New York Outdoor News Fishing Report — April 7, 2017
Western New York
Spring trout stocking: The following waters were scheduled to be stocked prior to the April 1 trout opener:
Allegany County: Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity).
Cattaraugus County: Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Red House Lake (Red House), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), South Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph).
Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, North Harmony).
Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park).
Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville).
Lake Ontario: Harbors are again ice free and open to the lake. Brown trout should be available inside 20 feet of water.
Lake Ontario tributaries, harbors and piers: Prior to the flow spike, decent numbers of fresh steelhead were reportedly moving in. More fish could move in on the tail of this higher water event as well. Oak Orchard Creek is slightly high and stained with about 2 feet of visibility. Almost all of the freestone streams are currently high and muddy. Keg Creek is one exception with only slight color, but light numbers of fish. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings.
Lake Erie tributaries: Tributary anglers have recently been catching decent numbers of fresh and post-spawn steelhead. Most creeks were in good fishing shape at last report. Anglers reported a mix of fresh and holdover steelhead. Bait has moved into the lower sections of the creeks, so minnows or minnow imitations are good bets. Other good steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a wax worm (fished under a float).
Upper Niagara River: The ice boom at the head of the river has been removed.
Lower Niagara River: River waters had good color and clarity. Anglers have been catching a decent mix of steelhead and lake trout from both boat and shore. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures is the typical boating approach. Egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product get plenty of attention. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool state parks.
Chautauqua Lake: Look for crappie schooling in the canals and in open water areas near structure or weeds. Bullhead should show in nearshore areas after dark.
Orleans County: The snowmelt has caused Oak Orchard Creek flows to be high and dirty for the time being, with the turbine channel going full bore. The smaller tributaries within Orleans County were at much more fishable levels, with stained water, and were offering some good to very good fishing conditions. Steelhead were providing most of the fishing action on the tributaries and should continue to do so for another week or so. The Oak flows should start receding, with water clarity returning to stained conditions as well. This is the time of year that the change from tributary to lake fishing occurs, as evidenced by brown trout fishing beginning on the big lake, which will soon be followed by the other coldwater species. It won’t be long before the marinas are alive with activity as boat owners ready their craft for another great season. Lake Alice was still riled up but should also calm down and should start producing most of the warmwater species in the very near future.
Central New York
A number of county web sites offer good information on fishing in the region, 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 page as well.
Lake Ontario: Brown trout should be available for boaters trolling the shoreline and for shore anglers casting from the typical spots.
Oneida Lake: Pretty quiet on the lake of late, with poor weather conditions and walleye season closed.
Oswego River: The cold weather has made fishing difficult, so no new information to report. Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory PFD zones on the river.
Salmon River: The cold and snow have made fishing difficult, so no new information to report this week.
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Several of the region’s trout waters were scheduled to be stocked ahead of the April 1 season opener and into early April. Among them was the Cohocton River, Cayuta Creek, Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Oquaga Creek, Owego Creek (the East and West branches as well as the main stem), Chenango Lake and several others.
Seneca Lake: Most of the attention was focused on the April 1 trout opener, and conditions were not ideal. Catharine Creek was poised to be running high and chocolaty on opening day.
Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Rivers were running very high and muddy.
Whitney Point Reservoir: Not hearing anything from the crappie anglers yet.
Lake Champlain: Nothing to report.
West Branch of the Ausable River: The April 1 trout kickoff doesn’t mean a great deal in the North Country; it will likely be a few weeks before we see any insect activity such as the Hendricksons.
The freshwater fishing during this report period began to heat up now that the ponds and lakes are ice free and the water temperatures have warmed a few degrees with the lengthening sunlight each day. The best action has been on the larger lakes, including Laurel Lake, Fort Pond, and Wildwood Lake as well as the Massapequa Reservoir.
Anglers casting crankbaits, spinnerbaits and plastic worms were rewarded with largemouth bass between 1 and 3 pounds. Anglers casting small spoons, jigs and spinners were picking up yellow perch and crappies, as well small largemouths and a few chain pickerel. Panfish, notably bluegills and sunfish, were caught on nightcrawlers, along with a few bass and perch.
The trout fishing has been very good in Massapequa Reservoir, the Carlls River and in Yaphank Lake, but they have been reported in many locations that receive annual stockings. Worms, small spinners and streamers all worked well. There has been very good trout fishing reported in the lower stretches of the Connetquot River. This is a welcome rebirth of an historic fishery that is once again attracting seasoned anglers and attracting new anglers to “The Conney.”
Anglers targeting white perch in the Carmen’s River and the Nissequogue River did well with on the whites and also reported an uptick in the number of small striped bass caught on both worms and small plastic jigs fished on a lead jighead. White perch were also reported in Santapogue Creek and in Carlls River, with the best action on grass shrimp.
Surfcasters reported catching and releasing stripers along the South Shore ocean beaches on 2-ounce diamond jigs and similar sized tins. A few stripers were reported on the western Long Island Sound beaches, but the fishing has yet to become steady.
The codfish action has become increasingly spotty, with as many good days as poor days. When found, the codfish were generally around 5 pounds, with pool fish in the low teens. The cod have moved inshore, with some of the best action reported in 65 to 90 feet of water, both on open bottom and on wrecks and reefs. When fishing on the wrecks and reefs anglers reported catching a fair amount of large ling as well as the occasional pollock.
Not hearing much in the region, but DEC should be stocking the area’s trout waters and fishing activity will undoubtedly pick up. The Battenkill and Mettawee are worth a look.
Southeastern New York
A reminder that from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. It’s an important regulation to follow during these cold-water periods.
Anglers were poised to visit the region’s storied trout waters for at least a few ceremonial casts on opening day April 1, but it looked like they would be met with less than ideal conditions. Waters were running high and cold heading into the season.
St. Lawrence River: Not hearing anything of late.
Black Lake: Not hearing anything on the heels of some poor weather.
Chaumont Bay: Nothing to report.