Western New York
Lake Erie and tributaries: Cattaraugus Creek was getting close to a fishable level at last check. The other streams were starting to get a bit low, so some rain should help. Steelhead fishing has recently been good on the streams for mostly dropbacks with the occasional fresh fish mixed in. Plenty of suckers have also moved into the streams and readily hit natural baits, whether you want them to or not.
The Buffalo inner harbor is often a good yellow perch spot right after ice-out. Be aware, fishing in Buffalo Boat Harbor is permitted from the shore or boat only. No fishing on the docks. Dunkirk Harbor is open and is a typical casting spot for rainbow trout after ice-out.
Niagara River: Trout fishing on the lower river was decent despite very clear water conditions. Steelhead were available in all of the drifts, with some brown trout and lake trout mixed in. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with emerald shiners, golden shiners and egg sacs is a productive technique. Shore anglers can target steelhead at the state parks. The NYPA fishing platform is now open. For updates on the fishing platform, call 716-796-0135, ext. 45.
Lake Ontario and tributaries, harbors and piers: Steelhead action has been decent on the Lake Ontario tributaries lately, along with a few brown trout as well. Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard creeks have fished well, but don’t overlook streams such as Fourmile, Twelvemile and East Branch, Johnson and Sandy creeks for spring-run steelhead. Eighteenmile Creek had slightly lower flows, while Oak Orchard had slightly high flows with about a foot of visibility at last look. Yellow perch were showing in Eighteenmile Creek downstream of trestle and on Oak Orchard near the bridges.
Trollers were starting to work the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. April brown trout action is typically very good at depths of 8-20 feet of water, especially near stream/harbor mouths, in slightly murky waters and in areas with a slightly higher water temperature. Trolling with small to medium-sized stickbaits or spoons run 75-100 feet behind planer boards is the top tactic.
Spring casting at pier sites also is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch will typically show in spring at harbor sites such as Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard harbors. Wilson Harbor and the lower end of Twelvemile Creek are top spring bullhead sites.
Chautauqua Lake: The south basin was wide open and very little ice remained on the north basin. Crappie action picked up in the canals, with the best bite during low-light periods. Perch were hitting in the canals, also. Some crappie have also been caught in shallower areas of the south basin. Traditional open-lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one-inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float work well for crappie.
Inland trout fishing: DEC fisheries personnel have been busy stocking the region’s trout streams, and anglers were taking advantage of good stream conditions despite cold water temps. For county lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2019 page on the DEC website. Call the Randolph Hatchery Stocking Hotline at 716-358-2050 for stocking updates.
Among the streams receiving plantings of trout were:
Allegany County: Dodge Creek and Tributary 17 (Clarksville), Clarksville Town Pond (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity), Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Allen Lake (Allen), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Hunt Creek (Alma), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Belmont Rod & Gun Club (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Rushford).
Cattaraugus County: Forks Creek (Great Valley), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley, Ellicottville), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), South Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), New Albion Lake (New Albion)., Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton).
Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, North Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), West Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright), Mill Creek (Gerry), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton).
Erie County: Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Cattaraugus Creek (Sardinia), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Westwood Park Pond (Lancaster), Village Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst), Sprague Brook County Park Ponds (Concord).
Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).
Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Beaver Meadow Creek (Java), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).
Genesee County: Oatka Creek (Leroy), Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia).
Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).
Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland). Irondequoit Creek (Pittsford, Brighton, Penfield).
Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).
Central New York
There are also other fishing hotline/reports available for the region. A few of the websites are: Wayne County Tourism, Visit Oswego County, and Oneida Lake Fishing Report.
Also, a reminder that until May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a PFD while underway.
Trout stocking: DEC fisheries staff are busy with in-season trout stockings across the region. Among the waters stocked recently are:
Broome County: Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.
Chenango County: Genegantslet Creek and the Otselic River.
Cayuga County: Fall Creek.
Cortland County: Otselic River.
Madison County: Chenango River, Chittenango Creek, Oneida Creek, Otselic River and the Sangerfield River.
Onondaga County: The county’s waters are stocked by the Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery. The hatchery’s stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com under Stocking Report.
Lake Ontario: Anglers were scoring well on brown trout in the near-shore ares. Typically, trolling stickbaits or spoons in the off-colored water around river mouths works well for browns in the spring.
Oswego River: Anglers continued to get brown trout and steelhead, primarily on egg sacs and jigs.
Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory PFD zones on the river.
Salmon River: Anglers were getting steelhead, with the mid-to-upper river continuing to produce the most action.
Also, the upper fly-fishing section opened on April 1.
Sodus Bay: With the nicer weather anglers should be able to get out after some perch and other panfish.
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Cayuga Lake: Anglers taking advantage of the good days have been scoring consistently on lake trout, browns and the occasional landlocked salmon, Yellow perch action has been good for some anglers targeting the ringbacks. Trolling stickbaits or spoons in the off colored water often works well for the trout. There should still be some rainbows in the tributaries.
Skaneateles Lake: The DEC launch is open and one dock is in. Anglers were getting some yellow perch. The rainbow trout fishing in Grout Brook has been slow but there is likely still some rainbows in the tributaries.
Seneca Lake: The Sampson State Park marina and boat launch opening will be delayed until mid-June (anticipated) due to the ongoing construction and rehab project.
Canandaigua Lake: We’re hearing that bluegill action has been good in the typical hot spots.
Trout stocking: DEC continues its frantic trout stocking pace across the state, including the Southern Tier. Among the waters recently stocked are:
Chemung County: Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Cayuta Creek, Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek, and Newtown Creek.
Schuyler County: Cayuta Creek.
Steuben County: Canisteo River, Bennett Creek, Canaseraga Creek, Meads Creek, Cohocton River, Post Creek.
Tioga County: Owego Creek, West Branch Owego Creek, and East Branch Owego Creek.
Tompkins County: Enfield Creek, Enfield Creek T4, Buttermilk Creek, Sixmile Creek, Fall Creek, and Salmon Creek.
Not hearing a lot yet on the fishing front, but that will change by next month when waters warm slowly and insect activity picks up on the West Branch of the Ausable River as well as other waters. DEC is stocking numerous area streams and ponds, including the Schroon River, Boquet River and the Saranac River.
The winter flounder season is open with little to report as the fish were hard to find and not on the feed. Tackle shops selling flounder chum and bait for boats fishing the Great South Bay or Shinnecock Bay received no reports of flounder. At the end of this report period, the surface water temperature in the South Shore bays was close 50 degrees, with the bottom being a few degrees colder. The flounder should become more active when the water temperature climbs a few more degrees.
A few holdover striped bass have been reported by flounder fishermen, as well as by anglers fishing bucktails or plastic baits slowly at the canal openings and in the back of the South Shore bays along the marsh banks. Most of these stripers were between 12 and 18 inches long.
The striped bass fishing in the western Sound is heating up, with anglers reporting numerous schoolie stripers up to 24 inches long, caught and released on bucktails and plastic baits from both the beach and boat. These fish will soon be joined by larger stripers coming down the Hudson River after spawning. This usually occurs when the water temperature hits 55 degrees or so. Boats making the run over to the western Connecticut shore and fishing with plastic baits, such as small shad bodies or curlytail jigs, have reported better fishing than along Long Island’s North Shore.
A lot of small bait was reported in the South Shore bays, which is a good indicator that the stripers that are now being caught along the southern New Jersey coast are working their way to the north will settle into the bays until the water becomes uncomfortably warm around June. Expect the back of Jamaica Bay to be the first South Shore bay to experience good striper fishing.
The South Shore open boats continued to run to the offshore wrecks, searching for ling, cod and pollock, with the primary catch being ling. The fishing has been good to excellent depending on the water conditions and area being fished. A few open boats are running out to The Canyons in search of golden tilefish trips and they reported good fishing.
The freshwater fishing continued to be good and improving weekly. The lakes and rivers that have stocked trout continue to be the most sought-after freshwater fish during this report period, and for good reason. The fishing has been very good for brown and rainbow trout up to 14 inches. Small spoons, spinners and small swimmers have all accounted for their share of trout, as has streamers, worms and Gulp! baits. With many waters receiving a fresh stocking of trout in April, the trout fishing will continue to be good to excellent into May.
Crappies have become active, as well as bluegills and largemouth bass. The best fishing was reported on the warmer and sunnier days when the fish move into the shallow water in search of food. Small jigs were the top lure, with worms fished below a bobber or on the bottom being the best overall bait.
Spring gobbler hunters are scouting out their hot spots ahead of this weekend’s youth turkey hunt for 12- to 15-year-olds, as well as the looming May 1 opener.
Most, if not all of the region’s trout waters have been stocked and are offering steadily improving fishing as waters warm and insect activity picks up.
Southeastern New York
The region’s trout waters continue to receive trout courtesy of the DEC’s ambitious trout-rearing program. Among the waters recently stocked are:
Westchester County: Stone Hill River, Mianus River, Amawalk Inlet, Peekskill Hollow Brook, Waccabuc River, Titicus River, Croton River, Amawalk Outlet.
Putnam County: East Branch Croton River, West Branch Croton River, Croton Falls Reservoir.
Orange County: Ramapo River, Moodna Creek, Shawangunk Kill, Neversink River, Shingle Kill, Rutgers Creek, Walton Lake, Round Lake, Wawayanda Creek.
Rockland County: Ramapo River, Minisceongo Creek, North Branch Minisceongo Creek, Mahwah River, Stony Brook, Pascack Brook, Cedar Pond Brook, Sparkill Creek.
Dutchess County: Fishkill Creek, Sprout Creek, Ten Mile River, Webatuck Creek, Swamp River, Roeliff Jansen Kill, Crum Elbow Creek, Sawkill, Wappingers Creek.
Ulster County: Plattekill Creek, Sawkill Creek, Yager Stream.
Sullivan County: Callicoon Creek, East Branch Callicoon Creek, North Branch Callicoon Creek, Mongaup River, East Branch Mongaup River, West Branch Mongaup River, Middle Branch Mongaup River.
Beaverkill and Willowemoc: Off-color at last look. Streamers and nymphs have worked for some anglers. In the afternoons Olives and black stoneflies have been out.
Delaware East Branch: Fishable at last check. Olives in the afternoon, black stoneflies (size 14).
Delaware West Branch: Is best floated right now. Streamers are working well, with Olives and black stones around in the afternoon. Hendricksons should arrive at any time now.
Delaware Main Stem: Best floated at last look; the lower end is a bit warmer and has had better bug activity –black stones #14, nixed Olives, caddis (black, size 18).
Neversink: A bit warmer and has had better insect activity. Olives, Caddis, little black and brown stones are about. Things should heat up when the weather breaks
Esopus: Waters were very high below the portal.
St. Lawrence River: It’s primarily a perch and pike game now until walleye season opens in a few weeks. But the biggest perch run has yet to take off.
Black Lake: Bluegill and crappie action should heat up as soon as the weather warms. Things were just picking up last week before a cold spell shut things down again. Turkey hunters are gearing up for the youth season this weekend as well as the May 1 opener.