New York Outdoor News Fishing Report – May 4, 2018

Western New York

Lake Erie tributaries and harbors: Steelhead fishing was slowing down prior to the latest blowout, but there were still decent numbers of fish around. Steelhead smolts have recently been stocked in the Lake Erie tributaries. If caught, handle these small steelhead with care so they may return to the creeks as large adults. 

The steelhead bite at Dunkirk Harbor pier has tapered off. Anglers were catching the occasional fish on spoons and spinners.

Niagara River: Upper river waters were in good shape at last look. Harbor, bay and inlet areas are good spots to target yellow perch and sunfish. These areas warm quicker than the main river, attracting both bait and panfish.

Bottom bouncing with shiners produced decent catches of steelhead, with some lake trout and brown trout mixed in. Ice is no longer an issue. There have been some dippers targeting smelt, but very few smelt have been caught so far. The water needs to warm up just a few more degrees to hit the optimal smelt dipping temperatures of 39-40 degrees. The NYPA fishing platform reopened last month and is now open from dawn until dusk. 

Lake Ontario and tributaries, harbors and piers: The Lake Ontario tributaries were producing decent steelhead catches at last check. 

The brown trout bite has been solid along the shoreline from Fort Niagara to Rochester. Trollers were catching lots of brown trout in the 2-pound range, with the occasional lunker mixed in. Key on depths of 10-30 feet near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Trolling with small to medium-sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention.

Chautauqua Lake: Crappie fishing has been relatively slow for most anglers, with a few good hauls mixed in. That could very well change with warmer temperatures finally arriving. Target crappie in the canals, inlets and traditional open lake areas such as Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods.

Inland trout fishing: Things are picking up with the arrival of spring weather and warmer water temperatures. Due to cold water temps there had not been any surface activity yet, but that could change at any time. Nymphs, stoneflies and streamers have produced catches. As waters warm, look for hatches of midges and possibly Blue-Winged Olives to start up. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 

Spring trout stocking

Most of the region’s trout waters have been stocked. Among them:

Allegany County: Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club Pond (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Willing).

Cattaraugus Creek: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), South Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), County Ponds A & B (Randolph), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Bay State Brook (Red House), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Case Lake (Franklinville), Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton), Perrysburg Conservation Club Pond (Dayton), Crandall Pond (Ashford), Maples Club Pond (Otto), Olean Creek (Olean).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, North Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), West Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright), Mill Creek (Gerry).

Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Sprague Brook County Park Ponds (Concord), Clarence Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst).

Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

Genesee County: Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia), Oatka Creek (Le Roy).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian), Newville Creek (Nunda). Irondequoit Creek (Brighton, Perinton, Pittsford, Penfield).

Steuben County: Post Creek (Hornby), Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

Yates County: Keuka Lake Outlet (Milo, Torry).

Central New York

Oneida Lake: Not hearing much but that should change as the walleye season kicks off May 5.

Lake Ontario: Steelhead were still being taken in many of the tributaries on egg sacs and beads. When the weather cooperated and anglers could get out on the lake they were getting brown trout in 10 to 20 feet of water on stickbaits and small spoons.

Oswego River: Not hearing a lot but conditions should be OK for fishing.

Salmon River: Steelhead were being taken on egg sacs and egg-imitating flies, with the upper river producing the most action.

Sodus Bay and Irondequoit Bay: The wind has, at times, made getting out on the bays difficult, but when anglers can get out in boats they have been getting some yellow perch and black crappie. 

Spring trout stocking

Among the region’s trout streams stocked recently are:

Onondaga County: The county’s trout waters are stocked by the Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery. The stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at As of mid-April the following waters had been stocked: Butternut Creek, Carpenter’s Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace Brook, Geddes Brook, Green Lake, Limestone Creek, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, West Br. Onondaga Creek, Pools Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, and Tannery Creek.

Oswego County: Black Creek, Rice Creek and West Branch of Fish Creek.

Cayuga County: North Brook and Fall Creek.

Cortland County: Casterline Pond, Durkee Park Pond, Merrill Creek, East Branch Tioughnioga River, West Branch Tioughnioga River and the Otselic River.

Madison County: Eaton Brook Reservoir, Lebanon Reservoir, Beaver Creek, Canaseraga Creek, Cowaselon Creek, Payne Brook, T32 of Limestone Creek, Limestone Creek, Old Chenango Canal, Chenango River, Chittenango Creek, Oneida Creek and Sangerfield River.

Finger Lakes/Southern Tier

Cayuga Lake: There may still be rainbow trout in the tributaries as the cold spring has prolonged spawning. Brown trout and Atlantic salmon fishing has started to improve on the south end for anglers trolling with stickbaits or small spoons. With warmer temperatures in the forecast this bite should be steadily improving.

Skaneateles Lake: The launch was open and one dock was in. Anglers getting out on the lake were catching yellow perch on small minnows.

Owasco Lake: No word on the lake fishery at this time.

Otisco Lake: Walleye and tiger muskie season opens May 5.

Whitney Point Reservoir: Haven’t heard of any bullhead action, and it seems most anglers were awaiting the May 5 walleye opener.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna rivers: Rivers were starting to become fishable in time for the walleye season kickoff.

Spring trout stocking

Waters stocked recently include:

Broome County: Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek and Nanticoke Creek.

Chenango County: Bowman Lake, Guilford Lake, Jeffrey Pond, Mill Brook Reservoir, Pharsalia Y Pond, Genegantslet Creek and the Otselic River.

Chemung County: Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Wyncoop Creek , Cayuta Creek, Newton Creek, Sing Sing Creek and Post Creek.

Tioga County: Catatonk Creek, Cayuta Creek, West Branch Owego Creek, Owego Creek and the East Branch of Owego Creek.

Tompkins County: Enfield Creek, Tributary 4 of Enfield Creek, Virgil Creek, Salmon Creek , Fall Creek and Buttermilk Creek.

Steuben County: Cayuta Creek, Canisteo River, Canaseraga Creek, Meads Creek, Cohocton River and Post Creek.

Schuyler County: Cayuta Creek.


Some trollers have been out on Lake Champlain when conditions permitted and were picking up primarily lake trout. The youth turkey season yielded some successes for kids in the North Country, and the regular season is now in full swing with warmer weather making for more comfortable – and perhaps more productive – hunting.

Many of the region’s trout waters are now stocked, and fishing will only get better as the waters warm.

Long Island/NYC

Thankfully, the rainy weather has subsided, and the daily high temperatures are reaching seasonal temperatures during this report period, which should begin to warm the water temperatures that are currently below normal for this point in the season.

John from Terminal Tackle reported that the inshore blackfish fishing season is off to a slow start due to the cold water. Further offshore on the wrecks located in 110 feet of water, where the bottom temperatures are more favorable, and the blackfish fishing has been decent. There are also a few big cod on these wrecks and on the deeper wrecks, but they are difficult to catch at times as anglers had to fish through plenty of sea bass which are out of season, to catch a decent number of cod.

John also reported that while the striped bass fishing is currently slow, there were some stripers caught in the back of Jamaica Bay and good fishing in Raritan Bay on the New Jersey coast. He expects that the stripers will begin to move into our area in good numbers during the next week or two. A few keeper stripers were caught in the western Sound on top-water plugs and bloodworms.

Mike at Saltwaters Bait and Tackle also reported very slow blackfish fishing but noted that the fish are on the inshore wrecks but were not biting due to the cold water. Mike reported that anglers reported catching one or two flounder using bloodworms and chumming heavily with clams in Dickerson Channel, with little else to report elsewhere on flounder. He did note that stripers were being caught on the west bar of Fire Island Inlet on calm bellies, but nearly all the stripers were shorts. There were similar reports of stripers from anglers fishing the bars in Jones Inlet.

Scott Jeffery at East End Bait and Tackle reported that overall the fishing remained fairly quiet on the East End, but that spearing and bunker have shown up, which means that the game fish are not far behind. The bunker have been filtering through the Shinnecock Canal and into the Peconics for the last couple of weeks, with sporadic reports of some schoolie bass from some of the local creeks in the Peconics. A couple of flounder were caught in the Shinnecock Canal. 

Some open and charter boats continue to run the extended or special cod, pollack and hake trips to the offshore wrecks. The fishing was reported to be very good, with pool fish typically being cod around 30 pounds. As noted before, these are reservation-only trips that need to be booked in advance with the captain.

On the freshwater scene, there are still plenty of trout to be caught, but they are getting a bit harder to catch as the stocked fish have been fished hard.  John at Trophy Tackle reported that there are still very large pickerel, fish over 25 inches long, being caught in Southards Pond. Also, there was good largemouth bass fishing in Massapequa Reservoir and Belmont Lake.  

Guy Zummo

Capital District

The region’s trout waters are slowly warming and offering better fishing conditions, notably on the Battenkill, Mettawee and Kayaderosseras. But much of the attention has now turned to the spring gobbler season.

On Lake George, a reminder of the lake’s new smelt regulations: 

• Dip-netting is prohibited

• Smelt season is closed from April 1 to May 15

• Use or possession of smelt is prohibited during the closed season

• Smelt season is open from May 16 to March 31

• Any size smelt may be taken

• Daily limit is 25

Southeastern New York

Not hearing a lot on the striped bass front yet, but Hudson River anglers are gearing up for the annual blitz.

Spring trout stocking

Most of the region’s trout waters have now been stocked by the DEC. Among them:

Dutchess County: Ten Mile River, Webatuck Creek, Swamp River, Roeliff Jansen Kill, Crum Elbow Creek, Sawkill, Fishkill Creek, Sprout Creek, Wappingers Creek, Mill Pond Brook, Iron Mine Pond.

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.

Westchester County: Kensico Reservoir, Titicus Reservoir, Cross River Outlet, Cross River Reservoir, Stone Hill River, Mianus River, Amawalk Inlet, Peekskill Hollow Brook, Waccabuc River, Titicus River, Croton River, Amawalk Outlet, Amawalk Reservoir, Pocantico River.

Orange County: Ramapo River, Moodna Creek, Shawangunk Kill, Neversink River, Shingle Kill, Rutgers Creek, Walton Lake, Round Lake, Wawayanda Creek, Hessian Lake, Askoti Lake, Skanatati Lake, Island Pond.

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, Rondout Creek, Verkeeder Kill, Holliday Creek, Black Creek, Sandburg Creek, Beerkill, West Branch Beerkill, Mill Brook, Rochester Creek, Vernooy Kill.

Sullivan County: Callicoon Creek, East Branch Callicoon Creek, North Branch Callicoon Creek, Mongaup River, East Branch Mongaup River, West Branch Mongaup River, Neversink River, Sandburg Creek, Chestnut Creek, Loch Sheldrake, Beaver Kill, Little Beaverkill.


There were some bugs starting to hatch – a few Quill Gordons and Hendricksons. Things may have picked up by now with the warmer temps but at last check the fish weren’t looking up and it was pretty much a nymph and streamer game. Caddis are on all rivers, along with some Blue Quills and Olives.    

Beaverkill and Willowemoc: Both rivers were wadeable at last check.  There were some Caddis, a few Quill Gordons and Hendricksons.

Delaware East Branch: Some very limited wading with a few Quill Gordons and Hendricksons about. 

Delaware West Branch: Was still high and floatable and clear at last look. There were some Caddis, Quill Gordons and Hendricksons around. 

Esopus: Some wading. Try the tribs for spawning rainbows. The portal is closed.

Neversink: Was mostly wadeable. This river usually has hatches before the other rivers. Too high to fish the gorge. There were some reports of some fish being caught on streamers and nymphs. There are some afternoon BWO hatches.

Delaware Main Stem: Floatable only at last check.

Thousand Islands

St. Lawrence River: If you hit the big river now and can’t catch any perch, you might want to take up birdwatching. The ringback fishing has been incredible almost everywhere, with Chippewa Bay and Kring’s Point among the hottest of the hotspots. 

Black Lake: Richard at Chapman’s Sports says perch fishing has been red hot, but the fish may have spawned and moved on by now. Crappie action is picking up, with bluegill also in the mix. A few bullhead reports were coming in, but most of the focus at last look was on the perch.

Categories: New York Fishing Reports, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *