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    fishing Report for Western new york                                                                                                                                               with Ron Schroder

WESTERN/CENTRAL NEW YORK FISHING - WEST TO EAST

4 – 20 – 18

 

*TIP: First, sunny, windless days are a great time to go for species like crappie, bluegill and smallmouth bass (catch and release). The shine from above and the glassy surface allows you to see into the water. With this ability to see, however, also comes the ability of the fish to see you. Get used to making long casts toward potentially wary fish, and make sure you wear nondescript, earth-colored clothing to keep yourself camouflaged. Some anglers will also wear fish masks. When fly-fishing for carp, make sure you have plenty of insect repellent as well, because frequently you’ll crawl to a creek edge in search of these extremely cautious fish.

 

*TIP #2: 2018-19 FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS GUIDE: Anglers are reminded to obtain a copy of the new 2018-19 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide from any of the over 1250 sporting license agents in New York State. The 2018-9 guide highlights some of the top fishing waters in New York State. The guide can also be viewed or downloaded online.

 

*TIP #3: RECORD FISH: In 2017, two anglers qualified for record-breaking catches. Eric Scordo caught a 35 lb. 3 oz. channel catfish from Lake Ontario (Jefferson County) on April 29, 2017, and Jason Bair caught a 36-lb. freshwater drum from Oneida Lake (Oneida County) on June 16, 2017. Further information on DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form can be found on DEC's website. Full program details and an entry form can also be found in DEC's Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Early spring perch, from ice off to end of spawning, can be found in shallow water, like ten foot of water and less. Using light action spinning rods with a split shot or two and a double hook, and emerald shiners, cast off the boat and slowly bring the minnow back to the boat. The boat spooks the perch away but by casting out you can reach the perch schooling up to prepare to spawn in the warmer shallow water. Even if ice is present they will be there on the beach. Casting away from the boat will bring the perch closer as they follow the slow moving minnows.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Lake Erie tributaries are all blown out right now due to excessive rains from Silver Creek to Buffalo. Even the hard bottom streams like Walnut Creek and Silver Creek have been running high and dirty lately, but showed signs of clearing. Cattaraugus Creek remains high and muddy. Steelhead fishing had been pretty good in all creeks and the consistently cold weather will extend steelhead fishing opportunities. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and its tributaries. In the tribs, there is a mix of spawning and drop-back steelhead, with some suckers too. A push of fresh fish is possible as stream levels drop. Target the steelhead in the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float work the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. Steelhead smolts have recently been stocked in the Lake Erie tributaries. If caught, handle these small steelhead with care, so they may return to the creeks as large adults.

For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Upper river waters are in good shape and is mostly clear of ice. Look for rainbow trout off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Ice could impact fishing on the lower river. The NYPA fishing platform will reopen tomorrow the 21st. Once back to normal, the lower river trout bite should resume. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15 and does not reopen until May 5. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. There was a report of some smelt taken along Artpark this week, but most of the reports are showing very limited numbers if any at all. Some of the boat captains have reported seeing large pods of baitfish showing up on their fish finders and they suspect smelt. Water temps were around 37-38 degrees as of Tuesday, so it won’t be long. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps, strong winds and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario, but this should change this coming week. When weather permits, it’s expected that the good brown trout bite will resume along the shoreline from Fort Niagara to Rochester. Steelhead and Coho are also available in the nearshore zone in 8-30 feet of water. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the mudline is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 75 to 125 feet back. Hot baits have been Fire Tiger Rapalas, Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries when conditions have permitted. Fishing pressure has been real light. Some fresh fish have been reported. The small to medium sized freestone streams are good options for the weekend. Eighteenmile is running a little high and stained, but is fishable. Oak Orchard Creek is also high with a slight stain and about 2 feet of visibility. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. The Olcott and Wilson Harbors have the launch docks in place. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch are showing at Olcott and Wilson Harbors and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor, low end of Twelvemile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Some anglers report decent crappie catches in Ashville Bay Marina. Light numbers of crappie are showing in other marina and canal locations, along with decent numbers of perch. Some canals are skimming over with ice on colder nights. Look for improved crappie action in the canals when warmer temperatures arrive. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, 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. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. Ashville Bay has had active fishing and angler use at times, but now some of the areas available along the shoreline have been closed off due to excessive angling pressure/litter and other misdeeds. 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: Local trout streams are running at high levels and they are muddy. The smaller streams are the best bet for fishable conditions until next week. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. With the high-water events in WNY, the fish have had a chance to move. Try walking away from stocking points for your best chance at big fish. Bigger flies have been moving and catching fish in high water. Olive, brown and white are best bets when using streamers. Some dark BWO's and Hendrickson hatches have been documented as well. 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. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. Pike may be closed for fishing, but if you are into fish watching get to the Inlet as the northern swim to their spawning grounds. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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.)

A Public Information Session on Habitat Management Plans for Conesus Inlet and Honeoye Creek Wildlife Management Areas in Towns of Conesus and Richmond is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the conference room at the DEC Region 8 Headquarters, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon. An open house is scheduled for 6:30 - 7 p.m., followed by a formal presentation. For more information about this event call (585) 226-5383.

*HEMLOCK LAKE: No reports on current 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: No reports on current fishing. Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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 reports on current 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: Fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer.  (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.  Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – perch in the Branchport arm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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: A few 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: The lake trout and brown trout bites have been good and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. 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 very cold.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  One angler, out of Long Point, reported an unusual catch – an estimated 40 – 50 pound, 41/2 – 5 foot long sturgeon. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open for the season, and one dock is in. Tributary trout fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Grout Brook at the southern end of the lake was one mentioned producing rainbows on egg sacs. Anglers getting out on the lake are catching yellow perch on small minnows. (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: Fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, trout are in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better, when the weather is colder, as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. Finger Lakes tributary fishing began on April 1st and there are special regulations that apply so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Some other waters where trout anglers are plying their skills are Cayuta Creek in Chemung and Schuyler counties; the Canisteo River in Steuben County; and Eldridge Lake and Park Station in Chemung County. All were scheduled to receive fish, while upcoming stockings were set for the Tioga County stretch of Cayuta Creek and Owego Creek (including its East Branch) in Tioga County. 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: Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. A reminder walleye season is closed won’t reopen until May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A reminder, walleye and northern pike seasons are closed won’t reopen until May 5.

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

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: Winds and rain have limited action the last few weeks but that will hopefully change this next week. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs. The Lock 23 area is reported as hot and Toad Harbor is improving using soft plastics. The walleye run has started at the Oneida Fish Hatchery, Constantia. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm for viewing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, a few boaters have been working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. The Pultneyville area is reported as having better prospects. Trolling with smaller stickbaits and spoons run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water and work the mudlines. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. The water levels are excellent at this time. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier if wind conditions cooperate. If there is no ice/wind you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Still waiting on the bullhead bite, which is late because of cold water and frigid temperatures. Bullhead will be hitting the month of May. You can fish on Bay Bridge, the southern end of Sodus Bay. Perch fishing was productive, however not many boats have been on the bays. (Too windy)

There was a good catch of crappies at the south end of Port Bay early last week. Launch at the south ramp at fish along the west shoreline until you find the schools. Crappies are hitting bright small jigs. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters Park or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. The canal is the only body of water that is not affected by the wind. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. The whole Canal is on schedule to be filled May 18th. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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 spawning. Jigs with spikes or worms are producing some success. Waters are high and stained. The beginning of the week should see conditions a little better. Check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. (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: The river flow is up. The driftboats have been taking advantage of the higher flows and floating most of the river. A few bank anglers are fishing the lower end of the river, but the majority of them are fishing the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. For those anglers who are not comfortable with the current water level, some of the smaller local tributaries are another option. Earlier in the week anglers who were fly fishing had the most success dead drifting with pink San Juan worms and squirmy worms or indicator fishing with egg patterns. Anglers who were float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs or pink worms. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone reopened April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

The draft Lower Salmon River Restoration and Recreation Enhancement Plan is currently available on DEC's website. DEC will accept comments until May 10, 2018 and staff will be available to answer questions and explain the plan during an open house on Thursday, April 26, 2018. The public is welcome to stop by any time from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at DEC's Salmon River Fish Hatchery, 2133 County Route 22, Altmar, NY 13302.

DEC also encourages the public to comment on the draft Salmon River Fisheries Management Plan, available on DEC's website.

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the higher water level and variable winds there was not much to report on the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: Just a reminder that walleye, northern pike, tiger musky and chain pickerel seasons are closed. They reopen on May 5th. There is no information to report this week as the rivers are high again and will likely not be any reports till walleye season opens. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (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. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout have been stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. 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 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek (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), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club Pond (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Willing).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

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

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

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

Yates County: Keuka Lake Outlet (Milo, Torry).

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - North Brook and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Durkee Park Pond, Merril Creek, East Br. Tioughnioga River, West Br. Tioughnioga River, and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of April 8th the following waters had been stocked: Butternut Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace Brook, Geddes Brook, Green Lake, Limestone Creek, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, Pools Brook, Skaneateles Creek, and Spafford Brook.

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and West Br. of Fish Creek.

Tioga County - Catatonk Creek, Cayuta Creek, West Branch Owego Creek, Owego Creek and the East Branch of Owego Creek.

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek and Fall Creek.

 

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

APRIL 2018

21 - First 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.)

21 - Southtowns Walleye Club Fundraiser at the Club, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, NY. (4:00 – 6:00 pm) This event is for the benefit the New York State Conservation Council. (For information and tickets contact Dan at 716-655-0975.)

21 - Bison City Rod & Gun Flea Market at the Club, 511 Ohio St, Buffalo, NY (8:00 am – 1:30 pm) Admission free, Tables are free on a first come basis, Setup will begin at 7 AM. Bring your old, used or new sporting equipment to sell. Due to NY Safe Act, no guns may be displayed or sold. Loading equipment and components may be sold (powder, shot, primers, brass and bullets), live ammo may be sold: shotgun, pistol and rifle. (For information call: Fred Langdon or Willie Sieber at 716- 260-3240)

21 - Boating Safety Course by U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 3-1 at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) This is a required class for anyone born after May 1, 1996 if you want to operate a boat or jet ski. (For information/register call Martin Laufer at 390-7727 or mdl29@msn.com)

24 - A public information session to provide information on the completed habitat management plans for Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area (WMA), in the Town of Conesus, Livingston County, and Honeoye Creek WMA, in the Town of Richmond, Ontario County at the DEC Region 8 Headquarters, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY. (6:30 – 8:00 pm) The habitat management plan for Conesus Inlet WMA can be found on DEC's website. The habitat management plan for Honeoye Creek WMA can be found on DEC's website. (For more information about this event please call 585-226-5383.)

28 - NY BASS Nation - Take a Soldier Fishing at Oneida Shores Park 9400 Bartell Road • Brewerton, NY (8:30 am – 1:00 pm) The event provides a soldier assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Fort Drum an opportunity to enjoy a day of free fishing on Oneida Lake. Over 100 boat captains volunteer to take out 170 soldiers on the water annually. The soldiers will be paired two to a boat with the volunteer captains for a half day of fishing. When they will return to Oneida Shores for the official weigh-in. After the weigh-in, all participants will be treated to a free, BBQ-style luncheon, followed by awards and prizes for the biggest fish caught in several categories: bowfin, carp, catfish, drum and panfish (perch, bluegill and rock bass). (For information call 315-408-7622)

28 - Rod & Gun Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Lyons Road (Route 14N), Geneva, NY (9:30 am) Shotguns, rifles, handguns, military, decoys, knives, mounts, fishing, ammo and swords. (For more information call 315-789-9349 or 585-734-6082 or go to www.hessney.com)

28 - Outdoor Skills Workshop For Women at the Dewitt Fish and Game Club, Woodchuck Hill Road, Dewitt, NY  Introductory classes include archery, rifle, shotgun, fishing, camping, map and compass and many more. This is a free event but pre-registration is required as space is limited and it fills quickly. Offered by Women in Nature (WIN), and the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. (For more information or to register, go to http://www.federationofsportsmen.com/wp/)

28 - Cabela’s Ladies’ Day Out at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. (11:00 am – 3:00 pm) - ** The Perfect Bow - Stop by the Archery Range to find a new bow with a perfect fit. Plus, test your archery skills in the range for a chance to win a cool prize! ** Handgun Basics - Maybe you're on the fence about owning a handgun, or perhaps you're weighing your options and looking for the perfect fit. We'll break down the basics and help you find your perfect match. ** Work Sharp Demo - Having a sharp knife saves you time. We'll show you how to properly sharpen a knife, whether it's a serrated or a regular blade, a hunting knife or one of your kitchen knives. Pick up on common sharpening practices along with other maintenance tips. Plus, thanks to our friends at Work Sharp, join us for a chance to win a new Work Sharp sharpener. ** Casting Perfection - Our professional Outfitters will show you everything you need to know from equipment to the proper techniques to get you casting in no time. (For information call 716-608-4770)

29-30 - Greater Wellsville Trout Derby, Genesee River. (For information/register go online to www.Trout-Derby.com.)

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

 

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4 – 13 – 18

 

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: RENEW YOUR FISHING LICENSE: Now that your annual fishing license is good for 365 days from the date of purchase, it is very easy to forget when it expires. Be sure to check the expiration date before heading out. Anglers desiring to receive an e-mail reminder to renew their fishing license each year should be sure to add their e-mail address to their DECALS profile. This can be done online or by calling the DEC Call Center at 1-866-933-2257 (M-F 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM).

 

TIP #3: 2018-19 FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS GUIDE: Anglers are reminded to obtain a copy of the new 2018-19 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide from any of the over 1250 sporting license agents in New York State. The 2018-9 guide highlights some of the top fishing waters in New York State. The guide can also be viewed or downloaded online.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Early spring perch, from ice off to end of spawning, can be found in shallow water, like ten foot of water and less. Using light action spinning rods with a split shot or two and a double hook, and emerald shiners, cast off the boat and slowly bring the minnow back to the boat. The boat spooks the perch away but by casting out you can reach the perch schooling up to prepare to spawn in the warmer shallow water. Even if ice is present they will be there on the beach. Casting away from the boat will bring the perch closer as they follow the slow moving minnows.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Most creeks are back to (or almost) a fishable level following a big bump at mid-week. Cattaraugus Creek is the exception with higher and muddy conditions. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good in all creeks and this consistently cold weather will extend steelhead fishing opportunities through April. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and its tributaries. In the tribs, there is a mix of spawning and drop-back steelhead, with some suckers too. A push of fresh fish is possible as stream levels drop. Target the steelhead in the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float work the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. Steelhead smolts have recently been stocked in the Lake Erie tributaries. If caught, handle these small steelhead with care, so they may return to the creeks as large adults.

For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Removal of the ice boom at the head of the river is underway, allowing the remaining Lake Erie ice to make its way down the river. Floating ice will limit fishing opportunities in at least the upper river for the time being. Once conditions resume normal look for rainbow trout off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Ice could impact fishing on the lower river. The NYPA fishing platform remains closed due to high water and will remain closed until further notice. Call 716-796-0135 ext. 45 for updates on the fishing platform. Once back to normal, the lower river trout bite should resume. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15 and does not reopen until May 5. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. There is no sign of smelt yet, not surprising considering water temperatures in the mid-30s. Look for smelt to move close to shore when river temps hit 39-40 degrees. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario. When conditions permit, brown trout, steelhead and Coho are available in the nearshore zone in 8-30 feet of water. Some groups put up double digit trout catches. With the northerly winds, the shoreline has a distinct mudline. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the line is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 100 to 125 feet back. Hot baits have been Fire Tiger Rapalas, Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries when conditions have permitted. Fishing pressure has been real light. Some fresh fish have been reported. The small to medium sized freestone streams are good options for the weekend. Eighteenmile is running a little high and stained, but is fishable. Oak Orchard Creek remains at a moderate level with a slight stain and about 2 feet of visibility.. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. The Olcott and Wilson Harbors have the launch docks in place. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch are showing at Olcott Harbor and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor, low end of Twelvemile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: There is still some floating ice around the lake's northern basin, going where the wind will take it. The south basin is ice free. Anglers report decent crappie catches in Ashville Bay Marina. Light numbers of crappie are showing in other marina and canal locations, along with decent numbers of perch. Some canals are skimming over with ice on colder nights. Look for improved crappie action in the canals when warmer temperatures arrive. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, 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. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods.

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: Local trout streams are running at high levels and they are muddy. The smallest streams are the best bet for fishable conditions. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. Pike may be closed for fishing, but if you are into fish watching get to the Inlet as the northern swim to their spawning grounds. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline 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: Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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 remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer.  (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.  Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – perch in the Branchport arm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. 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 very cold.  Anglers had 37 to 38 degree water today in most areas.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  One angler, out of Long Point, reported an unusual catch – an estimated 40 – 50 pound, 41/2 – 5 foot long sturgeon. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open for the season, and one dock is in. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Grout Brook at the southern end of the lake was one mentioned producing rainbows on egg sacs. Anglers getting out on the lake are catching yellow perch on small minnows. (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: Fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, trout are in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. Finger Lakes tributary fishing began on April 1st and there are special regulations that apply so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Some other waters where trout anglers are plying their skills are Cayuta Creek in Chemung and Schuyler counties; the Canisteo River in Steuben County; and Eldridge Lake and Park Station in Chemung County. All were scheduled to receive fish, while upcoming stockings were set for the Tioga County stretch of Cayuta Creek and Owego Creek (including its East Branch) in Tioga County. 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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. A reminder walleye season is closed won’t reopen until May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A reminder, walleye and northern pike seasons are closed won’t reopen until May 5.

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

ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: We are back to boat or shoreline fishing, the ice is reported as gone. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution especially next week when the temps are supposed to rise. The walleye run has started at the Oneida Fish Hatchery, Constantia. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm for viewing. (Lake Profile -
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, a few boaters have been working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. The Pultneyville area is reported as having better prospects. Trolling with smaller stickbaits and spoons run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water and work the mudlines. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. The water levels are excellent at this time. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: The crappies are hitting at Bay Bridge at the south end of Sodus Bay. You can fish the open water behind Bay Bridge Sport Shop. It’s still early for the bullhead bite, however when they start hitting, the best place to fish is off the bridge. If the winds are calm you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay, but you have to search for them. This is the case on Little Sodus and Fair Haven also. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. If you launch at the south end, you can fish for crappies half-way up the narrows. Crappies are suspended and will hit small bright jigs tipped with spikes. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters Park or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. The whole Canal is is on schedule to be filled May 18th. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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. (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: The river flow is up. The driftboats have been taking advantage of the higher flows and floating most of the river. A few bank anglers are fishing the lower end of the river, but the majority of them are fishing the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. For those anglers who are not comfortable with the current water level, some of the smaller local tributaries are another option. Earlier in the week anglers who were fly fishing had the most success dead drifting with pink San Juan worms and squirmy worms or indicator fishing with egg patterns. Anglers who were float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs or pink worms. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone reopened April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: With the higher water level and verible winds there was not much to report on the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: Just a reminder that walleye, northern pike, tiger musky and chain pickerel seasons are closed. They reopen on May 5th. There is no information to report this week as the rivers are high again and will likely not be any reports till walleye season opens. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (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. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout have been stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. 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 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek (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), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club Pond (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Willing).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

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

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

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

Yates County: Keuka Lake Outlet (Milo, Torry).

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - North Brook and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Durkee Park Pond, Merril Creek, East Br. Tioughnioga River, West Br. Tioughnioga River, and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of April 8th the following waters had been stocked: Butternut Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace Brook, Geddes Brook, Green Lake, Limestone Creek, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, Pools Brook, Skaneateles Creek, and Spafford Brook.

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and West Br. of Fish Creek.

Tioga County - Catatonk Creek, Cayuta Creek, West Branch Owego Creek, Owego Creek and the East Branch of Owego Creek.

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek and Fall Creek.

 

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

APRIL 2018

14-15 - Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) (For information call Jim Miller 716-938-6928.)

21 - First 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.)

21 - Southtowns Walleye Club Fundraiser at the Club, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, NY. (4:00 – 6:00 pm) This event is for the benefit the New York State Conservation Council. (For information and tickets contact Dan at 716-655-0975.)

21 - Bison City Rod & Gun Flea Market at the Club, 511 Ohio St, Buffalo, NY (8:00 am – 1:30 pm) Admission free, Tables are free on a first come basis, Setup will begin at 7 AM. Bring your old, used or new sporting equipment to sell. Due to NY Safe Act, no guns may be displayed or sold. Loading equipment and components may be sold (powder, shot, primers, brass and bullets), live ammo may be sold: shotgun, pistol and rifle. (For information call: Fred Langdon or Willie Sieber at 716- 260-3240)

21 - Boating Safety Course by U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 3-1 at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) This is a required class for anyone born after May 1, 1996 if you want to operate a boat or jet ski. (For information/register call Martin Laufer at 390-7727 or mdl29@msn.com)

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4 – 6 – 18

 

*TIP: EARLY SEASON STREAM TROUT FISHING: Even with the expected fishable stream flows, trout will still be relatively lethargic until stream temperatures warm. Anglers will have best success using bait and lures such as spinners that can be fished slow and deep. Fishing will improve markedly once water temperatures move into the sixties later in the spring. The warming also encourages aquatic insect activity, which improves opportunities for those preferring to use fly fishing gear. Also during this early season, where permitted, worms and salted minnows are often good bait choices for stocked and wild trout. Though the water is cold this time of year, spinners, small spoons and streamers can also work well. Sometimes stocked trout seem to prefer these "flashy" baits over natural baits.

 

*TIP #2: RENEW YOUR FISHING LICENSE: Now that your annual fishing license is good for 365 days from the date of purchase, it is very easy to forget when it expires. Be sure to check the expiration date before heading out. Anglers desiring to receive an e-mail reminder to renew their fishing license each year should be sure to add their e-mail address to their DECALS profile. This can be done online or by calling the DEC Call Center at 1-866-933-2257 (M-F 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM).

 

*TIP #: 2018 FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS GUIDE: Anglers are reminded to obtain a copy of the new 2018 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide from any of the over 1250 sporting license agents in New York State. The 2018 guide highlights some of the top fishing waters in New York State. The guide can also be viewed or downloaded online.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Anglers at Dunkirk Harbor pier continue to report good steelhead catches. Casting spoons and spinners is a good bet. A few trout generally show in Barcelona as well. For the trout try jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows. In other areas it’s back to boat or shoreline fishing. The inner Buffalo Harbor is now ice free. Yellow perch are usually cooperative in the harbor right after ice out.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Most creeks are back to (or almost) a fishable level following a big bump at mid-week. Cattaraugus Creek is the exception with higher and muddy conditions. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good in all creeks and this consistently cold weather will extend steelhead fishing opportunities through April. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and its tributaries. In the tribs, there is a mix of spawning and drop-back steelhead, with some suckers too. A push of fresh fish is possible as stream levels drop. Target the steelhead in the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float work the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Wednesday's high winds pushed tons of ice through, over and around the ice boom at the head of the Niagara River. The upper and lower Niagara River is currently packed full of ice and fishing is on hold until that ice clears. Once conditions resume normal look for rainbow trout off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Wednesday's high winds pushed tons of ice through, over and around the ice boom at the head of the Niagara River. The upper and lower Niagara River is currently packed full of ice and fishing is on hold until that ice clears. The NYPA fishing platform was closed on 4/4 due to high water and remains closed until further notice. Call 716-796-0135 ext. 45 for updates on the fishing platform. Once back to normal, the lower river trout bite should resume. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15 and does not reopen until May 5.. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario lately. When conditions permit, brown trout, steelhead and Coho are available in the nearshore zone in 8-40 feet of water. Some groups put up double digit trout catches. With the northerly winds, the shoreline has a distinct mudline. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the line is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 100 to 125 feet back. Hot baits have been Fire Tiger Rapalas, Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries when conditions have permitted. Some fresh fish have been reported. The small to medium sized freestone streams are good options for the weekend. Eighteenmile is running a little high and stained, but is fishable. Oak Orchard Creek remains high and stained with poor visibility. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. The Olcott and Wilson Harbors have the launch docks in place. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch are showing at Olcott Harbor and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor, low end of Twelvemile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: There is still some floating ice around the lake's northern basin, going where the wind will take it. The south basin is ice free. Anglers report decent crappie catches in Ashville Bay Marina. Light numbers of crappie are showing in other marina and canal locations, along with decent numbers of perch. Some canals are skimming over with ice on colder nights. Look for improved crappie action in the canals when warmer temperatures arrive. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, 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. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods.

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: Local trout streams are running at high levels and they are muddy. The smallest streams are the best bet for fishable conditions. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. Pike may be closed for fishing, but if you are into fish watching get to the Inlet as the northern swim to their spawning grounds. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline 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: Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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 remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer.  (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.  Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – perch in the Branchport arm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. 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 very cold.  Anglers had 37 to 38 degree water today in most areas.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  One angler, out of Long Point, reported an unusual catch – an estimated 40 – 50 pound, 41/2 – 5 foot long sturgeon. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open for the season, and one dock is in. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so please review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Grout Brook at the southern end of the lake was one mentioned producing rainbows on egg sacs. Anglers getting out on the lake are catching yellow perch on small minnows. (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, trout are in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. Finger Lakes tributary fishing began on April 1st and there are special regulations that apply so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Some other waters where trout anglers are plying their skills are Cayuta Creek in Chemung and Schuyler counties; the Canisteo River in Steuben County; and Eldridge Lake and Park Station in Chemung County. All were scheduled to receive fish, while upcoming stockings were set for the Tioga County stretch of Cayuta Creek and Owego Creek (including its East Branch) in Tioga County. 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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. A reminder walleye season is closed won’t reopen until May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A reminder, walleye and northern pike seasons are closed won’t reopen until May 5.

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

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: We are back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution especially next week when the temps are supposed to rise. Just a reminder that walleye season is closed and will reopen on May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has started for the 2018 season. Weather permitting, a few boaters have been working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. The Pultneyville area is reported as having better prospects. Trolling with smaller stickbaits and spoons run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are open, and you can launch at the ramps on Sodus and Port Bay. The DEC docks are not in so be careful. The crappies are hitting at Bay Bridge at the south end of Sodus Bay. You can fish the open water behind Bay Bridge Sport Shop. It’s still early for the bullhead bite, however when they start hitting, the best place to fish is off the bridge. If the winds are calm you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay, but you have to search for them. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. If you launch at the south end, you can fish for crappies half-way up the narrows. Crappies are suspended and will hit small bright jigs tipped with spikes. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters Park or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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. Check out your bullhead spots. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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: The river flow is up. The driftboats have been taking advantage of the higher flows and floating most of the river. A few bank anglers are fishing the lower end of the river, but the majority of them are fishing the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. For those anglers who are not comfortable with the current water level, some of the smaller local tributaries are another option. Earlier in the week anglers who were fly fishing had the most success dead drifting with pink San Juan worms and squirmy worms or indicator fishing with egg patterns. Anglers who were float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs or pink worms. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone reopened April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the higher water level, very strong winds and dropping temperatures there was not much to report on the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: Just a reminder that walleye, northern pike, tiger musky and chain pickerel seasons are closed. They reopen on May 5th. There is no information to report this week as the rivers are high again and will likely not be any reports till walleye season opens. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (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 in preparation for the traditional April 1st trout opener. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout will be stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. 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 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked by March 30, *italicized listings are scheduled for stocking between 4/2 and 4/6:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek (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), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar).

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

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

Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), E. Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park). * Cayuga Creek (Lancaster).

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

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

Chemung County - Wyncoop Creek ( March 21), Cayuta Creek (March 21), Newton Creek (March 19), Sing Sing Creek (March 19), and Post Creek (March 19).

Genesee County: Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia). * Oatka Creek (Le Roy).

Monroe County: * Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek (March 20).

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

Broome County - Chenango Lake (March 30), Dudley Creek (March 28), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (March 28), and Nanticoke Creek (March 28).

Cayuga County - North Brook (March 30).

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of March 25th the following waters had been stocked: Ninemile Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace brook, and Geddes Brook.

Tioga County - West Branch Owego Creek (March 28), Owego Creek (March 28) and the East Branch of Owego Creek (March 27).

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek (March 27) and Fall Creek (March 27).

 

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

APRIL 2018

6-8 - Fifth Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club. (4/6 5:00 pm – 14/8 1:00 pm) The contest is simple. Best two bullheads based on total weight will win the top prizes. Tiebreaker is total length for those two fish. You may only fish in Niagara County waters. The weigh-in will take place at the club, located at 2934 Wilson Cambria Road, Wilson, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 8 with awards to follow. Register at CMC Auto Repair in Wilson or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott. You can also register through PayPal. (For more information contact Eric at 716-628-6078.)

7 - Fly Fishing Academy offered in Campbell, NY by the Twin Tiers -- Five Rivers Chapter of 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. Topics will include: Fly Fishing Introduction –what is a fly; Fish Food & Fishing Flies; Leaders; Fly Fishing Knots; Nymphing, Dry Flies; Modern Streamer Fishing; Reading the Water; Local Trout Streams; Equipment; Beyond Trout – Panfish, Bass & Carp. Class size is limited. (for information/pre-register contact Matt Towner at 607-542-0285 Mtowner23@gmail.com, or Kirk Klingensmith at 607-346-7189    kklingensmi@stny.rr.com.)

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3 – 30 – 18

 

TIP: Season Note: 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)

 

TIP 2: EARLY SEASON STREAM TROUT FISHING: Even with the expected fishable stream flows, trout will still be relatively lethargic until stream temperatures warm. Anglers will have best success using bait and lures such as spinners that can be fished slow and deep. Fishing will improve markedly once water temperatures move into the sixties later in the spring. The warming also encourages aquatic insect activity, which improves opportunities for those preferring to use fly fishing gear. Also during this early season, where permitted, worms and salted minnows are often good bait choices for stocked and wild trout. Though the water is cold this time of year, spinners, small spoons and streamers can also work well. Sometimes stocked trout seem to prefer these "flashy" baits over natural baits.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors are opening back up and are good options for steelhead. Just a week ago, anglers were catching lots of steelhead through the ice at Dunkirk Harbor. When fishing the open water, casting spoons and spinners is a good bet. Buffalo Harbor is still ice covered, but not safe for ice fishing. Perch fishing in the harbor generally picks up after ice out. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows. In other areas it’s back to boat or shoreline fishing.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: There is a region-wide blowout in progress on the Lake Erie tributaries. With minimal precipitation forecasted for the weekend, some of the smaller tributaries may be fishable by Sunday. Prior to this high water event, anglers were catching decent numbers of steelhead. There is a mix of spawning and drop-back steelhead, with some suckers too. A push of fresh fish is possible as stream levels drop. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and their tributaries. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float worked the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some rainbow trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The lower river trout bite was excellent at the start of the month. Action has slowed lately, coinciding with very clear water conditions. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but are finicky. Super clear water combined with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. The New York Power Authority fishing platform is scheduled to open on April 1st. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario lately. When conditions permit, brown trout, steelhead and Coho are available in the nearshore zone in 8-40 feet of water. Some groups put up double digit trout catches. With the northerly winds, the shoreline has a distinct mudline. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the line is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 100 to 125 feet back. Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

Yellow perch are showing at Olcott Harbor and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor and the low end of Twelvemile Creek.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries this past week, but fishing is now on hold due to high and muddy conditions. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. Some big perch are being caught off the piers and in the harbors. Bullhead have started to hit in Wilson, too. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information. Remember that pike season closed on March 15 if you are fishing in the harbors of Wilson or Olcott.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Ice is melting fast on the lake and boaters are starting to get out. The canals have thawed as well. Crappie are often a top target after ice out. Traditional spring crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, the flats off Mayville and the canals. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. 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: Local trout streams are running at high levels and they are muddy. The smallest streams are the best bet for fishable conditions on April 1st. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. Pike may be closed for fishing, but if you are into fish watching get to the Inlet as the northern swim to their spawning grounds. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline 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: Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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 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 remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends 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.  Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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 a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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 open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. 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 very cold.  Anglers had 37 to 38 degree water today in most areas.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm.  (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 reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, trout are in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: We are back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution especially next week when the temps are supposed to rise. Just a reminder that walleye season closed on March 15 and will reopen on May 5. (Lake Profile -
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing may be starting for the 2018 season. A few boaters have started working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are open, and you can launch at the ramps on Sodus and Port Bay. The DEC docks are not in so be careful. The crappies are hitting at Bay Bridge at the south end of Sodus Bay. You can fish the open water behind Bay Bridge Sport Shop. It’s still early for the bullhead bite, however when they start hitting, the best place to fish is off the bridge. If the winds are calm you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay, but you have to search for them. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. If you launch at the south end, you can fish for crappies half-way up the narrows. Crappies are suspended and will hit small bright jigs tipped with spikes. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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. Check out your bullhead spots. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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 anglers have been getting into a mix of both bright and dark fish as well as a few browns. Anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing have had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs, marabou jigs, pink worms and beads. For those anglers who are fly fishing, egg patterns such as glo-bugs or sucker spawn under a strike indicator has been productive as well as dead drifting with pink worm flies, black stoneflies and wiggle stones. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone will reopen on April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: There is little activity to report from the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: With bass and walleye seasons closed not much is going on. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (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 in preparation for the traditional April 1st trout opener. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout will be stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. 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 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked by March 30, *italicized listings are scheduled for stocking between 4/2 and 4/6:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek (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), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar).

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

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

Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), E. Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park). * Cayuga Creek (Lancaster).

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

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

Chemung County - Wyncoop Creek ( March 21), Cayuta Creek (March 21), Newton Creek (March 19), Sing Sing Creek (March 19), and Post Creek (March 19).

Genesee County: Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia). * Oatka Creek (Le Roy).

Monroe County: * Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek (March 20).

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

Broome County - Chenango Lake (March 30), Dudley Creek (March 28), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (March 28), and Nanticoke Creek (March 28).

Cayuga County - North Brook (March 30).

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of March 25th the following waters had been stocked: Ninemile Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace brook, and Geddes Brook.

Tioga County - West Branch Owego Creek (March 28), Owego Creek (March 28) and the East Branch of Owego Creek (March 27).

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek (March 27) and Fall Creek (March 27).

 

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

MARCH 2018

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 - Otisco Lake Rod & Gun Club Traders Day at the club, Route 174, Marietta, NY (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) Cost: $2.00. (For information call Don Flanagan, 315-469-2859.)

APRIL 2018

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 - 57th 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 (3/31/14- 5 pm to 10 pm, 4/01/14- 4 am to sunrise) (Entry Fees - $8 Ages 16-64, $5 under 16, $5 ages 65 and over)(For additional information contact Joyce Doran 585-374-2782)

2 - 15th 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.)

6-8 - Fifth Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club. (4/6 5:00 pm – 14/8 1:00 pm) The contest is simple. Best two bullheads based on total weight will win the top prizes. Tiebreaker is total length for those two fish. You may only fish in Niagara County waters. The weigh-in will take place at the club, located at 2934 Wilson Cambria Road, Wilson, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 8 with awards to follow. Register at CMC Auto Repair in Wilson or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott. You can also register through PayPal. (For more information contact Eric at 716-628-6078.)

7 - Fly Fishing Academy offered in Campbell, NY by the Twin Tiers -- Five Rivers Chapter of 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. Topics will include: Fly Fishing Introduction –what is a fly; Fish Food & Fishing Flies; Leaders; Fly Fishing Knots; Nymphing, Dry Flies; Modern Streamer Fishing; Reading the Water; Local Trout Streams; Equipment; Beyond Trout – Panfish, Bass & Carp. Class size is limited. (for information/pre-register contact Matt Towner at 607-542-0285 Mtowner23@gmail.com, or Kirk Klingensmith at 607-346-7189 kklingensmi@stny.rr.com.)

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*TIP 1: Did You Know: The State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC's) has an Angler Achievement Awards Program. The program recognizes anglers that catch freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria. In addition to the official recognition of their catch, anglers receive a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. In 2017, two anglers qualified for record-breaking catches. Eric Scordo caught a 35 lb. 3 oz. channel catfish from Lake Ontario (Jefferson County) on April 29, 2017, and Jason Bair caught a 36-lb. freshwater drum from Oneida Lake (Oneida County) on June 16, 2017. Further information on DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form can be found on DEC's website. Full program details and an entry form can also be found in DEC's Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program contact (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@dec.ny.gov

 

*TIP 2: Comment Wanted on Draft Salmon River Fisheries Management Plan. The plan will

guide the DEC's continuing efforts to manage the Salmon River and its tributaries as a year-round sport fishery that provides anglers with the opportunity to catch an array of trophy-sized salmonids. DEC proposes a variety of strategies to achieve this goal, including improvements to its Salmon River Fish Hatchery, improved and increased angler access, efforts to promote ethical angling, protection and enhancement of critical fish habitats, and utilizing science and adaptive management to measure and achieve success. The public is encouraged to comment on the plan, which covers the period from 2018 to 2033 and focuses on lake-run trout and salmon (salmonids) in the 17-mile Salmon River corridor and the river's major tributaries below the Lighthouse Hill Reservoir in the town of Orwell. The Salmon River Fisheries Management Plan is available on DEC's website. DEC will accept public comments on the draft plan until April 23, 2018. To comment on the plan, send an email with the subject line "Salmon River Plan" to fwfish7@dec.ny.gov or send written comments via U.S. Mail to: David Lemon, Regional Fisheries Manager, NYSDEC Region 7, 1285 Fisher Road, Cortland, New York 13045

 

 

NO HARD WATER ANGLING IS RECOMMENED THIS WEEK – Previous warm temperatures started the ice to deteriorate opening holes and cracks on regional waters. Forecasted higher temps for next week will further melt the ice that remains.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  No safe ice reported on the lake except for the east side of the Dunkirk Harbor and the small Boat Harbor. At Dunkirk, steelhead and brown trout were still lurking below the ice, for those equipped to reach them. The catch rate has slowed down a bit, with most anglers finding active fish in the morning, but the fish seem to come in waves, and will hit with abandon in the afternoon at times. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows. The Small Boat Harbor had hard ice but no details on how thick or if fish are being caught. Barcelona Harbor anglers were catching some trout as well, but no details on conditions. Egg sacs, minnows, jigs and spoons have all been productive. In other areas it’s back to boat or shoreline fishing.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Despite the recent cold temperatures, all Lake Erie tributaries remain wide open. The small to medium sized stream have moderate to lower flows, with clearing conditions. Cattaraugus Creek is slightly high, but certainly fishable. Most of the stream activity appears to happen later in the day as the water temperature warms up. As the water continues to clear, remember to use caution when approaching likely hot spots, to keep from alerting the fish to your presence. Anglers have been reporting suckers are already in the streams, and some of the ice anglers reported that the female trout (hens) are already dropping their eggs.

Target the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. Look for improved fishing with the next thaw. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float worked the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. A few large suckers (16 to 20-inch fish) are also being caught right on the bottom (on jigs). Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some rainbow trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The lower river trout bite was excellent at the start of the month. Action has slowed lately, coinciding with very clear water conditions. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but are finicky. Super clear water combined with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario lately. When conditions permit, brown trout, steelhead and Coho are available in the nearshore zone in 8-40 feet of water. With the northerly winds, the shoreline has a distinct mudline. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the line is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 100 to 125 feet back. Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Lake Ontario tributaries are generally low and clear. There are trout available, but you may have to use a stealthy approach with the clear conditions. Eighteenmile Creek is in good shape with moderate flow and about two feet of visibility. The few anglers that have been fishing there lately, report decent catches of steelhead. Oak Orchard Creek currently has moderate flow and about 3 feet of visibility. The small to medium sized streams have moderate to slightly lower flow and range from slightly stained to clear. Fourmile, Twelvemile, East Branch Twelvemile, Keg, Johnson, Marsh and Sandy Creeks are all worth a shot. Anglers have been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. Some big perch are being caught off the piers and in the harbors. Bullhead have started to hit in Wilson, too. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information. Remember that pike season closed on March 15 if you are fishing in the harbors of Wilson or Olcott.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Crappie action could be just around the corner. Look for bullhead near creek mouths. Remember walleye season closed March 15. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: There is still some ice on the lake and anglers have been out. This weekend willprobably be the last, however, with the warm up forecasted for next week. Anglers reported 6 – 8 inches of ice. One angler fishing over 32 feet of water got in to small crappie and perch using white plastics. Only about 20% in the keeper range. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline 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: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill 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 remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends 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 safe ice reported on the lakes. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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 a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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 open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OWASCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm.  (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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.

A report from the Naples Creek electro- fishing (shocking): DEC Region 8 Fisheries staff found a mix of female rainbow trout that had started to spawn and some that had not spawned yet. This is a good sign for anglers since it is likely that there will still be adult rainbow trout in Naples Creek on April 1st.

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*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and panfish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution especially next week when the temps are supposed to rise. Just a reminder that walleye season closed on March 15 and will reopen on May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing may be starting for the 2018 season. A few boaters have started working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are open, and you can launch at the ramps on Sodus and Port Bay. The DEC docks are not in so be careful. The crappies are hitting at Bay Bridge at the south end of Sodus Bay. You can fish the open water behind Bay Bridge Sport Shop. It’s still early for the bullhead bite, however when they start hitting, the best place to fish is off the bridge. If the winds are calm you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. If you launch at the south end, you can fish for crappies half-way up the narrows. Crappies are suspended and will hit small bright jigs tipped with spikes. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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:  The ice is out on the ponds and bays so it’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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 anglers have been getting into fish from top to bottom. Anglers who are fly fishing have done well dead drifting with black stoneflies, rusher nymphs and wiggle stones. Glo-bugs, estaz eggs and sucker spawn have also worked well fished under a strike indicator. For those looking to swing flies, woolly buggers and leeches have produced the best results. Anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing have had the most success with pink or blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. On the Run steelhead success is being had using white and blue egg sacs and green Hotshots. Anglers have also been finding activity in some of the smaller local tributaries. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: There is no activity to report from the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: With bass and walleye seasons closed not much is going on. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (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 http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

MARCH 2018

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) (>5/5)

16-18 -CANCELLED - Runnings Sportsman’s Classic at the Del Lago Resort and Casino, Waterloo, NY. Attendees will be able to visit with outfitters, charters and retailers along with the entire crew from Rush Outdoors TV. (For  information contact John Lenox, Vice President, at arrowflinger80@yahoo.com)

22 – Proposed Otisco Lake Boat Launch Public Meeting at the Borodino Grange Hall, 1861 E. Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Sponsored by the DEC and the Town of Spafford, this meeting will feature a presentation about the planned Otisco Lake Boat Launch, including how comments and suggestions from a previous meeting were addressed, as well as final site design details and project schedule. DEC will be available to answer questions after the presentation. Otisco is the only Finger Lake currently without a public boat launch. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

24 - Seventh Annual Fishermen’s Paradise Flea Market/Swap Meet at the Alexander Firemen’s Rec Hall, 10708 Route 98, Alexander, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) There will be a wide variety of fishing gear, from new and used rods and reels to custom baits and plastics. (Costs: $2.00/Kids 12 and under Free) (For information call Joe Kugel 716-440-0004 or Jim Thompson 585-591-0168)

24 - Boating and Jet Ski Safety Class by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 3-2 in the Community Room at the McKinley Mall. (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) There is a new age-related State Law for boaters that went into effect in 2015. To receive more information about the new law, or to register for this class, contact Eileen Reiner at 716-725-9669 or at reiner7@verizon.net. Visit the website at www.wnyboatsafe.org for a list of additional classes.

24 - 29th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Show at the Elks Lodge No. 41, 6791 North Canal Road,  Lockport, NY (10:30 am – 2:00 pm) This is the longest-running event of its kind in the state, giving you a trip down memory lane as it relates to the fishing industry. This is a great chance to get an appraisal on some old fishing tackle that may be laying around your basement or in your garage.  (Cost: $5.00/Kids 16 and under Free) (For more information contact Dan Bedford at 716-713-9410 or email wdanfran@aol.com.)

24 - Cabela’s Sportsman’s Seminars at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Fish Fry – We all fry it and you get to try it! Join our expert fish fryers and learn how to prepare the best-tasting fried fish you’ve ever experienced. Sample different seasonings and learn some new frying techniques. 11:00 am -1:00 pm – BB-Gun Range - Bring your kids out to try their aim in our safe BB-gun range. Settle who the best shot in your family is once for all.  First-time shooters and seasoned alike are welcome. Weather permitting. 11:00 am – 6:00 pm - Free Photos with the Easter Bunny - Families are invited to celebrate Easter at Cabela's by enjoying free photos with the Easter Bunny, and many other activities during the season. Everyone's favorite Easter Bunny character will be in-store during select times from Saturday, March 24, through Easter Sunday, April 1, for a free, fun, spring-themed collectible photo. 1:00 – 4:00 pm - Let’s Make an Easter Placemat - Stop by our craft station with the kids and let their imaginations go wild as they decorate an Easter-themed placemat. Enjoy this fun activity with your family, and as always, crafts are free. While supplies last. (For information call 716-608-4770)

25 - 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)

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

 

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3 – 16 – 18

 

TIP 1: SEASON CHANGES:

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

March 15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

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

 

TIP 2: OTHER DATES OF INTEREST:

Rainbow Trout Sampling Dates: March 22 for Naples Creek (9:00 am, just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge) and March 23 for Cold Brook (10:00 am, in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County). Sampling 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 contact fwfish8@dec.ny.gov or by calling 518-226-5343.)

March 22 – Proposed Otisco Lake Boat Launch Public Meeting at the Borodino Grange Hall, 1861 E. Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Sponsored by the DEC and the Town of Spafford, this meeting will feature a presentation about the planned Otisco Lake Boat Launch, including how comments and suggestions from a previous meeting were addressed, as well as final site design details and project schedule. DEC will be available to answer questions after the presentation. Otisco is the only Finger Lake currently without a public boat launch. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

 

NO HARD WATER ANGLING IS RECOMMENED THIS WEEK – Previous warm temperatures started the ice to deteriorate opening holes and cracks on regional waters. Recent heavy snow has weakened the ice further and in many cases hides dangerous ice flaws. Recent cold temperatures have not been enough to create safe ice.

 

LAKE ERIE:  No safe ice reported on the lake except for the Dunkirk Harbor and the small Boat Harbor. At Dunkirk, steelhead and brown trout were still lurking below the ice, for those equipped to reach them. Ice cover is reported at up to 8 inches thick in some spots. The catch rate has slowed down a bit, with most anglers finding active fish in the morning, but the fish seem to come in waves, and will hit with abandon in the afternoon at times. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows. The Small Boat Harbor has hard ice again but no details on how thick or if fish are being caught.

In other areas it’s back to boat or shoreline fishing.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Despite the recent cold temperatures, all Lake Erie tributaries remain wide open. The small to medium sized stream have moderate to lower flows, with clearing conditions. Cattaraugus Creek is slightly high at 700 cubic feet per second, but certainly fishable. The overall steelhead bite has recently been fair. Target the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. Look for improved fishing with the next thaw. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float worked the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. A few large suckers (16 to 20-inch fish) are also being caught right on the bottom (on jigs). Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The lower river trout bite was excellent at the start of the month. Action has slowed lately, coinciding with very clear water conditions. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but are finicky. Walleye season closed Thursday, March 16. Super clear water combined with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario lately. When conditions permit, brown trout are available in the nearshore zone in 8-20 feet of water. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run behind planer boards is the top tactic. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. While most of the fish caught are brown trout, a salmon may be included. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Lake Ontario stream conditions have been excellent lately. Eighteenmile Creek is in great shape with moderate flow and about two feet of visibility. The few anglers that have been fishing there lately, report decent catches of steelhead. Oak Orchard Creek currently has moderate flow and about 3 feet of visibility. The small to medium sized streams have moderate to slightly lower flow and range from slightly stained to clear. Fourmile, Twelvemile, East Branch Twelvemile, Keg, Johnson, Marsh and Sandy Creeks are all worth a shot. Anglers have been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information. Remember that pike season closes on March 15 if you are fishing in the harbors of Wilson or Olcott.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Crappie action could be just around the corner. Remember walleye season closed March 15. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: There is still some ice on the lake but no safe ice is reported. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing.  A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline 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: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill 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 remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends 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 safe ice reported on the lakes. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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 a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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 open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OWASCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm.  (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

March 22 – Proposed Otisco Lake Boat Launch Public Meeting at the Borodino Grange Hall, 1861 E. Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Sponsored by the DEC and the Town of Spafford, this meeting will feature a presentation about the planned Otisco Lake Boat Launch, including how comments and suggestions from a previous meeting were addressed, as well as final site design details and project schedule. DEC will be available to answer questions after the presentation. Otisco is the only Finger Lake currently without a public boat launch. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and panfish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing may be starting for the 2018 season. A few boaters have started working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are open, and you can launch at the ramps on Sodus and Port Bay. The DEC docks are not in so be careful. Some anglers were out a few days ago catching perch in Sodus Bay. If the winds subside you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. You can also throw on line in at Bay Bridge, on the south end of Sodus Bay. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. The canal water is now open, and you can launch at Widewaters or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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:  The ice is out on the ponds and bays so it’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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: Windy conditions along with scattered lake effect snow showers and roughly a foot of new snow have made fishing challenging. Anglers reported having good day in the upper end of the river. Over the last couple of days anglers have been getting into fish from top to bottom. Anglers who are fly fishing have done well dead drifting with black stoneflies, rusher nymphs and wiggle stones. Glo-bugs, estaz eggs and sucker spawn have also worked well fished under a strike indicator. For those looking to swing flies, woolly buggers and leeches have produced the best results. Anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing have had the most success with pink or blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. Anglers have also been finding activity in some of the smaller local tributaries. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: After a couple of cold and blustery days with a few inches of snow, the next few days will remain cold with snow showers possible tomorrow and clear for the weekend. There is no activity to report from the 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: On the rivers, the snow, rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (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 http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

MARCH 2018

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) (>5/5)

16-18 -CANCELLED - Runnings Sportsman’s Classic at the Del Lago Resort and Casino, Waterloo, NY. Attendees will be able to visit with outfitters, charters and retailers along with the entire crew from Rush Outdoors TV. (For  information contact John Lenox, Vice President, at arrowflinger80@yahoo.com)

22 – Proposed Otisco Lake Boat Launch Public Meeting at the Borodino Grange Hall, 1861 E. Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Sponsored by the DEC and the Town of Spafford, this meeting will feature a presentation about the planned Otisco Lake Boat Launch, including how comments and suggestions from a previous meeting were addressed, as well as final site design details and project schedule. DEC will be available to answer questions after the presentation. Otisco is the only Finger Lake currently without a public boat launch. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

24 - Seventh Annual Fishermen’s Paradise Flea Market/Swap Meet at the Alexander Firemen’s Rec Hall, 10708 Route 98, Alexander, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) There will be a wide variety of fishing gear, from new and used rods and reels to custom baits and plastics. (Costs: $2.00/Kids 12 and under Free) (For information call Joe Kugel 716-440-0004 or Jim Thompson 585-591-0168)

24 - Boating and Jet Ski Safety Class by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 3-2 in the Community Room at the McKinley Mall. (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) There is a new age-related State Law for boaters that went into effect in 2015. To receive more information about the new law, or to register for this class, contact Eileen Reiner at 716-725-9669 or at reiner7@verizon.net. Visit the website at www.wnyboatsafe.org for a list of additional classes.

24 - 29th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Show at the Elks Lodge No. 41, 6791 North Canal Road,  Lockport, NY (10:30 am – 2:00 pm) This is the longest-running event of its kind in the state, giving you a trip down memory lane as it relates to the fishing industry. This is a great chance to get an appraisal on some old fishing tackle that may be laying around your basement or in your garage.  (Cost: $5.00/Kids 16 and under Free) (For more information contact Dan Bedford at 716-713-9410 or email wdanfran@aol.com.)

24 - Cabela’s Sportsman’s Seminars at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Fish Fry – We all fry it and you get to try it! Join our expert fish fryers and learn how to prepare the best-tasting fried fish you’ve ever experienced. Sample different seasonings and learn some new frying techniques. 11:00 am -1:00 pm – BB-Gun Range - Bring your kids out to try their aim in our safe BB-gun range. Settle who the best shot in your family is once for all.  First-time shooters and seasoned alike are welcome. Weather permitting. 11:00 am – 6:00 pm - Free Photos with the Easter Bunny - Families are invited to celebrate Easter at Cabela's by enjoying free photos with the Easter Bunny, and many other activities during the season. Everyone's favorite Easter Bunny character will be in-store during select times from Saturday, March 24, through Easter Sunday, April 1, for a free, fun, spring-themed collectible photo. 1:00 – 4:00 pm - Let’s Make an Easter Placemat - Stop by our craft station with the kids and let their imaginations go wild as they decorate an Easter-themed placemat. Enjoy this fun activity with your family, and as always, crafts are free. While supplies last. (For information call 716-608-4770)

25 - 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)

 

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3 – 9 – 18

 

TIP 1: Warm water (bass, pike, etc.) angler diary cooperators are needed for Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Hemlock, Canadice, Conesus and Honeoye Lakes. If interested please contact Region 8 Fisheries at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov or by calling 518-226-5343.

 

TIP 2: DATES OF INTEREST:

March 12 - 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)

March 14 - 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)

March 15 - 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. In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 9. 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. In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 14. (For information contact Christopher Legard, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147)

Rainbow Trout Sampling Dates: March 22 for Naples Creek (9:00 am, just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge) and March 23 for Cold Brook (10:00 am, in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County). Sampling 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.

 

 

 

NO HARD WATER ANGLING IS RECOMMENED THIS WEEK – Previous warm temperatures started the ice to deteriorate opening holes and cracks on regional waters. Recent heavy snow has weakened the ice further and in many cases hides dangerous ice flaws. Recent cold temperatures have not been enough to create safe ice.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  No safe ice reported on the lake. The lake ice cover is now reported at less than 20 percent. It’s now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Harbor areas are producing good numbers of 18 – 19 inch steelhead when conditions allow. This past weekend at the City of Dunkirk Pier, fishermen literally lined up from one end of the pier to the other on the east, north and west sides. One angler estimated there were as many as 200 fishermen angling at one time, and most of them connected with a limit of three trout apiece. There were reports of some trophy sized brown trout taken also. This week, it’s reported a strong north east wind has jammed that port with ice, with only an occasional small open area at times. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: With the recent rain, snow and snowmelt, creek levels have peaked and will be dropping in a few days. Once that happens look for good tributary steelhead action. The mouth of Eighteen Mile Creek in Hamburg was having a good run of fresh steelies. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float worked the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. A few large suckers (16 to 20-inch fish) are also being caught right on the bottom (on jigs). Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river action has been good for boaters bouncing bottom with three-way rigs. When the wind is out of the south or southwest go with MagLips and Kwikfish lures in silver and green or chartreuse. Silver and pink will also work. When the wind isn’t there to help you, switch over to minnows or egg sacs. Use the same three-way set-up if you are fishing from a boat. If you are fishing from shore, tossing jigs or fishing a jig under a float and tipped with a small worm is very effective. If the water is clear, you may have to get your bait out a bit deeper. You can also cast spinners or spoons to get your bait out and into the fish zone. Steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleye are all available in the system. Lighter fluorocarbon lines, longer leads and smaller hooks may be needed to trick a trout into hitting. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing  may be starting for the 2018 season. The first trollers have started pounding the surf. They are trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. While most of the fish caught are brown trout, a salmon may be included. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Tributary fishing will be on hold for the weekend until the snow settles. Lake Ontario tributaries were in good shape and anglers were catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information. Remember that pike season closes on March 15 if you are fishing in the harbors of Wilson or Olcott.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Crappie action could be just around the corner. Some walleye have been picked up near Ashville Bay but remember walleye season closes March 15. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: There is still ice on the lake but no safe ice is reported. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing.  A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline 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: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, perch, and walleye. (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 remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (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 safe ice reported on the lakes. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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 a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. At the south end, anglers are reporting some fair pike action. (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 open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OWASCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm.  (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch, walleye and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch, walleye and northern pike. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging Rapalas tipped with a minnow head for the walleye and for perch try 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing may be starting for the 2018 season. A few boaters have started working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: No safe ice on the bays. Port Bay has open water on most of the bay with ice still on the south end. You can launch at the north…but beware… it’s a very bumpy road to the DEC launch. If you don’t have a boat, you can catch perch fishing from the shore. There are enough pull-over spots, so you don’t block the barrier road. Sodus Bay has the same situation. Most of the bay is open, however, there are a few iced-over spots. The perch don’t really care if there’s no ice, so do some open water fishing. Some anglers were casting off Bay Bridge at the south end. They were catching crappies. It’s early for bullhead fishing, however, we are already in the second week of March. It won’t be long before you’ll be eating bullheads for supper. DEC won’t have docks near their ramps so launching will be an effort. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. The canal water is now open, and you can launch at Widewaters or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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:  The ice is out on the ponds and bays so it’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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: With the combination of rain, snow and melting snow from the warm weather, it’s no surprise the water level is high. Fishing is challenging. Over the last couple of days the few anglers who are fishing have been getting into fish. Some of the drift boats guides are continuing to take advantage of the high water and are getting into fish. In the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville bank anglers have been successful while dead drifting with nymphs or bottom bouncing with egg sacs. In the lower end of the river anglers have been getting into fish while float fishing with blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. Anglers have also been finding activity in some of the smaller local tributaries. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain, snow and snow melt that we had during the last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once waters recede look for some  nice catches of steelhead. 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: On the rivers, the snow, rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (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 http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

MARCH 2018

8-11 - 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)

10 - Crown City Bassmasters Hunting & Fishing Extravaganza, Cortland, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) (For information call Jeff 607-659-7654.)

10 - Catherine Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited 31st Annual Fundraiser Banquet, Horseheads Elk Club, Horseheads, NY (5:00 pm) (For information call Jim Palmer at 607-425-6136 or email jpalmer8@stny.rr.com.)

10 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Event out of Silver Lake State Boat Launch on Silver Lake. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then). Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team ($30 per person). (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

10 – Boating Safety Class sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) (For information contact Martin Laufer at 716-390-7727.)

11 - The Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon And Trout Association Fleamarket will be held at the Brewerton Fire Hall (on RT11), Brewerton, NY.  (For information call 315 515 8778 and leave a message.)

12 - 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)

14 - 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)

15 - 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. In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 9. 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. In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 14. (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) (>5/5)

16-18 -CANCELLED - Runnings Sportsman’s Classic at the Del Lago Resort and Casino, Waterloo, NY. Attendees will be able to visit with outfitters, charters and retailers along with the entire crew from Rush Outdoors TV. (For  information contact John Lenox, Vice President, at arrowflinger80@yahoo.com)

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TIP 1: Warm water (bass, pike, etc.) angler diary cooperators are needed for Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Hemlock, Canadice, Conesus and Honeoye Lakes. If interested please contact Region 8 Fisheries at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov or by calling 518-226-5343.

 

TIP 2: Cold water (rainbow, brown, lake trout and Atlantic salmon) angler diary keepers are needed for 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, Hemlock Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

 

 

NO HARD WATER ANGLING IS RECOMMENED THIS WEEK – Previous warm temperatures started the ice to deteriorate opening holes and cracks on regional waters. Current heavy snow weakens the ice further and in many cases hides ice flaws.

 

LAKE ERIE:  No safe ice reported on the lake. It’s now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Harbor areas are producing good numbers of 18 – 19 inch steelhead. This past weekend at the City of Dunkirk Pier, fishermen literally lined up from one end of the pier to the other on the east, north and west sides. One angler estimated there were as many as 200 fishermen angling at one time, and most of them connected with a limit of three trout apiece. There were reports of some trophy sized brown trout taken also. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: With the recent rain, snow and snowmelt, creek levels have peaked and will be dropping in a few days. Once that happens look for good tributary steelhead action. Small egg sacs fished under a float should work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river action has been good to very good for boaters bouncing bottom with three-way rigs. When the wind is out of the south or southwest go with MagLips and Kwikfish lures in silver and green or chartreuse. Silver and pink will also work. When the wind isn’t there to help you, switch over to minnows or egg sacs. Use the same three-way set-up if you are fishing from a boat. If you are fishing from shore, tossing jigs or fishing a jig under a float and tipped with a small worm is very effective. If the water is clear, you may have to get your bet out a bit deeper. You can also cast spinners or spoons to get your bait out and into the fish zone. Steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleye are all available in the system. Our latest snowfall may interrupt things for the weekend but conditions should be back to normal by the beginning of the week. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Tributary fishing will be on hold for the weekend until the snow settles. Lake Ontario tributaries were in good shape and anglers were catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Crappie action could be just around the corner. Remember that walleye season is still open until March 15. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing.  A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline 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: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, perch, and walleye. (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 remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (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 safe ice reported on the lakes. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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 a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. At the south end, anglers are reporting some fair pike action. (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 open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, also some lakers and browns. The lake level is extremely low. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OWASCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (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 safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch, walleye and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch, walleye and northern pike. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging Rapalas tipped with a minnow head for the walleye and for perch try 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. Steelhead are hitting egg sacs and beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: No safe ice on the bays. Try the tribs and piers for steelhead and brown trout.  Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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:  The ice is out on the ponds and bays so it’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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: With the combination of rain, snow and melting snow from the warm weather, it’s no surprise the water level has increased. Fishing is challenging. Fish are around but it's been difficult to get them to bite. Once things settle, look for some steelhead in the lower and middle sections, with egg-imitating flies or pink, chartreuse and blue egg sacs producing fish. Also, look for fish throughout the river, dead drifting with nymphs or float fishing with egg sacs and pink worms produced the best results. Those who are bottom bouncing or float fishing in the mid to upper end of the river had the best results with egg sacs, beads and pink worms. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain, snow and snow melt that we had during the last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once waters recede look for some  nice catches of steelhead. 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: On the rivers, the snow, rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (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 http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

JANUARY 2018

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

FEBRUARY 2018

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. (>5/5)

MARCH 2018

3 – Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs Annual Awards Banquet at Kloc’s Grove, West Seneca, NY. (Doors open at 5:45 p.m.) (Tickets $35, pre-sale only.) (For information call Cheryl Schenne at 716-655-2328 or go to www.eriectyfsc.org) 

3 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Blind Draw Team Event out of Braddocks Bay Marina on Braddocks Bay. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then). Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team ($30 per person). (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

3 – Western New York Frogs and the Hellbender – Identification and Citizen Science at the Pfeiffer Nature Center, 1974 Lillibridge Road, Portville NY. (For informatio/register call 716-933-0187 or email naturalist@pfeiffernaturecenter.org )

3-4 - Olean Rod Gun Massive Sportman’s Show at the Daniel A Carter Auctions & Appraisals Inc,

2593 West Five Mile Road, Allegany, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (Admission - $5.00/12 and under – Free/In Uniform – Free) This event is hosted by the Olean Rod & Gun Club Inc. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. Sale items will include: ammo, reloading, archery, knives, military, collectibles, sporting good, fishing, targets & trapping. 120 tables. (For information contact Dave at 716-372-4231 or John 716-373-4867 or go to http://oleanrodandgunclub.com)

4 - Sportsmen Flea/Yard Sale at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. (Noon – 5:00 pm) Bring or look for old-new fishing, hunting, trapping, camping equipment etc. NO GUNS. (For information call Paul at 716-680-4629).

8-11 - 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)

10 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Event out of Silver Lake State Boat Launch on Silver Lake. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then). Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team ($30 per person). (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

10 – Boating Safety Class sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) (For information contact Martin Laufer at 716-390-7727.)

11 - The Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon And Trout Association Fleamarket will be held at the Brewerton Fire Hall (on RT11), Brewerton, NY.  (For information call 315 515 8778 and leave a message.)

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

 

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2 – 23 – 18

 

TIP 1: TIP # 2: 2018 STATE OF OWASCO LAKE FISHERIES: The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Owasco Lake's fisheries. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY.

 

TIP #2: JIG FISHING TIPS FROM NORTHLAND TACKLE: Jigs are simply metal weighted heads with a hook molded in that can be dressed with live bait or plastic trailers. They imitate darting, injured baitfish and are available in endless sizes, shapes and colors. Jig fishing is fun and easy. It simply requires a little personal touch. You can drag, bounce, hop, snap, thump or swim a jig with nearly any motion and speed, but you will find that SLOW, short 3-6" jerks and little twitches of the rod tip will trigger the most strikes! Jigs are made in many different head styles. The "ballhead" is the most popular and versatile. They are the fastest sinking, and work well for casting and vertical jigging. The "stand-up" style fishing jigs are designed for dragging & working along the bottom, and are superb in scattered weeds, and river current. When fishing weeds & submerged timber, "weedless" fishing jigs are your best choice.

Always let jig hit bottom before you start your retrieve and remember . . . fish generally hit a jig on the fall!

Fishing Tips:

Use the lightest fishing jig possible, and match your jig size to the weight of your line. 

For 4 lb. test line, use 1/32 and 1/16 oz. jigs. For 6 & 8 lb. line, 1/8 & 1/4 oz. jigs work best. 

When fishing with 10 & 12 lb. line, 3/8, 1/2 oz. and heavier jigs should be used. Be flexible, and match your line weight to each individual fishing condition! Cast and let them flutter down around weeds, rocks and timber, or troll and drift them slowly along the bottom. 

 

TIP #3: ICE SAFETY:

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

 

 

 

Use Extreme Caution! The weather has caused ice conditions to change, especially along shorelines and areas subject to run-off. Old holes and pressure cracks are getting larger. Keep this in mind if venturing out, use your own good judgment and follow the safety steps mentioned and referenced above. The ice surface will also likely be wet and very slick without any snow cover so creepers or cleats are highly recommend.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Ice fishing conditions are deteriorating and open water is showing up along the shore including Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors. The two harbor areas are producing good numbers of 18 – 19 inch steelhead. They’re hitting on spoons and ninnows. If you do go out after the perch and/or walleye be sure to use extreme caution. In addition to normal safety equipment like ice picks, a rope and a life vest, it’s not a bad idea to carry along a compass. One hard water angler recently encountered a heavy snow that restricted how satellites functioned – knocking out their GPS equipment. It would have been a difficult situation had not one of the guys brought his compass along to help them get back in.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: With the recent rain and snowmelt, creek levels have peaked and are now dropping. Some of the smaller streams and upper section of Chautauqua Creek may be fishable by Sunday. Streams should remain relatively ice-free. Look for an influx of fresh steelhead as levels drop. Effective flies include swinging 1.5 to 2-inch streamers in olive or white and dead-drifting stonefly patterns under an indicator.

There are now water-stage recorders on Chautauqua, Canadaway, Silver, Walnut, Big Sister and Eighteenmile Creeks. At present, these recorders only measure gage height, which is height of the water in the stream above a reference point. There will be a bit of a learning curve here, to figure out how gage height translates to actual stream flow or condition. See the USGS Water Data for New York webpage for this information. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Pack and shore ice has melted quickly, opening up shore fishing opportunities along the upper Niagara River. River waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. The Small Boat Harbor ice was hit hard with the rain and the word is that it is not safe.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river waters are in good shape and action has recently been good for boaters from Devils Hole down to the Niagara Bar. Steelhead are top catch in the upper drifts on egg sacs, while lake trout are seemingly available from top to bottom. Walleye and the occasional brown trout round out the catches. A three-way rig with flat fish style lures like Mag Lip or Kwikfish produce a mix of steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. A three-way with a live shiner is a better bet for walleye. If you do catch some walleye, remember that the minimum size is 18 inches and from Jan. 1 to March 15 the daily creel is one fish per person per day. The intent there is to protect the females that are getting ready to spawn soon. Not much safe shore fishing opportunities due to shelf ice along the shoreline. Boot cleats are recommended due to very slick shorelines. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Lake Ontario tributaries are in good shape. Currently, anglers are catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate and the edge ice is disappearing. If you do go out be extremely careful. As the ice goes you can try some shore fishing. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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 lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate and the edge ice is disappearing. If you do go out be extremely careful. As the ice goes you can try some shore fishing. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate and the edge ice is disappearing. If you do go out be extremely careful. As the ice goes you can try some shore fishing. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: Ice was reported up to 7 inches over most of lake, however since the melt – no reports. What ever ice remaining is deteriorating and anglers must use extreme caution if they go out. Be especially careful of 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: Ice was reported up to 10 inches over most of lake, however since the melt – no reports. What ever ice remaining is deteriorating and anglers must use extreme caution if they go out. Be especially careful of the shore ice. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate and the edge ice is disappearing. If you do go out be extremely careful. As the ice goes you can try some shore fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: Ice at the north and south ends of the lake has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. If you do go out be extremely careful. Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (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 update on the 12 inches of ice on the lakes but, for sure, it has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. If you do go out be extremely careful. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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: The ice in the Penn Yan branch has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. No current update on what’s left but the shore ice is gone. On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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 a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. At the south end, anglers are reporting some fair pike action. (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 updates on the ice at the north end but with current conditions what ice that may be there would not considered safe. On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, also some lakers and browns. The lake level is extremely low. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: No updates on ice conditions received this week but with the current warm weather and lack of ice thickness previously, be extremely cautious if you do go out (not recommended). (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 lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. The south end is reported clear. No hard water angling is recommended (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.)

2018 state of Owasco Lake Fisheries: The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Owasco Lake's fisheries. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Rd, Auburn, NY

*OTISCO LAKE: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. No hard water angling is recommended. (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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 reservoir was covered with ice up to 12 inches, but during this past week it was under water due to rain and runoff. This will cause some major deterioration of the ice, so if you do go out be extremely careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: There was up to 18 inches of ice reported but now it’s down to 10 inches and it is deteriorating. There are reports of large holes and pressure cracks opening and shore ice melting. Anglers that do get out have found a decent perch bite although there are a number of small ones and some walleye and Northern pike. If you do go be extremely careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: The lake ice is deteriorating so be extra careful. No reports from anglers on exact conditions or what’s being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: Ice and shoreline conditions vary around the lake. There are reports of large holes and expanded pressure cracks. Please use caution and your own good judgment if deciding to venture out. On the main ice flow is reported up to 15 inches and perch and walleye are being picked up if you hit the right spot.
Jigging Rapalas tipped with a minnow head have been working for the walleye and hot jigs for perch are 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs for perch and clown shad rap jigging rapalas tipped with the head of a buckeye minnow. If you do go out use extreme caution.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. Steelhead are hitting egg sacs and beads. Use anything that’s bright. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: The shore ice on the Bays is disappearing and the main ice has lots of spider holes in areas where there were auger holes. Water covers the ice and in many areas you can forget the ice, it’s just water. If you do venture out (not recommend) be extremely careful.  Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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:  The Greece ponds may still have 3 – 5 inches of wet ice but it won’t last long and ice fishing is not recommended. If you do try watch shore ice, existing holes and areas of flowing water. Braddock's Bay is now open water. Irondequiot Bay is probably the same. On the lower Genesee, if you get to open water, try for brown trout. (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: With the combination of rain and melting snow from the warm weather, it’s no surprise the water level has increased. Fishing has been challenging, fish are around but it's been difficult to get them to bite. Once things settle, look for some steelhead in the lower and middle sections, with egg-imitating flies or pink, chartreuse and blue egg sacs producing fish. Also, look for fish throughout the river, dead drifting with nymphs or float fishing with egg sacs and pink worms produced the best results. Those who are bottom bouncing or float fishing in the mid to upper end of the river had the best results with egg sacs, beads and pink worms. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain and snow melt that we had during the warm weather last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once the frozen sections of the river broke up, driftboats were able to access the water for a day or so with some nice catches. Then we had high water and not much activity. 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: On the rivers, the rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (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 http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

JANUARY 2018

1-2/28 – NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament through Feb. 28. Seven species categories. Open water or through the ice. (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

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

FEBRUARY 2018

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. (>5/5)

24 - Ice World Erie Exploration at Evangola State Park, 10191 Old Lake Shore Road, Irving, NY (10:00 am – noon) (For information/register call 716-549-1050) 

24 – Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Team Event out of Lakeside Park, Mayville, NY on Chautauqua Lake. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then) Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team.) (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

24-25 - 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)

25 – Fly Tying Demonstration Of  “Cuban Flea” Fly And Tactics For Local Steelhead at the Orvis Store, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (Noon)

28 – State of Owasco Lake Information Meeting at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Rd, Auburn, NY. (7:00 – 9:00 pm) DEC will present information on Owasco Lake, including summaries of the latest available fisheries research and management strategies and actions, as well as contributions from Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) and the Eastern Finger Lakes Angler Diary Cooperator Program. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

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)

MARCH 2018

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. (>5/5)

3 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Blind Draw Team Event out of Braddocks Bay Marina on Braddocks Bay. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then). Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team ($30 per person). (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

3 – Western New York Frogs and the Hellbender – Identification and Citizen Science at the Pfeiffer Nature Center, 1974 Lillibridge Road, Portville NY. (For informatio/register call 716-933-0187 or email naturalist@pfeiffernaturecenter.org )

3-4 - Olean Rod Gun Massive Sportman’s Show at the Daniel A Carter Auctions & Appraisals Inc,

2593 West Five Mile Road, Allegany, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (Admission - $5.00/12 and under – Free/In Uniform – Free) This event is hosted by the Olean Rod & Gun Club Inc. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. Sale items will include: ammo, reloading, archery, knives, military, collectibles, sporting good, fishing, targets & trapping. 120 tables. (For information contact Dave at 716-372-4231 or John 716-373-4867 or go to http://oleanrodandgunclub.com)

4 - Sportsmen Flea/Yard Sale at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. (Noon – 5:00 pm) Bring or look for old-new fishing, hunting, trapping, camping equipment etc. NO GUNS. (For information call Paul at 716-680-4629).

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

 

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2 – 16 – 18

 

TIP :   FEBUARY17-18 - FREE FISHING DAYS in New York State. No license required so it’s the perfect time to introduce someone to the sport or invite friends or family from out of state.

 

TIP # 2: 2018 STATE OF OWASCO LAKE FISHERIES: The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Owasco Lake's fisheries. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY.

 

TIP #3: ICE SAFETY:

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

 

 

The weather will cause ice conditions to change over the next few days, especially along shorelines and areas subject to run-off. Old holes and pressure cracks will likely be getting larger. Keep this in mind if venturing out, use your own good judgment and follow the safety steps mentioned and referenced above. The ice surface will also likely be wet and very slick without any snow cover so creepers or cleats are highly recommended.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Ice fishing conditions continue to stay good for now, but things could change quickly. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were reports of safe ice and good fishing from a variety of local areas. Fishermen have been catching walleye and yellow perch in 40-60 feet of water off the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek, but have been launching their ice machines out of the Town of Hanover Park. There is one ice shove to contend with, but after you get past that, it is smooth sailing. Ice conditions were over 10 inches thick. A variety of walleye sizes were reportedly taken including some trophy-sized fish. Moving east, there has been some ice fishing reported out of Sturgeon Point, and further east also off Hamburg. Walleye and yellow perch continue to be the target fish. Preferred walleye baits have been Jigging Raps in any size tipped with minnows. Swedish pimples are also working in silver or gold. Ice anglers have been catching steelhead in Barcelona Harbor and out from the city pier at Dunkirk Harbor. The bite at Barcelona slows with higher angler traffic. There is around a foot of ice at the inner Buffalo Harbor. As usual, anglers are catching mostly smaller sunfish and yellow perch, with the occasional keeper. No sign of smelt. In addition to normal safety equipment like ice picks, a rope and a life vest, it’s not a bad idea to carry along a compass. One hard water angler recently encountered a heavy snow that restricted how satellites functioned – knocking out their GPS equipment. It would have been a difficult situation had not one of the guys brought his compass along to help them get back in.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: With the recent rain and snowmelt, there is a widespread blowout in progress on the Lake Erie tributaries. Creek levels have peaked and are now dropping. Some of the smaller streams and upper section of Chautauqua Creek may be fishable by Sunday. Streams should remain relatively ice-free. Look for an influx of fresh steelhead as levels drop. Effective flies include swinging 1.5 to 2-inch streamers in olive or white and dead-drifting stonefly patterns under an indicator.

There are now water-stage recorders on Chautauqua, Canadaway, Silver, Walnut, Big Sister and Eighteenmile Creeks. At present, these recorders only measure gage height, which is height of the water in the stream above a reference point. There will be a bit of a learning curve here, to figure out how gage height translates to actual stream flow or condition. See the USGS Water Data for New York webpage for this information. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Pack and shore ice has melted quickly, opening up shore fishing opportunities along the upper Niagara River. River waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. The Small Boat Harbor has ice of 10 - 12 inches. Anglers are catching good numbers of mostly smaller sunfish and yellow perch, with the occasional keeper. Anglers are also exploring the sheltered bays and channels to the north and south of the harbor. Some anglers are venturing outside of the inner harbor, but ice thickness is unknown.

 LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river waters are in great shape and action has recently been good for boaters from Devils Hole down to the Niagara Bar. Steelhead are top catch in the upper drifts on egg sacs, while lake trout are seemingly available from top to bottom. Walleye and the occasional brown trout round out the catches. A three-way rig with flat fish style lures like Mag Lip or Kwikfish produce a mix of steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. A three-way with a live shiner is a better bet for walleye. If you do catch some walleye, remember that the minimum size is 18 inches and from Jan. 1 to March 15 the daily creel is one fish per person per day. The intent there is to protect the females that are getting ready to spawn soon. Not much safe shore fishing opportunities due to shelf ice along the shoreline. Boot cleats are recommended due to very slick shorelines. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  All Lake Ontario tributaries are blown out or are heading that way. Spring migrations of steelhead could start in earnest on the tail of this high water event. Currently, anglers are catching a few brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm,  egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. Wilson Harbor has ice up to 8 - 10 inches but only half that over the channel. Be very careful there and check the ice as you go. Anglers are catching some yellow perch, bluegills, largemouth bass and the occasional pike, brown trout or steelhead catch is possible. Ice has been completely flushed out of Olcott Harbor and launch docks are in place.

For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: All of Chautauqua Lake is locked up, with between 6-10 inches of ice reported but be careful of soft spots. There have been some good walleye catches, primarily around dawn and dusk. Depths around 30 feet have been productive near Long Point, Prendergast, Warner Bay and Dewittville Bay. The rims of the deeper holes are good spots to try as well. Jigging Rapalas (#7 or #9) and vertical jigging spoons tipped with a small minnow or grub are good walleye offerings. Keeper size yellow perch have been very tough to find lake-wide. However, anglers have managed some keepers off Mayville. Anglers also report fair numbers of white perch around the north basin. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: Up to 11 inches of ice is reported at the south end. The water is still pretty muddy after the week’s rains and thaw. Yellow perch were biting well but lots are only 6-8 inchers. Try for bigger perch in deeper waters of 30-35 feet. There are decent numbers of sunfish around the weedy south end, but fish are tight-lipped. Downsizing to a small jig and single spike has been productive. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: At the north end, ice is up to 10 inches and the shore ice is holding up at present. Anglers are catching fair to good numbers of keeper sunfish depending on the day. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike, tiger muskellunge and/or large-mouth bass. Some pike have been caught off access points at mid-lake. At the south end be extra careful. The inlet flooded, pushing a lot of muddy water under the ice. It may have eroded the ice from below.(Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: Ice was reported up to 7 inches but be on alert for soft spots. No reports on the action. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: Ice was reported up to 10 inches over most of lake, however there are reportedly some thin spots in the south end shallows. Anglers are out after smelt. Find a spot fairly close to shore; clear ice of snow; set your coleman on the ice; drill a hole and start jiggin. They are usually found right below the ice surface over 20 feet of water. Use a small bluegill glow jig and a waxie.  Not a hot bite but enough to keep it interesting. Lake trout are available over deeper water. Jigging with spoons is a good bet. Be careful of the shore ice. (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, up to 11 inches for anglers to enjoy some fishing if they can get to it. The edge ice is disappearing – in front of Trident Marine is 75 yards of open water. Access is currently still available at thr state boat launch. The deeper area of the lake has been producing fair numbers of keeper panfish including yellow perch, bluegill, pumpkinseed and crappie. Perch and gills/seeds are tight to the bottom, while crappie are starting to school up and suspend. Tip-ups with shiners in 8-25 feet of water produce catches of chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The odd walleye catch is also possible. When cooperating, larger yellow perch are a better bet in deeper areas over 20 feet. Be careful and check the ice as you move around. Some anglers have reported seeing some grubs in the flesh of the panfish. Proper cooking of the fish kill the grubs and are not harmful to humans. If unappetizing they can be cut out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: Hard water anglers can visit both ends of the lake. Ice up to 6 – 10 inches in place and depending on the time and place fair to good perch can be had. With the changing temperatures be sure and check the ice as you move around. Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (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: Up to 12 inches of ice on the lakes. Perch and bluegills are providing action but they’re mostly small. If you go out check the ice as you move around. From the reports gathered Waneta seems to be providing the most action. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 fishing is still on hold for most of the lake but hard water anglers are going out at the Penn Yan end. No current update on ice conditions but there was up to 10 inches of ice reported and hot bluegill and perch action. Try a pink-bead head nymph tipped with a spike. Lots of small for each big. Further south on the Penn Yan branch hot laker action but the fish are reported as skinny. On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: Some ice reported at the ends of the lake but no details. On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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 updates on the ice at the north end. Anglers were out on 6 +/- inches of ice. Pickerel and some perch were being caught. On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, also some lakers and browns. The lake level is extremely low. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: No updates on ice conditions received this week but with the current warm weather and lack of ice thickness previously be extremely cautious if you do go out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OWASCO LAKE: No updates on ice conditions received this week but with the current warm weather and lack of ice thickness previously be extremely cautious if you do go out. (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.)

2018 state of Owasco Lake Fisheries: The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Owasco Lake's fisheries. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Rd, Auburn, NY

OTISCO LAKE: Hard water anglers are out on up to 11 inches of ice at the north end of the lake. Action is generally slow but if you hit the right spot and time you could hit a hot bite on bluegills, crappie and/or tigers. For the tigers try tipups with large minnows. The main lake is iced over but some soft spots exist so be careful and check as you go. (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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 reservoir is covered with ice up to 12 inches. Just be careful if you venture near the channel. Fathead minnows are taking walleye and a few crappie. If no action, switch up sizes, colors, and presentation. Best times are morning and later afternoon hours. Recent reports indicate slow action but some walleye and bass are being caught. No mention of the perch and crappie. Littering is becoming a big problem on the reservoir and anglers need to remember to take out whatever you bring in! As of Friday, 2/2, the Kieble Road gate was still closed. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: This region has received a lot of lake weather in the last few weeks which may make moving around on the ice difficult. If on the clear ice, creepers are recommended. There is up to 18 inches of ice being reported and anglers have been enjoying the good conditions catching walleye, perch and Northern pike. Areas off the Elm’s, Green Point and the state boat launch at Groman Shores have been very active.  For this next week be careful especially along the shoreline. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: The lake is ice covered but be careful. No reports from anglers on exact conditions or what’s being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: Hardwater anglers are getting some localized action. Reported ice depths range from 0 to 15 inches so check as you move around. Most of the ice is pretty glare and creepers are recommended. Off Lewis Point, ice was reported to be 12 inches plus. Wind, rain and snow have had an impact on ice production. Be careful of gas pockets and pressure cracks on the ice. Anglers are catching a fair amount of walleye, but many are small. Areas such as North Bay, Lewis Point and Shackelton Shoals are best possible for walleye action. A few good-sized perch are also being taken. One specific report out of Lewis Point sited dink perch in 30 fow and bigger perch at 40 feet – suspended at 10 – 20 feet. Hot jigs have been firetiger jigging rapalas, clown color jigging shad rapalas and Goby Moonshine lures for both walleye and perch. The perch have been fussy, so keep changing baits and lures if not getting bites.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open, however, there is shoreline ice. Steelhead are hitting egg sacs and beads. Use anything that’s bright. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Ice on the Bays, up to 10+ inches in spots with lots of spider holes in areas where there were auger holes the ice was maybe 4 inches thick. Water covers the ice in some locations so be careful. The action on Sodus is over by the docks out from Katlynn Marina (the old trestle area), at the Sodus Point Loop and by Second Creek, which is on Shaker Heights Road. Another hot spot is at the south-east part of Sodus. 12 to 14 inch perch are in 30 -40 feet of water; hitting larger jigs. Swedish Pimples work well. The fish are schooling so you might have to move around for the jumbos. The pike are hitting between LeRoy Island and the east shore of the bay. Port Bay anglers are finding perch off the points and close to the channel. Reports from Fair Haven indicate uneven, questionable ice due to thawing and refreezing. Be extra careful if you go out. Anglers were catching crappies, bluegills and some perch near the Widewaters in Newark. The ice is 8 - 10 inches thick. Just beware the canal still has current and not all ice is uniform. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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:  Long and Cranberry Ponds, in Greece report 8 - 11 inches of wet ice but watch shore ice, existing holes and areas of flowing water. The perch are providing some action on jigs tipped a minnow. Braddock's Bay is locked up pretty good with a reported  6 - 10 inches of ice but watch the shoreline. Fair perch and pike action is noted here. Irondequiot Bay reports indicate up to 11 inches of ice, at the north end. Use caution. A pressure ridge is reported from Ide's Cove over to the Webster side with a big wet area over the deepwater.  Also wet spot toward the launch.  Anglers using underwater cameras are seeing a lot of gizzard shade. Further south in the county, 100 Acre Pond and Quaker Pond reporting 4 -10 inches but be careful of ice skaters. On the lower Genesee, if you get to open water, try for brown trout. (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: There were some steelhead being taken in the lower and middle sections, with egg-imitating flies or pink, chartreuse and blue egg sacs producing fish. Anglers have reported getting into fish throughout the river. Dead drifting with nymphs or float fishing with egg sacs and pink worms produced the best results. In the upper end of the river anglers have been getting into fish in the Lower Fly Zone with nymphs working well. Those who are bottom bouncing or float fishing in the mid to upper end of the river have had the best results with egg sacs, beads and pink worms. In the DSR good numbers of fresh steelies. Fishing early or late in the day will likely be more productive. No question the water level is high, but a few anglers are still fishing and making the most of conditions. Shelf ice and slush ice have been a factor in the lower end of the river but have not been a problem in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section closed November 30th. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain and snow melt that we had during the warm weather last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once the frozen sections of the river broke up, driftboats were able to access the water for a day or so with some nice catches. Then we had high water and not much activity. 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: On the rivers, the rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (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 http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

JANUARY 2018

1-2/28 – NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament through Feb. 28. Seven species categories. Open water or through the ice. (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

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

FEBRUARY 2018

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. (>5/5)

15-18 - Central New York (CNY) Winter Boat Show at the NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY ( Thur. & Fri 1:00 – 9:00 pm/Sat. 10:00 am – 9:00 pm/Sun. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm) This event will showcase hundreds of new models of power and sail boats, including cruisers, sport boats, pontoon boats, personal watercraft, and docks. Also: Fishing guides, charter captains, water destinations, marine law enforcement agencies, Suddenly-In-Command water safety demonstrations with NY Sea Grant and USCGA. Come see the largest Upstate selection of boats on display in three huge buildings at the New York State Fairgrounds. (Cost: Adult $10.00/Children 13 and under FREE/Parking is FREE) (For information contact Drew Wickham – CNY Boat Show Manager  585-526-5460  bia@rochester.rr.com)

17 – Great Lakes Angler Super Salmon School at Firemen's Field Pavilion at 3666 Latta Road, Rochester, NY. (8:00 am – 3:00 pm) fishing school for anglers of all levels, from beginners to pro. Learn the latest tactics and strategies for locating and catching salmon/trout based on spring, summer and fall seasons. Topics include how to locate and catch King Salmon (spring, summer, fall), seasonal offshore Steelhead Tactics, advanced Coho Strategies, lure selection, how to interpret currents and adjust your spread, tackle, laker and brown trout basics, electronics and more! Captain Dan Keating will be joined by Lake Ontario Captain and Tournament Champion Richard Hajecki. (Cost is $60 and includes lunch, goody bag, and raffle.) (For information or register call 847-354- 5106)

17 – Youth/Adult Fly Tying Classes hosted by the Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers International at the Reinstein Woods Educational Building, 93 Honorine Drive, Cheektowaga, NY. (1:00 - 4:30 pm) This is the first of four classes. (For information call 716-675-4766.) 

17-18 - FREE FISHING DAYS in New York State. No license required so it’s the perfect time to introduce someone to the sport or invite friends or family from out of state.

17-18 - Sixth Annual Twin Tier Outdoor Expo at the Elmira College Murray Athletic Center (the Domes), Elmira Road (Off Route 14), Horseheads, NY. (Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am - 4:00 pm) Event features many seminars and a sales area. (Admission: $5.00) (For information go to www.twintiersoutdoorexpo.com)

17/24/Mar 3/10 - Youth/Adult Fly Tying Classes at the Reinstein Woods Educational Building, 93 Honorine Drive, Cheektowaga. NY. (1:00 – 4:30 pm) Hosted by the Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers International. If you are looking to learn more about fly tying and ultimately about fly fishing, this is it. If you have your own vise, bring it along. If not, one will be provided during class. Class size is limited. (Cost: $30.00 for materials) (You may download an application at www.lake-erie-fff.org or call 716-675-4766.)

21-25 – Buffalo Boat Show at the s ADPRO Sports Training Center, 1 Bills Drive, Orchard Park, NY. The region's largest and best boat show. From cruisers to runabouts, pontoon boats to fishing boats, ski boats to personal watercraft and boat trailers - the show has it all. All of the area's top dealers will have product on display and everything will be on-sale! All major manufacturers will have show promotions / rebates in place and lenders will have discounted boat show financing rates, as well. You'll find everything else you need: boat lifts and dock displays, local Marinas, Boat Insurance, boat service providers, accessories, electronics, and much more. (For information call 585-237-5185 x104)

22 - “FLY FISHING KAMCHATKA AND NORTHEAST SIBERIA” at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY. (7:00 pm) Gary Romanic will talk about the pursuit and challenges of fly fishing the last frontier on the planet for steelhead, salmon, grayling and char.  The presentation will concentrate on the different types of trout and the ensuing adventures accompanying that search.  John Harris will be our pre-meeting demonstrator beginning at 6:30.  John will demonstrate his brush making tool and show how he uses the brush to tie one of his favorite flies. (For information call Nick DiNunzio  607-754-7784)

24 - Ice World Erie Exploration at Evangola State Park, 10191 Old Lake Shore Road, Irving, NY (10:00 am – noon) (For information/register call 716-549-1050) 

24 – Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Team Event out of Lakeside Park, Mayville, NY on Chautauqua Lake. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then) Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team.) (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

24-25 - 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)

25 – Fly Tying Demonstration Of  “Cuban Flea” Fly And Tactics For Local Steelhead at the Orvis Store, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (Noon)

28 – State of Owasco Lake Information Meeting at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Rd, Auburn, NY. (7:00 – 9:00 pm) DEC will present information on Owasco Lake, including summaries of the latest available fisheries research and management strategies and actions, as well as contributions from Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) and the Eastern Finger Lakes Angler Diary Cooperator Program. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

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2 - 9 - 18   NO FISHING UPDATE THIS WEEK.

2 – 2 – 18

 

*TIP: TODAY’S PRESCRIPTION. Works for most problems!

 

*TIP #2: START ICE FISHING: Fishing through the ice requires skill and knowledge as does open water angling. But, anyone can ice fish successfully if he/she does the homework. Learning about the water to be fished, the equipment and its capabilities, proper clothing and safety precautions are all part of a successful, enjoyable winter fishing experience. Perhaps the best way to get started is to accompany a friend or neighbor on a half-day ice fishing outing. If you are unable to locate anyone to go with, the next best alternative is to visit a tackle shop in a popular ice fishing area. The proprietors are interested in seeing that you have a successful and enjoyable trip and will provide you with all of the necessary equipment. You may also watch for announcements of local ice fishing contests or tournaments run by local sportsmen's clubs -- ice fishermen tend to be a highly social group, eager to share tips, techniques and stories.

 

*TIP #3: ICE SAFETY:

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

 

 

 

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Minimal reports of safe ice on the lake have been reported for fishing. Off Hamburg, according to recent reports, the ice has been safe enough for snow machines to make it out to productive water and the walleye are outnumbering the yellow perch being caught. Live minnows seem to be the ticket. No clear picture on what productive depth to key on, but the fish seem to be active at a variety of depths. There were good reports of trout taken through the ice at Barcelona, but check for safe ice before heading out. There was a lot of open water near the shoreline from Dunkirk to Silver Creek on Tuesday.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All Lake Erie tributaries have moderate flows and ice jams in lower sections of some streams. Look for steelhead action to return as creek conditions get back to normal. Ice jams may limit influx of fresh fish, but there were good numbers around before creeks froze over. Effective flies include swinging 1.5 to 2-inch streamers in olive or white and dead-drifting stonefly patterns under an indicator.

There are now water-stage recorders on Chautauqua, Canadaway, Silver, Walnut, Big Sister and Eighteenmile Creeks. At present, these recorders only measure gage height, which is height of the water in the stream above a reference point. There will be a bit of a learning curve here, to figure out how gage height translates to actual stream flow or condition. See the USGS Water Data for New York webpage for this information. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Floating ice is accumulating along upper river shorelines, limiting shore fishing opportunities. Most harbors are iced over, but no safe ice reported. Upper river waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. Anglers have to remember as of December 1st keeper bass must be at least 20 inches on the river south of the Peace Bridge. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. The Small Boat Harbor has ice of 10 - 14 inches. Anglers are catching good numbers of mostly smaller sunfish and yellow perch, with the occasional keeper. Anglers are also exploring the sheltered bays and channels to the north and south of the harbor. Some anglers are venturing outside of the inner harbor, but ice thickness is unknown.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: When conditions permit, lower river boaters are seeing good trout action in the mid to upper drifts. Fish are available from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar and all points in-between. A three-way rig with flat fish style lures like Mag Lip or Kwikfish produce a mix of steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. A three-way with a live shiner is a better bet for walleye. If you do catch some walleye, remember that the minimum size is 18 inches and from Jan. 1 to March 15 the daily creel is one fish per person per day. The intent there is to protect the females that are getting ready to spawn soon. Not much safe shore fishing opportunities due to shelf ice along the shoreline. Boot cleats are recommended due to very slick shorelines. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  The sections directly below the dams at Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks remain open, but slack water and lower sections may or may not be iced over. Anglers are catching a few brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm,  egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. All of the other creeks are frozen. Wilson Harbor has ice up to 8 - 10 inches but only half that over the channel. Be careful there and check the ice as you go. Anglers are catching some yellow perch, bluegills, largemouth bass and the occasional pike, brown trout or steelhead catch is possible. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: All of Chautauqua Lake is locked up, with between 6-12 inches of ice reported but be careful of soft spots. There have been some good walleye catches, primarily around dawn and dusk. Depths around 30 feet have been productive near Long Point, Prendergast, Warner Bay and Dewittville Bay. The rims of the deeper holes are good spots to try as well. Jigging Rapalas (#7 or #9) and vertical jigging spoons tipped with a small minnow or grub are good walleye offerings. Keeper size yellow perch have been very tough to find lake-wide. However, anglers have managed some keepers off Mayville. Anglers also report fair numbers of white perch around the north basin. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: Up to 11 inches of ice is reported at the south end. The water is still pretty muddy after last week’s rains and thaw. Yellow perch were biting well but lots are only 6-8 inchers. Try for bigger perch in deeper waters of 30-35 feet. There are decent numbers of sunfish around the weedy south end, but fish are tight-lipped. Downsizing to a small jig and single spike has been productive. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: At the north end, ice is up to 10 inches but be careful of the edge ice. Anglers are catching good numbers of keeper sunfish. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike, tiger muskellunge and/or large-mouth bass. Some pike have been caught off access points at mid-lake. At the south end be extra careful. The inlet flooded, pushing a lot of muddy water under the ice. It may have eroded the ice from below.(Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: Ice is a reported up to 7 inches but be on alert for soft spots. No reports on the action. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: Ice is a reported up to 10 inches over most of lake, however there are reportedly some thin spots in the south end shallows. Anglers are out after smelt. Find a spot fairly close to shore; clear ice of snow; set your coleman on the ice; drill a hole and start jiggin. They are usually found right below the ice surface over 20 feet of water. Use a small bluegill glow jig and a waxie.  Not a hot bite but enough to keep it interesting. Lake trout are available over deeper water. Jigging with spoons is a good bet. Be careful of the shore ice. (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, up to 11 inches for anglers to enjoy some fishing but be careful of the edge ice – it’s refreezing. The lake is producing some good panfish in the shallows and as ice thickness improves, anglers will be able to get out to deeper water and catch more of a mixed bag. Tip-ups with shiners produce largemouth bass and chain pickerel catches. When cooperating, larger yellow perch are a better bet in deeper areas over 20 feet. The odd walleye catch is also possible. Be careful and check the ice as you move around. Some anglers have reported seeing some grubs in the flesh of the panfish. Proper cooking of the fish kill the grubs and are not harmful to humans. If unappetizing they can be cut out. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: Hard water anglers can visit both ends of the lake. Ice up to 6 – 10 inches in place and depending on the time and place fair to good perch can be had. Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (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: Up to 12 inches of ice on the lakes. Perch and bluegills are providing action but they’re mostly small. If you go out check the ice as you move around. From the reports gathered Waneta seems to be providing the most action. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 fishing is still on hold for most of the lake but hard water anglers are going out at the Penn Yan end. Up to 10 inches of black ice is reported and there’s some hot bluegill and perch action. Try a pink-bead head nymph tipped with a spike. Lots of small for each big. Further south on the Penn Yan branch hot laker action but the fish are reported as skinny. On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: Some ice reported at the ends of the lake but no details. On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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: Hard water anglers have some ice to check out at the north end. Anglers are out on 6 +/- inches of ice. Pickerel and some perch are being caught. On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, also some lakers and browns. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: The ice on the north end, broke up with the south wind and higher temps of a few days ago. It will take a few cold, calm nights to get that ice to reform. The ice reported at the south end was 3.5" of solid black ice with a few decent perch and lake trout being caught. (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: Some ice up to 3 inches but not recommended as safe. Below 0 temperatures have tried but accompanied winds have prevented/limited ice formation. The south end is beginning to look like the surface of the moon. A lot of broken up ice frozen into sections to form a conglomerate of uneven ice. Not good and not good enough to fish.  (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: Hard water anglers are out on up to 8 inches of ice at the north end of the lake but action is slow – small bluegills and crappie. The main lake is iced over but some soft spots exist so be careful and check as you go. (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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 reservoir is covered with ice up to 12 inches. Just be careful if you venture near the channel. Fathead minnows are taking walleye and a few crappie. If no action, switch up sizes, colors, and presentation. Best times are morning and later afternoon hours. Recent reports indicate slow action. Littering is becoming a big problem on the reservoir and anglers need to remember to take out whatever you bring in! As of Friday, 2/2, the Kieble Road gate was still closed. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: This region has received a lot of lake-effect snow in the last few weeks which may make moving around on the ice difficult. If on the clear ice creepers are recommended. There is 8 inches to a foot+ of ice being reported and anglers have been enjoying the good conditions catching walleye, perch and Northern pike. Areas off the Elm’s, Green Point and the state boat launch at Groman Shores have been very active.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Good ice but be careful. No reports from anglers on what’s being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: Hardwater anglers are getting some localized action. Reported ice depths range from 0 to 15 inches so check as you move around. Most of the ice is pretty glare and creepers are recommended. Off Lewis Point, ice was reported to be 12 inches plus. Wind, rain and snow have had an impact on ice production. Be careful of gas pockets and pressure cracks on the ice. Anglers are catching a fair amount of walleye, but many are small. Areas such as North Bay, Lewis Point and Shackelton Shoals are best possible for walleye action. A few good-sized perch are also being taken. One specific report out of Lewis Point sited dink perch in 30 fow and bigger perch at 40 feet – suspended at 10 – 20 feet. Hot jigs have been firetiger jigging rapalas, clown color jigging shad rapalas and Goby Moonshine lures for both walleye and perch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Be prepared for snow. Action is very limited; streams are closed in and the piers iced over. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Ice on the Bays, up to 10+ inches in spots. Snow covers the ice in some locations so be careful. The action on Sodus is over by the docks out from Katlynn Marina (the old trestle area), at the Sodus Point Loop and by Second Creek, which is on Shaker Heights Road. Another hot spot is at the south-east part of Sodus. The perch are in 30 -40 feet of water; hitting larger jigs. Swedish Pimples work well. The fish are schooling so you might have to move around for the jumbos. The pike are hitting between LeRoy Island and the east shore of the bay. Port Bay anglers are finding perch off the points and close to the channel. Reports from Fair Haven indicate uneven, questionable ice due to thawing and refreezing. Be extra careful if you go out. Anglers were catching crappies, bluegills and some perch near the Widewaters in Newark. The ice is 8 - 10 inches thick. Just beware the canal still has current and not all ice is uniform. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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:  Long and Cranberry Ponds, in Greece report 8 - 11 inches of good ice but watch shore ice, existing holes and areas of flowing water. The perch are providing some action on jigs tipped a minnow. Braddock's Bay is locked up pretty good with a reported  6 - 10 inches of ice but watch the shoreline. Fair perch and pike action is noted here. Irondequiot Bay reports indicate up to 11 inches of ice with 4 inches of snow, at the north end. Use caution. A pressure ridge is reported from Ide's Cove over to the Webster side with a big wet area over the deepwater.  Also wet spot toward the launch.  Anglers using underwater cameras are seeing a lot of gizzard shade. Further south in the county, 100 Acre Pond and Quaker Pond reporting 4 -10 inches but be careful of ice skaters. On the lower Genesee, if you get to open water, try for brown trout. (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: There were some steelhead being taken in the lower and middle sections, with egg-imitating flies or pink, chartreuse and blue egg sacs producing fish. Anglers have reported getting into fish in both the upper and lower end of the river. Dead drifting with nymphs or float fishing with egg sacs and pink worms produced the best results. In the upper end of the river anglers have been getting into fish in the Lower Fly Zone with nymphs working well. Those who are bottom bouncing or float fishing in the mid to upper end of the river have had the best results with egg sacs, beads and pink worms. In the DSR good numbers of fresh steelies. Fishing early or late in the day will likely be more productive. No question the water level is high, but a few anglers are still fishing and making the most of conditions. Shelf ice and slush ice have been a factor in the lower end of the river but have not been a problem in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section closed November 30th. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain and snow melt that we had during the warm weather last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once the frozen sections of the river broke up, driftboats were able to access the water for a day or so with some nice catches. Then we had high water and not much activity. 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: On the rivers, the rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) – 10 inches of ice. Very slow.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) – Ice reported at 4 – 5 inches of black ice with 2 inches of white ice on top; middle had 8 inches white ice. Fish marked but few caught.

New Albion, Case, Quaker and Harwood Lakes (Cattaraugus County) - Lakes have between 5-6 inches of ice, with varying amounts of snow on top. Fishing is generally fair for a mix of panfish, however anglers also have chance to catch large trout (see above).

Rushford Lake (Allegany County) – open for public fishing. Reported safe ice and good action on walleye and perch

 

 

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

JANUARY 2018

1-2/28 – NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament through Feb. 28. Seven species categories. Open water or through the ice. (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

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

FEBRUARY 2018

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. (>5/5)

3 - The Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest 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.

3-4 - S-VE Sportsman’s Club Sportsman Days at the Spencer-Van Etten High School, S-VE High School, 16 Darts Cross Road, Spencer, NY (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Sponsored by the Spencer-Van Etten High School Sportsman’s Club. From hunting with dogs to hunting with guides. Artists, taxidermists, wood carvers, archery shops, fishing experts and guides. Archery range and fly casting area for kids. Free venison samples. Youth 3D archery tournament. Youth game calling contest. National Guard, seminars, Book Signing, DEC officers and Cornell deer researchers. Bring your deer mounts to hang in our “hall of Horns”. Food and drinks available for sale by our student council. Free! (For information call Doug 607-589-6512 or email @ cheveefann@aol.com)

3-4 - 2018 WNED Kid Fest at the WNED-TV Studios, 140 Lower Terrace, Buffalo, NY (Sat 12:00 – 5:00 pm/Sun 12:00 – 4:00 pm) A fun-filled family event. There will be appearances of your favorite PBS Kids characters including Daniel Tiger, Katerina Kittycat, Nature Cat, Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat, Pinkalicous and Clifford. Experience live performances, activities, crafts, prizes, coloring contests and more. Also, Introduce your kids to the outdoors! The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen will provide free beginner fishing books, area fishing maps, will provide a random drawing for free fishing rods/reels, and offer conservation feature topics in a slide show, including news about spring and summer Teach-Me-To-Fish fun events held at numerous locations across Erie County. (Cost: $10.00/child and $12.00/adult) (For outdoor related information from the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen, call: Joe McAdams, 716-570-3436 or Jeff Jondle, 716-243-5363. For general Kid Fest information, call: 716-845-7000 x100.)

3-11 - National Rifle Association’s Great American Outdoor Show at the State Farm Show Complex, 2300 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA. This is a nine day event celebrating hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions that are treasured by millions of Americans and their families. The show features over 1,100 exhibitors ranging from shooting manufacturers to outfitters to fishing boats and RV’s, and archery to art covering 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! Not to mention a jam packed schedule including country concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and much more! Admission to the 2016 Great American Outdoor Show is as follows: • Adult: $13.00, • Child (6-12): $6.00, • Senior (65 or older): $11.00 and • 2-Day Pass: $22.00. The show’s website, www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org, features an interactive floor plan and exhibitors list.

8 - Local Steelhead Tactics by noted author Rick Kustich at the Orvis Buffalo store. There will also be a book signing, as well as a special screening of the DVD Spey Daze. (6:00 pm)

10 - Rod & Gun Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Lyons Road (Route 14N), Geneva, NY (9:30 am) Shotguns, rifles, handguns, military, decoys, knives, mounts, fishing, ammo and swords. (For more information call 315-789-9349 or 585-734-6082 or go to www.hessney.com)

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

 

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TIP: ICE SAFETY:

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

 

 

 

 

 

TIP #2: Remember, as ice anglers you are visiting the waters, so don’t trespass on land where you don’t have permission to park. And don’t leave stuff on the ice, like propane tanks. The word is that there have been parking issues and litter left behind. Make sure you respect where you are because the hospitality given to ice anglers can end quickly.

 

LAKE ERIE:  While the lake is 85 percent ice covered, look to the harbors for any safe ice. Minimal reports of safe ice on the lake have been reported for fishing. There were good reports of trout taken through the ice at Barcelona, but check for safe ice before heading out. There was a lot of open water near the shoreline from Dunkirk to Silver Creek on Tuesday.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: All Lake Erie tributaries were high and muddy with ice jams in lower sections of some streams. Look for steelhead action to return as creek levels drop back to fishable levels. Ice jams may limit influx of fresh fish, but there were good numbers around before creeks froze over. Anglers were catching some steelhead through the ice at Barcelona Harbor before the warm-up. Ice is now gone. Casting spoons and spinners is now an option.

There are now water-stage recorders on Chautauqua, Canadaway, Silver, Walnut, Big Sister and Eighteenmile Creeks. At present, these recorders only measure gage height, which is height of the water in the stream above a reference point. There will be a bit of a learning curve here, to figure out how gage height translates to actual stream flow or condition. See the USGS Water Data for New York webpage for this information. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Floating ice is accumulating along upper river shorelines, limiting shore fishing opportunities. Most harbors are iced over, but no safe ice reported. Upper river waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. Anglers have to remember as of December 1st keeper bass must be at least 20 inches on the river south of the Peace Bridge. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. The Small Boat Harbor has ice of 10 - 12 inches. Anglers are catching mostly smaller sunfish and yellow perch, with the occasional keeper. Anglers are also exploring the sheltered bays and channels to the north and south of the harbor. Some anglers are venturing outside of the inner harbor, but ice thickness is unknown.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: When conditions permit, lower river boaters are seeing good trout action in the mid to upper drifts. A three-way rig with flat fish style lures like Mag Lip or Kwikfish produce a mix of steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. A three-way with a live shiner is a better bet for walleye. Not much safe shore fishing opportunities due to shelf ice along the shoreline. Boot cleats are recommended due to very slick shorelines. Regulation notes: Lake trout season opened on January 1st. Also starting January 1st, walleye daily limit decreased from 3 to 1, with minimum length of 18 inches. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  The sections directly below the dams at Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks remain open, but slack water and lower sections may or may not be iced over. Anglers are catching a few brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. All of the other creeks are frozen. Wilson Harbor has ice up to 8 - 10 inches but only half that over the channel. Be careful there and check the ice as you go. Anglers are catching some yellow perch, bluegills, largemouth bass and the occasional pike, brown trout or steelhead catch is possible. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: All of Chautauqua Lake has finally locked up, with between 8-12 inches of ice reported but be careful of edge ice. There have been some good walleye catches, primarily around dawn and dusk. Depths around 30 feet have been productive near Long Point, Prendergast, Warner Bay and Dewittville Bay. The rims of the deeper holes are good spots to try as well. Jigging Rapalas and vertical jigging spoons tipped with a small minnow or grub are good walleye offerings. Keeper size yellow perch have been very tough to find lake-wide. However, anglers have managed some keepers off Mayville. Anglers also report fair numbers of white perch around the north basin. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: Up to 11 inches of ice is reported at the south end. The water is still pretty muddy after last week’s rains and thaw. High water and snow will hinder refreezing. Yellow perch were biting well. Anglers were catching lots of 6-8 inch perch with some keepers mixed in. There are decent numbers of sunfish around the weedy south end, but fish are tight-lipped. Downsizing to a small jig and single spike has been productive. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: At the north end, ice is up to 12 inches but be careful of the edge ice. Anglers are catching good numbers of keeper sunfish. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike, tiger muskellunge and/or large-mouth bass. Some pike have been caught off access points at mid-lake and the south end as well. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: Skim ice up to several inches is forming along shore and in some bays but No Safe Ice is reported. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: Ice is a reported up to 7 inches at the launch with another 4 – 5 inches of frozen slush on top. Anglers are out after smelt. Find a spot fairly close to shore; clear ice of snow; set your coleman on the ice; drill a hole and start jiggin. They are usually found right below the ice surface over 20 feet of water. Use a small bluegill glow jig and a waxie.  Not a hot bite but enough to keep it interesting. Lake trout are available over deeper water. Jigging with spoons is a good bet. Be careful of the shore ice. (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, up to 10 inches for anglers to enjoy some fishing but be careful of the edge ice – it’s refreezing. The lake is producing some good panfish in the shallows and as ice thickness improves, they’ll be able to get out to deeper water and catch more of a mixed bag. Tip-ups with shiners produce largemouth bass and chain pickerel catches. When cooperating, larger yellow perch are a better bet in deeper areas over 20 feet. The odd walleye catch is possible. Be careful and check the ice as you move around. (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: Hard water anglers can visit both ends of the lake. Ice up to 6 – 10 inches in place and depending on the time and place fair to good perch can be had. Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (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: Up to 12 inches of ice on the lakes. Perch and bluegills are providing action but they’re mostly small. If you go out check the ice as you move around. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 fishing is still on hold for most of the lake but hard water anglers are going out at the Penn Yan end. Up to 10 inches of black ice is reported and there’s some hot bluegill and perch action. Try a pink-bead head nymph tipped with a spike. Lots of small for each big. Further south on the Penn Yan branch hot laker action but the fish are reported as skinny. On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: Some ice reported at the ends of the lake but no details. On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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: Hard water anglers have some ice to check out at the north end. Anglers are out on 6 – 8 inches of ice. Pickerel and some perch are being caught. On open water, anglers continue to have some luck catching lake trout either trolling or vertical jigging but it’s cold out there. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, also some lakers and browns. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: Very limited hard water fishing reported along the north shore. Some ice is forming at the south end but no details. (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: Some ice up to 3 inches but not recommended as safe. Below 0 temperatures have tried but accompanied winds have prevented/limited ice formation. The south end is beginning to look like the surface of the moon. A lot of broken up ice frozen into sections to form a conglomerate of uneven ice. Not good and not good enough to fish.  (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: Hard water anglers are out on up to 7 inches of ice at the north end of the lake but action is slow – small bluegills and crappie. The main lake remains open. (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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 reservoir is covered with ice up to 14 inches. Just be careful if you venture near the channel. Fathead minnows are taking walleye and a few crappie. If no action switch up sizes, colors, and presentation. Best times are morning and later afternoon hours. Recent reports indicate slow action. As of Friday, 1/19, the Kieble Road gate was still closed. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)   

SANDY POND: This region has received a lot of lake-effect snow in the last few weeks which may make moving around on the ice difficult. However, there is 7 inches to a foot of ice being reported and anglers have been enjoying the good conditions catching walleye, perch and Northern pike. Areas off the Elm’s, Green Point and the state boat launch at Groman Shores have been very active.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: Good ice but be careful. No reports from anglers on what’s being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: Hardwater anglers are getting some localized action but you have to check the ice constantly. Reported ice depths range from 0 to 12 inches. Off Lewis Point, ice was reported to be 12 inches plus. Wind, rain and snow have had an impact on ice production. Be careful of gas pockets and pressure cracks on the ice. Anglers are catching a fair amount of walleye, but many are small. Areas such as North Bay, Lewis Point and Shackelton Shoals are best possible for walleye action. A few good-sized perch are also being taken. One specific report out of Lewis Point sited dink perch in 30 fow and bigger perch at 40 feet – suspended at 10 – 20 feet. Hot jigs have been firetiger jigging rapalas, clown color jigging shad rapalas and Goby Moonshine lures for both walleye and perch. The ice is slick so bring along cleats/creepers. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Be prepared for snow. Action is very limited; streams are closed in and the piers iced over. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Ice on the Bays, up to 12+ inches in spots. Snow covers the ice in some locations so be careful. The action on Sodus is over by the docks out from Katlynn Marina (the old trestle area). Another hot spot is at the south-east part of Sodus. The perch are in 18 feet of water and hitting artificial small rubber or perch colored jigs. The fish are schooling so you might have to move around for the jumbos. The pike are hitting between LeRoy Island and the east shore of the bay. Port Bay anglers are finding perch off the points and close to the channel. Reports from Fair Haven indicate uneven, questionable ice due to thawing and refreezing. Be extra careful if you go out. Anglers were catching pan fish near Widewaters in Newark. The ice is 8 - 10 inches thick. Just beware the canal still has current and not all ice is uniform. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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:  Long and Cranberry Ponds, in Greece report 8 - 11 inches of good ice but watch shore ice, existing holes and areas of flowing water. The perch are providing fair to good action on jigs tipped a minnow. Braddock's Bay is locked up pretty good with a reported  solid 8 - 13 inches of ice but watch the shoreline. Fair pike action is noted here. Irondequiot Bay reports indicate up to 11 inches of ice with 4 inches of snow, at the north end. Use caution. A pressure ridge is reported from Ide's Cove over to the Webster side with a big wet area over the deepwater.  Also wet spot toward the launch.  Further south in the county, 100 Acre Pond and Quaker Pond reporting 4 -10 inches but be careful of ice skaters. On the lower Genesee, if you get to open water, try for brown trout. (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: There were some steelhead being taken in the lower and middle sections, with egg-imitating flies or pink, chartreuse and blue egg sacs producing fish. Anglers have reported getting into fish in both the upper and lower end of the river. Dead drifting with nymphs or float fishing with egg sacs and pink worms produced the best results. In the upper end of the river anglers have been getting into fish in the Lower Fly Zone with nymphs working well. Those who are bottom bouncing or float fishing in the mid to upper end of the river have had the best results with egg sacs, beads and pink worms. In the DSR good numbers of fresh steelies. Fishing early or late in the day will likely be more productive. No question the water level is high, but a few anglers are still fishing and making the most of conditions. Shelf ice and slush ice have been a factor in the lower end of the river but have not been a problem in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section closed November 30th. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain and snow melt that we had during the warm weather last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once the frozen sections of the river broke up, driftboats were able to access the water for a day or so with some nice catches. Then we had high water and not much activity. Warmer temperatures are expected over the next few days with some rain in the forecast so we will have to keep an eye on the water level. 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: On the rivers, the rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters were stocked in mid-October: Quaker Lake received 550 brown trout (14"-24") and 410 rainbow trout (14"-28"); Case Lake received 400 brook trout (14"-18"), 100 brown trout (14") and 50 rainbow trout (21"-28"); Harwood Lake received 100 brook trout (14"-18") and 100 brown trout (14"); New Albion Lake received 150 brown trout (14") and 75 rainbow trout (14"-21"); Allen Lake received 275 brook trout (14"-18") and 50 brown trout (14"); Genesee River received 150 brown trout (14") and 380 rainbow trout (14"-28"), stocked between Wellsville and the PA line.

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) – 6 inches of ice. Lots of small perch.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) – Ice reported at 4 – 5 inches of black ice with 2 inches of white ice on top; middle had 8 inches white ice. Fish marked but few caught.

New Albion, Case, Quaker and Harwood Lakes (Cattaraugus County) - Lakes have between 5-6 inches of ice, with varying amounts of snow on top. Fishing is generally fair for a mix of panfish, however anglers also have chance to catch large trout (see above).

Rushford Lake (Allegany County) – open for public fishing. Reported safe ice and good action on walleye and perch

 

 

                                                                 >))))*>

 

 

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

JANUARY 2018

1-2/28 – NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament through Feb. 28. Seven species categories. Open water or through the ice. (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

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

26-28 – Runnings New York Sportsman’s Expo in the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Fri - Noon to 7:00 pm/Sat – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm/Sun – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) This year's show will include more than 40 new exhibits, including outfitters from across the globe  . The schedule also includes seminars, a kids' trout pond and more. (Admission: $10 ages 13-64; $5 for children 6 – 12; 5 and under no charge. Seniors are $7 and Military/Fire and Police are $7 with ID) (For information go to http://www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com/)

27-28 – Powersports Open House at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. (11:00 am – 2:00 pm) Visit our Powersports Open House in the Boat Showroom!  Our full service team and Powersports staff will be available to show you the brand new 2018 models, the best gear to upgrade your boat, answer any questions you may have and more! Make sure you enter to win the drawing for this weekend's grand prize giveaway including 2 Yeti Ramblers, a Cabela's Boundary Waters Roll-Top Dry Bag and an Ecoxgear Sol Jam Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker!  (Entry box located in the Boat Showroom during this Sat & Sun weekend during store hours). (For information call 716-608-4770)

30 – Introduction to Fly Fishing Course at the West Seneca East Middle School, West Seneca, NY

(6:30 -  8:30 p.m. through March 13.) Course is through West Seneca Continuing/Community Education and hosted by the Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers International. (For information call 716-982-9468.)

30 – Budny On Backpacking And Fly Fishing at the Donovan Post, Genesee Street, Cheektowaga, NY. (7:30 pm) Jim Budny will talk about that thecombination of backpacking and fly fishing through his own personal experiences at the next meeting of the Western New York Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Interested fl- tiers can also get there at 6 p.m. for a special tying session. This month’s instruction will be for tying soft hackle partridge wet flies. Be sure to bring black, red, orange and olive thread. You will have a choice on what color to use.

31 – Free Fly Tying/Fly Fishing Classes (first of a series of Wednesday night classes.) at the Costello Room, Rockefeller Arts Center, SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY (Every Wednesday from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.) The classes are available for anyone from age 8 to 108. The classes are free. (For information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or visit www.albertorey.com.)

FEBRUARY 2018

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. (>5/5)

3 - The Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest 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.

3-4 - S-VE Sportsman’s Club Sportsman Days at the Spencer-Van Etten High School, S-VE High School, 16 Darts Cross Road, Spencer, NY (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Sponsored by the Spencer-Van Etten High School Sportsman’s Club. From hunting with dogs to hunting with guides. Artists, taxidermists, wood carvers, archery shops, fishing experts and guides. Archery range and fly casting area for kids. Free venison samples. Youth 3D archery tournament. Youth game calling contest. National Guard, seminars, Book Signing, DEC officers and Cornell deer researchers. Bring your deer mounts to hang in our “hall of Horns”. Food and drinks available for sale by our student council. Free! (For information call Doug 607-589-6512 or email @ cheveefann@aol.com)

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

 

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1 – 19 – 18

 

*TIP: ICE SAFETY:

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

 

 

 

 

 

*TIP #2: STAY WARM THIS WINTER WITH THESE TIPS: Whether you’re fishing, hunting, hiking, camping or just walking around the neighborhood, knowing how to keep warm and dry can help you enjoy the outdoors during the beautiful winter season instead of sitting inside

listening to the weatherman talk about the wind chill index. Layer yourself with loose fitting clothing. This creates air spaces that trap heat, plus the layers can be quickly adapted to changing conditions and activities. Choose clothing that wicks moisture away from you. It’s

also a good idea to invest in GORE-TEX™ rainwear. Use mittens instead of gloves and use a thin liner sock under a thick wool sock. Most importantly, wear something on your head. Most

body heat is lost through the head, neck, and shoulders. Keep your head and trunk warm and your body will circulate blood to your feet and hands.

(By Larry Whiteley, Host of the awardwinning Outdoor World Radio For more tips, go to

basspro.com)      

 

*LAKE ERIE:  While the lake is 85 percent ice covered, look to the harbors for any safe ice. No reports of safe ice on the lake have been reported for fishing. Too much snow (15 inches) and heavy winds have the lake in a dangerous state.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: At mid-week there were plenty of open water spots on popular tributaries such as Chautauqua, Canadaway and Eighteenmile Creeks. With mild temperatures on the way, expect open areas to expand. Rain added to the mix could cause another blowout.  Look for steelhead action to return as creek levels drop back to fishable levels. Ice jams may limit influx of fresh fish, but there were good numbers around before creeks froze over. Anglers were catching some steelhead through the ice at Barcelona Harbor before the warm-up. Ice is now gone. Casting spoons and spinners is now an option.

There are now water-stage recorders on Chautauqua, Canadaway, Silver, Walnut, Big Sister and Eighteenmile Creeks. At present, these recorders only measure gage height, which is height of the water in the stream above a reference point. There will be a bit of a learning curve here, to figure out how gage height translates to actual stream flow or condition. See the USGS Water Data for New York webpage for this information. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Floating ice is accumulating along upper river shorelines, limiting shore fishing opportunities. Most harbors are iced over, but no safe ice reported yet. Upper river waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. Anglers have to remember as of December 1st keeper bass must be at least 20 inches on the river south of the Peace Bridge. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. The Small Boat Harbor has solid ice of 10 - 12 inches. Anglers are catching mostly smaller sunfish and yellow perch, with the occasional keeper. Anglers are also exploring the sheltered bays and channels to the north and south of the harbor. Some anglers are venturing outside of the inner harbor, but ice thickness is unknown.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: When conditions permit, lower river boaters are seeing good trout action in the mid to upper drifts. A three-way rig with flat fish style lures like Mag Lip or Kwikfish produce a mix of steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. A three-way with a live shiner is a better bet for walleye. Not much safe shore fishing opportunities due to shelf ice along the shoreline. Boot cleats are recommended due to very slick shorelines. Regulation notes: Lake trout season opened on January 1st. Also starting January 1st, walleye daily limit decreased from 3 to 1, with minimum length of 18 inches. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  The sections directly below the dams at Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks remain open, but slack water and lower sections are iced over. Anglers are catching a few brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. All of the other creeks are frozen. Wilson Harbor has ice up to 6 – 7 inches but only half that over the channel. Be careful there and check the ice as you go. Anglers are catching some yellow perch and the occasional pike, brown trout or steelhead catch is possible. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: All of Chautauqua Lake has finally locked up nicely, with between 8-12 inches of ice reported. There have been some good walleye catches, primarily around dawn and dusk. Depths around 30 feet have been productive near Long Point, Prendergast, Warner Bay and Dewittville Bay. The rims of the deeper holes are good spots to try as well. Jigging Rapalas and vertical jigging spoons tipped with a small minnow or grub are good walleye offerings. Keeper size yellow perch have been very tough to find lake-wide. However, anglers have managed some keepers off Mayville. Anglers also report fair numbers of white perch around the north basin. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: Up to 11 inches of ice is reported at the south end. The water is still pretty muddy after last week’s rains and thaw. High water and snow will hinder refreezing. Yellow perch were biting well. Anglers were catching lots of 6-8 inch perch with some keepers mixed in. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: At the north end, ice is up to 12 inches. Anglers are catching good numbers of keeper sunfish. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike, tiger muskellunge and/or large-mouth bass. Some pike have been caught off access points at mid-lake and the south end as well. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: Skim ice up to several inches is forming along shore and in some bays but No Safe Ice is reported. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: Ice is a reported up to 7 inches at the launch with another 4 – 5 inches of frozen slush on top. Anglers are out after smelt. Find a spot fairly close to shore; clear ice of snow; set your coleman on the ice; drill a hole and start jiggin. They are usually found right below the ice surface over 20 feet of water. Use a small bluegill jig and a waxie.  Not a hot bite but enough to keep it interesting. Lake trout are available over deeper water. Jigging with spoons is a good bet. Be careful of the shore ice. (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: Solid ice, up to 7 inches for anglers to enjoy some fishing but be careful of the edge ice – it’s refrozen. The lake is producing some good panfish in the shallows and as ice thickness improves, they’ll be able to get out to deeper water and catch more of a mixed bag. Be careful and check the ice as you move around. (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: Hard water anglers can visit both ends of the lake. Ice up to 6 – 10 inches in place and depending on the time and place fair to good perch can be had. Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (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.)

 

 

                                                                          Photo by Brad Schell

(Report received 1-16-18) Canandaigua lake has 9-13 inches at the north end with weaker ice around the pier. Was a decent perch bite the recent rains have made the water cloudy and slowed down the fish. (Thanks Brad)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: Up to 6+ inches of ice on the lakes. Perch and bluegills are providing action but they’re mostly small. If you go out check the ice as you move around. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 fishing is still on hold for most of the lake but hard water anglers are going out at the Penn Yan end. Up to 10 inches of black ice is reported and there’s some hot bluegill action. Try a pink-bead head nymph tipped with a spike. Lots of small for each big. On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. (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: Some ice reported at the ends of the lake but no details. On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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: Hard water anglers have some ice to check out at the north end. Anglers are out on 6 – 8 inches of ice. Pickerel and some perch are being caught. On open water, anglers continue to have some luck catching lake trout either trolling or vertical jigging but it’s cold out there. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, also some lakers and browns. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Very limited hard water fishing reported along the north shore. Some ice is forming at the south end but no details. (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: Some ice up to 3 inches but not recommended as safe. Below 0 temperatures have tried but accompanied winds have prevented/limited ice formation. The south end is beginning to look like the surface of the moon. A lot of broken up ice frozen into sections to form a conglomerate of uneven ice. Not good and not good enough to fish.  (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: Hard water anglers are out on up to 7 inches of ice at the north end of the lake but action is slow. The main lake remains open. (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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 reservoir is covered with ice up to 14 inches. Just be careful if you venture near the channel. Fathead minnows are taking walleye and a few crappie. If no action switch up sizes, colors, and presentation. Best times are morning and later afternoon hours. Recent reports indicate slow action. As of Friday, 1/19, the Kieble Road gate was still closed. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)   

*SANDY POND: This region has received a lot of lake-effect snow in the last few weeks which may make moving around on the ice difficult. However, there is 7 inches to a foot of ice being reported and anglers have been enjoying the good conditions catching walleye, perch and Northern pike. Areas off the Elm’s, Green Point and the state boat launch at Groman Shores have been very active.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Good ice but no reports from anglers on what’s being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: Hardwater anglers are getting some localized action but you have to check the ice constantly. Reported ice depths range from 0 to 12 inches. Off Lewis Point, ice was reported to be 12 inches plus. Wind, rain and snow have had an impact on ice production. Be careful of gas pockets and pressure cracks on the ice. Anglers are catching a fair amount of walleye, but many are small. Areas such as North Bay, Lewis Point and Shackelton Shoals are best possible for walleye action. A few good-sized perch are also being taken. Hot jigs have been firetiger jigging rapalas, clown color jigging shad rapalas and Goby Moonshine lures for both walleye and perch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Be prepared for snow. Action is very limited; streams are closed in and the piers iced over.For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Ice on the Bays, up to 18 inches in spots. Snow covers the ice in some locations so be careful. The action on Sodus is over by the docks out from Katlynn Marina (the old trestle area). Another hot spot is at the south-east part of Sodus. The perch are in 18 feet of water and hitting artificial small rubber or perch colored jigs. The fish are schooling so you might have to move around for the jumbos. The pike are hitting between LeRoy Island and the east shore of the bay. Port Bay anglers are finding perch off the points and close to the channel. Reports from Fair Haven indicate uneven, questionable ice due to thawing and refreezing. Be extra careful if you go out. Anglers were catching pan fish near Widewaters in Newark. The ice is 8 - 10 inches thick. Just beware the canal still has current and not all ice is uniform. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (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:  Long and Cranberry Ponds, in Greece report 8 - 11 inches of good ice but watch for holes. Also, besure and check the shore ice before venturing out. The perch are providing fair to good action. Braddock's Bay is locked up pretty good with a reported  solid 8 - 13 inches of ice. Fair pike action is noted here. Irondequiot Bay reports indicate up to 11 inches of ice with 4 inches of snow, at the north end. Use caution. A pressure ridge is reported from Ide's Cove over to the Webster side with a big wet area over the deepwater.  Also wet spot toward the launch.  Further south in the county, 100 Acre Pond and Quaker Pond reporting 4 -10 inches but be careful of ice skaters. On the lower Genesee, if you get to open water, try for brown trout. (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: There were some steelhead being taken in the lower and middle sections, with egg-imitating flies or pink, chartreuse and blue egg sacs producing fish. Anglers have reported getting into some steelhead in the Lower Fly Zone with egg patterns and flesh flies producing the best results. In the mid to lower end of the river the majority of anglers are now targeting steelhead and a variety of techniques have been productive. For those who are fly fishing, egg patterns under a strike indicator or swinging streamers with sinking leaders has been productive. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, blue or pink egg sacs and trout beads have produced steady results. Fishing early or late in the day will likely be more productive. No question the water level is high, but a few anglers are still fishing and making the most of conditions. Shelf ice and slush ice have been a factor in the lower end of the river but have not been a problem in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section closed November 30th. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain and snow melt that we had during the warm weather last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once the frozen sections of the river broke up, driftboats were able to access the water for a day or so with some nice catches. Then we had high water and not much activity. Warmer temperatures are expected over the next few days with some rain in the forecast so we will have to keep an eye on the water level. 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 rivers will generally be closed in with ice and snow. If you can reach open water try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters were stocked in mid-October: Quaker Lake received 550 brown trout (14"-24") and 410 rainbow trout (14"-28"); Case Lake received 400 brook trout (14"-18"), 100 brown trout (14") and 50 rainbow trout (21"-28"); Harwood Lake received 100 brook trout (14"-18") and 100 brown trout (14"); New Albion Lake received 150 brown trout (14") and 75 rainbow trout (14"-21"); Allen Lake received 275 brook trout (14"-18") and 50 brown trout (14"); Genesee River received 150 brown trout (14") and 380 rainbow trout (14"-28"), stocked between Wellsville and the PA line.

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) – 6 inches of ice. Lots of small perch.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) – Ice reported at 4 – 5 inches of black ice with 2 inches of white ice on top; middle had 8 inches white ice. Fish marked but few caught.

New Albion, Case, Quaker and Harwood Lakes (Cattaraugus County) - Lakes have between 5-6 inches of ice, with varying amounts of snow on top. Fishing is generally fair for a mix of panfish, however anglers also have chance to catch large trout (see above).

Rushford Lake (Allegany County) – open for public fishing. Reported safe ice and good action on walleye and perch

 

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

JANUARY 2018

1-2/28 – NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament through Feb. 28. Seven species categories. Open water or through the ice. (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

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

19-21 - The 5th Annual Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center, Niagara Falls, NY. (For information go to niagarafishingexpo.com.) Some 70 speakers will be dishing out over 120 seminars and the Main Event hall is sold out with top quality fishing and fishing related exhibitors. Three days of education covering a wide spectrum of angling knowledge. Rick Hajecki, Greg Amiel, Dan Keating, Mark McClutchey, Jake Romanack, Jason Coslow, Frank Campbell, Dan Colville, Tim Thomas, Matt Yablonsky, Lance Valentine … the list is a long one. (Check it all out at www.niagarafishingexpo.com.) You won’t want to miss this one. Bring a friend 

20 - LOTSA Salmon School at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls, NY. (For information and sign up go to www.lotsa1.org.)

20-21– Greater Olean Area Outdoor & Recreational Sports Show at the Good Times of Olean Center, 800 East State Street, Olean, NY (Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 3:00 pm) Hosted by the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. 60 booths. (Admission: $3.00/Seniors $2.00/Children 12 and under free) (For information call 716-372-4433 or email meme@oleanny.com or go to http://www.oleanny.com)

26-28 – Runnings New York Sportsman’s Expo in the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Fri - Noon to 7:00 pm/Sat – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm/Sun – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) This year's show will include more than 40 new exhibits, including outfitters from across the globe  . The schedule also includes seminars, a kids' trout pond and more. (Admission: $10 ages 13-64; $5 for children 6 – 12; 5 and under no charge. Seniors are $7 and Military/Fire and Police are $7 with ID) (For information go to http://www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com/)

27-28 – Powersports Open House at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. (11:00 am – 2:00 pm) Visit our Powersports Open House in the Boat Showroom!  Our full service team and Powersports staff will be available to show you the brand new 2018 models, the best gear to upgrade your boat, answer any questions you may have and more! Make sure you enter to win the drawing for this weekend's grand prize giveaway including 2 Yeti Ramblers, a Cabela's Boundary Waters Roll-Top Dry Bag and an Ecoxgear Sol Jam Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker!  (Entry box located in the Boat Showroom during this Sat & Sun weekend during store hours). (For information call 716-608-4770)

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

 

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1 – 12 – 18

USE EXTRA CAUTION THIS WEEK: Recent rains have raised lake levels and weakened and/or dissolved shore ice. Heavy snows forecasted for the next few days will hide the flaws in the ice making it more important that you check the ice as you move around. Conditions may also be extra slippery with water on top of the ice.

 

TIP: ICE SAFETY:

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

 

 

 

 

TIP #2: BAITS THAT ATTRACT MORE FISH TO YOUR ICE FISHING HOLE: Selecting a lure with good action when you are ice fishing for walleyes can help you attract more fish to the hole and ultimately get more bites. Glide baits, like the Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, will jump to the side of the hole a foot or more as you lift it. This is different than most baits used for ice fishing, which tend to move vertically. As this bait turns around to come back, the change in direction will often trigger a bite. The #2 is a good size to start with. Other baits that jump to the side of the hole as you lift up with your rod are the ACME Sidewinder, VMC Tingler Spoon and KenKatch Slim Slam. These are all thin metal spoons that have a horizontal swing.

While aggressive jigging can help fish sense that there is food in the area, they also need to be able to see your bait.

The color of the bait I choose depends on the conditions. Metallics are always a favorite, as they give off a "flash" that can easily catch the attention of the walleye.

In low-light conditions, bright colors work well. Firetiger is one of my go-to patterns. Baits that glow in the dark also work really well, including those that have a color on one side and glow on the other, as they will appear to be flickering as they fall through the water.

You will want to use a short length, medium action rod to get good hook sets when using these lures.

For line, I use 8lb Berkley Nanofil fishing line because it is a no-stretch line that is very sensitive. This is tied to an 8lb Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon leader. This combination will increase your chance of a good hook-up and a successful day on the ice!

(By Gary Parsons basspro.com)

 

LAKE ERIE:  While the lake is 85 percent ice covered, look to the harbors for any safe ice. No reports of safe ice on the lake have been reported for fishing.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: There is a region wide blowout in process. All Lake Erie tributaries are high and muddy with ice jams in lower sections of some streams. Look for steelhead action to return as creek levels drop back to fishable levels. Ice jams may limit influx of fresh fish, but there were good numbers around before creeks froze over. Anglers were catching some steelhead through the ice at Barcelona Harbor before the warm-up. Ice is now gone. Casting spoons and spinners is now an option.

There are now water-stage recorders on Chautauqua, Canadaway, Silver, Walnut, Big Sister and Eighteenmile Creeks. At present, these recorders only measure gage height, which is height of the water in the stream above a reference point. There will be a bit of a learning curve here, to figure out how gage height translates to actual stream flow or condition. See the USGS Water Data for New York webpage for this information. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Floating ice is accumulating along upper river shorelines, limiting shore fishing opportunities. Most harbors are iced over, but no safe ice reported yet. Upper river waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. Anglers have to remember as of December 1st keeper bass must be at least 20 inches on the river south of the Peace Bridge. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. The inner harbor has solid ice of 5 - 6 inches plus. Harbor anglers generally catch yellow perch and sunfish, with many throwbacks for every keeper. Tip-ups with shiners produce the occasional northern pike. Some anglers are venturing outside of the inner harbor, but ice thickness is unknown.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The lower river trout bite picked back up at mid-week. Boaters working the upper drifts were catching a good mix of steelhead and lake trout, with a few walleye too. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rig and live shiners, Kwikfish lures or egg sacs is the typical technique. Shore anglers at Whirlpool and Devils Hole State Parks also saw an uptick in trout catches. Boot cleats are recommended due to very slick shorelines. Expect river waters to be quite murky during the current runoff event. Regulation notes: Lake trout season opened on January 1st. Also starting January 1st, walleye daily limit decreased from 3 to 1, with minimum length of 18 inches. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  The sections directly below the dams at Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks remain open, but slack water and lower sections are iced over. Anglers are catching a few brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. All of the other creeks are frozen. For the hard water angler keep an eye on the back area of Wilson Harbor. Ice ranging to 4 inches is reported. Anglers are catching some yellow perch and the occasional pike, brown trout or steelhead catch is possible. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Most of the south basin continues to have some good ice of around 5 inches. Anglers are mostly catching smaller yellow perch, with a few keepers mixed in. Bluegill, crappie and walleye are other potential catches. There is some fishing activity in spots around the north basin, but the ice is reportedly very sketchy with varying ice thicknesses everywhere. Some spots of 2 inches or less are masked by slush and deep snow. Best to stick to the south basin for now. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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 fishing is limited to the south end, at last check. The rest of the lake is considered unsafe. High water and snow will hinder refreezing. Yellow perch were biting well. Anglers were catching lots of 6-8 inch perch with some keepers mixed in. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: Hard water is forming on the lake. At the north end, it’s up to 8 inches. Anglers are catching good numbers of keeper sunfish. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike or tiger muskellunge. No reports on the south end or the rest of the lake. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: Skim ice up to several inches is forming along shore and in some bays but No Safe Ice is reported. (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 a reported 5 inches of ice on a portion of the lake and anglers are out after smelt. Find a spot fairly close to shore; clear ice of snow; set your coleman on the ice; drill a hole and start jiggin. They are usually found right below the ice surface. Use a small bluegill jig and a waxie.  Not a hot bite but enough to keep it interesting. Be careful of the shore ice. (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: Not good ice lakewide but enough solid ice, up to 7 inches, for anglers to enjoy some fishing if they can get to it. The shore ice is mostly gone. The lake is producing some good panfish in the shallows and as ice thickness improves, they’ll be able to get out to deeper water and catch more of a mixed bag. Be careful and check the ice as you move around. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: No reports on ice at the north or south ends. Be extra cautious if you do go out. Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (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: Up to 6+ inches of ice on the lakes. Perch and bluegills are providing action but they’re mostly small. If you go out check the ice as you move around. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 fishing is still on hold for most of the lake but hard water anglers are going out at the Penn Yan end. 5 – 6 inches of black ice is reported there’s a hot perch bite. Try a pink-bead head nymph tipped with a spike. Lots of small for each big. On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. (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: Some ice reported at the ends of the lake but no details. On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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: Hard water anglers have some ice to check out at the north end. Anglers are out on 6 – 8 inches of ice. Pickerel and some perch are being caught. On open water, anglers continue to have some luck catching lake trout either trolling or vertical jigging but it’s cold out there. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, also some lakers and browns. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: No hard water fishing reported at this time. Some ice is forming at the south end but wind action prevents any ice formation at the north end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OWASCO LAKE: No hard water fishing reported at this time. Below 0 temperatures have tried but accompanied winds have prevented/limited ice formation. The south end is beginning to look like the surface of the moon. A lot of broken up ice frozen into sections to form a conglomerate of uneven ice. Not good and not good enough to fish.  (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: Hard water anglers are out on up to 6 inches of ice at the north end of the lake but action is slow. The main lake remains open. (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: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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 reservoir is covered with ice up to 14 inches. Just be careful if you venture near the channel. Fathead minnows are taking walleye and a few crappie. If no action switch up sizes, colors, and presentation. Best times are morning and later afternoon hours. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND: This region has received a lot of lake-effect snow in the last few weeks which may make moving around on the ice difficult. However, there is 7 inches to a foot of ice being reported and anglers have been enjoying the good conditions catching walleye, perch and Northern pike. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: Ice is forming along shore and in some bays but no reports on thickness or if anything is being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: Hardwater anglers are getting some localized action but you have to check the ice constantly. Reported ice depths range from 0 to 10 inches. Off Lewis Point, ice was reported to be 12 inches plus. Wind, rain and snow have had an impact on ice production. Be careful of gas pockets and pressure cracks on the ice. Anglers are catching a fair amount of walleye, but many are small. A few good-sized perch are also being taken.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers. Use caution when boating as there is likely to be debris floating around. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Be prepared for snow. Action is very limited; streams are closed in and the piers iced over.For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Ice on the Bays and is up to 8 inches. Snow has diluted the quality of ice being formed in some locations so be careful. With the short thaw there is some water on the ice. This combined with the forecasted snow will make travel difficult. The action on Sodus is over by the docks out from Katlynn Marina (the old trestle area). Another hot spot is at the south-east part of Sodus. The perch are in 18 feet of water and hitting artificial small rubber or perch colored jigs. The fish are schooling so you might have to move around for the jumbos. The pike are hitting between LeRoy Island and the east shore of the bay. Port Bay anglers are finding perch off the points and close to the channel. Anglers were catching pan fish near Widewaters in Newark. The ice is 8 - 10 inches thick. Just beware the canal still has current and not all ice is uniform. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.

 (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:  Long and Cranberry Ponds, in Greece report 8 - 10 inches of good ice but watch for holes. Also, besure and check the shore ice before venturing out. The perch are providing fair to good action. Braddock's Bay is locked up pretty good with a reported  solid 8 inches of ice. Fair pike action is noted here. Irondequiot Bay reports indicate up to 4 inches of ice, with 4 inches of snow, at the north end. Use caution. Further south in the county, 100 Acre Pond and Quaker Pond reporting 4 -10 inches but be careful of ice skaters. On the lower Genesee, if you get to open water, try for brown trout. (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: This area has been right in the middle of the lake-effect rain/snow band so be prepared to deal with snow. There were some steelhead being taken in the lower and middle sections, with egg-imitating flies or pink, chartreuse and blue egg sacs producing fish. Anglers have reported getting into some steelhead in the Lower Fly Zone with egg patterns and flesh flies producing the best results. In the mid to lower end of the river the majority of anglers are now targeting steelhead and a variety of techniques have been productive. For those who are fly fishing, egg patterns under a strike indicator or swinging streamers with sinking leaders has been productive. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, blue or pink egg sacs and trout beads have produced steady results. Fishing early or late in the day will likely be more productive. No question the water level is high, but a few anglers are still fishing and making the most of conditions. Shelf ice and slush ice have been a factor in the lower end of the river but have not been a problem in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section closed November 30th. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: This region continues to be affected by the lake-effect rain and snow, along with the bone chilling temperatures, so there is no new fishing information to report. Be prepared to deal with snow. Temperatures will be extremely cold through the weekend but the forecast is showing some moderation as we go into early next week. As this happens look for steelhead and rainbows throughout the 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 rivers will generally be closed in with ice and snow. If you can reach open water try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters were stocked in mid-October: Quaker Lake received 550 brown trout (14"-24") and 410 rainbow trout (14"-28"); Case Lake received 400 brook trout (14"-18"), 100 brown trout (14") and 50 rainbow trout (21"-28"); Harwood Lake received 100 brook trout (14"-18") and 100 brown trout (14"); New Albion Lake received 150 brown trout (14") and 75 rainbow trout (14"-21"); Allen Lake received 275 brook trout (14"-18") and 50 brown trout (14"); Genesee River received 150 brown trout (14") and 380 rainbow trout (14"-28"), stocked between Wellsville and the PA line.

Dryden Lake (Tompkins County) – Last week -skim ice up to 2 inches – no reports this week. Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) – Last week - 4 inches of snow/ice at DEC parking area. Lots of small perch.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) – Ice reported at 4 – 5 inches of black ice with 2 inches of white ice on top; middle had 8 inches white ice. Fish marked but few caught.

New Albion, Case, Quaker and Harwood Lakes (Cattaraugus County) - Lakes have between 5-6 inches of ice, with varying amounts of snow on top. Fishing is generally fair for a mix of panfish, however anglers also have chance to catch large trout (see above).

 

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

JANUARY 2018

13 - A Brief Natural History of the Niagara River and Niagara Falls at the Portville Free Library, 1 North Main Street, Portville, New York (10:30 am) Tim Baird shares his knowledge of the “new” 8th wonder of the world. This program looks into the geology of the Niagara River region and the formation of the Niagara Gorge and Niagara Falls. Details in the presentation may be new to the casual visitor to Niagara Falls and will aid in the appreciation of this truly unique region. (Fee: Free for members, $5 for non-members and free for children 13 and under. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.) (Register by 4 PM, Thursday, January 11th, 2018.) (For information/register go to www.pfeiffernaturecenter.org or call 716-933-0187.)

13 – Outfitter Fair at the Southtowns Walleye Club, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, NY (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) New and used fishing and hunting equipment. (For information call 716-465-6100.)

19-21 - The 5th Annual Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center, Niagara Falls, NY. (For information go to niagarafishingexpo.com.) Some 70 speakers will be dishing out over 120 seminars and the Main Event hall is sold out with top quality fishing and fishing related exhibitors. Three days of education covering a wide spectrum of angling knowledge. Rick Hajecki, Greg Amiel, Dan Keating, Mark McClutchey, Jake Romanack, Jason Coslow, Frank Campbell, Dan Colville, Tim Thomas, Matt Yablonsky, Lance Valentine … the list is a long one. (Check it all out at www.niagarafishingexpo.com.) You won’t want to miss this one. Bring a friend 

20 - LOTSA Salmon School at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls, NY. (For information and sign up go to www.lotsa1.org.)

20-21– Greater Olean Area Outdoor & Recreational Sports Show at the Good Times of Olean Center, 800 East State Street, Olean, NY (Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 3:00 pm) Hosted by the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. 60 booths. (Admission: $3.00/Seniors $2.00/Children 12 and under free) (For information call 716-372-4433 or email meme@oleanny.com or go to http://www.oleanny.com)

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

 

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*TIP: ICE SAFETY:

General Ice Thickness Guidelines

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

 

  

 

 

*TIP #2: BRRRRRR!: The leading cause of death among hunters and fishermen is hypothermia - exposure. If you're headed out to fish this week be prepared.
Dress in layers - You can always remove clothes you don't need but can't put them on if you don't have them. Start with a base layer, and socks, made of a synthetic material that draws moisture away from your body. A wet body loses heat faster than a dry one. Add an insulating layer of fleece or wool in the middle and a protecting layer of waterproof/windproof breathable laminate on top.
Protect Your Extremities – Wear insulated boots and gloves suitable for wet and cold conditions. Also, have something to protect your face from wind and cold temperatures.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  The lake is 40 percent ice covered and with the extreme cold temperature, the amount of ice cover is expanding considerably.  No reports of safe ice for fishing have been found.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: The Lake Erie tributaries are locked up with ice and snow. No known fishing opportunities at present.

There are now water-stage recorders on Chautauqua, Canadaway, Silver, Walnut, Big Sister and Eighteenmile Creeks. At present, these recorders only measure gage height, which is height of the water in the stream above a reference point. There will be a bit of a learning curve here, to figure out how gage height translates to actual stream flow or condition. See the USGS Water Data for New York webpage for this information. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Floating ice is accumulating along upper river shorelines, limiting shore fishing opportunities. Most harbors are iced over, but no safe ice reported yet. Upper river waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. Anglers have to remember as of December 1st keeper bass must be at least 20 inches on the river south of the Peace Bridge. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. The inner harbor has solid ice of 7 inches plus. Harbor anglers generally catch yellow perch and sunfish, with many throwbacks for every keeper. Tip-ups with shiners produce the occasional northern pike. Some anglers are venturing outside of the inner harbor, but ice thickness is unknown.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Some boats made it out on the lower river water but fishing was slow with stained conditions. Limited fishing due to accumulating pack ice, increasing further downriver. Devils hole remains mostly open, however anglers have to deal with floating ice. Lewiston launch is currently open, but pack ice could shut it down this weekend.

Regulation notes: Lake trout season opened on January 1st. Also starting January 1st, walleye daily limit decreased from 3 to 1, with minimum length of 18 inches. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  The sections directly below the dams at Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks remain open, but slack water and lower sections are iced over. Anglers are catching a few brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. All of the other creeks are frozen. Yellow perch action has picked up in the Wilson and Olcott Harbors. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information. For the hard water angler keep an eye on the back area of Wilson Harbor. Ice ranging to 4 inches is reported. Anglers are catching some yellow perch and the occasional pike, brown trout or steelhead catch is possible.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Most of the south basin has good ice of around 5 inches. Anglers are mostly catching smaller yellow perch, with a few keepers mixed in. Bluegill, crappie and walleye are other potential catches. There is some fishing activity in spots around the north basin, but the ice is reportedly very sketchy with varying ice thicknesses everywhere. Some spots of 2 inches or less are masked by slush and deep snow. Best to stick to the south basin for now. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels but are mostly snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: Anglers are now fishing all parts of the lake. Ice is 8 inches plus in the northern end off Perry Public Beach. Yellow perch are biting very well. Anglers are catching lots of 6-8 inch perch with some keepers mixed in. The south end of lake has ice of 5 inches plus, and the panfish bite remains slow. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: Hard water is forming on the lake. At the north end, it’s up to 8 inches. Anglers are catching good numbers of keeper sunfish. Tip-ups with minnows produce the occasional northern pike or tiger muskellunge. No reports on the south end or the rest of the lake. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (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: Skim ice up to several inches is forming along shore and in some bays but No Safe Ice is reported. (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 a reported 5 inches of ice on a portion of the lake and anglers are out after smelt. Not a hot bite but enough to keep it interesting. (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: Not good ice lakewide but enough solid ice, up to 7 inches, for anglers to enjoy some fishing. The lake is producing some good panfish in the shallows and as ice thickness improves, they’ll be able to get out to deeper water and catch more of a mixed bag.

Be careful and check the ice as you move around. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: No reports on ice at the north or south ends. Be extra cautious if you do go out. Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (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: Up to 6 inches of ice on the lakes. Perch are providing action but they’re mostly small. If you go out check the ice as you move around. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (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 fishing is still on hold for most of the lake but hard water anglers are going out at the Penn Yan end. 5 – 6 inches of black ice is reported there’s a hot perch bite. Try a pink-bead head nymph tipped with a spike. Lots of small for each big. On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. (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: Some ice reported at the ends of the lake but no details. On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (Lake Profile -