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

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New York Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 15, 2022

Report from the Dock

Lake Ontario tributaries are starting to heat up and as waters cool in the Adirondacks and Catskills. Both stream and pond anglers will be out in full force, especially in the North Country, where most waters do not have an extended trout season (including catch-and-release) and brook trout season closes in mid-October. 

1000 Islands Region

Black Lake

Jim, from the Log Cabins, reports the bass bite is there, but moving baits aren’t working too well. The anglers that are fishing slow with jigs and worms or creature baits and Ned rigs on the bottom are seeing the best results. Bluegill are starting to stack up in the mouth of Indian River and look for the crappies to follow suit in short order. There’s been little to no reports of any walleye catches. With the hot summer temps the lake is seeing a heavy Algae Bloom, but as the summer air temps give way to fall look for that bloom to disappear and the bite should improve all the way until ice up. 

1000 Islands 

Brad Paradis, from Gajo Baits, reports that fall fishing has begun with water temperatures finally starting to head in the opposite direction. The smallmouth are in a variety of different places from deep to mid-range and are beginning to group up for that fall bite. Numerous fish recently caught had two-to-four other fish with them. As usual, the drop-shot is a tried-and-true technique for the smallmouth this time of the year, but they have been hot on the tube and jig as well. Green pumpkin colorations are the way to go. Northern pike can be found roaming around the weed beds in 8-to 15-foot zone. Use spinnerbaits, swimbaits and jerkbaits in a perch pattern to generate strikes from those fish. The largemouth are starting to show themselves more as they push to the points for the fall transition. Spinnerbaits, Senkos and jigs are working well in near shore areas along the weed beds with a hollow body frog fished over matted vegetation starting to produce again.

Eastern Basin

Capt. David Zangari, of Just One More Charter Fishing, reports stageing kings and Cohos continue to fill the trench near Henderson as they make their way into Black River Bay. Meat rigs, flasher and fly combos in glo green on the down riggers and spoons presented off Dipsey Divers are all producing in the 55– to 70-foot zone. Lakers remain steady in the 125- to 140-foot zone on cowbells and peanuts in glow colors. 

New York Fishing Adventures reports the smallmouth bass bite remains steady in Black River Bay, Chaumont Bay, and Henderson Bay. As we transition into fall cool look cooler water temps and the horizontal bite to pick up. Use ½- to ¾-ounce spinnerbaits with silver blades and skirts with shad or perch colors are excellent choices. Rattle baits and top water plugs like a Pop-R or a Lucky Craft Sammy in frog or baitfish colors are starting to produce well. As usual the Ned Rig and drop-shot in green pumpkin colors continue to get bites. Along the islands of Galloo, Stony, Fox and Grenadier fish can be found in 3- to 15-foot to as deep as 35- to 40-foot with the deeper fish hitting well on drop-shot rig or live soft-shell crabs and fathead minnows. 

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

Adirondacks

Some streams remain dry or low so, other bigger rivers stream fishing after rains is a good bet. Bass seem to still be in their summer pattern. Hunters gearing up for archery season, which opens Sept. 27, are seeing plenty of deer, and turkeys too. 

Capital District/Upper Hudson Valley

Bass and northern pike are still being caught around the region but trout fishing should be picking up at places like Thompsons Lake and Grafton Lakes State Parks. Recent rains have been helpful, but drought conditions are still prevalent on many streams. 

Catskills/Southeastern N.Y.

Trout Town Flies, in Roscoe, reported recently that rivers were still in pretty good shape. The Esopus gets warm in the afternoon, Willowemoc was low, but doable. The Beaverkill was also is in good shape. Olives were in the air plus spinners. Tailwaters are in great shape to wade and Iso’s and Olives were about. Try Trico’s in the morning. October caddis is beginning to hatch and the White Mayfly’s were still about.

Central New York

East Lake Ontario

The salmon are in their staging and are from the mouth of the Salmon River up to 60 feet of water hitting flasher flies, stick baits, spoons, and jay plugs. 

All the rivers have reports of several fish in them. 

Clarence Chamberlain, carogabait@gmail.com

Oneida Lake

Walleyes 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.

Oswego River

With the warm water temperatures, it will likely be a little longer before salmon start showing up.

Salmon River

A few salmon entered the river over Labor Day weekend during the whitewater release. The water temperature was still very warm and all activity is in the lower river from Pulaski downstream.

Finger Lakes/Souther Tier

Cayuga Lake

Lake trout are still in 80 to 150 feet of water. Bass are being caught in the north end on a variety of baits, jigging or trolling.

Owasco Lake

Look for lake trout from 80 foot and out trolling with spoons or vertical jigging.

Otisco Lake

Try large jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for the tiger muskie in the same general areas as the bass. Look for walleyes in 10 to 20 feet of water. 

Skaneateles Lake

For smallmouth bass try tube jigs, drop-shots or jerkbaits.

Susquehanna River

Try crankbaits or a jig and minnow for walleye in the deeper holes and cut-bait or worms for the channel catfish. 

Whitney Point Reservoir

Try crankbaits or a jig and minnow for the walleye. For smallmouth bass try crankbaits or spinnerbaits near shore. For channel catfish try cut-bait or night crawlers.

Wayne County

Some late summer kings have been caught west of Sodus Bay in 140 to 200 feet of water down 40 to 60 feet of water. Meat rigs seem to work. Troll to Hughes’ Marina and back. There were a few browns caught in the Sodus Bay channel. They were hitting small red/silver spoons, like Kastmasters and Cleos thrown out from the pier. Lake Ontario flipped pushing cold water on shore which will push smallmouth bass into warmer water in the channels. Largemouth bass are being caught in the Widewaters section of the Erie Canal. Use worm rigs and stay on the south side where the weeds are heavy.

Chris Kenyon, waynecountytourism.com

Long Island 

The big news this report period is the improved action along the ocean beaches. The number of schoolie stripers, bluefish, and weakfish are increasing every day. There is a lot of bait, including mullet, spearing, bunker, and bay anchovies in the South Shore bays that will head out of the inlets as soon as the water cools a few more degrees, which should result in the start of an excellent fall run. Anglers are reporting stripers to 30-inches and a few larger ones on large flies, bucktails, plastic baits, and plugs. The best action has been reported off the jetties at night, but the beaches surrounding the jetties are doing well also. Bluefish were reported wherever the stripers were caught. Expect this action to steadily increase through the end of the season as waves of larger stripers migrate southward along the ocean beaches and westward along the North Shore.

Weakfish were reported in the Peconics in the deeper holes. Weakfish have also been showing up in the inlets and ocean beaches along the South Shore. Along the North Shore boaters reported weakfish in the deeper channels and holes within the harbors and channels leading out into the Sound. It’s been good to report that during the last few seasons the weakfish size and number caught has been steadily increasing. They have also spread out their locations resulting in more opportunities to catch them. 

The fluke fishing was hit or miss with fluke moving around following schools of bait. Along the South Shore they have generally been working themselves closer and closer to the inlets in preparation of their offshore migration. The key to success in all areas has been to constantly be on the move to intercept small groups of fluke. Once the action slows, move again until you find the fish. All the traditional methods, including squid/spearing combos, fluke balls or bucktails tipped with squid, spearing or Gulp, and plastic baits were all consistent producers.

Scott Jeffery, from East End Bait, and Tackle reported that there are blowfish throughout Shinneock Bay and stripers are being caught around the Ponquogue Bridge. Dawn and dusk with topwater lures and drifted live baits resulted in slot-sized fish. Shinnecock Inlet has seen the first showing of false albacore this week. This is a right place right time kind of action with epoxy jigs and Deadly Dicks both producing. Outside Shinnecock Inlet the schools of bunker are holding strong, and the squid showed in huge numbers the last couple of weeks. Some have been lucky enough to find some tuna mixed in. Sharks are mixed in as well. 

The Shinnecock canal has porgies and snappers. The best action for porgies was north of the locks when they’re closed. Snappers were caught at both ends of the canal when the locks are open. Shinnecock inlet has seen a few nice fluke taken along the rocks as well as a few porgies out at the tips of the jetties. 

The porgy action in the East End bays and off Montauk and Orient Points continued to be good. Good porgy fishing was reported from Port Jefferson to Orient Point along the North Shore. Along the South Shore there were a lot of reports of short porgies along the beaches and wherever there was a gravel bottom. Keeper sized porgies were reported on the offshore wrecks and artificial reefs. 

The sea bass fishing was similar to the porgy fishing with the better fishing reported off Montauk and Orient Points, the ocean wrecks and artificial reefs. The reefs in the Sound also produced some quality sea bass. Smaller sea bass are everywhere in the bays. Clams, squid strips, and jigs were all consistent producers. In general, the sea bass have been tight to the structure, be it wrecks, rocks, or bridge piers and the porgies just off the structures.

The offshore canyons were hot with bigeye and yellowfin tuna, caught trolling, jigging, and on bait. Blue marlin were caught on the troll. Swordfish were caught at night on bait. Tilefish were reported by anglers dropping bait down in 400-plus feet of water. Mako and brown sharks continue to be reported by anglers fishing the 20-fathom line. Thresher sharks were reported harassing schools of bunker off the South Shore beaches and out to the 20-fathom line where some in the 300-pound class and larger were reported. Sharks continued to be caught by anglers fishing the ocean beaches. False albacore and bonito showed up along the South Shore jetties.

The freshwater fishing is hot as the fish are on the feed with the cooling down. Largemouth bass were caught on spinner baits, plugs, plastic worms, and jigs. Crappies, bluegills, sunfish, yellow perch, and pickerel were all caught on small minnows, spinners, trout worms, and for fly-rodders, small streamers and poppers. Trout also became more active with fish being reported on worms, small spinners, and flies in the deeper lakes that were stocked in the fall. Anglers fishing Connetquot River state park reported very good fishing for brown and rainbow trout.

Guy Zummo, flyfishguy@optonline.net

Western New York

Chautauqua Lake

Walleye fishing has been slow for a few weeks and angler effort has really dropped off. Muskellunge fishing has also been slow, but muskie fishing quality tends to ramp up as waters cool in late-summer and fall.

Lake Erie and tributaries

The walleye fishing west of Cattaraugus Creek has cooled a bit as fish are more scattered, but limit catches are still very possible. The most productive zone from Cattaraugus Creek to the PA line remains in 75-90 feet of water. Stickbaits, spoons and worm harnesses run within 30 feet of bottom is a good bet. There have not been reports of large perch schools in the typical early fall locations just yet. However, anglers trolling for walleye in 60-70 feet of water west of Cattaraugus Creek report consistent catches of yellow perch mixed in, making that a good area to try for perch. See the Walleye Fishing on Lake Erie page for more information. Lake trout are an underutilized species in Lake Erie, however late summer is a great time to fish for them. Target lake trout below the thermocline in cooler water. Catches are typically best in 80-120 feet of water from Dunkirk to the PA line. Downriggers with spoons run between an established thermocline and the bottom is a good tactic.

Lake Ontario and tributaries

Capt. Pete Alex, of Vision Quest Sportfishing, reports that recent northeast winds had the lake all riled up and changed things in close. The salmon were back trickling into the Niagara Bar and a few fish have been caught there, but nowhere near the numbers that were hanging out previously. Some of those fish ran into the river. Alex says the offshore bite has been fast paced for steelhead, 2-year-old kings and occasional mature salmon in 350 to 450 feet of water north and northwest of Wilson. The action had been between 35 and 85 down with steelies coming higher. The water offshore has been relatively cool and keeping their offerings in the top 90 feet of water. The steelhead action has been near spectacular. Several steelies in that 10-12-pound range of fish were being caught. Their best fish of the season were caught recently, including a 21-pound Coho on flasher and meat and a 28-pound king on flasher and fly. Meat, flies, and spoons have all been working offshore for the salmon and trout out there. Off the bar, flies have been outproducing meat, spoons and plugs for staging salmon. You can also work the waters off Wilson and Olcott in 85 to 120 feet of water for staging kings. 

In Olcott and Wilson off the piers, some fish are being caught according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. A few salmon are showing up along with the occasional brown trout. There are plenty of bluegills around, too. Some pike have been caught off the Wilson pier. Spoons, spinners, Rat-L-Traps and jerk baits will all catch fish.

Niagara River 

Lower Niagara River action is slowly transitioning into a fall time-frame. Bass are starting to bulk up as they get ready for winter. Smallmouth bass action was good for Capt. Ned Librock, of Catching Dreams Charters, and Roy Larson, of Wheatfield. Crayfish was the bait of choice as they drifted from Lewiston to Joe Davis. When they sampled the area around Fort Niagara, they had a rude greeting from only sheepshead. Matt Wilson, of Wheatfield, reported that things are starting to change, too. Bass are finally starting to show in numbers on the lake and they are in places they haven’t been in 2 years. Tubes in watermelon candy and roadkill produced numbers of fish. As far as quality, the big boys haven’t shown up yet. Meanwhile up in Devil’s Hole, the first salmon have finally arrived off the NYPA fishing platform. The best is yet to come.

In the upper Niagara River, above Niagara Falls, Wilson enjoyed a banner day on Sunday putting 50 smallies in the boat. Drop-shots and Ned’s took the day with Berkley flatworms, and KVD dream shots taking the day by far. Big fish, big numbers – focus on bottom changes with drastic drop offs. Those fish are using the current to their advantage, staying on the back side of drop offs and letting the food come to them. Light weights are the ticket. Let your bait fall very slow and you’ll pick them up on the drop. If you don’t feel the bottom, you have a fish.

Frank Campbell, fcampbell@niagarafallsusa.com

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