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Adirondacks Fishing Reports

Adirondacks Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

Snow accumulations have made for difficult travel on the ice on most North Country waters, including Lake Champlain and Schroon Lake. Fishing has been hot and cold, and more like lukewarm on the good days instead of red-hot. Still, anglers were getting out in good numbers, especially those with ATVs or snow machines.

Piseco Lake: Lakers always seem to be cooperating here. Many are small, however. Snow and slush and making fishing conditions difficult on the ice.

Fourth Lake: Some lake trout were being taken. Perch were running small and a few smelt were also being caught. Ice conditions may be sloppy with the snow cover.

Paradox Lake: Slow at last report. Smelt, perch and the occasional pike.

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Capital District Fishing Reports

Capital District Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

Sacandaga Lake was yielding a few walleye; we haven’t heard of any big pike being landed of late. Lake George was offering up perhaps the best fishing, notably for lake trout. Remember there’s a 23-inch size minimum on Lake George, and keep an eye on bubblers, pressure cracks and snow and slush accumulations if you head out onto the ice. There’s snow cover on the Saratoga Lake ice, but anglers have been getting out and connecting on a mixed bag of perch and bluegill.

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Catskills Fishing Reports

Catskills Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

Most anglers are awaiting the April 1 trout opener, or at least a sign of some spring weather. The few waters open for fishing are locked tight in snow and ice. Time to tie flies or take a gear inventory ahead of the trout opener.

Catskill Files

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Central New York Fishing Reports

Central New York Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

Lake Ontario: Most of the small tributaries were frozen over so no new information to report.

Oneida Lake: Decent reports for ice action off Lewis Point for walleye in 25 to 30 feet of water on jigging Rapalas tipped with a spike or waxworm. Low-light conditions are best. Shackleton Shoals has been mentioned as a good spot for perch over 30-foot depths, but you have to move with the fish. Recent snow events have made traveling on the ice more difficult. Use caution; snowdrifts can cover pressure cracks, making them difficult to see. Anglers were getting out on most areas of the lake, with ice thickness reports ranging from 10 to 14 inches. Big Bay continued to see a lot of pressure and overall fishing continues to be hot and cold for bluegills and pumpkinseeds. For anglers looking to catch chain pickerel this would be a good spot to try with tip-ups and minnows. Other areas of the lake, like Lewis Point, Cleveland, Constantia and Chapman Park were still producing walleye and yellow perch. Walleye and perch are being taken in 12 to 30 feet of water with jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads working well. Anglers fishing for perch and walleye will occasionally catch a burbot through the ice. 

Oswego River: The lake-effect snow and cold temperatures have made fishing difficult, so few anglers have been out. Anglers had been getting a mix of brown trout and steelhead prior to the cold and snow..
Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory PFD zones on the river. 

Salmon River: The area was hit by lake-effect snow and cold temperatures. Slush ice continued to make fishing more difficult on the mid and lower river. Shelf ice was also forming along the edges of sections of the river. Because of the slush ice, most anglers were fishing the upper river and overall fishing was slow again for those willing to brave the weather. With the cold temperatures, try fishing later in the day and in the deeper holes like the Schoolhouse, Wire Hole, and Trestle Pool. Good bait choices were egg sacs, trout beads or pink trout worms.
Irondequoit Bay: Recent snow events are making travel difficult on the ice. Ice reports varied but some areas of the bay have 6 to 10 inches of ice. Anglers fishing deep water, 30 feet or so, were still getting some yellow perch.

Sodus Bay: Like just about everywhere else, recent snow events have made travel difficult on the ice. Ice reports ranged from 10 to 14 inches. Fishing continued to be the same, with anglers are catching some yellow perch, but most were small. Overall fishing continued to be slow, and anglers moving around trying different areas and depths seem to be having better luck. Fishing with tip-ups and minnows was yielding some pike.

Sandy Pond: Snow and slush were making travel difficult on the ice. Ice reports ranged from 12 to 20 inches. Perch action was hot and cold. Small jigs tipped with spikes seemed to be working better than minnows. Pike fishing has been more productive on tip-ups set with minnows.

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Finger Lakes/Southern Tier Fishing Reports

Finger Lakes/Southern Tier Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

Cayuga Lake: Snow and slush were making travel difficult on the lake. Keep an eye out for pressure cracks. Ice reports indicated 8 to 12 inches on the north end. Anglers were getting yellow perch and pickerel. 

Seneca Lake: Anglers braving the wind and cold temperatures were getting yellow perch from shore at Sampson State Park. To get to the perch you must have equipment that allows you to make a very long cast.

Canandaigua Lake: Little has changed, with ice reports for the north end ranging from 4 to 8 inches and 3 to 4 inches on the south end. Snow may have hampered ice formation and made for difficult travel in spots where hard water action was taking place.

Honeoye Lake: Snow was making for tough travel. Some perch, bluegills and pickerel to be had, however.

Conesus Lake: Plenty of bluegills, but real tough going on the ice with snow and slush.

Keuka Lake: Anglers have been fishing the north end at Penn Yan, but we’re not hearing much on the action.

Owasco Lake: Wind and snow hampered ice formation on Owasco. As a result we’re not hearing much.

Otisco Lake: Like other places, snow and slush were making travel on the ice difficult. There was 8 to 10 inches of ice being reported on the north end, and 6 to 8 inches by the county park at last check. The north end was producing bluegill, pumpkinseeds and an occasional black crappie. No word on the other areas of the lake. Use caution if you head out.

Skaneateles Lake: There was reportedly 5 inches of ice on the north end, with anglers getting some yellow perch early and late in the day. Not hearing anything at the south end; safe ice may be lacking.
Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Ice anglers were having a solid year on the Susquehanna in particular, with good ice reported in the traditional coves and backwaters. Walleye have been cooperating in the evening, with a carp or channel catfish mixed in at times. No reports on any muskie catches; chances are some have been hooked, but getting them up the hole is another matter entirely.

Whitney Point Reservoir: Snow and slush were making travel on the ice difficult, but safe ice was available – enough to hold the Almost-Annual Crappie Derby this year. Anglers were still getting some white crappie, yellow perch and walleye.


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Long Island/NYC Fishing Reports

Long Island/NYC Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

Due to the saltwater temperature dropping in response to the recent cold snap and heavy snows the cod, pollock and ling fishing has significantly slowed. While cod in the 4- to 8-pound class and ling to 3 pounds continue to be caught, most boats returned with an average of a keeper cod per angler as well as a ling or two. The best ling fishing was found in New York Bight. Boats sailing out of Montauk Point and Shinnecock accounted for most cod and pollock.  In all areas the fishing was spotty and the captains had to work numerous spots to put together a good catch.

Ralph at Bernie’s Bait and Tackle in Sheepshead Bay reported that herring were caught from Magnolia Pier, Coney Island Pier, the 69th Street Pier and from Battery Park, but the fishing was spotty and will likely improve when the weather moderates. Ralph noted that many of his customers were heading upstate to take advantage of good ice fishing.  There were no winter mackerel reports of late.

The seasons for most small game are open, but check the latest regulations before heading out. The special firearms season for deer in Suffolk County closed during this report period, as did the waterfowl seasons.

Guy Zummo 

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Southeastern New York Fishing Reports

Southeastern New York Fishing Report - February 6th, 2015

Diverting Reservoir: Safe ice at last check, and perch were offering up some decent action at times.

West Branch Reservoir: Hard-water anglers were picking up some small perch and the occasional brown trout.

Lake Gilead: Anglers were on and targeting primarily trout.

Middle Branch Reservoir: Safe ice, but not hearing much on the fishing.

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Thousand Islands Fishing Reports

Thousand Island Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

St. Lawrence River: Many ice anglers have been stalled due to snow accumulations on the ice. Even anglers with ATVs were having a tough time in some spots. Snow machines were the way to go.

Black Lake: Pike and perch are available for the taking if you hit it right. Travel on the ice is difficult with the snow cover and slushy conditions.

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Western New York Fishing Reports

Western New York Fishing Report - February 20th, 2015

Lake Ontario and tributaries: Open water was tough to find; at last check the only tributaries with any open water flowing were Eighteen Mile Creek at Burt Dam and over at Oak orchard in Orleans County. There was some ice fishing going on in places like Wilson and Olcott harbors, but action had been a little tough.

Lake Erie and tributaries: The Buffalo Boat Harbor was producing a mix of perch, panfish and the occasional pike through the ice. Action on the big lake has been questionable and some open water was still being reported off Sturgeon Point. We’ve not had any successful reports as of yet. 

Upper Niagara River: Not much to report other than some ice action at Grand Island from marinas and bays for perch. Some decent-sized fish have been coming in, but you do have to work for them. Small jigs tipped with a spike or waxworm were catching some fish. Small minnows will also work.

Lower Niagara River: Not too much fishing has been going on with the cold temperatures, snow and ice chunks bobbing down the river. That said, if you can fish, you’ll probably catch fish because the water looks pretty good. Egg sacs, minnows and Kwikfish or MagLips will all work for you on any given day – depending on wind direction and other weather elements. Bouncing the bottom with three-way rigs is the way to go. Shore anglers can use beads, egg sacs, spoons or spinners to take fish, but be careful of the ice along the shoreline. Respect the river.

Chautauqua Lake: The flats off Mayville have been good for perch and panfish in 8-15 feet of water, but you’ll toss back more than you’ll keep. Lots of action, though. For bigger perch, try fishing in some of the deeper holes off Long Point. If you want walleye, your best bet is to fish after dark in the northern basin of the lake along the weedlines around 15 to 25 feet of water. Jigging Rapalas have been working around Dewittville, Prendergast and Long Point. 

Silver Lake: Snow has made for difficult travel on the ice. Find the right school of keeper perch and it might be worth the effort. Maybe.

Orleans County: Lake Alice has plenty of ice; so much so four-wheeler races are being held. Even with that activity bluegills and rock bass are being take through the ice. All of the smaller tributaries (Johnson, Marsh and Sandy creeks) are frozen over, as is most of Oak Orchard River. There is still some open water at the dam on Oak Orchard and, as always, some steelhead and brown trout are being taken.

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Archive »Fishing Tips

Youth and hard water: Tips for taking kids ice fishing

Youngsters naturally love to crank up fish. Keep it enjoyable and you’ll help build the next generation of anglers, plus a fishing buddy for life.

Bluegill size exposed! (Via your ice fishing spring bobber)

Watch your ice rod’s spring bobber to determine the weight of those sunfish nipping at your ice fishing bait

Ice fishing tips: Refining your jigging techniques for light-biting crappies and sunfish

Catch more fish with the right bait or lure, then know how to identify the slightest of bites.

A multi-species approach to mid- and late-ice fishing season locations

Walleyes, bluegills, crappies, and pike face similar constraints as the mid-ice season of February unfolds

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