Whitetail season takes center stage; tribe fishing solid
Western New York
Lake Erie and tributaries: Cattaraugus Creek is still the best
tributary bet. Trout were hitting egg sacs, single eggs, egg
imitations, streamers and nymphs. Out in the lake, when the wind
isn’t blowing too badly, perch are available in 50-60 feet of water
off Sturgeon Point. Good bass fishing can also be had in 15- to
Upper Niagara River: Muskellunge action should start to pick up
even more once the water temperatures come down a few more degrees.
A few fish were caught on large tube jigs around Strawberry Island
in the triangle. Some trout are still hitting egg sacs around Squaw
Island and off the Bird Island pier. Bass are still an option, too,
for anyone wanting to target them. Live bait, tube jigs or
spinnerets will all work.
Chautauqua Lake: Perch action continued to be good all around the
lake in 10-20 feet of water with minnows, worms and grubs. Crappies
have been hitting best off the canal mouths on minnows or small
tube jigs. Some muskie were reported from the Bell Tower at
Chautauqua Institution to the Prendergast launch ramp. Walleye have
been cooperating in Dewittville Bay and off Long Point under
low-light conditions. Worm harnesses or jigs tipped with a crawler
or leech are good starting baits.
Lake Ontario and tributaries: Fishing was going pretty darn good
right now, from Eighteen Mile Creek at Burt Dam to the Lower
Niagara River for starters. At Burt Dam, quite a few anglers were
taking advantage of good runs of salmon and trout.
Fourteen-year-old Jim Janacek of Pendleton caught his first
Atlantic salmon ever, a brute that tipped the scales at 15 pounds,
8 ounces. He’s had good success on red yarn and 12-pound test line.
Anglers were reporting a respectable number of Atlantics from both
Eighteen Mile and the Oak Orchard River this fall. And speaking of
salmon, Ashley Butcher of Lockport also caught her first salmon of
her young life while drifting with Capt. Bob Cinelli of Newfane
while motoring around in the harbor in Olcott. Good action was
still being reported off the piers for trout and salmon on spoons
and stick baits. Some perch were still hitting in both Olcott and
Wilson harbors on minnows.
Lower Niagara River: Trout were becoming more plentiful with
steelhead, browns and lakers are all swimming around. Brown trout
were being caught on the Bar. While we were watching those browns
get reeled in, a sturgeon of nearly 5 feet long swam up to our boat
and checked us out. Steelhead were being caught upriver in Devil’s
Hole and Artpark, with the occasional lake trout also showing up.
Remember that lake trout season is closed until the end of the year
on the New York side. Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston reeled in half a
dozen fish for customers while fishing Devil’s Hole using Kwikfish
and egg sacs. He lost that many, too. Lots of gizzard shad were
swimming around the river, attracting both fish and birds.
Central New York
Lake Ontario: Anglers casting from the piers and at river mouths
with spoons such as Cleos, Krokodiles and KO wobblers are catching
some brown trout and steelhead. Stream flow is up in Maxwell Creek
and anglers are catching brown trout and steelhead on egg sacs or
egg imitations. Steelhead action was picking up in Irondequoit
Creek for anglers using wooly buggers or egg imitations.
Oneida Lake: Shoreline action for walleye at dusk was beginning to
pick up, and anglers report the best lures are stick baits in
blue/silver or black/silver. Perch action continued to be fairly
good for anglers fishing with a fathead minnows in 12-15 feet of
Oswego River: The areas around Lock 7, the high wall and the
walkway were providing some fishing opportunity and a few salmon
have been caught. We advise wearing a personal flotation device if
you choose to fish the river.
Salmon River: Fishing has picked up again and both salmon and
steelhead continue to provide good action. Eggs, beads and egg
patterns are still working best.
Sodus Bay: Largemouth bass fishing continued to be productive. Some
trout and salmon were being caught at night casting spoons near the
Irondequoit Bay: Yellow perch fishing has been good in 20-plus feet
of water using fathead minnows, grubs, or jigs. A few trout and
salmon were being caught by anglers casting spoons near the
Genesee River: Steelhead were being reported from the mouth of the
river up to the dam when flows are conducive to fishing. Egg sacs
and egg-imitating plastics were working well. Fish are also being
taken by anglers casting spoons off the pier at the river
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Seneca Lake: Landlocked salmon fishing has picked up for anglers
trolling spoons 10-50 feet down over various depths. A few lake
trout were also being caught by trolling and jigging in slightly
Keuka Lake: Very few anglers have been out, but lake trout have
been caught off of points in 60-110 feet jigging white tubes and
hair jigs. This is usually a good time of year to try for yellow
perch but we haven’t had any reports.
Canandaigua Lake: Rainbow trout fishing has been very good for
anglers trolling stick baits and spoons down 40-60 feet over
100-150 feet. Orange has been the hot color. Lakers were also being
caught by anglers jigging in a variety of depths, both on the
bottom and suspended.
Cayuga Lake: Lake trout fishing has picked up somewhat, with a few
anglers reporting good action trolling around Sheldrake and AES.
Lakers were taken on flashers and flies or spoons, down 75-140
feet. Perch fishing has been good at the north end for anglers
fishing with fathead minnows. Largemouth bass and pickerel are also
being caught on tube jigs and stick baits at the north end, as
Owasco Lake: Lake trout fishing has picked up a little for anglers
trolling or jigging in 70-100 feet of water. Yellow perch action
has also been good, particularly at the north end in 5-10 feet of
water. Small jigs tipped with a fathead minnow or a Twister Tail
grub are working well.
Skaneateles Lake: Midlake surface trolling with perch-colored
streamer flies or stick baits has been producing some rainbow trout
and the occasional lake trout in recent weeks. This time of year
always provides decent rainbow trout action for shore anglers still
fishing with marshmallow and worm rigs. Also, lakers can typically
be caught from shore at this time of year by casting spoons or
bouncing tube jigs along the steep cobble drop-offs where they
congregate to spawn.
Otisco Lake: Not much to report.
Waneta and Latooka lakes: Some perch were being caught in both
lakes by anglers jigging worms along the bottom. A few muskie were
still being caught by anglers trolling large stick baits.
Whitney Point Reservoir: Walleye fishing at the spillway has been
very good and anglers report that floating plugs or stick baits are
working best just after dark. Jigs tipped with a minnow are also
producing walleye during daylight hours, but most of these fish are
small. Reservoir anglers report that walleye action was beginning
to pick up for anglers trolling or drifting north of the islands in
10-12 feet of water. Smallmouth bass, rock bass, sunfish, and
yellow perch are also providing action.
Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Prior to
the most recent rain, smallmouth bass fishing had been good for
anglers using tube jigs, while walleye fishing had just begun to
pick up for anglers fishing with a jig and minnow
Attention has clearly shifted to deer hunting now, with virtually
no fishing reports to be had. The Northern Zone deer season got off
to a so-so start with some very warm weather, which sparked
concerns that the season might be warm like last year. But cooler
temperatures have now prevailed and some hunters were finding snow
in the higher elevations. Small-game hunters are still out as well,
notably pheasant chasers who benefitted from a surplus stocking of
birds in Regions 5 and 6 late last month.
The offshore striped bass fishing between Fire Island Inlet and
Moriches Inlet was excellent, with the area between Sailor’s Haven
and Davis Park in 20-30 feet of water the best location. Captain
Neil of the Laura Lee out of Captree State Park reported a single
trip catch of 242 stripers. The bulk of the stripers ranged from 26
to 30 inches long, with a few fish in the 20-pound class. Mixed
with the stripers are blues in the 3-to 6-pound class. These fish
were feeding on vast schools of sand eels, resulting in diamond
jigs being hot lure. This has been some of the best and most
consistent jigging action in the last few years and has only been
hampered by very windy conditions at times. Sand eels often stay
inshore thru December, creating the potential of a sustained fall
striper and bluefish run.
Larger stripers were caught at the South Shore Inlet bridges, the
inlet mouths, and around the Ponquogue Bridge on live eels at
night. Fish in the 30- to 40-pound class were common, but with less
action than the smaller stripers being caught on clam bellies
during the outgoing tides at outer bars and bridges spanning the
inlets. Bluefish have been mixed in with stripers. The Peconics
have also seen some action, with both bass and blues chasing bunker
up along the north side.
Huge bluefish to 20 pounds were caught trolling bunker spoons and
Mann Stretch 25+ plugs along the South Shore from Shinnecock Inlet
to New York Harbor in 30 to 40 feet of water. Large blues were also
reported near the Route 105 Bridge on bunker.
Scott Jeffery of East End Bait and Tackle reports that makos to 200
pounds have been caught offshore. Scott also reported that the
beaches to the west and east of Shinnecock Inlet have seen plenty
of keeper bass, with the bulk of the stripers just under the keeper
limit, but with catches approaching 50 stripers per day. Bucktails,
tins, diamond jigs and plugs all working. Dawn and dusk have been
the best times but the night bite is starting to happen
The striped bass and bluefishs has improved at Democrat Point, Sore
Thumb, Robert Moses Field 5, Floyd Bennett Field, Breezy Point and
West End 2. Diamond jigs and tins have been the top daytime lure,
with live eels the best nighttime bait, which have also accounted
for the larger stripers with fish in the 30-pound class. The North
Shore beaches from Rocky Point to Orient Point produced stripers to
20 pounds on diamond jigs and poppers during the day and on plugs
after dark. The quality of the fishing on both the North and South
shores was dependent on the water clarity. With the recent high
winds the water was at times murky and weed-filled, creating spotty
Off Montauk Point, Captain Gene Kelly reported that the bass
fishing is off the wall, with patches of fish all over the place
and very few bluefish to worry about. The charters are catching all
they want on umbrella rigs, parachutes jigs and diamond jigs.
Bigger fish, into the 40s, are being caught on live eels, but with
them it’s not as sure a thing. The big schools are feasting on tiny
bay anchovies and when they have their sights on them they can be
pretty finicky, especially in the surf.
When the stripers invaded the Montauk surf they pushed the bay
anchovies against the shore for blitz condition fishing. Teasers
fished in front of large plugs accounted for a large number of
stripers and blues. Fly-fishermen did very well using small bay
anchovy imitations. The false albacore have left for the
The blackfish action on the South Shore artificial reefs and
inshore wrecks was excellent. There were plenty of sea bass mixed
in with the blackfish, boding well for the reopening of the sea
bass season. Green crabs and clams were the top baits.
On the North Shore, the blackfishing remained excellent on any
rockpile, jetty and reef, in the harbors and in the sound out to
about 30 feet deep. The hard spots off Port Jefferson and Orient
Point have produced impressive catches of blackfish in the 10-pound
class. Surfcasters are doing well at Horton’s Point, the Montauk
jetties, as well as off Prybil Beach. In Jamaica Bay, blackfish are
being taken off the Cross Bay Blvd. and Marine Parkway bridges, and
on sunken boats. Green, hermit, fiddler and white crabs have all
been excellent producers.
On the freshwater scene, there has been a flurry of largemouth bass
being caught on top-water baits, night crawlers and freshwater
minnows in the Peconic River system, and in the local lakes. The
fishing has been consistent throughout the day. Numerous panfish
were taken on worms, and on small spinners and spoons.
Not much happening on the fishing front; the folks at FISH307
report virtually no one on Lake George right now as the attention
has turned to the whitetail scene. Ditto for other waters in the
region; it might not be until first ice that we hear of anything on
the fishing front.
Southeastern New York
The Neversink Reservoir is closed to trout fishing. Ashokan and
Rondout reservoirs are open to trout fishing until Nov. 30. There
have been some reports of large brown trout being caught. Popular
baits to use are egg sacs and spoons; fly-fishers are using large
streamers. In the reservoirs east of the Hudson, not a lot to
report, but some trout have been caught.
Be prepared to fish nymphs and streamers now, although you may, on
the right day, encounter some BWOs, midges and caddis. The
Willowemoc and Beaverkill remain open to fishing, along with the
special regulations areas of the West Branch of the Delaware, the
East Branch (below the Shinnople Bridge) and the Delaware’s Main
Stem. The Neversink is closed to fishing now.
St. Lawrence River: When the weather cooperates, muskie action
should be decent. Perch have been cooperating in 20-30 feet
of water on fathead minnows, and you’ll probably encounter a couple
northerns as well.
Black Lake: Most of the attention has shifted to whitetails, but
Chapman’s Sports (315-324-5265) in Hammond reports crappie were
biting at last report. That may have changed, however, with the
colder temperatures that moved in late last month.