Central New York
November 4-November 18
The flow is up from last weeks report and is 1,210 cubic feet per second (CFS) as of November 4. Some salmon are still being taken by the dam and off the wall. A few trout are also starting to be caught. For information on salmon fishing please see the link in the Salmon River report above.
Docks have been removed for the season.
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. Typically, walleye come in near shore in the fall and anglers casting stickbaits (minnow imitating lures) just before and after dark often do well. Look for yellow perch on the east end with small minnows or jigs.
Whitney Point Reservoir
Try crankbaits like Rapala shad raps or DT 8’s in 6 to 10 foot of water for smallmouth bass and walleye. Tube baits and ned-rigs are also working for both.
Lake trout are being caught in 50 to 150 foot of water by anglers vertical jigging or trolling.
For smallmouth bass try tube jigs, ned-rigs or drop shotting in 15 to 30 foot of water. This is also producing some bonus yellow perch and rock bass. There is a special walleye regulation on Skaneateles Lake. Walleye-all year, minimum length of 12-inches, daily limit-any number.
Try crankbaits or a 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.
Lake Erie & Western New York
October 28-November 11
Lake Erie, Tributaries & Harbors
Excellent steelhead action continues on Cattaraugus Creek with good numbers of fish spread throughout its reaches. Angler pressure has been high at easily accessible points. Currently, the Catt is at a good flow level (moderate), but is still a bit turbid from Wednesday’s rains. All other creeks saw a mid-week flow bump as well, with levels peaking mid-day Thursday. At report time, those streams are in good shape with moderate to slight lower flows. Note that the smaller to medium-sized streams have been fishing quite well when flows are favorable and then more of a grind when flows are low. Steelhead commonly hit natural baits like egg sacs or worms, flies including egg imitations, black stoneflies, nymphs, streamer and bugger patterns, and lures such as minnow-type stickbaits, in-line spinners and spoons.
The open lake season is winding down and rougher conditions limit outings. When conditions permit, anglers are still putting up good yellow perch catches out of Cattaraugus Creek and to the west in 50-65 feet of water. Search around with electronics for perch schools on the bottom before dropping lines. Small minnows and shiners fished at the bottom work well. Launch docks will be in place at Town of Hanover boat launch until November 1st. Smallmouth bass are still available at depths of 30-45 feet of water out of Buffalo.
Cattaraugus Creek Lake Trout
For anglers fishing Cattaraugus Creek, the DEC is interested to know if you catch a lake trout. Several experimental stockings of lake trout have occurred in recent years and biologists need to know if any of these fish are returning to the stream. Please take a photo of any caught lake trout and contact Jim Markham at the Lake Erie Fisheries Unit at 716-366-0228.
City of Buffalo shore anglers are catching good numbers of yellow perch with some white perch mixed in. The area encompassing Tow Path Park and northern tip of Unity Island on canal side, has been especially productive. Broderick park anglers report modest catches of steelhead, walleye and white bass. Smallmouth bass fishing has been fair for boaters fishing the Strawberry Island and the east river drifts. Fall is traditionally a top time to target muskellunge around the upper Niagara River. Target musky by casting large stickbaits or by drifting and jigging large tube jigs (8″-10″). Trolling around the outer Buffalo Harbor breakwall gaps can produce a musky catch as well.
Anglers are enjoying quality fishing for a variety of species on the lower river. The king salmon run seems to be past peak but there are still fresher kings caught daily from boat and shore. Steelhead are now moving up in earnest and are being caught in good numbers, along with some brown trout and incidental lake trout. Note that lake trout season is closed until December 1st, so incidentally caught lakers should be promptly released. With more trout around, fishing has picked up along the Artpark shoreline and drift. Anglers continue to catch some walleye at the NYPA platform and upper drifts. Smallmouth bass are on the feed and provide a hot bite in some of the lower drifts. If targeting steelhead, try controlled drifting with egg sacs, trout beads or shiners. Good trout offerings for shore anglers include egg sacs, trout beads, egg flies, shiners or jigs fished under a float, and casted spoons and spinners.
Lake Ontario, Tributaries, Harbors & Piers
Streams receiving supplemental water releases from the Erie Canal, including Eighteenmile, Oak Orchard, Johnson and Sandy Creeks continue to be the go-to spots for a mix of salmon and trout. There is little to no water on the other smaller streams in the area. The better catches and higher angler effort has been at Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks. There are still good numbers of “green” king salmon around and brown trout numbers continue to build. Anglers at both creeks also report some coho salmon and steelhead mixed in, along with the occasional Atlantic salmon catch at Oak Orchard Creek. Trout and salmon are more scattered at Johnson and Sandy Creeks, where anglers have a better chance to get away from the crowd. The harbors and lower, slow-moving sections of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek and Genesee River are also good options for trout and salmon. The majority of these sections are only accessible by boat. Trolling (where possible) or casting stickbaits, spoons and spinners are good bets.
NYS Canal Corporation Fall Fishing Program: For an enhanced angling experience and a longer season of sustained flows this fall, the New York State Canal Corporation will soon commence supplemental water releases from the Erie Canal into Lake Ontario tributaries in western New York. Eighteenmile, Oak Orchard and Sandy Creeks are scheduled to receive increased flow releases from September 15 through December 15, and Johnson Creek to receive increased flow releases from October 13 through December 15.
A DEC creel survey showed that walleye action is picking up for some, with a couple limit catches reported very recently. Specific locations not available. However, late season walleye are often found around weedbeds during low light periods. During the day, depths of 20-30 feet of water and around the rims of deep holes in north basin are good areas to try. Anglers are catching fair numbers of yellow perch, crappie and sunfish in shallower areas. Muskellunge fishing has been fair along weed edges. Casting or trolling large stickbaits is a good tactic.
Surplus Broodstock Trout Stocking
DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery commenced fall stocking of broodstock trout in select western New York waters on October 3. All broodstock trout are over 2 years old. The following waters have been stocked as of October 28. Quaker Lake received 350 brown trout (12″-26″) and 330 rainbow trout (12″-28″); Red House Lake received 250 brown trout (12″-18″); Lake Flavia received 100 brown trout (18″-26″) and 50 rainbow trout (24″); Genesee River received 475 brown trout (20″-24″) and 420 rainbow trout (24″-28″) between Belmont Dam and PA line; Cattaraugus Creek received 500 brown trout (12″-18″); Case Lake received 150 brown trout (12″-24″) and 50 rainbow trout (13″). Call the Randolph Hatchery stocking hotline at 716-358-2050 for updates.
Inland Trout Streams
The inland trout streams could really use some rain as most streams have low to very low flows. With some warmer temperatures on the way, anglers may see some spotty afternoon hatches of BWOs, tiny black stoneflies or tan caddis. Early fall is a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as angler effort is light and trout are active and feeding in cooler water. From October 16 through March 31, all inland trout streams in Region 9 are open to fishing by catch and release only, artificial lures only.