 

MARCH 2019

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. (>5/4)

1-31 - Celebrate Owasco Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, home to both cold water & warm water fisheries!  (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

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

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

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

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

16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/4)

16 – Eastren Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Association Annual Flea Market at the Brewerton, NY Fire Hall. (For information call 315-515-8278)

16 - Crown City Bassmasters Hunting & Fishing Extravaganza at the Dryden Fire Station, Dryden, NY. (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) For more info call Joe Matt, 315-420-8150.

19 - Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the Pulaski High School Auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, NY (Oswego County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association. DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Christopher Legard, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147)

20 - Informational Meeting On The State Of Skaneateles Lake Fisheries at the Homer Intermediate School auditorium, 58 Clinton Street, Homer, NY. (6:30 – 8:30 pm) At the meeting, DEC will present summaries of the latest available fisheries research and management strategies and actions on Skaneateles Lake, including future management of the recently established walleye population and contributions from the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program and Eastern Finger Lakes Angler Diary Cooperator Program. The formal presentation is expected to last approximately one hour. An informal question and answer session related to Skaneateles Lake fisheries will follow DEC's presentation. DEC annually stocks Skaneateles Lake with trout. An ongoing Angler Diary Cooperator Program for gamefish provides DEC Fisheries staff with useful data on population trends. Information on the Angler Diary Program and recent reports can be viewed on DEC's website. DEC is continually seeking new cooperators and interested volunteers are encouraged to contact the Region 7 Fisheries Office at (607) 753-3095 ext 213 or fwfish7@dec.ny.gov

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

22 – NYSDEC Electro Shocking of Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) – Crew starts in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County. (10:00 am) The sampling is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast. (For information call 585-226-5324)

23 - 8th Annual Fisherman’s Paradise Flea Market/Swap Meet at the Alexander Firemen’s Rec Hall, 10708 Route 98, Alexander, NY.

23 – Lake Ontario Fisheries Symposium sponsored by NY Sea Grant and the Lake Ontario Sportfishing Promotion Council at the Finger Lakes Mall (adjacent to Bass Pro), Auburn, NY. (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) Come see presentations and expert panels to learn about everything from fish basics to cutting edge technology. Door prizes, kids activities, fish tanks and displays, outdoor and fishing gear vendors, and more. Something for everyone from beginners to seasoned veterans. Presenters and panelists will include professional anglers, managers, and scientists from around Lake Ontario. (For information/register for free go to https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/LakeOntarioFisheriesSymposium_112.)

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

3 - 8 - 19   

 

TIP #1: SEASON CHANGES:

March 15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

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

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

March 15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

 

TIP #2: "STATE OF LAKE ONTARIO" MEETINGS: The public will have the opportunity to learn about the State of Lake Ontario fisheries at the following remaining public meetings:

Thursday, March 14: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at SUNY Schenectady County Community College, Stockade Building, Room 101, 78 Washington Ave., Schenectady, Schenectady County.

Tuesday, March 19: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, Oswego County The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association.

For further information contact Christopher Legard, NYSDEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station, (315) 654-2147.

 

TIP #3: SAFTY ON ICE:

The changing weather conditions have posed some problems on area waters. The warm/cold temperatures this week coupled with high winds mandate anglers going out be extra cautious. Previous small holes have become bigger holes and in some cases shore ice has deteriorated. Keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out to enjoy some hard-water fishing. The heavy snow may cause travel problems as might the slickness of the ice. Bring creepers.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the new I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF). Additional valuable information, including where to fish recommendations, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Ice Fishing Chapter (PDF) of the DEC's I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing.

 

LAKE ERIE: Some fishable lake ice (9 – 10 inches) is reported out off Hamburg. Anglers are said to be getting into be getting in to a good walleye bite in 45 feet of water. The inner harbor has up to 12 inches of ice. Harbor anglers are catching smaller yellow perch and sunfish, with the occasional keeper. Small jig with spikes seem to be the key. The ice on Dunkirk’s Inner Harbor is reported being up to 5 inches some steelhead are being caught. 

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Cattaraugus Creek is running slightly high, but is fishable. Anglers are catching some steelhead around Gowanda and up at the dam. All other Lake Erie tributaries are mostly frozen with some open spots in swifter sections. After Sunday's warmer temps and rainfall, Cattaraugus Creek will likely go to high and stained. However, other creeks should open back up. Anglers have been catching some fresh steelhead over the past couple weeks, and more will surely show as we transition to spring. Prospects look good tomorrow as water temps will rise a bit with the warm-up. Small bumps in water temperatures have been known to really turn on the steelhead fishing in late winter. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing from shore. Shore anglers have caught a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout. Boaters catch the same mix, along with some bonus walleye. Once back to normal look for walleye to provide some good fishing. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019, to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river water conditions and action are good at present. Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout are all available in the river system below Niagara Falls. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. Take extreme caution walking the shoreline and use some type of ice grippers on your boots. From boats (if you can get out), top baits include MagLips and Kwikfish, pink egg sacs, minnows (emerald shiners and golden shiners) and imitation egg flies or beads. Bounce your offering along the bottom using three-way rigs from boat. From shore, using a float can be productive. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait, like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Remember that walleye season closes March 15 (along with pike, pickerel and statewide tiger musky). (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: If you want the big water, and weather permits, look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers fishing below the dams at Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile creeks reported a mix of dark and silvery steelhead. The Oak was running slightly high with about two feet of visibility, while Eighteenmile Creek had moderate flow. The upper sections on the small to medium sized creeks were open and ranged from moderate to slightly high and stained flow. All creeks will likely be running high and stained/muddy during periods of snowmelt. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. There could be some icing conditions especially in slow water or downstream spots as the cold or snow hangs in. Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor was good for perch in Tuscarora Bay using minnows. Over 6 inches of ice was last reported. Pike and trout are targets of many anglers and while action is slow the chance at bigger is better. Many of the other embayments along the lake are showing 4 to 6 inches of ice. Anglers can catch trout and a variety of warmwater fish including bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next. Remember that walleye season closes March 15 (along with pike, pickerel and statewide tiger musky).

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Chautauqua Lake has varying ice thickness of 7 to 10 inches. However, there is some dangerous thin ice and open spots off creek inlets and some significant pressure cracks have opened up. In regards to pressure cracks, if you see the lake water pushing up and onto the ice, avoid that area. Also, some portions of the lake perimeter lost shore ice. There have been mixed walleye reports coming from the north basin. Some walleye anglers are doing very well, while others struggle for one or none. In general, the best walleye bite is in 15-40 feet of water with peak activity near dawn and dusk. Jigging Rapalas and vertical jigging spoons tipped with a minnow are good walleye offerings. The better spots reported for walleye: Bemus, DeWittville, Mayville, Mission Meadows, Maple Springs, Warners Bay, Long Point, and Prendergast. Anglers are catching yellow perch throughout the lake, with shallower areas seemingly better for perch of keeper size. Depths of 6-10 feet of water off Mayville and at the north end of Beamus Bay have been productive for a mix of bluegill, crappie and yellow perch. White perch and white bass are deep in the holes from 40 to 50 feet on the north end, but action has been slower. Just a note that the muskies have been active lately through the ice and anglers are not allowed to use gaffs to land the fish and anglers must quickly return the fish unharmed. The DEC has been very active enforcing size and quantity limits. Also, remember that walleye season closes March 15 (along with pike, pickerel and statewide tiger musky). A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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: Ice is reportedly between 5 and 12 inches lake-wide, and is a mix of clear and white ice covered by up to a foot of snow. The south end is a popular spot to set tip-ups with shiners for northern pike and to jig for bluegill. Deep sections of the lake are a better bet for yellow perch at depths of 30 feet. Anglers have recently been catching fair numbers of 8 to 10 inch perch with many throw-backs. For the perch try salted minnows and grubs. The south end shallows is a popular spot to set tip-ups for northern pike, but some pike catches have come from deeper waters of 20-25 feet as well. Consistently cycling through different jig/plastic/grub combinations helps turn more lookers into biters. Getting fish to rise up a few feet off bottom helps to entice a bite as well. Anglers targeting perch in north half of lake are also catching some short crappie, with the rare keeper mixed in. Also, remember that walleye and pike seasons close March 15 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Up to 8 inches of ice is reported on the lake at the ends – but ice starts to get thinner approaching deeper water. Snow covered pressure cracks are reported, so be extra cautious. Also the shore ice at the north end may be questionable. Depths of 6-10 feet of water are a good bet for bluegill and a few perch. Some spots seem to be void of fish, so if not catching fish in a particular spot, move. North end anglers are running plenty of tip-ups, but see relatively few "flags". However, good sets have produced some hefty pike. Pike and tiger musky action ranges fair to good with pike shiners. Walleye and perch have been hitting fatheads. The north end off Vitale Park is a good spot for bluegill. Tip-ups and shiners can produce decent to good catches of northern pike, along with the bonus tiger muskellunge. Also, remember that walleye season closes March 15 (along with pike, pickerel and statewide tiger musky).  (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: There is safe ice on the lake. At the north end it’s reported at 7+ inches. No reports on catches. If you try it, be extra careful especially on the shore ice.  Bass season is open on the lake until March 15th.  (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: There is safe ice on the lake. One report had 8 – 10 inches at the south end, out to 50 feet of water. No reports on catches, other than a few nice lakers. If you try it, be careful, especially along shore. Some anglers are trying night fishing for smelt and having some good success. Others are fishing during the day for lake trout. Bass season is open on the lake until the15th. For the smelt try tiny hooks with Berklely gulp white maggot pieces. One angler reported success using a small piece of pantyhose and a mousie. (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: Ice is reported up to 8 - 10 inches. Expect thinner ice near stream inlets and in spots near the northwest corner. Deeper sections of the lake are typically good for yellow perch. Shallow weedy areas are best for bluegill, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The bonus walleye catch is possible in shallow and deep water. Fish have been finicky according to early reports. Consistently cycling through different jig/plastic/grub combinations helps turn more lookers into biters. Getting fish to rise up a few feet off bottom helps to entice a bite as well. Bass season is open on the lake until March 15th. (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: Open water fishing, weather permitting, remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. 5 - 8 inches of ice was on the lakes but we have no current report. If you try it, be careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable. (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: Ice covered the Branchport and Penn Yan branches but no word on how this  weekend’s sun will impact it. Be careful of the ice if you go out. A report has 7 inches of ice and a steady bluegill bite. No location was provided however. On open water, weather permitting, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. Remember that bass, pike and pickerel seasons close March 15th. (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: On the open water, anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. Remember that bass, pike and pickerel seasons close March 15th. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter. (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 reports on ice at the north end. It’s probably gone due to the wind. On the open water -  The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Taughannock, Myers and Long Point are areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  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. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

SKANEATELES LAKE: 5 – 6 inches of ice reported at the south end. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, weather permitting, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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.)

The New York State Department of Conservation’s (DEC) informational meeting on the current state of Skaneateles Lake's fisheries will be Wednesday, March 20, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Homer Intermediate School auditorium, 58 Clinton Street, Homer, NY.

 

OWASCO LAKE: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation and there are no reports of safe ice. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, 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 before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and 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. Remember that pike and walleye seasons close March 15th. (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: Ice was reported up to 10 inches especially at the north end but lots of open water is also reported. Stay away from narrows and don't get to close to the dam. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. 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, but there are fish up to 13 inches. A reminder that walleye and tiger musky seasons close March 15th.

 (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: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line 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. 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 area's best trout streams.

The dates and locations for the annual sampling of the rainbow trout run in Finger Lakes tributaries are Thursday, March 21, 9 a.m., at Naples Creek, just north of the village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Rt. 245 bridge; and Friday, March 22, 10 a.m., at Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County. DEC is conducting the sampling to aid in the agency's ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast.

 

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports had up to 12 inches of ice on the reservoir and 6 inches of snow on that. No word on the bite. If you try it, be careful. A reminder - walleye season closes March 15th. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: Anglers are getting out on the pond and icing some yellow perch and northern pike. No reports on current walking condition, but with warm weather in the forecast things will likely be getting slushy. The ice cover has been reported up to 16 inches. Action is hit and miss with mostly small fish. Anglers have found a decent perch bite along with a few pike. Deep snow can hinder movement. Also be cautious of scattered gas holes in the ice. Remember pike and walleye seasons close March 15th. (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. If you try it, be extra careful and check the ice as you go. A side note on the lake for bird watchers, fifty + bald eagles are reported at the south end on Murphy’s Island. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: Reports of up to 14″ of ice have been reported.  Walleye activity has slowed, lots of lookers and shorts. Still good perch activity off Sylvan Beach, although it is a bit challenging getting out still. Use caution accessing and around tributaries.  An overall fishing report:  the perch bite is steady, especially along the typical spots on the north shore–starting from Taft Bay all the way down to Edgewater.  Walleye tend to be more interested in various windows throughout the day.  Jigging raps, minnow heads, Swedish Pimples are all getting the job done.  Reports off Lewis and Chapman are streaky for walleye with a decent early evening bite.  Big Bay continues to produce large panfish, crappie and pickerel. Remember walleye, pike and pickerel seasons close March 15th. Everyone should be mindful of new cracks out there, you can always follow on Twitter (@oneidafishing) as information is posted on cracks as they come in.  Feel free to tweet any information that would be helpful to others, such as gas holes, cracks, or any other hazards. 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: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: There are a few openings in Maxwell Creek, however stream fishing that creek is difficult. If we have a thaw, the steelhead fishing will be excellent this time of year. The steelhead are hitting egg sacs both imitation and real. Just use caution as the banks are slippery. Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted. Wind and freezing temperatures however make the piers very treacherous. If conditions allow you can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. In the tribs, if you can find open water, brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are locked-in with an ice cover, reported varying from 4 to 10 inches but some soft spots are reported. Where ever you choose to fish, start walking with a spud in your hand. Spud for ice safety. A run-down on the bays: Sodus Bay is producing 10 – 12 inch perch. They are catching jumbo perch over by the loop and at the trestle near the old malt house. The perch are hitting bright jigs and the smaller lures seem to be working better. Port Bay reports the better spots are the north end and off the points along the east side of the bay in 20 feet of water. Use bright jigs and perch minnows under tip-ups. Another great place to fish is Blind Sodus Bay (Little Sodus Bay.) located adjacent to Fair Haven Bay. If you are new to the area, follow the crowds. It’s a good starting point and the ice should be thick enough. You’ll be walking. Excellent perch fishing is also reported in Fairhaven Bay. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The Canal has safe ice at the Widewaters with lots of fish and not many anglers. Remember walleye, pike and pickerel seasons close March 15th. 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:  Ice conditions on county waters are questionable. A lot of open water is reported. Be careful if you go out and watch the shore ice. Northern pike are possibilities in the bays through the ice. Braddock, however is reported very slow. Irondequoit offers a little better action and you can add walleye. Reports for Irondequoit have solid ice (9 – 10 inches) from south of the bay bridge to Sutter's Marine.  North of bridge still broken up and unsafe. On the Greece ponds, ice reports are not good. Some perch action can be had from shore. At Mendon Ponds Park, we again have ice but no reports this week. A few anglers fish the river at the lower falls for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. Remember walleye, pike and pickerel seasons close March 15th. (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: In the lower end of the river slush ice along with high snow banks are accessibility factors for most. Anglers getting into fish are fishing in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. With the recent drop in water level the fish have been holding in and around the deeper and larger runs. The Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Ellis Cove, Bovines, Trestle Pool and Pineville are where most anglers have been fishing. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success dead drifting with nymphs and single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been wiggle stones, rusher nymphs, steelhead hammer, black stoneflies, steelhead buggers, estaz eggs, steak-n-eggs and glo-bugs. Anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing had the most success with blue and pink egg sacs, beads and pink worms. 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 river flow has been changing with the weather making conditions for shore fishing unpredictable. Recent high waters have triggered a fresh run of chrome steelhead and turned the brown trout and walleye bite on. Anglers using jigs and soft plastic swimbaits have been producing walleye and brown trout in the lower river. Jigs, pink worms, wax worms and egg sacs have been taking steelhead throughout the entire river. The walleye season closes March 15th. 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 high and muddy. Be ready for heavy snow. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. (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: Has ice but no current conditions.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: 10 – 11 inches of ice. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow.

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: The ice is now up to 14 inches. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow, lots of small perch. They were feeding on blood worms.

Harwood & Case Lakes / Cattaraugus: Has ice but no current conditions.

Red House and Quaker Lakes / Cattaraugus have been producing bluegills, northern pike, crappie, and trout.

Lime Lake / Cattaraugus: Ice is 6 – 7 inches but will be sloppy with warm temps. No catch report.

 

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

 

JANUARY 2019

2-3/15 – Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Fishing Derby (Entry fee is $20) 8 species divisions. (For information call 716-407-3021)

 

MARCH 2019

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. (>5/4)

1-31 - Celebrate Owasco Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, home to both cold water & warm water fisheries!  (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

7-10 - WNY Sport & Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds Event Center, 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY. (Thu & Fri Noon-9:00pm/Sat 10:00 am – 8:00 pm/Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm) WNY Sport & Travel Expo will be dedicated to the outdoor enthusiast. Special guests include Greg Miller from the hit show In Pursuit Bwana Jim and his Wildlife Show, Jim Beverly Retriever Training, and Clint Taylor. WNY Sport & Travel Expo will showcase excellent entertainment and seminars on hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities for all age group. There will be very large display of goods and services related to sport and travel. Interactive games will make it more entertaining for the participants. (Cost: $9.00/Children 10 and under free/Scouts in uniform free/Free Parking) (For information go to http://10times.com/wny-sport-travel)

9-10 - The Fly Fishing Show at the Lancaster County Convention Center, 3 East Vine Street, Lancaster, PA (Sat 9:00 am – 5:30 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:30 pm) Fly Fishers International (FFI) is pleased to offer FREE fly fishing instruction at the Learning Center located on the main show floor.  Basic fly-casting, fly-tying, and knots, will be taught throughout the day-every day of the Fly Fishing Show. (Cost: Adult 1-day $15.00; 2 day $25.00/Children 5 and under Free; 6 – 12 $5.00/Scouts under 16 in uniform Free/Military with ID $10.00) (For information go to https://flyfishingshow.com/lancaster-pa/)

10 – 5th Annual Genesee Charter Boat Association Fishing Flea Market at the  Pt. Pleasant Fire Hall, 55 Ewer Avenue, Rochester, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) No Admission. Come on down and haggle with the captains and get some great deals, or pick their brains for some tips on being successful on the big lake. Some proceeds go to the pen rearing project and the fire department. (For information go to GCBA Flyer 2019.docx)

14 - Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the SUNY Schenectady County Community College, Stockade Building, Room 101, 78 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, NY (Schenectady County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association. DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Christopher Legard, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147)

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

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

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

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

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

16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/4)

16 – Eastren Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Association Annual Flea Market at the Brewerton, NY Fire Hall. (For information call 315-515-8278)

16 - Crown City Bassmasters  Hunting & Fishing Extravaganza at the Dryden Fire Station, Dryden, NY. (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) For more info call Joe Matt, 315-420-8150.

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

3 - 1 - 19   

 

TIP #1: "STATE OF LAKE ONTARIO" MEETINGS: The public will have the opportunity to learn about the State of Lake Ontario fisheries at the following public meetings:

Monday, March 4: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus (Chester F Carlson Center for Imaging Science), Rochester, Monroe County. The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.

Thursday, March 7: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport, Niagara County. The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.

Thursday, March 14: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at SUNY Schenectady County Community College, Stockade Building, Room 101, 78 Washington Ave., Schenectady, Schenectady County.

Tuesday, March 19: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, Oswego County The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association.

For further information contact Christopher Legard, NYSDEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station, (315) 654-2147.

 

TIP #2: SAFTY ON ICE:

The changing weather conditions have posed some problems on area waters. The warm/cold temperatures this week coupled with high winds mandate anglers going out be extra cautious. Previous small holes have become bigger holes and in some cases shore ice has deteriorated. Keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out to enjoy some hard-water fishing. The heavy snow may cause travel problems as might the slickness of the ice. Bring creepers.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the new I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF). Additional valuable information, including where to fish recommendations, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Ice Fishing Chapter (PDF) of the DEC's I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing.

 

*LAKE ERIE: Ice has now put a damper on any boat fishing on the lake. Between normal ice and the ice piled up by the wind, lake fishing is at a standstill. The inner harbor has up to 12 inches of ice. Harbor anglers are catching smaller yellow perch and sunfish, with the occasional keeper. Small jig with spikes seem to be the key. The ice on Dunkirk’s Inner Harbor is reported being up to 5 inches some steelhead are being caught. 

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Tributaries are opening back up and some of the Erie County streams are now wide open. Ice jams at the mouths of some creeks may prohibit influx of fresh fish. Prospects look good tomorrow as water temps will rise a bit with the warm-up. Small bumps in water temperatures have been known to really turn on the steelhead fishing in late winter. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing from shore. Shore anglers have caught a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout. Boaters catch the same mix, along with some bonus walleye. Once back to normal look for walleye to provide some good fishing. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019, to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov. An interesting catch this past week was made by Denis Kreze of Fort Ontario. He caught an Atlantic salmon in the upper river. It was discovered that the fish had an adipose clip that identified it as a St. Mary’s River fish from Lake Superior.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river water conditions are improving at present. Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout are all available in the river system below Niagara Falls. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. Take extreme caution walking the shoreline and use some type of ice grippers on your boots. From boats (if you can get out), top baits include MagLips and Kwikfish, pink egg sacs, minnows (emerald shiners and golden shiners) and imitation egg flies or beads. Bounce your offering along the bottom using three-way rigs from boat. From shore, using a float can be productive. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait, like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Shore anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing the lower river. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: If you want the big water, and weather permits, look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: All Lake Ontario tributaries are currently running high and stained. The weather has flushed out much of the ice, and the increased flow could draw in some fresh steelhead. Once things calm down places to try would be the river sections below the dams on Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks (mostly open, but running high and stained at present). They will offer some fishing opportunity as levels drop. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. The other area smaller tributaries have medium to slightly high flows with dirty water color. Those smaller waterways are currently back on the drop and clearing and mostly open in the fast water stretches. There could be some icing conditions especially in slow water or downstream spots as the cold or snow hangs in. Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor was good for perch in Tuscarora Bay using minnows. Over 6 inches of ice was last reported. Pike and trout are targets of many anglers and while action is slow the chance at bigger is better. Many of the other embayments along the lake are showing 4 to 6 inches of ice. Anglers can catch trout and a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Chautauqua Lake has varying ice thickness of 7 to 10 inches. However, there is some dangerous thin ice and open spots off creek inlets and some significant pressure cracks have opened up. In regards to pressure cracks, if you see the lake water pushing up and onto the ice, avoid that area. Also, some portions of the lake perimeter lost shore ice. Anglers report a decent to good walleye bite around the north basin at depths of 10-40 feet of water. During low light periods, walleye can be tight up to the weeds, while the deeper end of the depth range is a better bet during the day. Jigging Rapalas and vertical jigging spoons tipped with a minnow are good walleye offerings. The better spots reported for walleye: Bemus, DeWittville, Mayville, Mission Meadows, Maple Springs, Warners Bay, Long Point, and Prendergast. Anglers are catching yellow perch throughout the lake, with shallower areas seemingly better for perch of keeper size. Depths of 6-10 feet of water off Mayville and at the north end of Beamus Bay have been productive for a mix of bluegill, crappie and yellow perch. White perch and white bass are deep in the holes from 40 to 50 feet on the north end, but action has been slower. Just a note that the muskies have been active lately through the ice and anglers are not allowed to use gaffs to land the fish and anglers must quickly return the fish unharmed. The DEC has been very active enforcing size and quantity limits. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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: Ice is reportedly between 5 and 12 inches lake-wide, and is a mix of clear and white ice covered by up to a foot of snow. After recent weather happenings however, be alert for enlarging holes and poor shore ice. The south end is a popular spot to set tip-ups with shiners for northern pike and to jig for bluegill. Deep sections of the lake are a better bet for yellow perch at depths of 30 feet. Anglers have recently been catching fair numbers of 8 to 10 inch perch with many throw-backs. For the perch try salted minnows and grubs. The south end shallows is a popular spot to set tip-ups for northern pike, but some pike catches have come from deeper waters of 20-25 feet as well. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our

contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Up to 8 inches of ice is reported on the lake at the ends – but ice starts to get thinner approaching deeper water. Snow covered pressure cracks are reported, so be extra cautious. Also the shore ice at the north end may be questionable. Depths of 6-10 feet of water are a good bet for bluegill and a few perch. Some spots seem to be void of fish, so if not catching fish in a particular spot, move. North end anglers are running plenty of tip-ups, but see relatively few "flags". However, good sets have produced some hefty pike. Pike and tiger musky action ranges fair to good with pike shiners. Walleye and perch have been hitting fatheads. The north end off Vitale Park is a good spot for bluegill. Tip-ups and shiners can produce decent to good catches of northern pike, along with the bonus tiger muskellunge. (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: There is safe ice on the lake. At the north end it’s reported at 7+ inches. No reports on catches. If you try it, be extra careful especially on the shore ice.  Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: There is safe ice on the lake. One report had 8 – 10 inches at the south end, out to 50 feet of water. No reports on catches, other than a few nice lakers. If you try it, be extra careful especially along shore. Some are trying night fishing for smelt while others are fishing during the day for lake trout. Bass season is open on the lake. For the smelt try tiny hooks with Berklely gulp white maggot pieces. One angler reported success using a small piece of pantyhose and a mousie. (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: Ice is reported holding at 4 – 8 inches but the shore ice did breakup in spots. Expect thinner ice near stream inlets and in spots near the northwest corner. Deeper sections of the lake are typically good for yellow perch. Shallow weedy areas are best for bluegill, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The bonus walleye catch is possible in shallow and deep water. Fish have been finicky according to early reports. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Open water fishing, weather permitting, remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. 5 - 8 inches of ice was on the lakes but we have no current report. If you try it, be careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable. (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: Ice coverd the Branchport and Penn Yan branches but no word on how this past weekend’s wind impacted it. Be careful of the ice if you go out. A report has 7 inches of ice and a steady bluegill bite. No location was provided however. On open water, weather permitting, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: On the open water, anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter. (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 reports on ice at the north end. It’s probably gone due to the wind. On the open water -  The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Taughannock, Myers and Long Point are areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  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. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, weather permitting, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation and there are no reports of safe ice. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, 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 before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and 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: Ice was reported at 7 - 8 inches especially at the north end but lots of open water is also reported. Stay away from narrows and don't get to close to the dam. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. 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, but there are fish up to 13 inches. The lake was dropped for flood prevention reasons so there may be some shore ice problems. (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: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line 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. 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 area's best trout streams.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports had up to 12 inches of ice on the reservoir and 6 inches of snow on that. No word on the bite. If you try it, be careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: The ice cover has been reported up to 15 inches but with the past week’s weather, caution is advised. Action is hit and miss with mostly small fish. Anglers have found a decent perch bite along with a few pike. Deep snow can hinder movement. Also be cautious of a pressure crack out front of Seber Shores and scattered gas holes in the ice. (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. If you try it, be extra careful and check the ice as you go. A side note on the lake for bird watchers, fifty + bald eagles are reported at the south end on Murphy’s Island. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: Reports of up to 14″ of ice have been reported.  Walleye activity has slowed, lots of lookers and shorts. Still good perch activity off Sylvan Beach, although it is a bit challenging getting out still. Use caution accessing and around tributaries.  An overall fishing report:  the perch bite is steady, especially along the typical spots on the north shore–starting from Taft Bay all the way down to Edgewater.  Walleye tend to be more interested in various windows throughout the day.  Jigging raps, minnow heads, Swedish Pimples are all getting the job done.  Reports off Lewis and Chapman are streaky for walleye with a decent early evening bite.  Big Bay continues to produce large panfish, crappie and pickerel. Urging everyone to be mindful of new cracks out there, you can always follow on Twitter (@oneidafishing) as information is posted on cracks as they come in.  Feel free to tweet any information that would be helpful to others, such as gas holes, cracks, or any other hazards. 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: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: There are a few more openings in Maxwell Creek, however stream fishing that creek is difficult. If we have a thaw, the steelhead fishing will be excellent this time of year. The steelhead are hitting egg sacs both imitation and real. Just use caution as the banks are slippery. Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted. Wind and freezing temperatures however make the piers very treacherous. If conditions allow you can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. In the tribs, if you can find open water, brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are locked-in with an ice cover, reported varying from 4 to 12 inches but some soft spots are reported. Where ever you choose to fish, start walking with a spud in your hand. Spud for ice safety. A run-down on the bays: Sodus Bay is producing 10 – 12 inch perch. They are catching jumbo perch over by the loop and at the trestle near the old malt house. The perch are hitting bright jigs and the smaller lures seem to be working better. Port Bay reports the better spots are the north end and off the points along the east side of the bay in 20 feet of water. Use bright jigs and perch minnows under tip-ups. Another great place to fish is Blind Sodus Bay (Little Sodus Bay.) located adjacent to Fair Haven Bay. If you are new to the area, follow the crowds. It’s a good starting point and the ice should be thick enough. You’ll be walking. Excellent perch fishing is also reported in Fairhaven Bay. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The Canal has safe ice at the Widewaters with lots of fish and not many anglers. 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:  Ice conditions on county waters are questionable. A lot of open water is reported. Be careful if you go out and watch the shore ice. Northern pike are possibilities in the bays through the ice. Braddock, however is reported very slow. Irondequoit offers a little better action and you can add walleye. Reports for Irondequoit have solid ice from south of the bay bridge to Sutter's Marine.  North of bridge still broken up and unsafe. On the Greece ponds, ice reports are not good. Some perch action can be had from shore. At Mendon Ponds Park, we again have ice but no reports this week. A few anglers fish the river at the lower falls for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. (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: In the lower end of the river slush ice along with high snow banks are accessibility factors for most. Anglers getting into fish are fishing in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. With the recent drop in water level the fish have been holding in and around the deeper and larger runs. The Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Ellis Cove, Bovines, Trestle Pool and Pineville are where most anglers have been fishing. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success dead drifting with nymphs and single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been wiggle stones, rusher nymphs, steelhead hammer, black stoneflies, steelhead buggers, estaz eggs, steak-n-eggs and glo-bugs. Anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing had the most success with blue and pink egg sacs, beads and pink worms. 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 river flow has been changing with the weather making conditions for shore fishing unpredictable. Recent high waters have triggered a fresh run of chrome steelhead and turned the brown trout and walleye bite on. Anglers using jigs and soft plastic swimbaits have been producing walleye and brown trout in the lower river. Jigs, pink worms, wax worms and egg sacs have been taking steelhead throughout the entire river. 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 high and muddy. Be ready for heavy snow. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. (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: Has ice but no current conditions.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: 10 – 11 inches of ice. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow.

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: The ice is now up to 14 inches. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow, lots of small perch. They were feeding on blood worms. 

Harwood & Case Lakes / Cattaraugus: Has ice but no current conditions.

Red House and Quaker Lakes / Cattaraugus have been producing bluegills, northern pike, crappie, and trout.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

JANUARY 2019

2-3/15 – Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Fishing Derby (Entry fee is $20) 8 species divisions. (For information call 716-407-3021)

 

MARCH 2019

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. (>5/4)

1 - Start of Canada Goose Hunting Season – Part 4 – in the South Zone (3/10/19)

1-31 - Celebrate Owasco Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, home to both cold water & warm water fisheries!  (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

2 - The Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest (Rescheduled Date). If you want to find out more information, call Paul Jackson at 716-731-4780) sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Association (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. Awards ceremony and after party will be held at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall, 145-6th Street, Lewiston starting at 3 p.m. Cost is $20 for entry plus $20 for NRAA membership. An optional $5 cost is available for anyone looking to compete for the biggest brown trout. 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. 

2 - Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Ice Breaker Show at the Elk’s Lodge, 6791 North Canal Road, Lockport, NY (10:30 am to 2:00 pm) Old fishing tackle will be the focus of the 30th annual Show. You are encouraged to bring any old fishing tackle to help determine if it has value. (Cost: Adults $5.00/ Spouses and kids under 16 are free.) (For information call 716-713-9410)     

2 – Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail – Silver Lake-State Boat Launch (Points). Prizes: total weight of 6 panfish (perch, bluegill and/or crappie), largest northern pike and lunker fish. (For information call 607) 742-0343)

2-3 - Catteraugus County Sportsman Show at Seneca Allegany Event Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 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)

4 - Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Campus, Jefferson Road, Henrietta, NY (Monroe County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board. DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Christopher Legard, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147)

7 -  Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, NY (Niagara County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Christopher Legard, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147)

7-10 - WNY Sport & Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds Event Center, 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY. (Thu & Fri Noon-9:00pm/Sat 10:00 am – 8:00 pm/Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm) WNY Sport & Travel Expo will be dedicated to the outdoor enthusiast. Special guests include Greg Miller from the hit show In Pursuit Bwana Jim and his Wildlife Show, Jim Beverly Retriever Training, and Clint Taylor. WNY Sport & Travel Expo will showcase excellent entertainment and seminars on hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities for all age group. There will be very large display of goods and services related to sport and travel. Interactive games will make it more entertaining for the participants. (Cost: $9.00/Children 10 and under free/Scouts in uniform free/Free Parking) (For information go to http://10times.com/wny-sport-travel)

9-10 - The Fly Fishing Show at the Lancaster County Convention Center, 3 East Vine Street, Lancaster, PA (Sat 9:00 am – 5:30 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:30 pm) Fly Fishers International (FFI) is pleased to offer FREE fly fishing instruction at the Learning Center located on the main show floor.  Basic fly-casting, fly-tying, and knots, will be taught throughout the day-every day of the Fly Fishing Show. (Cost: Adult 1-day $15.00; 2 day $25.00/Children 5 and under Free; 6 – 12 $5.00/Scouts under 16 in uniform Free/Military with ID $10.00) (For information go to https://flyfishingshow.com/lancaster-pa/)

10 – 5th Annual Genesee Charter Boat Association Fishing Flea Market at the  Pt. Pleasant Fire Hall, 55 Ewer Avenue, Rochester, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) No Admission. Come on down and haggle with the captains and get some great deals, or pick their brains for some tips on being successful on the big lake. Some proceeds go to the pen rearing project and the fire department. (For information go to GCBA Flyer 2019.docx)

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

2 – 22 - 19   

 

TIP #1: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: ...High Wind Warning Remains In Effect From 7:00 a m Sunday To 10:00 a m Monday for Niagara-Orleans-Monroe-Northern Erie-Genesee-Chautauqua-Southern Erie- Including the cities of Niagara Falls, Medina, Rochester, Buffalo, Batavia, Jamestown, Orchard Park, and Springville. Winds are forecasted to reach 60-70 MPH

TIP #2: "STATE OF LAKE ONTARIO" MEETINGS: The public will have the opportunity to learn about the State of Lake Ontario fisheries at the following public meetings:

Monday, March 4: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus (Chester F Carlson Center for Imaging Science), Rochester, Monroe County. The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.

Thursday, March 7: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport, Niagara County. The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.

Thursday, March 14: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at SUNY Schenectady County Community College, Stockade Building, Room 101, 78 Washington Ave., Schenectady, Schenectady County.

Tuesday, March 19: 6:30 - 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, Oswego County The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association.

For further information contact Christopher Legard, NYSDEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station, (315) 654-2147.

 

TIP #3: SAFTY ON ICE:

The changing weather conditions have posed some problems on area waters. The warm/cold temperatures this week coupled with high winds mandate anglers going out be extra cautious. Previous small holes have become bigger holes and in some cases shore ice has deteriorated. Keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out to enjoy some hard-water fishing. The heavy snow may cause travel problems as might the slickness of the ice. Bring creepers.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the new I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF). Additional valuable information, including where to fish recommendations, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Ice Fishing Chapter (PDF) of the DEC's I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing.

 

LAKE ERIE: Ice has now put a damper on any boat fishing on the lake. Between normal ice and the ice piled up by the wind, lake fishing is at a standstill. The inner harbor has up to 11 inches of ice. Harbor anglers are catching smaller yellow perch and sunfish, with the occasional keeper. Small jig with spikes seem to be the key. The ice on Dunkirk’s Inner Harbor is reported being up to 5 inches some steelhead are being caught.   

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Tributaries are opening back up and some of the Erie County streams are now wide open. Ice jams at the mouths of some creeks may prohibit influx of fresh fish. Prospects look good tomorrow as water temps will rise a bit with the warm-up. Small bumps in water temperatures have been known to really turn on the steelhead fishing in late winter. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing from shore. Shore anglers have caught a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout. Boaters catch the same mix, along with some bonus walleye. Once back to normal look for walleye to provide some good fishing. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019, to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov. An interesting catch this past week was made by Denis Kreze of Fort Ontario. He caught an Atlantic salmon in the upper river. It was discovered that the fish had an adipose clip that identified it as a St. Mary’s River fish from Lake Superior.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river water conditions are good at present. Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout are all available in the river system below Niagara Falls. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. Take extreme caution walking the shoreline and use some type of ice grippers on your boots. From boats (if you can get out), top baits include MagLips and Kwikfish, pink egg sacs, minnows (emerald shiners and golden shiners) and imitation egg flies or beads. Bounce your offering along the bottom using three-way rigs from boat. From shore, using a float can be productive. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait, like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Shore anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing the lower river. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: If you want the big water, and weather permits, look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: All Lake Ontario tributaries are currently running high and stained. The weather has flushed out much of the ice, and the increased flow could draw in some fresh steelhead. Once things calm down places to try would be the river sections below the dams on Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks (mostly open, but running high and stained at present). They will offer some fishing opportunity as levels drop. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor was good for perch in Tuscarora Bay using minnows. Over 6 inches of ice was last reported. Many of the other embayments along the lake are showing 4 to 6 inches of ice. Anglers can catch trout and a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Chautauqua Lake has varying ice thickness of 7 to 14 inches. However, there is some dangerous thin ice and open spots off creek inlets and some significant pressure cracks have opened up. In regards to pressure cracks, if you see the lake water pushing up and onto the ice, avoid that area. Also, some portions of the lake perimeter lost shore ice. Anglers report a decent to good walleye bite around the north basin at depths of 10-40 feet of water. During low light periods, walleye can be tight up to the weeds, while the deeper end of the depth range is a better bet during the day. Jigging Rapalas and vertical jigging spoons tipped with a minnow are good walleye offerings. Anglers are catching yellow perch throughout the lake, with shallower areas seemingly better for perch of keeper size. Depths of 6-10 feet of water off Mayville have been productive for a mix of bluegill and yellow perch, along with the occasional crappie. Just a note that the muskies have been active lately through the ice and anglers are not allowed to use gaffs to land the fish and anglers must quickly return the fish unharmed. The DEC has been very active enforcing size and quantity limits. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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: Ice is reportedly between 5 and 10 inches lake-wide, and is a mix of clear and white ice. After recent weather happenings however, be alert for enlarging holes and poor shore ice. The south end is a popular spot to set tip-ups with shiners for northern pike and to jig for bluegill. Deep sections of the lake are a better bet for yellow perch at depths of 30 feet. Anglers have recently been catching fair numbers of 8 to 10 inch perch with many throw-backs. For the perch try salted minnows and grubs. The south end shallows is a popular spot to set tip-ups for northern pike, but some pike catches have come from deeper waters of 20-25 feet as well. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Up to 8 inches of ice is reported on the lake at the ends – but ice starts to get thinner approaching deeper water. Snow covered pressure cracks are reported, so be extra cautious. Also the shore ice at the north end may be questionable. Depths of 6-10 feet of water are a good bet for bluegill and a few perch. Some spots seem to be void of fish, so if not catching fish in a particular spot, move. North end anglers are running plenty of tip-ups, but see relatively few "flags". However, good sets have produced some hefty pike lately.

Pike and tiger musky action ranges fair to good with pike shiners. Walleye and perch have been hitting fatheads. The north end off Vitale Park is a good spot for bluegill. Tip-ups and shiners can produce decent to good catches of northern pike, along with the bonus tiger muskellunge. (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: There is safe ice on the lake. At the north end it’s reported at 7+ inches. No reports on catches. If you try it, be extra careful especially on the shore ice.  Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: There is safe ice on the lake. One report had 8 – 10 inches at the south end, over 10 – 15 feet of water. No reports on catches, other than a few nice lakers. If you try it, be extra careful especially along shore. Some are trying night fishing for smelt while others are fishing during the day for lake trout. Bass season is open on the lake. For the smelt try tiny hooks with Berklely gulp white maggot  pieces of  (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: Ice is reported holding at 4 – 8 inches but the shore ice did breakup in spots. Expect thinner ice near stream inlets and in spots near the northwest corner. Deeper sections of the lake are typically good for yellow perch. Shallow weedy areas are best for bluegill, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The bonus walleye catch is possible in shallow and deep water. Fish have been finicky according to early reports. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Open water fishing, weather permitting, remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. 5 - 8 inches of ice was on the lakes but we have no current report. If you try it, be careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable. (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: Ice covers the Branchport and Penn Yan branches but this weekend’s wind action will probably wipe that out and limit any build up of new ice. Be careful if ice is remaining and you go out. On open water, weather permitting, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: On the open water, anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter. (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 reports on ice at the north end. It’s probably gone due to the wind. On the open water -  The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Taughannock, Myers and Long Point are areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  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. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, weather permitting, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation and there are no reports of safe ice. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, 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 before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and 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: Ice was reported at 4 - 5 inches especially at the north end but lots of open water is also reported. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. 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, but there are fish up to 13 inches. The lake was dropped for flood prevention reasons so there may be some shore ice problems. (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: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line 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. 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 area's best trout streams.

 

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports had up to 12 inches of ice on the reservoir and 6 inches of snow on that. No word on the bite. If you try it, be careful. Tomorrow is the day for the  2019 Almost-Annual Crappie Derby. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: The ice cover has been reported up to 15 inches but with the past week’s weather, caution is advised. Action is hit and miss with mostly small fish. Anglers have found a decent perch bite along with a few pike. Deep snow can hinder movement. Also be cautious of a pressure crack out front of Seber Shores and scattered gas holes in the ice. (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. If you try it, be extra careful and check the ice as you go. A side note on the lake for bird watchers, fifty + bald eagles are reported at the south end on Murphy’s Island. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: Reports of up to 14″ of ice have been reported.  Walleye activity has slowed, lots of lookers and shorts. Still good perch activity off Sylvan Beach, although it is a bit challenging getting out still. Use caution accessing and around tributaries.  An overall fishing report:  the perch bite is steady, especially along the typical spots on the north shore–starting from Taft Bay all the way down to Edgewater.  Walleye tend to be more interested in various windows throughout the day.  Jigging raps, minnow heads, Swedish Pimples are all getting the job done.  Reports off Lewis and Chapman are streaky for walleye with a decent early evening bite.  Big Bay continues to produce large panfish, crappie and pickerel. Urging everyone to be mindful of new cracks out there, you can always follow on Twitter (@oneidafishing) as information is posted on cracks as they come in.  Feel free to tweet any information that would be helpful to others, such as gas holes, cracks, or any other hazards. 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: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: There are a few more openings in Maxwell Creek, however stream fishing that creek is difficult. If we have a thaw, the steelhead fishing will be excellent this time of year. Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted. Wind and freezing temperatures however make the piers very treacherous. If conditions allow you can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. In the tribs, if you can find open water, brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are locked-in with an ice cover, reported up to 10+ inches but some soft spots are reported. Where ever you choose to fish, start walking with a spud in your hand. Spud for ice safety. A run-down on the bays: Sodus Bay is producing 10 – 12 inch perch. They are catching jumbo perch over by the loop and at the trestle near the old malt house. The perch are hitting bright jigs and the smaller lures seem to be working better. Port Bay reports the better spots are the north end and off the points along the east side of the bay in 25 feet of water. Use bright jigs and perch minnows under tip-ups. Another great place to fish is Blind Sodus Bay (Little Sodus Bay.) located adjacent to Fair Haven Bay. If you are new to the area, follow the crowds. It’s a good starting point and the ice should be thick enough. You’ll be walking. Excellent perch fishing is also reported in Fairhaven Bay. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The Canal has safe ice at the Widewaters with lots of fish and not many anglers. 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:  Ice conditions on county waters are questionable. A lot of open water showing up. Be extra careful if you go out and watch the shore ice. Northern pike are possibilities in the bays through the ice. Braddock, however is reported very slow. Irondequoit offers a little better action and you can add walleye. On the Greece ponds, ice reports are not good. Some perch action can be had from shore. At Mendon Ponds Park, we again have ice that is unsafe. A few anglers fish the river at the lower falls for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. (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: In the lower end of the river slush ice along with high snow banks are accessibility factors  for most. Anglers getting into fish are fishing in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. With the recent drop in water level the fish have been holding in and around the deeper and larger runs. The Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Ellis Cove, Bovines, Trestle Pool and Pineville are where most anglers have been fishing. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success dead drifting with nymphs and single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been wiggle stones, rusher nymphs, steelhead hammer, black stoneflies, steelhead buggers, estaz eggs, steak-n-eggs and glo-bugs. Anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing had the most success with blue and pink egg sacs, beads and pink worms. 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 river flow has been changing with the weather making conditions for shore fishing unpredictable. Recent high waters have triggered a fresh run of chrome steelhead and turned the brown trout and walleye bite on. Anglers using jigs and soft plastic swimbaits have been producing walleye and brown trout in the lower river. Jigs, pink worms, wax worms and egg sacs have been taking steelhead throughout the entire river. 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 high and muddy. Be ready for heavy snow. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for the Chemung: The section between Waverly and Elmira has been good early in the morning. A mixed bag of smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish are being taken on stickworms (Senko style baits) or spinners. White has been a good color for the stickworms and black/silver or perch colored for the spinners. (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: Has ice but no current conditions.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: 10 – 11 inches of ice. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow.

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: The ice is now 6-8 inches. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow, lots of small perch.

Harwood & Case Lakes / Cattaraugus: Has ice but no current conditions.

Red House and Quaker Lakes / Cattaraugus have been producing bluegills, northern pike, crappie, and trout.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

JANUARY 2019

1-2/28 - NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament. There are 7 species categories to choose from – pike, perch, trout, crappie, pickerel, panfish and walleye. The prize structure will be based on how many anglers are competing across the state. Anglers can enter fish caught through the ice or in open water. The contest includes all state waterways. More than 65 weigh-in locations are available, which are also registration points. You can also register online at www.nyswinterclassic.com. That same website has other tournament information such as rules and a leaderboard once the contest is underway.  (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

2-3/15 – Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Fishing Derby (Entry fee is $20) 8 species divisions. (For information call 716-407-3021)

 

FEBRUARY 2019

1-28 – Celebrate Honeoye Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the shallowest (29-ft deep) & the 1st lake to freeze!  (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

22-24 - the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium Winter Fest 2019 at the Hampton Inn Penn Yan, 110 Mace St, Penn Yan, NY (Fri 8:00 am – Sun 6:00 pm) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

23 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail – Honeoye Lake North (Team). Prizes: total weight of 6 panfish (perch, bluegill and/or crappie), largest northern pike, pickerel or walleye and lunker bass. (For information call 607) 742-0343) 

 

MARCH 2019

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. (>5/4)

1-31 - Celebrate Owasco Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, home to both cold water & warm water fisheries!  (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

2 - The Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest (Rescheduled Date). If you want to find out more information, call Paul Jackson at 716-731-4780) sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Association (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. Awards ceremony and after party will be held at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall, 145-6th Street, Lewiston starting at 3 p.m. Cost is $20 for entry plus $20 for NRAA membership. An optional $5 cost is available for anyone looking to compete for the biggest brown trout. 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.  

2 - Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Ice Breaker Show at the Elk’s Lodge, 6791 North Canal Road, Lockport, NY (10:30 am to 2:00 pm) Old fishing tackle will be the focus of the 30th annual Show. You are encouraged to bring any old fishing tackle to help determine if it has value. (Cost: Adults $5.00/ Spouses and kids under 16 are free.) (For information call 716-713-9410)

2 – Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail – Silver Lake-State Boat Launch (Points). Prizes: total weight of 6 panfish (perch, bluegill and/or crappie), largest northern pike and lunker fish. (For information call 607) 742-0343)

2-3 - Catteraugus County Sportsman Show at Seneca Allegany Event Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 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)

 

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

2 – 15 - 19   

 

*TIP: NO LICENSE WEEKEND: Free Fishing Weekend - President's Day weekend (February 16-17, 2019) will be a free fishing weekend to encourage more New Yorkers to try Ice fishing while many are on winter recess. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the waters of New York State without a license, providing a great opportunity for people to learn about this popular sport.

 

*TIP #2: SAFTY ON ICE:

The changing weather conditions have posed some problems on area waters. The warm/cold temperatures this week coupled with high winds mandate anglers going out be extra cautious. Previous small holes have become bigger holes and in some cases shore ice has deteriorated. Keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out to enjoy some hard-water fishing. The heavy snow may cause travel problems as might the slickness of the ice. Bring creepers.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the new I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF). Additional valuable information, including where to fish recommendations, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Ice Fishing Chapter (PDF) of the DEC's I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing.

 

*LAKE ERIE: Ice has now put a damper on any boat fishing on the lake. Between normal ice and the ice piled up by the wind, lake fishing is at a standstill. The inner harbor had up to 11 inches of ice. Harbor anglers typically catch smaller yellow perch and sunfish, with the occasional keeper.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Tributary fishing opportunities have been very limited due to ice covering. The current brief warm-up may open up some spots, but searching will be required to find them. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low. Fishing will certainly be challenging. Best bets for open holes are on Cattaraugus Creek at the dam and near Gowanda, and the upper sections of Buffalo and Cayuga Creeks. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Lots of ice in the river and with near-record low temperatures and more snow, do not expect to see too much action going on. Anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing from shore. Shore anglers have caught a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout. Boaters catch the same mix, along with some bonus walleye. Once back to normal look for walleye to provide some good fishing. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019, to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: With the combination of cold and wind, the Niagara River has quite a bit of ice flowing through its waters. The Lewiston launch ramp was filled with ice at last report and we won’t see any movement there until the weather starts to turn for the better. Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout are all available in the river system below Niagara Falls. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. Take extreme caution walking the shoreline and use some type of ice grippers on your boots. From boats (if you can get out), top baits include MagLips and Kwikfish, egg sacs, minnows (emerald shiners and golden shiners) and imitation egg flies or beads. Bounce your offering along the bottom using three-way rigs from boat. From shore, using a float can be productive. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait, like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Shore anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing the lower river. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: If you want the big water, and weather permits, look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: All Lake Ontario tributaries are currently running high and stained. The weather has flushed out much of the ice, and the increased flow could draw in some fresh steelhead. Once things calm down places to try would be the river sections below the dams on Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks (mostly open, but running high and stained at present). They will offer some fishing opportunity as levels drop. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor was good for perch in Tuscarora Bay using minnows. Over 6 inches of ice was last reported. Many of the other embayments along the lake are showing 4 to 6 inches of ice. Anglers can catch trout and a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Chautauqua Lake is now completely locked up with ice but conditions of the ice vary due to high winds and heavy snow. Anglers are reporting that most parts of the lake have between 5 and 8 inches of solid, clear ice. Some hazards include thin and open areas by the Stow Ferry on both the Stow side and Bemus Point side of the ferry, the Mayville shoreline and off creek inlets and some significant pressure cracks that have opened up. In regards to pressure cracks, if you see the lake water pushing up and onto the ice, avoid that area. Also, some portions of the lake perimeter lost shore ice and it’s now refreezing. The bite has been good on Chautauqua. Most anglers have targeted walleye, but there have been some fair reports on perch fishing. Best spots for perch have been Long Point in front of the bath house, just north of Prendergast boat launch in the weed line, and Mayville in front of the park in 6 feet of water. For walleye, try your luck at Long Point, Dewittville Bay, Magnolia, and in front of Prendergast boat launch. Work the 20 – 25 foot level. Early ice is good for crappie fishing. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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: Ice is reportedly between 5 and 10 inches lake-wide, and is a mix of clear and white ice. After recent weather happenings however, be alert for enlarging holes and poor shore ice. The south end is a popular spot to set tip-ups with shiners for northern pike and to jig for bluegill. Deep sections of the lake are a better bet for yellow perch at depths of 30 feet. Anglers have recently been catching fair numbers of 8 to 10 inch perch with many throw-backs. For the perch try salted minnows and grubs. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Up to 8 inches of ice is reported on the lake at the ends – but ice starts to get thinner approaching deeper water. Snow covered pressure cracks are reported so be extra cautious. Also the shore ice at the north end is questionable. Pike and tiger musky action ranges fair to good with pike shiners. Walleye and perch have been hitting fatheads. The north end off Vitale Park is a good spot for bluegill. Tip-ups and shiners can produce decent to good catches of northern pike, along with the bonus tiger muskellunge. (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: There is safe ice on the lake but no reports on exact thickness or catches. If you try it, be extra careful especially on the shore ice.  Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: There is safe ice on the lake but no reports on exact thickness or catches, other than a few nice lakers. If you try it, be extra careful especially along shore. Some are trying night fishing for smelt while others are fishing during the day for lake trout. Bass season is open on the lake. For the smelt try tiny hooks with Berklely gulp white maggot  pieces of  (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: Ice is reported holding at 4 – 8 inches but the shore ice did breakup in spots. Expect thinner ice near stream inlets and in spots near the northwest corner. Deeper sections of the lake are typically good for yellow perch. Shallow weedy areas are best for bluegill, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The bonus walleye catch is possible in shallow and deep water. Fish have been finicky according to early reports. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Open water fishing, weather permitting, remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. 5 - 8 inches of ice was on the lakes but we have no current report. If you try it, be careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable. (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: Ice is forming on the Branchport and Penn Yan branches but this week’s wind action has limited the build up so be careful if ice is remaining and you go out. On open water, weather permitting, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: On the open water, anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter. (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 reports on ice at the north end. It’s probably gone due to the wind. On the open water -  The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Taughannock, Myers and Long Point are areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  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. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, weather permitting, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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.)

Informational Meeting On 2018 State Of Skaneateles Lake Fisheries: The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Skaneateles Lake's fisheries on Tuesday, February 12, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Homer Intermediate School auditorium, 58 Clinton Street, Homer, NY 13077.

 

*OWASCO LAKE: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation and there are no reports of safe ice. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, 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 before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and 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: Ice was reported at 4 - 5 inches especially at the north end but lots of open water is also reported. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. 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, but there are fish up to 13 inches. The lake was dropped for flood prevention reasons so there may be some shore ice problems. (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: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line 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. 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 area's best trout streams.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports had up to 12 inches of ice on the reservoir and 6 inches of snow on that. No word on the bite. If you try it, be careful. Tomorrow is the day for the  2019 Almost-Annual Crappie Derby. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: The ice cover has been reported up to 16 inches but with the past week’s weather, caution is advised. Action is hit and miss with mostly small fish. Deep snow can hinder movement. Also be cautious of a pressure crack out front of Seber Shores and scattered gas holes in the ice. (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. If you try it, be extra careful and check the ice as you go. A side note on the lake for bird watchers, fifty + bald eagles are reported at the south end on Murphy’s Island. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: The snows of last week stayed mostly north of the lake but winds have left a dusting to drifts of 18 inches of snow across the ice. Reports of up to 14″ of ice have been reported.  Walleye activity remains steady along the north shore with a reasonable drag.  Still good perch activity off Sylvan Beach, although it is a bit challenging getting out still. Use caution accessing and around tributaries. Access off Big Bay is easy with some ice reports up to 8+″.  An overall fishing report:  the perch bite is steady, especially along the typical spots on the north shore–starting from Taft Bay all the way down to Edgewater.  Walleye tend to be more interested in various windows throughout the day.  Jigging raps, minnow heads, Swedish Pimples are all getting the job done.  Reports off Lewis and Chapman are streaky for walleye with a decent early evening bite.  Big Bay continues to produce large panfish. Urging everyone to be mindful of new cracks out there, you can always follow on Twitter (@oneidafishing) as information is posted on cracks as they come in.  Feel free to tweet any information that would be helpful to others, such as gas holes, cracks, or any other hazards. 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: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: There are a few openings in Maxwell Creek, however stream fishing that creek is difficult. If we have a thaw, the steelhead fishing will be excellent this time of year. Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted. Wind and freezing temperatures however make the piers very treacherous. If conditions allow you can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. In the tribs, if you can find open water, brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are locked-in with an ice cover, reported up to 8+ inches black ice and 4 inches white but some soft spots are reported. Where ever you choose to fish, start walking with a spud in your hand. Spud for ice safety. A run-down on the bays: Sodus Bay is producing 10 – 12 inch perch. They are catching jumbo perch over by the loop and at the trestle near the old malt house. The perch are hitting bright jigs and the smaller lures seem to be working better. Port Bay reports the better spots are the north end and off the points along the east side of the bay. Use bright jigs and perch minnows under tip-ups. Another great place to fish is Blind Sodus Bay (Little Sodus Bay.) located adjacent to Fair Haven Bay. If you are new to the area, follow the crowds. It’s a good starting point and the ice should be thick enough. You’ll be walking. Excellent perch fishing is also reported in Fairhaven Bay. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The Canal has safe ice at the Widewaters with lots of fish and not many anglers. 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:  Ice conditions on county waters are questionable. A lot of open water showing up. Be extra careful if you go out and watch the shore ice. Northern pike are possibilities in the bays through the ice. Braddock, however is reported very slow. Irondequoit offers a little better action and you can add walleye. On the Greece ponds, its 4 - 5 inches of ice and some good perch action. Watch the shore ice. At Mendon Ponds Park, we again have ice that was safe. No report on current condition or catch. A few anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. (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: In the lower end of the river slush ice along with shelf ice is a factor for most. Anglers getting into fish are fishing in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. With the recent drop in water level the fish have been holding in and around the deeper and larger runs. The Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Ellis Cove, Bovines, Trestle Pool and Pineville are where most anglers have been fishing. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success dead drifting with nymphs and single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been wiggle stones, rusher nymphs, steelhead hammer, black stoneflies, steelhead buggers, estaz eggs, steak-n-eggs and glo-bugs. Anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing had the most success with blue and pink egg sacs, beads and pink worms. 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 river flow has been changing with the weather making conditions for shore fishing unpredictable. There are still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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 high and muddy. Be ready for heavy snow. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for the Chemung: The section between Waverly and Elmira has been good early in the morning. A mixed bag of smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish are being taken on stickworms (Senko style baits) or spinners. White has been a good color for the stickworms and black/silver or perch colored for the spinners. (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: Has ice but no current conditions.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: 10 – 11 inches of ice. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow.

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: The ice is now 6-8 inches. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow, lots of small perch.

Harwood & Case Lakes / Cattaraugus: Has ice but no current conditions.

Red House and Quaker Lakes / Cattaraugus have been producing bluegills, northern pike, crappie, and trout.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

JANUARY 2019

1-2/28 - NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament. There are 7 species categories to choose from – pike, perch, trout, crappie, pickerel, panfish and walleye. The prize structure will be based on how many anglers are competing across the state. Anglers can enter fish caught through the ice or in open water. The contest includes all state waterways. More than 65 weigh-in locations are available, which are also registration points. You can also register online at www.nyswinterclassic.com. That same website has other tournament information such as rules and a leaderboard once the contest is underway.  (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

2-3/15 – Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Fishing Derby (Entry fee is $20) 8 species divisions. (For information call 716-407-3021)

FEBRUARY 2019

1-28 – Celebrate Honeoye Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the shallowest (29-ft deep) & the 1st lake to freeze!  (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

14-17 - Central New York (CNY) Winter Boat Show at the NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY ( Thur. & Fri 1:00 – 9:00 pm/Sat. 10:00 am – 9:00 pm/Sun. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm) This event will showcase hundreds of new models of power and sail boats, including cruisers, sport boats, pontoon boats, personal watercraft, and docks. Also: Fishing guides, charter captains, water destinations, marine law enforcement agencies, Suddenly-In-Command water safety demonstrations with NY Sea Grant and USCGA. Come see the largest Upstate selection of boats on display in three huge buildings at the New York State Fairgrounds. (Cost: Adult $10.00/Children 13 and under FREE/Parking is FREE) (For information contact Drew Wickham – CNY Boat Show Manager 585-526-5460 bia@rochester.rr.com)

16 - Ice Fishing with Alan Fess at 6150 E Lake Rd, Honeoye, NY (9:00 am – 1:00 pm) Join us on Honeoye Lake with NY licensed guide Alan Fess to learn about ice fishing! Alan will provide some background and instruction, and teach you how to set up different types of rods. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

16 - The 2019 Almost-Annual Crappie Derby on the Whitney Point Reservoir. This year it’s  tied into NYS’s Free Fishing weekend. The Crappie Derby awards prizes every 15 minutes for the largest (longest) White Crappie caught during each 15 minute period during the derby hours. This format has caught on and is now used by a number of other derbys. The format makes for a carnival environment all day. The judging booth is located in the middle of the ice with a powerful PA system which is constantly announcing the status of the current leaders of each "derby". Along with the judges booth is a concession stand providing a steady stream of chili, chowder, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc, all day.  Rent-a-Johns positioned over the ice help to make this a comfortable place to be during the long winters day. In addition to the anglers, many visitors show up to observe the goings-on of the day. The event has drawn as many as 8,000 people to the ice of Whitney Point Lake. (For information email hotsigns@aol.com or wpsasec@gmail.com or check for updates Whitney Point Sportsmen Facebook)

16 - 43rd Annual SPSA Ice Fishing Derby headquartered at The Sandy Pond Sportsmen's Association, 3201 Co Route 15, Pulaski, NY. Breakfast & Lunch Served.  (For information call 315-387-6310.)

16-17 - FREE FISHING WEEKEND in New York State. No license required.

16-17 – Annual Conesus Lake Frostbite Ice Derby headquartered at Ted’s Tackle, Lakeville, NY and sponsored by Ted’s and Critter Taxidermy. This is a multiple species contest -pike (4 prizes), bass (3 prizes), panfish (lot of 10/3 prizes), walleye (1 prize) and tiger muskies (1 prize). Weigh in is by 1:00 pm, on the 17th at the Conesus Lake Sportsmen’s Club in Lakeville, NY. (For information/register call 585-414-5586.)

16-17 - Twin Tiers Outdoor Show 2019 at the Murray Athletic Center Domes, 170 Huck Finn Road,  Horseheads, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm) (Admission: $5.00/Military Discount $1 off/Elmira College Students Discount $1 off/12 Years and Under Free) (For information call 607-937-5000)

20-24 – Western New York (Buffalo) Boat Show at the s ADPRO Sports Training Center, 1 Bills Drive, Orchard Park, NY. (Wed 5:00-9:00 pm/Thur & Fri 12:00 – 9:00 pm/Sat 10:00 am – 9:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 5:00 pm) The region's largest and best boat show. From cruisers to runabouts, pontoon boats to fishing boats, ski boats to personal watercraft and boat trailers - the show has it all. All of the area's top dealers will have product on display and everything will be on-sale! All major manufacturers will have show promotions / rebates in place and lenders will have discounted boat show financing rates, as well. You'll find everything else you need: boat lifts and dock displays, local Marinas, Boat Insurance, boat service providers, accessories, electronics, and much more. (Admission: $8.00/Kids 12 & under Free) (For information call 585-237-5185 x104)

21 - Under The Ice at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Children will participate in hands-on activities and games to discover how turtles, frogs, beavers, and more survive under the ice. For children in grades K through 5. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email einsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

22-24 - the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium Winter Fest 2019 at the Hampton Inn Penn Yan, 110 Mace St, Penn Yan, NY (Fri 8:00 am – Sun 6:00 pm) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

23 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail – Honeoye Lake North (Team). Prizes: total weight of 6 panfish (perch, bluegill and/or crappie), largest northern pike, pickerel or walleye and lunker bass. (For information call 607) 742-0343) 

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

2 – 8 - 19   

 

TIP: NO LICENSE WEEKEND: Free Fishing Weekend - President's Day weekend (February 16-17, 2019) will be a free fishing weekend to encourage more New Yorkers to try Ice fishing while many are on winter recess. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the waters of New York State without a license, providing a great opportunity for people to learn about this popular sport.

 

TIP #2: INFORMATIONAL MEETING ON 2018 STATE OF SKANEATELES LAKE FISHERIES: (Postponed until mid-March) The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Skaneateles Lake's fisheries on Tuesday, February 12, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Homer Intermediate School auditorium, 58 Clinton Street, Homer, NY 13077. At the meeting, DEC will present summaries of the latest available fisheries research and management strategies and actions on Skaneateles Lake, including future management of the recently established walleye population and contributions from the Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program and Eastern Finger Lakes Angler Diary Cooperator Program.

 

TIP #3: SAFTY ON ICE:

The changing weather conditions have posed some problems on area waters. The warm temperatures this week coupled with Friday’s high winds mandate anglers going out be extra cautious. Previous small holes have become bigger holes and in many cases shore ice has deteriorated. Keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out to enjoy some hard-water fishing. The heavy snow may cause travel problems as might the slickness of the ice. Bring creepers.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Ice fishing continues to increase in popularity in New York State. Unlike the open-water season, when an angler usually needs a boat to access good fishing locations, boats are not required to access these same locations once a waterbody is covered with safe ice. It's also a great sport for families, as they can mix in skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or other activities during ice fishing trips to keep everyone interested and happy.

Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the new I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF). Additional valuable information, including where to fish recommendations, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Ice Fishing Chapter (PDF) of the DEC's I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing.

The use of fish for bait is popular when ice fishing and bait fish may be used in most but not all waters that are open to ice fishing.

Anglers should take these important steps when using baitfish while ice fishing:

Review and follow the DEC baitfish regulations;

>Make sure that the use of baitfish is permitted in the waterbody by checking the special regulations by county section of the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide;

>Use only certified disease-free bait fish purchased at a local tackle store or use only personally collected bait fish for use in the same water body in which they were caught;

>Do not reuse baitfish in another waterbody if the water the baitfish were purchased in has been replaced; and

>Dump unused baitfish and water in an appropriate location on dry land

DEC reminds anglers to make sure that they have a valid fishing license before heading out on the ice. Fishing licenses are now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.

 

LAKE ERIE: Ice has now put a damper on any boat fishing on the lake. Between normal ice and the ice piled up by the wind, lake fishing is at a standstill. The inner harbor had up to 8 inches of ice. Ice is a little iffy right at base of the ramp, but should lock up quick. Harbor anglers typically catch smaller yellow perch and sunfish, with the occasional keeper.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: With the latest warm-up, the Lake Erie tributaries are pretty much wide open. All creeks currently have high and muddy flows. Some streams may be an option by Sunday. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low

Fishing will certainly be challenging. Best bets for open holes are on Cattaraugus Creek at the dam and near Gowanda, and the upper sections of Buffalo and Cayuga Creeks. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Lots of ice in the river and with near-record low temperatures and more snow, do not expect to see too much action going on. Anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing from shore. Shore anglers have caught a mix of steelhead, lake trout and brown trout. Boaters catch the same mix, along with some bonus walleye. Once back to normal look for walleye to provide some good fishing. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019 to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: With the combination of cold and wind, the Niagara River has quite a bit of ice flowing through its waters. The Lewiston launch ramp was filled with ice at last report and we won’t see any movement there until the weather starts to turn for the better. Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout are all available in the river system below Niagara Falls. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. Take extreme caution walking the shoreline and use some type of ice grippers on your boots. From boats (if you can get out), top baits include MagLips and Kwikfish, egg sacs, minnows and imitation egg flies or beads. Bounce your offering along the bottom using three-way rigs from boat. From shore, using a float can be productive. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait, like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Shore anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing the lower river. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: If you want the big water, and weather permits, look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: All Lake Ontario tributaries are currently blown out with levels at near peak. The thaw has flushed out much of the ice, and the increased flow could draw in some fresh steelhead. Once things calm down places to try would be the river sections below the dams on Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks (mostly open, but running high and stained at present). They will offer some fishing opportunity as levels drop. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor was good for perch in Tuscarora Bay using minnows. Over 6 inches of ice was last reported. Many of the other embayments along the lake are showing 4 to 6 inches of ice. Anglers can catch trout and a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Chautauqua Lake is now completely locked up with ice but conditions of the ice vary due to high winds and heavy snow. Anglers are reporting that most parts of the lake have between 5 and 8 inches of solid, clear ice. Some hazards include thin and open areas off creek inlets and some significant pressure cracks that have opened up. In regards to pressure cracks, if you see the lake water pushing up and onto the ice, avoid that area. Also, some portions of the lake perimeter lost shore ice and it’s now refreezing. The bite has been good on Chautauqua. Most anglers have targeted walleye, but there have been some fair reports on perch fishing. Best spots for perch have been Long Point in front of the bath house, just north of Prendergast boat launch in the weed line, and Mayville in front of the park in 6 feet of water. For walleye, try your luck at Long Point, Dewittville Bay, Magnolia, and in front of Prendergast boat launch. Work the 20 – 50 foot level. Early ice is good for crappie fishing. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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: Ice is reportedly between 5 and 6 inches lake-wide, and is a mix of clear and white ice. After recent weather happenings however, be alert for enlarging holes and poor shore ice. The south end is a popular spot to set tip-ups for northern pike and to jig for bluegill. Deep sections of the lake are a better bet for yellow perch. Anglers have recently been catching fair numbers of 8 to 10 inch perch with many throw-backs. For the perch try salted minnows and grubs. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Up to 7 inches of ice is reported on the lake at the ends – but ice starts to get thinner approaching deeper water. Pike and tiger musky action ranges fair to good with pike shiners. Walleye and perch have been hitting fatheads. The north end off Vitale Park is a good spot for bluegill. Tip-ups and shiners can produce decent to good catches of northern pike, along with the bonus tiger muskellunge. (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: There is safe ice on the lake but no reports on exact thickness or catches. If you try it, be extra careful especially on the shore ice.  Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: There is safe ice on the lake but no reports on exact thickness or catches, other than a few nice lakers. If you try it, be extra careful especially along shore. Some are trying night fishing for smelt while others are fishing during the day for lake trout. Bass season is open on the lake. For the smelt try tiny hooks with Berklely gulp white maggot  pieces of  (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: Ice is reported holding at 4 – 8 inches but the shore ice did breakup in spots. Expect thinner ice near stream inlets and in spots near the northwest corner. Deeper sections of the lake are typically good for yellow perch. Shallow weedy areas are best for bluegill, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The bonus walleye catch is possible in shallow and deep water. Fish have been finicky according to early reports. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Open water fishing, weather permitting, remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. 5 - 8 inches of ice was on the lakes but we have no current report. If you try it, be careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable.  (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: Ice was forming on the Branchport and Penn Yan branches but this week’s wind action has limited the build up so be careful if ice is remaining and you go out. On open water, weather permitting, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: On the open water, anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter. (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 reports on ice at the north end. It’s probably gone due to the wind. On the open water -  The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Taughannock, Myers and Long Point are areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  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. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation. If you try it, be extra careful. A tragedy did occur earlier in the week when one angler went through the ice at the south end and drowned. Our condolences to his family. On the open water, weather permitting, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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.)

Informational Meeting On 2018 State Of Skaneateles Lake Fisheries: The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Skaneateles Lake's fisheries on Tuesday, February 12, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Homer Intermediate School auditorium, 58 Clinton Street, Homer, NY 13077.

 

OWASCO LAKE: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation and there are no reports of safe ice. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, 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 before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and 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: Ice was reported at 4 - 5 inches especially at the north end. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. 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, but there are fish up to 13 inches. The lake was dropped for flood prevention reasons so there may be some shore ice problems. (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: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line 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. 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 area's best trout streams.

 

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports had up to 12 inches of ice on the reservoir and 6 inches of snow on that. No word on the bite. If you try it, be careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: The ice cover has been reported up to 16 inches but with the past week’s weather, caution is advised. Action is good but mostly small fish. Deep snow can hinder movement. Also be cautious of gas holes in the ice. (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. If you try it, be extra careful and check the ice as you go. A side note on the lake for bird watchers, fifty + bald eagles are reported at the south end on Murphy’s Island. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: The snows of last week stayed mostly north of the lake but winds have left a dusting to drifts of 18 inches of snow across the ice. Reports of 6-8″ of ice were regular.  Walleye activity remains steady along the north shore with a reasonable drag.  Still good perch activity off Sylvan Beach, although it is a bit challenging getting out still. Use caution accessing and around tributaries. Access off Big Bay is easy with some ice reports up to 8″.  An overall fishing report:  the perch bite is steady, especially along the typical spots on the north shore–starting from Taft Bay all the way down to Edgewater.  Walleye tend to be more interested in various windows throughout the day.  Jigging raps, minnow heads, Swedish Pimples are all getting the job done.  Reports off Lewis and Chapman are streaky for walleye with a decent early evening bite.  Big Bay continues to produce large panfish. Urging everyone to be mindful of new cracks out there, you can always follow on Twitter (@oneidafishing) as information is posted on cracks as they come in.  Feel free to tweet any information that would be helpful to others, such as gas holes, cracks, or any other hazards. 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: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted. Wind and freezing temperatures however make the piers very treacherous. If conditions allow you can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. In the tribs, if you can find open water, brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are locked-in with an ice cover, reported up to 6+ inches black ice and 4 inches white but some soft spots are reported. Where ever you choose to fish, start walking with a spud in your hand. Spud for ice safety. A run-down on the bays: Sodus Bay is producing 10 – 12 inch perch. They are catching jumbo perch over by the loop and at the trestle near the old malt house. The perch are hitting bright jigs and the smaller lures seem to be working better. Port Bay reports the better spots are the north end and off the points along the east side of the bay. Use bright jigs and perch minnows under tip-ups. Another great place to fish is Blind Sodus Bay (Little Sodus Bay.) located adjacent to Fair Haven Bay. If you are new to the area, follow the crowds. It’s a good starting point and the ice should be thick enough. You’ll be walking. Excellent perch fishing is also reported in Fairhaven Bay. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The Canal has safe ice at the Widewaters with lots of fish and not many anglers. 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:  Northern pike are possibilities in the bays through the ice. Braddock, however is reported very slow. Irondequoit offers a little better action and you can add walleye. On the Greece ponds, its 4 - 5 inches of ice and some good perch action. Watch the shore ice. At Mendon Ponds Park, we again have ice that was safe. No report on current condition or catch. A few anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. (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: In the lower end of the river slush ice along with shelf ice is a factor for most. Anglers getting into fish are fishing in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. With the recent drop in water level the fish have been holding in and around the deeper and larger runs. The Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Ellis Cove, Bovines, Trestle Pool and Pineville are where most anglers have been fishing. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success dead drifting with nymphs and single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been wiggle stones, rusher nymphs, steelhead hammer, black stoneflies, steelhead buggers, estaz eggs, steak-n-eggs and glo-bugs. Anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing had the most success with blue and pink egg sacs, beads and pink worms. 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 river flow has been changing with the weather making conditions for shore fishing unpredictable. There are still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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 high and muddy. Be ready for heavy snow. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for the Chemung: The section between Waverly and Elmira has been good early in the morning. A mixed bag of smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish are being taken on stickworms (Senko style baits) or spinners. White has been a good color for the stickworms and black/silver or perch colored for the spinners. (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: Has ice but no current conditions.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: 10 – 11 inches of ice. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow.

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: The ice is now 6-8 inches. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow, lots of small perch.

Harwood & Case Lakes / Cattaraugus: Has ice but no current conditions.

Red House and Quaker Lakes / Cattaraugus have been producing bluegills, northern pike, crappie, and trout.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

THIS WEEK'S ‘FISH’ EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

JANUARY 2019

1-2/28 - NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament. There are 7 species categories to choose from – pike, perch, trout, crappie, pickerel, panfish and walleye. The prize structure will be based on how many anglers are competing across the state. Anglers can enter fish caught through the ice or in open water. The contest includes all state waterways. More than 65 weigh-in locations are available, which are also registration points. You can also register online at www.nyswinterclassic.com. That same website has other tournament information such as rules and a leaderboard once the contest is underway.  (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

2-3/15 – Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Fishing Derby (Entry fee is $20) 8 species divisions. (For information call 716-407-3021)

9-2/13 – Fly Tying Course for Beginners at the Field & Stream Store, Market Place Mall, 1200 Miracle Mile Drive, Rochester, NY. (6 Wednesdays at 6:00 pm) Visit store to register. Fly tying equipment will be provided for use during class. Learn a different fly each week. (For more information call 585-456-1964.)

 

FEBRUARY 2019

1-28 – Celebrate Honeoye Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the shallowest (29-ft deep) & the 1st lake to freeze!  (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

9 - ‘Dunkirk Winterfest’ Cold Water Fishing Tournament on the City of Dunkirk Pier, if the harbor is not frozen for ice fishing. (8:00 am – 3:00 pm) All anglers must register before 8:00 am the day of the contest. The two categories will include A: Walleye, pike and trout. B: Crappie, perch and panfish. Prizes awarded to the top three largest fish in both categories. (Entry Fee: $20.00) (For information/register call, or visit the City of Dunkirk Youth & Recreation Department, 45 Cliffstar Court on Ruggles Street, Dunkirk, NY. 716-366-9885  www.dunkirktoday.com. Tournament questions can be directed to: Mike Porpiglia at 716-679-6710.)

9 - Rod & Gun Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Lyons Road (Route 14N), Geneva, NY (9:30 am) Over 400 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)

9 – 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. (For information call 716-465-6100.)

9 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail – Conesus Lake-Vitale Park (Points). Prizes: total weight of 6 panfish (perch, bluegill and/or crappie), largest northern pike, tiger muskellunge or walleye and lunker bass. (For information call 607) 742-0343) 

9-10 - 2018 WNED Kid Fest at the WNED-TV Studios, 140 Lower Terrace, Buffalo, NY (Sat 12:00 – 5:00 pm/Sun 12:00 – 4:00 pm) A fun-filled family event. There will be appearances of your favorite PBS Kids characters including Daniel Tiger, Katerina Kittycat, Nature Cat, Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat, Pinkalicous and Clifford. Experience live performances, activities, crafts, prizes, coloring contests and more. Also, Introduce your kids to the outdoors! The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen will provide free beginner fishing books, area fishing maps, will provide a random drawing for free fishing rods/reels, and offer conservation feature topics in a slide show, including news about spring and summer Teach-Me-To-Fish fun events held at numerous locations across Erie County. (Cost: $10.00/child and $12.00/adult) (For outdoor related information from the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen, call: Joe McAdams, 716-570-3436 or Jeff Jondle, 716-243-5363. For general Kid Fest information, call: 716-845-7000 x100.)

10 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail – Keuka Lake-Indian Pines. Prizes: total weight of 6 panfish (perch, bluegill and/or crappie), largest northern pike, pickerel or walleye and lunker bass. (For information call 607) 742-0343)

14-17 - Central New York (CNY) Winter Boat Show at the NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY ( Thur. & Fri 1:00 – 9:00 pm/Sat. 10:00 am – 9:00 pm/Sun. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm) This event will showcase hundreds of new models of power and sail boats, including cruisers, sport boats, pontoon boats, personal watercraft, and docks. Also: Fishing guides, charter captains, water destinations, marine law enforcement agencies, Suddenly-In-Command water safety demonstrations with NY Sea Grant and USCGA. Come see the largest Upstate selection of boats on display in three huge buildings at the New York State Fairgrounds. (Cost: Adult $10.00/Children 13 and under FREE/Parking is FREE) (For information contact Drew Wickham – CNY Boat Show Manager 585-526-5460 bia@rochester.rr.com)

16 - Ice Fishing with Alan Fess at 6150 E Lake Rd, Honeoye, NY (9:00 am – 1:00 pm) Join us on Honeoye Lake with NY licensed guide Alan Fess to learn about ice fishing! Alan will provide some background and instruction, and teach you how to set up different types of rods. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

16 - The 2019 Almost-Annual Crappie Derby on the Whitney Point Reservoir. This year it’s  tied into NYS’s Free Fishing weekend. The Crappie Derby awards prizes every 15 minutes for the largest (longest) White Crappie caught during each 15 minute period during the derby hours. This format has caught on and is now used by a number of other derbys. The format makes for a carnival environment all day. The judging booth is located in the middle of the ice with a powerful PA system which is constantly announcing the status of the current leaders of each "derby". Along with the judges booth is a concession stand providing a steady stream of chili, chowder, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc, all day.  Rent-a-Johns positioned over the ice help to make this a comfortable place to be during the long winters day. In addition to the anglers, many visitors show up to observe the goings-on of the day. The event has drawn as many as 8,000 people to the ice of Whitney Point Lake. (For information email hotsigns@aol.com or wpsasec@gmail.com or check for updates Whitney Point Sportsmen Facebook)

16 - 43rd Annual SPSA Ice Fishing Derby headquartered at The Sandy Pond Sportsmen's Association, 3201 Co Route 15, Pulaski, NY. Breakfast & Lunch Served.  (For information call 315-387-6310.)

16-17 - FREE FISHING WEEKEND in New York State. No license required.

16-17 – Annual Conesus Lake Frostbite Ice Derby headquartered at Ted’s Tackle, Lakeville, NY and sponsored by Ted’s and Critter Taxidermy. This is a multiple species contest -pike (4 prizes), bass (3 prizes), panfish (lot of 10/3 prizes), walleye (1 prize) and tiger muskies (1 prize). Weigh in is by 1:00 pm, on the 17th at the Conesus Lake Sportsmen’s Club in Lakeville, NY. (For information/register call 585-414-5586.)

16-17 - Twin Tiers Outdoor Show 2019 at the Murray Athletic Center Domes, 170 Huck Finn Road,  Horseheads, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm) (Admission: $5.00/Military Discount $1 off/Elmira College Students Discount $1 off/12 Years and Under Free) (For information call 607-937-5000)

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

2 – 1 - 19   

*TIP: NO LICENSE WEEKEND: Free Fishing Weekend - President's Day weekend (February 16-17, 2019) will be a free fishing weekend to encourage more New Yorkers to try Ice fishing while many are on winter recess. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the waters of New York State without a license, providing a great opportunity for people to learn about this popular sport.

 

*TIP #2: SAFTY ON ICE:

This cold spell has improved conditions for ice fishing across New York State. Still, anglers should keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out to enjoy some hard-water fishing. The heavy snow may cause problems.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Ice fishing continues to increase in popularity in New York State. Unlike the open-water season, when an angler usually needs a boat to access good fishing locations, boats are not required to access these same locations once a waterbody is covered with safe ice. It's also a great sport for families, as they can mix in skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or other activities during ice fishing trips to keep everyone interested and happy.

Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the new I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF). Additional valuable information, including where to fish recommendations, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Ice Fishing Chapter (PDF) of the DEC's I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing.

The use of fish for bait is popular when ice fishing and bait fish may be used in most but not all waters that are open to ice fishing.

Anglers should take these important steps when using baitfish while ice fishing:

Review and follow the DEC baitfish regulations;

>Make sure that the use of baitfish is permitted in the waterbody by checking the special regulations by county section of the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide;

>Use only certified disease-free bait fish purchased at a local tackle store or use only personally collected bait fish for use in the same water body in which they were caught;

>Do not reuse baitfish in another waterbody if the water the baitfish were purchased in has been replaced; and

>Dump unused baitfish and water in an appropriate location on dry land

DEC reminds anglers to make sure that they have a valid fishing license before heading out on the ice. Fishing licenses are now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.

 

*LAKE ERIE: Ice has now put a damper on any boat fishing on the lake. Between normal ice and the ice piled up by the wind, lake fishing is at a standstill. The inner harbor has up to 8 inches of ice. Ice is a little iffy right at base of the ramp, but should lock up quick. Harbor anglers typically catch smaller yellow perch and sunfish, with the occasional keeper.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: The Lake Erie tributaries are pretty much locked up with ice and with a lot of snow on the way this weekend. Fishing will certainly be challenging. Best bets for open holes are on Cattaraugus Creek at the dam and near Gowanda, and the upper sections of Buffalo and Cayuga Creeks. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low

for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Lots of ice in the river and with near-record low temperatures and more snow, do not expect to see too much action going on. The forecasted warm temperatures for next week may change these conditions. Once back to normal look for walleye to provide some good fishing. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019 to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: With the combination of cold and wind, the Niagara River has quite a bit of ice flowing through its waters. The Lewiston launch ramp was filled with ice at last report and we won’t see any movement there until the weather starts to turn for the better. The end is in sight though. Saturday temperatures are vaulting into the 30’s and Sunday will see the 40’s. Monday it could hit 50 degrees with some rain. If that happens, it could open a few fishing opportunities, but it will depend on what the storm does with the waters of the Niagara River. Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout are all available in the river system below Niagara Falls. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. Take extreme caution walking the shoreline and use some type of ice grippers on your boots. From boats (if you can get out), top baits include MagLips and Kwikfish, egg sacs, minnows and imitation egg flies or beads. Bounce your offering along the bottom using three-way rigs from boat. From shore, using a float can be productive. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait, like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Walleye fishermen must note that the daily limit drops to one per person from Jan. 1 to March 15 in the lower river. Shore anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing the lower river. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Things should open up a little next week with the warm temperatures forecasted. The sections below the dams on Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks are mostly open, but running high and stained at present. They will offer some fishing opportunity as levels drop. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor was good for perch in Tuscarora Bay using minnows. Over 6 inches of ice was last reported. Many of the other embayments along the lake are showing 4 to 6 inches of ice. Anglers can catch trout and a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Chautauqua Lake is now completely locked up with ice but conditions of the ice vary due to high winds and heavy snow. Anglers are reporting that most parts of the lake have between 5 and 8 inches of solid, clear ice. Some hazards include thin and open areas off creek inlets and some significant pressure cracks that have opened up. In regards to pressure cracks, if you see the lake water pushing up and onto the ice, avoid that area. The bite has been good on Chautauqua. Most anglers have targeted walleye, but there have been some fair reports on perch fishing. Best spots for perch have been Long Point in front of the bath house, just north of Prendergast boat launch in the weed line, and Mayville in front of the park in 6 feet of water. For walleye, try your luck at Long Point, Dewittville Bay, Magnolia, and in front of Prendergast boat launch. Work the 20 – 50 foot level. Early ice is good for crappie fishing. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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: Ice is reportedly between 5 and 6 inches lake-wide, and is a mix of clear and white ice. The south end is a popular spot to set tip-ups for northern pike and to jig for bluegill. Deep sections of the lake are a better bet for yellow perch. Anglers have recently been catching fair numbers of 8 to 10 inch perch with many throw-backs. For the perch try salted minnows and grubs. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Up to 8 inches of ice is reported on the lake at the ends – but ice starts to get thinner approaching deeper water. Pike and tiger musky action ranges fair to good with pike shiners. Walleye and perch have been hitting fatheads. The north end off Vitale Park is a good spot for bluegill. Tip-ups and shiners can produce decent to good catches of northern pike, along with the bonus tiger muskellunge. (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: There is safe ice on the lake but no reports on exact thickness or catches. If you try it, be extra careful.  Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: There is safe ice on the lake but no reports on exact thickness or catches, other than a few nice lakers. If you try it, be extra careful. Some are trying night fishing for smelt while others are fishing during the day for lake trout. Bass season is open on the lake. For the smelt try tiny hooks with Berklely gulp white maggot  pieces of  (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: Ice is reported at 4 – 8 inches. Expect thinner ice near stream inlets and in spots near the northwest corner. Deeper sections of the lake are typically good for yellow perch. Shallow weedy areas are best for bluegill, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The bonus walleye catch is possible in shallow and deep water. Fish have been finicky according to early reports. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Ice is forming at the south end, but no reports yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Open water fishing, weather permitting, remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. 5 - 8 inches of ice on the lakes with a little slush on top. If you try it, be careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable.  (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: Ice was forming and a few anglers are going out on the Branchport and Penn Yan branches. Wind action has limited the build up so be careful if you go out. On open water, weather permitting, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: Possibly some ice at the north end but there have been no confirming reports. On the open water, anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter. (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: The north end of the lake reports 3 inches of slush on 4 inches of good ice but no word on the bite. If there is more ice let us know. The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Myers and Long Point are two areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  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. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. Rain and snow melt should have helped to bring some brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations before heading to the streams. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation. The south end has had a few hundred yards of ice for over a week now, but not really enough to get into fishable water though. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, weather permitting, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow. Strong winds have hampered ice formation and there are no reports of safe ice. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, 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 before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and 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: Ice is reported at 6 – 9 inches especially at the north end. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. 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, but there are fish up to 13 inches. Anglers are also having some success fishing from shore for perch and bass. The lake is way lower than normal, so use caution when boating. (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: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line 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. 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 area's best trout streams.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Reports have up to 12 inches of ice on the reservoir and 6 inches of snow on that. No word on the bite. If you try it, be careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: Action is good but mostly small fish. There is about 6+ inches of ice on the pond and deep snow hindering movement. Also be cautious of gas holes in the ice. If you try it, be extra careful and check as you go. No reports on catch. (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. If you try it, be extra careful and check as you go.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: The snows of last week stayed mostly north of the lake but winds have left a dusting to drifts of 18 inches of snow across the ice. Reports of 6-8″ are regular.  Walleye activity remains steady along the north shore with a reasonable drag.  Still good perch activity off Sylvan Beach, although it is a bit challenging getting out still. Use caution accessing and around tributaries. Access off Big Bay is easy with some ice reports up to 8″.  An overall fishing report:  the perch bite is steady, especially along the typical spots on the north shore–starting from Taft Bay all the way down to Edgewater.  Walleye tend to be more interested in various windows throughout the day.  Jigging raps, minnow heads, Swedish Pimples are all getting the job done.  Reports off Lewis and Chapman are streaky for walleye with a decent early evening bite.  Big Bay continues to produce large panfish. Urging everyone to be mindful of new cracks out there, you can always follow on Twitter (@oneidafishing) as information is posted on cracks as they come in.  Feel free to tweet any information that would be helpful to others, such as gas holes, cracks, or any other hazards. 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)

The new parking regulations at the Lewis Point Ice Fishing Access Site are apparently creating angler conflicts. The changes were made to stop the free-for-all parking that has existed in the past. If the lot is full when you arrive, please accept that fact and go to an alternate access spot such as Verona Beach State Park or the DEC South Shore Boat Launch. The Lewis Point site is through a Cooperative Agreement with the landowner. If parking issues continue the agreement may not continue and that access will be lost.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted. Wind and freezing temperatures however make the piers very treacherous. If conditions allow you can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. In the tribs, if you can find open water, brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are locked-in with an ice cover, reported at 6+ inches black ice and 4 inches white. Of course, first ice is very unpredictable…just like last ice. Where ever you choose to fish, start walking with a spud in your hand. Spud for ice safety. A run-down on the bays: Sodus Bay has 8+ inches of ice and it’s producing 10 – 12 inch perch. They are catching jumbo perch over by the loop and at the trestle near the old malt house. The perch are hitting bright jigs and the smaller lures seem to be working better. Port Bay also reports 6 – 8 inches of ice the the better spots are the nort end and off the points along the east side of the bay. Another great place to fish is Blind Sodus Bay (Little Sodus Bay.) located adjacent to Fair Haven Bay. If you are new to the area, follow the crowds. It’s a good starting point and the ice should be thick enough. You’ll be walking. Excellent perch fishing is also reported in Fairhaven Bay. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The Canal has safe ice at the Widewaters with lots of fish and not many anglers. 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:  Walleye and northern pike are possibilities in the bays through the ice. Braddock, however is reported very slow. Irondequoit offers a little better action. On the Greece ponds, its 6 - 8 inches of ice and some good perch action. At Mendon Ponds Park, we again have ice that’s safe. No report on catch. A few anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Boaters have good opportunity to catch fish that are holding in the lower, slack water sections of the Genesee River. Trolling with stickbaits (where possible) or casting and retrieving stickbaits are good methods. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. (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: In the lower end of the river slush ice along with shelf ice is a factor for most. Anglers getting into fish are fishing in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. With the recent drop in water level the fish have been holding in and around the deeper and larger runs. The Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Ellis Cove, Bovines, Trestle Pool and Pineville is where most anglers have been fishing over the last couple of days. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success indicator fishing with single egg patterns or dead drifting with nymphs. The most productive patterns have been wiggle stones, rusher nymphs, steelhead hammer, black stoneflies, steelhead buggers, estaz eggs, steak-n-eggs and glo-bugs. Anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing had the most success with blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. 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 river has been dropping improving conditions for shore fishing. There are still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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 high and muddy. Be ready for heavy snow. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for the Chemung: The section between Waverly and Elmira has been good early in the morning. A mixed bag of smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish are being taken on stickworms (Senko style baits) or spinners. White has been a good color for the stickworms and black/silver or perch colored for the spinners. (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 )

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: Has ice but no current conditions.

Loon Lake / Steuben: Has ice but no current conditions.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: 10 – 11 inches of ice. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow.

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: The ice is now 6-8 inches. Hardly any snow, need for creepers in most spots.  Fishing slow.

Harwood & Case Lakes / Cattaraugus: Has ice but no current conditions.

Red House and Quaker Lakes / Cattaraugus have been producing bluegills, northern pike, crappie, and trout.

 

>))))*>

 

*THIS WEEK'S ‘FISH’ EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

JANUARY 2019

1-2/28 - NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament. There are 7 species categories to choose from – pike, perch, trout, crappie, pickerel, panfish and walleye. The prize structure will be based on how many anglers are competing across the state. Anglers can enter fish caught through the ice or in open water. The contest includes all state waterways. More than 65 weigh-in locations are available, which are also registration points. You can also register online at www.nyswinterclassic.com. That same website has other tournament information such as rules and a leaderboard once the contest is underway.  (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

2-3/15 – Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Fishing Derby (Entry fee is $20) 8 species divisions. (For information call 716-407-3021)

9-2/13 – Fly Tying Course for Beginners at the Field & Stream Store, Market Place Mall, 1200 Miracle Mile Drive, Rochester, NY. (6 Wednesdays at 6:00 pm) Visit store to register. Fly tying equipment will be provided for use during class. Learn a different fly each week. (For more information call 585-456-1964.)

FEBRUARY 2019

1-28 – Celebrate Honeoye Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the shallowest (29-ft deep) & the 1st lake to freeze!  (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

2 - The Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest (Postponed. If you want to find out more information, call Paul Jackson at 716-731-4780) sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Association (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. Awards ceremony and after party will be held at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall, 145-6th Street, Lewiston starting at 3 p.m. Cost is $20 for entry plus $20 for NRAA membership. An optional $5 cost is available for anyone looking to compete for the biggest brown trout. 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.

2 - Sandy Creek Fire Dept Ice Fishing Derby headquartered at The Sandy Pond Sportsmen's Association, 3201 Co Route 15, Pulaski, NY. Breakfast & Lunch Served. (For information call 315-387-6310.)

2 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail – Honeoye Lake South-State Boat Launch (Points). Prizes: total weight of 6 panfish (perch, bluegill and/or crappie), largest northern pike, pickerel or walleye and lunker bass. (For information call 607) 742-0343)

2-3 - 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)

2-10 - The 2019 Great American Outdoor Show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Great American Outdoor Show is a nine-day celebration of hunting, fishing, and outdoor traditions treasured by millions of Americans and their families. Featuring firearm manufacturers, hunting and fishing outfitters, fishing tackle, boats, RVs, archery, and fun for the entire family. More than 1,100 exhibitors fill nine halls and cover 650,000 square feet, making the Great American Outdoor Show the largest consumer sports and outdoor show in the world. In addition to the expansive exhibit halls, the 2019 Great American Outdoor Show includes a jam-packed schedule of events—including the 3D Bowhunter Challenge, Dock Dogs competitions, celebrity appearances, more than 200 seminars, wild game cooking demonstrations, activities just for kids, an NRA Country concert, and much more. (Regular adult admission is only $14. Special rates apply for kids, seniors, groups and multi-day tickets. (For information/Tickets go to www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org)

5 – Niagara Musky Association Monthly Meeting at Eldredge Club, 17 Broad Street, Tonawanda, NY. (7:00 pm) Guest speaker will be Dave Spiering, the New York State Parks Department Niagara River Restoration Projects Manager, discussing the East River Marsh, Burnt Ship Creek, Buckhorn Island and Grass Island projects. For more information check out www.niagarariveranglers.com or call Paul Jackson at 731-4780.

9 - ‘Dunkirk Winterfest’ Cold Water Fishing Tournament on the City of Dunkirk Pier, if the harbor is not frozen for ice fishing. (8:00 am – 3:00 pm) All anglers must register before 8:00 am the day of the contest. The two categories will include A: Walleye, pike and trout. B: Crappie, perch and panfish. Prizes awarded to the top three largest fish in both categories. (Entry Fee: $20.00) (For information/register call, or visit the City of Dunkirk Youth & Recreation Department, 45 Cliffstar Court on Ruggles Street, Dunkirk, NY. 716-366-9885  www.dunkirktoday.com. Tournament questions can be directed to: Mike Porpiglia at 716-679-6710.)

9 - Rod & Gun Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Lyons Road (Route 14N), Geneva, NY (9:30 am) Over 400 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)

9 – 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. (For information call 716-465-6100.)

9 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail – Conesus Lake-Vitale Park (Points). Prizes: total weight of 6 panfish (perch, bluegill and/or crappie), largest northern pike, tiger muskellunge or walleye and lunker bass. (For information call 607) 742-0343) 

10 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail – Keuka Lake-Indian Pines. Prizes: total weight of 6 panfish (perch, bluegill and/or crappie), largest northern pike, pickerel or walleye and lunker bass. (For information call 607) 742-0343)

9-10 - 2018 WNED Kid Fest at the WNED-TV Studios, 140 Lower Terrace, Buffalo, NY (Sat 12:00 – 5:00 pm/Sun 12:00 – 4:00 pm) A fun-filled family event. There will be appearances of your favorite PBS Kids characters including Daniel Tiger, Katerina Kittycat, Nature Cat, Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat, Pinkalicous and Clifford. Experience live performances, activities, crafts, prizes, coloring contests and more. Also, Introduce your kids to the outdoors! The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen will provide free beginner fishing books, area fishing maps, will provide a random drawing for free fishing rods/reels, and offer conservation feature topics in a slide show, including news about spring and summer Teach-Me-To-Fish fun events held at numerous locations across Erie County. (Cost: $10.00/child and $12.00/adult) (For outdoor related information from the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen, call: Joe McAdams, 716-570-3436 or Jeff Jondle, 716-243-5363. For general Kid Fest information, call: 716-845-7000 x100.)

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

1 – 25 - 19   

TIP: SAFTY ON ICE:

This cold spell has improved conditions for ice fishing across New York State. Still, anglers should keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out to enjoy some hard-water fishing. The heavy snow may cause problems.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Ice fishing continues to increase in popularity in New York State. Unlike the open-water season, when an angler usually needs a boat to access good fishing locations, boats are not required to access these same locations once a waterbody is covered with safe ice. It's also a great sport for families, as they can mix in skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or other activities during ice fishing trips to keep everyone interested and happy.

Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the new I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF). Additional valuable information, including where to fish recommendations, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Ice Fishing Chapter (PDF) of the DEC's I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing.

The use of fish for bait is popular when ice fishing and bait fish may be used in most but not all waters that are open to ice fishing.

Anglers should take these important steps when using baitfish while ice fishing:

Review and follow the DEC baitfish regulations;

>Make sure that the use of baitfish is permitted in the waterbody by checking the special regulations by county section of the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide;

>Use only certified disease-free bait fish purchased at a local tackle store or use only personally collected bait fish for use in the same water body in which they were caught;

>Do not reuse baitfish in another waterbody if the water the baitfish were purchased in has been replaced; and

>Dump unused baitfish and water in an appropriate location on dry land

DEC reminds anglers to make sure that they have a valid fishing license before heading out on the ice. Fishing licenses are now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.

 

LAKE ERIE: Ice has now put a damper on any boat fishing on the lake. Between normal ice and the ice piled up by the wind, lake fishing is at a standstill. The inner harbor has up to 8 inches of ice. Ice is a little iffy right at base of the ramp, but should lock up quick. Harbor anglers typically catch smaller yellow perch and sunfish, with the occasional keeper.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: The Lake Erie tributaries are pretty much locked up with ice and with a lot of snow on the way this weekend. Fishing will certainly be challenging. Best bets for open holes are on Cattaraugus Creek at the dam and near Gowanda, and the upper sections of Buffalo and Cayuga Creeks. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low

for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Walleye provided some good fishing this past week. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019 to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The Niagara River was turning off-color and may be tough to fish, but keep an eye on changing conditions. In the lower Niagara River, fishing from both boat and shore had been good for steelhead and brown trout, with the occasional lake trout and walleye. Silver Kwikfish worked well earlier this month, patterned with chartreuse or green for drifters, along with egg sacs and minnows. Shore anglers were using jigs or spinners. Hot colors have been pink, chartreuse and green. Lake trout were available on the Niagara Bar area in better numbers, when the wave action will allow you to access the lake. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait, like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Walleye fishermen must note that the daily limit drops to one per person from Jan. 1 to March 15 in the lower river. Shore anglers should be wary of slippery conditions when fishing the lower river. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. The sections below the dams on Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks are mostly open, but running high and stained at present. They will offer some fishing opportunity as levels drop. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Many of the embayments along the lake are showing 4 to 6 inches of ice. Anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Chautauqua Lake is now completely locked up with ice but conditions of the ice vary due to high winds and heavy snow. Anglers are reporting that most parts of the lake have between 4 and 6 inches of solid, clear ice. Ice may be thinner off Mayville, near the Bell Tower. Other hazards include thin and open areas off creek inlets and some significant pressure cracks that have opened up. In regards to pressure cracks, if you see the lake water pushing up and onto the ice, avoid that area. The bite has been good on Chautauqua. Most anglers have targeted walleye, but there have been some fair reports on perch fishing. Best spots for perch have been Long Point in front of the bath house, just north of Prendergast boat launch in the weed line, and Mayville in front of the park in 6 feet of water. For walleye, try your luck at Long Point, Dewittville Bay, Magnolia, and in front of Prendergast boat launch.  Early ice is good for crappie fishing. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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: Ice is reportedly between 5 and 6 inches lake-wide, and is a mix of clear and white ice. The south end is a popular spot to set tip-ups for northern pike and to jig for bluegill. Deep sections of the lake are a better bet for yellow perch. Anglers have recently been catching fair numbers of 8 to 9.5 inch perch with many throw-backs. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Ice is reported on the lake at the ends – about 5 inches at the north and south ends but ice starts to get thinner approaching deeper water. There is some open water in the southern end of the lake. Pike action has been good with pike shiners. Walleye and perch have been hitting fatheads. The north end off Vitale Park is a good spot for bluegill. Tip-ups and shiners can produce decent to good catches of northern pike, along with the bonus tiger muskellunge.  (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: There is safe ice on the lake but no reports on exact thickness or catches. If you try it, be extra careful.  Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: There is safe ice on the lake but no reports on exact thickness or catches. If you try it, be extra careful. Some are trying night fishing for smelt while others are fishing during the day for lake trout. Bass season is open on the lake. For the smelt try tiny hooks with Berklely gulp white maggot  pieces of  (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: Ice is reported at 4 – 8 inches. Expect thinner ice near stream inlets and in spots near the northwest corner. Deeper sections of the lake are typically good for yellow perch. Shallow weedy areas are best for bluegill, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The bonus walleye catch is possible in shallow and deep water. Fish have been finicky according to early reports. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Ice is forming at the south end, but no reports yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Open water fishing remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. 5 - 8 inches of ice on the lakes with a little slush on top. If you try it, be careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable.  (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.)