New York Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – June 28, 2019
Western New York
First off, we need to emphasize that Lake Ontario is open for business. Despite the high water levels and State of Emergency along the shoreline with a 5 mph no-wake zone within 1,000 feet of shore, the fishing is great. In the Orleans County Open Tournament it was a Niagara County team fishing the eastern fringe waters of Niagara County that won the contest. The winner was the Dublin Up team from Wilson led by Capt. Carl Martin of Pendleton. The Dublin Up team started fishing 10 miles west of “The Oak,” starting in 60 to 80 feet of water. By the time they hit the 100-foot mark they had five salmon in the box and started to fish for lake trout. After dropping the speed to 1.5 mph, they had a good rip on the rod and it turned out to be the biggest fish of the tournament – a 22.30-pound king salmon. They managed to catch some lake trout and steelhead for a 124-pound box, good for second place after Day One, behind Capt. Rob Wescott and the Legacy Team from Hilton. On Day Two Dublin Up did it again with a 121-pound box to win the event. They were targeting salmon and lake trout first thing in the morning by going 2.0 to 2.2 mph. They put four kings and one laker in the box. When they slowed the speed to 1.5 mph they hit an 18-pound laker right away. Throw in some steelhead to round out the box after the team’s third laker and the result was their first win. Meanwhile, Wilson and Olcott action continued to be good to very good. Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls Sportfishing did well working the 110-foot water depth line from Wilson to Olcott. He had good salmon bites on a combo of high spoons and deep meat dragging the bottom. The meat produced the year’s best biggest king so far for his boat, a 27-pounder. Green flashers out 150 feet took many fish.
The next big derby is the Summer LOC Derby set for June 29 to July 28. Check out www.loc.org for information.
Lower Niagara River action has been good from boats but finding a place to fish from shore has been difficult at best. The NYPA platform was under water and the gorge shoreline offered little relief. Boaters were doing well on a wide variety of species. Steelhead and lake trout were still available, according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Walleye and bass were hitting with regularity, too. MagLips, Kwikfish and live bait like shiners will catch fish. For bass, tubes and swimbaits work well. The Upper river and Buffalo Harbor is the best place to be for consistent musky action. Bass fishing has been very good there as well. The foot of Ferry Street is a good place to target.
Central New York
There are also other fishing hotline/reports available for the region. A few of the web sites are: Wayne County Tourism, Visit Oswego County, and Oneida Lake Fishing Report.
Use caution if venturing out as there is debris floating around on most waters, and be mindful of your boat wake as to not cause property damage. There are boating advisories for the bays and shoreline of Lake Ontario.
Lake Ontario and bays: With the high water levels, there are no-wake zones for many Lake Ontario shorelines and bays. Wright’s Landing boat launch in Oswego was closed at last check.
Sandy Creek Fishing Access site (Monroe County): Launch remained open, although docks are underwater and not usable at last check.
Port Bay West (Wayne County: Launch was closed, but site was to remain open for shoreline fishing.
Port Bay South (Wayne County): Launch remained open, but docks are unusable, and shoreline access was restricted.
Fee launching was still available at several of the private marinas on North Sandy Pond; calling in advance is recommended.
Oneida Lake: There a little more boat traffic now that bass season is open. Look for bass in 2 to 5 feet of water. With all the chain pickerel in the lake, you may want to use a wire leader if throwing one of your expensive bass lures. Walleye were being taken in a variety of depths from as shallow as 5 feet out to 30 feet. Jigs and blade baits are working, as is trolling with stickbaits.
Sandy Pond: Due to Lake Ontario’s high water level, the DEC’s North Sandy Pond boat launch is closed.
Oswego River: Anglers were getting some brown trout, steelhead, walleye, sheepshead and smallmouth bass.
Salmon River: The river is pretty quiet this time of year, which is normal.
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Cayuga Lake: Look for largemouth bass on the north end near shore and around any weedbeds. Try covering water with spinnerbaits or top-water lures and then slowing down with plastics when fish are found. Lake trout were being taken in 50 to 150 feet of water by trolling or vertical jigging.
Seneca Lake: Some lake trout were being taken by trolling or vertical jigging in 80 to 150 feet of water.
Keuka Lake: Lakers were being taken in 65 to 75 feet of water fishing close to bottom with live alewives or vertical jigging with white paddletail plastics. Trolling 35 to 55 feet down over 80 to 90 feet of water with Spin Doctors is also working for lake trout.
Otisco Lake: Look for smallmouths around docks and along shorelines with wacky-rigged stickworms.
Skaneateles Lake: Smallmouth bass and rock bass should be biting in shallow water along the shore on drop-shot rigs or tube jigs.
Whitney Point Reservoir: Try for smallmouths along shore with tube baits or wacky-rigged worms. Channel catfish should be hitting on cut bait or worms. Look for walleye in the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses.
Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna and Chemung rivers: Look for smallmouths with tube baits, spinnerbaits and top-water lures. For walleye, try jigs tipped with worms, and for catfish try cut-bait or worms. River levels jumped up after recent heavy rains, but should settle down soon.
Lake Champlain: The big lake was yielding both smallmouths and largemouths in both quantity and quality, with some 5-pound bronzebacks reported. Bass are settled into spawning areas now and spread out a bit.
West Branch Ausable River: High water continues to be an issue for dry fly anglers, but the river has yielded good numbers of browns on nymph and streamer patterns.
Saranac Chain of Lakes: The bass spawning period typically lags a bit due to cooler water temperatures, but fish should be on their beds now.
Offshore anglers had a challenging sea conditions this report period but those who found a favorable weather window reported thresher sharks to 450 pounds, makos to 150 pounds and blue sharks to 125-pounds at the 30-fathom line out to The Canyons. Anglers running to the 20-fathom line reported more makos than blue sharks, as well as a few threshers. As the inshore water warms a few degrees the shark fishing at the 20-fathom line will continue to improve.
There was an excellent bluefin tuna bite reported in 60 feet of water west of Jones Inlet into New York Bight. Most of the bluefins were between 40 and 60 pounds and were caught on diamond and butterfly jigs, top-water plugs or by trolling small plastics and feathers. Similar action was reported at the Coimbria Wreck. These tuna are on small baits, so smaller lures outperformed larger ones.
The late afternoon into dark bluefish trips run by the Captree State Park open boat fleet continued to yield bluefish between 3 and 10 pounds, along with a mix of schoolie stripers and the occasional weakfish. The best action was reported from the Fire Island Light House east to Range Channel. Diamond jigs remained the go-to lure.
The fluke fishing in all areas has begun settling into a summer pattern, where the larger fluke have moved out of the back bays and shallows of the harbors into the cooler inlet and harbor mouths. While the incoming tides were better than the outgoing tides in the inlets and harbors as it brought in clearer and cooler water, the fluke fishing was hampered for several days this report period due to the rough water churning up the bottom, thereby suspending a lot of silt in the water. All said, this was a slow report period for fluke.
Anglers of Montauk Point and those fishing the ocean fared better than those fishing in the Long Island Sound or South Shore bays. The standard spearing and squid combination, and fluke balls or bucktails tipped with squid or spearing worked well, but anglers targeting fluke over 5 pounds reported that bluefish fillet strips caught the largest fluke.
Anglers fishing the ocean artificial reefs and shallow wrecks were rewarded with keeper fluke, jumbo porgies and a good number of ling. Squid strips, bluefish strips, clams and diamond jigs with Gulp! teasers fished 18 inches above the main bait/lure were the top producers.
The striper and fluke fishing off Orient Point was excellent. Limits of stripers to 25 pounds and fluke to 5 pounds were common. The fluke keeper to short ratio was about 1 in 5. Most of the stripers were caught jigging, while the fluke responded best to bait.
While the very large schools of bunker located in 25 to 50 feet of water are moving back and forth along the beaches, each day appears to be settling in for the summer as they have during the past few seasons. Not all the schools held striped bass, but those that did produced stripers to 50 pounds. Most of these trophy stripers were caught live-lining bunker. Another productive technique was trolling Mojo rigs with bunker spoons, or wire-lining bunker spoons in between and around the schools of bunker. Anglers reported catching stripers between 15 and 40 pounds while trolling.
Anglers fishing the ocean beaches reported catching schoolie to 20-pound stripers, with the occasional 30-pounder, on tins, poppers and fresh bunker chunks. Most of the action has been during the day and near the inlets. Along the North Shore, stripers, mostly schoolies as well as bluefish to 8 pounds were caught of the beaches on tins and poppers during the day and swimmers at night. When the wind was calm, flyrodders scored with spearing and sand eel patterns.
The striper fishing in the Sound from Port Washington to the East River was excellent. Limits of stripers were reported on diamond jigs on most trips. Most of the stripers ranged from 15 to 25 pounds. Similar action was reported in Lower New York Bay, where in addition to diamond jigs, fresh bunker chunks and eels were also productive.
The porgy bite remained excellent in the Peconics and Gardiners Bay. Limits of porgies to 3 pounds were common, along with the occasional weakfish. Good porgy action was reported in the Sound west of Port Jefferson and off the north side of Montauk Point, with the porgies being a bit tougher to catch when the seas were rough. In all areas, anglers reported catching and releasing sea bass.
The freshwater fishing was very good, with largemouth bass and crappie action particularly hot. The best fishing was at first light and late afternoons for the bass. Hotspots remained the Peconic River and East End lakes. The bluegill and yellow perch fishing were very good, with trout worms the top choice for the bluegills. Crappie and yellow perch responded to small jigs and spinners as well as small streamers.
Lake George: Bass fishing was excellent, while trollers were scoring on plenty of lakers on either side of the 23-inch size minimum, as well as the occasional Atlantic salmon.
Great Sacandaga Lake: Anglers were picking up walleye on either side of the legal size limit. Some big perch were reported as well.
Southeastern New York
Much of the attention was now focused on bass. Some of the hotter spots for bass are Ashokan Reservoir, Rondout Reservoir, Greenwood Lake, Croton Falls Reservoir, Muscoot Reservoir and New Croton Reservoir.
On the Hudson River, look for smallmouths in the main river points with spinnerbaits and crankbaits. For largemouths, target creek mouths and weedy areas.
Fly-fishers were dealing periodically with high-water conditions after several rounds of rain, some heavy. More Drakes were being seen, with the last hour or two of the evening offering up the best fishing for dry fly anglers.
St. Lawrence River: Much of the attention has now turned to bass, as well as muskies. Not hearing much from the walleye crowd.
Black Lake: Bass anglers were scoring on both smallmouth and largemouth, with an occasional surprise from a northern pike.