Report from the Dock
It’s been a good trout season across much of New York, with both stream and pond anglers reporting solid catches and out on the deep-water. Where anglers target various salmon species and lake trout (and those Lake Ontario browns), there appears to be plenty of action there as well. So, get ready for summer fishing!
1000 Islands Region
Michael Bell, of Chapman’s Sports Shop, reports the recent warm weather has brought Black Lake’s water temps into the mid-60s, sending the crappies and bluegills from feeding in the shallows to spawning on the rocks. These fish are pulling up shallow so don’t be afraid to fish the 7- to 12-inch range with a 1⁄32- or 1⁄16-ounce jig with a 1- or 2-inch plastic. Tubes, minnow matches and crappie magnets have all been popular, with other anglers opting to use just a plain jig head with minnows and spikes to catch their fish.
The northern pike are being caught on the edges of the weeds with in-line spinners like Mepps No. 4 and No. 5 along with oversized spinnerbaits. These toothy fish are also hitting large shiners presented 24- to 36-inches under a large bobber.
Jamie, of the 1,000 Islands Bait Store, reports steady walleye fishing in the Ogdensburg area using bucktail jigs tipped with worms or minnows. The northern pike are roaming the shoals nearest the main channel, try using larger Mepps Spinners, spoons or live shiners under a bobber.
Brown Trout fishing remains consistent with spoons performing the best in depths of 25 to 40 feet. Lake trout are cooperating in depths of 80 to 125 feet with dodger fly combos or cowbells with spin-n-glows. Walleye anglers are reporting good catches night fishing, trolling larger diving baits in the 20- to 40-foot zone.
New York Fishing Adventures reports the pickerel and northern pike bite remains strong in the back bays using with swimbaits and jerkbaits. The perch fishing in Chaumont Bay and Henderson Bay is a bit spotty but look for that to improve as the weather patterns get more stable.
Captain Burnie Haney, New York Fishing Adventures, burniehaney.com
Pond anglers are reporting good trout catches using Lake Clear Wobblers with a worm trailer, although they’re hesitant to reveal their colors. Pike and bass fishing has been solid (where bass fishing is allowed), especially the smallmouth bite. Not much to report on the lake trout, deep water action.
Capital District/Upper Hudson Valley
Striped bass season is winding down but some anglers will take a last minute crack at it by tossing topwater baits near the Troy Dam. But basically, once the herring pull out, the stripers are not far behind. Trout fishing has been good on streams thanks to stocking and some good flows still remaining.
Trout anglers – both spinning and fly-fishing focused, are reporting good and consistent fishing conditions and catches in most Catskill rivers. Water levels have stabilized from a topsy-turvy early spring and are mostly in the mid-fifties to low-sixties providing very fishable conditions and water levels almost across the board now.
Watch the water temperatures as any early heat waves can warm waters fast and slow fishing down during the day. Most anglers who fish early and later in the day will find the best options for catching consistent trout overall. Hatches are typically determined by the specific water you are looking to fish. That said, most Catskill rivers are providing consistent and reliable hatches of varying types of caddis – make sure you have tan, gray, and brown variations of caddis in sizes 14-18 in your box. Spinning anglers will find trout receptive to smaller spinners and spoons in your favorite colors worked slowly through the water.
For the Hudson River stripers, there is still good action being reported from Kingston on northward. Bait anglers fishing on shore and on boats are still finding stripers up to 40 pounds. with most in the 15 to 30 pound range.
Delaware shad have been active from Port Jervis and even up as far as Narrowsburg. Reasonable catches have been reported but warming water temperatures continue to help move more shad upriver. Anglers who target narrow areas of the river are finding fish most consistently as those natural choke points generally produce the most action.
Delaware smallmouth action has been moving along with warming water temperatures and anglers targeting smallmouth are seeing good catches on most parts of the river up to Narrowsburg.
David Dirks, dirksoutdoors.com
Central New York
East Lake Ontario
The brown trout fishing remains steady in 12 to 30 feet of water close to the river mouths in the colored water using spoons on one to three color lead lines and on mono-line with a split shot about 6 feet ahead of the spoon.
There have been recent reports of walleyes mixing in with the brown trout from Salmon river to Henderson Bay. Oswego Harbor has had several schools of ciscos.
The lake trout bite is excellent in 120 to 160 feet of water with cowbells on the bottom. DEC recently stocked several thousand brown trout at Mexico Point to support a healthy fishery in the future. The salmon bite is getting better every day from Oswego to the plant in 90 to 300 feet of water. Spoons and meat rigs have been taking the most bites. Captain Skyler Tuttle, from Never Forgotten Fishing Charters, reports large brown trout, steel head and lake trout all mixed together just under the surface in 120 feet of water off of the trench near Henderson Harbor.
Clarence Chamberlain, firstname.lastname@example.org
Walleye fishing remains slow. Blade baits and jigging Rapalas have been working.
The flow remains down. For walleyes try jigs or large stickbaits.
The season is winding down, some bass are being caught.
Finger Lakes/Souther Tier
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.
Smallmouth bass are being caught near shore. Try large jerkbaits or spinnerbaits for the tiger musky. 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 email below or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch.
Look for yellow perch in 10 to 20 foot of water with small minnows and jigs.
Look for walleyes around the mouth of Shotwell Brook. For smallmouth bass try tube jigs, drop-shots or jerkbaits. There is a special walleye regulation on Skaneateles Lake. Walleyes – all year, minimum length of 12-inches, daily limit-any number.
Try crankbaits or jig and minnow for walleyes in the deeper holes.
Whitney Point Reservoir
Try crankbaits or jig and minnow for the walleyes. For smallmouth bass try crankbaits or spinnerbaits near shore.
More spring kings are heading east from Wilson, which is the normal pattern this time of year. Water temps from Rochester are currently 48 degrees F. The browns are scattered, however they are still hitting spoons and stickbaits in 50 feet of water. The king bite has been in 300 feet of water down 100 feet and they are hitting spoons. Many have been caught with Moonshine Carbon 14. Straight out from Hughes Marina and straight out from Chimney Bluffs has been a good starting point.
The bass in Sodus and Port Bays can be found at the southern sections of the bays. The largemouth will also be hiding under the docks. The perch are still in the bays and can be caught with shad colored rubber bait tipped with spikes.
The Erie Canal is now flooded and there are plenty of launch sites in the Wayne County. You can also fish from the shore on either side of the canal. Currently the crappies and bluegills are hitting next to the Port Gibson Bridge. The canal also has channel cats in the deeper pools, especially near Palmyra. Use shrimp for bait.
Chris Kenyon, waynecountytourism.com
Now is the time to get out fishing as striped bass, fluke, bluefish, weakfish, and porgies are spreading into all areas and the fishing is excellent. There is a lot of bait in the water including squid, spearing, and bunker which are providing plenty of food for them to settle into our area. Blowfish are beginning to show, with some good action off the docks and jetties on small pieces of sandworm or squid strips.
This is a good time of year to focus on the general area that a particular species is typically caught, then locate, and focus fishing on the schools of bait. Weakfish are keying in on squid right now as well as grass shrimp. Squid schools usually appear as an inverted “V” on your sonar. Anglers reported catching weakfish in the Great South Bay off Ocean Beach, West, Dickerson’s, and Range Channels, in front the Fire Island Lighthouse, with fish to 8-pounds reported. The deeper holes around the Wantagh and Meadowbrook Bridges, in the State Boat Channel around Zacks Bay, and in Reynolds Channel have all been productive. On the East End weakfish have been reported all around Shelter Island and Jessup’s Neck. On the North Shore the Nissequogue River and points west to Little Neck Bay were productive. White bucktails tipped with squid, or thin plastic baits in white were productive choices. Fly-rodders did well on spearing and grass shrimp imitations fished against marsh banks.
The fluke fishing continued to improve with the warming water. Offshore and in the mid-Sound the fluke are keying in on squid, so whole squid baits or large bucktails tipped with squid. Most of the fluke are just around keeper size, but larger baits fished at the edges of the artificial reefs, reef edges, and under the schools of squid are producing fluke to 6 pounds. In the bays and harbors most of the fluke are shorts, but there are enough keepers moving inshore to keep the action interesting. Inshore the fluke are concentrating on spearing, so the tried-and-true squid and spearing combo was a productive choice, as was small bucktails tipped with spearing or squid, or thin plastic. Sea robins are mixed in with the fluke in all areas, as are dogfish and skates offshore.
Striped bass are in all areas, with schoolies chasing juvenile bunker and spearing. Larger stripers are concentrating on adult bunker that have been most prevalent offshore, in Jamaica Bay, and in the North Shore Harbors. Live-lining bunker has been very productive. Larger stripers and bluefish are chasing adult bunker in the ocean and mid-sound in depths from 30- to 60-feet deep. When schools of bunker were hard to find trolling bunker spoons on wire-line, or Mojo Rigs with large shad bodies or bunker spoons were productive. Along the North Shore and in the ocean bunker chunks were also productive, especially after dark, as were diamond jigs both day and night. In all areas bluefish were caught using the same methods as for stripers. June is typically the big fish month for stripers in the 50-pound class, so there is plenty of action ahead for catch and release trophy stripers.
Anglers fishing the surf did well using thin plastic baits, bucktails, and swimming plugs as stripers, weakfish, bluefish, and fluke are keyed in on spearing and other small baits. Most of the stripers and fluke are shorts, but there are plenty of keeper stripers and bluefish for anglers tossing bunker chunks or fishing swimming plugs after dark. Sandworms fished with a small float off the bottom were the top bait for weakfish. Fly-rodders are doing well with large spearing imitation flies and Clouser minnows with a chartreuse or tan over white.
At the canyons, golden tilefish were reported by anglers fishing bait or jigs with fish to 20-pounds reported. Good sized codfish were also caught with the tilefish. Shark action should kick off in a few weeks.
The freshwater fishing remained very good with anglers reporting largemouth bass to 3-pounds in the larger ponds and lakes, pickerel, and panfish. The bass and pickerel are taking plugs, large streamers, and spinner baits. The best panfish action was reported by anglers fishing worms or casting small spinners. The big news has been the great trout action. There have been a lot of hatches that the trout are feeding on in both the streams and ponds throughout the report area.
Guy Zummo, email@example.com
Western New York
The go-to area for nighttime walleye fishing has been along the near-shore zone in 3 to 10 feet of water. Casting shallow diving stickbaits has been productive. Trolling near emerging weedbeds has also produced some catches during low-light periods.
Lake Erie and tributaries
The walleye night bite has generally been slow bit should steadily improve as water temperatures rise. 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 to 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 to 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 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.
Lake Ontario and tributaries
Capt. Tim Sylvester, of Ransomville, reports that fishing was good on his last trip out of Olcott targeting 150 to 275 feet of water using spoons and meat rigs once he found fish straight off Olcott. Fish are scattered in the lake right now as it goes through a transition period.
DEC’s report says trollers have had an excellent king salmon bite on large spoons, with some coho salmon, lake trout and the occasional steelhead mixed in. Gear run 50 to 80 feet down in 70 to 100 feet of water gets lots of attention. Trollers are catching big kings outside 100 feet of water too.
There are a few steelhead and lake trout being caught in the lower section of river according to Lisa Drabczyk, with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Shiners off three-ways is one approach. MagLips or Kwikfish is another, again off three-way rigs. Bass action has been decent on artificial lures like swim baits, Ned rigs or tubes. Shore casters are picking up bass and the occasional trout or walleye on spinners and jigs. A few walleyes are being caught at night off the Lewiston Landing area on swim baits and Fin-S Fish plastics. There are still a few coho salmon available on the Niagara Bar off Fort Niagara, but they are scattering with the warmer waters and the movement of the baitfish away from the green buoy marker. Bad news though – the moss is starting to show up in the river. Upper river action has been focused on bass. Capt. Connor Cinelli, of Grand Island, has been focusing his effort in Buffalo Harbor with golden shiners. Night action for walleye is continuing at the foot of Ferry Street on swim baits. Navigation in the Erie Canal is underway and it can offer some good fishing opportunities. .
Frank Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
The shoreline has been gin clear and the browns have been a little challenging to get. Water temps have been 50-53 degrees. Best water was from port to the pines. Warrior XL spoons got it done with the “Killer Perch” beingt he MVP. There are still browns around in close to shore. A great option if the wind is blowing.
Capt. Lou Borrelli, Get The Net Fishing Charters