NY: Irene’s rains stall fishing in much of eastern New York Issue: 18
Western New York
Lake Ontario and tributaries: Chalk up some more winning fish being
caught out of Niagara, this time out of Olcott for the Orleans
County Rotary Derby. James Leiby of Gilbertsville, Pa., was fishing
with Capt. Bob Cinelli out of Olcott when they hooked into a 34
pound salmon to win the grand prize in the contest.
Lake Erie and tributaries: Fishing was good for bass and he was
fishing off Dunkirk in 52 to 70 feet of water, 18 inches off the
bottom, using a drop-shot rig with a Poor Boys Erie Darter – green
early in the day; goby colored later in the day when the sun was
up. Walleye action has turned back on off Barcelona, where the
leading Fish Odyssey division fish came from. It was reeled in by
Bernie Lewandowski, Sr. of Depew. Try fishing 60 to 80 feet down
over 80 to 120 feet of water. Off Sturgeon Point, head deeper than
60 foot. Perch were being taken off Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus
Creek in 60-65 feet of water
Upper Niagara River: Work crabs or shiners around the islands for
smallmouth bass. Drift the deeper holes off three-way rigs. If you
want to try and catch a musky, use large tubes in places like
Thompson’s Hole, around Strawberry Island and near the Huntley
power plant. Live bait from shore was producing a mix of panfish
and bass from Tonawanda to Buffalo.
Lower Niagara River: Some nice fish were being caught and bass have
been snapping in the lower river. Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston
was averaging 40 fish days on crabs along the shoreline in 15 feet
of water just outside the weedline on the Stella drift and along
the clay banks. It’s important to keep your 3-way rig as vertical
as possible to limit moss on your hook. Also shortening your
eight-pound fluorocarbon leader to 24 inches helps
Chautauqua Lake: Craig Robbins of Ashville sends word that the
perch fishing has been good all around the lake, but the best has
been in Ashville Bay in 8 to 12 feet of water just off the bottom
with a bobber and minnow combination. For musky, try casting
bucktails in Bemus Bay area around the weed edges. Best color
combination has been black and yellow.
Orleans County: The great news is that not much has changed on the
heels of Irene’s rains. Great fishing is taking place from 65 feet
of water out to the 28 line and beyond. On the inside waters,
downriggers are being run from 35 to 55 feet down, and on the
outside waters from 55 to 85 feet down. Dispys are working well
from 200 to 220 feet back. The hot colors are melon colors, orange,
green glows and ghosts. During the day today big kings seem to be
moving toward shore. On the inland streams and lakes of Orleans
County things are also very positive. Great northern pike fishing
is taking place on lower Oak Orchard Creek in the areas around the
bridges and Fiddlers Elbow. Perch are running hot and cold at the
point. On Lake Alice, crappie and bluegill are being taken in very
good numbers around the Waterport bridge and both largemouth and
smallmouth bass are being taken upstream of the Kenyonville Bridge.
On both Glenwood Lake and also on the canal, very good catches of
catfish were being reported.
Central New York
Lake Ontario: Salmon were being taken in 125 to 170 feet of water.
Two very impressive (34 and 35 pounds) hybrid Chinook-coho salmon
were brought in. Good baits continued to be flashers and flies,
cut-bait and large spoons. Down depth has been changing almost
daily though as the cold water gets moved around. So if not marking
fish or bait move shallower or deeper. Good colors continued to be
shades of green and.
Oneida Lake: Walleye fishing continued to be slow. Fish were being
marked but are being tight lipped. Yellow perch fishing has picked
up, with fish being taken on small crayfish in 10 to 20 feet of
water. Smallmouth bass fishing also slowed down but some 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. When birds are seen diving on these shad schools fishing in
the area has been producing some smallmouth bass.
Onondaga Lake: Carp were still producing the most action, including
not only the main lake but the Inner Harbor and Seneca, Oneida and
Oswego River: A variety of fish was being taken: walleye,
smallmouth bass, freshwater drum (sheephead), channel catfish and
carp. The bridge over Oswego Canal Lock 7 at Leto Island has been
closed to vehicle traffic by the state Department of
Salmon River: Nothing to report, but that should change soon.
Sandy Pond: Largemouth bass were hitting a variety of Texas-rigged
plastic baits and topwater baits.
Sodus Bay: Largemouth bass are still hitting Senko-style baits and
a few pike are being taken on large spoons.
Irondequoit Bay: Largemouth bass and a few pike were being
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Cayuga Lake: Lake trout, Atlantic salmon and brown trout were still
hitting for anglers trolling with spoons or flashers & flies
off down riggers, Dipsey divers, and copper.
Seneca Lake: Lake trout were being taken on spoons, and flashers
and flies fished down 100 feet over 150 feet of water. Trolling
very slow, 1 mph with blue and silver-colored baits has been
working well. Vertical jigging with chartreuse plastics has also
been good for lake trout in 65 to 95 feet of water. Anglers
trolling very close to bottom were also catching some good brown
trout. Smallmouth bass and yellow perch were hitting on crayfish
and minnows fished off the pier. Anglers fishing large minnows
under bobbers were catching some northern pike around
Keuka Lake: Lake trout are being taken by anglers trolling flashers
and flies, or spoons, off downriggers fished down 100 to 130 feet
over 150 feet of water.
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 perch were hitting on
crayfish. Largemouth bass fishing also remained good.
Owasco Lake: Lake trout fishing has slowed, but vertical jigging
with plastics in 60 to 110 feet of water was still producing a few
fish. Yellow perch were being caught on small minnows around the
Otisco Lake: Smallmouth bass fishing continued to be fair in 35 to
40 feet of water on drop-shot rigs. Tiger musky were being caught
along weed edges on swimbaits, stick baits and large
Canandaigua Lake: Lake trout and rainbow trout were hitting spoons
and flashers and flies. Fishing down 35 to 85 feet over 100 to 250
feet of water has been a good starting point.
Skaneateles Lake: Smallmouth bass and rock bass were hitting along
the shore out to about 40 feet of water for anglers fishing with
tube baits, super flukes, drop-shot rigs and crayfish. Some yellow
perch and bass were being taken in the south end on small minnows
Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Fishing had
been good for walleye and smallmouth bass, but that was before
Irene and her torrential rains arrived. Things may be on hold for a
Whitney Point Reservoir: A big algal bloom made the reservoir
difficult to fish. Fishing early or late in the day was still
producing some walleye, though. Fishing very slowly near the river
channel with worm harnesses has been working for these early and
Irene’s rains definitely put a hold on stream fishing, perhaps for
the season. The West Branch of the Ausable River went from a gentle
flow of 240 cfs to a mind-blowing 38,000 cfs and carved a wicked
swath that washed out several bridges. Not only is fishing out of
the question – except for the ponds and lakes – but access to the
region is a challenge. Route 86 from Lake Placid to Wilmington was
closed due to a washout near Owens Brook; Route 73 to Keene Valley
was closed as the East Branch and Johns Brook jumped their banks.
Lake Champlain will likely be a solid option, although the storm
brought lake levels up. Bottom line, if you’re looking to fish a
stream, this is probably not the place right now.
The inshore fluke fishing - prior to Irene’s visit – in the South
Shore inlets, bays and harbors has improved significantly, with
limits being caught consistently among tons of short fluke. Scott
Jeffery at East End Bait and Tackle reported the Shinnecock Bay
bite was more productive in the skinny water with either live bait
or small jigged bucktails. The ocean fluke definitely preferred the
larger live baits or whole large squid, which are swimming all over
outside, which explains the influx of larger fish in the area.
Fluke were caught in the surf around the inlet mouths on
bait-tipped bucktails and tins bounced off the bottom.
With the exception of the rips off Montauk Point and the Gut off
Orient Point, the striped bass fishing was slow due to the high
water temperatures. A few stripers were caught during the night
tides in the inlets on eels and live baits for those who put their
time in. Trolled umbrella rigs, parachute jigs and live baits all
presented in the rips off Montauk Point produced limits of keeper
stripers, with most fish in the 20-pound class. Bucktails presented
on a 3-way rig in the Gut produced limits of stripers. There were a
tremendous number of bluefish reported in and around the Gut being
caught on bucktails.
Bluefish in the 2- to 3-pound class were caught on the western
Sound beaches on tins during the day and poppers and surface
swimmers at first light and at dusk. These same blues were running
in and out of the North Shore harbors and attack tins and surface
There sea bass and porgy fishing on the South Shore artificial
reefs has slowed due to the heavy fishing pressure that they
received during the lastseveral weeks. Anglers working the smaller,
isolated pieces and inshore wrecks were still finding decent
fishing. The porgy fishing in the deeper holes in the Peconics was
good, with a few weakfish being caught on squid strips. Large
porgies were caught on the North Fork beaches on clams, with fish
to 3 pounds reported.
The South Shore bays and North Shore harbors have a mixed bag of
blowfish to 10 inches, triggerfish, porgies, sea bass and northern
kingfish. Sandworms with clam chum were the top choice, squid
strips were a good second choice.
The shark fishing has shown signs of slowing, but a few makos were
caught in the cooler water areas. A few dusky sharks were reported
for those fishing bait for stripers on the beaches around Rockaway
Inlet and to the west. Small weakfish were caught from the surf in
the same area on gold diamond jigs.
Tunas have moved to deeper water out near the edge probably looking
for clearer water than on the shelf and canyon tips. Some bigeyes,
yellowfin in the 70-pound class, longfin in the 30-pound class, and
a few wahoo have been reported, with many blue and white marlin
releases. Most of the tuna were caught on the troll during the day
and on chunks at night.
The snapper fishing remained excellent at all the local docks,
beaches and canals. The snappers are ravenous and have increased in
size to 8 to 10 inches long. Small tins and bucktails, snapper
poppers, spearing, baby bunker and one-inch killies were top lures
and baits. The best action was during the late afternoon and early
The blue claw crab fishing remained excellent with the numerous
large crabs being caught in traps, off dock edges and pilings, on
killie rings and while using a spot light a night. The best action
was on the moving tides.
The freshwater fishing has been very good. Panfish are being caught
in all the area lakes and ponds. Those targeting largemouth bass
and pickerel did better during late afternoons and early mornings
using freshwater minnows, topwater lures and spinners.
Irene’s torrential rains put fishing on the back burner for a
while. The Mohawk River was among those waters to see flooding, and
the Mettawee and Battenkill were definitely off limits for a while.
Lake action is still an option, including Lake George, Saratoga
Lake and Round Lake.
Southeastern New York
Not hearing a lot after Irene socked the region with heavy rains.
The Pepacton Reservoir overflowed but later receded. Schoharie
Creek was one of many streams to see major flooding. Nine bridges
were destroyed, which means even when waters return to fishable
levels access may be a challenge on some stretches.
Not hearing much of late on the reservoir system on the heels of
Irene’s rains. Fishing was put on the back burner for a while as
anglers were busy cleaning up after the storm.
Incredibly, some of the Catskill rivers – like the Beaverkill and
Willowemoc, as well as the West Branch of the Delaware – have
already returned to fishable levels after heavy rains brought by
the remnants of Hurricane Irene. That said, many waters have
changed dramatically. The Esopus and other streams in the northern
Catskills were hit very hard. Shandaken, Wyndham, and Boiceville
all had major flooding and damage.
St. Lawrence River: Pike have provided decent action, with a few
good fish reported. Walleye fishing has improved for anglers
drifting night crawler harnesses. Irene’s rains may have altered
fishing action, and certainly water conditions.
Black Lake: Richard at Chapman’s Sports (315-324-5265) reports the
region escaped Irene’s wrath and fishing remained solid for
smallmouth and largemouth bass, with the occasional walleye. The
early goose season will bring out waterfowlers, but most of that
focus will be on the fields and not the water.