Western New York
Lake Ontario and tributaries: This is the time of year when the big
bruisers start showing up in Lake Ontario – huge king salmon that
are piling on the pounds as they prepare for the final migration of
their short life cycle. Lake action for salmon and trout continues
to be good but conditions are always changing out there. Brown
trout are still available inside of 75 feet off Wilson and Olcott.
Green patterned Northern King spoons have been doing the best for
Lake Erie and tributaries: The best spot for walleye continued to
be off Barcelona, where trollers were using worm harnesses and
stick baits 60 to 80 feet down over 75 to 105 feet of water. Closer
to home, the deep side of Myers Reef and Seneca Shoal was producing
some walleye and bass.
Upper Niagara River: Action has been good at the head of the river
for bass and walleye. Bass fishing has also been good in the river
around Beaver Island, Strawberry Island and Navy Island. Crayfish
are working best in 10-20 feet of water.
Lower Niagara River: Bass and walleye were still cooperating for
fishermen drifting the current. One of the better bass spots has
been the bottom of the Stella Drift, as well as along the Coast
Guard. Crabs are at the top of the list right now for bass. Walleye
prefer the tried and true worm harness or yellow sally fly-spinner
and a worm fished off a three-way rig.
Chautauqua Lake: For walleye, target Ashville Bay in 10-14 feet of
water off the weed edges. Use a ¼-ounce black hair jig tipped with
a crawler for best results. You’ve got about a two-hour window – an
hour either side of sunrise – to take your fish. You’ll catch 3 or
4 short fish to every keeper. Perch were still doing well all
around the lake. Try around Rock and Grass Island, as well as
around Lakewood Bar in 12 feet of water with a split shot and worm
combo. Bass fishing has been good around the docks at Chautauqua
Institution off the Bell tower area with Sluggo-type baits. Muskie
trollers were still picking up a few fish in the lower basin from
the Bridge to Ashville Bay in 13 to 16 feet of water with body
baits or spinners.
Orleans County: Fishing on Lake Ontario has been challenging, with
ever-shifting winds putting the lake in a turmoil that is just now
starting to calm down. Anglers were fishing anywhere from 50 feet
of water all the way out to the border. In the shallower water it’s
a mixture of kings and brown trout. At the fence it’s a mixture of
kings, steelhead and cohos. The green patterns, Metallic Frogs,
Green Atomic Waste and black with green/glow tapes are working, but
now some of the purple patterns are coming on strong. On the
outside waters, fish are being taken anywhere from 15 to 75 feet
down. Keep changing direction until you find which directions work
best for you. On the inland waters, smallmouth bass fishing in the
upper reaches of Oak Orchard River is still showing great results,
as is the lower portion around Fiddlers Elbow. Lake Alice is still
the hot spot for bluegills at the Waterport Bridge. A good mixed
bag of fish is being taken all along the Erie Canal.
Central New York
Lake Ontario: Brown trout were being taken in shallower water, 20
to 40 feet. Chinooks were being taken way off shore in deeper water
(300 to 400 feet). Good baits were flashers and flies, cut bait and
Oneida Lake: Walleye fishing continues to be slow; fish were being
marked but were tight lipped. A few walleye were still being taken
along weed edges in 15 feet of water. Deep water was also still
producing a few in the area around buoys 121 and 125. Bucktail jigs
tipped with night crawler, blade baits, worm harnesses and small
stick baits are all still good bait choices. Some smallmouth bass
are still hitting tube jigs and drop-shot rigs around the shoals.
There also continues to be smallmouth hitting around schools of
small gizzard shad.
Onondaga Lake: The main lake, Inner Harbor and Seneca River have
been producing some big carp on corn and boilies have been
Oswego River: A variety of fish were being taken: walleye,
smallmouth bass, freshwater drum (sheephead) and channel
Salmon River: Not much to report.
Sandy Pond: Largemouth bass were hitting a variety of Texas-rigged
plastics and top-water baits.
Sodus Bay: Largemouth bass were hitting Senko-style baits,
topwaters and spinnerbaits. Fishing early or late in the day has
Irondequoit Bay: Largemouth bass were hitting spinnerbaits and a
variety of plastics. Some panfish were still being caught on small
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Cayuga Lake: Weed mats and fleas seem to be less of a problem this
week for trollers. Lake trout, Atlantic salmon and brown trout were
still hitting for anglers trolling with spoons or flashers and
flies off downriggers, Dipsey Divers, lead core and copper. Fishing
40 to 80 feet down over 100 to 350 feet of water is a good starting
point. Vertical jigging with plastics continued to be good in 65 to
85 feet of water. In the north end, largemouth bass and pickerel
were being taken in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Seneca Lake: Fishing was fair, with Atlantic salmon, brown trout
and some rainbow trout hitting spoons fished down 50 to 70 feet.
Lake trout were also being taken on spoons, and flashers and flies
fished off Dipsey Divers (180 to 250 feet back) and off downriggers
down 60 to 90 feet over 100 to 300 feet of water. Vertical jigging
with chartreuse plastics has also been good for lake trout in 65 to
95 feet of water.
Keuka Lake: Lake trout were being taken by anglers trolling
flashers and flies or spoons off downriggers fished down 100 to 130
feet over 150 feet of water. Vertical jigging in 65 to 90 feet of
water with chartreuse plastics was also still working for lake
Waneta and Lamoka lakes: Muskie fishing has been fair for anglers
trolling with large stick baits in silver and blue, red and white
or chartreuse. Smallmouth bass and some yellow perch were hitting
on crayfish. Largemouth bass fishing also remained good.
Owasco Lake: Lake trout were being taken by anglers vertical
jigging with plastics in 60 to 110 feet of water. Anglers trolling
20 to 80 feet down over 80 to 110 feet of water with spoons were
also catching lakers.
Otisco Lake: Smallmouth bass fishing continued to be fair in 35 to
40 feet of water on drop-shot rigs. Tiger muskie were being caught
along weed edges on swimbaits, stick baits and large
Canandaigua Lake: Lake trout and rainbow trout were still hitting
spoons and flashers and flies. Fishing down 45 to 85 feet over 100
to 250 feet of water has been a good starting point. Setting wire
and Dipseys back 225 feet has been a good starting length. Bass
fishing remained fair in the south end.
Skaneateles Lake: Young of the year yellow perch were still being
found from the surface down to about 40 feet. Trout and salmon are
feeding on the small perch. Trolling 40 feet down with small spoons
was producing lake trout. Smallmouth bass and rock bass were
hitting along the shore for anglers fishing with tube baits, super
flukes, drop-shot rigs and crayfish. Some yellow perch were being
taken in the south end also on crayfish.
Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Some
walleye and bass were still being taken on dark-colored tube baits
in the deeper holes. Smallmouth bass were also hitting on small
Whitney Point Reservoir: Fishing early or late in the day was still
producing some walleye.
Steve Koop at Adirondack Outdoor Company in Lewis reports laker
action continues to be excellent on Lake Champlain. Lakers are on
the bottom and anglers are catching them trolling in 80-100 feet of
water on spoons. Fish up to 12 pounds have been reported lately.
The salmon bite has slowed recently but some nice fish are still
being caught. It just takes a little more time and patience to hook
up with the salmon at this time of the year. Salmon are being found
at 40-60 feet in many areas. Smallmouth bass fishing has been
really good, with fish caught on the reefs and rock-piles in 15-30
feet of water. Rivers and streams were low but a few recent
rainstorms have brought them up a bit and the fishing has improved.
Seek out the faster pocket water and fish early and later in the
The snapper fishing was excellent at all the local docks, beaches
and canals. The snappers ranged from 6 to 8 inches long and were
attacking small tins and bucktails, snapper poppers and snapper
poppers. Larger snappers were caught on baby bunker and one-inch
killies, especially in the late afternoon and early evenings.
The blue claw crab fishing has been excellent, with the numerous
large crabs being caught in traps, off dock edges and pilings, on
killie rings and while using a spotlight at night. The best action
was on the moving tides.
The tuna fishing was excellent, with yellowfin tuna to 100 pounds
from The Bacardi to the Hudson Canyon, at The Dip and in the
canyons west to New Jersey and toward the south on the troll, with
plastics and ballyhoo both producing. Bigeye tuna to 250 pounds
were reported at the Hudson Canyon, with the best bite during the
afternoon. Longfin tuna to 60 pounds were trolled and chunked at
the canyons. The overnight boats scored on yellowfin, bigeyes,
swordfish and the occasional largo mako while chunking. Mahi were
being caught at the canyons, offshore buoys, and weedlines. Blue
marlin to 400 pounds were trolled at the canyons.
The porgy fishing off Montauk Point was excellent, with limits of
porgies to 3 pounds common. Sea bass were mixed in with the
porgies. Sea bass and ling were reported on the wrecks in New York
Bight off Staten Island. The porgy fishing on the North Shore was
excellent from both the boat and shore beaches, with clams and
squid strips the best baits.
The inshore striped bass fishing slowed due to the very warm water
temperatures. The best fishing has been off Montauk Point on live
baits, diamond jigs and while trolling tubes and parachutes in the
rips, including Pigeons Rip. The majority of the stripers were
teen-sized to 20 pounds, with a few fish to 35 pounds being
reported. There has been a very good night striped bass bite in the
New York Bight in Ambrose Channel. A lot of bluefish from 5 to 15
pounds were mixed in with the stripers. Excellent bluefishing was
reported at The Race.
Stripers to 35 pounds were reported in The Gut on light-colored
bucktails during the day and dark-colored ones during the night
tides. Stripers were caught outside the South Shore inlets under
the schools of bunker, but this fishing slowed from the terrific
action experienced a few weeks ago. On the North Shore, good
striper and bluefishing at the Middle Grounds on bunker and worms
was reported by the Celtic Quest.
Fluke and sea bass were reported on the offshore artificial reefs
and out to 85 feet of water between Rockaway and Shinnecock inlets.
The majority of the fluke were from 2 to 5 pounds, with fluke to 10
pounds common. Whole squid and peanut bunker accounted for the
largest fluke. On the North Shore, there are a lot of fluke but
they are mostly shorts. Bucktails, squid and spearing combinations
and smelt were top baits.
The inshore fluke fishing in the South Shore inlets produced a lot
of short fish and a few keepers. The incoming tide was much better
than the outgoing tide due to the brown tide in the South Shore
The South Shore bays have a mixed bag of blowfish, triggerfish,
porgies and northern kingfish. Sandworms with clam chum were the
The freshwater fishing has been very good. Panfish are being caught
in all the area lakes and ponds and in the Peconic River.
Largemouth bass and pickerel were also caught, with late afternoons
and early mornings the best time. Due to the extremely hot weather
that we’ve been experiencing some of the smaller ponds have weeded
over, making them difficult to fish.
The folks at Fish307 in Lake George report action on the big lake
has been good for smallmouth and superb for largemouths. Lake trout
are deep (around 150 feet) and some salmon are still being taken.
Anglers fishing Saratoga Lake in the evenings were scoring on
walleye, while fishing on the Schroon River below the Starbuckville
dam was good for rainbows and browns. Brant Lake has been yielding
a mix of bass, crappie and brown trout.
Southeastern New York
John Miller at Bob’s Sport and Tackle reports fishing remained
solid even during the very wet weather of last week. Brown trout
were still being taken at Croton Falls, West Branch and Kensico
reservoirs, while bass action has been good at Croton and Muscoot
reservoirs and a 2-pound, 11-ounce crappie was weighed in from
Heavy rains made the region’s trout waters unfishable, but that’s
not likely the case by now. The good news is the cool, wet weather
has generally kept water temperatures down and the rivers are in
great shape for late August. Tricos were showing in good numbers;
caddis, sulphurs and isonychias are also good options. Still, keep
an eye on water temperatures on those rivers susceptible to
St. Lawrence River: Bass action has been good on crayfish,
Senko-style plastics or minnows. Try 30-35 feet. Topwaters are also
a great option in the evening. Northern pike can also be found in
the weedy areas, but the waterwolves might be heading deeper in hot
weather. Perch and walleye action has been good if you can find
Black Lake: Richard at Chapman’s Sports (315-324-5265) in Hammond
reports smallmouth fishing has been red hot, with plenty of keepers
over the 15-inch size minimum and top-water action an option. You
may pick up a walleye in low-light conditions when fishing deeper
for bass. Bluegill action was great, and crappie were beginning to
bite as well. Not hearing much about northern pike lately, but they
should be around.