NY: St. Lawrence River, Black Lake ice fishing still on Issue: 5

Western New York

Lake Erie and tributaries: If you can find open water, you should
be able to catch trout with egg sacs or egg imitation flies. Small
hair jigs tipped with a waxworm or two will also catch fish.
Dunkirk Harbor steelhead action was good – off the platform or the
pier. Best baits have been spoons, spinners, minnows or egg sacs.
No reports on how the Lake Erie ice was holding up. Caution is
advised at all times.

Upper Niagara River: Yellow perch and panfish were still being
caught in sheltered marinas around Grand Island where ice
conditions were safe, such as Beaver Island and Blue Water. The
same fish are also being caught in the Buffalo Boat Harbor. Keep an
eye on changing conditions, however.

Chautauqua Lake: Be careful along the shoreline when venturing out
on the main lake and stay away from stream openings. The main body
was still safe at last look but caution is advised. Yellow perch
action was still good for ice fishermen targeting the shallower
areas, but there have been plenty of undersized fish. Emerald
shiners and fathead minnows have worked best. Bigger fish can be
found in the deeper holes, but you do have to work for them. Off
Mayville, hard-water anglers were catching bluegills by day and
crappie by night. Use glow jigs tipped with grubs for the night

Lake Ontario and tributaries: Burt Dam and Eighteen Mile creek awee
doing just fine. Steelhead were cooperating with medium stained
water and good flow. Chartreuse eggs or jigs tipped with wax worms
and fished under a float was the best approach, according to Mike
Hartman of Newfane. Wes Walker reported that there was also some
good flow and a few fish being caught at Keg Creek and Hopkins
Creek. No safe ice in Olcott at last report but Wilson still had 10
inches of the hard stuff. Some pier action was also going on for
trout. Moderate to heavy flow was reported on the Oak Orchard River
at last report, with good numbers of steelhead and the occasional
brown being reported. Lake Alice ice fishing has been best around
the Kenyonville Bridge, with the top catch being rock bass. Some
perch and steelhead were being caught through the ice at Point
Breeze in the river, according to Mike Waterhouse of Albion.

Lower Niagara River: Fishing in the Niagara River was pretty good,
with stained water from runoff contributing to a bit of a slowdown.
As the waters slowly clear, however, fish have not been as finicky,
according to local captain Vince Pierleoni of Newfane. He managed
to catch good numbers of steelhead and brown trout on minnows. He
also noted that the smelt are starting to show up in the bellies of
the fish – not for dipping just yet but they are getting ready to
do their spring run, which usually takes place in April. Fish could
be found throughout the river. Incidental walleye and muskie were
also reported. Muskie season is closed; walleye season closes March
15 in New York, and ended Feb. 28 in Canadian waters.

Central New York

Lake Ontario: Maxwell Creek still had ice built up along the
shoreline, making fishing difficult.

Oneida Lake: Use caution around areas of flowing water, cracks and
old holes, since melting snow opened those areas up. Fishing has
picked up and anglers were catching a good mix of panfish in Big
Bay. Walleye were hitting spoons and minnows around Constantia.
Yellow perch were being caught throughout the lake, with 15 to 30
feet of water being productive.

A reminder: The Lewis Point access site is available for use
because of a cooperative agreement with the owner of the property.
It is private property, not public land and its use is not an
entitlement. Keep snowmobiles and ATVs on the designated trail
indicated by the signs.

Oswego River: Anglers were still catching steelhead and brown trout
in the Kiddie Pool and Lock 7 with white bucktail jigs or egg sacs
fished under floats. Drift boat anglers were also fishing around
the Utica Street Bridge. Use caution when fishing along the river
and keep an eye on flow conditions.

Salmon River: The steelhead bite had slowed down with the cold
snap. Anglers fishing egg sacs (white, blue or pink mesh), nymphs,
woolly buggers, beads and pink worms in the deeper holes were
getting some steelhead at last check.

Sandy Pond: Good numbers of yellow perch were still being caught
but anglers still need to sort through a lot of small fish to catch
the bigger perch.

Sodus Bay: Use caution and good judgment if venturing out; ice
thickness reports vary greatly. Yellow perch fishing continued to
be hot one day and slow the next, so keep searching for fish if
you’re not having luck. Good baits have been small jigs tipped with
spikes and Swedish Pimples or Kastmasters with wax worms or perch

Irondequoit Bay: Ice was holding up at last check, but use caution.
This is the time of year when conditions can change quickly. The
bay was very turbid but seemed to be slowly clearing up. Anglers
were getting yellow perch, but you need to weed through a lot of
small fish to find the bigger perch.

Finger Lakes/Southern Tier

Hemlock Lake: The bite has been slow for most species, although
anglers were catching a few lake trout and brown trout on tip-ups
with large shiners. Near the drop-off at the south end has been a
decent spot for chain pickerel and bass on tip-ups with golden

Canadice Lake: The lake trout action has been good at times over
deep water. Large shiners on tip-ups have worked well. Stagger
tip-ups at 5-foot intervals, starting just off the bottom, and
adjust when you find the productive depth. As opposed to lake
trout, brown trout tend to be suspend higher in the water column.
Anglers can target brown trout at various depths, starting at just
5-10 feet below the ice. Anglers were catching good numbers of
smelt at night on glow jigs with grubs.

Silver Lake: The bluegill bite was going strong at the south end of
the lake. Anglers have been catching limits of 7- to 7.5-inch
sunfish in 8-10 feet of water. Small jigs with wax worms or mousie
grubs work well. Tip-ups produced the occasional northern pike.
Yellow perch anglers working the deeper areas have had a tough time
finding fish of keeper size. Keep an eye on changing ice

Honeoye Lake: The bluegill bite has been fair in areas of 8-12 feet
in and around the weeds. Anglers fishing in 20-30 feet of water
reported a mixed bag of bluegill, yellow perch and bass. Tip-ups
set in shallow areas catch mostly largemouth bass and chain
pickerel. Walleye have been tough to find this year.

Conesus Lake: Water at the north end was a bit murky, possibly
causing the slower bluegill bite. Anglers were still catching them
in 8-12 feet of water, with more throw-backs than keepers. Tip-ups
with larger golden shiners produced some large northern pike and
tiger muskellunge as well.

Seneca Lake: Atlantic salmon and brown trout continued to hit for
anglers trolling near the surface down to about 50 feet, with
streamers, stick baits and flasher and flies all working.

Keuka Lake: Anglers were catching some yellow perch early in the
morning on fathead minnows in the Penn Yan area, but keep an eye
out for changing ice conditions. Lake trout anglers were fishing
some areas on the east side in 90 to 120 feet of water south of the
college, but again, use caution.

Owasco Lake: Anglers were still fishing for lake trout around
Ensenore, but shore ice has been iffy. Use caution and good
judgment if venturing out.

Canandaigua Lake: Anglers were still fishing the north end and east
side at last report.

Cayuga Lake: Use caution as ice thickness always varies greatly on
this lake, and this is the time of year when the ice can go in a
hurry. Fishing for perch has been slow. Anglers trolling around
Taughannock Point were still getting Atlantic salmon and the
occasional brown trout on stick baits fished off planer boards and
spoons fished down to 60 feet.

Skaneateles Lake: There were anglers getting out on the north and
south end at last look. Yellow perch fishing has been spotty.

Otisco Lake: Anglers were still catching a mix of bluegills and
pumpkinseeds on small jigs and plastics tipped with spikes. Few
reports of tiger muskie activity. Use caution.

Waneta and Lamoka lakes: Panfish action had been slow at last

Whitney Point Reservoir: Yellow perch fishing has been good with
some nice-sized ringbacks being caught. Keep an eye on ice
conditions and use caution.

Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: No new
fishing activity to report.


Lake Champlain was still seeing plenty of activity at last check,
with decent ice conditions into March. Perch action can be good and
some big ringbacks were reported in some areas of the lake, such as
Westport Bay. Schroon Lake anglers were picking up lake trout,
landlocked salmon, perch and plenty of smelt at last report, right
before the annual Schroon Lake Ice Fishing Derby. A 17-pound laker
was reportedly caught by a Raquette Lake ice angler.

Long Island/NYC

The codfishing at Montauk Point continued to be excellent, reports
Bob at Bob’s Bait and Tackle. Also, South Shore codfishing has
improved, with boats working each wreck for a few fish then moving
on to the next wreck for a few more cod.

Scott at East End Bait and Tackle reported that the boats running
out of Shinnecock Inlet have been doing well on the day bite. Also,
the Montauk boats that have elected to sail for the night bite have
been rewarded with some banner trips, with doubleheaders common.
Bait has been outfishing jigs, but jigs with the addition of glow
grubs have been doing the job at times. Most pool cod have been in
the mid-teens.

In general, those wanting bigger cod have been doing better fishing
on the western wrecks, from Deb’s Inlet and to the west, with
codfish in the 40-pound class reported, as well as a few

There have been a few herring at piers influenced by the ocean
tides, namely Coney Island Pier and the 69th Street Pier. The
weather has warmed a

bit so expect the herring fishing to improve.

Guy Zummo


Capital District

Lake George ice conditions were decent at last look, and anglers
have been working hard to find keeper perch. Lake trout action has
been consistent for anglers with the knowledge of where and how to
fish for them.

Southeastern New York

This is the time of year when ice conditions can deteriorate almost
overnight, so use extreme caution if heading out. We’re not hearing
a lot of reports right now, which may be a product of iffy


Not many options available for anglers right now, with the trout
waters either closed and/or iced up. The good news is the April 1
trout opener is fast approaching. Ice fishing may also be limited
in the region due to spotty conditions, which is typical as we head
into mid-March.


Thousand Islands

St. Lawrence River: Ice was holding up well at last report and
fishing was good, especially for northern pike. Perch action was
solid in many of the traditional hot spots, while bluegill and
crappie were hitting at Lake of the Isles.

Black Lake: Richard at Chapman’s Sports (315-324-5265) in Hammond
reports ice conditions are very good right now after some
challenging slushy going earlier in the season. As far as the
fishing, crappie and bluegill action has been the best it’s been in
recent years, while the walleye and perch fishing has just be
so-so. Northern pike have been their usual cooperative selves. On
Black Lake, ice usually hangs around well into April, so fishing
opportunities remain.

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