Report from the Dock
It’s obviously still summer, which means plenty of warm-water species action like bass and pike while the big deep waters find anglers plying their depths for salmon and lake trout. And let’s not forget those summer walleyes, especially on Lake Erie.
1000 Islands Region
Jim, from the Log Cabins, reports the walleye, northern pike and panfish bite has slowed down a bit due to the excess number of baitfish in the system right now. However, the crappie bite has remained steady. The new 10-inch minimum length limit means you might catch 100 fish to find 10 keepers; then again what true angler really objects to catching 100 fish. The bass bite continues with rocky points and shoals producing, as well as the weed lines and fallen wooded areas. Try Texas-rigged plastics, jigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits for these summertime bass. .
Brad Paradis, from Gajo Baits, reports that the smallmouth on the St. Lawrence River’s eastern end have finished the spawn and made their way out to their summer locations. While a few fish are still roaming around shallow, most fish have started the deeper transition. Drop-shot presentations and Ned rigs in the 20-to 30-foot range are producing best. Northern pike can be found roaming around the weed beds in 8- to 12-feet, with spinnerbaits, swimbaits and jerkbaits producing nice catches. Walleyes continue biting black or black and purple ½- to 1-ounce bucktail jigs fished in the 20- to 45-foot zone near most islands and along the main river shoals and channel ledges. Trollers fishing deep diving minnow imitators are doing very well in the same locations.
Captain Mike Howard, of Hook’d Up Fishing Adventures reports that with variable winds water temperatures continued to fluctuate, and currents provide additional challenge to the Eastern Basin troller. Anglers without the luxury of daily fishing should communicate with others to gain a good starting depth. The spoon bite continues to thrive for king salmon, brown trout, and steelhead (out in deeper waters) with some additional activity on meat rigs. Expect flasher/fly bites to steadily pick up over the next week. The Trench continues to yield epic brown trout action at both the High Rocks and the Wall. Big lake trout continue to keep anglers occupied anywhere from 140- to 170- foot in the Northwest Corner. Expect king salmon to continue moving inland over the next few weeks and begin setting up on traditional staging areas in and around the mouths of the tributaries.
New York Fishing Adventures reports the smallmouth bass bite remains strong in the 19- to 26-foot zone. The smallmouth will readily take the drop-shot or Ned Rigs with bait anglers doing well fishing soft shell crabs (crawfish) and flathead minnows. The topwater bite for smallmouth and largemouth has been sporadic, yet some anglers are reporting outstanding fishing using cigar shaped walking baits with a Zara Spook or Lucky Craft Sammy producing best or the traditional chuggers, like the Pop-R or Chug Bug. The jerkbait bite for smallmouth is starting to develop in the near shore shallows. Look for cleaner hard rock rubble bottom and run it for about a quarter of a mile; if the fish are there, they’re up there to eat and they’ll tell you soon enough. You don’t need to spend more than about 15 to 20 minutes in a good area to find out. Check one or two similar spots to confirm or deny that bite, then get back out on that deeper water dropshot, Ned Rig deal.
Captain Burnie Haney, New York Fishing Adventures, burniehaney.com
Anglers are still waiting for things to cool down so warm-water fish species have been the focus. Beyond bass, there have been some big northern pike caught throughout the region. Trolling for lake trout and salmon on Lake George and Schroon Lake continue to produce, along with some nice lakers coming from Lake Champlain.
Capital District/Upper Hudson Valley
Like the Adirondacks, there’s much attention on bass and pike, with some reports of walleye action in Saratoga Lake. Oppressive heat has been keeping anglers off the water during the day. .
Dette Flies, in Livingston Manor, says there are Blue Winged Olives (18-22) and Sulphurs (18-20) on the surface as well as Isonychia, Dorotheas (small summer Sulphur-18-20), and Light Cahills (14-16). Late afternoons and evenings will provide the best opportunities for dry fly fishing, while nymphing and swinging wets in the riffles can be productive earlier on in the day. Make sure to have a good selection of spinners in your boxes, summer hatches produce a variety of spinner falls. Rusty (#10-22), Cahill (#12-16), Sulphur (#16 – 20).
Central New York
East Lake Ontario
Salmon are in 550 to 700 feet of water, 100 to 120 feet down on riggers with spoons and 400 to 500 foot copper lines or 220 to 310 foot divers with meat rigs. Brown trout are in 100 to 120 feet of water hitting Michigan Stingers or similar spoons on riggers and 250 foot copper lines between the plant and little salmon river. Lake trout are in 130 to 150 feet of water north of the Salmon River in front of the North Sand Doons to the islands hitting green/silver and blue/silver cowbells with spin and glow peanuts.
Clarence Chamberlain, email@example.com
Walleye fishing has been challenging but some are still being taken in 20 to 35 feet of water by anglers trolling stickbaits, worm harnesses, or jigging with blade baits, bucktail jigs tipped with nightcrawler and jigging rapalas. Look for bass around the shoals with topwaters, jerkbaits and tubes.
For walleyes try jigs or large stickbaits and for smallmouth try tube jigs or live crayfish.
Finger Lakes/Souther Tier
Lake trout are being caught in 80 to 150 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging or trolling. Bass are being caught in the north end on a variety of baits. There are a lot of pickerel up there as well so it may pay to have some wire leaders handy if you start getting “bit off” while bass fishing.
Lake trout are still at around 80 feet. Trolling with spoons or vertical jigging is the ticket.
There is still an algal bloom on this lake. Look for walleyes in 10 to 20 feet of water. Largemouth bass are being caught in and around the weed beds. Try large jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for the tiger musky in the same general areas as the bass.
For smallmouth keep with tube jigs, drop-shots or jerkbaits.
Try crankbaits or jig and minnow for walleye in the deeper holes and cut-bait or worms for the channel catfish. For the smallmouth try tube baits or crankbaits
Whitney Point Reservoir
Try crankbaits or jig and minnow for the walleye. For smallmouth bass try crankbaits or spinnerbaits near shore..
In Lake Ontario, the kings have been in 300 feet of water, with 50 to 80 feet down being the latest temp breaks. Meat rigs and flasher/flies have been working better than spoons, however changing to spoons does catch kings. Spoons have been purple/black. Cowbells and peanuts will catch lakers at 170 feet
Port Bay has panfish action near the channel and bass at the weedlines. Sodus Bay bass action is hot as the water warms. The bass are in the weeds at the south end of the bay and next to the islands. Use heavy braided line with strong leaders. Senko worm rigs are working the best.Perch are still being caught next to the breach at the northeast section of the bay.
In the Erie Canal, widewaters is the place to be for largemouth bass. Fish the south section of the canal where the weeds are the thickest. The catfish are in the deepest pools west of the Clyde launch. Use shrimp or worms for the cats.
Chris Kenyon, waynecountytourism.com
The summertime fishing pattern is in full swing with fish settling into consistent patterns and favorite tides. There is a lot of bait throughout the report area, including spearing, bay anchovies, peanut bunker, adult bunker, as well as some tinker mackerel on the North Shore, to keep the summer pattern steady.
The hot weather has heated up the South Shore bays. This has resulted in most of the fluke moving into the mouths of the inlets or just offshore. Those fishing in the inlets reported that the incoming tide provided the best action with the slightly cooler and clearer water. In areas where the incoming-ocean tide washes over sand flats the fishing was often very good. While most of the fluke were shorts, a few keepers to 3 pounds were also reported. The key is to keep moving around until you find the fish. The standard squid/spearing combo as well as fluke balls and bucktails tipped with spearing, squid or Gulp were all productive. There was a fair amount of sea robins as a few clear nose rays reported by fluke anglers. Along the North Shore the best fluke fishing was reported on the East End with the best fishing in 30- to 60-feet of water.
Offshore the fluke fishing improved The larger fluke were caught on whole squid, fluke belly strips, bluefish strips, and large Gulp baits fished on bucktails or jig heads. Fish to 7 pounds were reported.
The striped bass bite in New York Bight has been excellent in the deeper water of Ambrose Channel. The best action was on live bunker, with fish between 30 and 40 pounds common. Anglers also did well fishing the South Shore Inlets, especially after dark, drifting live bunker or live eels, and reported striped bass in the 20- to 30-pound class common, with the incoming tide the most productive tide.
The striped bass fishing off Montauk Point is spotty. Anglers jigging and trolling the rocky reefs and rips reported catching stripers between around 20 pounds. Live bait is also producing. Diamond jigs produced stripers generally in the 15- to 20-pound range. A few anglers ran to Block Island and reported excellent fishing using the same techniques, as well as trolling tubes or umbrella rigs.
Anglers targeting stripers from the beach reported the best action at first light and at dusk, with the night tides the most productive. Large swimming plugs or bunker chunks were productive during the night tides, with poppers and tins productive at dusk and dawn. Fly-rodders did well casting large streamers after dark. Most of the stripers were between 5 and 15 pounds. Anglers fishing bunker chunks at night reported catching a few brown sharks up to 60 pounds. Anglers using live bunker stripers also reported catching a few brown and small thresher sharks.
Bluefish were found everywhere the stripers are, in addition to being in the mid-Sound. Most striper trips are resulting in a good mix of bluefish between 5 and 10 pounds with a few to 15 pounds reported. Anglers reported a few Spanish mackerel around the artificial reefs out of Jones Inlet, with epoxy jigs productive.
The sea bass fishing was very good with sea bass to 4 pounds reported on the ocean artificial reefs and wrecks. On the North Shore the sea bass fishing was good in the rocky reefs in 30 feet of water and deeper. Diamond and epoxy jigs, and clams and squid strips fished on the traditional high-low rig, all were productive choices. Excellent sea bass fishing was reported off Montauk and Orient Points, with limits of keepers reported most trips. Porgies and a few trigger fish were mixed in with the sea bass. Overall, the porgy fishing remains good on the East End but is showing signs of slowing. Clam strips remain the top bait. Anglers reported that clam chum improved their catches. A few fluke, blowfish, sea robins, weakfish and bluefish were mixed in with the porgies.
The shark fishing along the 20-fathom line was very good with makos, threshers, and brown sharks making up most of the catch. Anglers targeting tuna reported bluefin tuna in 180 feet of water south of Shinnecock Inlet and out to the canyons on jigs, trolling plastic lures, and casting poppers to schools of breaking fish. Most fish were between 40 and 80 pounds. At the canyons yellowfin and bluefin tuna are making up most of the catch. Mahi were reported offshore and were caught by tuna anglers and by anglers casting around lobster pots, buoys, and floating objects.
The first reports of snapper have come in. Most of the snappers were around 4 inches long but expect them to grow about an inch a week. Spearing fished under a bobber or snapper popper were productive. When the snappers get a bit bigger, tins will become more productive.
Largemouth bass continued to cooperate attacking poppers after dark. During the day the best largemouth bass fishing was reported under lily pads and in shady spots. Overall spinner baits, plugs, plastic worms, and jigs were productive. Crappies, bluegills, sunfish, yellow perch, and pickerel were all caught on small minnows, spinners, trout worms, and for fly-rodders, small streamers and poppers. A few carp were reported caught on dough balls, corn, and worms.
Guy Zummo, firstname.lastname@example.org
Western New York
Lake Erie and tributaries
DEC’s report was not available at press time. Visit fisheries.com/Fishing-Reports for the latest from local anglers.
Lake Ontario and tributaries
Capt. Matt Bedient, of 716 Sportfishing, reports that the brown trout bite has set back up again off Olcott, but you may have to look for them a bit. He has found some success in 50 to 70 feet of water. Usually, the browns will be hanging out where the thermocline meets the bottom, but he has also been catching some browns in 63-to-70-degree water with Stingray-sized Stinger spoons, as well as with the standard sized spoons, right on the bottom. Overall, it’s been a mixed bag of fish with a variety of baits. Dark and green colored spoons are working, as is just about any kind of cut bait/meat. Flasher/fly is also improving, especially mirage, caramel, and yellow colors. Best action has been offshore. In Olcott Harbor and off the piers, there has been some bass action. Pike and carp are still there, but they haven’t been hitting.
The action has been picking up in the lower river for both walleyes and smallmouth bass according to Lisa Drabczyk, with Creek Road Bait and Tackle, in Lewiston. Best drifts have been Stella and the Fort Niagara/Coast Guard areas, as well as on the Niagara Bar. Walleyes are hitting jigs and chartreuse or green worm harnesses. Bass are hitting crayfish, shiners, tube jigs, Ned rigs and drop shot set ups. In the upper river, Mike Rzucidlo, of Niagara Falls, continues to do well on smallmouth and white bass using jigs and spinners.
Frank Campbell, email@example.com
Offshore waters off Oak Orchard are the hot spot for a really good bite on mature king salmon and jumbo steelhead. Fishing the top 50 to 80 feet is producing fish. A lost brown trout also came to the party out in 550 feet of water! Black and silver regular sized spoons and magnums fished together off downriggers. Long copper and steel combos with spoons or attractors and Atommik flies.
Capt. John Oravec from Tight Lines Charters