Central New York
Region 7 and Eastern Region 8
Some sections of area streams, ponds and lakes will have been stocked with trout by Friday, May 13th. These streams, lakes, and ponds are;
Broome County – Patterson Pond (April 29), Nanticoke 7a (April 29), Little Choconut 2e (April 29), Finch Hollow Site 1(Overbrook, April 29), Arctic Lake (April 22), Palmers Pond (April 22), Nanticoke Lake ( April 21), Greenwwod Lake (April 21)Oquaga Creek (April 4), Chenango Lake (May 6, April 21 and March 31), Dudley Creek (March 25), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (March 25), and Nanticoke Creek (March 25).
Cayuga County – Owasco Outlet (April 21), Salmon Creek (April 12), Owasco Inlet (April 14), and North Brook (April 15).
Chemung County – Park Station Pond (April 6), Eldridge Lake (April 6), Post Creek (March 28), Sing Sing Creek (March 28), Newton Creek (March 28), and Cayuta Creek ( May 13, April 22, April 8, March 24).
Chenango County – Guilford Lake (April 26), Bowman Lake (April 25), Mill Brook Reservoir (March 25), Jeffrey Pond (March 25), Pharsalia Y Pond( April 14), Genegantslet Creek (April 5), and Otselic River ( March 30).
Cortland County – Little York Lake (April 20), East Branch Tioughnioga River (April 14), West Branch Tioughnioga River (April 12), Casterline Pond (April 6), Durkee Park Pond (April 14, April 7), and Otselic River (March 30).
Madison County – Eaton Brook Reservoir (May 6), Limestone Creek (April 14), Beaver Creek (April 14), Oneida Creek (April 13), Cowaselon Creek (April 13), Sangerfield River (April 12), Payne Brook (April 12), Chittenango Creek (April 18 and April 12), Chenango River (April 5), and Lebanon Reservoir (March 31).
Onondaga County – Onondaga County trout are stocked by Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery. Pools Brook, Butternut Creek, Limestone Creek, Green Lake, Spruce Pond, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, Carpenter’s Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, Furnace Brook, Fabius Brook, Geddes Brook, and Tannery Brook.
Oswego County – Redfield Sportsmen Pond (May 6), Lighthouse Hill Reservoir (May 6), West Branch of Fish Creek (May 3), North Branch Salmon River (May 3), and Salmon River (May 3).
Tioga County – Tri-County Pond (May 4), Catatonk Creek (April 11), Cayuta Creek ( March 25), East Branch Owego Creek (March 23), Owego Creek ( March 22), and West Branch Owego Creek (March 22).
Tompkins County – Virgil Creek (April 25), Sixmile Creek (April 25), Enfield Creek (April 18), Fall Creek (April 7), and Salmon Creek (April 7).
Schuyler County – Potomac Pond (April 27), Foster Pond (April 27), Ballard Pond (April 27), Cayuta Creek ( May 12, April 21, April 7, and March 24).
Steuben County – Meads Creek (March 31), Canaseraga Creek (March 29), Canisteo River (March 29), Bennett Creek (March 29), and Cohocton River (April 20, April 8, March 24).
Anglers are getting brown trout trolling over a wide depth range, from 20 to 150 feet. There have also been some lakers, Kings and cohos caught as well. Stickbaits and spoons have been working. Usually this time of year you want to look for off-colored or warmer water around river mouths and also schools of baitfish.
The flow is down from last week and is 4,030 cubic feet per second (CFS) as of May 13th. For walleye try jigs or large stickbaits.
Things are winding down which is normal for this time of year though there are some smallmouth bass being caught.
Yellow perch are being caught on small minnows and jigs. Some bullheads and black crappies are starting to be caught as well.
Just a reminder that the daily limit for walleye on Oneida Lake is the same as the statewide regulation, with a daily limit of 5, and a minimum length of 15-inches. Walleye fishing has been slow so far but some fish are being taken in 10 to 25 foot of water. Blade baits and jigging rapalas have been working.
Trolling stickbaits on the south end of the lake can work well for brown trout and Atlantic salmon this time of year. Lake trout are being caught in 120 to 150 foot of water by anglers vertical jigging.
Look for yellow perch in 10 to 20 foot of water with small minnows and jigs.
Look for walleye around the mouth of Shotwell Brook. For smallmouth bass (remember it’s catch and release only) try tube jigs, drop-shots or jerkbaits.There is a special walleye regulation on Skaneateles Lake. Walleye-all year, minimum length of 12-inches, daily limit-any number.
Smallmouth bass are being caught near shore and try large jerkbaits or spinnerbaits for the tiger musky. Otisco Lake is one of the Big Panfish Initiative (BPI) waters and now has a special regulation for Sunfish (bluegill and pumpkinseed). The daily limit is 15, with a minimum length of 8-inches.
Whitney Point Reservoir
Try crankbaits or jig and minnow for the walleye. For smallmouth bass (catch and release only) try crankbaits or spinnerbaits near shore.
Try crankbaits or jig and minnow for twalleye in the deeper holes.
Other Hotline Waters
Nothing to report, should be more information in the near future with walleye season starting on May 1.
Lake Erie & Western New York
Lake Erie, Tributaries & Harbors
The walleye night bite has generally been slow since the season opener, with some better catches here and there. Lake Erie surface temperature is currently about 48F. Walleye action should steadily improve as water temperatures rise into the low 50s. The nearshore shoals/shallows are typically the go-to spots at the start of the season. Nighttime trolling with minnow-type stickbaits at around 1.5 mph over rocky structure in 6-15 feet of water is a productive program. Shorehaven Reef, Bournes Beach, Green Hills, Van Buren Bay, Evans Bar, off Hamburg and near the mouth of Smokes Creek are good spots to try. The yellow perch action is slowing down, which is typical as the perch spawn progresses. Productive areas are now smaller and some searching is required to find a cooperative pod of perch. Depths of 50-60 feet of water between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point is a good starting point. Anglers are seeing decent smallmouth bass fishing around the Buffalo Harbor breakwalls and in the open lake at depths of 20-35 feet. Ned rigs, tube jigs and swim baits are good bass offerings.
Cattaraugus Creek is in great shape at 477 cfs and dropping, while the other creeks are a bit low. Smallmouth bass fishing is in full swing on the Lake Erie tributaries, with good action in the mid to lower sections. Wooly buggers and streamers work well for fly anglers, while spinning anglers do well with stickbaits, minnows, and jigs with plastics fished under a float. The channel catfish bite is improving in the creeks. The lower end of Cattaraugus Creek is a top spot. Deeper holes in the other streams hold catfish as well. Nightcrawlers, raw shrimp, cut bait and prepared baits are good catfish offerings.
Smallmouth bass have been biting well for boaters throughout the upper Niagara River. The east channel near Strawberry and Motor Islands has been a top spot. Drift fishing with ned rigs and tube jigs, or casting swimbaits and jerkbaits has worked well. Shore anglers at Unity Island are picking up a few walleye at night on high-low rigs with minnows and on swimbaits. Other recent catches at Unity Island include rock bass, white bass and smallmouth bass, with the odd catfish or trout mixed in.
The smallmouth bass fishing is taking off in the lower river with bass available from the gorge to the Niagara Bar. Boaters can target bass by ticking the bottom with tube jigs, ned rigs and jigs with plastics, or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Some white bass and walleye are also around, and there are still some trout hanging around the upper drifts.
Lake Ontario, Tributaries, Harbors & Piers
It has been a banner week on Lake Ontario from Olcott to the Niagara Bar, with lots of full boxes and chatter about doubles and triples. Trollers report an excellent king salmon bite on large spoons, with some coho salmon, lake trout and the occasional steelhead mixed in. Gear run 50-80 feet down in 70-100 feet of water gets lots of attention. Trollers are catching big kings outside 100 feet of water too.
The go-to area for nighttime walleye fishing has been along the nearshore zone in 3-10 feet of water. Casting shallow diving stickbaits has been productive for shore anglers and boaters alike. Trolling near emerging weedbeds has also produced some catches during low-light periods. Depths of 5-10 feet in shallow weedy bays is the best bet for remaining congregations of crappie. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one-inch tube or other small plastic are good crappie offerings. Be aware, effective April 1st, the minimum length for crappie increased to 10 inches.
Inland Trout Streams
The inland trout streams are in great shape with moderate to slightly lower flows. Some streams may start to get a bit skinny without rain in the short-term. Warming water temperatures are driving various hatches on the streams and trout are looking up. Depending on the stream, there could be hatches of caddisflies, March browns, hendricksons and/or blue-winged olives, with surface action often better in the afternoon. Sub-surface nymphs still work well too. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners.