New York Fishing Report – June 10th, 2016
Western New York
Lake Ontario and tributaries: We finally saw some west wind blow some fish into local waters, but it wasn’t easy fishing for the Pro-Am tournament last month for sure. According to Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Team Thrillseeker (who placed in the money yet again for the Professional Division), transition time in the lake was rapidly approaching with the super warm weather arriving. There are some quality king salmon around but there was no set pattern for a consistent bite. You can find fish (kings, lakers and steelhead) in 80 to 300 feet of water, from 20 to 100 feet down. It’s been a mix of techniques and baits working. One approach that has worked better for bigger kings has been a flasher with cut bait. N&D is one brand type that keeps surfacing around fishing circles as a good option, according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. One interesting note is that the fish have been moving around with the more favorable west and southwest winds. Last month, tournament teams out of Wilson and Olcott all headed west in pursuit of salmon. Capt. Jim Gordon of Olcott, who was not fishing in the tournament, headed straight out of his home port of Olcott to take a dozen nice kings for customers just a mile or two straight north. No one did that good in the tournament that day.
Next contest is the Oak Orchard Open set for June 10-12 out of Point Breeze. The 1st Annual Reelin’ for a Cure is set for Aug. 19 out of Niagara County, an event that will get the ladies out fishing on Lake Ontario and competing for fun prizes while at the same time raising funds for cancer research. For more info call Stephanie Pierleoni at 716-481-6388.
Lake Erie and tributaries: Perch action seemed to be picking back up again, according to Capt. Joe Fonzi of Thumbs Up Charters. He had customers out last month, including Salvador, James and Raymond LaChase of Rochester, and they did well between Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek in 56 feet of water. The key was finding the fish and staying on them. The walleye bite has been best at night with stickbaits along the shoreline, but that could be changing, according to Fonzi, who was anticipating those post-spawn fish to turn on any day. Bass action around Buffalo Harbor has been decent with shiners, drop-shot rigs and tubes. In the Annual Southtowns Walleye Association In-Club Perch Tournament last month, Ben Slawatucki won the five-fish contest with a weight of 6.98 pounds. Jim Dolly Sr. was runner-up with 6.81 pounds. There were nearly 170 anglers in the fun contest.
Upper Niagara River: The shoreline bite can be good for walleye at night or under low-light conditions as post-spawn fish move in to feed. Worms work best. Panfish action has been good around marinas and around Grand Island bays, channels and tributaries. The city of Tonawanda kids fishing contest at Niawanda Park, with registration at the bandshell along River Road, will take place on June 18 starting around 7:30 a.m.
Lower Niagara River: The first signs of the dreaded moss have started to show up, to the dismay of anglers. You can still fish without much of a problem, but be forewarned – it will be here before we know it. Trout were still available in the river – steelhead and lakers – and smallmouth bass were starting to turn on now too. Shiners and Kwikfish top the list for trout; Kwikfish, tubes, shiners and swim baits will all trick smallies into hitting. Best areas have been around Fort Niagara, Peggy’s Eddy and the clay banks for bass; Devil’s Hole for the trout and the occasional bass. You can still pick some of these fish up from shore too. Spinners were taking some nice fish.
Chautauqua Lake: Smallmouth bass were hitting three-inch tubes in a pumpkinseed color around Warner’s Bar in 12 to 24 feet of water. You can also pick up some nice bass by moving into the weed pockets with a black and blue pig and jig, according to Craig Robbins of Jamestown. There was also a top-water bite in the mornings and evenings off the Mayville Flats, Rock Island and the point off Lakewood Bar. You can hit Dewittville Bay and along the condos with buzz baits or spinnerbaits in white and chartreuse. The inland muskie season (not Great Lakes) opened and you can find success throwing over-sized jerk baits and bucktails over weed beds in places like around Wee Wan Chu Cottages and trolling in the southern basin of the lake in Ashville Bay in 10 to 14 feet of water.
Inland trout fishing: The region’s inland trout streams were in good shape with moderate to slightly lower flows at last check. With the current warming trend, there could be a variety of fly hatches happening. Depending on the stream, look for caddisflies, Hendricksons, March Browns, Gray Foxes and sulphurs. Fly anglers will do well with the appropriate imitation dry flies in the afternoon or with sub-surface nymphs early in the day. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it’s good practice to modify your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook.
Orleans County: On Lake Alice, fishing has been very good. Largemouth bass were in close, bluegill and crappie were spread out and some walleye were being taken at night.
The Erie Canal was yielding channel cats in the 3- to 5-pound class, and fishing in the wide waters area was becoming very productive.
Lake Ontario was really turning on, with mature salmon in the mix, along with good-sized steelhead. The 200- to 250-foot area seemed to be the most productive depth at last report. Junk lines were doing well, with most bites coming in the top 40 feet of water, but then there is the occasional bite a bit deeper.
June 10 will be the kickoff of the “King of the Oak” series with the Condor Derby. The “King of the Oak” series is a best three fish competition and there are four events throughout the summer. June 11-12 is the fourth annual Oak Orchard Open Tournament. The five salmon and five trout structure is unique to the tournaments on Lake Ontario and offers some great challenges.
Central New York
A number of county web sites offer good information on fishing in the area, including bait shops, guides, etc. A few examples are: Onondaga County (fishonondagacounty.com); Oswego County (visitoswegocounty.com); and Wayne County (waynecountytourism.com). Oswego and Wayne counties also have a weekly fishing hotline on their web pages as well.
Tip of the week: Summer, and even the approaching summer given the recent warm weather, always brings with it an increase in boat traffic, so be prepared to deal with very busy boat launch ramps. A little patience will go a long way as many people will be putting their boat in for the first time this year.
Fishing licenses are now good for 365 days from the date of purchase; check to make sure your license is still valid before heading out on the water. April 1 was also the start of the new regulation guide, which is applicable from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017. You can obtain a copy from a licensing agent or it can be viewed online at Freshwater Fishing Guide on the DEC website.
Lake Ontario: Brown trout were still being taken in 10 to 25 feet of water on stickbaits or spoons, with the early morning action being the best. Using side planers is also recommended for these shallow-water trout, especially on calm, bright days. When the brown trout bite slows try moving out deeper as anglers have been getting some lake trout near bottom in 100 feet of water. Cowbells and “peanuts” (a small plug or fly) have been working for the lakers.
Oneida Lake: Walleye fishing has still been hit or miss, with fish still scattered from shallow to deep water. Fishing early or late in the day has been better than the mid-day hours. Good baits have been stickbaits, blade baits and black/purple bucktail jigs. Bluegills and pumpkinseed were being taken in the bays on worms. Smallmouth bass were being found in 5 to 10 feet of water and were hitting crankbaits. Pickerel were being taken on a variety of baits throughout the shallow water areas. As gobies become more abundant in the lake, it may be necessary to adjust your fishing style to avoid the bait-stealing gobies. Sometimes just fishing worms 18 inchers to 2 feet off bottom, instead of right on bottom, can help avoid the gobies.
Oswego River: Anglers were getting a few walleye and also some sheepshead (freshwater drum). For the walleye, try using large stickbaits after dark, which is a popular method for Oswego River anglers. For the sheepshead try crayfish or worms.
Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed and there are mandatory PFD zones on the river.
Salmon River: Things are slowing down on the river, which is typical for this time of year. Some yearling brown trout were stocked in the river and were providing some action. Remember the Lower Fly section closed on May 15.
Sodus and Irondequoit bays: Some northern pike were being taken in Sodus on spoons or large minnows. Look for yellow perch and black crappies in the bays; small minnows are the customary bait. Try worms for the bullhead and bluegill.
Sandy Pond: A few walleye were being taken on stickbaits and jigs.
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Cayuga Lake: Trolling stickbaits from just below the surface to 25 feet down was still producing some brown trout and Atlantic salmon early in the morning. Lake trout were being found in a variety of depths, from 50 to 150 feet of water. Yellow perch fishing has been slow but some were being found on the north end and were taken on small minnows and jigs. Pickerel have been hitting on a variety of baits at the north end.
Seneca Lake: Lake trout were being taken in 90 to 150 feet of water. Look for Atlantic salmon near the surface down to about 30 feet, with stickbaits, spoons or streamers.
Keuka Lake: Anglers were getting lake trout trolling 45 to 55 feet down over 150 feet of water.
Canandaigua Lake: Trolling near bottom in 125 to 200 feet of water was producing some lake trout. Browns were being taken on stickbaits and spoons trolled near the surface on the south end. Yellow perch fishing has been good on the north end, with fathead minnows and small jigs working well.
Owasco Lake: Look for lake trout in 150 feet of water, and try the north or south ends for yellow perch.
Otisco Lake: Anglers taking advantage of the catch and release bass season were getting smallmouth bass along shore on jigs or plastics. Tiger muskie fishing has been slow so far, with many tigers following baits but not hitting. Bluegills were biting on small jigs fished under a bobber along shore. For walleye, try casting stickbaits from the causeway after dark.
Skaneateles Lake: A few lake trout, rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon were being taken by anglers trolling. Yellow perch fishing continued to be hit or miss.
Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Look for walleye in the deeper pools with jigs or crankbaits. Try cut-bait for catfish. The rivers were in excellent shape heading into the regular season bass opener later this month.
Whitney Point Reservoir: Look for bullhead and catfish on the north end or off Keibel Road; night crawlers are always a good choice. Try minnows or small jigs around woody structure near shore for crappies, and jigs or worm harnesses for walleye around the old river channel.
West Branch of the Ausable: Cooler nights were welcomed by anglers as the March Browns wane and Green Drakes take over, according to the folks at the Hungry Trout Fly Shop. There has also been good stonefly activity, which is no surprised on the Ausable, and lots of dragon flies hatching, so break out your Girdle Bug patterns.
Lake Champlain: The big lake’s bass season opens June 11, a week ahead of the statewide kickoff, so anglers will be plying the waters for smallmouths and largemouths that may still be in spawning mode.
The winter flounder season closed at the end of this report period with improved fishing being reported as the inshore waters continued to warm and the flounder continued their movement toward the inlet and harbor mouths.
During the past few seasons, the bluefish action has improved to the point where the traditional night bluefish trips of past seasons have resumed. These trips target bluefish using diamond jigs or fresh bunker chunks in the ocean or mid-Sound, especially in the western Sound, after sunset. A few stripers and the occasional tide-runner weakfish add excitement to the catch. Captain Neal of the Laura Lee Fleet out of Captree State Park reported super bluefish action at night. Some of the best night bluefishing was reported by the Sheepshead Bay boats fishing New York Bight. Vinny Radziul and his son Vinny reported that they have been catching bluefish from 5 to 10 pounds, as well as keeper fluke while bucktailing the marsh banks in Reynolds Channel. There were no shark reports as of late, but they are typically on the heels of the large bluefish schools, so the action should start any day.
The fluke season opened to very good reports of big fluke, those over 5 pounds, in the back of the inshore bays. Each season the larger fluke move inshore and feed until around mid-June when the increased water temperatures put the larger fluke on the move to the inlets and deeper parts of the Long Island Sound. The smaller fluke will stay in the deeper parts of the bays and harbors throughout the season. The Laura Lee Express reported finding a good body of bigger fluke in the ocean outside Fire Island Inlet. Pool fluke have typically been 6 to 9 pounds. There were similar reports out of Jones Inlet. A few fluke were also reported just east of Shinnecock Inlet in 90 feet of water.
The bottom temperatures at this depth are currently below 50 degrees, so the water is still a bit cold for the ocean action to heat up. There were a few ling as well as cod being caught on the deeper ocean wrecks. The shallower ocean wrecks and the artificial reefs were holding fluke along the edges, as well as porgies.
Scott Jeffery at East End Bait and Tackle reported that keeper fluke are being caught in Shinnecock Bay in the East Cut and off Rampasture Point. The typical squid and spearing combo, bucktails tipped with squid or plastic curly tails, and PowerBaits were accounting for most of the fluke. Scott also reported that striped bass were being taken on the night tides in the shadow lines on at the Ponquogue Bridge on Gulp!, clams and bunker. Fluke, stripers and blowfish were caught in the Shinnecock Canal, where Gulp! seems to be the ticket here, too.
The porgy fishing continued to improve, with the porgies spreading throughout the Peconics. Porgies were reported at Jessups Neck and will likely be at Rodgers soon. The porgy fishing was excellent off Montauk Point, with nearly everyone catching their limits and pool fish approaching the 4-pound mark. After limiting out, many boats are switching over to fluke fishing and finding excellent action along the south side of the Point. Similar action was reported off Orient Point.
The striped bass fishing was excellent for inshore and offshore anglers, with quality stripers caught throughout the report area using multiple methods. Schoolie stripers with the occasional keeper were caught at the South Shore inlet bridges and inlet bars using clam bellies, with the outgoing tide the preferred tide, especially when it coincided with light boat traffic. Stripers were also roaming the flats in Shinnecock Bay as well as Gardiner’s Bay, where they are providing sight-casting opportunities for fly fishers. Some of the best inshore striper fishing was reported in Jamaica Bay, with anglers fishing live bunker, swimming plugs and flies all reporting stripers to 25 pounds each trip. Similar action was reported in New York Bight and around Staten Island.
Larger stripers were reported attacking the schools of bunker both in the bays, harbors and in the ocean and while anglers drifted live eels in the inlets at night. In the Sound, there was an excellent mix of stripers and blues reported on bunker chunks.
The majority of the surf action has been smaller stripers and bluefish at first light, with a flurry of bluefish at dusk. Tins, poppers as well as bunker chunks were all doing well. A few fluke are also being caught off the shore on bucktails and plastic baits bounced off the bottom.
The freshwater fishing remained excellent as the water was still cool enough for trout action, yet warm enough for the perch and bass bite to really kick off. The best fishing has been during the morning and late afternoons with spoons, spinners, PowerBaits and flies all accounting for excellent action.
Lake George: Lakers were offering consistent action, but expect attention to turn to bass when the regular season opens. If the bass aren’t in spawning mode go deep, and if you’re not finding fish go deeper. Forty feet is not out of the question.
Great Sacandaga Lake: Anglers were picking up plenty of smallmouth bass, often while targeting other species, including walleye.
Saratoga Lake: Saratoga Tackle’s popular Tuesday Night Bass Challenge will begin June 26, kicking off a 10-tournament series.
Southeastern New York
Hudson River: Striped bass fishing has slowed as the fish begin their journey back to the ocean. Anglers were still reporting catching a few herring. There were reports of some nice sized channel catfish being caught in many sections of the river.
Remember, it’s illegal to target largemouth and smallmouth bass on the tidal Hudson River during the closed season of Dec. 1 through the Friday preceding the third Saturday in June – this year June 17.
For walleye, try the Ashokan Reservoir, Swinging Bridge Reservoir, East Branch Croton Reservoir, Rio Reservoir and Wallkill River (New Paltz section) and the Hudson River.
Big bass can be found in many waterbodies in the region, including New Croton Reservoir, Muscoot Reservoir, Middle Branch Reservoir, Sylvan Lake, Ashokan Reservoir and the Neversink Reservoir.
Among the region’s stocked trout waters are:
Dutchess County: Tenmile River, Webatuck Creek, Swamp River, Roeliff Jansen Kill, Crum Elbow Creek, Sawkill, Fishkill Creek, Sprout Creek, Wappingers Creek, Mill Pond Brook, Iron Mine Pond, Whaley Lake Brook, Sylvan Lake, Upton Lake.
Putnam County: Diverting Reservoir, West Branch Reservoir, East Branch Croton River, West Branch Croton River, Croton Falls Reservoir, Peekskill Hollow Brook, Shrub Oak Brook, Pelton Pond, Stillwater Pond, Foundry Brook, Lake Gleneida, Lake Gilead, Bog Brook Reservoir.
Westchester County: Kensico Reservoir, Titicus Reservoir, Cross River Reservoir, Cross River Reservoir Outlet, Stone Hill River, Mianus River, Amawalk Inlet, Amawalk Outlet, Peekskill Hollow Brook, Waccabuc River, Titicus River, Croton River, Pocantico River, Dogwood Pond, Muscoot Reservoir.
Orange County: Ramapo River, Moodna Creek, Shawangunk Kill, Rutgers Creek, Neversink River, Shingle Kill, Walton Lake, Round Pond, Wawayanda Creek, Hessian Lake, Askoti Lake, Skanatati Lake, Island Pond, Woodbury Creek, Ringwood River, Blue Lake.
Rockland County: Ramapo River, Minisceongo Creek, North Branch Minisceongo Creek, Mahwah River, Stony Brook, Pascack Brook, Cedar Pond Brook, Sparkill Creek.
Ulster County: Plattekill Creek, Sawkill Creek, Yager Stream, Sandburg Creek, Beer Kill, West Branch Beer Kill, Mill Brook, Rochester Creek, Rondout Creek, Verkeeder Kill, Holliday Creek, Black Creek, Vernooy Kill, Esopus Creek, Woodland Valley Stream, Pine Hill Lake, Ashokan Reservoir, Rondout Reservoir.
Sullivan County: Callicoon Creek, East Branch Callicoon Creek, North Branch Callicoon Creek, Mongaup River, East Branch Mongaup River, West Branch Mongaup River, Middle Branch Mongaup River, Beaver Kill, Little Beaverkill, Neversink River, Sandburg Creek, Chestnut Creek, Loch Sheldrake, Willowemoc Creek, Fir Brook, Mongaup Creek, Mongaup Falls Reservoir, Halfway Brook, Beaver Brook, Ten Mile River, East Branch Ten Mile River, White Lake, Lake Huntington, Neversink Reservoir.
Beaverkill and Willowemoc: Low and warm at last look. Water temp was 62 early but then it rises through the day. There were some midges and Olives as well as stoneflies. Close to dark there are Drakes, Caddis or Sulphurs.
Delaware East Branch: Low but fishable, with easy wading. It has decent water temps to about East Branch. The lower section is now too warm to fish. There are some small Olives in the early morning, but most dry fly activity is close to dark. There are Caddis, some Sulphurs and Drakes. On a few nights, the stream was covered with Drakes and their spinners.
Delaware West Branch: Low but wadeable. Water temps are not a problem on this river but vegetation in the water can be a problem for nymph fishing. At the current level it was getting low for hard-bottom boats. Hatches were spotty and generally later in the day. There were some Drakes, mostly in the lower reaches, as well as Sulphurs and Caddis.
Esopus: Clear and wadeable. It was in good shape and has fished well this year. The portal is closed. It does get some hatches; look for some Gray Fox but no Green Drakes.
Neversink: Low, with decent water temps to Bridgeville. There were some Sulphur hatches as well as some Olives and Caddis. There were more Gray Fox and March Browns below Bridgeville. This river does not get either Green or Brown Drake hatches.
Delaware Main Stem: Low and warm due to the lack of decent water releases. Below Stockport the river warms quickly. Most dry fly activity occurs close to dark. There were still some Drakes and Spinners as well as Sulphurs and Caddis. If the release was increased, this river would fish better.
St. Lawrence River: Northern pike seemed to be offering the most consistent action for anglers pitching spinnerbaits in the shallows.
Black Lake: Anglers targeting panfish and other species were tying into plenty of bass along the way, and with the regular bass season set to open June 16 much of the attention will shift to the bass (there’s no catch-and-release season on Black Lake). Remember, if you’re planning to keep a bass there’s a 15-inch size minimum on the lake.