Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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New York Outdoor News Fishing Report – November 4, 2021

Report from the Dock

Don’t forget that as of Nov. 1 life vests are required for anyone in a vessel less than 21 feet, including canoes, rowboats and kayaks. 

1000 Islands Region

Black Lake: 

Michael Bell, of Chapman’s Bait Shop reports the crappies and bluegills are still in full force in the Indian River and Fish Creek with a few being caught around the Edwardsville Bridge. Target walleyes around main lake points and shoals off the islands in the deeper water with a small, deep diving crankbait like a Jointed Rapala or Cotton Cordell. Bass are still biting with a healthy population of fish hanging around the deeper hard bottom areas that still has vegetation nearby. Don’t forget about shoreline points with rocks and target those areas with medium diving crank baits matching the crawfish forage these bass are after.

1000 Island:

Joe, from the 1,000 Islands Bait Store, reports that muskie anglers are enjoying cooler water temperatures as their catch improves with trolling large minnow imitating baits like the Believer in perch or shad colors. Perch are schooling up in the 30- to 40-foot zone with anglers making good catches using minnows. Bass and northern pike fishing has slowed considerably but walleyes continue to bite with anglers trolling stickbaits at 30 feet over a 60-foot bottom, while others are having success using purple and black bucktail jigs.

Eastern Basin: 

For those hearty anglers willing to head out on the big lake the bite is still on. After this recent Noreaster blew through we’re seeing vertical vegetation torn loose and surface clutter ,making trolling passes a challenge, but it remains a highly effective method for covering massive amounts of water for these fall biters. The walleye bite has slowed a bit, northerns remain actively feeding and the smallmouth bass are readily hitting stickbaits behind boards on a 45- to 65-foot set. Several bass in the 6- to 7-pound class are making their way to the net. Berkeley Flickers and Rapala Husky Jerks continue producing the best. Target depths of 15 to 30 feet in Chaumont Bay, Black River Bay & Henderson Bay. 

New York Fishing Adventures reports the horizontal shallow water bass bite (smallmouth and largemouth) has slowed but it’s still producing bites using jerkbaits, chatterbaits, squarebill crankbaits & swimbaits in shad imitating colors. Meanwhile the vertical jig bite starting to turn on; try casting Ned rigs, tubes, football jigs or a drop-shot rig in the back bays in depths of 6 to 20 feet. Traditional colors of green pumpkin or watermelon, black or black/blue are producing and on the drop-shot try presenting shad colored Keitech Swimbaits in 2.8 thru 3.8 sizes rigged 14 to 24 inches above a 3⁄16- to 1⁄2- ounce the weight. 

Captain Burnie Haney, New York Fishing Adventures, burniehaney.com

Adirondacks, Capital District/Upper Hudson Valley

The whitetail rut should be intensifying now. Northern hunters were hoping recent frosts will remove leaves from the underbrush, which was still green, and keeping visibility low in the woods. Streams are swollen following recent rain events. On bigger lakes anglers should be shore fishing now for lake trout. 

Catskills/Southeastern New York

With the extended season and brown trout spawning on most Southeastern and Catskill Rivers, we’re entering a new period of angling not known for decades. Most Catskill trout rivers are seeing slowly cooler water temperatures with most rivers in the mid-to-upper 50s now. Water levels are better than normal for this time of year so the combination of the two means productive fishing for both fly and spinning angler using artificial flies and lures. 

Most anglers, including yours truly, are doing well on trout using woolly buggers (sizes 8 to 10) large stone flies (sizes 8 to 10), and streamer patterns (sizes 4 to 8). Spinning anglers will see action now using shallow diver hardbaits and spinners in 1⁄8 to ¼ ounce depending on the water levels. 

Walleye anglers would be wise to float the main stem of the Delaware River now through early December. Walleyes respond to the cooler water temperatures on the Delaware and are very active during the late fall and on warmer winter days. Anglers targeting large, deeper pools are finding consistent catches of walleyes now. Targeting any areas where feeder streams drop into the Delaware are prime feeding spots for walleyes now. 

David Dirks, dirksoutdoors.com 

Central New York

Oneida Lake

Anglers fishing stickbaits right before and after dark from shore are having good luck on walleyes. Anglers getting out in boats are doing well on yellow perch in the east end.

Oswego River

Not much to report other than, like the Salmon River, recent rains made fishing more difficult.

Salmon River

Heavy flows following recent rains made fishing more difficult. The salmon activity was in the mid-upper river as fish were spawning. A few steelhead and brown trout were also being caught in the lower river.

Finger Lakes/Southern Tier

No new information was available from DEC, who said most waters were running high from recent rain events. Use caution if boating as there is likely debris floating around.

Long Island

The recent storms made the fishing tough in many areas, but there were enough fishing windows to get on the water. Anglers finding difficult saltwater conditions switched over to freshwater fishing and reported catching largemouth bass, sunfish, yellow and white perch, as well as pickerel. Most of the action reported was during the mid-day when the shallow waters warmed under sunny conditions putting the fish on the feed. Spinners, streamers, poppers, and plastic worms worked well for the largemouths and pickerel, with trout worms, small spoons, and crappie style jigs good choices for panfish. Trout were reported in the Connetquot River

The striper fishing significantly improved this report period between Fire Island Inlet and NY Bight. Most of the stripers reported were between 8 and 20 pounds with several fish in the 40-pound class reported. Diamond jigs, large plastic baits, and butterfly style jigs fished over schools of stripers as well as trolling bunker spoons or large shad baits on either wire line, or as part of a Mojo Rig. When schools of bunker were found live-lining bunker often resulted in stripers in the 30-pound class and larger.

Off Montauk Point the striper fishing was very good, with anglers reporting stripers off the beaches as well as off the boat. Diamond jigging and live baiting with bunker were both productive, with boat anglers doing better then surfcasters.

In general surfcasters reported spotty but good striper fishing casting tins and poppers during the day, and casting swimming plugs and bucktails during the night tides. Flyrodders fishing large bunker or mullet patterns when fish were pushing bunker or large baits into the wash, or spearing patterns when large bait was absent, reported stripers in the 5- to 12-pound class caught both during the day and night tides. Decent fly fishing for stripers was also reported along bridge abutments and marsh banks as there are still some fish in the bays. 

A few schools of false albacore were reported wherever the stripers were targeted. These fast-moving fish were typically caught casting and retrieving thin tins or spearing imitation flies very quickly pods of breaking fish. Bluefish are also being reported mixed in with the stripers, but in less quantities then earlier in the season. Some of the best jigging for bluefish and stripers was reported in the Sound. 

Overall, anglers targeting blackfish, porgies or sea bass typically caught a mix of all three fish, with the predominate fish being the one targeted. The occasional codfish, bluefish, cunner, or mackerel makes for an exciting day of fishing. The number of cod being reported off Montauk Point has definitely pick up.

The blackfish fishing remained very strong, with blackfish catches reported throughout the report area. The largest blackfish were reported on the wrecks, rock piles, and reefs in 60 feet of water and deeper in the ocean, and in 30 feet of water and deeper in the Sound. Many of these blackfish are in the 5- to 8-pound class. Inshore and off the beaches most of the blackfish were shorts, but there were enough keepers to make the trips productive. Green, fiddler, and white crabs were the top baits.

The sea bass fishing is excellent, with fish above 5 pounds reported caught off the deeper wrecks and less fished areas off Montauk and Orient Points. On the West End of the Island the largest sea bass were caught on the wrecks in 90 feet of water and deeper. Inshore and on the artificial reefs most of the sea bass were shorts. Clams, jigs, crabs were all top producers.

The porgy fishing remained very good for anglers fishing clams in the usual spots. A few weakfish are still being reported on the inshore porgy grounds.

The epic run of large bluefin tunas is winding down with fewer reports. The reports that did come in are of fish caught deeper into Ambrose Channel. A few charter and open boats are booking long-range canyon trips for tuna if you still want to get in on tuna action. 

Guy Zummo, flyfishguy@optonline.net

Western New York

Chautauqua Lake

The open-lake season is winding down, but good fishing prospects remain. Walleye are still available along weedlines. Vertical jigging around the rims of the deeper holes is another late season walleye tactic. Muskellunge fishing has been picking up. Target feeding muskies along weed edges by casting large stickbaits or musky spinners..

Lake Erie and tributaries

Yellow perch fishing remains strong out of Cattaraugus Creek and at spots withing five miles to the east or west. Anglers are catching yellow perch anywhere between 50 and 80 feet of water, with most consistent catches coming between 55 to 65 feet of water. Limit catches are possible. Live golden and emerald shiners, and salted emerald shiners have worked well fished at the bottom. In some spots, yellow perch suspended about five feet off the bottom have been more aggressive. Daytime walleyes are still available off the Catt in 55 to 80 feet of water, and around the Buffalo Harbor breakwalls at night.

Waders were previously seeing decent to good steelhead action on Cattaraugus Creek. The smaller Lake Erie tributaries were producing some decent fish too, but action was spottier. With recent cooling temperatures and two runoff events, all reaches of all tributaries should be options now. At report time, Cattaraugus Creek was high and muddy. Some of the smaller Chautauqua County streams are in fishable shape. The Erie County streams were a bit high at press time. 

Lake Ontario

We are certainly getting closer to the completion of the Olcott breakwall and pier project, part of the state’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative for Lake Ontario. One sure sign is that anglers can now fish off the west pier in Olcott. Tributaries are still high and muddy from the recent rains, but you can still catch fish if you find areas not as stained according to Karen Evarts with The Boat Doctors in Olcott. 

For Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek, there continue to be good numbers of fish such as a decent amount of Coho salmon, Chinook salmon and brown trout. Best baits continue to be egg sacs, treated egg skein, and jigs fished under floats. Colors vary, but when the water is off-color, go with something bright. Night fishing in Olcott Harbor continues to be good with glow spoons or stickbaits. Casting the piers in Wilson is still producing some salmon and trout, too. Twelvemile Creek has good water flow, but it is also high and muddy right now. When it comes down, there will be fish in it. Smaller creeks like Fourmile and Keg should be good for fishing this weekend, too, if we don’t see any more rain.

Niagara River 

Fishing is picking back up according to Lisa Drabczyk, with Creek Road Bait and Tackle, of Lewiston. There are still a few salmon hanging around, but the action is primarily focused on trout. You can catch fish from a boat or from shore. Beads, sacs, and spinners are the top approaches for anglers according to Drabczyk. With the water being off-color, the shore fishermen have been doing better than the boat drifters. That doesn’t mean that you can’t catch fish from a boat. Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls hit six trout one morning, a mix of lake trout and steelhead. Some brown trout are around, too. Bass and walleyes are still available in the river if you want to try and target them. Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston, likes to use drop-shot rigs with Strike King dream shots or swim baits to take bass. Worm harnesses are still working on walleyes. 

On a final note, remember that lake trout season is closed until the end of the month. It opens on Dec. 1.

Frank Campbell, fcampbell@niagarafallsusa.com

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Orleans County 

Plenty of salmon are spawning now in the higher flows and some of the post spawn zombies will be flushed out along with lots of other weeds and debris. (Some fresh salmon are still likely to be in the mix easily through November). That should make for cleaner drifts, although with a late leaf fall, look for continued usually daily water level fluctuations thanks to hydro power operations.

Anglers started out with a tough bite recently, but reported better later in the day. No doubt as flows drop and clear even a little guys should get onto more fish, especially brown trout. Other area smaller tribs east and west are coming back into slightly high and stained flows. Sandy Creek is probably remaining stubbornly stained from that Canal drainage but definitely dropping back some. Look for fish to be well spread upstream through all the waterways with anglers wise to spread out too and try different spots to find fish.”

Ron Bierstine, Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge

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