Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Traditional bass season opens; striper fishing excellent

Western New York

Lake Erie and tributaries: Bass fishing has picked back up again
all along the lakeshore. Small golden shiners or Berkley “Bulky
Hawg” in pumpkin color has been working for Capt. Steve Drabczyk of
Lewiston. Use the latter on a drop shot. You can also pick up bass
along Donnelly’s Wall. Perch were hitting off Evangola and Sturgeon
Point in 30-35 feet of water, but it’s been slower.

Upper Niagara River: Good reports were coming from some anglers.
Capt. Matt Yablonski enjoyed good success by tucking in between
Strawberry and Grand islands, casting crankbaits and spinnerbaits
with customers. Later in the day they included Rat-L-Traps and
finished with about 40 bass for the day. Anglers are also picking
up some yellow and white perch off the Bird Island Pier on minnows
and worms.

Chautauqua Lake: Smallmouth bass action has been good around
Rock Island and off Greenhurst with buzz baits, stick baits and
three-inch tubes.

Lake Ontario and tributaries: Trout and salmon had moved over
deeper water to feed on suspended bait schools. Most boaters headed
to between 120-200 feet of water for good catches, but word is the
bite may have shifted to between 60-100 feet down.

Lower Niagara River: Plenty of moss, creating problems for
drifters and casters.

Central New York

Lake Ontario: Near-shore brown trout fishing has been spotty,
but anglers getting on the water very, very early in the morning
were getting fish in 30-50 feet of water. The lake trout bite
continued to be more consistent, with fish being taken in 100 to
140 feet of water.

Oneida Lake: Walleye fishing was good but fish were scattered.
Fish were being caught in 15 to 25 feet of water and also in deeper
30-35 feet. The areas from buoy 109 to 111, and also from buoy
117-123 have been good. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good on
drop-shot rigs.

Oswego River: Anglers fishing from the Utica Street Bridge to
the harbor were still catching a few brown trout and steelhead.
Walleye were hitting in the same area for anglers fishing with
large stick baits and bucktail jigs.

Salmon River: Things are pretty slow on the river this time of

Sandy Pond: Some walleye were still hitting, but with the
vegetation growing jigging is becoming easier than trolling. Yellow
perch and bluegills are hitting small minnows and worms.

Sodus Bay: Northern pike were still hitting surface lures and
pike minnows. Some walleye were being caught after dark in the
Sodus Bay channel on stick baits and purple and black jigs tipped
with night crawlers.

Irondequoit Bay: Northern pike fishing continued to be good for
anglers using spoons, minnows and stick baits. Largemouth bass
action has been very good in shallow on a variety of artificial

Finger Lakes/Southern Tier

Seneca Lake: Brown trout and Atlantic salmon fishing continued
to be good on the south end of the lake around the canal mouth for
anglers fishing near the surface with bright colored stick baits.
On the north end, lake trout were being caught 40 feet down over
100 feet. Perch fishing has picked up and fish are being caught in
30 to 40 feet of water on minnows. A few northern pike are being
taken from the Watkins Glen pier.

Keuka Lake: Lake trout are being taken down 60 feet over 120 to
150 feet of water trolling with green flasher and fly rigs. Yellow
perch are hitting ice jigs and grubs fished in 20 to 30 feet of

Canandaigua Lake: Some lakers are hitting flashers and flies
fished down 65 to 95 feet.

Cayuga Lake: Lake trout fishing has been fair, with fish being
caught in 40 to 85 feet of water. Lakers are also being caught
deeper in 150-200 feet. A lot of undersized salmon are still being
caught so it pays to check your lines often.

Owasco Lake: Anglers trolling 50 to 70 feet down with spoons or
flasher and fly rigs are catching some lake trout.

Otisco Lake: There has been some nighttime walleye action off
the causeway for anglers casting stick baits. A few walleye are
also hitting during the day for anglers trolling stick baits or
anchoring and fishing bait.

Skaneateles Lake: Anglers fishing near shore with tube jigs and
drop-shot rigs are catching smallmouth bass, big yellow perch and
lake trout.

Waneta and Lamoka lakes: Panfish action has been very good
around docks, with bluegills and yellow perch hitting small minnows
and night crawlers. Largemouth bass fishing has been good as

Whitney Point Reservoir: Walleye fishing continues to be good
for anglers trolling with worm harnesses.

Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Anglers
using dark colored tube jigs are having good luck on both
smallmouth bass and walleye.


Lake Champlain bass action was good, with some fish still in
spawning mode earlier in the month. Look for action to shift deeper
soon. Lake trout and landlocked salmon were still being taken in
both quantity and quality, with lakers topping 15 pounds in the
annual Rotary Classic tournament.

Fishing on the West Branch of the Ausable was excellent, with
good flows and stable water temperatures at mid-month.

Long Island/NYC

The best fluke fishing remains in the South Shore bays with
bucktails, squid and spearing combos, killies and sand eels the
best choices. Top areas have included the Greenlawns, Moriches Bay,
Jamaica Bay off Floyd Bennett Field at buoy 5, and the Peconics.
Flyrodders using 2/0 Clouser Minnows in chartreuse or tan over
white are doing well working the edges of the bars in Moriches and
Shinnecock bays. Bay blues are mixed in with the fluke, especially
during the early morning and evenings.

The North Shore fluke fishing has been good, with the largest
fluke reported on the east end and off Orient Point.

The offshore fluke fishing is improving but is behind where it
was at this time last year. Large smelt or Peruvian spearing have
been the best bet for a keeper. The best offshore fluke action has
been off Montauk Point, with 5- to 6-pound fluke common.

Sea bass fishing remained good off the South Shore artificial
reefs and other hard spots in 50 to 100 feet of water. The ledges
off Montauk Point have produced some large sea bass, with a few
dogfish in the mix. Clams, squid strips, and live killies were the
top baits.

The striped bass fishing was excellent on the West Bars of Jones
and Fire Island inlets, the East and West Cuts of Moriches Inlet,
and around the Ponquogue Bridge for anglers using clam bellies and
chum or while drifting whole clams. Typical stripers are in the 8-
to 12-pound class with a few keepers. Shore anglers have done well
during the outgoing tide with bass, blues and fluke in the
Shinnecock Canal using clams, bunker chunks and bucktails. Captain
Gene Kelly reported that the striped bass fishing off Montauk Point
continues to be hot, with most boats limiting out on a half-day
trip when using diamond jigs when the tide slows or by trolling
umbrella rigs and parachutes when the tide is running. Most of the
stripers are just short to up to 15 pounds. Consistent striper
fishing for 20- to 30-pound class bass has been reported in 35 feet
of water outside Port Jefferson harbor.

The best bet for large stripers has been drifting live baits in
the South Shore inlets at night or in the Gut and Race on light
colored bucktails fished during the day and dark ones fished at
night on a three-way rig. Drifting the South Beach in Fire Island
Inlet has produced stripers in the 40-pound class during the
outgoing tide on live bunker.

The best surf fishing for stripers on the North Shore has been
from Rocky Point to Orient Point on plugs after dark. Blues to
about 6 pounds are in the mix. Jack Yee and Paulie’s Bait and
Tackle reported that John Bruno did the midnight run and whacked a
41.7-pound bass taken on the south side rocks at Montauk.

The porgy season has been excellent, with the areas around
Rogers Rock and Robins Island holding a mix of porgies and fluke.
Captain Desmond O’Sullivan of the Celtic Quest fleet reported a
massive school of humpback porgies off a shoal out of Port
Jefferson that stretched for over a mile long. Many of the porgies
were over 3 pounds. Shore anglers are doing well in the Western
Sound and off Horton’s Point. Better catches were reported by those
anglers who moved around to find the schools of porgies. Clams and
squid strips were the top baits.

Scott Jeffery at East End Bait & Tackle reported that blue
sharks are on the usual offshore wrecks and that anglers had no
trouble finding action. He also reported that a few makos have been
caught and that bluefin tuna have been spotted in 200 feet of
water. Blues sharks and a few makos have been reported off Montauk,
along with a couple of 100-pound class bluefins caught at Six &
Eight, which is only about eight miles from the lighthouse.

The freshwater action has been excellent. Bluegills, sunfish,
pickerel and largemouths have been active in all the local ponds. A
few trout are being taken in the Carll’s River south of Southards
Pond on night crawlers and Power Baits.

The blue crab action is excellent in the South Shore bays and

Guy Zummo

Capital District

Ron Nadler at Fish307 reports that Lake George is still
producing lake trout, notably at the north end, where fish were
suspended about 40 feet down. At the south end, you’ll have to go
80-90 feet deep. Glen Lake was yielding some big rainbow trout.

Southeastern New York

Neversink, Rondout and Ashokan reservoirs: There were reports of
anglers having success catching brown trout using Krocodile spoons
at Rondout Reservoir.

East of Hudson Reservoirs: Anglers are reporting good trout
fishing at Cross River, Croton Falls, Kensico, and West Branch. The
best bet for crappies is New Croton, Muscoot and Amawalk.


Rivers were at fishable levels at last look, but keep an eye on
water temperatures, which may warm during the day to levels that
are stressful to trout. Hatches are generally early and late, with
some light cahills, caddis and sulphurs. Terrestrials are always a
good choice now.

Thousand Islands

St. Lawrence River: Walleye fishing was holding up well for
anglers trolling worm harnesses. But plenty of angling attention is
now focused on bass now.

Black Lake: Anglers with a solid knowledge of the lake were
picking up walleye, and the bass-fishing crowd is now targeting
both smallmouths and largemouths now that the traditional season
has opened.

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