New York Outdoor News Fishing Report – June 1, 2018
Western New York
Lake Erie and harbors: The walleye night bite seems to get better with each passing night, but there have been some good catches during the day, too. Popular nighttime spots include Shorehaven Reef, Bournes Beach, Green Hills, Van Buren Bay, Evans Bar, off Hamburg and near the mouth of Smokes Creek. Trolling minnow-type stickbaits at around 2 mph over rocky areas in 8-15 feet of water is a typical program. The shoals are also worth a shot during the day. One group did very well over a three-day period at Van Buren Bay in 8-12 feet of water. They were targeting bass but ended up catching limits of walleye on bass lures! The other spawning shoals are good bets, too. Anglers were also starting to pick up daytime walleye by bottom bouncing in 30-plus feet of water off the windmills. Anglers report scattered yellow perch schools between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point and there have been some limit catches for those who have found (and stayed on) a foraging pod of perch. Fifty-five feet of water out of Sturgeon Point and 60 feet of water off Evangola State Park are good starting points.
The harbors at Barcelona, Dunkirk and Buffalo were hot spots for smallmouth bass. A DEC electrofishing survey along the inner and outer breakwalls and shorelines in Buffalo Harbor showed lots of smallmouth bass all over. There were also decent numbers of northern pike along the outside of Buffalo Harbor State Park breakwall (especially at the southwest corner). Decent numbers of walleye were observed on the lake side of the outer breakwall gaps.
Lake Erie tributaries: The steelhead run is about done on all Lake Erie tributaries except Cattaraugus Creek. Anglers continued to catch steelhead in The Catt on Seneca lands and below Route 5&20 bridge. Smallmouth bass are now available on all tributaries. Woolly Buggers and minnow imitations are good bets for fly anglers, and spinning anglers generally do well with stickbaits, minnows and jigs with grubs or plastics fished under a float. The lower section of Cattaraugus Creek is a good spot to target channel catfish. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers or raw shrimp fished on the bottom work well, especially at night. The deeper holes in the other creeks may hold catfish as well. Anglers can also catch catfish along the Lake Erie shoreline on calm nights, especially near stream inlets.
Niagara River: Drifters were still catching decent numbers of steelhead on minnows, egg sacs and flatfish lures in the mid to upper drifts. Smallmouth bass were moving into the river and anglers were seeing a good bite on tube jigs, downstream of Joe Davis State Park. White bass and walleye were also showing in the lower river.
Lake Ontario and tributaries, harbors and piers: Lake Ontario waters off Niagara County were the place to be, as king salmon action has truly been incredible. From Olcott to the Niagara Bar anglers reported steady salmon and trout action. Some boats have picked up double-digit catches of king salmon in the 8- to 20-pound range. Depths of 60-150 feet have been productive, with kings coming anywhere from 30 to 90 feet down. Lake trout were seemingly everywhere and there have been plenty of coho salmon mixed in, especially west of Wilson. Kings have been crushing large spoons, but flasher-fly and meat rigs also work well. Brown trout were still available inside 30 feet of water by trolling with medium-sized spoons and stickbaits.
Chautauqua Lake: The walleye bite was still going strong. Trolling along weedlines at night has been productive in both basins. During the day, anglers were catching modest numbers of walleye along weedlines and at depths around 20 feet on vertical presentations. The crappie bite has been tapering off. Anglers were seeing good yellow perch catches around the north basin on small minnows.
Inland trout fishing: Area trout streams were in prime shape, with good flows and increasing bug activity. Look for hatches of Hendricksons, caddisflies and March Browns, with better surface action later in the day. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners.
Spring trout stocking: DEC is winding down its spring trout stocking effort and all of western New York’s trout waters have been stocked at least one time. Call the Randolph Fish Hatchery at (716) 358-2050 for stocking updates.
Among the waters recently stocked are:
Allegany County: California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville).
Cattaraugus County: Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House).
Wyoming County: East Koy Creek (Gainesville).
Central New York
The region’s trout waters continued to be stocked late last month. Among those that have received fish are:
Cayuga County: Owasco Outlet, North Brook and Fall Creek.
Chenango County: Bowman Lake, Guilford Lake, Jeffrey Pond, Mill Brook Reservoir, Pharsalia Y Pond, Genegatslet Creek and the Otselic River.
Cortland County: Casterline Pond, Durkee Park Pond, Merrill Creek, East Branch Tioughnioga River, West Branch Tioughnioga River, and the Otselic River.
Madison County: Upper Leland Pond, 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, Otselic River and Sangerfield River.
Onondaga County: The county’s trout waters are stocked by the Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. Among the waters that have been stocked are Butternut Creek, Carpenter’s Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace Brook, Geddes Brook, Green Lake, Limestone Creek, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, West Br. Onondaga Creek, Otisco Lake, Pools Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, Spruce Pond and Tannery Creek.
Oswego County: North Branch Salmon River, Salmon River, Black Creek, Rice Creek and West Branch of Fish Creek.
Lake Ontario: Brown trout fishing has been good on the big lake; they were being taken by trolling with stickbaits or small spoons in 20 to 40 feet of water. Fishing off-colored water, if you can find it, has been good. Some spring kings and a few cohos were also being taken in a little deeper water than the browns. Lake trout were being found in around 120 feet of water.
Oswego River: Look for walleye in the river with large stickbaits. There may still some steelhead around, and some nice smallmouth bass were being caught. Don’t forget it’s catch-and-release, artificial lures only for the bass.
Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory PFD zones on the river.
Salmon River: Fishing has slowed down which is normal for this time of year, but some steelhead were still being taken on egg sacs, pink worms, streamers and egg-imitating flies. Anglers covering water were having the best luck.
Oneida Lake: Walleye season has started off with a bang, with anglers getting fish in 10 to 35 feet of water. Blade-style baits and jigs have been working well. Shallow water seems to be better early then the deeper water action picks up as the day progresses. Pickerel fishing has also been good with stickbaits and crankbaits. Look for bass in shallow water as well, with jigs or crankbaits working. Just a reminder that it’s catch-and-release, artificial lures only for the bass.
Sandy Pond: Northern pike were being taken on spinnerbaits or stickbaits.
Sodus Bay and Irondequoit bays: Bullhead fishing was slow but some were starting to be caught. Look for northern pike with spinnerbaits, stickbaits or large minnows.
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Cayuga Lake: Brown trout and Atlantic salmon were being taken on the south end by anglers trolling with stickbaits or small spoons. Keep an eye out for debris when trolling. Lake trout were being taken in 120 to 150 feet of water by trolling or vertical jigging in the midlake area.
Skaneateles Lake: Anglers getting out on the lake were catching yellow perch on small minnows.
Owasco Lake: Not hearing anything lately.
Otisco Lake: Walleye and tiger muskie season is now open. Bass (catch-and-release only right now) were being taken in shallow water on plastics and stickbaits.
Seneca Lake: A few lake trout were being taken in 100 to 150 feet of water.
Keuka and Canandaigua lakes: Nothing to report.
Whitney Point Reservoir: Look for walleye with jigs or crankbaits. Bullhead and catfish should start biting with this more consistent and stable warm weather.
Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna rivers: Look for walleye in the deeper holes with a jig and worm. With the warmer weather, and more stable flows, channel catfish should be starting to bite. But water levels were high and the rivers were running off-color after some heavy rains.
Spring trout stocking
Among the waters receiving fish lately are:
Broome County: Finch Hollow Site 1, Greenwood Lake, Little Choconut 2e, Nanticoke 7a, Palmers Pond, Patterson Pond, Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek and Nanticoke Creek.
Chemung County: Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Wyncoop Creek, Cayuta Creek, Newton Creek, Sing Sing Creek and Post Creek.
Steuben County: Cold Brook, Cayuta Creek, Canisteo River, Canaseraga Creek, Meads Creek, Cohocton River and Post Creek.
Schuyler County: Cayuta 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 Enfield Creek, Virgil Creek, Salmon Creek, Fall Creek and Buttermilk Creek.
Ahead of the Lake Champlain bass season – which opens a week ahead of the statewide kickoff – anglers have been doing well in the catch-and-release, artificial lures only arena, with some solid smallmouths boated (and quickly released).
Warmer water temperatures on the West Branch of the Ausable River, as well as other trout waters in the region, have increased insect activity and led to some good fishing. Top-water activity, however, has been slow, so it’s best to have plenty of nymph and streamer patterns on hand.
The fluke fishing season is in full swing and has been steadily improving with the warmer water temperatures, in combination with more bait in the North Shore harbors and the South Shore bays. Most of the of the charter boats in the report area are running full- or half-day fluke trips and are reporting anglers limiting out on fluke, with pool fish in the ocean generally around 4 to 5 pounds. These same boats are typically running striper and bluefish late evening and night charters. In the Long Island Sound, pool fish were typically around 4 pounds. A few fish in the 8-pound class and larger were reported off the South Shore and off Orient and Montauk points.
The best baits for fluke are the usual spearing and squid combination, large bucktails tipped with Gulp! baits or squid strips. Anglers fishing the ocean reported excellent fluke fishing around the artificial reefs bouncing large bucktails off the bottom tipped with Gulp! baits, squid, or fish strips. Also, Peruvian spearing accounted for a fair number of fluke over 3 pounds. In all areas, there were a good number of shorts mixed in with the keepers.
Scott Jeffery from East End Bait and Tackle reported that the fluke fishing in Shinnecock Bay was improving, with the flats west of the bridge during the outgoing tide producing the best fishing. In the Peconics, the fluke were feeding on the manta shrimp, giving flyrodders a good shot at quality fluke. Also, the fishing in the Shinnecock Canal has been excellent. Fluke, blowfish, striped bass, and bluefish were all caught by shore-bound anglers fishing the banks of the canal, with the best fishing occurring when the locks were closed.
Large bluefish invaded the South Shore and Eastern bays. These bluefish were caught from the inlet jetties to all the way into the back bays by anglers tossing tins, poppers or fishing bunker chunks. Some of the best fishing was reported in the deeper channels and under the birds.
A significant number of large stripers have moved into the western Sound and New York Bight. These are 20- to 30-pound fish that are chasing bunker from the inlet and harbor mouths all the way in to the back bays and harbors. Surfcasters reported catching these stripers on tins and poppers, as well as on sandworms and bunker chunks. A few weakfish were mixed in with stripers and were largely caught on sandworms.
Every day there were reports of these larger stripers working their way further east. Within the next few weeks, they will be caught regularly off the Twin Forks and some 40- to 50-pound stripers will be caught. June is typically a big-fish month for stripers and this year all appears to be on track for outstanding fishing for trophy stripers in June.
A large number of schoolie stripers were reported throughout the island. Flyrodders scored using spearing imitations in the bays and bunker imitations at the inlet mouths. The best fly-fishing was reported in Jamaica Bay, with stripers to 20 pounds reported near JFK Airport. Anglers tossing swimming plugs, tins and plastic baits all reported excellent striper fishing. Some of the best fishing came from the marsh banks between Jones and Fire Island inlets in the State Boat Channel as well as in the accompanying drains.
The porgy fishing in the western Sound and from Port Jefferson to Orient Point was reported to be outstanding, with limits of porgies to 3.5 pounds being reported by all anglers fishing clams or sandworms. The porgy bite remained good in Peconic Bay, especially near Jessups Neck, where there were schoolie stripers, blowfish and weakfish mixed in with the porgies.
There was still a good number of codfish being caught on the wrecks in 150 feet of water and deeper, with more consistent fishing reported on the wrecks in 180 feet of water and deeper. The Viking Fleet out of Montauk ran some long-range, deep-water trips and reported catching tilefish between 20 pounds to nearly 40 pounds. Also, a fair number of large hake were caught. Some of the best fishing was during the night drops.
On the freshwater scene, all the rain put the largemouth bass on the feed, with bass to 3 pounds being reported by anglers casting plastic worms, spinnerbaits and large swimming plugs. Panfish continued to be cooperative and were easily caught on trout worms, grubs and by casting small spinners or spoons. The trout fishing slowed as the water is getting warmer, but there were still plenty of 2-year old fish caught in the deeper parts of the lakes. Large pickerel continue to be caught on minnows in the Peconic River.
The crappie bite has been solid on local waters, including Saratoga Lake, Fish Creek and Cossayuna lake. Fathead minnows and small tubes and grubs have been working well.
On Cossayuna crappie, bass and pike have been hitting. Same on the Hudson River, Round Lake and Ballston Lake.
Don’t forget carp can now be fished for with long, recurve and compound bows.
Southeastern New York
Striped bass action on the Hudson River is winding down a bit, but there’s still an opportunity for some solid fish from Newburgh to the Troy dam.
We haven’t heard a lot from the NYC reservoir system anglers; that’s likely a product of the rainy weather that reduced fishing pressure.
The region’s stocked trout waters have good flows and water temps and should offer good fishing.
Beaverkill and Willowemoc: Both rivers were flowing above normal at last look. Most surface activity is late day. The Beaverkill had limited wading. Before the rain, emerging Caddis were important. There were also spinners in a variety of sizes, as well as a few March Browns. Fishing was decent. There was a decent amount of Caddis activity; spinners as well. A few March Browns were about in the afternoon. With higher than normal flows, nymph fishing was a more productive method of fishing.
Delaware East Branch: Was mostly unwadeable at last report. There were some Olives about on cloudy days, as well as Caddis and spinners. There were few March Browns, mostly below East Branch. There was also some spinner falls. Caddis are present most days, with most activity early and late. At this time of year, fishing is generally decent all the way to Hancock.
Delaware West Branch: Floatable. It was high and wading was very limited. There were a fair number of bugs around. Hatches have been fairly consistent – mostly Hendricksons, spinners and Caddis. On this river, Hendricksons last longer than on others. There were small BWOs, more so on cloudy days.
Esopus: Was at a wadeable level. Try the tribs for spawning rainbows. The portal is closed.
Neversink: Was partly wadeable and in good condition. It was also fishing well. Bugs were mostly spinners and Caddis late in the day. Cloudy days bring out the Olives. Late day seems to be most productive. There were reports of a few March Browns below Bridgeville.
Delaware Main Stem: Floatable only. This river has probably the best hatches but is a moody river. It’s a Caddis river with a good number of Caddis species. In May and June they are a major source of food for the trout. Hatches have been decent, with a good number of Caddis close to dark. There were also egg-laying Caddis and spinners late day. There are BWOs and spinners also. A few March Browns are also around.
St. Lawrence River: The big news on the river is, obviously, the state record walleye catch (see Page 1). But the river continues to yield excellent catches of perch, as well.
Black Lake: Crappie action remains solid. Not hearing a lot on the walleye front. Bass season nears but there’s no catch-and-release season on Black Lake so anglers have to wait for the June 16 opener.