New York Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 14, 2017

Western New York

Lake Ontario: Salmon fishing action continues to be very good… if Mother Nature will let you get out there. The weather has been crazy this year and there were some reports of water spouts late last month. Mark and Jake Romanack with the Fishing 411 television show had heard about the good salmon fishing and took a quick drive over from Michigan to film a show. They arrived on a Monday and filmed Tuesday and Wednesday mornings to complete the episode. They caught a total of nine mature king salmon to 25 pounds, plus a number of smaller salmon. They caught fish on a variety of methods, including downriggers down 65 to 75 feet over 100 to 150 feet of water just off the Niagara Bar; slide divers 120 feet back; 10 colors of lead core line; and 300 feet of copper line. Best speeds were 2.7 to 3.0 miles per hour on the surface. Be aware that there is a strong current out there in the lake that you may need to adjust to; it’s probably related to the outflow of water through the St. Lawrence Seaway in an attempt to lower the lake. Water levels have started to come down, which was an encouraging sign – and just in time for the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby. That contest runs from June 30 to July 30. Grand Prize is $10,000 for the largest salmon. Website is Wilson and Olcott are also reporting good king catches. Derby time is a great time to get out there!

Lower Niagara River: Fishing is still moving right along. Moss was a little more prevalent. Hopefully that was just from the high winds. It was definitely fishable as a camera crew from China sampled the lower river fishing action. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls was tossing spinnerbaits along the shoreline and picked up some smallmouths. Shiners and crayfish caught a mix of bass and sheepshead. Bass were available all to way to the Niagara Bar. Good news if you have a Canadian fishing license: Anglers no longer have to call into Canada Border Services Agency if they cross the international boundary. However, you still need a license and you must abide by that country’s bait regulations.

Upper Niagara River: Fishing has been good for bass and walleye. Bottom bounce a worm harness from a three-way rig at the head of the river or in front of Strawberry Island to take some nice ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been doing well on largemouth using plugs and spinnerbaits. Tube jigs will also work for bass. A few muskies were caught, but mostly on the smaller-side, in the upper 30-inch or lower 40-inch range. Monster tubes caused some follows and hook-ups for Ryan Shea with Brookdog Fishing. Some nice steelhead were caught by customers of Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. Spinner and a worm did the trick around Strawberry Island.

In the Hooked on Fishing Tournament over the free fishing weekend in the Erie Canal, some impressive fish came to the scales. Robert Grant reeled in a 6.25-pound bass; Dan Phelps hauled in a 4.28-pound pike; Mike Boncore weighed in a one-pound perch; Matt Steffan out-dueled a 20-pound carp; and Dominic DiNardo earned first place with a 4-pound channel catfish. A total of $3,000 was raised for the Boys and Girls Club of the Northtowns to send kids to summer camp.

Orleans County: According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the level of Lake Ontario is supposed to drop about 6 inches over the next month, which will help a lot of facilities.

Fishing along the coastline of Orleans County has been good to very good, producing good mixed bags of fish.

Perch, bass and northern pike are still being caught in the lower stretches of Oak Orchard Creek.

On Lake Alice, the one comment we’re hearing often is, “I didn’t know that there were that many jet skis in the world.” But bass fishing in the upper stretches of the lake has been solid.

Returning again this year is the Drew’s Crew Fishing for a Cure for Juvenile Diabetes event. The derby will take place on July 15 and will follow the “best three fish” format that is so popular. 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. You must be entered by 7 a.m. on the 15th and the weigh-in closes at 3 p.m.

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 (; Oswego County (; and Wayne County ( Oswego and Wayne counties also have a weekly fishing hotline on their web pages.

Lake Ontario: Look for smallmouth bass in shallow water. Try using a fast-moving lure (search bait) until fish are found and then slow down and fish stickworms or tube jigs. Chinook salmon fishing was very good, with some nice-sized fish being taken. Look for fish in 150 to 300 feet of water and try spoons or flasher and flies.

Oswego River: Try crayfish or tube jigs for smallmouth bass. Some walleye have been taken by anglers fishing early or late in the day. Freshwater drum (sheepshead) are also being caught in the river.

Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory PFD zones on the river.

Salmon River: Things are quiet on the river this time of year, which is normal. A few smallmouth bass are being caught and released. 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 be kept.

The Salmon River Fish Hatchery building continues to be closed due to construction. The grounds, including picnic area and fish ladder, are still open dawn to dusk. If you are planning a visit, we suggest calling the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in advance. You can reach the hatchery at 315-298-5051, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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 better of late 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, and most bays have a 5 mph speed limit.

Finger Lakes/Southern Tier

Cayuga Lake: Keep an eye out for weed mats, which have been an issue for some anglers when trolling. Anglers continued to have very good luck catching lake trout either trolling or vertical jigging, with fish still being found over a variety of depths out to about 140 feet. Atlantic salmon and brown trout are 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 Lake: Look for lake trout near bottom in 100 to 120 feet of water. Try fishing higher in the water, like 40 feet down, for Atlantic salmon.

Keuka Lake: Lake trout were hitting on alewives fished near bottom in 105 to 115 feet of water. Vertical jigging at the same depths with plastics has been productive as well. Fish along shore with fast-moving baits until bass are found, and then slow down and try tube jigs or stickworms (Senko-style baits). Try near docks with worms or minnows for crappies.

Skaneateles Lake: Look for smallmouth bass along the shore with tube baits, top-water lures, 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. Look for yellow perch near shore in shallow water.

Otisco Lake: Look for bass near shore or around the weedbeds. For walleye, try trolling stickbaits and for the tiger muskies cast large spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, stickbaits, swimbaits or live minnows. Don’t forget the wire leaders even if you’re not targeting tigers; it will help save some of your expensive bass baits from being bitten off.

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:

Try casting crankbaits or topwaters along shore for smallmouth bass. If that’s not working try fishing in the deeper holes with tube jigs. Also, look for walleye on jigs in the deeper holes. Heavy rains at times have frustrated anglers, creating chocolate milk-colored water and forcing them off the water until things cleared and the rivers calmed down.


Lake Champlain: Bass fishing has been solid, but expect some heavy fishing pressure later this month when the Bassmaster Elite Series rolls into Plattsburgh. Vertical jigging or trolling for lake trout is also a great option.

West Branch of the Ausable River: River levels were high late last week but receding at last report. In the event of high water, use caution, but keep in mind the fishing can be very good if you cast nymphs tight to the bank.

Saranac Chain of Lakes: Repairs and rehabilitation work on the Lower Locks that provide passage on the Saranac River allowing boaters to access the waters between Lake Flower and Lower Saranac Lake have been completed and the locks were open for use on July 1, DEC Region 7 Director Robert Stegemann announced.

Improvements included:

• Rehabilitating the fill and release doors and the wicket (main) doors, including replacing all seals and bearings;

• Completely replacing the hydraulic system including hydraulic arms, lines and operating system;

• Repairing concrete walls;

• Replacing and re-equipping the lock’s operator shed; and

• Replacing all tiedowns, ropes, and other equipment.

DEC staff will be present to operate the locks from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Long Island/NYC

The largest fluke reported were from anglers working the deeper holes inside the South Shore bays. Fluke to 8.2 pounds were reported in the Great South Bay in the State Boat Channel between Captree State Park and the Third Wantagh Bridge. These fish are moving into the bay from Jones Inlet and Fire Island Inlet to feed on the schools of spearing and killies within the bay. Similar reports came from Jamaica Bay, from the Marine Parkway Bridge to JFK Airport. The standard squid and spearing combos and live killies were consistent producers.

In Shinnecock Bay and Moriches Bay, the fluke have moved from the inlets toward both the east and west sides of the bays. Most of the fluke caught were shorts, but most boats also caught their limit of keeper fluke. Flyrodders fishing near the back of the inlets did well on the last of the incoming tide, taking advantage of the cooler and clearer water to cast Clouser Minnows and epoxy flies in spearing patterns for keeper fluke.

On the North Shore, anglers did well casting bucktails tipped with squid or Gulp! from the Western Sound beaches, including Prybil, Matinecock and Crescent beaches. Boaters did well fishing the same bucktail combinations in 15 to 30 feet of water.

The fluke fishing was slow at Montauk Point as most of the fish were shorts. Only a handful of keepers was reported on the open and charter boats, so many of the boats are splitting their day between fluke and porgies. In all areas mentioned in this report, the best fluke fishing occurred at the top of the incoming tide and into the turn of the outgoing tide. Overall, the fluke fishing the ocean has been slower than in the bays.

The amount of bunker has remained consistent since early spring, and feeding on them remain a good number of stripers as well as bluefish. Most of the stripers are in the high teens, but a few into the 40-pound class were reported. The rising water temperatures have largely moved the stripers from the bays and the harbors into the inlet mouths and ocean along the South Shore and onto the deeper reefs in the Long Island Sound. There was a good showing of stripers around Shelter Island.

Bunker spoons, live bunker, and Mann’s Stretches were the top producers in the ocean. Bunker chunks were the top producer in the Sound. In the western Sound, there was a very good night bite for both bluefish and stripers for anglers drifting bunker chunks or using diamond jigs. Stripers also continued to be caught on the inlet bars and bridges on clam bellies.

Surfcasters fishing the ocean beaches from Breezy Point to Shinnecock Inlet continued to catch a mix of single-digit to teen-sized stripers and blues on tins and poppers at first light, with blues best at dusk. A few stripers in the 20-pound class were caught on the ocean beaches at night on sandworms and bunker chunks. A few weakfish between 2 and 5 pounds were mixed in with the stripers and caught on sandworms. Bluefish favored the bunker chunks.

Scott Jefferey from East End Bait and Tackle reported that bluefin tuna were caught around the Coimbra Wreck. Also, that the a few bigeye tuna and yellowfins were caught around The Dip. The mako fishing has been good and is showing signs of improving with the warmer water temperatures. Scott also reported that Shinnecock Canal has fluke, porgies and, on occasion, some cocktail blues.

The porgy action continued to be good in the Peconic and Gardiners bays, off the North Side of Montauk Point and off Orient Point. Some of the best action was reported off Rodger’s Rock and Jessups Neck. Fresh skimmer clams were the top bait.

The freshwater action remained good, with the best fishing 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. Yellow perch were caught by anglers casting small Mepps spinners in Argyle Lake. The trout fishing was reported good in the Connetquot and Carmen’s rivers.

Guy Zummo

Capital District   

Great Sacandaga Lake: Improvements, including additional structures, user guidelines, and facility management, are being implemented a the Broadalbin boat launch site.

The improvements include striped parking spots stripes in the main parking area for vehicles with trailers; striped parking spots in the auxiliary parking area for vehicles with canoes, kayaks, and other small boats on roof racks; signs identifying where parking is allowed and where parking is prohibited; an aquatic invasive species inspection site for boats and trailers at the access roadway to the auxiliary parking area; and a boat and trailer decontamination wash site will be located in the southwestern corner of the parking area.

DEC plans to construct or install additional structures, including a trail between the auxiliary parking area and the boat launch ramp.

Due to the presence of spiny water flea in the lake, boaters leaving the lake who plan to boat on another lake within five days should have their boats decontaminated before leaving the boat launch.

Southeastern New York

April 1 was the start of the new Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide: April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018. You can obtain a copy from a licensing agent or view it online at Summary of Freshwater Fishing Regulations on the DEC website.

Bass action has been good on most of the New York City reservoirs but we haven’t heard much beyond that.


Beaverkill and Willowemoc: Water temps are getting high in the afternoon. The

Beaverkill: The Horton section of the Beaverkill closed to fishing July 1. Early mornings have seen terrestrials, olives and midges. Evening hatches have been spotty and sparse.

Delaware East Branch: At a normal summer flow, with Sulphurs in the afternoon. We should see Tricos now. They are usually in good numbers on this river.

Delaware West Branch: At a decent fishing level at last check. It has some decent hatches of Sulphurs in the afternoon as well as some Olives, Isos and Light Cahills.

Esopus: In decent shape. Hatches have been sparse – mainly Olives and a few Sulphurs. Nymph fishing can be good

Neversink: Fishable and at a normal summer level. It has decent water above Bridgeville. Hatches are midges, Olives and a few Light Cahills. The gorge is now too warm to fish.

Delaware Main Stem: Decent water temps to Buckingham but still warm below that point. There are some early-morning Olives. Hatches close to dark with Sulphurs, spinners and Olives.

Thousand Islands

St. Lawrence River: Bass action has been good, notably in the evening. Look for smallmouths on rocky humps and largemouths in and near the weeds.

Black Lake: Summertime means smallmouth bass on top-water lures, early in the morning and later in the evening to avoid the recreational boat traffic. If you plan on keeping a bass, remember there’s a 15-inch size minimum on this lake.

Categories: New York Fishing Reports, News

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