Thursday, February 2nd, 2023
Thursday, February 2nd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Heat wave cools fishing a bit; bass action remains good

Western New York

Lake Erie and tributaries: On Lake Erie, both bass and walleye
action continues to be very good. Bass are hitting drop-shot rigs,
tube jigs and just about any live bait like shiners, crayfish or
night crawlers. Worm harnesses are still the bait to beat for
walleye, whether you’re trolling or drifting. Seek out structure
areas like reefs and shoals such as Seneca, Myers and Waverly.

Upper Niagara River: Muskellunge anglers are drifting almost
exclusively because casting and retrieving lures just picks up too
much moss. Drifting on the outside of weed edges near Thompson’s
Hole and on either side of Strawberry Island has been decent.
Large, dark 8- to 10-inch tube jigs draw the best bite, especially
Ninja tubes and twisted tubes. Muskie anglers also report hook-ups
with the occasional walleye. Remember that there is a daily limit
of one muskellunge with a 48-inch minimum length on the Upper
Niagara River or daily limit of one muskie, 54-inch minimum length
in the Buffalo Harbor. Buffalo anglers fishing at Lasalle Park,
Broderick Park and Squaw Island Park are catching a mix of yellow
perch, white bass, rock bass, black bass and sheepshead on minnows,
crayfish and worms. Anglers at Niawanda Park caught a few
largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Chautauqua Lake: Craig Robbins sends word that he’s been doing
well on muskie in the northern basin of the lake by casting or
trolling deep-diving crankbaits around the Bell Tower at Chautauqua
Institution and around Prendergast Point. Bigger fish are suspended
over 12 to 20 feet of water. A few walleye were coming from the
same area. The Mayville flats area is still a good spot for bass
early in the morning on top-waters like buzz baits or Zara spooks.
Perch are also being caught around the lake on the outside of the
weeds.

Lake Ontario and tributaries: The lake is still producing some
nice salmon and trout by fishing in the top 80 feet of water in the
300- to 400-foot depth range out in front of Wilson and Olcott.
Fishing action has been as hot as the weather as trollers produce a
mixed bag of fish by offering spoons and flasher-fly
combinations.

Lower Niagara River: Moss is still a problem throughout the
river system. Some bass have been caught but you do have to work
for them. Don’t forget the Niagara River Anglers Association will
be hosting their annual smallmouth bass classic on July 24 Check
out www.niagarariveranglers.com for details.

Central New York

Lake Ontario: The chinook salmon fishing has really picked up in
the deeper water. Fishing 90 to 120 feet down over 150 to 300 feet
of water with flashers and flies or spoons in glow green or white
is working. Brown trout fishing continues to be fair, with the
early morning being the most productive in 40 to 100 feet of water.
A few Atlantic salmon are also being taken. The lake trout bite
continues to be more consistent, with fish being taken in 100 to
140 feet of water. Cowbells and peanuts are still working well for
the lakers.

Oneida Lake: Walleye fishing has been hot and cold. The deeper
water action has been better. The areas from buoy 109 to 111, and
also from buoy 117 to 123 have been good. Gold blade baits and
black and purple jigs tipped with night crawler are still working
well. Trolling with lead core and stick baits has also been
working. There are a lot of young-of-the-year yellow perch being
spotted on the lake. Smallmouth bass are actively feeding on them.
When you find the perch, fishing tube jigs, drop-shot rigs and
surface lures has been working well. Largemouth bass are hitting in
and around the deep weed edges.

Oswego River: Some walleye are still being taken in the harbor
area on large stick baits. Bass are being taken on minnows and
crankbaits.

Salmon River: No fishing activity to report.

Sodus Bay: Largemouth bass are being taken on spinnerbaits,
crankbaits and rubber worms fished on the outside weed edge.
Northern pike are being taken on spinnerbaits and pike minnows.

Sandy Pond: A few walleye are still hitting jigs. Yellow perch
and bluegills are hitting small minnows and worms.

Irondequoit Bay: Northern pike fishing continues to be good for
anglers using spoons, minnows and stick baits. Largemouth bass
fishing has been good in 5-10 feet of water on spinnerbaits,
crankbaits and rubber worms.

Finger Lakes/Southern Tier

Seneca Lake: Brown trout and Atlantic salmon are hitting 25 feet
down on alewives (sawbellies) and Krocodile spoons in blue and
silver, silver and green and silver and prism tape. Lake trout are
being taken 60-70 feet down on the same baits. Lake trout are
active in 50-120 feet.

Keuka Lake: Lake trout are being taken near bottom in 130-150
feet of water trolling with flasher and fly rigs, spoons and also
with flasher and peanut rigs. Fleas have been a problem in some
areas of the lake making trolling more difficult. Bass are being
caught in 10 feet of water around boat docks. Be courteous of
landowners when fishing around docks.

Canandaigua Lake: Lake trout and bait still seem to be
scattered. Some lake trout and a few rainbow trout are hitting
flashers and flies, small spoons or stick baits fished down 50 to
65 feet over 150-200 feet of water.

Cayuga Lake: Fleas and weed mats are becoming more of a problem
on the lake. Lake trout fishing has been hot and cold, with fish
being caught in 65 to 110 feet of water, and also deeper at 200-300
feet. Atlantic salmon and some rainbow trout are being taken 35 to
50 feet down on spoons.

Owasco Lake: Anglers trolling 50-70 feet down with spoons or
flasher and fly rigs are still catching lakers.

Otisco Lake: Bass fishing has been good for anglers using jig
and pig combos or plastics.

Skaneateles Lake: Anglers fishing near shore with tube jigs,
drop-shot rigs and top-water baits are catching smallmouth
bass.

Waneta and Lamoka lakes: Largemouth bass fishing has been good
in 2-3 feet of water around boat docks. Plastic baits are working
well. A few muskellunge are being taken by anglers casting or
trolling large crankbaits. Black crappie and yellow perch are
hitting on small minnows.

Whitney Point Reservoir: Walleye fishing has been good, with
some larger keeper-sized fish being caught. Jigging with darker
colored jigs north of Islands in 10 feet of water has been
productive. Smallmouth bass are being taken along the shore.

Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: When the
rivers aren’t up and muddy, anglers using dark colored tube jigs
are having luck on both smallmouth bass and walleye.

Adirondacks

Bass action on Lake Champlain has picked up, although the
smallmouths have gone deeper, to the 20- to 40-foot range. You’ll
still pick up bronzebacks around docks, however. The heat wave that
baked the North Country earlier this month sent water temperatures
soaring, so trout anglers should keep an eye on that and avoid
stressing fish. The West Branch of the Ausable River was too warm
at last look, but morning fishing may be an option.

Long Island/NYC

The saltwater action has matched the recent weather pattern:
hot. Tom at Haskell’s Bait and Tackle reported that the ocean has
lit up with big eye tuna at the canyons, and yellowfin tuna to 100
pounds inside the 40-mile line off Shinnecock Inlet.

Bluefin tuna are just a few miles off the beach. Also, there has
been a showing of gulfstream species, including triggerfish at the
rocks in Shinnecock Inlet. The Viking Fleet reported that the
yellowfin, big eye and albacore tuna fishing at the canyons has
exploded, with action hotter than they have seen in a while.

Scott at East End Bait and Tackle reported that there is a lot
of life offshore, including whales, porpoise, turtles and bait
close to shore or at 40 fathoms, with the tuna bite being both
bluefin and yellowfin. There are tuna off the edge and in the deep
at the Hudson and Atlantis canyons. Mahi have been holding strong
at the pots. The sharking quieted down. Scott also reported the
first Spanish mackerel of the season caught by Dave in the
surf.

The ocean fluke fishing improved, with the best fishing reported
in the 60- to 80-foot depths between Shinnecock Inlet and the New
York Bight. Peruvian squid and whole squid were the top baits.

The inshore fluke season remained strong, with the keeper ratio
being about 1-to-10. The larger fluke were taken on the flats in
Moriches and Shinnecock bays, making them a great target for
fly-rodders using weighted flies tied to imitate sand eels and bay
anchovies.

On the North Shore, John at Terminal Tackle reported fluke in
Smithtown Bay and along the edges between Sunken Meadow and the
golf course. Also, the porgy fishing has been excellent between
Crane Neck and Eatons Neck Point. John noted that the porgies were
caught in 5 to 10 feet of water during the early mornings and late
afternoons when the water was cooler, then the porgies moved off
into 20- to 30-foot depths during the day. Hotspots included the
brush piles and rocks in front of the mansion, and on the rocks in
front of Sunken Meadow. Porgies were also reported off Rodgers Rock
and at the north end of the Shinnecock Canal.

In the western Sound, John at Glen Cove Sports Shop reported
that there is a lot of bait, including large schools of bunker, and
bluefish in the 3- to 6-pound class. The key for the blues has been
to move around until you find the fish. Hotspots have been the Glen
Cove breakwater and Morgan’s Beach. John noted that these are the
perfect sized blues for kids to target. Also, there were tons of
porgies between Matinecock Point and Oak Neck Point, with many in
the 2-pound class. The hot bait switched from worms to clams
day-to-day so use a two-hook rig, with one hook baited with clams
and the other with worms until the porgies show a preference. John
mentioned that snappers should be here any day.

Overall, the striped bass bite slowed down with the rising water
temperatures. Decent fish were found under the bunker schools
outside the South Shore inlets and in the deeper water in the
Sound, including the shipping channel in the western sound. The
inshore striped bass fishing has become a night bite, with live
bunker, eels and spot the top baits. Numerous short stripers were
taken on the west bars of Jones and Fire Island inlets, and on the
offshore bar at Moriches Inlet on clam bellies and chum. A few
stripers were taken at the Ponquogue Bridge after dark.

The best surf action for stripers has been off Montauk Point,
with Paulie’s Bait and Tackle and Jack Yee reporting a 33.5-pounder
for Paul Pira taken on the south side rocks after dark. Jack also
reported numerous fluke in the 5- to 7-pound range being taken on
the open, charter and private boats off Montauk Point.

The bluefishing was excellent, with fish to 10 pounds mixed in
with the stripers at the inlets and offshore.

Sea bass were caught on the South Shore artificial reefs,
McAllister Grounds and on the wrecks in 60 to 80 feet of water. Sea
bass were also reported mixed in with the porgies at many
locations.

The freshwater action has slowed due to the warm water
temperatures. John at Terminal Tackle reported largemouth bass and
panfish caught in Stump Pond in Blydenburg Park, and small trout in
White’s Pool and the Twins Ponds.

The blue claw crab action continued to improve in the South
Shore bays and canals, with the crabs growing larger and the
numbers increasing.

Guy Zummo

flyfishguy@optonline.net

Capital District

Largemouth bass action has been good on Saratoga Lake, and some
walleye were also being taken in Manning’s Cove. On Lake George,
Ron Nadler at FISH307 reports smallmouth bass action can be found
in the 22- to 27-foot range now, with plastics and crayfish
providing the most consistent fishing. Lake trout are about 100
feet down in the south end, about 75-80 up north. Very few
landlocks have been reported of late. Trout streams boiled over
during the heat wave and anglers should avoid fishing for trout,
which are easily stressed in these warm water conditions. On the
Hudson River, anglers were picking up smallmouth bass around rock
piles on crankbaits and soft plastic jerkbaits. Largemouth bass are
being caught using top-water frogs and Senko-type baits. Anglers
are reporting having a lot of success catching channel catfish in
all sections of the river.

Southeastern New York

Neversink, Rondout and Ashokan reservoirs: Anglers have been
reporting catching big smallmouth from shore using top-water baits
in the morning and evening. Smallies are being caught during the
day using tube jigs bounced on the bottom. Anglers were picking up
brown trout using Krocodile spoons at Rondout and Ashokan fishing
20-50 feet down.

Wallkill River: Smallmouth have been cooperating on dark melon
colored tubes and black grubs fished along the bottom.

East of Hudson reservoirs: Bass are hitting really well on both
Muscoot and Croton Falls reservoirs. Reports of anglers catching
nice-sized trout out of Croton Falls, Cross River and Kensico.

www.bobssportandtackle.com

Catskills

Warm water temperatures have made fishing a morning-only
proposition on the Willowemoc and Esopus, and the main stem of the
Delaware is too warm to fish for trout. Your best bets are the West
Branch of the Delaware and the Beaverkill, but keep an eye on the
Beaverkill water temps. Hatches have been consistent; look for
sulphurs and BWOs in the afternoons. Terrestrials are always a good
choice this time of year.

www.catskillflies.com

Thousand Islands

St. Lawrence River: Hot weather has pushed smallmouth deeper, to
about 30-35 feet. Live bait like crayfish and minnows is the
ticket, as well as deep-diving crankbaits. Perch action was good at
30-40 feet.

Black Lake: Richard at Chapman’s Sports (315-324-5265) in
Hammond reports fishing has been decent of late for both largemouth
and smallmouth, and a few walleyes are also being taken. Northern
pike have also been cooperating, and the only real disappointment
has been the crappie action, which has been very slow.

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