NY: Deer season on center stage; ‘regular’ bass season ends Issue: 24

Western New York

Lake Ontario and tributaries: Places like Eighteen Mile Creek and
Burt Dam are still loaded with trout and the occasional salmon. In
fact, Dawn Wilson, who supervises Fisherman’s Park for the Town of
Newfane, reports that this year’s run of brown trout is one of the
best she’s ever seen. Using egg sacs, egg imitations or single egg
presentations is one of the more effective means for taking trout
right now. Some streams like Four Mile and Twelve Mile creeks will
also hold fish when the waters are flowing enough for the fish to
swim up them. We could use a bit more of the wet stuff. Some pier
casters are picking up trout, too, by casting spoons or stick
baits. Good numbers of trout are still being reported at Johnson
and Oak Orchard to the east. For perch, the best spot is still
Irondequoit Bay.

Lake Erie and tributaries: There have been plenty of fish around
throughout the entire system – from the dam to the mouth. Anglers
will have to focus on the small- to medium-sized streams for the
time being with egg sacs, egg imitations or single eggs. Perch
fishermen looking for ringbacks are still concentrating their
efforts in the 50- to 70-foot range with shiners off Cattaraugus
Creek and Sturgeon Point. Both spots still have the launch ramp
open, but the docks have been removed from the Catt.

Upper Niagara River: Muskie anglers have taken their final shots
since the season closed Nov. 30. This is a good time for doing some
trout casting off Squaw Island and Bird Island Pier with spoons,
spinners or egg sacs.

Lower Niagara River: Trout are cooperating on Kwikfish and egg sacs
– for a mix of steelhead and browns. There are also quite a few
lake trout being reported; they’re in the river to perform their
spawning rituals. That season is closed until the end of the year.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife personnel are tagging lake trout to better
understand these fish and their habits. There are some bass still
hitting live bait, tubes and jerks baits for anyone willing to give
them a try.

Chautauqua Lake: Muskie trollers were doing well from the
Prendergast launch to the Bell Tower in the final days of the
season, according to Craig Robbins. Bass have been hitting tubes
and grubs in Burtis Bay and around Ashville bar in Ashville Bay;
it’s now catch-and-release, artificials-only.

Orleans County: There were two good reports on the waters of Lake
Alice. Good catches of bluegills were being reported at the
Kenyonville Bridge. At the Waterport Bridge, walleye and bass were
showing up in fairly good numbers. Remember that the open season
for bass closed at the end of November and is now a catch and
immediately release season until next June.

Fishing the tributaries of Orleans County for the cold water
species is good to very good. The predominant species right now is
brown trout in all tributaries. Steelhead/rainbow trout are
starting to make their presence known and should increase over the
next month. Water flows are average to slightly low but that should
all change now that the Erie Canal System has begun its de-watering
and we should be getting precipitation in either liquid or solid
form. These two items should provide good water flow and slightly
stained water color for several weeks. Add to this the fact the
hunting season is in full swing, which means you should be able to
find a quiet section of tributary to enjoy all alone, or at least
with greatly reduced pressure.

Central New York

Lake Ontario tributaries: Maxwell Creek continued to have good runs
of brown trout and steelhead. Steelhead and brown trout are also
being taken by anglers casting from piers with spoons at tributary

Oneida Lake: The nighttime shore walleye bite has slowed down.
Casting from shore just before and after dark with stick baits in
black and silver and blue and silver works well. It may pay to use
smaller baits because young of the year gizzard shad are numerous
this fall, but are smaller than usual at 2½ to 3 inches. Yellow
perch fishing has picked up some. A good starting point for the
perch has been in 10 to 20 feet of water around weedbeds. The docks
have been removed from the South Shore launch.

Oswego River: The salmon are just about gone, but the browns and
steelhead are in. Estaz eggs, egg sacs, trout beads, wooly buggers
and crazy eggs are all working for the browns and steelhead.

Salmon River: There are fresh steelhead being caught throughout the
river and more brown trout have been showing up. With the low flow
the action on sunny days has been better in the early morning and
late afternoon. Good baits continue to be trout beads, egg sacs
(blue, pink and chartreuse mesh), streamers and egg-imitating
flies. This is the time of year when the area is capable of
receiving major snowfalls, so it may pay to check the weather
report before heading up.

Sandy Pond: Nothing to report, which isn’t unusual this time of

Sodus Bay: Perch fishing continues to be good. Larger perch are
coming from the deeper water, 20 to 30 feet for anglers using
spikes and jigs.

Irondequoit Bay: Yellow perch fishing has been very good on the
north end of the bay. Try jigs tipped with fathead minnows.

Genesee River: There are steelhead and a few salmon in the river
being taken with egg sacs and egg-imitating plastics and flies when
flows are not too high to fish.

Finger Lakes/Southern Tier

Cayuga Lake: Lake trout and Atlantic salmon are being taken around
Taughannock by anglers trolling with spoons, or flashers and flies
using downriggers or Dipsey Divers. Try fishing 40 to 100 feet down
over 100 to 250 feet of water. Lake trout are also hitting
vertically jigged chartreuse plastics in 75 to 150 feet of water.
Perch are being taken in the north end in 10 to 15 feet of water on
fathead and larger minnows. One of the better perch spots is around
Union Springs.

The boat launch at Allen Treman State Park has been closed for the
season in an effort to help prevent the spread of Hydrilla (an
invasive aquatic plant).

Seneca Lake: Yellow perch fishing continues to be good in 20 to 40
feet of water throughout the lake. Lake trout are being taken in
depths over 100 feet on spoons and flashers/flies. Brown trout and
salmon are being taken 40 to 80 feet down on flashers/flies and
spoons. Anglers fishing large minnows under bobbers, or casting
large crankbaits are catching some northern pike.

Keuka Lake: Jigging for lake trout off points in 90 to 110 feet of
water with chartreuse plastics has been working for the lake trout.
Yellow perch fishing can also be very good this time of year. Try
jigging fatheads or plastics in 20 to 50 feet.

Waneta and Lamoka lakes: Not hearing anything now that muskie
season ended Nov. 30.

Owasco Lake: Lake trout fishing has been slow but some fish are
being taken vertically jigging with plastics in 70 feet of water.
Northern pike are hitting spoons on the south end and yellow perch
are hitting fathead minnows.

Otisco Lake: No new fishing activity to report. Casting stick baits
off the causeway after dark usually produces some walleye this time
of year.

Canandaigua Lake: Rainbow trout and a few brown trout are hitting
spoons and flashers and flies fished down 45 to 60 feet over 90 to
150 feet of water. A few lake trout are being caught near bottom in
90 to 120 feet of water. Yellow perch and smallmouth bass fishing
is starting to pick up in 10 to 30 feet of water using small tube
baits, grubs, or fathead minnows.

Skaneateles Lake: Yellow perch are being taken on small minnows.
Shore fishing with marshmallow and worm rigs usually works well
this time of year for rainbow trout, as does trolling streamers on
the surface for Atlantic salmon. But there have been no reports of
any recent activity for either method. One dock has been removed;
the launch will remain open as weather permits.

Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Still not
hearing much from anglers in this flood-ravaged region, even though
water levels are now acceptable. Hunting season obviously is the
focus right now.

Whitney Point Reservoir: Drifting with bucktail jigs tipped with
minnows or worms is producing some walleye and smallmouth bass.
Fishing the spillway with jigs or stick baits is also working for


The region’s deer hunters were taking their final shots in the big
woods of the Adirondacks, and welcomed some colder weather and snow
that improved hunting conditions. Some big bucks were being taken
after some slow hunting in unseasonably warm weather. Some units
will have a weeklong late muzzleloader season as well.

Long Island/NYC

The striped bass fishing opened up during the second half of this
report period for both boat and surf anglers along the South Shore.
Stripers were feeding on squid, not typical fall bait, reports Mike
at Saltwaters Bait and Tackle, who weighed in a 39-pound striper
caught on a diamond jig and a 32-pounder caught on a bunker chunk.
Both fish were caught from the surf at Robert Moses State Park.
Mike also reported that gannets have been working the South Shore
beaches; this usually indicated the presence of large baits such as

A large body of stripers has moved into the South Shore inlets from
Shinnecock Inlet westward to the Breezy Point at Rockaway Inlet.
Eel drifted at night, and clam bellies and whole skimmer clams
fished on the inlet outer bars, at the inlet bridges and rips, all
produced stripers from 8- to 15-pound schoolies to 30-pound class
fish, with a few fish in the 40-pound class. The outgoing tides
out-produced the incoming tide and the stripers being caught while
clam chumming were larger than typically expected.

Jim at Bernie’s Bait and Tackle reported that the stripers were
pushing the bait from just offshore into the surf zone, creating
excellent striper fishing for both boaters using diamond jigs and
surf anglers tossing tins and bunker chunks. The area around Fort
Tilden was very good. Large bluefish were occasionally mixed in the
stripers at all locations.

The blackfishing was excellent on the North Shore for boaters
working the rock piles and reefs, reports Captain Des of the Celtic
Quest fleet. Anglers working the beaches did well between
Matinecock and Peacock points, reports John at Glen Cove Sports
Shop. On the South Shore the blackfishing was better further
offshore as the inshore reefs and wrecks have been worked over
hard, with only a few keeper sized blackfish mixed in with numerous
smaller fish. On the East End the best blackfishing has been around
Plum Island. Clams and crabs were the top baits from the beach with
crabs the better bait from the boat.

The freshwater panfishing has been excellent in all the local ponds
and lakes, and trout have responded to the cooler water
temperatures with improved fishing in the local streams.

The pheasant season and archery deer season both remained very good
on the east end of the island.

Guy Zummo


Capital District

Sportsmen and women are heading into both the northern and southern
zones as the deer season hits high gear. Not hearing much on the
fishing front, but some decent bucks are being taken now that the
weather has improved for hunters.

Southeastern New York

Mike at Bob’s Sport and Tackle in Katonah reports deer hunters had
a fairly slow start to the season, but plenty of does and some
smallish bucks were taken. One Westchester County brute scored
155-160, he said. On the fishing front, most of the attention was
focused on Kensico and Cross River reservoirs, where some good
smallmouth action was reported and some brown trout were being
taken as well. Bass season is now a catch-and-release,
artificials-only option on most waters since the traditional season
closed Nov. 30.



Fishing on the Beaverkill and Willowemoc is now limited to the
no-kill stretches, which are open all year long. Small olives and
midges are now the main hatches while small nymphs have also proven
effective. The East Branch of the Delaware is now closed above
Shinnopple. On the West Branch of the Delaware, the stretches above
the state game lands are also closed. Streamers have proven to be
effective and there are some small olives about. The Neversink is
now closed. Some good fish have been caught on the Delaware’s main
stem on streamers. The Esopus is also now closed, but it was
off-color anyway.


Thousand Islands

St. Lawrence River: Muskie anglers are continuing to ply the
waters, since the season remains open on the river. Not hearing
much, however, in terms of big fish.

Black Lake: Chapman’s Sports (315-324-5265) in Hammond reports most
of the attention is focused on hunting, with whitetail pursuers
offering up mixed reviews on the season to this point. Most were
lamenting the lack of any snowfall, although that may have changed
by now. Not hearing much from anglers.

Categories: Archive, New York Fishing Reports

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