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    fishing Report for Western new york                                                                                                                                               with Ron Schroder

WESTERN/CENTRAL NEW YORK FISHING - WEST TO EAST

5 - 17 - 19  No Fishing Update Report This Week.

 

5 - 10 - 19   

 

TIP : MEETING: UPDATE ON STATUS OF LAKE ERIE AND UPPER NIAGARA RIVER FISHERIES: Interested parties are invited to learn more about the status of Lake Erie and Upper Niagara River fisheries at a public meeting on Wednesday, May 22, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Woodlawn Beach State Park's Lodge, 3580 Lake Shore Road, Blasdell, NY .

The meeting will begin with an informal discussion, followed by a series of presentations on Lake Erie and Upper Niagara River fisheries topics, and will include opportunities for discussion on a variety of fisheries management activities. Key members of Lake Erie and Niagara River's fisheries management and research community will present information on management and assessment activities for prominent Lake Erie sport fisheries.

 

TIP #2: TECHNIQUES FOR CATCH AND RELEASE:

*Pinch down the barbs on all of your hooks
I pinch down all my barbs and have found that I do not lose more fish. You'll be surprised how few fish you lose using barbless hooks. Barbless hooks allow for a quicker release with less damage to the fish's mouth. You can use pliers to pinch down the barbs or you can carefully file them off large hooks.
*Keep the fish in the water
Lifting fish out of the water stresses them. Remove the hook with your hand or with pliers and let the fish swim away. This should go without saying but do not drag your fish up onto the shore or riverbank. Research has shown that keeping a fish in the water dramatically increases its chances of survival. You can get beautiful photos of the fish still in the water.
*Keep your hands wet when handling fish
If you do handle a fish and you do it with dry hands, it can cause some of the protective coating or "slime" on the fish's skin to come off. This coating is designed to protect fish from disease. Wet hands reduce this risk and can actually make it a little easier to handle your catch. Some anglers prefer soft wet gloves.

 

 

LAKE ERIE: The walleye bite continues to improve along with the weather. Try jigging gold blade baits or using  emerald shiners between Sturgeon Point and Buffalo in 36 to 62 feet of water. One area on the lake reporting some dandy perch, up to 15 inches, is between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point in 50 to 55 feet of water. They are holding tight to the bottom. Minnows have been the best way to catch them. If you can get right on top of them, you will do well. Tossing an anchor can spook the fish, so holding position with an electric trolling motor is a bonus. The harbors are open and offer fishing opportunity. Dunkirk Harbor City Pier is currently closed due to a construction project. Anglers can cast for trout from the DEC fishing platform or from boats. Some trout often show in Barcelona Harbor in spring as well. Some of the first migratory bass of the season have been caught at the mouth of some smaller creeks. Smallmouth bass fishing in the tributaries is water-temperature dependent. Early in their run, look for warm, sunny days when water temps are approaching 50 degrees for spawning bass to be drawn into the creek mouth from much colder nearshore waters of Lake Erie.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Most of the Lake Erie tributaries are running high and muddy. There’s a good chance you will catch a mixed bag of species no matter what you are doing. Prior to this week there were mixed steelhead reports. Some anglers did very well while others struggled. Catches have been dominated by smaller jacks and larger drop-backs. With warmer air temperatures and warmish rain, expect declining numbers of steelhead along with a slug of suckers and smallmouth bass to enter the creeks following the high water event. Productive steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). White jigs, zonkers and other minnow-pattern streamers have also been producing. 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: With plenty of ice around the upper river, boating remains on hold. Fishing from shorelines is possible, depending on wind direction pushing ice in. Around the upper river, harbor, bay and inlet areas are currently good spots to target yellow perch and sunfish. These areas warm quicker than the main river, attracting both bait and panfish. Emerald shiners are available for dipping at many harbor and inlet sites and work great for perch bait. Perch have been hitting around Beaver Island State Park at the marina and in many of the bays around the island. Just look for the emerald shiners. A few rainbows and lake trout have been taken off Gratwick Park in North Tonawanda on spinners.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Action was good for both trout and smallmouth bass. Steelhead are available in all of the drifts, along with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with emerald shiners, golden shiners and egg sacs is a productive technique. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. From boats, 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. Walleye are also being caught off the sand docks next to the launch ramp at night with minnows. Jigs tipped with a Fin-S Fish lure can catch walleye, too. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Some captains insist that smelt are in the river, marking large pods of bait away from the shoreline. However, only one has been dipped at night. Some local smelt dippers still insist that this could be the week. If smelt runs are based on water temperatures, it will still be a little while because ice is still coming down the river from Lake Erie. The NYPA fishing platform is now open. Weather conditions delayed scheduled opening date. Feel free to check before heading down at 716-796-0135 Ext. 45. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Trollers are still working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout at depths of 8-20 feet of water, especially near stream/harbor mouths, in slightly murky waters and in areas with a slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. 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. Some coho are also being caught. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. Boaters are picking up decent numbers of king salmon off Niagara County at depths of 75-100 feet of water on gear run between 50 and 80 feet down. Anglers caught lake trout in 65 to 70 feet of water on spoons and flasher-fly. When faced with chocolate water, troll north seeking the milky green edge switching to downriggers, leadcore, divers and a slow spoon program. Seek out the 40 to 80 foot drop off and tune in your fish finder looking for Lake trout and kings. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2019. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page. The process is straight forward. Catch a Coho and check for an adipose fin clip. Mark all the information at a freezer site such as Fort Niagara State Park, Wilson Harbor (Bootleggers Cove and the Wilson Boat Yard) and Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina, to name a few. Bags and labels are available in the freezer. Make sure you provide the information of where you caught the fish, whether it had a clip and total length of the fish. For more information you can also contact Mike Connerton of DEC at 315-654-2147.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Angler effort and steelhead catches continue their decline on the Lake Ontario tributaries. There is mixed bag action all around – mid sized tribs like the Oak or Eighteen Mile are hanging on to steelhead with a few fresh fish thrown in along with plenty of suckers. All Lake Ontario creeks are at fishable levels at present, but rain will surely have levels on the rise. Brown trout and steelhead are available for casters at pier sites. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch will typically show in spring at harbor sites such as Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard Harbors. Bullhead have moved into the harbors and lower ends of streams.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The walleye fishing started out good last weekend with plenty of fish landed while slow trolling worm harnesses and Rapalas. Troll along the shore line with hot spots along the Mayville, Long Point and DeWittville area. Jointed stick baits like rapalas and rebels in the J7 and J9 sizes are good starting points. Walleyes are also being caught after dark casting Rapalas or other stickbaits from shore. Daytime action was worm harnesses and flicker shads. The night casting revolved around Rebel, Smithwicks, Rapalas and Thundersticks with a slow troll or casting from shore. The crappie bite has been on and off as schools are moving around. A spot may produce one day and then go cold the next. Search around to find active schools in the canals and open lake. Some crappie have also been caught in shallower areas of the south basin. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Canal anglers are also catching lots of smaller yellow perch and a bullhead. Good numbers of bullheads are coming out of Cheney's Point, Tri James, and the outlet. Look for bullhead along the lake shorelines as well, especially during low light periods. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.) (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Many area trout streams are currently high but fishable. The trout are eating both subsurface and on the surface (streamers/nymphs and dry flies). The upper ends of the inland streams have been fishing great. Depending on the stream, look for hatches of hendricksons, blue-winged olives, caddisflies or March browns. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

SILVER LAKE: Walleye season is open but no reports on the bite. Good numbers of perch, rock bass, sunfish and crappie (mostly small) are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Also check out your favorite bullhead areas. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Walleye and northern pike seasons are open but no reports on the bite. Good numbers of perch, rock bass and sunfish are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Also check out your favorite bullhead areas. For those seeking some good catch and release bass action, this is the place. Fish the shallows (4 fow) with ‘baby bass’ colored stickbaits. (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

HEMLOCK LAKE: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Try a downrigger, leadcore or a flatline for the lakers. Keep an eye out for foot long eels (Asian swamp eels). Seven were recently found dead along the shore. If you do spot anything report it to DEC. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CANADICE LAKE: It’s suggested you fish the southwest portion of the lake in 80 fow for lake trout. Try down riggers and white spoons fished 10 feet off bottom.  Fish for browns and rainbows in the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower.

 (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

HONEOYE LAKE: Walleye season is open but no reports on the bite. Some nice perch are being caught along with a lot of small ones, Also biting at the south end were crappie (not a lot but nice ones) and bluegills. Check along the west side north of the ‘Ranch’ for big crappie and a lot of small bass. The docks are in at the state launch. (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. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-25 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: Bullhead fishing has picked up for those night fishing. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs in the canal between the lakes. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the Branchport arm and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 40-80 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. One report has the bait fish at depths of 30 feet and lakers at 40 feet. The lakers caught were full of perch. A reminder that on Finger Lakes tributaries fishing is from sunrise to sunset from April 1 through May 15. Lots of rock bass but many are small along with some decent, eater size perch in 15 – 25 feet of water. (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 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. The south end of the lake is suggested. 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 are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is still closed as it is being repaired. The anticipated opening is mid-June. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been catching some lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. 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. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Look for yellow perch on the north end. (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 DEC launch is opened, and one dock is in at last look. Some rainbows should still be in the tribs. (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: 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: No update reports on fishing. 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. (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: Fish the faster water at the top of big pools. 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. Waters in the region that saw a pre-season stocking of trout (see Other Waters section) also are producing for anglers willing to get out there in less-than-ideal conditions. 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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. Try some shore fishing for crappie and checkout your bullhead spots. This weekend should liven things up with the opening of walleye season. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: Anglers indicate there is some activity but no reports on specifics. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: A lot of open water and we are now into the Spring conditions. No reports on fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: A warning to anglers hitting the lake for walleye -  navigation bouys are NOT in the lake now and will NOT be in the lake this weekend.  The NYS Canal Corporation will be placing them sometime after May 10 to be ready for the canal opening on May 17.  With the lake level up, many hazards are not visible.  Please utilize mapping devices and exercise extra caution this weekend.  Another resource is the Oneida Lake Association’s safety map.  Please also keep in mind many of the pin bouys are off in location due to the ice this winter. The windy conditions have made getting out on parts of the lake tricky. When you can get out look for yellow perch in 10 to 15 foot of water. Perch action has been solid around the Oneida River and the wall in Sylvan Beach.  For those in boats, action has been good from Marion Manner to Sylvan Beach using standard perch rigs (minnows and spikes). Crappie fishing is good around the streams and other tributaries and bullhead fishing has picked up nicely. Overall reports on the walleye indicate the action was a bit slow. Suggested areas for some activity are along the shoreline and in 25-30 feet of water. Bucktail jigs and trolling worm harnesses are suggested applications.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, the lake is providing some productive fishing. There are browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake. Try trolling the shoreline between 10 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 – green/gold/black/orange spoons or black/gold Jr reef runners. A popular plug has been the Bay Rat stick bait in perch color. There is still a mudline on the lake and often the best way to fish stained water is to troll in and out between clear and muddy waters. Brown trout love the cover. Some coho and a few surprise Atlantics are also showing up. Some kings are showing-up in deeper water in the 25 to 40 foot level. UV tape Stingrays continue being best lures. Many colors are working as long as they are UV. Others are green spoons and goby Bay Rats. There is also some good smallmouth action found in the shallows, but remember it’s catch and release. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2019. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page. The process is straight forward. Catch a Coho and check for an adipose fin clip. Mark all the information at a freezer site such as Fort Niagara State Park, Wilson Harbor (Bootleggers Cove and the Wilson Boat Yard) and Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina, to name a few. Bags and labels are available in the freezer. Make sure you provide the information of where you caught the fish, whether it had a clip and total length of the fish. For more information you can also contact Mike Connerton of DEC at 315-654-2147.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. Some 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. 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 can be lethal if you fall in. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: There has been crappie and bullhead action at the south end of Sodus Bay which should increase as temperatures get warmer for a good bite. The pike opener was last Saturday and a few fish were caught between LeRoy Island and the shore. Another good place for pike has been between the other islands on Sodus. Walleye have been hard to find. On Port Bay, crappies are being caught at the south end, in the narrows. They are suspended off the bottom, up a couple of feet. Use bright small jigs. Pike, too, are at the south end. On the Canal crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (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:  Water levels on the county’s major waters are at emergency heights and boating restrictions are in place – 5 mile/hour speed limits and no wake zones along shore. Check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. 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. Fishing from the piers can also be productive. (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: Over the last couple of days our best reports have come from the lower end of the river where anglers are getting into a mix of dropbacks and smallmouth bass. The dropbacks typically like the faster water and are generally suspended in the water column. They tend to hold in the head or tailouts of the deeper holes and larger runs. The smallmouth bass generally hold in the slow and softer water along the edges of the deeper holes and larger runs. On the DSR, anglers are getting into steelhead and smallmouth bass. Several anglers reported success in the middle and upper sections swinging large black leeches and what looked like a large white Muddler (actually turned into a streamer when fished) along with nymphs and black/purple Intruders. 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: It’s not typical to catch May chromers that haven’t spawned yet on the Oswego River. One beautiful fish came as a pleasant surprise after catching nothing but big smallmouth for a few hours. It looks like the trout will be in for a few more weeks before water temperatures increase and the flow drops. With the flow 9,940cfs, the lower river offers the most fishable water for shore anglers. Anglers who are interested in fishing the Oswego River for walleye should focus their efforts from the 104 Bridge to the mouth. If the walleye haven’t made a major push into the lower river yet, then they can be targeted in the harbor and along the lake shore. 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 )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area waters with thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow. In addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2019 page. Call the Randolph Hatchery Stocking Hotline at 716-358-2050 for stocking updates. The following waters have been stocked:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek and Tributary 17 (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Allen Lake (Allen), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Rushford).

Cattaraugus County: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), N. Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton). Crandall Pond (Ashford), Maples Club Pond (Otto).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright), Mill Creek (Gerry), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton).

Erie County: Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Cattaraugus Creek (Sardinia), E. Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Westwood Park Pond (Lancaster), Village Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst), Sprague Brook County Park Ponds (Concord).

Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

Genesee County: Oatka Creek (Leroy), Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland), Irondequoit Creek (Pittsford, Brighton, Penfield).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby), Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

Chemung County- Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Cayuta Creek, Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek and Newtown Creek.

Schuyler County- Cayuta Creek.

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian). Newville Creek (Nunda)

Broome County- Finch Hollow Site 1(aka Overbrook), Greenwood Lake, Little Choconut 2E, Nanticoke 7a, Nanticoke Lake, Palmers Pond, Paterson Pond #1, Arctic Lake, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Br. Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - Salmon Creek, Owasco Inlet, and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Casterline Pond, Little York Lake, Durkee Park Pond and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com under Stocking Report (Leaves DEC website).

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and W. Br. Fish Creek.

Tioga County - Owego Creek, West Br. Owego Creek and East Br. Owego Creek.

Tompkins County - Virgil Creek, Enfield Creek, Enfield Ck. T4, Buttermilk Creek, Sixmile Creek, Fall Creek and Salmon Creek.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

 

MAY 2019

1-31 - Celebrate Conesus Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, with an award winning stream bank erosion remediation! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

8-11 - 2018 Wild Carp Classic – this event is sold out. Opening Ceremonies will be on May 7, 2019 with 50 teams registered. This tournament is a Big 10 format, with prizes awarded to the teams with the most combined weight of their 10 largest carp caught over 15 pounds. There will also be prizes for the single largest carp caught. There are no prizes for mirror carp. The anglers will be fishing from spots along the river from the village of Baldwinsville down to Long Branch Park at Onondaga Lake. (Entry to the Wild Carp Classic is $1000 per 2 or 3-person team.) (For information email: Paul - paul@carpfishingny.com or Ginny - ginny@carpfishingny.com)

10-19 - Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby 2019. 1st of 3 LOC Derbies offering over $30,000 in cash and prizes with a grand prize of $15,000 for the largest overall Salmon caught. (For more information call 888-733-5246 or visit their website at www.loc.org.)

16 - Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club Banquet at the Camden Rod & Gun Club, 2655 Moron Post Road, Camden, NY. (7:00 pm) (For information call Paul Wenham at 315-964-2888.)

18 - Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium Open House at 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) Have you been wondering what is happening at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium? Join Museum staff, volunteers, and trustees to find out! Tour the Finger Lakes Museum campus and explore the wetlands by land and water on mini guided wetland walks and mini guided eco-paddles from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2 p.m. Visual highlights will show our achievements and future plans. (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

18 - 2nd Annual GCBA Kids' Fishing Derby at Club Terrace, Rochester NY (7;00 – 10:00 am) The event is free and no license is required for parents. Prizes: 1st Place- Longest Fish- Fishing Charter, Okuma Pole; 2nd- Place- Brand New Okuma Rod and Reel Combo, FishUSA Hat; 3rd Place- Brand New Okuma Rod and Reel Combo, FishUSA T-Shirt; 4th Place- Brand New Okuma Rod and Reel Combo, FishUSA donated lures. (For information contact Larry Hammond  captlarry@bullseyecharter.com)

18 - 9th Annual Ray's Kids Day at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive (off Como Park Blvd.), Cheektowaga, NY. (8:30 am) This all day event is sponsored by the Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers International. The event will have seminars on fly casting, fly tying and entomology. After lunch, participants get a chance to fish with the flies they tied and use their fly-casting lessons. Registration is limited and participants must be 9 to 15 years of age.  Applications can be downloaded from the club’s website at www.lake-erie-fff.org. The application deadline is May 11. (For questions and further information call Dave Rosner at 716-675-4766.) 

18 - The Annual Southtowns Walleye Association Perch Contest. The event is open to members only ($35) and the contest fee is $10 per angler. They give away cash prizes and have a fish fry at the end of the contest for the contestants. It’s a great time.

18-19 - Barney and Bear's 33rd Annual Trout Derby on Cayuga Lake. You can sign up at Bear's Baits, located at Myers Park in Lansing New York. (For information call 607-387-5576.)

18-19 – Free Go Outdoors Event at Bass Pro Shops, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY and Cabela’s, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. Summer is near and for those looking to expand their outdoor adventures beyond the neighborhood park and pool, Go Outdoors provides opportunities to learn new skills and gear up for camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, outdoor cooking and many more summer adventures. Go Outdoors offers a variety of free activities including how-to seminars for kids and adults, workshops, kids’ crafts, giveaways and a chance to win an exclusive 2019 Tracker OFF ROAD vehicle. Scheduled events: Saturday - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s present a free BBQ sampling as award-winning teams will showcase their pit master culinary expertise/11 a.m. – Fryers: Learn the facts and functions about fryers and how to fix everything from fish to French fries/1 p.m. – Grilling: Discover outdoor grilling techniques for cooking on the patio or at the tent site/2 p.m. – Smoking: Get the basics of smoking meats and more. Sunday - 1:30 p.m. – Kayaking: From family fun to the tournament trail choose the kayak that fits the fun/2:30 p.m. – Paddle Sports Accessories: Learn how to select the right life jacket, dry bags and more for your next adventure. (For information call – Bass Pro Shop 315-258-2700 and Cabela’s - 716) 608-4770)

19 - Jimmy Griffin Memorial “Teach Me to Fish” Day at the Bison City Rod & Gun Club, 511 Ohio Street, Buffalo, NY. (2:00 – 5:00 pm)  The event is for kids 15 years of age and under, who would like to learn about fishing. There will be numerous hands-on learning stations, free prizes hand outs and Sahlen hotdogs. The event is free. (For information contact Dave Barus at 716-597-4081.)

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

 

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5 - 4 - 19   

 

*TIP : SEASON NOTICE: May 4 - Start of Statewide Fishing Season for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye (>3/15/20)

 

*TIP #2 : NEW YORK ANGLER ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS PROGRAM: Each year, New York State's lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams produce large numbers of trophy-sized fish. DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program recognizes exceptional catches in several categories, including the Annual Award recognizing anglers that caught the three heaviest fish of the year for 43 different species, the Catch-and-Release awards for 21 major gamefish species, and the State Record award that recognizes anglers who break current state records for any of the 45 eligible fish species.

For more specific information on the rules, see Rules for Entry. Download the Entry Form (PDF) from the DEC website. Anglers can also obtain these rules from any DEC Regional Fisheries Office, or by writing to: NYSDEC, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-4753.

 

*TIP #3: ANGLER DIARY COOPERATOR PROGRAM: The DEC is looking  for new participants in the Angler Diary Cooperator Program to help with the management program on the Finger Lakes. Cooperator numbers have dropped in recent years, and new cooperators are needed now more than ever. If you fish Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake or any of their tributaries and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 7 Fisheries office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213, or on-line at fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. If you fish Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about the program and how to sign up, contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

 

*LAKE ERIE: Floating ice chunks will limit fishing in the open lake until the ice moves out. One spot on the lake reporting some dandy perch, up to 15 inches, is off Cattaraugus Creek in 50 to 55 feet of water. They are holding tight to the bottom. Minnows have been the best way to catch them. If you can get right on top of them, you will do well. Tossing an anchor can spook the fish, so holding position with an electric trolling motor is a bonus. The harbors are open and offer fishing opportunity. Anglers at Buffalo Boat Harbor are catching good numbers of yellow perch, but throw many back for every keeper. Be aware, fishing in Buffalo Boat Harbor is permitted from the shore or boat only. No fishing on the docks. Dunkirk Harbor City Pier is currently closed due to a construction project. Anglers can cast for trout from the DEC fishing platform or from boats. Some trout often show in Barcelona Harbor in spring as well. Some of the first migratory bass of the season have been caught at the mouth of some smaller creeks. Smallmouth bass fishing in the tributaries is water-temperature dependent. Early in their run, look for warm, sunny days when water temps are approaching 50 degrees for spawning bass to be drawn into the creek mouth from much colder nearshore waters of Lake Erie.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Most of the Lake Erie tributaries are running high and muddy and weekend rains won’t help. Prior to this week there were mixed steelhead reports. Some anglers did very well while others struggled. Catches have been dominated by smaller jacks and larger drop-backs, with better numbers of steelhead in the upper sections of creeks. With warmer air temperatures and warmish rain, expect declining numbers of steelhead along with a slug of suckers and smallmouth bass to enter the creeks following the high water event. Productive steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). White jigs, zonkers and other minnow-pattern streamers have also been producing. 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: With plenty of ice around the upper river, boating remains on hold. Fishing from shorelines is possible, depending on wind direction pushing ice in. Around the upper river, harbor, bay and inlet areas are currently good spots to target yellow perch and sunfish. These areas warm quicker than the main river, attracting both bait and panfish. Emerald shiners are available for dipping at many harbor and inlet sites and work great for perch bait. Perch have been hitting around Beaver Island State Park at the marina and in many of the bays around the island. Just look for the emerald shiners. A few rainbows and lake trout have been taken off Gratwick Park in North Tonawanda on spinners.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Ice is less of a problem in the lower river, as ice gets pulverized coming over the falls. Boater should still watch out for larger chunks. Steelhead are available in all of the drifts, along with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with emerald shiners, golden shiners and egg sacs is a productive technique. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. From boats, 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. A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Some captains insist that smelt are in the river, marking large pods of bait away from the shoreline. However, only one has been dipped at night. Some local smelt dippers insist that this could be the week. If smelt runs are based on water temperatures, it will still be a little while because ice is still coming down the river from Lake Erie. The NYPA fishing platform is now open. Weather conditions delayed scheduled opening date. Feel free to check before heading down at 716-796-0135 Ext. 45. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Trollers are working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout at depths of 8-20 feet of water, especially near stream/harbor mouths, in slightly murky waters and in areas with a slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. 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. Some coho are also being caught. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. Boaters are picking up decent numbers of king salmon off Niagara County at depths of 75-100 feet of water on gear run between 50 and 80 feet down. Anglers caught lake trout in 65 to 70 feet of water on spoons and flasher-fly. When faced with chocolate water, troll north seeking the milky green edge switching to downriggers, leadcore, divers and a slow spoon program. Seek out the 40 to 80 foot drop off and tune in your fish finder looking for Lake trout and kings. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2019. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page. The process is straight forward. Catch a Coho and check for an adipose fin clip. Mark all the information at a freezer site such as Fort Niagara State Park, Wilson Harbor (Bootleggers Cove and the Wilson Boat Yard) and Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina, to name a few. Bags and labels are available in the freezer. Make sure you provide the information of where you caught the fish, whether it had a clip and total length of the fish. For more information you can also contact Mike Connerton of DEC at 315-654-2147.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Angler effort and steelhead catches have been declining on the Lake Ontario tributaries. There is mixed bag action all around – mid sized tribs like the Oak or Eighteen Mile are hanging on to steelhead with a few fresh fish thrown in along with plenty of suckers. All Lake Ontario creeks are at fishable levels at present, but rain will surely have levels on the rise. Brown trout and steelhead are available for casters at pier sites. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch will typically show in spring at harbor sites such as Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard Harbors. Bullhead have moved into the harbors and lower ends of streams.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The crappie bite has been on and off as schools are moving around. A spot may produce one day and then go cold the next. Search around to find active schools in the canals and open lake. Some crappie have also been caught in shallower areas of the south basin. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Canal anglers are also catching lots of smaller yellow perch and a few bullhead. Good numbers of bullheads are coming out of Cheney's Point, Tri James, and the outlet. Look for bullhead along the lake shorelines as well, especially during low light periods. When walleye season opens tomorrow, the nearshore shallows will be a good bet for walleye at night. Boaters can troll with stickbaits or worm harnesses, or drift and work jigs with nightcrawlers. Shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets.  (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.)

 (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Reports are that the inland creeks are running high and muddy. Many of the most popular inland waterways have received their first round of stocking and are primed for catching through increased angler effort. Fish the high dropping water with big flies and get them down to the bottom. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Fishing nymphs and streamers will work just about anywhere right now. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. As creek temps rise this week, look for possible hatches of midges and blue-winged olives to start up. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*SILVER LAKE: Walleye season opens tomorrow. Good numbers of perch, rock bass, sunfish and crappie (mostly small) are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Also check out your favorite bullhead areas. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Walleye and northern pike seasons open tomorrow. Good numbers of perch, rock bass and sunfish are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Also check out your favorite bullhead areas. For those seeking some good catch and release bass action, this is the place. Fish the shallows (4 fow) with ‘baby bass’ colored stickbaits. (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HEMLOCK LAKE: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Try a downrigger, leadcore or a flatline for the lakers. Keep an eye out for foot long eels (Asian swamp eels). Seven were recently found dead along the shore. If you do spot anything report it to DEC. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CANADICE LAKE: It’s suggested you fish the southwest portion of the lake in 80 fow for lake trout. Try down riggers and white spoons fished 10 feet off bottom.  Fish for browns and rainbows in the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower.

 (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HONEOYE LAKE: Walleye season opens May 4th. Some nice perch are being caught along with a lot of small ones, Also biting at the south end were crappie (not a lot but nice ones) and bluegills. Check along the west side north of the ‘Ranch’ for big crappie and a lot of small bass. The docks are in at the state launch. (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. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-25 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: Bullhead fishing has picked up for those night fishing. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs in the canal between the lakes. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the Branchport arm and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 40-80 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. One report has the bait fish at depths of 30 feet and lakers at 40 feet. The lakers caught were full of perch. A reminder that on Finger Lakes tributaries fishing is from sunrise to sunset from April 1 through May 15. Lots of rock bass but many are small along with some decent, eater size perch in 15 – 25 feet of water. (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 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. The south end of the lake is suggested. 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 are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is still closed as it is being repaired. The anticipated opening is mid-June. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been scoring consistently on lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. 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. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Look for yellow perch on the north end. (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 DEC launch is opened, and one dock is in at last look. Some rainbows should still be in the tribs. (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: 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 open tomorrow. (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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. 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. (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: Fish the faster water at the top of big pools. 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. The Finger Lakes tributaries saw plenty of fishing pressure on opening day, with some anglers scoring on lake-run rainbows. Waters in the region that saw a pre-season stocking of trout (see Other Waters section) also produced for anglers willing to get out there in less-than-ideal conditions. 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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. Try some shore fishing for crappie and checkout your bullhead spots. This weekend should liven things up with the opening of walleye season. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. This weekend should liven things up with the opening of walleye and pike seasons. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: A lot of open water and we are now into the Spring conditions. No reports on fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: A warning to anglers hitting the lake for the walleye opener -  navigation bouys are NOT in the lake now and will NOT be in the lake this weekend.  The NYS Canal Corporation will be placing them sometime after May 10 to be ready for the canal opening on May 17.  With the lake level up, many hazards are not visible.  Please utilize mapping devices and exercise extra caution this weekend.  Another resource is the Oneida Lake Association’s safety map.  Please also keep in mind many of the pin bouys are off in location due to the ice this winter.

The windy conditions have made getting out on parts of the lake tricky. When you can get out look for yellow perch in 10 to 15 foot of water. Perch action has been solid around the Oneida River and the wall in Sylvan Beach.  For those in boats, action has been good from Marion Manner to Sylvan Beach using standard perch rigs (minnows and spikes). Crappie fishing is good around the streams and other tributaries and bullhead fishing has picked up nicely. Remember, walleye are off limits until May 4th.  The annual walleye egg take at the Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery, Constanta has been completed. There will still be some walleye to see in the hatchery and in Scriba Creek. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, the lake is providing some productive fishing. There are browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake. Try trolling the shoreline between 10 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 – green/gold/black/orange spoons or black/gold Jr reef runners. A popular plug has been the Bay Rat stick bait in perch color. There is still a mudline on the lake and often the best way to fish stained water is to troll in and out between clear and muddy waters. Brown trout love the cover. Some coho and a few surprise Atlantics are also showing up. There is also some good smallmouth action found in the shallows, but remember it’s catch and release. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2019. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page. The process is straight forward. Catch a Coho and check for an adipose fin clip. Mark all the information at a freezer site such as Fort Niagara State Park, Wilson Harbor (Bootleggers Cove and the Wilson Boat Yard) and Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina, to name a few. Bags and labels are available in the freezer. Make sure you provide the information of where you caught the fish, whether it had a clip and total length of the fish. For more information you can also contact Mike Connerton of DEC at 315-654-2147.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. Some 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. 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 can be lethal if you fall in. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: The perch are still hitting in the bays in 20 feet of water. There has been crappie and bullhead action at the south end of Sodus Bay which should increase as temperatures get warmer for a good bite. This week’s temperatures are predicted to be in the 50’s so anglers should be catching plenty of bullheads off Bay Bridge. On Port Bay, crappies are being caught at the south end, in the narrows. They are suspended off the bottom, up a couple of feet. Use bright small jigs. On the Canal crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. You can check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (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:  No recent reports on the bite but check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. 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. Fishing from the piers can also be productive. Also, tomorrow is the start of walleye and pike seasons. (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. 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 egg patterns around the gravel areas or covering lots of water while swinging streamers with sinking leaders. For those anglers who are float fishing, pink and blue eggs, beads, pink worms and marabou jigs have all produced results. One report had rust colored wooly buggers bringing in steelhead and white streamers smallmouth. 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 flow is up making fishing parts of the river difficult. Steelhead and a few brown trout are being caught along the entire river. Anglers venturing up near the dam are having success using jigs, egg sacs, and beads while anglers fishing the lower river are catching mostly brown trout on jigs, swimbaits, and spoons. Some anglers are starting to use night crawlers as well, which can be a big difference maker on those days when it’s a relatively slow trout bite. At the current flow, these trout can comfortably hold throughout the entire river. The lower east side behind the hotels and the entire west side of the river are all worth fishing. 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 )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area waters with thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow. In addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2019 page. Call the Randolph Hatchery Stocking Hotline at 716-358-2050 for stocking updates. The following waters have been stocked:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek and Tributary 17 (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Allen Lake (Allen), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Rushford).

Cattaraugus County: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), N. Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton). Crandall Pond (Ashford), Maples Club Pond (Otto).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright), Mill Creek (Gerry), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton).

Erie County: Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Cattaraugus Creek (Sardinia), E. Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Westwood Park Pond (Lancaster), Village Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst), Sprague Brook County Park Ponds (Concord).

Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

Genesee County: Oatka Creek (Leroy), Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland), Irondequoit Creek (Pittsford, Brighton, Penfield).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby), Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

Chemung County- Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Cayuta Creek, Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek and Newtown Creek.

Schuyler County- Cayuta Creek.

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian). Newville Creek (Nunda)

Broome County- Finch Hollow Site 1(aka Overbrook), Greenwood Lake, Little Choconut 2E, Nanticoke 7a, Nanticoke Lake, Palmers Pond, Paterson Pond #1, Arctic Lake, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Br. Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - Salmon Creek, Owasco Inlet, and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Casterline Pond, Little York Lake, Durkee Park Pond and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com under Stocking Report (Leaves DEC website).

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and W. Br. Fish Creek.

Tioga County - Owego Creek, West Br. Owego Creek and East Br. Owego Creek.

Tompkins County - Virgil Creek, Enfield Creek, Enfield Ck. T4, Buttermilk Creek, Sixmile Creek, Fall Creek and Salmon Creek.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

 

MAY 2019

1-31 - Celebrate Conesus Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, with an award winning stream bank erosion remediation! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

3-5  Birds of Prey Days at Braddock Bay, 199 East Manitou Road, Rochester, NY.

5 - Start of Statewide Fishing Season for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye (>3/15/20)

4 - Montezuma Audubon Center’s 13th Annual Wildlife Festival at the Montezuma Audubon Center, Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) The 13th Annual Wildlife Festival will celebrate the importance of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex for 300 bird species that are found in this globally significant Important Bird Area. “The Montezuma Wetlands Complex serves as a vital rest stop for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl during the spring and autumn migration, said Chris Lajewski, Montezuma Audubon Center Director. “Additionally, the Complex is home to nine active Bald Eagle nests and an amazing 74 Bald Eagles during the winter months. The Wildlife Festival is an opportunity for nature enthusiasts to explore and celebrate the birds and habitats of this dynamic ecosystem and interact with a variety of vendors from across New York State.” (Festival admission is $5/person, $20/family.) (For information call 315-365-3588, visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

4-5 - Oneida Lake Walleye Derby, sponsored by the Chittenango Lions Club. On-Line Registration $15 Entry Fee Ticket purchase deadline is midnight May 3, 2019. CASH AND MERCHANDISE PRIZES Door and Bonus Draw Prizes, 50/50 Raffle, Tagged Fish Contest, Top 25 Size Contest and Measuring Station Awards (For information call 315-699-3187 email info@lionswalleyederby.org or go to www.Lionswalleyederby.org.)

8-11 - 2018 Wild Carp Classic – this event is sold out. Opening Ceremonies will be on May 7, 2019 with 50 teams registered. This tournament is a Big 10 format, with prizes awarded to the teams with the most combined weight of their 10 largest carp caught over 15 pounds. There will also be prizes for the single largest carp caught. There are no prizes for mirror carp. The anglers will be fishing from spots along the river from the village of Baldwinsville down to Long Branch Park at Onondaga Lake. (Entry to the Wild Carp Classic is $1000 per 2 or 3-person team.) (For information email: Paul - paul@carpfishingny.com or Ginny - ginny@carpfishingny.com)

10-19 - Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby 2019. 1st of 3 LOC Derbies offering over $30,000 in cash and prizes with a grand prize of $15,000 for the largest overall Salmon caught. (For more information call 888-733-5246 or visit their website at www.loc.org.)

11 - Educator Workshop: Aquatic Wild + Great Lakes Bins at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am -3:00 pm) Join an interactive workshop by NYSDEC and NY Sea Grant with an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on Great Lakes wildlife and ecosystems. Participants receive a curriculum guide and an intro to Great Lakes Educator Ecosystem Exchange (GLEEE) Basin Bins, plus a $75 stipend and lunch. For educators of students in grades K- 12. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

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TIP : For many anglers freshwater fishing in New York State kicks off May 4 with the opening of the fishing seasons for walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger muskellunge. Anglers can also take advantage of the black bass catch-and-release season now underway in many waters throughout the state. Bass anglers should check the New York State Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide to ensure that the water they desire to fish is open to catch and release angling. The regular season for black bass opens June 15.

 

TIP 2: ANGLER DIARY COOPERATOR PROGRAM: The DEC is looking  for new participants in the Angler Diary Cooperator Program to help with the management program on the Finger Lakes. Cooperator numbers have dropped in recent years, and new cooperators are needed now more than ever. If you fish Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake or any of their tributaries and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 7 Fisheries office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213, or on-line at fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. If you fish Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about the program and how to sign up, contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

 

LAKE ERIE: It was announced that the ice boom removal would start on Monday, April 22, but from reports that did not happen. Floating ice chunks will limit fishing in the open lake until the ice moves out. One spot on the lake reporting some dandy perch is off Cattaraugus Creek in 50 to 55 feet of water. Try shiners on bottom. The harbors are open and offer fishing opportunity. Anglers at Buffalo Boat Harbor are catching good numbers of yellow perch, but throw many back for every keeper. Be aware, fishing in Buffalo Boat Harbor is permitted from the shore or boat only. No fishing on the docks. Dunkirk Harbor City Pier is currently closed due to a construction project. Anglers can cast for trout from the DEC fishing platform or from boats. Some trout often show in Barcelona Harbor in spring as well. Some of the first migratory bass of the season have been caught at the mouth of some smaller creeks. Smallmouth bass fishing in the tributaries is water-temperature dependent. Early in their run, look for warm, sunny days when water temps are approaching 50 degrees for spawning bass to be drawn into the creek mouth from much colder nearshore waters of Lake Erie.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Most of the Lake Erie tributaries are running high and muddy and weekend rains won’t help. Prior to this week there were mixed steelhead reports. Some anglers did very well while others struggled. Catches have been dominated by smaller jacks and larger drop-backs, with better numbers of steelhead in the upper sections of creeks. With warmer air temperatures and warmish rain, expect declining numbers of steelhead along with a slug of suckers and smallmouth bass to enter the creeks following the high water event. Productive steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). White jigs, zonkers and other minnow-pattern streamers have also been producing. 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: It was announced that the ice boom removal would start on Monday, April 22, but from reports that did not happen. Floating ice will continue to limit fishing opportunities in the upper river. Around the upper river, harbor, bay and inlet areas are currently good spots to target yellow perch and sunfish. These areas warm quicker than the main river, attracting both bait and panfish. Emerald shiners are available for dipping at many harbor and inlet sites and work great for perch bait.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: It was announced that the ice boom removal would start on Monday, April 22, but from reports that did not happen. Floating ice will continue to limit fishing opportunities in the lower river. Steelhead are available in all of the drifts, along with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with emerald shiners, golden shiners and egg sacs is a productive technique. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. From boats, 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. A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Some captains insist that smelt are in the river, marking large pods of bait away from the shoreline. However, none have been dipped yet at night. Some local smelt dippers insist that this could be the week. The NYPA fishing platform is now open. Weather conditions delayed scheduled opening date. Feel free to check before heading down at 716-796-0135 Ext. 45. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Trollers are working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout at depths of 8-20 feet of water, especially near stream/harbor mouths, in slightly murky waters and in areas with a slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. 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. Some coho are also being caught. When piers are clear, try casting spoons and spinners but be alert to wave conditions. King salmon are starting to also show up in the lake. Try fishing a flasher-fly 70 feet down over 125 feet of water out of Wilson. Anglers caught lake trout in 65 to 70 feet of water on spoons and flasher-fly. When faced with chocolate water, troll north seeking the milky green edge switching to downriggers, leadcore, divers and a slow spoon program. Seek out the 40 to 80 foot drop off and tune in your fish finder looking for Lake trout and kings. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2019. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page. The process is straight forward. Catch a Coho and check for an adipose fin clip. Mark all the information at a freezer site such as Fort Niagara State Park, Wilson Harbor (Bootleggers Cove and the Wilson Boat Yard) and Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina, to name a few. Bags and labels are available in the freezer. Make sure you provide the information of where you caught the fish, whether it had a clip and total length of the fish. For more information you can also contact Mike Connerton of DEC at 315-654-2147.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Angler effort and steelhead catches have been declining on the Lake Ontario tributaries. There is mixed bag action all around – mid sized tribs like the Oak or Eighteen Mile are hanging on to steelhead with a few fresh fish thrown in along with plenty of suckers. All Lake Ontario creeks are at fishable levels at present, but rain will surely have levels on the rise. Brown trout and steelhead are available for casters at pier sites. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch will typically show in spring at harbor sites such as Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard Harbors. Bullhead have moved into the harbors and lower ends of streams.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The crappie bite has been on and off as schools are moving around. A spot may produce one day and then go cold the next. Search around to find active schools in the canals and open lake. Some crappie have also been caught in shallower areas of the south basin. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Canal anglers are also catching lots of smaller yellow perch and a few bullhead. Look for bullhead along the lake shorelines as well, especially during low light periods. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.)

 (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Reports are that the inland creeks are running high and muddy. Many of the most popular inland waterways have received their first round of stocking and are primed for catching through increased angler effort. Fish the high dropping water with big flies and get them down to the bottom. DEC will continue to stock inland waters and you can always call the Randolph Fish Hatchery stocking hotline at 716-358-2050. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Fishing nymphs and streamers will work just about anywhere right now. 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: Walleye season opens May 4th. Good numbers of perch, rock bass, sunfish and crappie (mostly small) are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Also check out your favorite bullhead areas. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Walleye and northern pike seasons open May 4th. Good numbers of perch, rock bass and sunfish are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Also check out your favorite bullhead areas. For those seeking some good catch and release bass action, this is the place. Fish the shallows (4 fow) with ‘baby bass’ colored stickbaits. (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

HEMLOCK LAKE: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Try a downrigger, leadcore or a flatline for the lakers. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CANADICE LAKE: It’s suggested you fish the southwest portion of the lake in 80 fow for lake trout. Try down riggers and white spoons fished 10 feet off bottom.  Fish for browns and rainbows in the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower.

 (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

HONEOYE LAKE: Walleye season opens May 4th. Some nice perch are being caught along with a lot of small ones, Also biting at the south end were crappie (not a lot but nice ones) and bluegills. Check along the west side north of the ‘Ranch’ for big crappie and a lot of small bass. The docks are in at the state launch. (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. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-20 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: Bullhead fishing has picked up for those night fishing. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs in the canal between the lakes. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the Branchport arm and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 40-80 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. One report has the bait fish at depths of 30 feet and lakers at 40 feet. The lakers caught were full of perch. A reminder that on Finger Lakes tributaries fishing is from sunrise to sunset from April 1 through May 15. Lots of rock bass but many are small along with some decent, eater size perch in 15 – 25 feet of water. (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 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. The south end of the lake is suggested. 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 are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is still closed as it is being repaired. The anticipated opening is mid-June. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been scoring consistently on lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. 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. The brown bite is good at the south end. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Look for yellow perch on the north end. (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 DEC launch is opened, and one dock is in at last look. Some rainbows should still be in the tribs. (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: 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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. 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. (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: Fish the faster water at the top of big pools. 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. The Finger Lakes tributaries saw plenty of fishing pressure on opening day, with some anglers scoring on lake-run rainbows. Waters in the region that saw a pre-season stocking of trout (see Other Waters section) also produced for anglers willing to get out there in less-than-ideal conditions. 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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. Try some shore fishing for crappie and checkout your bullhead spots. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: A lot of open water and we are now into the Spring conditions. No reports on fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: The windy conditions have made getting out on parts of the lake tricky. When you can get out look for yellow perch in 10 to 15 foot of water. Perch action has been solid around the Oneida River and the wall in Sylvan Beach.  For those in boats, action has been good from Marion Manner to Sylvan Beach using standard perch rigs (minnows and spikes). Crappie fishing is good around the streams and other tributaries and bullhead fishing has picked up nicely. Remember, walleye are off limits until May 4th.  The annual walleye egg take at the Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery, Constanta has been completed. There will still be some walleye to see in the hatchery and in Scriba Creek. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, the lake is providing some productive fishing. There are browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake. 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. A popular plug has been the Bay Rat stick bait in perch color. There is still a mudline on the lake and often the best way to fish stained water is to troll in and out between clear and muddy waters. Brown trout love the cover. Some coho and a few surprise Atlantics are also showing up. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2019. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page. The process is straight forward. Catch a Coho and check for an adipose fin clip. Mark all the information at a freezer site such as Fort Niagara State Park, Wilson Harbor (Bootleggers Cove and the Wilson Boat Yard) and Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina, to name a few. Bags and labels are available in the freezer. Make sure you provide the information of where you caught the fish, whether it had a clip and total length of the fish. For more information you can also contact Mike Connerton of DEC at 315-654-2147.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. Some 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. 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 can be lethal if you fall in. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: The perch are still hitting in the bays in 20 feet of water. There has been crappie and bullhead action at the south end of Sodus Bay which should increase as temperatures get warmer for a good bite. This week’s temperatures are predicted to be in the 50’s so anglers should be catching plenty of bullheads off Bay Bridge.  On the Canal crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. Remember, you need to wear your pfd if you are in a boat. That safety law is in effect until May 1st. 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:  Perch are being picked up on jigs with spikes or worms Check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. 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. Fishing from the piers can also be productive. (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. 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 egg patterns around the gravel areas or covering lots of water while swinging streamers with sinking leaders. For those anglers who are float fishing, pink and blue eggs, beads, pink worms and marabou jigs have all produced results. 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 flow is up making fishing parts of the river difficult. Steelhead and a few brown trout are being caught along the entire river. Anglers venturing up near the dam are having success using jigs, egg sacs, and beads while anglers fishing the lower river are catching mostly brown trout on jigs, swimbaits, and spoons. Some anglers are starting to use night crawlers as well, which can be a big difference maker on those days when it’s a relatively slow trout bite. At the current flow, these trout can comfortably hold throughout the entire river. The lower east side behind the hotels and the entire west side of the river are all worth fishing. 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 )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area waters with thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow. In addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2019 page. Call the Randolph Hatchery Stocking Hotline at 716-358-2050 for stocking updates. The following waters have been stocked by April 12th, *italicized listings are scheduled for stocking between 4/15 and 4/19:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek and Tributary 17 (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Allen Lake (Allen), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Rushford).

Cattaraugus County: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), N. Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton). * Crandall Pond (Ashford), Maples Club Pond (Otto).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright), Mill Creek (Gerry), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton).

Erie County: Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Cattaraugus Creek (Sardinia), E. Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Westwood Park Pond (Lancaster), Village Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst), Sprague Brook County Park Ponds (Concord).

Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

Genesee County: Oatka Creek (Leroy), Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland), Irondequoit Creek (Pittsford, Brighton, Penfield).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby), Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

Chemung County- Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Cayuta Creek, Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek and Newtown Creek.

Schuyler County- Cayuta Creek.

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian). * Newville Creek (Nunda)

Broome County- Finch Hollow Site 1(aka Overbrook), Greenwood Lake, Little Choconut 2E, Nanticoke 7a, Nanticoke Lake, Palmers Pond, Paterson Pond #1, Arctic Lake, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Br. Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - Salmon Creek, Owasco Inlet, and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Casterline Pond, Little York Lake, Durkee Park Pond and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com under Stocking Report (Leaves DEC website).

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and W. Br. Fish Creek.

Tioga County - Owego Creek, West Br. Owego Creek and East Br. Owego Creek.

Tompkins County - Virgil Creek, Enfield Creek, Enfield Ck. T4, Buttermilk Creek, Sixmile Creek, Fall Creek and Salmon Creek.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

 

APRIL 2019

1-30 -  Celebrate Otisco Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the only lake you can walk across in every season (via a causeway)! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

8, 15, 22, &  29 - Free Monday Night Fly Tying Instruction at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Classes are for all levels of fly tying, but especially for beginners. No equipment is necessary. All participants get to keep their productions. The classes are open to the public. (For information call 716-366-1772.) 

10, 17 & 24 - The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. This program is in its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com.)

20 - Pompey Rod & Gun Club Annual Sportsmen’s Flea Market at the Club, Swift Road, Pompey, NY (9:00 am – 1:00 pm) (For more info call Robert Fallert 315-656-8810.)

20 – U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Paddlers Guide to Safety at the Buffalo Erie County, County Naval and Military Park, One Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY. (10:00 am – noon) (Cost: $10.00) (For information call Kevin Ryan at 716-880-7319.)

27-28  Greater Wellsville Trout Derby, Genesee River. (TIMES - Headquarters Opens at 12 pm, Friday April 26/Saturday Fishing 6 am to 7 pm/Sunday Fishing 6 am to 5 pm) (Registration Sites: Wellsville Town Clerk Office - 156 N. Main St., Wellsville Chamber of Commerce - 114 N. Main St., Strope Outdoor Supply - 5 William St. Addison NY. Over $25,000 money and 450 tagged fish. (FEES - If you register before April 1st the fee is $15, after April 1st the fee is $20) (For information/register go online to www.Trout-Derby.com or call 585-596-9274.)

 

MAY 2019

1-31 - Celebrate Conesus Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, with an award winning stream bank erosion remediation! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

3 - Greater Lewiston Smelt Festival, at Academy Park, 890 Center Street, Lewiston, NY. (near Niagara Falls). (5:00 – 10:00 pm) Lewiston celebrates one of its natural resources; the Smelt! Enjoy free smelt samples (donations are welcome as they help support programs supported by the Niagara River Anglers) and live music! New this year, a smelt eating contest! Hosted by the Niagara River Anglers and the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce. Food and Beverage available for purchase. This event is free to the public. (For information call 716-754-9500 or go to www.niagarariverregion.com)

4-5 - Oneida Lake Walleye Derby, sponsored by the Chittenango Lions Club. On-Line Registration $15 Entry Fee Ticket purchase deadline is midnight May 3, 2019. CASH AND MERCHANDISE PRIZES Door and Bonus Draw Prizes, 50/50 Raffle, Tagged Fish Contest, Top 25 Size Contest and Measuring Station Awards (For information call 315-699-3187 email info@lionswalleyederby.org or go to www.Lionswalleyederby.org.)

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*TIP : PLANNING A FAMILY FISHING TRIP:  When you plan a family fishing trip, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. The trip should be all about spending time with your family in the great outdoors. Catching fish is a bonus. All you need to plan an enjoyable trip is a simple, easy-to-use fishing outfit and some live bait. Have the kids help dig worms or catch crickets as part of the experience.  Kids get a kick out of carefully watching their bobbers—even the slightest movement gets them excited. They’ll love the experience, but they will also want to reel in something. After 10 or 15 minutes, if you are not catching fish, move to a different location until you find them. If for some reason the fish aren’t biting, stop fishing and teach the kids how to skip a rock, catch a crawdad, pick wildflowers, or take a hike. All of these things add excitement to the trip and create lasting family memories.

(By Larry Whiteley, Host of the award winning Outdoor World Radio For more tips go to  basspro.com.)

 

*TIP 2: ANGLER DIARY COOPERATOR PROGRAM: The DEC is looking  for new participants in the Angler Diary Cooperator Program to help with the management program on the Finger Lakes. Cooperator numbers have dropped in recent years, and new cooperators are needed now more than ever. If you fish Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake or any of their tributaries and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 7 Fisheries office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213, or on-line at fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. If you fish Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about the program and how to sign up, contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

 

*LAKE ERIE: It has been announced that the ice boom removal is expected to start on Monday, April 22. Floating ice chunks will limit fishing in the open lake until the ice moves out. The harbors are open and offer fishing opportunity. Anglers at Buffalo Boat Harbor are catching good numbers of yellow perch, but throw many back for every keeper. Be aware, fishing in Buffalo Boat Harbor is permitted from the shore or boat only. No fishing on the docks. Dunkirk Harbor City Pier is currently closed due to a construction project. Anglers can cast for trout from the DEC fishing platform or from boats. Some trout often show in Barcelona Harbor in spring as well. Some of the first migratory bass of the season have been caught at the mouth of some smaller creeks. Smallmouth bass fishing in the tributaries is water-temperature dependent. Early in their run, look for warm, sunny days when water temps are approaching 50 degrees for spawning bass to be drawn into the creek mouth from much colder nearshore waters of Lake Erie.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Most of the Lake Erie tributaries are running high and muddy and weekend rains won’t help. Prior to this week there were mixed steelhead reports. Some anglers did very well while others struggled. Catches have been dominated by smaller jacks and larger drop-backs, with better numbers of steelhead in the upper sections of creeks. With warmer air temperatures and warmish rain, expect declining numbers of steelhead along with a slug of suckers and smallmouth bass to enter the creeks following the high water event. Productive steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). White jigs, zonkers and other minnow-pattern streamers have also been producing. 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: It has been announced that the ice boom removal is expected to start on Monday, April 22. Floating ice chunks will limit fishing in the open river until the ice mass passes through the system. Around the upper river, harbor, bay and inlet areas are currently good spots to target yellow perch and sunfish. These areas warm quicker than the main river, attracting both bait and panfish. Emerald shiners are available for dipping at many harbor and inlet sites and work great for perch bait.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: It has been announced that the ice boom removal is expected to start on Monday, April 22. Floating ice may limit fishing opportunities in the lower river for a period after Monday. Steelhead are available in all of the drifts, along with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with emerald shiners, golden shiners and egg sacs is a productive technique. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. From boats, 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. A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Some captains insist that smelt are in the river, marking large pods of bait away from the shoreline. However, none have been dipped yet at night. Some local smelt dippers insist that this could be the week. The NYPA fishing platform is now open. Weather conditions delayed scheduled opening date. Feel free to check before heading down at 716-796-0135 Ext. 45. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Trollers are working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. April brown trout action is typically very good at depths of 8-20 feet of water, especially near stream/harbor mouths, in slightly murky waters and in areas with a slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. 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. King salmon are starting to also show up in the lake. Try fishing a flasher-fly 70 feet down over 125 feet of water out of Wilson. Anglers also caught lake trout in 100 to 130 feet of water on spoons and flasher-fly. When faced with chocolate water, troll north seeking the milky green edge switching to downriggers, leadcore, divers and a slow spoon program. Seek out the 40 to 80 foot drop off and tune in your fish finder looking for Lake trout and kings. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2019. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page. The process is straight forward. Catch a Coho and check for an adipose fin clip. Mark all the information at a freezer site such as Fort Niagara State Park, Wilson Harbor (Bootleggers Cove and the Wilson Boat Yard) and Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina, to name a few. Bags and labels are available in the freezer. Make sure you provide the information of where you caught the fish, whether it had a clip and total length of the fish. For more information you can also contact Mike Connerton of DEC at 315-654-2147. 

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Angler effort and steelhead catches have been declining on the Lake Ontario tributaries. However, there are still some steelhead to be had, along with plenty of suckers. All Lake Ontario creeks are at fishable levels at present, but today/tonight's rain will surely have levels on the rise. Brown trout and steelhead are available for casters at pier sites. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch will typically show in spring at harbor sites such as Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard Harbors. Bullhead have moved into the harbors and lower ends of streams.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The crappie bite has been on and off as schools are moving around. A spot may produce one day and then go cold the next. Search around to find active schools in the canals and open lake. Some crappie have also been caught in shallower areas of the south basin. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Canal anglers are also catching lots of smaller yellow perch and a few bullhead. Look for bullhead along the lake shorelines as well, especially during low light periods. (See the Chautauqua Lake page on DEC’s Website for more fishing information.)

 (Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Reports are that the inland creeks are running high and muddy. Many of the most popular inland waterways have received their first round of stocking and are primed for catching through increased angler effort. Fish the high dropping water with big flies and get them down to the bottom. DEC will continue to stock inland waters and you can always call the Randolph Fish Hatchery stocking hotline at 716-358-2050. 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: Walleye season opens May 4th. Good numbers of perch, rock bass, sunfish and crappie (mostly small) are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Also check out your favorite bullhead areas. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Walleye and northern pike seasons open May 4th. Good numbers of perch, rock bass and sunfish are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Also check out your favorite bullhead areas. For those seeking some good catch and release bass action, this is the place. Fish the shallows (4 fow) with ‘baby bass’ colored stickbaits. (A webcam of Conesus on east side, 2/3 of the way down the lake at Marks Leisure Time Marine - https://www.weatherbug.com/weather-camera/?cam=CNSSM (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HEMLOCK LAKE: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Try a downrigger, leadcore or a flatline for the lakers. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CANADICE LAKE: It’s suggested you fish the southwest portion of the lake in 80 fow for lake trout. Try down riggers and white spoons fished 10 feet off bottom.  Fish for browns and rainbows in the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower.

 (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HONEOYE LAKE: Walleye season opens May 4th. Some nice perch are being caught along with a lot of small ones, Also biting at the south end were crappie (not a lot but nice ones) and bluegills. Check along the west side north of the ‘Ranch’ for big crappie and a lot of small bass. The docks are in at the state launch. (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. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-20 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: Bullhead fishing has picked up for those night fishing. Try for bluegills using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs in the canal between the lakes. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the Branchport arm and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 40-80 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. One report has the bait fish at depths of 30 feet and lakers at 40 feet. The lakers caught were full of perch. A reminder that on Finger Lakes tributaries fishing is from sunrise to sunset from April 1 through May 15. Lots of rock bass but many are small along with some decent, eater size perch in 15 – 25 feet of water. (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 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. The south end of the lake is suggested. 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 are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is still closed as it is being repaired. The anticipated opening is mid-June. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been scoring consistently on lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon. 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. Look for yellow perch on the north end. (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 DEC launch is opened, and one dock is in at last look. Some rainbows should still be in the tribs. (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: 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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. 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. (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: Fish the faster water at the top of big pools. 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. The Finger Lakes tributaries saw plenty of fishing pressure on opening day, with some anglers scoring on lake-run rainbows. Waters in the region that saw a pre-season stocking of trout (see Other Waters section) also produced for anglers willing to get out there in less-than-ideal conditions. 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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. Try some shore fishing for crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: A lot of open water and we are now into the Spring conditions. No reports on fishing. 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 windy conditions have made getting out on parts of the lake tricky. When you can get out look for yellow perch in 10 to 15 foot of water. Perch action has been solid around the Oneida River and the wall in Sylvan Beach.  For those in boats, action has been good from Marion Manner to Sylvan Beach using standard perch rigs (minnows and spikes). Crappie fishing is good around the streams and other tributaries and bullhead fishing has picked up nicely. Remember, walleye are off limits until May 4th.  The annual walleye egg take at the Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery, Constanta has been completed. There will still be some walleye to see in the hatchery and in Scriba Creek. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, the lake is providing some productive fishing. There are 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. A popular plug has been the Bay Rat stick bait in perch color. A few surprise Atlantics are also showing up. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2019. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page. The process is straight forward. Catch a Coho and check for an adipose fin clip. Mark all the information at a freezer site such as Fort Niagara State Park, Wilson Harbor (Bootleggers Cove and the Wilson Boat Yard) and Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina, to name a few. Bags and labels are available in the freezer. Make sure you provide the information of where you caught the fish, whether it had a clip and total length of the fish. For more information you can also contact Mike Connerton of DEC at 315-654-2147.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. Some 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. 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 can be lethal if you fall in. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: The perch have been hitting in 20 feet of water. There has been some bullhead action at the south end of Sodus Bay, however the water temperatures need be warmer for a good bite. This week’s temperatures are predicted to be in the 50’s so anglers should be catching plenty of bullheads off Bay Bridge.  On the Canal crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. Remember, you need to wear your pfd if you are in a boat. That safety law is in effect until May 1st. 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:  Perch are ready to spawn. Jigs with spikes or worms are producing. Check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. 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. Fishing from the piers can also be productive. (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: Check ahead if you fish the DSR. It has been closed this past week due to high water. Exercise extreme caution should you be near the rivers and streams due to slippery banks, debris in the water, and high flows. Anglers are 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 flow is up making fishing parts of the river difficult. Steelhead and brown trout are being caught along the entire river. Anglers venturing up near the dam are having success using jigs, egg sacs, and beads while anglers fishing the lower river are catching mostly brown trout on jigs, swimbaits, and spoons. Some anglers are starting to use night crawlers as well, which can be a big difference maker on those days when it’s a relatively slow trout bite. At the current flow, these trout can comfortably hold throughout the entire river. The lower east side behind the hotels and the entire west side of the river are all worth fishing. 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 )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area waters with thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow. In addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2019 page. Call the Randolph Hatchery Stocking Hotline at 716-358-2050 for stocking updates. The following waters have been stocked by April 12th, *italicized listings are scheduled for stocking between 4/15 and 4/19:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek and Tributary 17 (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Allen Lake (Allen), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Rushford).

Cattaraugus County: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), N. Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton). * Crandall Pond (Ashford), Maples Club Pond (Otto).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright), Mill Creek (Gerry), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton).

Erie County: Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Cattaraugus Creek (Sardinia), E. Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Westwood Park Pond (Lancaster), Village Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst), Sprague Brook County Park Ponds (Concord).

Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

Genesee County: Oatka Creek (Leroy), Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland), Irondequoit Creek (Pittsford, Brighton, Penfield).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby), Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

Chemung County- Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Cayuta Creek, Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek and Newtown Creek.

Schuyler County- Cayuta Creek.

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian). * Newville Creek (Nunda)

Broome County- Finch Hollow Site 1(aka Overbrook), Greenwood Lake, Little Choconut 2E, Nanticoke 7a, Nanticoke Lake, Palmers Pond, Paterson Pond #1, Arctic Lake, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Br. Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - Salmon Creek, Owasco Inlet, and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Casterline Pond, Little York Lake, Durkee Park Pond and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com under Stocking Report (Leaves DEC website).

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and W. Br. Fish Creek.

Tioga County - Owego Creek, West Br. Owego Creek and East Br. Owego Creek.

Tompkins County - Virgil Creek, Enfield Creek, Enfield Ck. T4, Buttermilk Creek, Sixmile Creek, Fall Creek and Salmon Creek.

 

                                                                                    >))))*>

 

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

 

APRIL 2019

1-30 -  Celebrate Otisco Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the only lake you can walk across in every season (via a causeway)! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

8, 15, 22, &  29 - Free Monday Night Fly Tying Instruction at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Classes are for all levels of fly tying, but especially for beginners. No equipment is necessary. All participants get to keep their productions. The classes are open to the public. (For information call 716-366-1772.) 

10, 17 & 24 The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. This program is in its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com.)

20 - Pompey Rod & Gun Club Annual Sportsmen’s Flea Market at the Club, Swift Road, Pompey, NY (9:00 am – 1:00 pm) (For more info call Robert Fallert 315-656-8810.)

20 – Wonderous Wildlife Photography with Bob Hazen at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, Alabama, NY. (1:00 – 3:00 pm) (For information call 585-948-5445.)

20 – U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Paddlers Guide to Safety at the Buffalo Erie County, County Naval and Military Park, One Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY. (10:00 am – noon) (Cost: $10.00) (For information call Kevin Ryan at 716-880-7319.)

20 - Pompey Rod & Gun Club Show & Sportsman’s Flea Market at the Club, Swift Road, Pompey, NY (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For more info call Robert Fallert 315-656-8810.)

27-28 – Greater Wellsville Trout Derby, Genesee River. (TIMES - Headquarters Opens at 12 pm, Friday April 26/Saturday Fishing 6 am to 7 pm/Sunday Fishing 6 am to 5 pm) (Registration Sites: Wellsville Town Clerk Office - 156 N. Main St., Wellsville Chamber of Commerce - 114 N. Main St., Strope Outdoor Supply - 5 William St. Addison NY. Over $25,000 money and 450 tagged fish. (FEES - If you register before April 1st the fee is $15, after April 1st the fee is $20) (For information/register go online to www.Trout-Derby.com or call 585-596-9274.)

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4 - 12 - 19

TIP : ICE OUT CRAPPIES: Water temperature is a key contributing factor to everything crappies in the spring. Cold nights below freezing, cool-water runoff from melting snow, and heavy cloud cover can all contribute to the death of a seemingly un-killable bite. As black-bottom bays and rock-laden shorelines store what solar energy they can, crappies flood to the shallows as water temps hit 45 degrees and above. In most of the lakes I fish, this seems to be as close to a “magic number” as I can find in helping to predict not only locations, but mood of the crappies I’m after. Anything south of that value, and shallow water crappies become much more rare and hard to find. Even after locating them, you just don’t see the large congregations of fish that are willing to eat like you do in the 45-50 degree range and above. That said, spring is a roller coaster of conditions, full of false-starts, short intense feeding periods during warm weather, and then eventually spawn and post-spawn behavior. Your best bet is multiple trips that allow you to track changes in water temperatures, such that you don’t hit before the front end, or after the spawn. (https://www.thefishingwire.com/releases/d994309d-2332-4a5f-b3e1-91a90c6dc23b)

LAKE ERIE: There was still over 400 square miles of ice in the lake as of Monday. It needs to be 250 square miles or less for removal of the boon to start. This keeps open lake fishing on hold. Harbors are open and offer some fishing opportunity. Buffalo Boat Harbor is generally a good yellow perch spot after ice out. Be aware, fishing in Buffalo Boat Harbor is permitted from the shore or boat only. No fishing on the docks. Dunkirk Harbor is open and is a typical casting spot for rainbow trout after ice out. The city pier is currently closed to vehicle traffic, but anglers have been walking out onto the pier to fish. Some trout often show in Barcelona Harbor in spring as well. Some of the first migratory bass of the season have been caught at the mouth of some smaller creeks. Smallmouth bass fishing in the tributaries is water-temperature dependent. Early in their run, look for warm, sunny days when water temps are approaching 50 degrees for spawning bass to be drawn into the creek mouth from much colder nearshore waters of Lake Erie.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Anglers have a brief window to fish Cattaraugus Creek before this weekend’s rain likely muddies the stream. The rain will benefit the other Lake Erie Tributaries that are presently lower and clear. Anglers report lighter numbers of steelhead scattered in the streams. Better catches have been had by anglers covering a lot of water. Suckers are now quite numerous in the streams and the first of the smallmouth bass are showing in the lowest sections near creek mouths. Productive steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). White jigs, zonkers and other minnow-pattern streamers have also been producing. 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: The ice boom remains in place at the head of the river. Once removal starts, floating ice will limit fishing in the river until the ice has moved through. 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.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Some ice chunks have been coming down through the river system, serving as obstacles in the upper and lower river sections. More is sure to come as Lake Erie loses its ice cover. Trout fishing on the lower river was decent this week despite very clear water conditions. Steelhead are available in all of the drifts, along with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with emerald shiners, golden shiners and egg sacs is a productive technique. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. From boats, 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. A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. The NYPA fishing platform is now open. Weather conditions delayed scheduled opening date. Feel free to check before heading down at 716-796-0135 Ext. 45. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Trollers are starting to work the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. April brown trout action is typically very good at depths of 8-20 feet of water, especially near stream/harbor mouths, in slightly murky waters and in areas with a slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. 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. King salmon are starting to also show up in the lake. Try fishing a flasher-fly 70 feet down over 125 feet of water out of Wilson. Anglers also caught lake trout in 100 to 130 feet of water on spoons and flasher-fly. 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. 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. Guys are spread out on all the waterways with reports of browns and some steelhead on those smaller tributaries. 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. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch will typically show in spring at harbor sites such as Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard Harbors. Wilson Harbor and the lower end of Twelvemile Creek are top spring bullhead sites.
Other area smaller tributaries had medium flows and just slightly stained water color. Anglers were spread out on all the waterways, with reports of browns and some steelhead on those smaller tributaries. There are good opportunities now and ahead while cool conditions may hang on for spring, steelhead action and some browns spread over all the different waterways should offer some action.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The crappie bite has been on and off as schools are moving around. A spot may produce one day and then go cold the next. Search around to find active schools in the canals and open lake.. Some crappie have also been caught in shallower areas of the south basin. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Canal anglers are also catching lots of smaller yellow perch and a few bullhead. Look for bullhead along the lake shorelines as well, especially during low light periods. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Reports are that the inland creeks are in great shape with good flows and some turbidity. Many of the most popular inland waterways have received their first round of stocking and are primed for catching through increased angler effort. Fish the high dropping water with big flies and get them down to the bottom. DEC will continue to stock inland waters and you can always call the Randolph Fish Hatchery stocking hotline at 358-2050. 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: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. The walleye and some pike are starting to collect at the south end. (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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, crappie and perch. (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. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-20 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (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 50 - 100 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. Try for perch in the Branchport arm at 15 to 25 feet. (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 are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is still closed as it is being repaired. The anticipated opening is mid-June. (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: 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. Look for yellow perch on the north end. (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 DEC launch is opened, and one dock is in at last look. Some rainbows should still be in the tribs. (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: 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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. 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. (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: Opening day of the regular trout season this year was a cold one. But for those who got out and weathered the conditions, the action at times was hot -- and it should continue to be that way through the spring. Waters are open and flowing. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools. 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. The Finger Lakes tributaries saw plenty of fishing pressure on opening day, with some anglers scoring on lake-run rainbows. Waters in the region that saw a pre-season stocking of trout also produced for anglers willing to get out there in less-than-ideal conditions. 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: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. Try some shore fishing for crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND: It’s open water but no reports on fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: A lot of open water and we are now into the Spring conditions. No reports on fishing. 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 ice finally went off the lake this week so there should be some fishing information shortly. The annual walleye egg take is taking place at the Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery, Constanta. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.
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 underway for the season. There are 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. A few surprise Atlantics are also showing up. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Streams are all fishable. Some 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. 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: The perch have been hitting in 20 feet of water. There has been some bullhead action at the south end of Sodus Bay, however the water temperatures need be warmer for a good bite. This week’s temperatures are predicted to be in the 50’s so anglers should be catching plenty of bullheads off Bay Bridge. On the Canal crappies are suspended and will bite any shiny jigs…just keep them small. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. Remember, you need to wear your pfd if you are in a boat. That safety law is in effect until May 1st. 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: Perch are ready to spawn. Jigs with spikes or worms are producing. Check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. 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. (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: Trout fishing is the name of the game on the Oswego River right now. Steelhead and brown trout are being caught along the entire river. Anglers venturing up near the dam are having success using jigs, egg sacs, and beads while anglers fishing the lower river are catching mostly brown trout on jigs, swimbaits, and spoons. Some anglers are starting to use night crawlers as well, which can be a big difference maker on those days when it’s a relatively slow trout bite. At the current flow, these trout can comfortably hold throughout the entire river. The lower east side behind the hotels and the entire west side of the river are all worth fishing. 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 )
Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area waters with thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow. In addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2019 page. Call the Randolph Hatchery Stocking Hotline at 716-358-2050 for stocking updates. The following waters have been stocked by April 12th, *italicized listings are scheduled for stocking between 4/15 and 4/19:
Allegany County: Dodge Creek and Tributary 17 (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Allen Lake (Allen), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Rushford).
Cattaraugus County: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), N. Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton). * Crandall Pond (Ashford), Maples Club Pond (Otto).
Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright), Mill Creek (Gerry), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton).
Erie County: Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Cattaraugus Creek (Sardinia), E. Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Westwood Park Pond (Lancaster), Village Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst), Sprague Brook County Park Ponds (Concord).
Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).
Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).
Genesee County: Oatka Creek (Leroy), Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia).
Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland), Irondequoit Creek (Pittsford, Brighton, Penfield).
Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).
Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby), Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).
Chemung County- Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Cayuta Creek, Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek and Newtown Creek.
Schuyler County- Cayuta Creek.
Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian). * Newville Creek (Nunda)
Broome County- Finch Hollow Site 1(aka Overbrook), Greenwood Lake, Little Choconut 2E, Nanticoke 7a, Nanticoke Lake, Palmers Pond, Paterson Pond #1, Arctic Lake, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Br. Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.
Cayuga County - Salmon Creek, Owasco Inlet, and Fall Creek.
Cortland County - Casterline Pond, Little York Lake, Durkee Park Pond and the Otselic River.
Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com under Stocking Report (Leaves DEC website).
Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and W. Br. Fish Creek.
Tioga County - Owego Creek, West Br. Owego Creek and East Br. Owego Creek.
Tompkins County - Virgil Creek, Enfield Creek, Enfield Ck. T4, Buttermilk Creek, Sixmile Creek, Fall Creek and Salmon Creek.

                                                                    >))))*>

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

APRIL 2019
1-30 - Celebrate Otisco Lake Month
at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the only lake you can walk across in every season (via a causeway)! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)
15, 22, & 29 - Free Monday Night Fly Tying Instruction at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Classes are for all levels of fly tying, but especially for beginners. No equipment is necessary. All participants get to keep their productions. The classes are open to the public. (For information call 716-366-1772.)
17 & 24 - The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. This program is in its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com.)
13 - Family Fishing Festival at Powder Mills Park, 154 Park Road, Pittsford, NY (9:00 am – 1:00 pm) Come spend the morning with WXXI Kids, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and our partners at Powder Mills Park and learn how to FISH! Everyone is welcome. Join Pick up a rod to try your hand at fishing in one of our Monroe County Parks! Partner organizations will be around for fly fishing demonstrations, hands-on activities, and to answer questions about where to fish, what you need to fish, and how to fish with young family members. Get engaged in citizen science and find out how you can help the NYSDEC learn about fish populations by joining the Angler Diary Program! (For information go to WXXI.org.)
13 – U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary About Boating Safety Course at the Buffalo Erie County County Naval and Military Park, One Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) (Cost is $10.00) (For information call Kevin Ryan at 7-6-880-7319.)
20 - Pompey Rod & Gun Club Show & Sportsman’s Flea Market at the Club, Swift Road, Pompey, NY (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For more info call Robert Fallert 315-656-8810.)

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*TIP #1: Updates on Status of Salmon River's Fishery on April 11, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski. At the meeting, DEC will provide an overview of ongoing activities and report on recent progress toward achieving the objectives outlined in the plan. In addition, staff will review planned activities for the coming year. The meeting will provide ample time at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to ask questions and interact with the presenters. For additional information, contact David Lemon, DEC Region 7 Fisheries Manager, at the Cortland office, (607) 753-3095 or email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.

 

*TIP #2: Lake Erie and Niagara River Fisheries Update on April 11at the Southtowns Walleye club located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd, Hamburg, NY (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting will begin with an informal discussion and poster exhibits. The meeting will be followed by a series of presentations on Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River. Topics covered will include the status of Cold water Communities by DEC Biologist Jim Markham, Warm Water fish communities by NYSDEC Unit leader Jason Robinson, An Update on Barotrauma in Lake Erie Perch by Jesse Lepak of Sea Grant, and Inspiring Environmental Leadership and Stewardship by Sandy Smith from Nichols School Faculty. The meeting will conclude with questions and an open discussion. Anyone interested is welcome to attend this free event and registration is not required. (For information call 716-851-7000.)

 

*TIP #3: SAEASON CHANGES:

April 1 - Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (>10/15)

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

April 1 – Start Lake, Brown, Rainbow and Atlantic Salmon in the tributaries of Canadice, Canandiagua, Hemlock, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Otisco, and Skaneateles Lakes (>12/31)

 

*LAKE ERIE: There is still lots of floating ice on Lake Erie, keeping open lake fishing on hold. Buffalo Boat Harbor's inner harbor remains mostly ice covered with ice that is not safe for ice fishing. The inner harbor is often a good yellow perch spot right after ice out. Be aware, fishing in Buffalo Boat Harbor is permitted from the shore or boat only. No fishing on the docks. Dunkirk Harbor is open and is a typical casting spot for rainbow trout after ice out. The State of Lake Erie public meeting is at the Southtowns Walleye Association clubhouse on April 11.

 

*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. Anglers have been catching some fresh steelhead over the past couple weeks, and more will surely show as we transition to spring. Productive steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). White jigs, zonkers and other minnow-pattern streamers have also been producing. Drift baits and flies slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. Most area streams like Canadaway, Cattaraugus Creek, Silver Creek, Walnut Creek and smaller streams are now open too. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page. The State of Lake Erie public meeting is at the Southtowns Walleye Association clubhouse on April 11.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: The New York Power Authority has announced that the ice boom removal will not occur until after April 1st, at a date yet to be determined. Once removal starts, floating ice will limit fishing in the river until the ice has moved through. 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.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: There are plenty of trout available. However, the river water is super clear, and fish are getting really picky. 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. From boats, 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. April 1 is traditionally the opening of the lower Niagara River’s fishing platform at the NY Power Authority, as well as the reservoir access off Upper Mountain Road and the water intakes area in the upper Niagara River. Weather conditions delayed that date. Feel free to check before heading down at 716-796-0135 Ext. 45. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Trollers are starting to work the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. April brown trout action is typically very good at depths of 8-20 feet of water, especially near stream/harbor mouths, in slightly murky waters and in areas with a slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. 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. 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. Guys are spread out on all the waterways with reports of browns and some steelhead on those smaller tributaries. 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. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch will typically show in spring at harbor sites such as Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard Harbors. Wilson Harbor and the lower end of Twelvemile Creek are top spring bullhead sites.

Other area smaller tributaries had medium flows and just slightly stained water color. Anglers were spread out on all the waterways, with reports of browns and some steelhead on those smaller tributaries. There are good opportunities now and ahead while cool conditions may hang on for spring, steelhead action and some browns spread over all the different waterways should offer some action.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The south basin is wide open and very little ice remains on the north basin. Crappie action picked up in the canals this week, with best bite during low light periods. Perch are hitting in the canals also. Some crappie have also been caught in shallower areas of the south basin. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: After a cold and snowy opening day for inland waters, this weekend is setting up to be a good time kicking off the trout season. Reports are that the inland creeks are in great shape with good flows and some turbidity. Many of the most popular inland waterways have received their first round of stocking and are primed for catching through increased angler effort. Fish the high dropping water with big flies and get them down to the bottom. DEC will continue to stock inland waters and you can always call the Randolph Fish Hatchery stocking hotline at 358-2050. 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: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: The ice is out but no reports on fishing. (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: The ice is out but no reports on fishing. (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: The ice is out but no reports on fishing. (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, crappie and perch. (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. 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. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (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. 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 are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is still closed as it is being repaired. The anticipated opening is mid-June. (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: 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 DEC launch is opened, but no docks were in at last look. (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: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly and on its way out. 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: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. 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. (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: Opening day of the regular trout season this year was a cold one. But for those who got out and weathered the conditions, the action at times was hot -- and  it should continue to be that way through the spring. Waters are open and flowing. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools. 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. The Finger Lakes tributaries saw plenty of fishing pressure on opening day, with some anglers scoring on lake-run rainbows. Waters in the region that saw a pre-season stocking of trout also produced for anglers willing to get out there in less-than-ideal conditions. 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: The remaining ice is disappearing. Try some shore fishing for crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: A lot of open water and we are now into the Spring conditions. 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: There is still floating ice on the lake moving with the wind. With the temperature warming conditions that ice should disappear quickly. Open water fishing will be here shortly.  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 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. 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. 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: Most of the ice has left the bays and the perch have been hitting in 20 feet of water. There has been some bullhead action at the south end of Sodus Bay, however the water temperatures need be warmer for a good bite. This week’s temperatures are predicted to be in the 50’s so anglers should be catching plenty of bullheads off Bay Bridge.  On the Canal there is still ice - not fishable. Once the hard stuff disappears, canal waters will produce nice crappies. Use small bright jigs and fish under the Port Gibson bridge. Remember, you need to wear your pfd if you are in a boat. That safety law is in effect until May 1st. 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:  It’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. Perch are ready to spawn. Jigs with spikes or worms are producing. Check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. 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. (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 bite on. Anglers using jigs and soft plastic swimbaits have been producing 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. 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 )

Spring Trout Stocking

DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area waters with thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow. In addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2019 page. Call the Randolph Hatchery Stocking Hotline at 716-358-2050 for stocking updates. The following waters have been stocked by April 5th, *italicized listings are scheduled for stocking between 4/8 and 4/12:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek and Tributary 17 (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Allen Lake (Allen), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar). * Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Rushford).

Cattaraugus County: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), N. Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), New Albion Lake (New Albion). * Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland). * Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright), Mill Creek (Gerry), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton).

Erie County: Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Cattaraugus Creek (Sardinia), E. Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland). * Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Westwood Park Pond (Lancaster), Village Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst), Sprague Brook County Park Ponds (Concord).

Niagara County: * Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw). * Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

Genesee County: Oatka Creek (Leroy), Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland). * Irondequoit Creek (Pittsford, Brighton, Penfield).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby), Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Broome County- Chenango Lake (March 27), Dudley Creek (March 26), East Br. Nanticoke Creek (March 26), and Nanticoke Creek (March 26).

Chenango County - Genegantslet Creek (April 2), and the Otselic River (April 1).

Cayuga County - Fall Creek (April 3).

Cortland County - Otselic River (April 1).

Madison County - Chenango River (April 4), Chittenango Creek (April 3), Oneida Creek (April 1), Otselic River (April 1) and the Sangerfield River (March 29).

Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com under Stocking Report (Leaves DEC website).

Tioga County - Owego Creek (March 26), West Br. Owego Creek (March 26), and East Br. Owego Creek (March 25).

Tompkins County - Enfield Creek (April 4), Enfield Ck. T4 (April 4), Buttermilk Creek (March 27), Sixmile Creek (March 27), Fall Creek (March 25), and Salmon Creek (March 25).

 

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

 

APRIL 2019

1 - Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (>10/15)

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

1 – Start Lake, Brown, Rainbow and Atlantic Salmon in the tributaries of Canadice, Canandiagua, Hemlock, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Otisco, and Skaneateles Lakes (>12/31)

1-30 -  Celebrate Otisco Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the only lake you can walk across in every season (via a causeway)! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

6 - Second Annual Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show at the Clarion Hotel Marina & Conference Center, 30 Lake Shore Dr E, Dunkirk, NY (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) (For information call 716-366-3000 ext. 420 or email mpatton@observertoday.com.)

6 - Niagara Musky Association’s 25th Anniversary Banquet at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, 76 Pearl Street, Buffalo, NY (6:00 pm) (For information/tickets call Scott McKee at 716-225-3816.)

6-7 – Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds,  off Route 353, Little Valley NY. (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) ($5.00 admission) (For information call Jim Miller at 716-938-6928)

8, 15, 22, &  29 - Free Monday Night Fly Tying Instruction at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Classes are for all levels of fly tying, but especially for beginners. No equipment is necessary. All participants get to keep their productions. The classes are open to the public. (For information call 716-366-1772.) 

10, 17 & 24 - The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. This program is in its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com.)

11 - Lake Erie and Niagara River Fisheries Update at the Southtowns Walleye club located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd, Hamburg, NY (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting will begin with an informal discussion and poster exhibits. The meeting will be followed by a series of presentations on Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River. Topics covered will include the status of Cold water Communities by DEC Biologist Jim Markham, Warm Water fish communities by NYSDEC Unit leader Jason Robinson, An Update on Barotrauma in Lake Erie Perch by Jesse Lepak of Sea Grant, and Inspiring Environmental Leadership and Stewardship by Sandy Smith from Nichols School Faculty. The meeting will conclude with questions and an open discussion. This seminar is sponsored by DEC's Lake Erie Fisheries Unit and Region 9 Fisheries offices, in co-operation with NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan and The Southtowns Walleye Association. Anyone interested is welcome to attend this free event and registration is not required. (For information call 716-851-7000.)

11 - Updates on Status of Salmon River's Fishery at the Pulaski High School Auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, NY. (6:30 – 9:00 pm) "Report Card" on Progress to Achieving Objectives Outlined in New Salmon River Fisheries Management Plan. The public will have the opportunity to learn about the state of the Salmon River fishery. At the meeting, DEC will provide an overview of ongoing activities and report on recent progress toward achieving the objectives outlined in the plan. In addition, staff will review planned activities for the coming year. The meeting will provide ample time at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to ask questions and interact with the presenters. For additional information, contact David Lemon, DEC Region 7 Fisheries Manager, at the Cortland office, (607) 753-3095 or email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.

11 - Educator Workshop: Great Lakes Basin Bins at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (4:00 – 6:00 pm) Join an interactive workshop by NYSDEC and NY Sea Grant that provides educators with an intro to the resources and classroom activities in the Great Lakes Educator Ecosystem Exchange (GLEEE) Basin Bins. Participants will receive a $50 stipend and refreshments. For educators of students in grades K- 12. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

13 - Family Fishing Festival at Powder Mills Park, 154 Park Road, Pittsford, NY (9:00 am – 1:00 pm) Come spend the morning with WXXI Kids, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and our partners at Powder Mills Park and learn how to FISH! Everyone is welcome. Join Pick up a rod to try your hand at fishing in one of our Monroe County Parks! Partner organizations will be around for fly fishing demonstrations, hands-on activities, and to answer questions about where to fish, what you need to fish, and how to fish with young family members. Get engaged in citizen science and find out how you can help the NYSDEC learn about fish populations by joining the Angler Diary Program! (For information go to WXXI.org.)

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TIP #1: Updates on Status of Salmon River's Fishery on April 11, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski. At the meeting, DEC will provide an overview of ongoing activities and report on recent progress toward achieving the objectives outlined in the plan. In addition, staff will review planned activities for the coming year. The meeting will provide ample time at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to ask questions and interact with the presenters. For additional information, contact David Lemon, DEC Region 7 Fisheries Manager, at the Cortland office, (607) 753-3095 or email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.

Tip #2: Lake Erie and Niagara River Fisheries Update on April 11at the Southtowns Walleye club located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd, Hamburg, NY (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting will begin with an informal discussion and poster exhibits. The meeting will be followed by a series of presentations on Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River. Topics covered will include the status of Cold water Communities by DEC Biologist Jim Markham, Warm Water fish communities by NYSDEC Unit leader Jason Robinson, An Update on Barotrauma in Lake Erie Perch by Jesse Lepak of Sea Grant, and Inspiring Environmental Leadership and Stewardship by Sandy Smith from Nichols School Faculty. The meeting will conclude with questions and an open discussion. Anyone interested is welcome to attend this free event and registration is not required. (For information call 716-851-7000.)

TIP #3: SAFTY ON ICE: Warmer weather conditions have posed problems for hard water anglers on area waters. Ice quality has diminished and anglers are urged to wait for open water. Previous small holes have become bigger holes and in most cases shore ice has disappeared. Keep safety in mind and wait.

LAKE ERIE: Lots of ice at the east end of the lake but don’t look for any to fish on. The ice will take a while to melt. On the Small Boat Harbor remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water.

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. Most area streams like Canadaway, Cattaraugus Creek, Silver Creek, Walnut Creek and smaller streams are now open too. 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: There are plenty of trout available. However, the river water is super clear, and fish are getting really picky. 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. From boats, 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. April 1 is traditionally the opening of the lower Niagara River’s fishing platform at the NY Power Authority, as well as the reservoir access off Upper Mountain Road and the water intakes area in the upper Niagara River. It looks good for that to happen on Monday. Feel free to check before heading down at 796-0135 Ext. 45. (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 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. 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. Guys are spread out on all the waterways with reports of browns and some steelhead on those smaller tributaries. 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.


CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. 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: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. (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: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. (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: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. (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: Lake is mostly open water and the remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. (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. 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. (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: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. (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. (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 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: 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: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. 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: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. 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. (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: Waters are open and flowing on the high side. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools. 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: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND: The remaining ice is deteriorating quickly. Wait for open water. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: A lot of open water and we are now into the Spring conditions. 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: There were reports of areas along the shoreline breaking up and soft and slushy spots. With the temperature warming conditions will deteriorate quickly. It has been a good season but be safe as we look toward open water fishing. 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 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. 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 and remnant ice makes it difficult for small boat angling. 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. On the Canal there is still ice - not fishable. Once the hard stuff disappears, canal waters will produce nice crappies. 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: A lot of open water is reported. 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. (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 )

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

MARCH 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.)
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)
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.
30 - Fly Fishing Academy in Campbell, NY, offered by the International Federation of Fly Fishers, (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) One-day comprehensive introduction to fly-casting and fly-fishing, for ages 11-adult. Rod/reel provided for use in class if you do not have your own. Class size is limited; pre-register necessary. (For information/registration contact Matt Towner (607-542-0285) mtowner23@gmail.com, or Kirk Klingensmith at 607-346-7189 or email kklingensmi@stny.rr.com.)
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. (Tables are sold out). (Admission is $2.00 with kids under 10 free. Parking is free.) (For information call Mike Burt 607-765-9866)


APRIL 2019
1 - Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (>10/15)
1 - Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

1 – Start Lake, Brown, Rainbow and Atlantic Salmon in the tributaries of Canadice, Canandiagua, Hemlock, Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Otisco, and Skaneateles Lakes (>12/31)
1 - 58th Annual Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby.
Entry is by pre-registration only - registration sites are Sutton’s Sporting Goods, Main St., Naples (During business hours) and the Derby Headquarters -Naples Fire Hall, Vine St (3/31/19 - 5 pm to 9 pm, 4/01/14- 4 am to sunrise) (Entry Fees - $8 Ages 16-64, $5 under 16, $5 ages 65 and over) Enter fish at Derby Headquarters, Naples Fire Hall, Vine Street, Naples, NY(For additional information contact Joyce Doran 585-374-2782)
1 - 16th Annual Riedman Foundation Opening Day Trout Derby at the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park, 115 Park Road, Pittsford, NY (Register at Powder Horn Lodge – 6:30 am/Fishing 7:00 am – Noon) All ages are welcome to join in the fun at the Opening Day Trout Derby to benefit the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park. Again this year, the contestant weighing in the largest brown trout will be recognized with the Bank of America Angler Award, a $500 prize. There will also be "largest catch" prizes awarded in three age categories. Entry is only $5 per angler age eight and older. Fishing will take place in designated areas of Irondequoit Creek within the boundaries of Powder Mills Park. The derby weigh station is at Powder Horn Lodge. Prizes will be awarded at noon. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.fishpowdermill.org. (For information call 585-586-1670.)
1-30 - Celebrate Otisco Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, the only lake you can walk across in every season (via a causeway)! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)
6 - Second Annual Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show at the Clarion Hotel Marina & Conference Center, 30 Lake Shore Dr E, Dunkirk, NY (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) (For information call 716-366-3000 ext. 420 or email mpatton@observertoday.com.)
6 - Niagara Musky Association’s 25th Anniversary Banquet at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, 76 Pearl Street, Buffalo, NY (6:00 pm) (For information/tickets call Scott McKee at 716-225-3816.)
6-7 – Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds, off Route 353, Little Valley NY. (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) ($5.00 admission) (For information call Jim Miller at 716-938-6928)

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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 kellunge 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 )

 

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

 

MARCH 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)

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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)

 

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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)

 

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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)

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

minimize line twisting.  

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