Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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New York Fishing Report – July 16-23, 2021

Central New York

Lake Ontario

Salmon are being caught in 150 to 300+ foot of water on flashers and flies or spoons. For brown trout try the 30 to 60 foot zone. Lake trout are being taken near bottom in 150 to 200 foot of water. Look for bass in 5 to 20 foot with tube jigs, jerkbaits or spinnerbaits.

Oswego River

The flow is up from recent rains and is at 12,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of July 16h. this flow can make fishing difficult. Try tube jigs, drop-shot rigs or crayfish for the smallmouth bass and for walleye try big stickbaits or jigs. Catfish and sheepshead can be caught on cut-bait or crabs.

Salmon River

Due to high water the sea lamprey treatment scheduled for last week was postponed on the Salmon River and will likely take place this week, weather permitting.

Port Bay

The Port Bay South Boat Launch is currently closed for repairs.

Sodus Bay

Bass fishing has been bass good around the weed beds.

Sandy Pond

For bass try around the weed beds with spinnerbaits or Texas rigged worms.

Oneida Lake

Just a reminder that the walleye daily limit on Onedia Lake is 3 fish with a 15″ minimum length. Walleye are still being taken in the 20 to 25 foot range. Look for bass around the shoals with stickbaits or swimbaits and around weed beds with Texas rigged worms or top-waters. Just a reminder there are a lot of chain pickerel around so you may want to use a wire leader if using an expensive or your “favorite” lure.

Otisco Lake

For walleye try the 15 to 20 foot zone trolling with stickbaits and for tiger musky try casting large spinners, spinnerbaits or stickbaits along shore or over the flat on the north end. For bass try wacky rigged stickworms along shore or in the weed beds with Texas rigged baits.

If you catch a tiger musky on Otisco Lake that has been tagged, the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color, please do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to fwfish7@dec.ny.gov or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch.

Skaneateles Lake

For smallmouth bass and rock bass try wacky rigged stick worms, drop-shot, Ned-rig or tube jigs in 15 to 25 foot of water.

Cayuga Lake

Water fleas have started to show up so be prepared to deal with them if trolling. Using a heaver pound test line can help with the fleas and vertical jigging is also an option if they get too bad. Look for lake trout in 60 to 150 foot of water vertical jigging, or trolling over 100 foot of water and out. Look for bass along shore and in weed beds in deeper water. Try stickworms, spinnerbaits and topwaters. Just a reminder there are a lot of chain pickerel around so you may want to use a wire leader if using an expensive or your “favorite” lure.

Owasco Lake

Water fleas have started to show up so be prepared to deal with them if trolling. Using a heaver pound test line can help with the fleas and vertical jigging is also an option if they get too bad. For lake trout try trolling or vertical jigging in 80 to 120 foot of water.

Canandaigua Lake

Look for lake trout in 100 foot of water either trolling or vertical jigging.

Whitney Point Reservoir

With the recent rain events the reservoir will likely be up at times. Try crankbaits (like shad raps), jigs or worm harnesses for the walleye. Look for smallmouth bass along the shoreline with cranklbaits or topwaters.

Keuka Lake

Lake trout are being caught in 110 to 120 foot of water using live sawbellies or vertical jigging with green paddle tail jigs near the bottom.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

The Canon Hole boat launch will be closed for repair and paving from 7/14 to 7/21. With recent rains it’s likely the rivers will be high and turbid at times. Look for walleye in the deeper holes with jigs or crankbaits. Try tube jigs or crankbaits for the smallmouth bass.

Lake Erie/Western New York

Lake Erie, Harbors and Tributaries

Overall, walleye fishing on Lake Erie has been fair, with some more productive days and spots mixed in. The walleye bite west of Barcelona Harbor to the PA line has picked up very recently and anglers report good catches in 65-70 feet of water. Out of Dunkirk trollers are targeting walleye in 60-85 feet of water. Cattaraugus area anglers report recent catches in 55-75 feet of water. Watch for floating debris from recent flooding if fishing off the Catt. In areas from the Catt to the PA line, some walleye are suspended and some are coming off the bottom. Spreading out your lines within the water column is a good idea. The most productive area out of Buffalo has been along the international line in 55-60 feet of water. Slow trolling or drifting (0.8-1.2 mph) and bottom bouncing with worm harnesses has worked well. At those depths, you will need 4 to 6-ounce sinkers to effectively stay near/at the bottom. Anglers continue to catch mostly short walleye in Buffalo Harbor.

Anglers are seeing good smallmouth bass action around the major reefs and shoals at depths over 25 feet. Smaller rock piles and humps will hold bass as well. Bass are also available in the gaps and deep outside edges of Buffalo Harbor breakwalls. Ned rigs, jigs with swimbaits, tube jigs, live minnows and crayfish are good bass offerings. Yellow perch are available but widely scattered of Cattaraugus Creek. Angler effort for perch has been low as of late.

Niagara River

The Niagara River may be a bit stained from tributary runoff this weekend. Recent smallmouth bass fishing around the upper river has been decent to good. Concentrate on areas outside weed edges in 10-20 feet of water. Controlled drifting and fishing a ned rig, tube jig or bottom-bouncing rig with crayfish or shiner works well. Anglers can target muskellunge along weed edges with large stickbaits or 8-10 inch tube jigs.

Fishing conditions have improved as “Moss” has been clearing from the lower river. Smallmouth bass catches still lead the way in the lower river, but walleye catches are picking up. Bass are available from the gorge down to the mouth, while walleye are showing in the upper and lower drifts. Shore anglers can wet a line at Whirlpool, Devils Hole and Artpark State Parks, Lewiston Landing, Joe Davis State Park platform, Youngstown Landing and Fort Niagara State Park docks. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page.

Lake Ontario & Tributaries, Harbors & Piers

Trollers reported good trout and salmon fishing at mid and offshore depths this past week. Early in the week, anglers were catching decent numbers of king salmon in 120-150 feet of water from the Niagara Bar to Olcott. Gear run 50-60 feet down worked well for mature kings, some pushing 30 pounds. Other anglers were doing well for steelhead and kings of mixed ages at depths over 300 feet, on gear run in the top 70 feet. Large spoons, flasher-fly combos and meat rigs are good king salmon offerings. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

There is a wide variety of warmwater species available in the Lake Ontario harbors and tributaries. Fish are available well up to the dams on larger streams such as Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks. Possible catches include yellow perch, northern pike, black bass, bowfin, channel catfish, longnose gar, rock bass and other sunfish. Be aware there is an “eat none” fish consumption advisory for Eighteenmile Creek.

Chautauqua Lake

Anglers have had to work for decent walleye catches lately. Target walleye lake-wide along weed edges in 12-16 feet of water by slow trolling with worm harnesses, bottom bouncing or by jigging. The key is to get your bait/lure close to the bottom. There is a plentiful mix of yellow perch and white perch in deeper weed beds, especially around the northern end of lake. Small minnows work well. Anglers can target muskellunge along and over weedlines by trolling or casting large stickbaits and bucktail spinners, or target suspended muskie 10-15 feet down over 20-30 feet of water. A faster trolling speed of 3-4 mph works well. For tips on how to catch and properly handle muskie, visit the Muskie 101 page. Visit the Chautauqua Lake page for more fishing information.

Inland Trout Streams

Significant rainfall has all regional creeks running high and muddy and more rain is forecasted for the weekend. The smallest streams may be an option in a few days. In mid-summer, water temperatures are often elevated in the afternoon, so best to fish the early morning hours or fish a cooler, spring-fed stream. As a rule of thumb, avoid trout fishing when water temperatures exceed 68 degrees, as playing a trout in warm water is lethal. When fly hatches are happening it is best to match the hatch for success. In the absence of hatches, terrestrial patterns like ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers will also draw surface strikes. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch now and again to imitate a struggling insect.

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