Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Friday, February 3rd, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

NY: Lake Ontario kings, Champlain lakers and landlocks hot Issue: 15

Western New York

Lake Ontario and tributaries: Lake Ontario fishing is as hot as the
weather right now, according to Lockport’s Dick Conley. He was
trolling with Terry Goerss of Lockport and Tom Danaher of Waterport
recently out of Olcott and the trio boated in excess of 20 trout
and salmon. Using a mix of spoons and flasher-fly combinations,
they targeted 100- to 200-foot depths, placing their lures in the
top 60 feet for steelhead and coho salmon; 80 to 100 feet down for
kings. Their biggest king was 25 pounds. Brown trout can be found
inside of 100 feet and one hot lure for them was the Northland
Fluttertail spoon in an alewife pattern. Wes Walker at The Slippery
Sinker reports that bass, pike and perch were still hanging around
Olcott and Wilson harbors. Largemouth were hitting tube jigs,
leeches and crabs.

Lake Erie and tributaries: Bass and walleye action continued to be
decent. Boaters were doing well around the breakwalls for
smallmouth on live bait or artificial baits like tube jigs or
drop-shot rigs with plastics. The round house at the head of the
river is a good spot with crayfish. Most of the fish for these
areas will be 2 to 3.5 pounds. For bigger fish, target deeper
waters like the deep side of Seneca shoal. That same area is good
for walleye with worm harnesses in 40-plus feet of water on the
bottom. The fish market has been a good spot for walleye, too, near
the wall at Ferry Street. Perch action has been fair between
Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek. Move around until you find
active fish in 25- to 50-foot depths.

Upper Niagara River: Shoreline action has slowed, probably because
local baits have moved. You can still catch a few fish around
Ontario Street, at Broderick Park and at the north end of Squaw

Lower Niagara River: Lower River bass fishing action was starting
to turn on again as the moss was dissipating. Tube jigs, drop-shot
rigs or live bait should catch fish.

Chautauqua Lake: Muskie casters were working the waters of Bemus
Bay from the marina to the bridge, according to Craig Robbins. Use
top-water baits under low-light conditions. Bass have been hitting
around Lakewood Bar in the shallows, also on top-water baits like
buzzbaits. Fish all the way out to the buoy markers during the
middle of the day, switching over to black and yellow jig-and-pig

Orleans County: Hot weather has slowed fishing of late on some
waters, although bluegills and smallmouth remained fairly active on
Lake Alice. The Orleans County waters of Lake Ontario continued to
offer what’s being described by several charter captains and other
anglers as some of the best ever by several different charter
captains and recreation fishermen. Many are starting in the 80-foot
depth range and then working up until they find the fish, but most
of don’t have to go far to find them. Dipseys back 120-140 feet in
the morning and 160-180 feet later in the day are working very well
in the white-on-white and 42-second patterns. On the riggers set
from 30-60 feet lures mentioned are Stinger Nukes, White Ghost,
Steelie Dan, Whitebelly Frogs, green glow, black and silver green
glow, green alewives and Metallic Frogs. The bad news is that the
spiny water fleas have made their return and are somewhat of a
nuisance, so check your lines often. Some big Atlantic salmon have
been caught this year, – several in the 20-pound range.

Central New York

Lake Ontario: Brown trout were still being taken by anglers
trolling 40 feet down with small spoons like NK 28’s and Stingers.
The best water depth varied from 200 to 230 feet. Salmon were being
taken on flashers and flies, or large spoons fished 120 down over
400 feet of water. Trolling lures with 500 feet of copper has also
been working well. Steelhead were being caught on spoons down 25
feet over 250 feet of water. Mixed in with the browns have been
some large lake trout and the occasional salmon. Panfish were
biting in the shallows and largemouth bass were hitting in the
bays. Bass were hitting on Senko-style baits and

Oneida Lake: Walleye were still being taken both shallow and deep,
from 15 to 40 feet, with the best action in 28-40 feet. Bucktail
jigs tipped with night crawler, blade baits and small stick baits
were working. Smallmouth bass were hitting tube jigs around the
shoals and pickerel action was good along the weedbeds on the bass

Onondaga Lake: The main lake, Inner Harbor and Seneca River have
been producing big carp.

Oswego River: A few walleye were still being caught on stick baits
or leeches, and smallmouth bass fishing has been good on crayfish
or minnows. Freshwater drum and carp are hitting on night

Salmon River: Not much to report.

Sandy Pond: A few northern pike were still being taken, and panfish
were hitting along the shore.

Sodus Bay: A few northern pike were still hitting on spoons,
minnows and plastic swimbaits. Largemouth bass were hitting
Senko-style baits, topwaters and spinnerbaits. Some panfish were
being caught on small jigs or worms.

Irondequoit Bay: Largemouth bass were hitting spinnerbaits and a
variety of plastics. Northern pike were still being taken on
spoons, minnows and spinnerbaits.

Finger Lakes/Southern Tier

Cayuga Lake: Lake trout, Atlantic salmon and brown trout were
hitting for anglers trolling with spoons or flashers and flies off
downriggers, Dipsey Divers and copper. Fishing 40 to 65 feet down
over 90-300 feet of water has been a good starting point. Yellow
perch fishing has been good in the north end; use small

Seneca Lake: Weed mats continued to be a problem and fleas were
starting to show up. Fishing continued to be fair for Atlantic
salmon and brown trout for anglers fishing spoons down 25 to 35
feet. Lake trout were being taken on spoons, flashers and flies
fished off Dipsey Divers (180 to 250 feet back) and off downriggers
down 60 to 70 feet over 100 feet of water.

Keuka Lake: Lake trout are being taken by anglers trolling Spin
Doctors and flies, or spoons off downriggers, fished near bottom in
120-150 feet of water. Vertical jigging in 40-80 feet of water with
plastics is working for lake trout.

Waneta and Lamoka lakes: Bass fishing remained, and but muskie
action has been slow.

Owasco Lake: Some lakers are still being taken on the north end of
the lake by anglers vertical jigging in 75 to 95 feet of water.
Anglers trolling 30 to 50 feet down over 65-100 feet with spoons
were also catching lake trout and an occasional nice-sized brown
trout. Yellow perch were on fathead minnows.

Otisco Lake: Smallmouth bass fishing has been good in 35 to 40 feet
of water on drop-shot rigs. A few walleye were being taken trolling
with worm harnesses. An occasional tiger muskie was being caught on
the north end on swim baits or large spinners.

Canandaigua Lake: Fleas and weed mats are making trolling
difficult. Lake trout and rainbow trout were hitting spoons and
flashers and flies. Fishing down 40 to 60 feet over 100-145 feet of
water has been a good starting point. Vertical jigging with white
plastics has been good in 110 feet of water. Bass fishing has been
decent in the south end.

Skaneateles Lake: Young-of-the-year yellow perch were being found
from the surface down to about 30 feet. Trout and salmon were
feeding on the small perch. Trolling 10 to 30 feet down with small
spoons or stick baits was producing trout and salmon. Smallmouth
bass and rock bass were hitting along the shore for anglers fishing
with tube baits, super flukes and drop-shot rigs.

Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Walleye and
bass were being taken on dark-colored tube baits in the deeper

Whitney Point Reservoir: Walleye fishing continued to be good for
anglers trolling with worm harnesses or fishing with leeches in the
deeper water. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good along the


Lake Champlain fishing remained very good, with solid lake trout,
landlocked salmon, steelhead and browns in hefty weights,
undoubtedly the product of some feasting on the alewife population.
Bass action has been good, too, and some fine top-water fishing can
be had early and late. Steve Koop of Adirondack Outdoor Company in
Lewis (Essex County) says smallmouths have dropped into 20-30 feet
off reefs and rock piles. Salmon are being caught in 40-plus feet
of water. Stingers and Speedy shiners continue to be hot lures.
Lake trout are now close to or on the bottom.

Long Island/NYC

The offshore fluke fishing outside Fire Island Inlet and toward the
west was excellent in 70 feet of water, with limits of keepers the
norm and fluke to 10 pounds reported. The fluke were feeding on
schools of squid, making the standard squid strip and spearing
combination or whole baby squid the top baits. Further to the east
the ocean fluke fishing was decent in 80 feet of water and around
the artificial reefs. The fluke fishing off Montauk Point was
excellent, with limits of keepers being reported on most trips and
anglers switching over to sea bass to finish off their trips. Off
the Rockaways the fluke were jumping all over gold hammered

Inshore the fluke fishing was hot, with dozens of fluke reported
per boat, but the keeper ratio was about 1 in 20 along the entire
South Shore. Live killies, live snappers, bucktails tipped with
squid or fluke belly strip or squid and spearing combination were
the top baits. There were a lot of sea robins mixed in with the
fluke. Cocktail blues were hitting the fluke baits close to the
inlet mouths, with a few blues in the teen size being reported.
Live snappers accounted for limits of fluke to over 6 pounds in
Jamaica Bay.

The offshore bluefishing has been excellent all around the island,
with bait and diamond jigs both excellent producers. Night trips in
the Western Sound, off the North Fork and in New York Bight were
excellent, with blues to 13 pounds reported.

The snappers are spread through the island and are about 4-5 inches
long and were caught on spearing and small killies from all the
local docks and in the canals.

Mike at Saltwaters Bait and Tackle reported that stripers to 45
pounds were caught under the bunker pods along outside the inlet
mouths. The best action was best during first light and at sunset.
Mike reported that thresher sharks to 400 pounds were caught with
the stripers under the bunker schools. The inshore striper fishing
has slowed with the rising water temperatures as expected, but the
night tides have yielded a fair number of stripers for anglers clam
chumming the inlet bridges.

Yellowfin tuna to 80 pounds were caught at the Dip and the Fish
Tails, with a few bigeye tuna also reported. Blue marlin in the
200-pound class were reported at the canyons. Bluefin tuna were
reported at the Bacardi and at the Texas Tower. Look for some life
and start trolling. Sharking remains good in 120 to 160 feet of
water, with large threshers and makos to 150 pounds common. A good
number of blue sharks were reported off Montauk Point.

Sea bass and porgies were caught on the South Shore artificial
reefs and at the inshore wrecks. The larger pieces of structure
have been fished hard, so those concentrating on finding the
smaller pieces did better, with sea bass to 5 pounds being
reported. The porgy fishing in the western sound has been excellent
from all the local beaches and jetties on clams, worms and squid

Scott Jeffrey at East End Bait and Tackle reported that the
Peconics are holding plenty of porgies. Robin’s Island, Roger’s
Rock, and Gardner’s Bay all yielded porgies. Clam chum, worms and
clam baits worked well. Scott also reported that the south-facing
beaches have yielded some blues, bass and even a bonito or two
mixed in. Diamond jigs, clam baits and swimming plugs were all
working. Dawn and dusk have provided the best action. Porgies,
fluke and snappers were caught in the Shinnecock Canal.

The blue claw crab fishing was excellent on all moving tides. Both
traps and night crabbing were productive.

The panfishing has been excellent at all the local ponds and lakes,
with largemouth bass being caught at first light and at

Guy Zummo

Capital District

Lake George was yielding plenty of northern pike on large
spinnerbaits, and good smallmouth action can be had, although the
fish are moving into deeper water now. Ditto for the lake trout.
Saratoga Lake is always a good bet for largemouths, in quantity if
not quality. Fish very early or late in the evening, especially on
Lake George, to avoid the recreational boat traffic.

Southeastern New York

Anglers have been catching brown trout on Krocodile spoons at
Rondout and Ashokan reservoirs, fishing 20 to 50 feet down. Small
lakers are also being taken by trollers and shore anglers using
spoons. Some nice trout are being picked up at Croton Falls, Cross
River and Kensico reservoirs, along with nice-sized bass.


Water temperature is always an issue at this time of year, and
anglers will need to exercise restraint when they climb high enough
to stress trout. Hatches are occurring very early and very late in
the day; look for caddis, sulphurs, olives and isonychias. Water
levels were generally good, but again, it’s the temperature that
needs to be monitored. The West Branch of the Delaware was offering
the most consistent hatches and the water temp was in the

Thousand Islands

St. Lawrence River: Plenty of bass were being taken on Senkos,
while northerns have been hitting in shallow water on spinnerbaits
and live bait like minnows. Walleye action has been so-so.

Black Lake: Richard at Chapman’s Sports (315-324-5265) reports the
lake has been yielding incredible catches of bluegill in both size
a numbers – the best he’s ever seen. Bass action has been very
good, and it’s a great time to go top-water. A few northerns and
walleye are also being reported.

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