New York Outdoor News Fishing Report – June 30, 2017
Western New York
Lake Ontario: Despite record high water levels, salmon and trout fishing continues to be good in the lake. Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane reports good numbers of fish in the area off Olcott and Wilson, but you have to adapt and locate the fish. Heavy current and winds have scattered fish. A mix of salmon and trout can be found in 100 to 300 feet of water. Flasher-fly, meat rigs and spoons like Dreamweavers and Michigan Stingers have been producing fish on a consistent basis.
The Newfane launch ramp at Olcott is not having any water issues and launching is not a problem. All the boat slips are viable.
The New York State Summer Classic Fishing Tournament is on and runs through Aug. 31. There are a total of 10 different fish species categories and 55 weigh stations throughout the state. For more information go to out www.nyssummerclassic.com.
Lower Niagara River: Water temperature were still slowly creeping up there. Only a few steelhead and lake trout are still holding on. Mostly bass were caught on jigs, Kwikfish and MagLips. Shore casters in the gorge have been using tubes, swim baits and marabou jigs. In-line spinners will work too. Moss hasn’t increased that much. The worst is yet to come. Take advantage of the clearer water while you can.
Upper Niagara River: Bass fishing also continued to be good. Some walleye were being caught at the head of the river and at the head of Strawberry Island on worm harnesses and jigs. The Great Lakes muskie season is now open.
Lake Erie and Harbors: Walleye fishing was relatively slow, with the exception of the Barcelona area. Trollers out of Barcelona Harbor saw good walleye action, with boats returning with 5-6 walleye on average. Sixty feet of water is a good starting point out of Barcelona with stickbaits or worm harnesses run close to the bottom. Anglers working 45 to 65 feet of water between Silver Creek and Sturgeon Point had to work hard for a few fish. The area off Buffalo from the windmills to Seneca Shoal in 30-45 feet of water is usually a top spot at this time of year. However, fishing has been hit or miss of late.
Yellow perch fishing has been spotty recently, but anglers were doing very well straight off Cattaraugus Creek in 45-60 feet of water, with seemingly better action at the deeper end of that range. Some decent perch catches have also been reported off Sturgeon Point starting in 50 feet of water. Live emerald shiners fished near the bottom work best for perch.
Anglers reported good catches of smallmouth bass around Seneca Shoal. Other good spots to try include Myers Reef, Evans Bar and Van Buren Reef. Many smaller reefs, rock piles and humps will hold bass as well. Tube jigs, jigs with Twister Tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are good bass baits.
Chautauqua Lake: Walleye have been biting well along weed edges in 10-12 feet of water. Trolling with worm harnesses or jigging with blade baits have both been productive. Muskie fishing has been a little slow. Target muskies outside weed edges by trolling large stickbaits along weed edges or casting stickbaits over weedbeds and retrieving toward open water. Weedy flats and bays have been hot spots for keeper-sized sunfish. Quality yellow perch fishing continued almost lakewide.
Orleans County: On Lake Ontario, chinook salmon, have made their presence known in a big way. Fishing in the 100 feet of water range has been very productive all along the shoreline of Orleans County. Most fish are being taken in the lower portions of the water column, from 60 feet down and with a mixture of lure combinations, but cut bait seems to be the most productive. Some lake trout and steelhead are also being caught but not in the numbers of the kings.
Near the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek, perch and bass fishing is good to very good.
Lake Alice was producing some decent numbers of both largemouth and smallmouth bass, along with a combination of panfish.
We’re not hearing much from the Erie Canal fishermen as of yet.
Returning again this year is the Drew’s Crew, Fishing for a Cure for Juvenile Diabetes derby July 15. The derby will again follow the best three fish format The entry fee is $50, with half going to the prize structure and half to juvenile diabetes research.
This year you will be able to fish out of either Point Breeze or Bald Eagle Marina but the weigh-in will take place at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina.
Central New York
Lake Ontario: Use caution when boating as the lake level remains high there is likely to be debris floating around. Boaters are also being asked to observe a “No Wake Zone” within 500 feet of the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Look for smallmouth bass in shallow water. Try using a fast-moving lure until fish are found and then slow down and fish stickworms or tube jigs. Brown trout fishing has slowed but some were still being taken in 20 to 40 feet of water on spoons or stickbaits early in the morning. Chinook salmon were being taken on spoons or flasher and flies fished in 80 to 200 feet of water.
Oswego River: With bass season now open, try crayfish or tube jigs. Some walleye have been taken by anglers fishing early or late in the day.
Salmon River: A few smallmouth bass were being caught. Some 2-year old brown trout were stocked around Pineville and the 2A parking areas. A reminder that brown trout must be 15 inches on the Salmon River to keep.
Oneida Lake: Look for bass near shore or around the many shoals. Try football jigs, chatterbaits, topwaters, and shallow-diving crankbaits. Walleye fishing was a little for anglers trolling with worm harness or fishing blade baits in the deeper water and also for anglers fishing in shallow water around weed edges.
Sandy Pond: Due to the high water level, the DEC boat launch was closed until further notice.
Sodus and Irondequoit bays: Use caution when boating as the lake level is still high, as are the bays, and there is likely to be debris floating around.
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Cayuga Lake: Anglers continued to have good luck catching lake trout by trolling or vertical jigging. Fish were still being found over a variety of depths down to about 140 feet. Atlantic salmon and brown trout were being taken by trolling from the surface down to about 40 feet, with stickbaits or small spoons. Look for bass on the north end along the shore or inside weedlines.
Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua lakes: Fish along shore with fast moving baits until bass are located, and-then slow down and try tube jigs or stickworms (Senko-style baits). Post-spawn fish may be heading into deeper water, however.
Skaneateles Lake: Look for smallmouth bass along the shore with tube baits, topwaters and stickworms (Senko-style baits). Rock bass should be biting in the same areas and on the same baits.
Owasco Lake: Lake trout were being taken over a variety of depths on spoons or flasher and flies fished 40 to 60 feet down.
Otisco Lake: Bass season has brought an increase in boat traffic. Look for bass near shore or around the weedbeds. For walleye, try trolling stickbaits, and for the tiger muskie cast large spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, stickbaits, swimbaits or live minnows.
Whitney Point Reservoir: Try along shore for smallmouth bass using crankbaits, spinnerbaits or tube jigs. Look for walleye along the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses.
Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna rivers: Bass fishing has been superb on the rivers when conditions permit. Some heavy rains have swollen and muddied the rivers at times.
Lake Champlain: Bass action has been decent, and anglers in the know have been jigging up some good lake trout.
West Branch Ausable River: The folks at the Hungry Trout Fly Shop in Wilmington report the best fishing has been on dry flies, using mostly Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, and Chubby Chernobyls. Also, some smaller ant patterns like a black para-ant run as a short dropper from a dry fly can be very productive this time of year. Water temps have been fine, but keep an eye on them.
The weather remained unsettled for most of this report period, but the few hot days kicked up the saltwater temperatures up a few degrees, which was just enough to bring the large stripers into the areas west of Shinnecock Inlet. There were multiple reports of large stripers feeding on the schools of bunker in 30-60 feet of water outside the South Shore inlets. Most of the stripers reported were from large teen sized to the 30-pound class, with Marine Max in Lindenhurst reporting a pair stripers weighing in 41 and 42 pounds for one boat. This was a typical report when the bunker schools were thick.
On the South Shore when the bunker were scattered, anglers wire-lining bunker spoons reported catching stripers to 40 pounds as well as bluefish in the teens. Anglers clam chumming the inlet bridges and the Ponquogue Bridge caught a large number of shorts as well as a few keeper stripers and some bluefish.
Along the North Shore, and in New York Harbor from the U.N. Building to the Governor’s Island flats to the Verrazano Bridge, the average size of the stripers was a few pounds smaller, but plenty of stripers to 30 pounds were reportedly caught on bunker chunks. Teen-sized bluefish were also mixed in with the stripers.
The bluefish action remained good, but most of the teen-sized blues that have been roaming the South Shore bays as well as the North Shore harbors have moved into the ocean and the mid-Sound. During the early morning and evenings, surfcasters fishing the South Shore inlet jetties reported doing well casting tins and poppers. The best bluefish action was reported from the western Sound.
Surfcasters continue to catch stripers on tins and plugs, but the largest stripers fell to anglers fishing fresh bunker chunks at night. After sunrise, the catch was typically bluefish under 5 pounds as well as a good number of fluke. The fluke were typically caught on bucktails and squid or plastic baits bounced off the bottom. On both shores, the best fishing occurred on the incoming tide as the water was cooler and cleaner than during the outgoing tide. Anglers fishing the Shinnecock Canal reported catching fluke during the day, cocktail blues during the mornings and evenings and a few porgies on the north end.
The fluke fishing has remained good through this report period. On the South Shore, there largest number of fluke were caught in the inlets on the standard spearing and squid combo as well as on live killies. Scott Jeffery at East End Bait and Tackle reported that the fluke fishing in Shinnecock Bay and inlet improved dramatically with water temperatures in the 60s. Numerous fluke to 6 pounds, with some larger, were caught in the ocean from New York Bight to Montauk Point under the schools of squid and around the edges of the artificial reefs. Large strip baits, Peruvian squid, large bucktails and squid combos and baited fluke balls all accounted for limits of keeper fluke.
On the North Shore, the typical bucktail and sand eel combo accounted for limits of keeper fluke in 20-30 feet of water on most days. Anglers reported large schools of sand eel throughout the Sound. There was a good number of large sea robins mixed-in with the fluke. A few sundials were caught, primarily by shore anglers as well as flyrodders fishing Clouser Minnows or similar weighted flies close to the bottom.
Scott Jeffery also reported that the porgy bite continues around Jessups but not in the numbers or size of a few weeks ago. Plenty of chum and clam baits are best. Blues are moving throughout Peconic Bay. Anglers trolling an umbrella rig around south of Robins Island are having no problem finding some fish. Weakfish can still be found in the deeper holes if you’re targeting them.
The porgy fishing off Montauk Point and in the Sound from Port Jefferson to Orient Point has been very good when the currents are mild. There was also excellent porgy fishing, with porgies in the 3- to 4-pound class reported in the western Sound. In all areas there were a lot of sea bass caught and released with the porgies, as well as a few blackfish.
Offshore anglers reported catching blue sharks around the 30-fathom line, but there were no reports of sizes or quantity of sharks as of late.
The freshwater action remained good, with the best fishing for largemouth bass at first light or late in the afternoon. Spinnerbaits, plastic worms and plugs all caught largemouths. Panfish remained active all day for anglers fishing worms and grubs. The trout fishing slowed significantly with the warmer water. Large carp were caught on doughballs in the bigger lakes, including Southards Pond, Belmont Lake, and Argyle Lake.
Lake George: Smallmouth action remains solid, and the trollers are picking up lakers on either side of the 23-inch size minimum.
Saratoga Lake: Focus has shifted to largemouth bass, especially now that Saratoga Tackle and Archery has begun the Tuesday Night Bass Challenge tournaments.
Great Sacandaga Lake: A couple of decent walleye (27 and 26 inches) were boated during the GSLFF tourney earlier this month.
Southeastern New York
Not hearing a lot from the NYC reservoir crowd, but Croton Falls Reservoir continues to yield brown trout, and Kensico lakers remain active.
Beaverkill and Willowemoc: Rivers were receding and clearing at last check. Should be fishable.
Delaware East Branch: Late day is mostly Sulphurs and small Olives. There are some Isonychias close to dark.
Delaware West Branch: Generally some spinners are about in the morning. Sulphurs are late afternoon. At times Isonychias are important.
Esopus: Off color at last check.
Neversink: Fishable, with hatches usually close to dark.
Delaware Main Stem: Floatable only at last look.
St. Lawrence River: Primarily a pike and bass game of late. Bass anglers have encountered northerns whether they wanted to or not.
Black Lake: Bass anglers should be doing well now; remember, there’s a 15-inch size minimum on the lake.