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       fishing Report for western new york

                                                                                    with Ron Schroder

WESTERN/CENTRAL NEW YORK FISHING - WEST TO EAST

 

4 – 28 - 17

 

*TIP: STRATEGIES FOR CATCHING MORE BLUEGILL:  Worms, crickets, and other live bait will always catch bluegill, but if you want to catch more bluegill, switch to jigs. Bug-like jigs are great imitations, and tiny is better than big. Tiny jigs can be more easily fished at the sluggish pace that sunfish prefer. These featherweight jigs snag less and can tempt fish that may not be hungry enough to chomp a big bait. Also, enticing, erratic retrieves are possible with tiny offerings that can’t be duplicated with bigger jigs. When bluegill get picky, matching their diet with a jig imitation can bring more action. Also remember that they may smell the jig before

deciding to eat, so a panfish attractor scent, or tipping it with a maggot or worm piece, could help a lot. Bluegills love eating bugs, and jigs that mimic these tiny creatures will help you catch

more bluegills.

(By Larry Whiteley, Host of the award winning Outdoor World Radio For more tips, go to

basspro.com.)                 

 

*TIP #2: MAY 6 SEASON OPENINGS:

6 - Start of Statewide Fishing Season for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye (>3/15/18)

6 – Start of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County), the Chemung River and Tributaries and Tioga River (Chemung County) (>3/15/18)

6 - Start of Special Season on Lake Erie and Tribs for Black Bass (must 20 inches +) (>6/16)

 

*TIP #3: I FISH NY BEGINNERS' GUIDE TO FRESHWATER FISHING: Fishing is a sport that is easy to learn and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and physical abilities. The I FISH NY Beginners' Guide to Freshwater Fishing was created to help you become a better and more knowledgeable angler. Individual Chapters: The Fishes of New York / Basic Fishing Tackle and Techniques / Care of Your Catch / Safe and Responsible Angling / Intermediate Fishing: Tackle and Techniques / Aquatic Life / Waters of New York / Fisheries Management / Introduction to Ice Fishing. (Download the guide or request a copy from DEC).

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Lake Erie boaters have been launching out of some sites, while other launches remain closed. There is limited boat launching at Buffalo Boat Harbor. Launch docks are in at the ramp near the restaurant, but the newly constructed launch ramps remain fenced off. Sturgeon Point is closed until a dredging project removes the sand bar at harbor mouth. At Cattaraugus Creek, Town of Hanover launch is open and launch docks are in. The State launch is also open, but launch docks are not in place (May 8?). Dunkirk and Barcelona boat launches are open with launch docks in. Anglers report a good yellow perch bite between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point in 50-75 feet of water, with some limit catches. The hot spot has been off Evangola State Park. In other areas, there are reportedly smaller roving perch schools, so being mobile helps. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait but they are becoming hard to find. The Buffalo Boat Harbor has a good yellow perch bite for boaters. From the breakwall, anglers are catching good sized perch on emerald shiners. There have been no reports yet, but some crappie often show in the harbor in spring as well. Remember that the new bass fishing regulations are now in effect for Lake Erie and the tributaries. One 20 inch + bass per day is legal. Anglers found some active smallies at Dunkirk, near the channel and just outside the harbor. Some bullhead catches have been reported in Dunkirk Harbor.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Conditions on most tributaries are high and muddy. Chautauqua County received less rain than the Buffalo area, so look for those creeks to drop back first. Overall steelhead numbers are dropping on the streams with post-spawn fish returning to the lake. However, there are still small spurts of feisty fresh steelhead moving in. There are also increasing numbers of suckers and smallmouth bass showing in the lower sections. Bait has moved into the lower sections of the creeks, so minnows or minnow imitations are good bets. Other good steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). Small white and olive streamers have also been productive in the smaller tribs with larger darker patterns getting more attention in the medium and large streams.  Live or salted shiners are also a good bait in the lower sections. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. A few trout have been taken off the city of Dunkirk Pier with spoons.

The department of Environmental conservation is reaching out to anglers who fish the Allegheny River. The DEC has been stocking sauger in that water system and reminds anglers to release these fish. Sauger are similar in shape to walleye, with several notable differences. Sauger have horizontal rows of black spots on their dorsal fin, black saddle like markings on the sides and most notable they are missing the white tip on the tail. Walleye have a defined white tip on the tail. The DEC has been stocking sauger in the Allegheny River since 2014 and during the 2017 survey a sauger measuring over 17 inches in length was reported. For more information on the sauger Conservation Management Plan, go to the DEC’s website at www.dec.nygov/outdoor /fishing.html.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Due to muddy creek outflows, waters are turbid along the upper Niagara River's east shoreline. This may slow the yellow perch bite which was previously good along City of Buffalo shore sites. Anglers report catches of good sized perch from Erie Basin Marina pier, Broderick Park, foot of Hertle Avenue , around Grand Island and Black Rock Canal Park. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are also worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots, with the inlet at Black Rock Canal Park being one of the more reliable spots. Anglers at Broderick Park have been catching the occasional rainbow, lake or brown trout. Anglers can target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows, or by casting spoons and spinners.

Help for an avian angler is requested by DEC and OPRHP; reminding boaters to observe the signage, buoys, and various motorized boating restrictions in place around Strawberry Island. The restrictions are part of an ongoing, multi-agency effort to protect critical Bald Eagle nesting habitat and to preserve recently installed habitat improvement projects at the island. Boaters can help minimize disruptions to the Bald Eagle nesting site by:

*Observing all boating restrictions in place, including federal navigation laws that require maintaining a 5 mph speed limit while traveling within 100 feet of the shoreline.

*Eliminating all motorized activity within 660 feet at the north end of the island's cove area by observing the restricted area marked with buoys.

*Adhering to signage restricting any visitor access (including non-motorized vessels) within 330 feet of the north end of the islands cove area during the Bald Eagle nesting season that lasts from January to the end of September in a typical year.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: No reports on the smelt action along the lower river shoreline. Dippers were reporting modest catches after dark at Artpark State Park and Lewiston Sand Docks. In the lower Niagara River, anglers can take smelt with any size dip net and can keep a daily limit of 8 quarts (2 gallons). Long handled wire mesh dip nets work very well. Smelt dippers should never wade past knee-deep water, because of strong currents and steep drops close to shore. With smelt and plenty of other bait moving into the lower river, it has been tougher to entice trout bites. Trout action is improving from both boat and shore. Waters levels are high and conditions are muddy. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures is the typical boating approach. Pink egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product get plenty of attention. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs, egg flies, minnows and jigs with grubs or casting spoons and spinners are common shore tactics. Soft plastics are also proving productive for some anglers. The Niagara Bar has been a little slow, in part because of the excessive amount of baits around and the stained water. Look for fishing to slowly improve. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: High water levels on Lake Ontario continue to be a concern for shoreline home owners and marina operators but boaters have been able to fish in the 500 foot no wake zone along the shoreline. A bigger concern is the amount of debris that has washed out from the shoreline. If there is fog on the water near the harbors, caution is advised because the piers could be difficult to see because of said high water. Be careful out there.

Kings are starting to hit more readily. The first of the season's king salmon have been caught off Niagara County by trout trollers. If the fishing follows the normal spring progression, look for king salmon action to ramp up in early May. The better king fishing is west of the Niagara Bar. Anglers continue to see a good brown trout bite inside 25 feet of water on stickbaits run behind planer boards. Some coho salmon, steelhead have been mixed with the brown trout catches. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. Lake trout are biting well in 40 to 100 feet of water. The lakers are supposedly smashing Spin Doctors trailed by A-Tom-Mik flies tight to the bottom. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST TRIBS: All of the Lake Ontario tributaries are running high and muddy at last look. Stained conditions will persist longer on the dammed streams. Smaller creeks like Keg, Johnson and Sandy Creeks are in good fishing shape and have produced modest steelhead catches recently. Twelvemile Creek and East Branch Twelvemile have been turbid more days than not. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. The bullhead bite is improving in the harbors with rising water temperatures. West Branch Twelvemile Creek at Wilson-Tuscarora State Park is a top spot, but bullhead should be available at many other Lake Ontario shoreline sites such as harbors, stream inlets, low-slow moving sections of tributaries and the connected ponds near Rochester. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, leeches and raw shrimp fished on the bottom work well for bullhead, with better catches often after dark. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more. Over in Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor, pike and a few trout are hanging around along with some perch as well. Try casting for brown trout off the short pier at the end of Route 425. On Lake Alice a great mixed bag of fish including bluegill, crappie, perch, rock bass, white bass, suckers, channel cats and bullhead.  

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  The crappie bite took a dip with the past cold snap, but is improving with warming temperatures. Crappie catches have recently been reported in the canals and open lake areas including Bemus Bay, Long Point, Ashville Bay, Dewittville Bay, Lakewood Bar and off Mayville. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a float, are proven crappie catchers. Favored tubes are mostly green, black and pink, tipped with maggots. The action is better early morning and again after dark. Remember, the legal limit is 9 inches in length to be a keeper and 25 crappie per day is the limit. There are reports of lots of perch on the lake, too. Use minnows with a 1/64- to 1/16-ounce jig. White is the best color. Anglers are catching some bullhead at shoreline sites during low light periods. Catches should continue to improve with rising water temperatures. Target bullhead by fishing worms, leeches, cut shrimp, dead minnows or chicken livers on the bottom. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area trout streams are currently high and in some areas at flood stage. The trout are eating both subsurface and on the surface (streamers/nymphs and dry flies). The upper ends of the inland streams have been fishing great. Small amounts of Hendrickson’s and Quill Gordon's have been around and a dry fly pattern similar to those, works well. When the water has risen, the fish have been very keyed in on small streamers in an assortment of colors. Expect the inland fishing to continue to pick up.

Productive offerings for spinning angers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. The fishing has been consistent with fish spread well throughout the system. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway.

The following waters are stocked:

Allegany County: Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity). Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Hunt Creek (Alma), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Rushford Lake (Caneadea), Belmont Rod & Gun Club Pond (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Willing).

Cattaraugus County: Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Red House Lake (Red House), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), County Ponds A&B (Randolph), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton), Perrysburg Conservation Club Pond (Dayton), Crandall Pond (Ashford), Maples Club Pond (Otto). *Olean Creek (Olean).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Mill Creek (Gerry), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright).

Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Sprague Brook Park Ponds (Concord), Main Park Pond (Clarence). *Ellicott Creek (Amherst).

Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

Genesee County: Dewitt Pond (Batavia), Oatka Creek (Le Roy).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Post Creek (Hornby), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

Yates County: Keuka Lake Outlet (Milo, Torry).

*SILVER LAKE:  Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Crappie action was recently good near the north end, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Earlier there were some good reports on perch in the Long Point area but the rains may have changed that. With a little warmer water the bullhead should become more active. Some big bass are being found but their season is closed and it’s now catch and release/artificials only for them. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Bass season is closed and it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Bass season is closed and it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE:  Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. You might try shore or boat fishing for crappies, perch, bluegills and/or bullhead. For the crappie, it’s suggested you start by working the south end/west side. Bass season is closed and it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. A few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No tributary reports. Bass season is closed and it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch, crappie and/or bullhead. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows. Bass season is closed and it is now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SENECA LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore and approach at idle speeds. This doesn’t include trolling where there is no wake. Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season is closed and it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: The lake is still at a flood level, though launchable/boatable. Use caution when boating as there is debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Anglers trolling 50 to 90 feet down are getting some rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout (20 – 40 feet down). For lakers troll deeper – 100-120 feet. Vertical jigging is also producing fish in 50 to 95 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. A particular hot area for the lakers was in the vicinity of Long Point. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 22 inches. Try using intermediate and full sinking lines with flies in various colors - white, gray and chartruese/orange. If you go out of Taughannock be alert the water level is up and you may have problems with the bridge. Around Milliken have found lots of lakers hugging bottom in 110-135'. These fish are hungry and biting.  For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open and the docks are in. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. For the perch try the south end with small minnows. Some rainbow trout were being taken by shore anglers fishing egg sacs, streamers, egg imitating flies and night crawlers, off the tributary mouths. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

*OWASCO LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. The launch is now open and the docks are in. Yellow perch were hitting on the north end using small minnows. You might try the south portion of the lake for lakers. Start at 100 feet with small bright spoons. Suggestions to check out: the bullhead bite in the Inlet at the south end and the possible smelt runs in some of the tributaries. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Tributaries are still high and turbid at this time. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and bullhead. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are settling down and clearing after several difficult weeks of high water. The warm air has started hatches on several creeks, but flows are still moderately high and water is slightly off-color in streams. Reports from the Finger Lakes tribs. indicate a few trout are still in the streams but suckers are moving in. Remember, the daily starting time on the Finger Lakes tributary fishing doesn't begin till sunrise. In the Finger Lakes the rainfall is aiding anglers by keeping flows high and tempting fresh lake-run fish to take a journey upstream. Egg sack’s and nightcrawler’s dominate the best baits for spin fisherman. Fly fisherman use “bubble gum” colored and chartreuse colored egg patterns. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway. The following waters have been stocked:

Cayuga County - Fall Creek.

Chemung County - Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Cayuta Creek, Wyncoop Creek, Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek, and Newton Creek

Cortland County - Otselic River

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek .
Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com.

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

Seneca County - Canoga Creek.

Steuben County - Canisteo River, Canaseraga Creek, Post Creek, Meads Creek and Cohocton River.

Tioga County - Catatonk Creek, Cayuta Creek, East Branch of Owego Creek, Owego Creek, and West Branch of Owego Creek.

Tompkins County - Enfield Creek, Virgil Creek, Buttermilk Creek, Fall Creek, Salmon Creek, and Sixmile Creek.

Yates County - Keuka Lake Outlet.

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: You might try shore fishing for perch and crappie and check out your favorite bullhead spots. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND:  There is some activity taking place on the pond. Anglers are finding a good perch bite and some crappies. Just a reminder that walleye season is closed and will reopen on May 6. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: You might try shore fishing for perch and bullhead. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. If you have bird-watching tendencies, keep your eyes open and you might see a white pelican.(Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: Anglers are reporting a better yellow perch bite on minnows. Bullhead are being taken along the south shore and in the bays, try worms or leeches. Suggested spots include Muskrat Bay, Lake Shore Marina and in the Oneida River at the Caughdenoy Dam. Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year in Toad Harbor. A reminder - walleye season is closed and will reopen on May 6. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake level is up about a foot. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but boaters creating a wake should stay at least 500 feet from shore. When coming into shore and approach at idle speeds. This doesn’t include trolling where there is no wake. When the weather allows, boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into nice brown trout and some coho, Atlantic salmon and rainbows. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks, along with small spoons, are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. Good nice-sized laker action is found out further in the lake in 40-80 feet of water on the bottom. The lakers were smashing Spin Doctors trailed by A-Tom-Mik flies. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. A few steelhead and brown trout have been caught. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also fish the pier heads at Sodus. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are in and the ramps are useable. There is a high-water situation, so be a responsible boater and watch your wake. The speed on the bays is idle. The perch have been all over Sodus Bay…on the east and west side but the best action seems to be the northeast near the Yacht Club. You can use minnows or jigs tipped with spikes or perch eyes, in 10 - 15 fow. Try off the points anywhere on Port Bay. Anglers are catching bluegills, bullheads and crappies off Bay Bridge. At the Canal Widewaters anglers are primarily targeting crappies, perch and bluegills during early spring fishing. A spot for crappies is along the northern shoreline, near Port Gibson. The drained portions of the canal are scheduled to be operational May 17th. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: There is a high-water situation on county waters, so be a responsible boater and watch your wake. Anglers have reported some good perch action in Irondequoit Bay and the Greece ponds. Perch eyes out fished minnows. Try a slack line, bait close to or laying on the bottom (at 15 to 17 feet on the Bay. Small hook jigs, silver, gold and green also plain gold hook with minnow or eye are working. Those being caught are generally small but keepers are being had. Bullhead action should be productive. Check out the lower Genesee for salmon and steelhead. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SALMON RIVER: The Salmon River level is still running high. Fisherman or anyone along the Salmon River should exercise caution at these high flows, and be aware that river levels may fluctuate due to dam releases. The fishing remains the same with drop backs scattered throughout the river. These fish tend to be suspended in the water column and are generally holding in the faster water at the head of the deeper holes and larger runs. For those anglers who are fly fishing this is a great time of year for swinging streamers with sinking leaders. The anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing are having success with blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. Anglers who are fishing some of the smaller local tributaries have done well on chartreuse or pink egg sacs. The anglers who are covering lots of water have had the most success. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER:  The river flow is still up and it will take a while for this high water to get back to a safe, fishable level. It suggested anglers wait till later in the week. Brown trout and steelhead have been showing up. Once back to fishable status, beads and sacs are the choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

*OTHER WATERS: Water levels remain high and the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers are considered unfishable. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

  

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*THIS WEEK'S ‘FISH’ EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

APRIL 2017

29 - Seager Marine Perch Tournament headquartered at Seager Marine, 1 City Pier, Canandaigua, NY. (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) Pre-Register is by mail: $40 per team (1 – 3 persons). Teams weigh in 5 perch for total weight. (For information and registration forms visit seagermarine.com or call 585-394-1372 x216.)

29 – Boating Safety Course by U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 3-1 at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) This is a required class for anyone born after May 1, 1996 if you want to operate a boat or jet ski. (For information/register call Robert Hasse at 716-954-3453)

29 – Boating and Jet Ski Safety Class by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 3-2 in the Community Room at the McKinley Mall. (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) There is a new age-related State Law for boaters that went into effect in 2015.  To receive more information about the new law, or to register for this class, contact Eileen Reiner at 716-725-9669 or at reiner7@verizon.net.    Visit the website at www.wnyboatsafe.org for a list of additional classes.

29 - Rod & Gun Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Route 14N, Geneva, NY (9:30 am) Shotguns, rifles, handguns, military, decoys, knives, mounts, fishing, ammo and swords. (For more information call 315-789-9349 or 585-734-6082 or go to www.hessney.com)

29-30 - Wellsville Lions Charities' Greater Trout Derby in the Genesee River. Registration Sites are: Wellsville Town Clerk Office - 156 N. Main Street; Wellsville Chamber of Commerce - 114 N. Main Street; K-Mart - 121 Bolivar Road; Strope Outdoor Supply - 5 William St. Addison NY (Sat 6:00 am – 7:00 pm/Sun 6:00 am – 5:00 pm) (Fees - If you register before April 1st the fee is $15, after April 1st the fee is $20) (For information call 585-596-9274 or email troutderby@yahoo.com or go to http://www.trout-derby.com)

29-30 – Spring King of the Lake Salmon Tournament out of St. Catharines Marina, Port Weller, Canada. (For more information contact www.kotl.ca.)

30 - Last Day Ice Fishing Tip-Ups Can Be Used Statewide

 

MAY 2017

3 - Oneida Lake Association Annual Members Meeting at the Gillette Road Middle School, 6150 South Bay Road, Cicero, NY. (6:00 pm) Presentations starting at 7 p.m. by Agency and Cornell speakers; election of officers, and displays and door prizes. (For information email info@oneidalakeassociation.org)

5 - Greater Lewiston Smelt Festival, at the Waterfront in Lewiston, N Y (near Niagara Falls). (5:00 pm) The highlight is the Friday night Smelt Dip and Fry conducted by the Niagara River Anglers Association on the waterfront starting at 6 p.m. Live music. This event is free to the public. (For more info check out www.niagarariverregion.com)

5 - End of Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on North McMillan Creek and Conesus Inlet WMA from Conesus Lake South to the Dam (Livingston County) except the canal west of the inlet and that portion of the north of the canal.

5-14 - Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby 2017. 1st of 3 LOC Derbies offering over $30,000 in cash and prizes with a grand prize of $15,000 for the largest overall Salmon caught. (For more information call 888-733-5246 or visit their website at www.loc.org.)

6 - Start of Statewide Fishing Season for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye (>3/15/18)

6 - Start of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County), the Chemung River and Tributaries and Tioga River (Chemung County) (>3/15/18)

6 - Start of Special Season on Lake Erie and Tribs for Black Bass (must 20 inches +) (>6/16)

6-7 – 39th Annual Walleye Fishing Derby on Oneida Lake sponsored by the Chittenango Lions Club, Headquartered at Oneida Shores County Park, 9400 Bartell Road, Brewerton, NY (Awards 5/7 at 3:00pm)(Entry fee $15.00) (For information call Carol at 315-699-3187 or email info@lionswalleyederby.org)

 

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TIP: BIG SLABS: Crappie can sometimes be caught on moving baits, but what they really like is food that’s doing nothing at all and just hanging there in one place and not moving. This presentation takes patience and practice but it will increase your catch rate. Minnows and small jigs work great and use a thin, sensitive bobber to detect delicate strikes. Small crappies are good practice, but if you want to catch slabs, get away from the little guys because the big ones aren’t likely to be among them. Most crappie anglers think they’ll find the big slabs in deep water but more often than not, you’ll find them in shallow water. Crappie are special prizes because they are abundant and always ready for a tussle. It doesn’t hurt that, when rolled in cornmeal and deep fried, crappies are also delicious.

(Bill Dance is host of "Bill Dance Fishing" For more tips, log onto basspro.com)

 

TIP #2: The water temps are climbing and trout fishing in the Eastern Finger Lakes is also excellent. Water temperatures are beginning to climb into the mid 40’s and with warm rain and air temps they will continue to climb. Light tackle fishing is heating up! While the Finger Lakes and most all area lakes are high, that is considered a good thing…Meaning good fishing will exist well into May and early June for trollers and light tackle anglers alike.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Lake Erie boaters have been launching out of some sites, while others launches remain closed. There is limited boat launching at Buffalo Boat Harbor. Launch docks are in at the ramp near the restaurant, but the newly constructed launch ramps remain fenced off. Sturgeon Point is closed until a dredging project removes the sand bar at harbor mouth. At Cattaraugus Creek, Town of Hanover launch is open and launch docks are in. The State launch is also open, but launch docks are not in place (May 8?). Dunkirk and Barcelona boat launches are open with launch docks in. Anglers report a good yellow perch bite between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point in 52-62 feet of water, with some limit catches. The hot spot has been off Evangola State Park. In other areas, there are reportedly smaller roving perch schools, so being mobile helps. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping around the upper Niagara River. The Buffalo Boat Harbor has a good yellow perch bite for boaters. From the breakwall, anglers are catching good sized perch on emerald shiners. There have been no reports yet, but some crappie often show in the harbor in spring as well. Remember that the new bass fishing regulations are now in effect for Lake Erie and the tributaries. One 20 inch + bass per day is legal. Anglers found some active smallies at Dunkirk, near the channel and just outside the harbor. Some bullhead catches have been reported in Dunkirk Harbor.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Conditions on most tributaries are high and muddy. Chautauqua County received less rain than the Buffalo area, so look for those creeks to drop back first. Overall steelhead numbers are dropping on the streams with post-spawn fish returning to the lake. However, there are still small spurts of feisty fresh steelhead moving in. There are also increasing numbers of suckers and smallmouth bass showing in the lower sections. Bait has moved into the lower sections of the creeks, so minnows or minnow imitations are good bets. Other good steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). Small white and olive streamers have also been productive in the smaller tribs with larger darker patterns getting more attention in the medium and large streams.  Live or salted shiners are also a good bait in the lower sections. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. A few trout have been taken off the city of Dunkirk Pier with spoons.

The department of Environmental conservation is reaching out to anglers who fish the Allegheny River. The DEC has been stocking sauger in that water system and reminds anglers to release these fish. Sauger are similar in shape to walleye, with several notable differences. Sauger have horizontal rows of black spots on their dorsal fin, black saddle like markings on the sides and most notable they are missing the white tip on the tail. Walleye have a defined white tip on the tail. The DEC has been stocking sauger in the Allegheny River since 2014 and during the 2017 survey a sauger measuring over 17 inches in length was reported. For more information on the sauger Conservation Management Plan, go to the DEC’s website at www.dec.nygov/outdoor /fishing.html.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Due to muddy creek outflows, waters are turbid along the upper Niagara River's east shoreline. This may slow the yellow perch bite which was previously good along City of Buffalo shore sites. Anglers report catches of good sized perch from Erie Basin Marina pier, Broderick Park, foot of Hertle Avenue , around Grand Island and Black Rock Canal Park. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are also worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots, with the inlet at Black Rock Canal Park being one of the more reliable spots. Anglers at Broderick Park have been catching the occasional rainbow, lake or brown trout. Anglers can target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows, or by casting spoons and spinners.

Help for an avian angler is requested by DEC and OPRHP; reminding boaters to observe the signage, buoys, and various motorized boating restrictions in place around Strawberry Island. The restrictions are part of an ongoing, multi-agency effort to protect critical Bald Eagle nesting habitat and to preserve recently installed habitat improvement projects at the island. Boaters can help minimize disruptions to the Bald Eagle nesting site by:

*Observing all boating restrictions in place, including federal navigation laws that require maintaining a 5 mph speed limit while traveling within 100 feet of the shoreline.

*Eliminating all motorized activity within 660 feet at the north end of the island's cove area by observing the restricted area marked with buoys.

*Adhering to signage restricting any visitor access (including non-motorized vessels) within 330 feet of the north end of the islands cove area during the Bald Eagle nesting season that lasts from January to the end of September in a typical year.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Smelt continue showing up along the lower river shoreline. Dippers have reported modest catches after dark at Artpark State Park and Lewiston Sand Docks. In the lower Niagara River, anglers can take smelt with any size dip net and can keep a daily limit of 8 quarts (2 gallons). Long handled wire mesh dip nets work very well. Smelt dippers should never wade past knee-deep water, because of strong currents and steep drops close to shore. With smelt and plenty of other bait moving into the lower river, it has been tougher to entice trout bites. Trout action is spotty from both boat and shore. Waters levels are high and conditions are muddy. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures is the typical boating approach. Pink egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product get plenty of attention. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs, egg flies, minnows and jigs with grubs or casting spoons and spinners are common shore tactics. Soft plastics are also proving productive for some anglers. The Niagara Bar has been a little slow, in part because of the excessive amount of baits around and the stained water. Look for fishing to slowly improve. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The first of the season's king salmon have been caught off Niagara County by trout trollers. If the fishing follows the normal spring progression, look for king salmon action to ramp up in early May. The better king fishing is west of the Niagara Bar. Anglers continue to see a good brown trout bite inside 25 feet of water on stickbaits run behind planer boards. Some coho salmon, steelhead and now a king or two have been mixed with the brown trout catches. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. Lake trout are biting well in 40 to 100 feet of water. The lakers are supposedly smashing Spin Doctors trailed by A-Tom-Mik flies tight to the bottom. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

Federal, state and local leaders announced a State of Emergency in Niagara County due to rising lake levels along the Lake Ontario shoreline. Boaters are asked to observe a 500-foot 'no wake zone' off the Lake Ontario shore. Boaters should be on the lookout for floating debris that has been carried into the lake by runoff.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST – TRIBS: All of the Lake Ontario tributaries are running high and muddy at last look. Stained conditions will persist longer on the dammed streams. Smaller creeks like Keg, Johnson and Sandy Creeks are in good fishing shape and have produced modest steelhead catches recently. Twelvemile Creek and East Branch Twelvemile have been turbid more days than not. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. The bullhead bite is improving in the harbors with rising water temperatures. West Branch Twelvemile Creek at Wilson-Tuscarora State Park is a top spot, but bullhead should be available at many other Lake Ontario shoreline sites such as harbors, stream inlets, low-slow moving sections of tributaries and the connected ponds near Rochester. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, leeches and raw shrimp fished on the bottom work well for bullhead, with better catches often after dark. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more. Over in Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor, pike and a few trout are hanging around along with some perch as well. Try casting for brown trout off the short pier at the end of Route 425. On Lake Alice a great mixed bag of fish including Bluegill, Crappie, Perch, Bass, suckers and Bullhead.  

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  The crappie bite took a dip with the past cold snap, but should be improving with warming temperatures. Crappie catches have recently been reported in the canals and open lake areas including Bemus Bay, Ashville Bay, Dewittville Bay, Lakewood Bar and off Mayville. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a float, are proven crappie catchers. Favored tubes are mostly green, black and pink, tipped with maggots The action is better early morning and again after dark. Remember, the legal limit is 9 inches in length to be a keeper and 25 crappie per day is the limit. Anglers are catching some bullhead at shoreline sites during low light periods. Catches should continue to improve with rising water temperatures. Target bullhead by fishing worms, leeches, cut shrimp, dead minnows or chicken livers on the bottom. A mix of yellow perch and sunfish are available around weed beds. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area trout streams are currently high and in some areas at flood stage. Most action has been sub-surface so far this season. However, with warming waters look for hatches of midges and blue-winged olives immediately, with Hendricksons not far off. Productive offerings for spinning angers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. The fishing has been consistent with fish spread well throughout the system. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway. The following waters are stocked:

Allegany County: Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity). Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Hunt Creek (Alma), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Rushford Lake (Caneadea), Belmont Rod & Gun Club Pond (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Willing).

Cattaraugus County: Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Red House Lake (Red House), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), County Ponds A&B (Randolph), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton), Perrysburg Conservation Club Pond (Dayton), Crandall Pond (Ashford), Maples Club Pond (Otto). *Olean Creek (Olean).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Mill Creek (Gerry), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright).

Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Sprague Brook Park Ponds (Concord), Main Park Pond (Clarence). *Ellicott Creek (Amherst).

Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

Genesee County: Dewitt Pond (Batavia), Oatka Creek (Le Roy).Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Post Creek (Hornby), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

Yates County: Keuka Lake Outlet (Milo, Torry).

SILVER LAKE:  Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Crappie action was recently good near the north end, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Earlier in the week there were some good           reports on perch in the Long Point area but the rains may have changed that. With a little warmer water the bullhead should become more active. Bass are available but their season is  closed and it’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE:  Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. You might try shore or boat fishing for crappies, perch, bluegills and/or bullhead. For the crappie, it’s suggested you start by working the south end/west side. Bass season closed Honeoye Lake March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. A few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No tributary reports. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch, crappie and/or bullhead. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SENECA LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore and approach at idle speeds. This doesn’t include trolling where there is no wake. Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CAYUGA LAKE: Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. Boaters creating a wake should stay at least several hundred feet from shore. When coming into shore, approach at idle speeds. Anglers trolling the 20 to 140 foot depths, are picking up lakers and some rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. A particular hot area for the lakers was in the vicinity of Long Point. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 22 inches. Try using intermediate and full sinking lines with flies in various colors - white, gray and chartruese/orange. If you go out of Taughannock be alert the water level is up and you may have problems with the bridge,Around Milliken have found lots of lakers hugging bottom in 110-135'. These fish are hungry and biting.  For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open and the docks are in. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. Some rainbow trout were being taken by shore anglers fishing the marshmallow and worm rig. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

OWASCO LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. The launch is now open and the docks are in. Yellow perch were hitting on the north end using small minnows. Tributaries were high and chocolaty. Laker action is slow, start at 45-80 feet down over a 100+foot bottom

If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Tributaries are still high and turbid at this time. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and bullhead. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Trout streams are generally running with high flows and limited visability. Reports from the Finger Lakes tribs. indicate some trout are in the streams but suckers are moving in. Remember, the daily starting time on the Finger Lakes tributary fishing doesn't begin till sunrise. In the Finger Lakes the rainfall is aiding anglers by keeping flows high and tempting fresh lake-run fish to take a journey upstream. Excellent catches of rainbow trout were reported in the Finger Lake tributaries on opening day. Egg sack’s and nightcrawler’s dominate the best baits for spin fisherman. Fly fisherman use “bubble gum” colored and chartreuse colored egg patterns. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway. The following waters have been stocked:

Cayuga County - Fall Creek.

Chemung County - Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Cayuta Creek, Wyncoop Creek, Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek, and Newton Creek

Cortland County - Otselic River

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek .
Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com.

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

Seneca County - Canoga Creek.

Steuben County - Canisteo River, Canaseraga Creek, Post Creek, Meads Creek and Cohocton River.

Tioga County - Catatonk Creek, Cayuta Creek, East Branch of Owego Creek, Owego Creek, and West Branch of Owego Creek.

Tompkins County - Enfield Creek, Virgil Creek, Buttermilk Creek, Fall Creek, Salmon Creek, and Sixmile Creek.

Yates County - Keuka Lake Outlet.

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: You might try shore fishing for perch and crappie and check out your favorite bullhead spots. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  You might try shore fishing for perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: You might try shore fishing for perch and bullhead. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: The annual walleye egg take at the Oneida Fish Hatchery (Constantia) was deemed a success. Anglers are reporting a yellow perch bite on minnows and a few bullheads being caught. You might try shore or boat fishing. Use caution when boating as there will likely be debris in the water with the high water level.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake level is up about a foot. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but boaters creating a wake should stay at least 500 feet from shore. When coming into shore and approach at idle speeds. This doesn’t include trolling where there is no wake. When the weather allows, boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into some nice brown trout. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks, along with small spoons, are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. Good laker action is found out further in the lake in 40-80 feet of water on the bottom. The lakers are supposedly smashing Spin Doctors trailed by A-Tom-Mik flies. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. A few steelhead and brown trout have been caught. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. You can also fish the pier heads at Sodus, which currently have no ice build-up. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are in and the ramps are useable. There is a high-water situation, so be a responsible boater and watch your wake. The perch have been all over Sodus Bay…on the east and west side but the best action seems to be the northeast near the Yacht Club. You can use minnows or jigs tipped with spikes or perch eyes, in 10 - 15 fow. Try off the points anywhere on Port Bay. Anglers are catching bluegills, bullheads and crappies off Bay Bridge. At the Canal Widewaters anglers are primarily targeting crappies, perch and bluegills during early spring fishing. The drained portions of the canal are scheduled to be operational May 17th. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: There is a high-water situation on county waters, so be a responsible boater and watch your wake. Anglers have reported some good perch action in Irondequoit Bay and the Greece ponds. Perch eyes out fished minnows. Try a slack line, bait close to or laying on the bottom (at 15 to 17 feet on the Bay. Small hook jigs, silver, gold and green also plain gold hook with minnow or eye are working. Those being caught are generally small but keepers are being had. Bullhead action should be productive. Check out the lower Genesee for salmon and steelhead. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SALMON RIVER: The Salmon River level is still running high. Fisherman or anyone along the Salmon River should exercise caution at these high flows, and be aware that river levels may fluctuate due to dam releases. The fishing remains the same with drop backs scattered throughout the river and spawning fish in the gravel areas of the mid to upper section of river. The anglers who are covering lots of water have had the most success. Anglers who are fly fishing have been picking up a few fish on the swing was well as using nymphs and egg patterns under a strike indicator. For those anglers that are bottom bouncing or float fishing, egg sacs have been most productive. Blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms have also produced results. Anglers who are fishing some of the smaller local tributaries have done well on chartreuse or pink egg sacs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone will reopen April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER:  The river flow is up again and it will take a while for this high water to get back to a fishable level. It suggested anglers wait till later in the week. Brown trout and steelhead have been showing up. Once back to fishable status, beads and sacs are the choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

OTHER WATERS: Rain keeps water levels up and the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers are considered unfishable. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

  

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THIS WEEK'S ‘FISH’ EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to our Calendar Page.

APRIL 2017

22 - Annual Outdoor Gear & Flea Market at the Bison City Rod & Gun Club, 511 Ohio Street, Buffalo, NY (8:00 am - 1:30 pm) Due to NY Safe Act, no guns may be displayed or sold. Loading equipment and components may be sold (powder, shot, primers, brass and bullets), live ammo may be sold: shotgun, pistol and rifle. (Admission: Free) (For information call Paul Stoos at 716-563-9258 or Willie Sieber 716-260-3240)

29 - Seager Marine Perch Tournament headquartered at Seager Marine, 1 City Pier, Canandaigua, NY. (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) Pre-Register is by mail: $40 per team (1 – 3 persons). Teams weigh in 5 perch for total weight. (For information and registration forms visit seagermarine.com or call 585-394-1372 x216.)

29 - Women in Nature (WIN) Outdoor Skills Workshop sponsored by the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs at the Camillus Sportsmen’s Club, 5801 Devoe Road, Camillus, NY. It is open to women and girls age 12 and up. The event is free but registration is required. (For information and the registration form, click on this link http://wwwfederationofsportsmen.com/wp/?page_id=32)

29-30 - Wellsville Lions Charities' Greater Trout Derby in the Genesee River. Registration Sites are: Wellsville Town Clerk Office - 156 N. Main Street; Wellsville Chamber of Commerce - 114 N. Main Street; K-Mart - 121 Bolivar Road; Strope Outdoor Supply - 5 William St. Addison NY (Sat 6:00 am – 7:00 pm/Sun 6:00 am – 5:00 pm) (Fees - If you register before April 1st the fee is $15, after April 1st the fee is $20) (For information call 585-596-9274 or email troutderby@yahoo.com or go to http://www.trout-derby.com)

30 - Last Day Ice Fishing Tip-Ups Can Be Used Statewide

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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TIP: CATCHING AND RELEASING TROUT: Today's anglers can take simple steps to improve the quality of future fishing. Some anglers practice catch-and-release fishing all or much of the time, while others release only sub-legal (undersize) trout. The guidelines below are intended to help anglers reduce mortality of trout that are released. How many of the measures are you using?

*handle fish as little as possible and release them quickly - do not fight fish to exhaustion

*minimize or eliminate the time fish are out of the water - as little as 30 seconds of air exposure causes delayed mortality of released trout

*consider using only artificial lures - their use is mandatory on some waters

*use barbless hooks if you plan to release most of the fish you catch

*when a fish is deeply hooked, do not try to remove the hook - clip the leader instead

*during the warm summer months when stream temperatures are elevated, do not fish for trout if you plan to release them - these fish are already stressed and additional handling may kill them

*likewise, do not fish for trout in spring holes when water temperatures are in the mid 70s or higher (especially if you plan to release them)

 

TIP #2: IS YOUR LICENSE VALID? Fishing licenses are now good for 365 days; check to make sure your license is still valid before heading out on the water! April 1st was also the start of the new regulation guide, effective April 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018. Anglers should review a copy of the guide before casting a line after April 1.

To get your copy, you can:

Pick up a copy at a license issuing agent location, or

Download the fishing regulations guide (12.2 MB) (PDF)

 

TIP #3: PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICE (PFD): A reminder that until May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide. (https://parks.ny.gov/recreation/boating/documents/NYSBoatersGuide.pdf)

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Anglers who do venture out report that, even in deeper water, the water conditions were murky, but they mark fish suspected to be yellow perch. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. There is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. The Buffalo Boat Harbor has a good yellow perch bite for boaters. From the breakwall, anglers are catching good sized perch on emerald shiners. There have been no reports yet, but some crappie often show in the harbor in spring as well. Tailored and cartop boats can be launched from the ramp closest to the restaurant, but there is currently no launch dock in place. The remainder of the launch ramps and parking lots are currently a construction zone and are fenced off. At the Dunkirk Harbor anglers have been catching a few rainbow trout from the City Pier on spoons. Remember that the new bass fishing regulations are now in effect for Lake Erie and the tributaries. One 20 inch + bass per day is legal

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Excellent conditions on most tributaries today, however Cattaraugus Creek remains a little high at 880 cubic feet per second. Overall steelhead numbers are dropping on the streams with post-spawn fish returning to the lake. However, there are still small spurts of feisty fresh steelhead moving in. There are also increasing numbers of suckers and smallmouth bass showing in the lower sections. Bait has moved into the lower sections of the creeks, so minnows or minnow imitations are good bets. Other good steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). Small white and olive streamers have also been productive in the smaller tribs with larger darker patterns getting more attention in the medium and large streams.  Live or salted shiners are also a good bait in the lower sections. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. A few trout have been taken off the city of Dunkirk Pier with spoons.

The department of Environmental conservation is reaching out to anglers who fish the Allegheny River. The DEC has been stocking sauger in that water system and reminds anglers to release these fish. Sauger are similar in shape to walleye, with several notable differences. Sauger have horizontal rows of black spots on their dorsal fin, black saddle like markings on the sides and most notable they are missing the white tip on the tail. Walleye have a defined white tip on the tail. The DEC has been stocking sauger in the Allegheny River since 2014 and during the 2017 survey a sauger measuring over 17 inches in length was reported. For more information on the sauger Conservation Management Plan, go to the DEC’s website at www.dec.nygov/outdoor /fishing.html.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Yellow perch have been biting well along City of Buffalo shore sites. Anglers report catches of good sized perch from Erie Basin Marina pier, Broderick Park, foot of Hertle Avenue and Black Rock Canal Park. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are also worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots, with the inlet at Black Rock Canal Park being one of the more reliable spots. Anglers at Broderick Park have been catching the occasional rainbow, lake or brown trout. Anglers can target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows, or by casting spoons and spinners.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Smelt started showing along the lower river shoreline earlier this week. Dippers have reported modest catches after dark at Artpark State Park and Lewiston Sand Docks. In the lower Niagara River, anglers can take smelt with any size dip net and can keep a daily limit of 8 quarts (2 gallons). Long handled wire mesh dip nets work very well. Smelt dippers should never wade past knee-deep water, because of strong currents and steep drops close to shore. Trout action is spotty from both boat and shore. Waters levels are high and conditions are muddy. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures is the typical boating approach. Pink egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product get plenty of attention. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs, egg flies, minnows and jigs with grubs or casting spoons and spinners are common shore tactics. Soft plastics are also proving productive for some anglers. The Niagara Bar has been a little slow, in part because of the excessive amount of baits around and the stained water. Look for fishing to slowly improve. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: When weather permits, boaters are working the shorelines for decent catches of brown trout, lake trout and steelhead and an occasional coho. Coho, browns and an odd Atlantic salmon are taking smaller brightly colored stick baits and gold Live Target plugs on the mudline. Trolling lures behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Lures run directly behind boat get far less trout attention. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. Lake trout are readily available in 40-80 feet of water on the bottom. The lakers are supposedly smashing Spin Doctors trailed by A-Tom-Mik flies. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST – TRIBS: Oak Orchard Creek has been running high and muddy for the past week with very light fishing pressure. Eighteenmile Creek has dropped to a good level after running high the past week. Look for some possible fresh steelhead in Eighteenmile. Smaller creeks like Keg, Johnson and Sandy Creeks are in good fishing shape and have produced modest steelhead catches recently. Twelvemile Creek and East Branch Twelvemile have been turbid more days than not.  For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. The bullhead bite is improving in the harbors with rising water temperatures. West Branch Twelvemile Creek at Wilson-Tuscarora State Park is a top spot, but bullhead should be available at many other Lake Ontario shoreline sites such as harbors, stream inlets, low-slow moving sections of tributaries and the connected ponds near Rochester. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, leeches and raw shrimp fished on the bottom work well for bullhead, with better catches often after dark. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more. Over in Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor, pike and a few trout are hanging around along with some perch as well. Try casting for brown trout off the short pier at the end of Route 425. On Lake Alice a great mixed bag of fish including Bluegill, Crappie, Perch, Bass, suckers and Bullhead.  

April 5 was the stocking date for several local waters. Oppenheim Park Pond, along Niagara Falls Blvd. in Wheatfield, will receive 100 browns and 200 rainbows, Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls will receive 200 two-year-old browns and 1,650 yearlings and Gill Creek will be the recipient of 540 browns from Buffalo Avenue upstream to the dam at the lake.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  The crappie bite took a dip with the past cold snap, but should be improving with warming temperatures. Crappie catches have recently been reported in the canals and open lake areas including Bemus Bay, Ashville Bay, Dewittville Bay, Lakewood Bar and off Mayville. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a float, are proven crappie catchers. The action is better early morning and again after dark. Remember, the legal limit is 9 inches in length to be a keeper and 25 crappie per day is the limit. Anglers are catching some bullhead at shoreline sites during low light periods. Catches should continue to improve with rising water temperatures. Target bullhead by fishing worms, leeches, dead minnows or chicken livers on the bottom. A mix of yellow perch and sunfish are available around weed beds. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: The area trout streams are currently in excellent fishing shape. Some of the larger and longer streams remain a little high, but clarity is good. Most action has been sub-surface so far this season. However, with warming waters look for hatches of midges and blue-winged olives immediately, with hendricksons not far off. Productive offerings for spinning angers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. The fishing has been consistent with fish spread well throughout the system. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway in preparation for the traditional trout opener. The following waters are stocked, or will be by April 21st:

Allegany County: Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity). Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Hunt Creek (Alma), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Root Creek (Bolivar), Canacadea Creek (Almond, Alfred), Caneadea Creek (Rushford), Rushford Lake (Caneadea), Belmont Rod & Gun Club Pond (West Almond), Vandermark Creek (Scio, Ward), Chenunda Creek (Willing).

Cattaraugus County: Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Red House Lake (Red House), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph), Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), County Ponds A&B (Randolph), Franklinville Retention Pond (Franklinville), Ischua Creek (Franklinville), Lake Flavia (Dayton), Perrysburg Conservation Club Pond (Dayton), Crandall Pond (Ashford), Maples Club Pond (Otto). *Olean Creek (Olean).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony), Clay Pond (Poland), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Mill Creek (Gerry), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright).

Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park), Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Sprague Brook Park Ponds (Concord), Main Park Pond (Clarence). *Ellicott Creek (Amherst).

Niagara County: Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville), Oatka Creek (Warsaw), Perry Park Pond (Perry), Letchworth Park Pond (Genesee Falls).

Genesee County: Dewitt Pond (Batavia), Oatka Creek (Le Roy).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Post Creek (Hornby), Meads Creek (Campbell), Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

Yates County: Keuka Lake Outlet (Milo, Torry).

*SILVER LAKE:  You might try shore or boat fishing for crappie, perch or bass. Crappie action was recently good near the north end, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch or bullhead. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE:  You might try shore or boat fishing for crappies, perch, bluegills and/or bullhear. For the crappie, it’s suggested you start by working the south end/west side. Bass season closed Honeoye Lake March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: A few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No tributary reports. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. If you’re in a boat keep an eye out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and/or bullhead. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SENECA LAKE: Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers trolling the 20 to 140 foot depths, are picking up lakers and some rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. A particular hot area for the lakers was in the vicinity of Long Point. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 22 inches. Try using intermediate and full sinking lines with flies in various colors - white, gray and chartruese/orange. If you go out of Taughannock be alert the water level is up and you may have problems with the bridge,Around Milliken have found lots of lakers hugging bottom in 110-135'. These fish are hungry and biting.  For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open and the docks are in. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. Some rainbow trout were being taken by shore anglers fishing the marshmallow and worm rig. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

*OWASCO LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. At the north end it’s yellow perch on small minnows. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Tributaries are still high and turbid at this time. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and bullhead. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Trout streams are open with high flows. Reports from the Finger Lakes tribs. indicate some trout are in the streams but suckers are moving in. Remember, the daily starting time on the Finger Lakes tributary fishing doesn't begin till sunrise. In the Finger Lakes the rainfall is aiding anglers by keeping flows high and tempting fresh lake-run fish to take a journey upstream. Excellent catches of rainbow trout were reported in the Finger Lake tributaries on opening day. Egg sack’s and nightcrawler’s dominate the best baits for spin fisherman. Fly fisherman use “bubble gum” colored and chartreuse colored egg patterns. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway in preparation for the traditional trout opener. The following waters have been stocked:

Cayuga County - Fall Creek.

Chemung County - Eldridge Lake, Park Station Pond, Cayuta Creek, Wyncoop Creek, Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek, and Newton Creek

Cortland County - Otselic River

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek .
Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com.

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

Seneca County - Canoga Creek.

Steuben County - Canisteo River, Canaseraga Creek, Post Creek, Meads Creek and Cohocton River.

Tioga County - Catatonk Creek, Cayuta Creek, East Branch of Owego Creek, Owego Creek, and West Branch of Owego Creek.

Tompkins County - Enfield Creek, Virgil Creek, Buttermilk Creek, Fall Creek, Salmon Creek, and Sixmile Creek.

Yates County - Keuka Lake Outlet.

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: You might try shore fishing for perch and crappie and check out your favorite bullhead spots. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND:  You might try shore fishing for perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: You might try shore fishing for perch and bullhead. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: Anglers are reporting a yellow perch bite on minnows and a few bullheads being caught. You might try shore or boat fishing. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: When the weather allows, boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into some brown trout. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. One area mentioned – west of Sodus and east of Port Bay. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead and brown trout have been caught. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. You can also fish the pier heads at Sodus, which currently have no ice build-up. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are in and the ramps are useable. The perch have been all over Sodus Bay…on the east and west side but the best action seems to be the northeast near the Yacht Club. You can use minnows or jigs tipped with spikes or perch eyes, in 10 - 15 fow. Try off the points anywhere on Port Bay. Anglers are catching bluegills, bullheads and crappies off Bay Bridge. At the Canal Widewaters anglers are primarily targeting crappies and bluegills during early spring fishing. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers have reported some good perch action in Irondequoit Bay and the Greece ponds. Perch eyes out fished minnows. Try a slack line, bait close to or laying on the bottom (at 15 to 17 feet on the Bay. Small hook jigs, silver, gold and green also plain gold hook with minnow or eye are working. Those being caught are generally small but keepers are being had. Bullhead action should be productive. Check out the lower Genesee for salmon and steelhead. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SALMON RIVER: The Salmon River level is coming down but it is still running high. Fisherman or anyone along the Salmon River should exercise caution at these high flows, and be aware that river levels may fluctuate due to dam releases. Overall, once things settle down, steelhead fishing should continued to be slow. Maybe the high water will help to bring some more fish in. Prior to current flooding, anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns - black stoneflies and black hare’s ear. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. In the mid to upper section of river anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing have had success with blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. Anglers who are fishing some of the smaller local tributaries have done well on chartreuse or pink egg sacs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone will reopen April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER:  The river flow has been slowly dropping. However, it will take a while for this high water to get back to a fishable level. It suggested anglers wait till later in the week. Brown trout and steelhead have been showing up. Once back to fishable status, beads and sacs are the choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

*OTHER WATERS: Rain keeps water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: Randolph Fish Hatchery has stocked some of the southern tier lakes. They were stocked with yearling trout (9 inches); Quaker Lake (3,460 brown trout), Redhouse Lake (1,160 brown trout), New Albion Lake (2,310 brown trout), Case Lake (1,480 brown trout), Allen Lake (2,800 brook trout) and Harwood Lake (2,100 brook trout).

  

                                                                   >))))*>

 

*THIS WEEK'S ‘FISH’ EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

APRIL 201F7

14 – Fabulous Frogs of Spring at Evangola State Park (7:00 - 9:00 pm) Appropriate for ages 8 and up. (For information/register call 716-549-1050)

22 - Annual Outdoor Gear & Flea Market at the Bison City Rod & Gun Club, 511 Ohio Street, Buffalo, NY (8:00 am - 1:30 pm) Due to NY Safe Act, no guns may be displayed or sold. Loading equipment and components may be sold (powder, shot, primers, brass and bullets), live ammo may be sold: shotgun, pistol and rifle. (Admission: Free) (For information call Paul Stoos at 716-563-9258 or Willie Sieber 716-260-3240)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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4 – 7 - 17

 

TIP: HOW TO PATTERN FISH: No matter what fish species you pursue, it’s smart to pattern your quarry. When you catch a good size fish, stop and think about what kind of structure or cover did it come from? What depth did I catch it at? What was the wind direction at the time?

You caught several nice fish off a corner or inside turn with wind blowing into a weedline at 8 feet. Look for similar conditions and bypass any other areas for an hour or two to see if you can duplicate your success. Write it all down or remember it and look for the same conditions at

other places on the lake or on other waters at other times. Pattern fishing works on all fish and several patterns can exist at once. They can also change quickly so if you find one that is producing, fish it hard and fast.

(By Larry Whiteley, Host of Outdoor World Radio. For more tips, go to basspro.com.)

 

TIP #2: IS YOUR LICENSE VALID? Fishing licenses are now good for 365 days; check to make sure your license is still valid before heading out on the water! April 1st was also the start of the new regulation guide, effective April 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018. Anglers should review a copy of the guide before casting a line after April 1.

To get your copy, you can:

Pick up a copy at a license issuing agent location, or

Download the fishing regulations guide (12.2 MB) (PDF)

 

LAKE ERIE:  Rains and high winds have hampered the lake action. Those who do venture out report that, even in deeper water, the water conditions were murky, but they did mark fish they suspected were yellow perch. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. There is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. The Buffalo Boat Harbor has some yellow perch being caught by boaters, but the bite for shore anglers has been slow. Trailered and cartop boats can be launched from the ramp closest to the restaurant, but there is currently no launch dock in place. The remainder of the launch ramps and parking lots are currently a construction zone and are fenced off. At the Dunkirk Harbor anglers have recently been catching a few rainbow trout from the City Pier on spoons.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Tributary levels are way up and muddy, with more rain yet to fall. This weekend is likely a wash, but some of the smallest streams may come around by early week. Keep in mind that upper reaches and smaller streams tend to clear faster. Anglers report a mix of fresh and holdover steelhead. Bait has moved into the lower sections of the creeks, so minnows or minnow imitations are good bets. Other good steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). Small white and olive streamers have also been productive in the smaller tribs with larger darker patterns getting more attention in the medium and large streams.  Live or salted shiners are also a good bait in the lower sections. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. A few trout have been taken off the city of Dunkirk Pier with spoons.

The department of Environmental conservation is reaching out to anglers who fish the Allegheny River. The DEC has been stocking sauger in that water system and reminds anglers to release these fish. Sauger are similar in shape to walleye, with several notable differences. Sauger have horizontal rows of black spots on their dorsal fin, black saddle like markings on the sides and most notable they are missing the white tip on the tail. Walleye have a defined white tip on the tail. The DEC has been stocking sauger in the Allegheny River since 2014 and during the 2017 survey a sauger measuring over 17 inches in length was reported. For more information on the sauger Conservation Management Plan, go to the DEC’s website at www.dec.nygov/outdoor /fishing.html.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters are heavily stained, with a green coloration and low visibility. Anglers at Broderick Park have been catching the occasional rainbow, lake or brown trout. Anglers can target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows, or by casting spoons and spinners. Emerald shiners are showing at foot of Sheridan, but there was no sign of them at Broderick Park or at the foot of Ontario Street at last check. The perch were hitting on the south end of Grand Island and at the foot of Sheridan. Blue Water Marina (get permission before fishing), Beaver Island State Park, at the foot of Sheridan and at the foot of Ferry Street were all active. All are producing nice sized jumbo perch up to 14-15 inch range. They are hitting on emerald shiners.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: River trout action is spotty from both boat and shore because of the storms. Waters levels are high and conditions are muddy. Prior to the rain, anglers had been catching a decent mix of steelhead and lake trout from both boat and shore. Some browns have shown closer to the river mouth, including 31 pound behemoth that was caught two weeks ago on a spottail shiner. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures is the typical boating approach. Pink egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product get plenty of attention. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs, egg flies, minnows and jigs with grubs or casting spoons and spinners are common shore tactics. Soft plastics are also proving productive for some anglers. The Niagara Bar has been a little slow, in part because of the excessive amount of baits around and the stained water. Look for fishing to slowly improve. There have been a few smelt reported at Artpark – mostly some bigger adults – but hopefully the best is yet to come. April 1 will probably see the NYPA Fish Platform open up again, as well as the reservoir. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: When weather permits, boaters are already working the shorelines for decent catches of brown trout, lake trout and steelhead and an occasional coho. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Lures run directly behind boat get far less trout attention. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are ice-free so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  All of the Lake Ontario tributaries are running high and muddy. The smallest tributaries may be an option later this week, but the stained conditions will persist longer on the dammed streams. Brightly colored baits, egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites are ice free and offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more. Over in Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor, pike and a few trout are hanging around along with some perch as well. Try casting for brown trout off the short pier at the end of Route 425. On Lake Alice fishermen are catching bluegill, perch and some crappie off the Kenyonville Bridge, but again, you have to sort through the smaller ones for a decent catch. Bullhead success is picking up using

nightcrawlers, cider worms, chicken livers and shrimp

April 5 was the stocking date for several local waters. Oppenheim Park Pond, along Niagara Falls Blvd. in Wheatfield, will receive 100 browns and 200 rainbows, Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls will receive 200 two-year-old browns and 1,650 yearlings and Gill Creek will be the recipient of 540 browns from Buffalo Avenue upstream to the dam at the lake.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  Anglers have been catching smaller yellow perch and keeper crappie in the canals. No crappie reports from the open lake yet. However, traditionally good spring crappie spots in the south basin include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island and Grass Island. In the north basin, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville are worth a try. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a float, are proven crappie catchers. The action is better early morning and again after dark. Remember, the legal limit is 9 inches in length to be a keeper and 25 crappie per day is the limit. Anglers are catching some bullhead at shoreline sites during low light periods. Catches should continue to improve with rising water temperatures. Target bullhead by fishing worms, leeches, dead minnows or chicken livers on the bottom. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Due to rain, there is a region-wide blowout in progress. Expect higher and stained flows on streams. Avoid areas that receive higher rainfall totals and focus on smaller streams in general. As the creek water temperatures rise and levels lower the trout will again become more active, especially the large/mature fish. Try a combination of large stonefly patterns and streamers in olive and yellow tied up to 5 inches in length. The fishing has been consistent with fish spread well throughout the system. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway in preparation for the traditional trout opener. The following waters were scheduled to be stocked prior to April 1st:

Allegany County: Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity). *Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Hunt Creek (Alma), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Root Creek (Bolivar).

Cattaraugus County: Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Red House Lake (Red House), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph). *Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), County Ponds A&B (Randolph).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony). *Clay Pond (Poland), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Mill Creek (Gerry), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright).

Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park). *Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Sprague Brook Park Ponds (Concord), Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst).

Niagara County: *Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville). *Oatka Creek (Warsaw).

Genesee County: Dewitt Pond (Batavia), Oatka Creek (Le Roy).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Post Creek (Hornby), Meads Creek (Campbell). *Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

SILVER LAKE:  You might try shore or boat fishing for crappie, perch or bass. Crappie action was recently good near the north end for ice anglers, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch or bass. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE:  You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and/or bass. Some anglers are getting their boats out. Bass season closed Honeoye Lake March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: A few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No tributary reports. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SENECA LAKE: Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers trolling the 20 to 140 foot depths, are picking up some lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. A particular hot area for the lakers was in the vicinity of Long Point. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 22 inches. Try using intermediate and full sinking lines with flies in various colors - white, gray and chartruese/orange. Around Milliken have found lots of lakers hugging bottom in 110-135'. These fish are hungry and biting.  For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. The lake level is down, which is normal for this time of year, so use caution when launching and retrieving boats as many of the launch sites are shallow. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open and the docks are in. You might try shore fishing for perch. Some rainbow trout were being taken by shore anglers fishing the marshmallow and worm rig. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

OWASCO LAKE: You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Trout streams are open with high flows. Reports from the Finger Lakes tribs. indicate some trout are in the streams. Remember, the daily starting time on the Finger Lakes tributary fishing doesn't begin till sunrise. In the Finger Lakes the rainfall is aiding anglers by keeping flows high and tempting fresh lake-run fish to take a journey upstream. Excellent catches of rainbow trout were reported in the Finger Lake tributaries on opening day. Egg sack’s and nightcrawler’s dominate the best baits for spin fisherman. Fly fisherman use “bubble gum” colored and chartreuse colored egg patterns. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway in preparation for the traditional trout opener. The following waters were stocked prior to April 1st:

Chemung County - Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek and Newton Creek

Broome County - Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek and Nanticoke Creek.
Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com.
Tioga County -East Branch of Owego Creek, Owego Creek, and West Branch of Owego Creek.
Tompkins County - Buttermilk Creek, Fall Creek, Salmon Creek and Sixmile Creek.

Seneca County - Canoga Creek

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: You might try shore fishing for perch and crappie. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  You might try shore fishing for perch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: When the weather allows, boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into some brown trout. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Rain is adding to the flow. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead and brown trout have been caught. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. You can also fish the pier heads at Sodus, which currently have no ice build-up. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are not in; however, the ramps are ice free. The perch have been all over Sodus Bay…on the east and west side but the best action seems to be the northeast near the Yacht Club. You can use minnows or jigs tipped with spikes or perch eyes, in 15 fow. Try off the points anywhere on Port Bay. Anglers are catching bluegills and crappies off Bay Bridge and the bullhead fishing has started.

At the Canal Widewaters anglers are primarily targeting crappies and bluegills during early spring fishing.

Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers have reported some good perch action in Irondequoit Bay and the Greece ponds. Perch eyes out fished minnows. Try a slack line, bait close to or laying on the bottom (at 15 to 17 feet on the Bay. Small hook jigs, silver, gold and green also plain gold hook with minnow or eye are working. Those being caught are generally small but keepers are being caught. Check out the lower Genesee for salmon and steelhead. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SALMON RIVER: The Salmon River is currently at flood stage. Fisherman or anyone along the Salmon River should exercise caution at these high flows, and be aware that river levels may fluctuate due to dam releases. Overall, once things settle down, steelhead fishing should continued to be slow. Maybe the high water will help to bring some more fish in. Prior to current flooding, anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns - black stoneflies and black hare’s ear. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. In the mid to upper section of river anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing have had success with blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. Anglers who are fishing some of the smaller local tributaries have done well on chartreuse or pink egg sacs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone will reopen April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is high making most of the river unfishable. It suggested anglers wait till later in the week. Brown trout and increasing numbers of steelhead are showing up. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

OTHER WATERS: Rain keeps water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: Randolph Fish Hatchery has stocked some of the southern tier lakes early this year since they were ice-free. The lakes may have ice cover now. The following lakes were stocked with yearling trout (9 inches) last week and are open to trout fishing all year; Quaker Lake (3,460 brown trout), Redhouse Lake (1,160 brown trout), New Albion Lake (2,310 brown trout), Case Lake (1,480 brown trout), Allen Lake (2,800 brook trout) and Harwood Lake (2,100 brook trout).

  

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THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

APRIL 2017

1 – Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (>10/15)
1 – Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

7-9 - Sixth Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club, Route 425, Wilson, NY. Action starts at 5 p.m. on Friday, ends on Sunday at 1 p.m. The tournament is based on your best two fish with the tiebreaker being the overall length of the two fish. Any Niagara County waters are eligible. (Entry fee is $10 for 13 years of age and older; free for junior anglers 12 and under.) Register at CMC Auto in Wilson; The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. (For information call Eric at 716-628-6078.)

8 - Spring Fishing Classic at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (11:00 am - 2:00 pm) The ice is melting and it's getting warmer.  Time to get out and fish.  Items to be covered:

11:00 am - Advanced Trolling Techniques for Walleye in the Fishing Department. This is the time of the year to catch a wall hanger and fine-tuned trolling is one of the best ways to make that happen. Join resident experts and learn the finer points of this very effective method.

12:00 pm - Fine Tuning Your Bass Fishing in the Fishing Department. This presentation is for the bass enthusiast who wants to take their fishing to the next level. Our experts will discuss gear, terminal tackle, reading the water, weather patterns and more.

1:00 pm - The Basics of Small Mouth Fishing in the Fishing Department. These bronze beauties are among the hardest fighting fish an angler can catch. Our outfitters will discuss tackle, lures, techniques and even specific bodies of water during this informative seminar. (For information call 716-608-4770)

8 - Fly Fishing Academy in Campbell, NY, offered by the International Federation of Fly Fishers, (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) One-day comprehensive introduction to fly-casting and fly-fishing, for ages 11-adult. Rod/reel provided for use in class if you do not have your own. Class size is limited; pre-register necessary. (For information/registration contact Steve Harris at 607-377-4956 or email sjh529@stny.rr.com or Kirk Klingensmith at 607-346-7189 or email kklingensmi@stny.rr.com.)

8 - NIAGARA COUNTY FEDERATION OF CONSERVATION CLUBS’ AWARDS DINNER at Terry’s Corners Volunteer Fire Company, 7801 Chestnut Ridge Road, Gasport, NY (5:30 pm) (Cost: $35 for adults; $30 for youth. Seating is limited) (For information/tickets call Dave Whitt at 716-754-2133.)

8 – Niagara Musky Association’s 23rd Annual Awards Banquet at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, 76 Pearl Street, Buffalo, NY. (6:00 pm/Dinner at 7:00 pm) (For information/tickets call Scott McKee at 716-225-3816)

8-9 - Spring Fishing Classic at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (11:00 am - 2:00 pm) The ice is melting and it's getting warmer. Time to get out and fish.  Stop in this weekend for our Fishing Classic and get learn about some of our new gear and tips and tactics from the Cabela's Pro-Staff team. Seminars offered:

11:00 am - Advanced Trolling Techniques for Walleye in our Fishing Department - This is the time of the year to catch a wall hanger and fine-tuned trolling is one of the best ways to make that happen. Join our resident experts and learn the finer points of this very effective method.

12:00 pm - Fine Tuneing Your Bass Fishing in our Fishing Department - This presentation is for the bass enthusiast who wants to take their fishing to the next level. Our experts will discuss gear, terminal tackle, reading the water, weather patterns and more.

1:00 pm - The Basics of Small Mouth Fishing in our Fishing Department - These bronze beauties are among the hardest fighting fish an angler can catch. Our outfitters will discuss tackle, lures, techniques and even specific bodies of water during this informative seminar. (For information call 716-608-4770)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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*TIP: EARLY SEASON STREAM TROUT FISHING: Even with the expected fishable stream flows, trout will still be relatively lethargic until stream temperatures warm. Anglers will have best success using bait and lures such as spinners that can be fished slow and deep. Fishing will improve markedly once water temperatures move into the sixties later in the spring. The warming also encourages aquatic insect activity, which improves opportunities for those preferring to use fly fishing gear. Also during this early season, where permitted, worms and salted minnows are often good bait choices for stocked and wild trout. Though the water is cold this time of year, spinners, small spoons and streamers can also work well. Sometimes stocked trout seem to prefer these "flashy" baits over natural baits.

 

*TIP #2: THE 2017/18 FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS GUIDE IS NOW AVAILABLE: Regulations in the guide are in effect from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018. Anglers should review a copy of the guide before casting a line after April 1.

To get your copy, you can:

Pick up a copy at a license issuing agent location, or

Download the fishing regulations guide (12.2 MB) (PDF)

 

*TIP #3: FINGER LAKES TRIBUTARY SPECIAL REGS:

              - Angling prohibited between sunset and sunrise until May 15th

              - Use of more than one line with a single hook point is prohibited

              - Possession of hooks with a gap greater than ½ inch is prohibited

              - Possession of landing nets larger than 50 inches around the frame with handles longer                   than20 inches are prohibited

              - Excepted stream sections are listed in the 2017-18 Fishing Guide

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Sunny days without wind bring out the offshore yellow perch patrol, with boats launching out of the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The most productive report was 10 perch caught while fishing the entire day. Many did less with nothing to report. Those who did venture out reported that, even in deeper water, the water conditions were murky, but they did mark fish they suspected were yellow perch. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. The Buffalo Boat Harbor has some ice cover again but not enough to even think fishing. Boaters were catching some yellow perch in the harbor, but the bite for shore anglers has been slow. Trailered and cartop boats can be launched from the ramp closest to the restaurant, but there is currently no launch dock in place. The remainder of the launch ramps and parking lots are currently a construction zone and are fenced off. At the Dunkirk Harbor anglers have recently been catching a few rainbow trout from the City Pier on spoons.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Tributary levels are way up and muddy, with more rain yet to fall. This weekend is likely a wash, but some of the smallest streams may come around by early week. Keep in mind that upper reaches and smaller streams tend to clear faster. Anglers report a mix of fresh and holdover steelhead. Bait has moved into the lower sections of the creeks, so minnows or minnow imitations are good bets. Other good steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). Small white and olive streamers have also been productive in the smaller tribs with larger darker patterns getting more attention in the medium and large streams.  Live or salted shiners are also a good bait in the lower sections. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. A few trout have been taken off the city of Dunkirk Pier with spoons.

The department of Environmental conservation is reaching out to anglers who fish the Allegheny River. The DEC has been stocking sauger in that water system and reminds anglers to release these fish. Sauger are similar in shape to walleye, with several notable differences. Sauger have horizontal rows of black spots on their dorsal fin, black saddle like markings on the sides and most notable they are missing the white tip on the tail. Walleye have a defined white tip on the tail. The DEC has been stocking sauger in the Allegheny River since 2014 and during the 2017 survey a sauger measuring over 17 inches in length was reported. For more information on the sauger Conservation Management Plan, go to the DEC’s website at www.dec.nygov/outdoor /fishing.html.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters were heavily stained, with a green coloration and low visibility. Anglers at Broderick Park have been catching the occasional rainbow, lake or brown trout. Anglers can target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows, or by casting spoons and spinners. Emerald shiners are showing at foot of Sheridan, but there was no sign of them at Broderick Park or at the foot of Ontario Street at last check. Anglers have recently been catching yellow perch along City of Buffalo shore sites.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: River waters have good green color and clarity at present. Anglers have been catching a decent mix of steelhead and lake trout from both boat and shore. Some browns have shown closer to the river mouth, including 31 pound behemoth that was caught last Monday on a spottail shiner. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures is the typical boating approach. Pink egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product get plenty of attention. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs, egg flies, minnows and jigs with grubs or casting spoons and spinners are common shore tactics. Soft plastics are also proving productive for some anglers. The Niagara Bar has been a little slow, in part because of the excessive amount of baits around and the stained water. Look for fishing to slowly improve. April 1 will probably see the NYPA Fish Platform open up again, as well as the reservoir. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: When weather permits, boaters are already working the shorelines for decent catches of brown trout and steelhead and an occasional coho. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Lures run directly behind boat get far less trout attention. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are ice-free so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  All of the Lake Ontario tributaries are running high and muddy. The smallest tributaries may be an option later this week, but the stained conditions will persist longer on the dammed streams. Brightly colored baits, egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites are ice free and offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more. Over in Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor, pike and a few trout are hanging around along with some perch as well. Try casting for brown trout off the short pier at the end of Route 425. On Lake Alice fishermen are catching bluegill, perch and some crappie off the Kenyonville Bridge, but again, you have to sort through the smaller ones for a decent catch.

April 5 is the stocking date for several local waters. Oppenheim Park Pond, along Niagara Falls Blvd. in Wheatfield, will receive 100 browns and 200 rainbows, Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls will receive 200 two-year-old browns and 1,650 yearlings and Gill Creek will be the recipient of 540 browns from Buffalo Avenue upstream to the dam at the lake.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  Anglers have been catching smaller yellow perch and the occasional keeper crappie in the canals. No crappie reports from the open lake yet. However, traditionally good spring crappie spots in the south basin include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island and Grass Island. In the north basin, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay and the flats off Mayville are worth a try. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a float, are proven crappie catchers. Remember, the legal limit is 9 inches in length to be a keeper and 25 crappie per day is the limit. Anglers are catching some bullhead at shoreline sites during low light periods. Catches should continue to improve with rising water temperatures. Target bullhead by fishing worms, leeches, dead minnows or chicken livers on the bottom. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Due to rain, there is a region-wide blowout in progress. Expect higher and stained flows on streams when the traditional trout opener kicks off tomorrow. Avoid areas that receive higher rainfall totals and focus on smaller streams in general. As the creek water temperatures rise and levels lower the trout will again become more active, especially the large/mature fish. Try a combination of large stonefly patterns and streamers in olive and yellow tied up to 5 inches in length. The fishing has been consistent with fish spread well throughout the system. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway in preparation for the traditional trout opener. The following waters were scheduled to be stocked prior to April 1st:

Allegany County: Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity). *Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), Black Creek (West Almond), Canaseraga Creek (Burns), Hunt Creek (Alma), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Root Creek (Bolivar).

Cattaraugus County: Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Red House Lake (Red House), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph). *Elton Creek (Freedom), Haskell Creek (Hinsdale), Five Mile Creek (Allegany), Rice Brook (Carrollton), Birch Run Pond #1 (Allegany), County Ponds A&B (Randolph).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony). *Clay Pond (Poland), Bear Lake Outlet (Stockton), Cassadaga Creek (Stockton), W. Branch Conewango Creek (Villenova), Farrington Hollow Brook (Cherry Creek), Mill Creek (Gerry), Canadaway Creek (Arkwright).

Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park). *Cayuga Creek (Lancaster), Sprague Brook Park Ponds (Concord), Main Park Pond (Clarence), Ellicott Creek (Amherst).

Niagara County: *Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield), Hyde Park Lake (Niagara Falls), Gill Creek (Niagara Falls).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville). *Oatka Creek (Warsaw).

Genesee County: Dewitt Pond (Batavia), Oatka Creek (Le Roy).

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Steuben County: Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Post Creek (Hornby), Meads Creek (Campbell). Canaseraga Creek (Dansville), Canisteo River (Hornellsville), Bennett Creek (Greenwood).

*SILVER LAKE:  You might try shore or boat fishing for crappie, perch or bass. Crappie action was recently good near the north end for ice anglers, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch or bass. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE:  You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and/or bass. Some anglers are getting their boats out. Bass season closed Honeoye Lake March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: A few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No tributary reports. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SENECA LAKE: Look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: Anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are picking up some lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 22 inches. Try using intermediate and full sinking lines with flies in various colors - white, gray and chartruese/orange. Around Milliken have found lots of lakers hugging bottom in 110-135'. These fish are hungry and biting.  For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. The lake level is down, which is normal for this time of year, so use caution when launching and retrieving boats as many of the launch sites are shallow. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open and the docks are in. You might try shore fishing for perch. Some rainbow trout were being taken by shore anglers fishing the marshmallow and worm rig. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

*OWASCO LAKE: You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Trout streams are generally open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season opens April 1st, however, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Reports from the Finger Lakes tribs. indicate some trout are in the streams. Remember, the starting time on the Finger Lakes tributary fishing doesn't begin on April 1st till sunrise.

  New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway in preparation for the traditional trout opener. The following waters were scheduled to be stocked prior to April 1st:

Chemung County - Post Creek, Sing Sing Creek and Newton Creek

Broome County - Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek and Nanticoke Creek.
Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and the stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com.
Tioga County -East Branch of Owego Creek, Owego Creek, and West Branch of Owego Creek.
Tompkins County - Buttermilk Creek, Fall Creek, Salmon Creek and Sixmile Creek.

Seneca County - Canoga Creek

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: You might try shore fishing for perch and crappie. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND:  You might try shore fishing for perch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: When the weather allows, boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into some brown trout. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon. See the “Tips” section for info on the State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting in Pulaski..

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Rain adding to the flow. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Good numbers steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. You can also fish the pier heads at Sodus, which currently have no ice build-up. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are not in; however, the ramps are ice free. The perch have been all over Sodus Bay…on the east and west side but the best action seems to be the northeast near the Yacht Club. You can use minnows or jigs tipped with spikes in 20 – 30 fow. Try off the points anywhere on Port Bay. There is open water in the canal, however no one is fishing. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers have reported some good perch action in Irondequoit Bay and the Greece ponds. Those being caught are generally small and expect many throwbacks. Check out the lower Genesee for salmon and steelhead. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SALMON RIVER: Overall, steelhead fishing continued to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water is helping to bring some more in. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns - black stoneflies and black hare’s ear. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. In the mid to upper section of river anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing have had success with blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. Anglers who are fishing some of the smaller local tributaries have done well on chartreuse or pink egg sacs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone will reopen April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is high making shore fishing very difficult. Brown trout and increasing numbers of steelhead are showing up. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

*OTHER WATERS: Rain keeps water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing conditions. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: Randolph Fish Hatchery has stocked some of the southern tier lakes early this year since they were ice-free. The lakes may have ice cover now. The following lakes were stocked with yearling trout (9 inches) last week and are open to trout fishing all year; Quaker Lake (3,460 brown trout), Redhouse Lake (1,160 brown trout), New Albion Lake (2,310 brown trout), Case Lake (1,480 brown trout), Allen Lake (2,800 brook trout) and Harwood Lake (2,100 brook trout).

  

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*THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

MARCH 2017

31 – Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am – 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section ½ mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)

APRIL 2017

1 – Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (>10/15)
1 – Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

1 - 14th Annual Riedman Foundation Opening Day Trout Derby at the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park, 115 Park Road,  Pittsford, NY (Register at Powder Horn Lodge – 6:30 am/Fishing 7:00 am – Noon) All ages are welcome to join in the fun at the Opening Day Trout Derby to benefit the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park. Again this year, the contestant weighing in the largest brown trout will be recognized with the Bank of America Angler Award, a $500 prize. There will also be "largest catch" prizes awarded in three age categories. Entry is only $5 per angler age eight and older. Fishing will take place in designated areas of Irondequoit Creek within the boundaries of Powder Mills Park. The derby weigh station is at Powder Horn Lodge. Prizes will be awarded at noon. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.fishpowdermill.org. (For information call 585-586-1670.)

1 - 56th Annual Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby. Entry is by pre-registration only - registration sites are Sutton’s Sporting Goods, Main St., Naples (During business hours) and the Derby Headquarters -Naples Fire Hall, Vine St (3/31/14- 5 pm to 10 pm, 4/01/14- 4 am to sunrise) (Entry Fees - $8 Ages 16-64, $5 under 16, $5 ages 65 and over)(For additional information contact Joyce Doran 585-374-2782)

2 - 12th Annual John Long Memorial Raffle and Feast sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Assn., at Niagara Active Hose, 6010 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls, NY. (2:00 pm) (For information and tickets call 716-628-1460)

4 – Sturgeon Telemetry  at the Niagara Musky Association monthly meeting at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad St., Tonawanda, NY (7:00 pm) Guest speaker will be Jonah Withers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working on a sturgeon telemetry study in Buffalo Harbor and the Upper Niagara River. (For information call Scott McKee at 716-225-3816)

5 - Educator Workshops - Project WET Workshop at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga). (4:00 -7:00 pm) Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) helps students explore water and water resources. The curriculum guide features multidisciplinary lesson plans covering topics such as the physical and chemical characteristics of water, cultural connections to water and water resource management. For educators of students in grades K-12. (For information/register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov).

6 - The State of Lake Erie Meeting at the Southtowns Walleye Association’s Club House, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, NY (7:00 – 9:00 pm) Featured presentations include the status of cold water fish communities with DEC aquatic biologist Jim Markham, the status of warm-water fish communities with DEC aquatic biologist Dr. Jason Robinson, fish biologist Jonah Withers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service giving a status update on eastern Lake Erie Lake Sturgeon and an acoustic telemetry program, and a presentation on using Environmental DNA as a fish monitoring tool by Dr. Lauren Sassoubre, assistant professor  with the University at Buffalo. For information call Helen Domske at 716-645-3610 or by email at hmd4@cornell.edu.)

7-9 - Sixth annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club, Route 425, Wilson, NY. Action starts at 5 p.m. on Friday, ends on Sunday at 1 p.m. The tournament is based on your best two fish with the tiebreaker being the overall length of the two fish. Any Niagara County waters are eligible. (Entry fee is $10 for 13 years of age and older; free for junior anglers 12 and under.) Register at CMC Auto in Wilson; The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. (For information call Eric at 716-628-6078.)

8 - Spring Fishing Classic at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (11:00 am - 2:00 pm) The ice is melting and it's getting warmer.  Time to get out and fish.  Items to be covered:

11:00 am - Advanced Trolling Techniques for Walleye in the Fishing Department. This is the time of the year to catch a wall hanger and fine-tuned trolling is one of the best ways to make that happen. Join resident experts and learn the finer points of this very effective method.

12:00 pm - Fine Tuning Your Bass Fishing in the Fishing Department. This presentation is for the bass enthusiast who wants to take their fishing to the next level. Our experts will discuss gear, terminal tackle, reading the water, weather patterns and more.

1:00 pm - The Basics of Small Mouth Fishing in the Fishing Department. These bronze beauties are among the hardest fighting fish an angler can catch. Our outfitters will discuss tackle, lures, techniques and even specific bodies of water during this informative seminar. (For information call 716-608-4770)

8 - Fly Fishing Academy in Campbell, NY, offered by the International Federation of Fly Fishers, (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) One-day comprehensive introduction to fly-casting and fly-fishing, for ages 11-adult. Rod/reel provided for use in class if you do not have your own. Class size is limited; pre-register necessary. (For information/registration contact Steve Harris at 607-377-4956 or email sjh529@stny.rr.com or Kirk Klingensmith at 607-346-7189 or email kklingensmi@stny.rr.com.)

8 – Niagara Musky Association’s 23rd Annual Awards Banquet at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, 76 Pearl Street, Buffalo, NY. (6:00 pm/Dinner at 7:00 pm) (For information/tickets call Scott McKee at 716-225-3816)

8-9 - Spring Fishing Classic at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (11:00 am - 2:00 pm) The ice is melting and it's getting warmer. Time to get out and fish.  Stop in this weekend for our Fishing Classic and get learn about some of our new gear and tips and tactics from the Cabela's Pro-Staff team. Seminars offered:

11:00 am - Advanced Trolling Techniques for Walleye in our Fishing Department - This is the time of the year to catch a wall hanger and fine-tuned trolling is one of the best ways to make that happen. Join our resident experts and learn the finer points of this very effective method.

12:00 pm - Fine Tuneing Your Bass Fishing in our Fishing Department - This presentation is for the bass enthusiast who wants to take their fishing to the next level. Our experts will discuss gear, terminal tackle, reading the water, weather patterns and more.

1:00 pm - The Basics of Small Mouth Fishing in our Fishing Department - These bronze beauties are among the hardest fighting fish an angler can catch. Our outfitters will discuss tackle, lures, techniques and even specific bodies of water during this informative seminar. (For information call 716-608-4770)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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3 – 24 - 17

 

TIP: Though it doesn't feel like it, trout season will be starting in a week on April 1st. Now is the time, if not done already, to start getting your trout fishing gear together. It's usually a good idea to replace the monofilament fishing line on your reels, as mono can weaken overtime.

 

TIP #2: All the Finger Lake tribs will be open April 1st with what should be a great rainbow run. Most of the brown trout streams are stocked. Yes, too many to begin to list. Talking brown trout - try using worms - experience is that dug garden worms are much better than crawlers. Salted minnows work well on streams that have a population of chubs and minnows. For the fly anglers, this early in the year, try streamers on the cold days and if you do get a warm day and the water temperature is on the rise, try nymphs under a strike indicator.

 

TIP #3: THE 2017/18 FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS GUIDE IS NOW AVAILABLE: Regulations in the guide are in effect from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018. Anglers should review a copy of the guide before casting a line after April 1.

To get your copy, you can:

Pick up a copy at a license issuing agent location, or

Download the fishing regulations guide (12.2 MB) (PDF)

 

LAKE ERIE:  Sunny days without wind bring out the offshore yellow perch patrol, with boats launching out of the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The most productive report was 10 perch caught while fishing the entire day. Many did less with nothing to report. Those who did venture out reported that, even in deeper water, the water conditions were murky, but they did mark fish they suspected were yellow perch. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. The Buffalo Boat Harbor has some ice cover again but not enough to even think fishing. Boaters were catching some yellow perch in the harbor, but the bite for shore anglers has been slow. Trailered and cartop boats can be launched from the ramp closest to the restaurant, but there is currently no launch dock in place. The remainder of the launch ramps and parking lots are currently a construction zone and are fenced off. At the Dunkirk Harbor anglers have recently been catching a few rainbow trout from the City Pier on spoons.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Tributary anglers have recently been catching decent numbers of fresh and post-spawn steelhead. Most creeks are in good fishing shape today. There is rain in the weekend forecast, which may muddy some streams. Keep in mind that upper reaches and smaller streams tend to clear faster. Anglers report a mix of fresh and holdover steelhead. Bait has moved into the lower sections of the creeks, so minnows or minnow imitations are good bets. Other good steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). Small white and olive streamers have also been productive in the smaller tribs with larger darker patterns getting more attention in the medium and large streams.  Live or salted shiners are also a good bait in the lower sections. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. A few trout have been taken off the city of Dunkirk Pier with spoons.

The department of Environmental conservation is reaching out to anglers who fish the Allegheny River. The DEC has been stocking sauger in that water system and reminds anglers to release these fish. Sauger are similar in shape to walleye, with several notable differences. Sauger have horizontal rows of black spots on their dorsal fin, black saddle like markings on the sides and most notable they are missing the white tip on the tail. Walleye have a defined white tip on the tail. The DEC has been stocking sauger in the Allegheny River since 2014 and during the 2017 survey a sauger measuring over 17 inches in length was reported. For more information on the sauger Conservation Management Plan, go to the DEC’s website at www.dec.nygov/outdoor /fishing.html.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters were heavily stained, with a green coloration and low visibility. Anglers at Broderick Park have been catching the occasional rainbow, lake or brown trout. Anglers can target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows, or by casting spoons and spinners. Emerald shiners are showing at foot of Sheridan, but there was no sign of them at Broderick Park or at the foot of Ontario Street at last check. Anglers have recently been catching yellow perch along City of Buffalo shore sites.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: River waters have good color and clarity at present. Anglers have been catching a decent mix of steelhead and lake trout from both boat and shore. Controlled drifting with three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures is the typical boating approach. Pink egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product get plenty of attention. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs, egg flies, minnows and jigs with grubs or casting spoons and spinners are common shore tactics. Soft plastics are also proving productive for some anglers. The Niagara Bar has been a little slow, in part because of the excessive amount of baits around and the stained water. Look for fishing to slowly improve. April 1 will probably see the NYPA Fish Platform open up again, as well as the reservoir. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: When weather permits, boaters are already working the shorelines for decent catches of brown trout and steelhead and an occasional coho. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Lures run directly behind boat get far less trout attention. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are ice-free so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  Anglers have recently see improved steelhead fishing on most creeks. Increased flows have steelhead moving up into smaller streams like Fourmile, Twelvemile, E. Branch Twelvemile and Keg Creeks. All mentioned except Keg Creek, currently have moderate and stained flows. Keg Creek is lower and clear. Anglers have reported good steelhead and brown trout action on Sandy and Johnson Creeks, which currently have moderate flows. Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks both have moderate and stained flows. Brightly colored baits, egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites are ice free and offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more. Over in Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor, pike and a few trout are hanging around along with some perch as well. Try casting for brown trout off the short pier at the end of Route 425. On Lake Alice fishermen are catching bluegill, perch and some crappie off the Kenyonville Bridge, but again, you have to sort through the smaller ones for a decent catch.

April 5 is the stocking date for several local waters. Oppenheim Park Pond, along Niagara Falls Blvd. in Wheatfield, will receive 100 browns and 200 rainbows, Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls will receive 200 two-year-old browns and 1,650 yearlings and Gill Creek will be the recipient of 540 browns from Buffalo Avenue upstream to the dam at the lake.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  The Lake was almost completely ice-free until the cold spell and snows. Some crappie and yellow perch are starting to show in the canals. Anglers also caught some crappie in nearshore areas before this cold snap. Emerald shiners and tube jigs fished under a float top the list of enticements right now. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube jig or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. It’s reported that anglers were connecting with lots of walleye offshore using jigging plugs. Lowlight finds the fish in shallow water, usually at the mouths of traditional walleye haunts, and as the day wears on, they move back toward deeper holes. Key on depths over 20 feet in areas off stream mouths. Walleye season closed on March 15th. There has already been some good bullhead catches near creek mouths during the warm-up. Look for the bullhead bite to pick up again with rising temperatures and rain. Target bullhead by fishing worms, leeches, dead minnows or chicken livers on the bottom. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Inland creeks, for catch-and-release trout, have been fishing incredibly well over the two weeks of mild weather but action has slowed with the snow. As the creek water temperatures rise the trout will again become more active, especially the large/mature fish. Try a combination of large stonefly patterns and streamers in olive and yellow tied up to 5 inches in length. The fishing has been consistent with fish spread well throughout the system. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. A reminder to those looking to inland fish this time of year is that the regulations are artificial only, catch and release with fishing open only on select waterways. Some trout streams remain closed to all fishing until April 1st. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing before April 1st. Trout stocking on inland trout streams is well underway in preparation for the traditional trout opener. The following waters are scheduled to be stocked prior to April 1st:

Allegany County: Allen Lake (Allen), Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar), Genesee River (Wellsville, Amity).

Cattaraugus County: Quaker Lake (Cold Spring), Red House Lake (Red House), New Albion Lake (New Albion), Case Lake (Franklinville), Harwood Lake (Farmersville), Great Valley Creek (Great Valley), Forks Creek (Great Valley), Wrights Creek (Humphrey), S. Branch Cattaraugus Creek (East Otto), Mansfield Creek (Mansfield), Beaver Meadow Creek (Ellicottville), Connoisarauley Creek (Ashford), Bay State Brook (Red House), Quaker Run (Cold Spring), Red House Brook (Red House), Science Lake (Red House), Bone Run (South Valley), Guernsey Run (South Valley), North Branch Sawmill Run (South Valley), Little Conewango Creek (Conewango), Paisley Park Pond (Randolph).

Chautauqua County: Goose Creek (Harmony, N. Harmony).

Erie County: Cattaraugus Creek (Yorkshire), East Branch Cazenovia Creek (Aurora, Holland), Little Buffalo Creek (Lancaster, Marilla), Eighteenmile Creek (Boston Town Park).

Wyoming County: Buffalo Creek (Java), Cattaraugus Creek (Arcade), Little Tonawanda Creek (Middlebury), Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), East Koy Creek (Gainesville).

Steuben County: Cohocton River (Cohocton, Avoca), Post Creek (Hornby), Meads Creek (Campbell).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

SILVER LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for crappie, perch or bass. Crappie action was recently good near the north end for ice anglers, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch or bass. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and/or bass. Some anglers are getting their boats out. Bass season closed Honeoye Lake March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No tributary reports. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THESE WATERS. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 22 inches. Try using intermediate and full sinking lines with flies in various colors - white, gray and chartruese/orange. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. The lake level is down, which is normal for this time of year, so use caution when launching and retrieving boats as many of the launch sites are shallow. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. Some rainbow trout were being taken by shore anglers fishing the marshmallow and worm rig. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Trout streams are generally open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season opens April 1st, however, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Reports from the Finger Lakes tribs. Indicate some trout are in the streams. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch and crappie. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATERS. You might try shore fishing for perch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: When the weather allows, some boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into some brown trout. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon. See the “Tips” section for info on the State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting in Pulaski..

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Rain adding to the flow. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Good numbers steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. You can also fish the pier heads at Sodus, which currently have no ice build-up. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are not in; however, the ramps are ice free. The perch have been all over Sodus Bay…on the east and west side but the best action seems to be the northeast near the Yacht Club. You can use minnows or jigs tipped with spikes in 20 – 30 fow. Try off the points anywhere on Port Bay. There is open water in the canal, however no one is fishing. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. Those being caught are small and the catch rate is slow. Check out the lower Genesee for salmon and steelhead. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SALMON RIVER: Overall, steelhead fishing continued to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns - black stoneflies and black hare’s ear. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is high making shore fishing difficult. Brown trout and increasing numbers of steelhead are showing up. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

OTHER WATERS: Rain and snow keep water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing conditions. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: Randolph Fish Hatchery has stocked some of the southern tier lakes early this year since they were ice-free. The lakes may have ice cover now. The following lakes were stocked with yearling trout (9 inches) last week and are open to trout fishing all year; Quaker Lake (3,460 brown trout), Redhouse Lake (1,160 brown trout), New Albion Lake (2,310 brown trout), Case Lake (1,480 brown trout), Allen Lake (2,800 brook trout) and Harwood Lake (2,100 brook trout).

  

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THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

MARCH 2017

15 – Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye
15 – Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)
15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)
16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/5)

25 - The 28th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Show at the Elk’s Lodge, 6791 N. Canal Road, Lockport, NY (10:30 am – 2:00 pm) (Admission is $5.00). (For more information call Dan Bedford at 716-713-9410.)

25 - J&B Sportsmen’s 16TH Annual Hunting Fishing FleaMarket at 2017 Clarks Summit U.M.C. 1310 Morgan Hgy. Clarks Summit, PA  (For information call 570-587-4427 or 570-587-1302)

25-26 – Spring Great Outdoor Days at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (11:00 am - 2:00 pm) Spring is upon us and it's time to get in the woods and out on the water.  Join us this weekend for our Spring Great Outdoor Days as we help you prepare for your spring fishing trip or get you primed for spring turkey season. Seminars offered:

11:00 am - Spring into Gobbler Season in our Hunting Department - Whether you’re looking for the right turkey call, or the right gun to bring it home, we will show you options that will fit your personal preferences and get the job done.

12:00 pm - Turkey Calling Basics in our Hunting Department – Don’t wait for turkey season to start practicing your turkey-calling skills. Local turkey-calling pros will be on hand with a wide variety of calls and can help you better your skills no matter your level of experience.

1:00 pm - Insider Tips to Catching Spring Walleye in our Fishing Department - Our expert outfitters will discuss tips and tactics, local waters, and the latest gear to try your hand at spring time walleye fishing. (For information call 716-608-4770)

26 - Finger Lakes Trollers Fishing Tackle, Outdoor Show and Flea Market at the Community Center at Clute Park, Watkins Glen, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) New, used and antique fishing tackle,fishing charters,archery, turkery hunting stuff,etc. There will be about 70 tables set up. (Tables are sold out). (Admission is $2.00 with kids under 10 free. Parking is free.) (For information call Mike Burt  607-765-9866)

31 – Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am – 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section ½ mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)

 

APRIL 2017

 

1 – Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (>10/15)
1 – Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

1 - 14th Annual Riedman Foundation Opening Day Trout Derby at the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park, 115 Park Road,  Pittsford, NY (Register at Powder Horn Lodge – 6:30 am/Fishing 7:00 am – Noon) All ages are welcome to join in the fun at the Opening Day Trout Derby to benefit the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park. Again this year, the contestant weighing in the largest brown trout will be recognized with the Bank of America Angler Award, a $500 prize. There will also be "largest catch" prizes awarded in three age categories. Entry is only $5 per angler age eight and older. Fishing will take place in designated areas of Irondequoit Creek within the boundaries of Powder Mills Park. The derby weigh station is at Powder Horn Lodge. Prizes will be awarded at noon. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.fishpowdermill.org. (For information call 585-586-1670.)

1 - 56th Annual Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby. Entry is by pre-registration only - registration sites are Sutton’s Sporting Goods, Main St., Naples (During business hours) and the Derby Headquarters -Naples Fire Hall, Vine St (3/31/14- 5 pm to 10 pm, 4/01/14- 4 am to sunrise) (Entry Fees - $8 Ages 16-64, $5 under 16, $5 ages 65 and over)(For additional information contact Joyce Doran 585-374-2782)

2 - 12th Annual John Long Memorial Raffle and Feast sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Assn., at Niagara Active Hose, 6010 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls, NY. (2:00 pm) (For information and tickets call 716-628-1460)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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*TIP: REMINDER OF SEASON CLOSURES:

March 15 – Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye
March 15 – Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)
March 15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.
 

 

*TIP 2: FINGER LAKES TRIBUTARY ANNUAL ELECTRO-FISHING SURVEY: The “Shocking” is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast. This year’s dates are:

*Thursday, March 23, 9 a.m., at Naples Creek, just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge.

*Friday, March 24, 10 a.m., at Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County.

During sampling, data taken on each fish will consist of length, weight, sex and spawning condition. A scale is used to determine age, growth rate and life history. Sampling results will be available to the public at the DEC Region 8 fisheries office prior to the April 1 opening of the "inland" trout fishing season. Anglers wanting to fish for trout before April 1 are reminded that trout fishing is open year-round in the main bodies of the Finger Lakes however the Finger Lakes Tributaries are closed from January 1 through March 31.

 

*TIP 3: The 2017/18 New York Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide is now available. Regulations in the guide are in effect from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018. Anglers should review a copy of the guide before casting a line after April 1.

To get your copy, you can:

Pick up a copy at a license issuing agent location, or

Download the fishing regulations guide (12.2 MB) (PDF)

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Sunny days without wind bring out the offshore yellow perch patrol, with boats launching out of the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The most productive report was 10 perch caught while fishing the entire day. Many did less with nothing to report. Those who did venture out reported that, even in deeper water, the water conditions were murky, but they did mark fish they suspected were yellow perch. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. The Buffalo Boat Harbor has some ice cover again but not enough to even think fishing. Boaters were catching some yellow perch in the harbor, but the bite for shore anglers has been slow. Trailered and cartop boats can be launched from the ramp closest to the restaurant, but there is currently no launch dock in place. The remainder of the launch ramps and parking lots are currently a construction zone and are fenced off. At the Dunkirk Harbor anglers have recently been catching a few rainbow trout from the City Pier on spoons.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Cattaraugus Creek has been at a fishable level this week All of the other Lake Erie tributaries are currently in good shape with moderate to slightly low flows, and range from ideal coloration to clear. Anglers have seen more steelhead and an occasional brook trout (in tribs closer to Buffalo) over the past several weeks and catches have been quite good at times. The lowest sections of the creeks are good bets for aggressive fish moving in. Egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float) are good offerings. Small white and olive streamers have also been productive in the smaller tribs with larger darker patterns getting more attention in the medium and large streams.  Live or salted shiners are also a good bait in the lower sections. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. A few trout have been taken off the city of Dunkirk Pier with spoons.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters were in good shape, with a green coloration and 2-3 feet of visibility. Anglers at Broderick Park have been catching the occasional rainbow, lake or brown trout. Anglers can target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows, or by casting spoons and spinners. Emerald shiners are showing at foot of Sheridan, but there was no sign of them at Broderick Park or at the foot of Ontario Street at last check. Anglers have recently been catching yellow perch along City of Buffalo shore sites.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Water conditions are improving after high winds and snow messed with the river. Look for decent fishing for a mix of steelhead, lake trout, some over 30 inches, and an occasional brown trout. Three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures work well for trout. Pink egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product are a better bet when fishing murky conditions. Fishing has generally been slow for shore anglers lately. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs, egg flies, minnows and jigs with grubs or casting spoons and spinners are common shore tactics. Soft plastics are also proving productive for some anglers. The Niagara Bar has been a little slow, in part because of the excessive amount of baits around and the stained water. Look for fishing to slowly improve. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: When weather permits, boaters are already working the shorelines for decent catches of brown trout and steelhead and an occasional coho. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Lures run directly behind boat get far less trout attention. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are ice-free so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  Anglers have recently see improved steelhead fishing on most creeks. Increased flows have steelhead moving up into smaller streams like Fourmile, Twelvemile, E. Branch Twelvemile and Keg Creeks. All mentioned except Keg Creek, currently have moderate and stained flows. Keg Creek is lower and clear. Anglers have reported good steelhead and brown trout action on Sandy and Johnson Creeks, which currently have moderate flows. Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks both have moderate and stained flows. Brightly colored baits, egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites are ice free and offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more. Over in Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor, pike and a few trout are hanging around along with some perch as well. Try casting for brown trout off the short pier at the end of Route 425. On Lake Alice fishermen are catching bluegill, perch and some crappie off the Kenyonville Bridge, but again, you have to sort through the smaller ones for a decent catch.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  The Lake was almost completely ice-free until the cold spell and snows. Some crappie and yellow perch are starting to show in the canals. Anglers also caught some crappie in nearshore areas before this cold snap. Emerald shiners and tube jigs fished under a float top the list of enticements right now. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube jig or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. It’s reported that anglers were connecting with lots of walleye offshore using jigging plugs. Lowlight finds the fish in shallow water, usually at the mouths of traditional walleye haunts, and as the day wears on, they move back toward deeper holes. Key on depths over 20 feet in areas off stream mouths. Walleye season closed on March 15th. There has already been some good bullhead catches near creek mouths during the warm-up. Look for the bullhead bite to pick up again with rising temperatures and rain. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Inland creeks, for catch-and-release trout, have been fishing incredibly well over the two weeks of mild weather but action has slowed with the snow. As the creek water temperatures rise the trout will again become more active, especially the large/mature fish. Try a combination of large stonefly patterns and streamers in olive and yellow tied up to 5 inches in length. The fishing has been consistent with fish spread well throughout the system. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. A reminder to those looking to inland fish this time of year is that the regulations are artificial only, catch and release with fishing open only on select waterways. Some trout streams remain closed to all fishing until April 1st. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing before April 1st. Trout stocking on inland trout streams will start next week in preparation for the traditional trout opener.

*SILVER LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for crappie, perch or bass. Crappie action was recently good near the north end for ice anglers, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch or bass. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and/or bass. Some anglers are getting their boats out. Bass season closed Honeoye Lake until March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No tributary reports. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THESE WATERS. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. Bass season closed March 15, 2017. It’s now catch and release/artificial only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 21 inches. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. The lake level is down, which is normal for this time of year, so use caution when launching and retrieving boats as many of the launch sites are shallow. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. Some rainbow trout were being taken by shore anglers fishing the marshmallow and worm rig. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

*OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Trout streams are generally open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season opens April 1st, however, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch and crappie. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATERS. You might try shore fishing for perch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: When the weather allows, some boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into some brown trout. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon. See the “Tips” section for info on the State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting in Pulaski..

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Rain added to the flow. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Good numbers steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. You can also fish the pier heads at Sodus, which currently have no ice build-up. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are not in; however, the ramps are ice free. The perch have been all over Sodus Bay…on the east and west side but the best action seems to be the northeast near the Yacht Club. You can use minnows or jigs tipped with spikes in 20 – 30 fow. Try off the points anywhere on Port Bay. There is open water in the canal, however no one is fishing. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. Those being caught are small and the catch rate is slow. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SALMON RIVER: Overall, steelhead fishing continued to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns - black stoneflies and black hare’s ear. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is high making shore fishing difficult. Brown trout and increasing numbers of steelhead are showing up in fair numbers. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

*OTHER WATERS: Rain and snow keep water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing conditions. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: Randolph Fish Hatchery has stocked some of the southern tier lakes early this year since they were ice-free. The lakes may have ice cover now. The following lakes were stocked with yearling trout (9 inches) last week and are open to trout fishing all year; Quaker Lake (3,460 brown trout), Redhouse Lake (1,160 brown trout), New Albion Lake (2,310 brown trout), Case Lake (1,480 brown trout), Allen Lake (2,800 brook trout) and Harwood Lake (2,100 brook trout).

  

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*THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

MARCH 2017

15 – Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.
15 – Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye
15 – Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)
15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)
16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/5)

21 - Citizen Science: Frogwatch Usa Training at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (7:00 pm) Become a citizen scientist! Participate in this training program to volunteer to monitor frogs and toads at Reinstein Woods. (For information/ call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

23 - NYSDEC Electro Shocking of Naples Creek – Crew starts just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge. (9:00 am) The sampling is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast.  (For information call 585-226-5324)

24 – NYSDEC Electro Shocking of Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) – Crew starts in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County. (10:00 am) The sampling is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast.  (For information call 585-226-5324)

25 - The 28th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Show at the Elk’s Lodge, 6791 N. Canal Road, Lockport, NY (10:30 am – 2:00 pm) (Admission is $5.00). (For more information call Dan Bedford at 716-713-9410.)

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TIP: The 2017/18 New York Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide is now available. Regulations in the guide are in effect from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018. Anglers should review a copy of the guide before casting a line after April 1.

To get your copy, you can:

Pick up a copy at a license issuing agent location, or

Download the fishing regulations guide (12.2 MB) (PDF)

 

TIP 2: Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting:

March 13 - at the Pulaski High School Auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, NY (Oswego County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association. (In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 14.)

DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Steven Lapan, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147.

 

TIP 3: FINGER LAKES TRIBUTARY ANNUAL ELECTRO-FISHING SURVEY: The “Shocking” is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast. This year’s dates are:

*Thursday, March 23, 9 a.m., at Naples Creek, just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge.

*Friday, March 24, 10 a.m., at Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County.

During sampling, data taken on each fish will consist of length, weight, sex and spawning condition. A scale is used to determine age, growth rate and life history. Sampling results will be available to the public at the DEC Region 8 fisheries office prior to the April 1 opening of the "inland" trout fishing season. Anglers wanting to fish for trout before April 1 are reminded that trout fishing is open year-round in the main bodies of the Finger Lakes however the Finger Lakes Tributaries are closed from January 1 through March 31.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Sunny days without wind bring out the offshore yellow perch patrol, with boats launching out of the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The most productive report was 10 perch caught while fishing the entire day. Many did less with nothing to report. Those who did venture out reported that, even in deeper water, the water conditions were murky, but they did mark fish they suspected were yellow perch. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. The Buffalo Boat Harbor is now ice free. Boaters were catching some yellow perch in the harbor, but the bite for shore anglers has been slow. Trailered and cartop boats can be launched from the ramp closest to the restaurant, but there is currently no launch dock in place. The remainder of the launch ramps and parking lots are currently a construction zone and are fenced off. At the Dunkirk Harbor anglers have recently been catching a few rainbow trout from the City Pier on spoons.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Cattaraugus Creek has generally been running higher and muddy in recent weeks. With freezing temperatures and no rain in the forecast, Cattaraugus Creek could very well drop to a fishable level this weekend. All of the other Lake Erie tributaries are currently in good shape with moderate to slightly low flows, and range from ideal coloration to clear. Anglers have seen more steelhead around over the past two weeks and catches have been quite good at times. The lowest sections of the creeks are good bets for aggressive fish moving in. Egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float) are good offerings. Small white and olive streamers have also been productive in the smaller tribs with larger darker patterns getting more attention in the medium and large streams.  Live or salted shiners are also a good bait in the lower sections. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. A few trout have been taken off the city of Dunkirk Pier with spoons. If you fish the tribs for trout, remember to ask permission to enter private property. Also remember to clean up your litter. Empty coffee cups, bait containers, candy wrappers, beverage containers, plastic bags, discarded fishing line, and graffiti spoil the effect of our getaway spots, and will likely prompt land owners to deny access in the future.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters were in good shape, with a green coloration and 2-3 feet of visibility. Anglers at Broderick Park have been catching the occasional rainbow, lake or brown trout. Anglers can target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows, or by casting spoons and spinners. Emerald shiners are showing at foot of Sheridan, but there was no sign of them at Broderick Park or at the foot of Ontario Street at last check. Anglers have recently been catching yellow perch along City of Buffalo shore sites.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Improving water conditions have again been foiled by high winds. It will take at least a couple days to settle out. During the brief window of favorable conditions earlier this week, boaters saw some decent fishing for a mix of steelhead and lake trout, some over 30 inches. Three-way rigs with egg sacs, shiners or Kwikfish lures work well for trout. Egg sacs or shiners cured with a florescent colored dye product are a better bet when fishing murky conditions. Fishing has generally been slow for shore anglers lately. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs, egg flies, minnows and jigs with grubs or casting spoons and spinners are common shore tactics. The Niagara Bar has been a little slow, in part because of the excessive amount of baits around and the stained water. Look for fishing to slowly improve. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: When weather permits, boaters are already working the shorelines for decent catches of brown trout and steelhead and an occasional coho. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Lures run directly behind boat get far less trout attention. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are ice-free so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  Anglers have recently see improved steelhead fishing on most creeks. Increased flows have steelhead moving up into smaller streams like Fourmile, Twelvemile, E. Branch Twelvemile and Keg Creeks. All mentioned except Keg Creek, currently have moderate and stained flows. Keg Creek is lower and clear. Anglers have reported good steelhead and brown trout action on Sandy and Johnson Creeks, which currently have moderate flows. Oak Orchard Creek is running slightly high with about 2 feet of visibility. Trout action has been good at the Oak. Eighteenmile Creek had higher flow earlier in week and catches were light. Flow has dipped to a moderate level over past 24 hours. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites are ice free and offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more. Over in Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor, pike and a few trout are hanging around. Some perch as well. Try casting for brown trout off the short pier at the end of Route 425. All of the ice is off Lake Alice and fishermen are catching bluegill, perch and some crappie off the Kenyonville Bridge, but again, you have to sort through the smaller ones for a decent catch.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  The boating season has come early as Chautauqua Lake is almost completely ice-free. Some crappie and yellow perch are starting to show in the canals. Anglers also caught some crappie in nearshore areas before this cold snap. Emerald shiners and tube jigs fished under a float top the list of enticements right now. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube jig or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. It’s reported that anglers were connecting with lots of walleye offshore using jigging plugs. Lowlight finds the fish in shallow water, usually at the mouths of traditional walleye haunts, and as the day wears on, they move back toward deeper holes. Key on depths over 20 feet in areas off stream mouths. Walleye season closes on March 15th. There has already been some good bullhead catches near creek mouths during the warm-up. Look for the bullhead bite to pick up again with rising temperatures and rain. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Inland creeks, for catch-and-release trout, have been fishing incredibly well over the last two weeks of mild weather. As the creek water temperatures rise the trout become more active, especially the large/mature fish. Try a combination of large stonefly patterns and streamers in olive and yellow tied up to 5 inches in length. The fishing has been consistent with fish spread well throughout the system. Walking long distances away from popular access points will reward anglers with their best shot at trophy brown trout. A reminder to those looking to inland fish this time of year is that the regulations are artificial only, catch and release with fishing open only on select waterways. Some trout streams remain closed to all fishing until April 1st. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

SILVER LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for crappie, perch or bass. Crappie action was recently good near the north end for ice anglers, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. Likewise for northern pike at the south end. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch or bass. Bass season remains open on this Lake until March 15, 2017. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Bass season remains open on this Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Bass season remains open on the Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and/or bass. Some anglers are getting their boats out. Bass season remains open on Honeoye Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No bass reports or tributary reports. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THESE WATERS. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows along with some smallmouth. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 21 inches. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. The lake level is down, which is normal for this time of year, so use caution when launching and retrieving boats as many of the launch sites are shallow. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. Some rainbow trout were being taken by shore anglers fishing the marshmallow and worm rig. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season opens April 1st, however, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch and crappie. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debris. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATERS. You might try shore fishing for perch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: When the weather allows, some boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into some brown trout. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon. See the “Tips” section for info on the State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting in Pulaski..

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Rain added to the flow. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Good numbers steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. You can also fish the pier heads at Sodus, which currently have no ice build-up. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are not in; however, the ramps are ice free. The perch have been all over Sodus Bay…on the east and west side but the best action seems to be the northeast near the Yacht Club. You can use minnows or jigs tipped with spikes in 20 – 30 fow. Try off the points anywhere on Port Bay. There is open water in the canal, however no one is fishing. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. Those being caught are small and the catch rate is slow. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SALMON RIVER: Overall, steelhead fishing continued to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns - black stoneflies and black hare’s ear. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is high making shore fishing difficult. Brown trout and increasing numbers of steelhead are showing up in fair numbers. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

OTHER WATERS: Rain and snow melt keep water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing conditions. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

                                                                   >))))*>

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

9-12 - WNY Sport & Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds Event Center, 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY. (Thu & Fri Noon-9:00pm/Sat 10:00 am – 8:00 pm/Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm) WNY Sport & Travel Expo will be dedicated to the outdoor enthusiast. Special guests include Greg Miller from the hit show In Pursuit Bwana Jim and his Wildlife Show, Jim Beverly Retriever Training, and Clint Taylor. WNY Sport & Travel Expo will showcase excellent entertainment and seminars on hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities for all age group. There will be very large display of goods and services related to sport and travel. Interactive games will make it more entertaining for the participants. (Cost: $9.00/Children 10 and under free/Scouts in uniform free/Free Parking) (For information go to http://10times.com/wny-sport-travel)

11 - Catherine Creek Trout Unlimited Banquet at the Horseheads Elks Club, Horseheads, NY. (5:00 pm) (For information call Jim Palmer, 607-425-6136.)

11 - Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Association Nautical & Fishing Tackle Sale at the Brewerton Fire House, Brewerton, NY. (9:00 am-1:00 pm) (For information call Bill Pingel at 315-515-8278.)

13 - Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the Pulaski High School Auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, NY (Oswego County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association. DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 9. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 14. (For information contact Steven Lapan, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147 or by email at steven.lapan@dec.ny.gov)

15 – Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.
15 – Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye

15 – Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)
15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)
16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/5)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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*TIP: When putting your ice fishing gear away for the season, take a few minutes to repair any equipment that needs it and make a list of gear you need to replace or want to try for next year. There are often good sales this time of year that will save you some money, plus you will already be prepared when next years season starts.

 

*TIP 2: Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meetings:

March 7 - at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, NY (Niagara County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.

March 9 - at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Campus, Jefferson Road, Henrietta, NY (Monroe County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.

March 13 - at the Pulaski High School Auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, NY (Oswego County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association. (In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 14.)

DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Steven Lapan, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147 or b

 

 *LAKE ERIE:  Sunny days without wind bring out the offshore yellow perch patrol, with boats launching out of the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The most productive report was 10 perch caught while fishing the entire day. Many did less with nothing to report. Those who did venture out reported that, even in deeper water, the water conditions were murky, but they did mark fish they suspected were yellow perch. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. The Buffalo Boat Harbor is now ice free. Boaters were catching some yellow perch in the harbor, but the bite for shore anglers has been slow. Pink salmon seem to be more abundant this year, as many have been caught by walleye anglers over the summer. Pink salmon look a lot like steelhead or coho in the open lake, but can be distinguished by larger spots on their back and tail, and a more deeply forked tail. As they move into the streams, males will develop a distinctive hump behind their head. Pink salmon range 19 to 22 inches and 3 to 4 pounds.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Before last weekend's high water event, tributary anglers were seeing noticeably more steelhead in the creeks. In addition, a DEC electrofishing survey on Chautauqua Creek on Monday, showed good numbers of steelhead in the creek. The Lake Erie tributaries are in great shape today, with the exception of Cattaraugus Creek which remains a bit high and turbid. Stream conditions should remain near ideal through the weekend. Egg sacs, egg flies, nymph patterns, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float) are good offerings. Live or salted shiners are also a good bait in the lower sections.  For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. A few trout have been taken off the city of Dunkirk Pier with spoons. If you fish the tribs for trout, remember to ask permission to enter private property. Also remember to clean up your litter. Empty coffee cups, bait containers, candy wrappers, beverage containers, plastic bags, discarded fishing line, and graffiti spoil the effect of our getaway spots, and will likely prompt land owners to deny access in the future.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters are heavily stained today, with about 6 inches of visibility. It may take a couple days without wind to improve clarity. Anglers have recently been catching yellow perch along City of Buffalo shore sites. Emerald shiners are top bait and are available for dipping at foot of Sheridan Drive. Anglers at Broderick Park have been catching the occasional rainbow, lake or brown trout. Target trout by drifting egg sacs and minnows, or by casting spoons and spinners

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Fishing in the lower river is on hold at present due to muddy conditions. Even under better water conditions over past week, boaters had to work a bit harder for steelhead catches. Cycle through baits such as egg sacs, Kwikfish lures and shiners to see what they want. Clarity is generally a little better along the shoreline, so as overall conditions improve, shore anglers should see action pick up first. Shore anglers can target trout at Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Drifting egg sacs, egg flies, minnows and jigs with grubs or casting spoons and spinners are common shore tactics. The Niagara Bar has been a little slow, in part because of the excessive amount of baits around and the stained water. Look for fishing to slowly improve. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: When weather permits, boaters are already working the shorelines for decent catches of brown trout and steelhead and an occasional coho. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Lures run directly behind boat get far less trout attention. Key on areas with slightly warmer water near tributary and harbor outflows, in stained water and along mud lines.

Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are ice-free so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information. See the “Tips” section for info on the State of Lake Ontario Public Meetings.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  Anglers have recently see improved steelhead fishing on most creeks. Increased flows have steelhead moving up into smaller streams like Fourmile, Twelvemile, E. Branch Twelvemile and Keg Creeks. All mentioned except Keg Creek, currently have moderate and stained flows. Keg Creek is lower and clear. Anglers have reported good steelhead and brown trout action on Sandy and Johnson Creeks, which currently have moderate flows. Oak Orchard Creek is running slightly high with about 2 feet of visibility. Trout action has been good at the Oak. Eighteenmile Creek had higher flow earlier in week and catches were light. Flow has dipped to a moderate level over past 24 hours. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites are ice free and offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more. Over in Wilson Harbor, pike and a few trout are hanging around. Some perch as well. Try casting for brown trout off the short pier at the end of Route 425. All of the ice is off Lake Alice and fishermen are catching bluegill, perch and some crappie off the Kenyonville Bridge, but again, you have to sort through the smaller ones for a decent catch.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  The boating season has come early as Chautauqua Lake is completely ice-free. Some crappie and yellow perch are starting to show in the canals. Anglers also caught some crappie in nearshore areas before this cold snap. Emerald shiners and tube jigs fished under a float top the list of enticements right now. Small jigs (1/32 and 1/64 ounce) tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube jig or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. There was already been some good bullhead catches near creek mouths during the warm-up. Look for the bullhead bite to pick up again with rising temperatures and rain. There have been some walleye catches from boats, using vertical jigging tactics similar to ice fishing. Key on depths over 20 feet in areas off stream mouths. Walleye season closes on March 15th. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open with moderate flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

*SILVER LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for crappie, perch or bass. Crappie action was recently good near the north end for ice anglers, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. Likewise for northern pike at the south end. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch or bass. Bass season remains open on this Lake until March 15, 2017. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Bass season remains open on this Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Bass season remains open on the Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch and/or bass. Some anglers are getting their boats out. Bass season remains open on Honeoye Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No bass reports or tributary reports. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THESE WATERS. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debrie. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows along with some smallmouth. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 21 inches. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. The lake level is down, which is normal for this time of year, so use caution when launching and retrieving boats as many of the launch sites are shallow. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debrie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

*OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debrie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debrie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 and the Finger Lakes tributaries closed December 31, 2016. However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. The statewide trout season closes on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded).  Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch and crappie. If you try a boat, watch out for floating debrie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATERS. You might try shore fishing for perch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Some boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into some brown trout. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon. See the “Tips” section for info on the State of Lake Ontario Public Meetings.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Melting snow and rain added to the flow. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Good numbers steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. You can also fish the pier heads at Sodus, which currently have no ice build-up. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are not in; however, the ramps are ice free. The perch have been all over Sodus Bay…on the east and west side. You can use minnows or jigs tipped with spikes. Try over by LeRoy Island at Sodus Bay and fish the points anywhere on Port Bay. There is open water in sections of the canal, however no one is fishing. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. You might try shore or boat fishing for perch. Those being caught are small and the catch rate is slow. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SALMON RIVER: Overall, steelhead fishing continued to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns - black stoneflies and black hare’s ear. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is high making shore fishing difficult. Trout, mostly browns, have shown up in fair numbers over the last few weeks. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

*OTHER WATERS: Rain and snow melt keep water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing conditions. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

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THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

4-5 - Twin Tiers Outdoor Expo at the First Arena, 155 N. Main Street, Elmira, NY (Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am - 4:00 pm) Event features many seminars and a sales area. (For information go to www.twintiersoutdoorexpo.com)

4/5 – 25/26 - Spring Season Fly Tying at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (Weekends at 1:00 pm) Head over to our Fly-Fishing department where one of our expert Outfitters will be showing how to tie the best flies to catch big trout during this spring season! We’ll go over the importance of being able to match the hatch and set you up with everything you need to tie some killer flies! You can also test your skills at tying your own flies right here in the store! The March schedule is: March 4th - Featuring the Wooly Bugger Fly, a fly that represents many species of aquatic insects/March 5th - Featuring the Prince Nymph Fly, a fly that represents many species of aquatic insects/March 11th - Featuring the Conehead Marabou Muddler Fly, a streamer fly that represents many bait fish/March 12th -  Featuring the Wire Body Stonefly Fly/March 18th - Featuring the Elk Hair Caddis Fly, a great searing dry fly when fish are active and sipping bugs off of the surface/March 19th - Featuring the Caddis Pupa Fly, a fly that represents an emerging caddis/March 25th - Featuring the Parachute Adams Fly, a great dry fly to represent many of the mayfly while still in the nymph stage/March 26th - Featuring the Bead Head Pheasant Tail Fly, A classic trout nymph representing the mayfly while still in the nymph stage of life. (For information call 716-608-4770)

7 - Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, NY (Niagara County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Steven Lapan, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147 or by email at steven.lapan@dec.ny.gov)

9 - Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Campus, Jefferson Road, Henrietta, NY (Monroe County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board. DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Steven Lapan, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147 or by email at steven.lapan@dec.ny.gov)

9-12 - WNY Sport & Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds Event Center, 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg, NY. (Thu & Fri Noon-9:00pm/Sat 10:00 am – 8:00 pm/Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm) WNY Sport & Travel Expo will be dedicated to the outdoor enthusiast. Special guests include Greg Miller from the hit show In Pursuit Bwana Jim and his Wildlife Show, Jim Beverly Retriever Training, and Clint Taylor. WNY Sport & Travel Expo will showcase excellent entertainment and seminars on hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities for all age group. There will be very large display of goods and services related to sport and travel. Interactive games will make it more entertaining for the participants. (Cost: $9.00/Children 10 and under free/Scouts in uniform free/Free Parking) (For information go to http://10times.com/wny-sport-travel)

11 - Catherine Creek Trout Unlimited Banquet at the Horseheads Elks Club, Horseheads, NY. (5:00 pm) (For information call Jim Palmer, 607-425-6136.)

11 - Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Association Nautical & Fishing Tackle Sale at the Brewerton Fire House, Brewerton, NY. (9:00 am-1:00 pm) (For information call Bill Pingel at 315-515-8278.)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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TIP: FALLING THROUGH THIN ICE – WHAT TO DO: A news item this week carried the story of a pair of Ohio ice fishermen who drowned last Monday after falling through the ice on Sandy Pond in Oswego. Ice fishing is one of the great winter sports, but it's dangerous. This season's crazy temperature swings have made it an even more hazardous undertaking. Here’s what to do if you go through:

*Brace Yourself: This may be difficult to do at first but due to the immediate change in body temperature and shock from the cold water, the body's immediate reaction is going to be to gasp for air and hyperventilate. Breathing in the freezing water increases the chances of drowning.
*Keep Calm: Do not flail your arms; this will release more body heat. The body loses 32 times more heat in cold water than in cold air. Panicking will do nothing, keep your head above the water, grab onto the ice in the direction you came from. This ice should be strong enough to help you out of the water.
*Do Not Undress Winter Clothes: Keep winter clothing on while in the water, it will not drag you down. It will help keep in body heat and any air inside the clothing will help you float.
*Get Horizontal: Once you've gotten most of your upper body out of the water, kick your legs as strongly as possible in hopes of getting yourself out of the water and onto the ice.
*Roll Onto The Ice: Do not stand up, roll over the ice once you're out to help prevent more cracks in the ice and from falling in again. Always stay off ice that's only 3 inches thick or less.
*Retrace Your Steps: Once out and far enough away from the hole, trace your footsteps back to safety. Take it slow because your body is still dealing with the affects of the freezing water.
*Throw, Don't Go: Never enter the water to rescue someone. If someone is there to help you it is safer for that person to throw a lifesaving device, branch, coat, or rope into the water, wait until you grab hold and then tow you to safety. Otherwise you could both end up in the water.
*Get Warm: Once out of the water seek medical attention to bring body temperature back to normal.

(http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/148529561755yfn3zkky1)

 

TIP 2: Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meetings:

March 7 - at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, NY (Niagara County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.

March 9 - at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Campus, Jefferson Road, Henrietta, NY (Monroe County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.

March 13 - at the Pulaski High School Auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, NY (Oswego County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association. (In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 14.)

DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Steven Lapan, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147 or b

 

TIP 3: General Ice Thickness Guidelines: Ice has formed on many waters but not all is safe. Snow has also fallen in some areas. If it came as freezing was occurring the resulting ice is not as solid. Be extra careful on snow covered ice until it can be checked for thickness.

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

No matter what you are going to do once you get on the ice - like fishing, snowmobiling, skating or even ice boating, it’s a good idea to contact a local bait shop or resort on the lake about ice conditions. It’s also important to do some checking yourself once you get there. Several factors affect the relative safety of ice, such as temperature, snow cover and currents. But a very important factor is the actual ice thickness. (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html)

 

LAKE ERIE:  Sunny days without wind brought out the offshore yellow perch patrol, with boats launching out of the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The most productive report was 10 perch caught while fishing the entire day. Many did less with nothing to report. Those who did venture out reported that, even in deeper water, the water conditions were murky, but they did mark fish they suspected were yellow perch. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. The Buffalo Boat Harbor is now ice free. Boaters were catching some yellow perch in the harbor, but the bite for shore anglers has been slow. Pink salmon seem to be more abundant this year, as many have been caught by walleye anglers over the summer. Pink salmon look a lot like steelhead or coho in the open lake, but can be distinguished by larger spots on their back and tail, and a more deeply forked tail. As they move into the streams, males will develop a distinctive hump behind their head. Pink salmon range 19 to 22 inches and 3 to 4 pounds.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Anglers are reporting improving conditions on area tributaries for a mix of dark and fresh steelhead. The smaller streams are your best bet following high precipitation days. Productive wintertime steelhead baits include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). High, stained waters are more productive with buggers and streamers, especially with warm rains increasing temperatures a notch or two. The bite tended to shut down fairly early on creeks that saw heavy fishing pressure. Best to get there early or get away from the pack.  For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors are ice-free. Trout sometimes show in the harbors in winter months.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters are murky green. Anglers are picking up some yellow perch at Beaver Island Marina on emerald shiners. Other open marinas are also worth a shot for perch. Emerald shiners are readily available for dipping at Broderick Park. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs usually produces some rainbow trout catches this time of year along Unity Island and the Bird Island Pier. Anglers may target black bass on the upper river by catch and release only, artificial lures only. If you do venture into Canadian waters, make sure you call yourself in to notify the Canadian authorities of your intentions. Remember, worms are the only live bait you can use and they cannot be in dirt. It’s a pretty painless process, but they do mean business if you violate the Canadian rules.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Water conditions are looking better for the weekend. Charter boats have seen good trout action in the mid to upper drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. In the gorge, drifters are catching steelhead and lake trout on three-way rigs with egg sacs or flatfish lures. On the Niagara Bar, catches have been mostly lake trout with some brown trout and steelhead mixed in. Shore anglers can target trout along Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners and jigs with plastics fished under a float, or casting medium-sized spoons and Vibrax spinners are good trout offerings. Shore anglers have been catching their share of trout in the gorge, using spoons, spinners, jigs and beads. One problem noted is too much bait in the River. Anglers are seeing a large number of smaller-sized smelt in the river right now. Regulation notes: Lake trout season is open on the lower river as of January 1st. Also starting on January 1st, walleye daily limit decreased to 1, with minimum length of 18 inches. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Some boats ventured out on the Lake during the few days of nice weather this past week. The anglers encountered some decent brown trout action off Olcott.  They were using Bay Rat Lures in the smaller sizes, trolled behind planer boards. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. A fair number of pike are being caught, too. Piers are ice-free so casting spoons and spinners will produce some trout. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information. See the “Tips” section for info on the State of Lake Ontario Public Meetings.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  The Lake Ontario tributaries were in great shape this past week. Niagara County received about a half inch of rain overnight, which will benefit the smallest streams like Keg and Twelvemile Creeks that were getting a little low, but may stain other streams. Eighteenmile Creek anglers have seen decent action for steelhead and the occasional brown trout. Anglers have also commented on catches of "nuisance" perch clear up to Burt Dam. Flows at Oak Orchard Creek have been a little high, but clarity is good. Oak anglers have had to work for their trout catches. Johnson and Sandy Creeks have had medium flows and have produced good catches of steelhead and brown trout. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Pier sites are ice free and offer access to a variety of fish species that congregate at the slightly warmer outflows of the harbors. Anglers could potentially hook-up with steelhead, brown trout, northern pike, yellow perch, crappie and more.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open with moderate flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

SILVER LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. Crappie action was recently good near the north end for ice anglers, and it’s a good starting point for boaters. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch or bass. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on this Lake until March 15, 2017. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on this Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on the Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch or bass. Some anglers are getting their boats out. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on Honeoye Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No bass reports or tributary reports. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THESE WATERS. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows along with some smallmouth. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 21 inches. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 and the Finger Lakes tributaries closed December 31, 2016. However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. The statewide trout season closes on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded).  Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATERS. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Two anglers drowned on Sandy, this month, after going through the ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Some boat anglers are fishing the lake shallows and running into some brown trout. Small stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers, Rapalas and Thundersticks are working nicely off boards in 6 to 20 feet of water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon. See the “Tips” section for info on the State of Lake Ontario Public Meetings.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Melting snow and rain added to the flow. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. You can launch boats on Port and Sodus Bays. The DEC docks are not in; however, the ramps are ice free. The large perch have been hanging around LeRoy Island and in shallow water on the north-east side of Sodus Bay. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. A good hard refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SALMON RIVER: Overall, steelhead fishing continued to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns - black stoneflies and black hare’s ear. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is high making shore fishing difficult. Trout have shown up in fair numbers over the last few weeks. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Bullhead are hitting worms and leeches and rock bass are hitting minnows and hair jigs. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam.. Also, remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

OTHER WATERS: Rain and snow melt kept water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. The high water and turbid conditions are creating unsafe fishing conditions. Be extra careful if you go out. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

                                                                   >))))*>

 

THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

25 – 2nd Annual Sportsman’s Trade Show at the Locke Fire Department, 1050 State Route 38, Locke, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) Free. (For information call Joyce Ward 315-730-9730)         

25 - Spring Season Fly Tying at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (12:00 - 1:00 pm) Head over to our Fly-Fishing department where one of our expert Outfitters will be showing how to tie the best flies to catch big trout during this spring season! We’ll go over the importance of being able to match the hatch and set you up with everything you need to tie some killer flies! You can also test your skills at tying your own flies right here in the store! (For information call 716-608-4770)

25 - Steelhead Fishing Basics at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (1:00 - 2:00 pm) There’s nothing like the squeal of a tight drag while a giant steelhead bullets through the water! Stop by our Fishing department where one of our Outfitters will show you the ropes of how to increase your odds of landing a steelhead. From float fishing to jigging, we know all the techniques and gear necessary to turn you into a successful steelhead angler! (For information call 716-608-4770)

25 - Safety on the Water at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (2:00 - 3:00 pm) It’s always a fun time to hit the boat and spend the day on the water! What’s not so fun is running into a dangerous situation while away from shore. It’s time to get prepared and be ready for anything that might try and ruin your perfect day. Head over to our Marine department where we’ll show you everything you’ll need to be more than ready for your next outing! (For information call 716-608-4770)

MARCH 2017

1 – Start of Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on North McMillan Creek and Conesus Inlet WMA from Conesus Lake South to the Dam (Livingston County) except the canal west of the inlet and that portion of the north of the canal. (>5/5)

4-5 - Twin Tiers Outdoor Expo at the First Arena, 155 N. Main Street, Elmira, NY (Sat 9:00 am - 6:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am - 4:00 pm) Event features many seminars and a sales area. (For information go to www.twintiersoutdoorexpo.com

 

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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2 – 17 - 17

No Fishing Update This Week.

Be careful out there!

 

2 – 10 - 17

 

TIP: Beginner Ice Fishing: Simply drop your bait or lure to the depth where you think the fish are, and then let it sit. Keep it still. If you've put your lure or bait near a fish, there's a good chance the fish will take it. Sometimes, though, it's challenging to know if a fish has your bait or lure in its mouth. Fish are extremely passive in the winter. They can have your bait or lure in their mouth, and you won't even know it.

If you lift your rod, and a fish isn't there, let your bait or lure flutter down to its starting point, and then watch it for awhile before lifting it again.

Also, if you're not catching fish, change the depth at which you're placing your bait or lure. Sometimes, fish are below you but not at the depth at which you're fishing.

 

TIP 2: Free Ice Fishing Weekend: President's Day weekend (February 18-19, 2017) has been designated as a free fishing weekend in New York, to encourage more people to try ice fishing. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the waters of New York State without a license, providing great opportunity to learn about this popular activity. Those below 16 years of age do not require a license at any time.

 

TIP 3: General Ice Thickness Guidelines: Ice has formed on many waters but not all is safe. Snow has also fallen in some areas. If it came as freezing was occurring the resulting ice is not as solid. Be extra careful on snow covered ice until it can be checked for thickness.  

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

No matter what you are going to do once you get on the ice - like fishing, snowmobiling, skating or even ice boating, it’s a good idea to contact a local bait shop or resort on the lake about ice conditions. It’s also important to do some checking yourself once you get there. Several factors affect the relative safety of ice, such as temperature, snow cover and currents. But a very important factor is the actual ice thickness. (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html)

 

*LAKE ERIE:  There are a few boating anglers who pursue offshore perch and late-season walleye – weather permitting. Finding a place to launch their craft got a little harder. The docks have been pulled at the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. Pink salmon seem to be more abundant this year, as many have been caught by walleye anglers over the summer. Pink salmon look a lot like steelhead or coho in the open lake, but can be distinguished by larger spots on their back and tail, and a more deeply forked tail. As they move into the streams, males will develop a distinctive hump behind their head. Pink salmon range 19 to 22 inches and 3 to 4 pounds. At the small boat harbor, 4 inches of ice is reported and lots of perch are being caught, but mostly dinks. 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Periodic precipitation over past couple of weeks has sustained flows in the Erie tribs, with levels in constant fluctuation between ideal and high. Cattaraugus Creek has remained high and muddy throughout. Creeks were in decent shape, with moderate, murky flows at last report. Anglers have reported decent fishing for a mix of dark and fresh steelhead. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a wax worm (fished under a float) are good offerings. Some bait was showing in the lower sections of the tributaries, so minnows are also a good bait option. Your best bet is to find a deeper hole and fish slow. Best bait has been eggs – sacs or singles. Jigs have been hit or miss. Salted minnows have not been as effective as anglers would like. Some of the smaller streams and creeks have been producing better than the bigger ones. The smaller streams are your best bet today, which currently have moderate flows with good color. All streams except Cattaraugus Creek will be options this weekend. Productive wintertime steelhead baits include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). High, stained waters are more productive with buggers and streamers, especially with warm rains increasing temperatures a notch or two. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors are starting to see a build-up of slush ice. Trout sometimes show in the harbors in winter months.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters are murky green. Anglers are picking up some yellow perch at Beaver Island Marina on emerald shiners. Other open marinas are also worth a shot for perch. Shore fishermen will probably be the first to see some cleaner water toward shore and your best bet will be to cast spoons and spinners in bright colors. Cast something that makes some noise and draws attention to it. One of the issues before the water muddied up was a lot of bait present in the system. Small and medium-sized smelt were reported from area captains who had an issue on the catching end. Anglers may target black bass on the upper river by catch and release only, artificial lures only. If you do venture into Canadian waters, make sure you call yourself in to notify the Canadian authorities of your intentions. Remember, worms are the only live bait you can use and they cannot be in dirt. It’s a pretty painless process, but they do mean business if you violate the Canadian rules.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Muddy river waters had the fishing on hold. Look for clarity to start improving when winds die down. Prior to the muddy conditions, boaters were catching mostly steelhead and lake trout, with the occasional brown trout, walleye or smallmouth bass mixed in. Fishing had gotten a bit tougher due to a large influx of baitfish. Considering the amount of bait around, drifting with a three-way rig and minnow is a good bet. Charter operators will often cure minnows with a fluorescent-colored dye product such as Pautzke to make them stand out. Egg sacs and flatfish-style lures are also good offerings. Shore anglers can target trout along Artpark, Devil’s Hole and Whirlpool state parks. Egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners and jigs with plastics fished under a float, or casting medium-sized spoons and Vibrax spinners are good trout offerings. Shore anglers have been catching their share of trout in the gorge, using spoons, spinners, jigs and beads. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Some boats ventured out on the Lake during the few days of nice weather. The anglers encountered some decent brown trout action off Olcott.  They were using Bay Rat Lures in the smaller sizes, trolled behind planer boards. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks are currently the top steelhead options. Flows are moderate to slightly high with a very slight stain. Muddy water from rain and snowmelt has not impacted these dammed streams, at least yet. There has been relatively light fishing pressure lately. Anglers report fair catches of steelhead with the occasional brown trout. Eighteenmile anglers also report yellow perch catches all the way up to the dam. The smaller creeks are currently higher and muddy, but all ice has been flushed out. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. Over in Wilson, skim ice is starting to form in the harbor and it will be cold at night through the weekend. Not sure if we will see safe ice before it warms up again. Some of the smaller streams like Keg and Four Mile might not be open at the mouth to allow fish entry. If they are closed, cast the mouth with spoons and spinners. If they are open, look for some trout to be available. Oak Orchard Creek currently has lower flow with a slight stain, however turbid waters could still be making way through the reservoir. The smaller tributaries have  dropped to moderate flows with a stain. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. A reminder to anglers it’s now catch and release/artificial only for bass. On Lake Alice open water is starting to ice over again.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  Ice cover is back on Chautauqua Lake. Look to the northern end for the best chance at getting on the lake this weekend. It looks like colder temperatures are arriving so give it a few days to freeze up. Off Maple Springs, there is 3 inches of ice over 15 feet of water – not quite enough … but close. As always, exercise caution when ice fishing. It may be thick enough in one spot but not thick enough in another. Never fish alone and carry ice picks and a rope. It may take a little longer in the south basin with strong currents posing a problem. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Trout streams are open (but may close over with forecasted snows) with moderate flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

*SILVER LAKE:  Reports put ice thicknesses of north and south ends at around 4 - 6 inches, but no new ice report for mid-lake is available. Shore ice is a little thinner but holding. South end anglers have seen decent northern pike action on tip-ups with large shiners, with some pike over 30 inches. Jigging has produced light numbers of smaller yellow perch with the occasional keeper over 8 inches. The perch bite has been better in the northern half of the lake. Some crappie have shown at the north end as well. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: There is about a 4 inch ice cover at the north end but remember ice this week, is newly refrozen and cannot be considered safe until checked. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go.  If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: Ice fishing activity is isolated to the very northern tip, where ice is reportedly 4 to 5 inches thick out to about 8 feet of water. Anglers report a good bluegill bite on jigs and grubs. Fair numbers of northern pike and largemouth bass have been caught on tip-ups with golden shiners or suckers.

If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: LIMITED SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember ice this week, is newly refrozen and cannot be considered safe until checked. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE:  Limited ice (0 – 2.5 inches) and a lot of wet spots showing on the ice. Refreezing is taking place but it will be a few days before it’s safe. Ice at the south end, south of the break, out to 10 feet of water is reported at about 5 inches. Bluegills and some largemouth bass and pickerel were being caught. Bluegill action was good with black a hot color. Spikes and wax worms are working well. Use a slow jigging motion. Perch had been hitting red. If you go out be extra careful and watch the shore ice. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on Honeoye Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No bass reports or tributary reports. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: A report on Lamoka indicates about 5 inches of ice at the south end. The ice is refrozen and may not be totally safe. The report also said some nice bluegills were being caught. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows along with some smallmouth. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 21 inches. For shore fishermen, the water level is very low - about as low as it gets.  Water temps remain in the low 40s. Shorefishing overall remains good with salmon, occasional browns and lake trout in the mix depending on where and how you are fishing.  Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it is newly formed and may not be safe. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

*OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it is newly formed and may not be safe. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: Some ice (2 – 3 inches) and some anglers reported at the north end of the lake. No details on ice or catch reported, however. Remember, slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Trout streams may or maybe not be open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 and the Finger Lakes tributaries closed December 31, 2016. However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. The statewide trout season closes on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded).  Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: The big news is - The Almost-Annual New York State Crappie Derby on the Whitney Point Reservoir has been cancelled for this year because of insufficient ice. Ice is reported but it is not thick enough to support the crowds that attend the Derby. Last week ice was reported at 6 inches covered by 6 inches of snow.  Anglers have been out and report bluegill, crappie (many small) and walleye biting. No word on ice conditions in/near the channel. Use caution as the channel area typically has less ice than the pond. If you do go out be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For perch use minnows or small jigs with spikes. One angler notes Bald Eagles flying around as he fished; a nice added attraction. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND: Conditions are such that it is recommended no fishing on the pond. It went from open water to a little ice formation and then heavy lake effect snow. The Pond had rain and warm temperatures on Tuesday. At one point early in the week there was 18 inches of slush on the minimal ice formation. This mandates that caution be used on the ice especially around the shoreline, old holes, and pressure cracks as these areas may be trouble. Perch and a few walleye and northern pike were providing fair to good action before the changes in weather conditions. If you do go on the Pond be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No ice reports for the lake. Remember if you find ice this week, it is new. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: Ice is reforming and surely has soft spots. Some reports indicate up to 6 inches of ice in some areas of the eastern basin. If you go out be extra careful and watch the ice quality and quantity and again be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. There is no safe ice reported but that may change later in the week as temperatures remain cold. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Very few anglers fishing the lake except for possible shore anglers at the tributary mouths. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have moderate water levels. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Some ice (0 – 6 inches) on parts of the bays but still some open water. Forecasted colder temperatures may increase ice thickness by the middle of the week. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For perch use minnows or small, bright jigs with spikes. They are also hitting two inch Berkley Power Bait. Use the shad color. The Canal widewaters is iced over again but quality is unknown. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Some ice (1 – 3 inches) is reported on the ponds and bays this week but with the colder temperatures forecasted it should increase. For right now ice fishing is not recommended. Ice is forming at the north end of Irondequoit Bay but that too, is not recommended. Some anglers had been out on the ponds in Mendon Ponds Park but ice there is reported at about 1 inch and soft. Be very careful at all five of Mendon Ponds, especially Round. There are springs that feed the ponds making the ice dangerous at best. 100 Acre Pond is shallow and freezes the best. The Durand/Eastman Ponds have had a few anglers visit but the reported catch many undersized bluegills. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SALMON RIVER: Despite snow squalls and white out conditions at times anglers are reported  as having a good day in the lower end of the river while float fishing with egg sacs and beads. Overall, however, steelhead fishing continues to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Some anglers reported having a slow day in Altmar. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs have produced results The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is up making shore fishing very difficult. Trout have shown up over the last few weeks. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Don’t be afraid to fish down behind the YMCA or Old City Hall with the current water flow. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam.. Also, remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

*OTHER WATERS: Rain and snow brought water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. Cold temperatures and the snow are also creating unsafe fishing conditions. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) Some ice and some catches but no details. Ice over deeper water questionable. Huge schools of shiner/shad observed.  If you go out be extra careful and watch the ice quality and quantity.

Cuba Lake (Allegany County) Some good ice is reported at the south end. No details on thickness or if anything is being caught. If you go out be extra careful and check the ice as you go. Not recommended.

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) From last week: There is a reported 5-7 inches of ice reported but it’s a mix of white and black ice covered by about 2-3 inches of snow. If you go out be extra careful and watch the ice quality and quantity. Fishing action was reported as fair plus.

 

                                                                   >))))*>

 

*THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

11 - NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Sodus Bay -  Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete)Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

16-19 – Central New York (CNY) Winter Boat Show at the NYS Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Wed., Thur. & Fri 1:00 – 9:00 pm/Sat. 10:00 am – 9:00 pm/Sun. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm) This event will showcase hundreds of new models of power and sail boats, including cruisers, sport boats, pontoon boats, personal watercraft, and docks. Also: Fishing guides, charter captains, water destinations, marine law enforcement agencies, Suddenly-In-Command water safety demonstrations with NY Sea Grant and USCGA. Come see the largest Upstate selection of boats on display in three huge buildings at the New York State Fairgrounds. (Cost: Adult $10.00/Children 13 and under FREE/Parking is FREE) (For information go to http://cnyboatshow.com/WINTER/A_bs_home.html)

17-3/5 - Bass Pro Shops Spring Fishing Classic at the Bass Pro Shop store, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY. Bass Pro Shops’ Spring Fishing Classic offers sportsmen and women, kids, and families interested in fishing the opportunity to enjoy 17 days filled with the latest fishing gear, tips, outdoor celebrities, giveaways, and more. The Spring Fishing Classic provides opportunities for novice and experienced anglers to learn from the pros while kids can attend a fishing workshop, participate in the casting challenge, win prizes, and more during the Next Generation weekend. Customers that donate used rods and reels can receive trade-in savings and instant bonus offers up to $100. The used fishing equipment will be donated to local nonprofit organizations. (To see pros, seminars, topics, and times visit www.basspro.com/classic. For information call 315-258-2700 or email Manager_Finger_Lakes_NY@basspro.com)
18 - The 2017 Almost-Annual Crappie Derby on the Whitney Point Reservoir. The Almost-Annual New York State Crappie Derby on the Whitney Point Reservoir has been cancelled for this year because of insufficient ice. (For information go to
nyscrappiederby@aol.com)

18 - #9 Late Ice Perch & Pike Derby 2017 sponsored by  Romigs Tavern, Bennington Drive, Rochester NY (Sunrise – 2:00 pm/Weigh in ends at 3:00 pm) (Entry Fee: $20.00) (For information call Kurt Hannabach 585-703-0349, Mike McCormick 585-944-0498, Mark Toomey 585-281-0526 or Mike Knittel 585-935-1407)

18-19 - FREE FISHING WEEKEND in New York State. No license required.

18-19 – 3rd Annual Conesus Lake Frostbite Ice Derby headquartered at Ted’s Tackle, Lakeville, NY and sponsored by Ted’s and Critter Taxidermy. This is a multiple species contest -pike (4 prizes), bass (3 prizes), panfish (lot of 10/3 prizes), walleye (1 prize) and tiger muskies (1 prize). All profits from this derby will go to the Ronald McDonald House and the Myers Memorial Fund. Weigh in is by 1:00 pm, on the 19th at the Conesus Lake Sportsmen’s Club in Lakeville, NY. (For information call 585-429-0587 or email: ted.decker@yahoo.com.)

18-19 - Catteraugus County Sportsman Show at Seneca Allegany Event Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Hosted by York-Penn Shows of New York. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. 400 tables. (For information call James Buck at 716-569-6810 or email  topdrake@yahoo.com)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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TIP: Kids & Ice Fishing: When you take a youngster ice-fishing, a couple things are important. First, let them entertain themselves if they want to. Don't force them to fish if they want to take a break and slide on the ice or explore or whatever.
Second, make sure they are dressed appropriately, and when they get cold, go home. The first couple of ice-fishing excursions should be fairly short.
The sign of success is when the young angler asked "When can we go again".

  

TIP 2: General Ice Thickness Guidelines: Ice has formed on many waters but not all is safe. Snow has also fallen in some areas. If it came as freezing was occurring the resulting ice is not as solid. Be extra careful on snow covered ice until it can be checked for thickness.

 

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

No matter what you are going to do once you get on the ice - like fishing, snowmobiling, skating or even ice boating, it’s a good idea to contact a local bait shop or resort on the lake about ice conditions. It’s also important to do some checking yourself once you get there. Several factors affect the relative safety of ice, such as temperature, snow cover and currents. But a very important factor is the actual ice thickness. (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html)

 

LAKE ERIE:  There are a few boating anglers who pursue offshore perch and late-season walleye – weather permitting. Finding a place to launch their craft got a little harder. The docks have been pulled at the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. Pink salmon seem to be more abundant this year, as many have been caught by walleye anglers over the summer. Pink salmon look a lot like steelhead or coho in the open lake, but can be distinguished by larger spots on their back and tail, and a more deeply forked tail. As they move into the streams, males will develop a distinctive hump behind their head. Pink salmon range 19 to 22 inches and 3 to 4 pounds.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Fish are scattered, but you can find fish if you put your time in. Shelf ice and slush is starting to pose a problem to the south of Buffalo. Your best bet is to find a deeper hole and fish slow. Best bait has been eggs – sacs or singles. Jigs have been hit or miss. Salted minnows have not been as effective as anglers would like. Some of the smaller streams and creeks have been producing better than the bigger ones. The smaller streams are your best bet today, which currently have moderate flows with good color. All streams except Cattaraugus Creek will be options this weekend. Productive wintertime steelhead baits include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). High, stained waters are more productive with buggers and streamers, especially with warm rains increasing temperatures a notch or two. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors are starting to see a build-up of slush ice. Trout sometimes show in the harbors in winter months.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters are murky green. Anglers are picking up some yellow perch at Beaver Island Marina on emerald shiners. Other open marinas are also worth a shot for perch. Emerald shiners are readily available for dipping at Broderick Park. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs usually produces some rainbow trout catches this time of year along Unity Island and the Bird Island Pier. Anglers may target black bass on the upper river by catch and release only, artificial lures only. If you do venture into Canadian waters, make sure you call yourself in to notify the Canadian authorities of your intentions. Remember, worms are the only live bait you can use and they cannot be in dirt. It’s a pretty painless process, but they do mean business if you violate the Canadian rules.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Charter boats have seen good trout action in the mid to upper drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. In the gorge, drifters are catching steelhead and lake trout on three-way rigs with egg sacs or flatfish lures. Fluorescent green fire dye minnows did the trick for the lakers, using a Pautzke cure. On the Niagara Bar, catches have been mostly lake trout with some brown trout and steelhead mixed in. Shore anglers can target trout along Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners and jigs with plastics fished under a float, or casting medium-sized spoons and Vibrax spinners are good trout offerings. Shore anglers have been catching their share of trout in the gorge, using spoons, spinners, jigs and beads. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Some boats ventured out on the Lake during the few days of nice weather this past week. The anglers encountered some decent brown trout action off Olcott.  They were using Bay Rat Lures in the smaller sizes, trolled behind planer boards. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  The Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek is still the place to go for tributary action. Conditions have been good and small jigs fished under a float and tipped with a wax worm is always a good options. Egg sacs or egg imitations can catch a fish or two. Brown trout and steelhead are both being caught. The occasional Coho salmon is still showing up, too. Lots of perch in 18 Mile along with a few pike. Over in Wilson, skim ice is starting to form in the harbor and it will be cold at night through the weekend. Not sure if we will see safe ice before it warms up again. Some of the smaller streams like Keg and Four Mile might not be open at the mouth to allow fish entry. If they are closed, cast the mouth with spoons and spinners. If they are open, look for some trout to be available. Oak Orchard Creek currently has lower flow with a slight stain, however turbid waters could still be making way through the reservoir. The smaller tributaries have  dropped to moderate flows with a stain. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. A reminder to anglers it’s now catch and release/artificial only for bass. On Lake Alice open water is starting to ice over again.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Some ice (0 – 3 inches) on parts of the lake but still a lot of open water. Forecasted colder temperatures may increase ice thickness by the middle of the week. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go.

Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Trout streams are open (but may close over with forecasted snows) with moderate flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

SILVER LAKE:  There is ice cover reported on the lake but remember ice this week, is newly refrozen and cannot be considered safe until checked. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. There is ice cover at the north end but remember ice this week, is newly refrozen and cannot be considered safe until checked. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go.  If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember ice this week, is newly refrozen and cannot be considered safe until checked. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: LIMITED SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember ice this week, is newly refrozen and cannot be considered safe until checked. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE:  Limited ice (0 – 2.5 inches) and a lot of wet spots showing on the ice. Refreezing is taking place but it will be a few days before it’s safe. Before the thaw, at the south end, bluegills and some largemouth bass and pickerel were being caught. Bluegill action was good with black a hot color. Spikes and wax worms are working well. Use a slow jigging motion. Perch had been hitting red. If you go out be extra careful and watch the shore ice. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on Honeoye Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No bass reports or tributary reports. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: Ice is reforming and may not be safe. No New Reports This Week other than one advising the channel is still open water. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows along with some smallmouth. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 21 inches. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it is newly formed and may not be safe. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it is newly formed and may not be safe. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: Some ice (2 – 3 inches) and some anglers reported at the north end of the lake. No details on ice or catch reported, however. Remember, slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 and the Finger Lakes tributaries closed December 31, 2016. However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. The statewide trout season closes on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded).  Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: 6 - 9 inches of ice is reported covered by 6 inches of snow.  Anglers have been out and report bluegill, crappie (many small) and walleye biting. No word on ice conditions in/near the channel. Use caution as the channel area typically has less ice than the pond. If you do go out be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For perch use minnows or small jigs with spikes. One angler notes Bald Eagles flying around as he fished; a nice added attraction. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  Ice thickness reports vary from 5 to 6 inches, however, it is reported soft and covered by about 6 inches of snow. This mandates that caution be used around the shoreline, old holes, and pressure cracks as these areas may be trouble. Perch and a few walleye and northern pike were providing fair to good action before the warm-up. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No ice reports for the lake. Remember if you find ice this week, it is new. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: Ice is reforming and surely has soft spots. If you go out be extra careful and watch the ice quality and quantity and again be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. There is no safe ice reported but that may change later in the week as temperatures remain cold. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Very few anglers fishing the lake except for possible shore anglers at the tributary mouths. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have moderate water levels. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Some ice (0 – 3 inches) on parts of the bays but still a lot of open water. Forecasted colder temperatures may increase ice thickness by the middle of the week. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For perch use minnows or small, bright jigs with spikes. They are also hitting two inch Berkley Power Bait. Use the shad color. The Canal widewaters is iced over again but quality is unknown. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Some ice (1 – 3 inches) is reported on the ponds and bays this week but with the colder temperatures forecasted it should increase. For right now ice fishing is not recommended. Ice is forming at the north end of Irondequoit Bay but that too, is not recommended. Some anglers had been out on the ponds in Mendon Ponds Park but ice there is reported at about 1 inch and soft. Be very careful at all five of Mendon Ponds, especially Round. There are springs that feed the ponds making the ice dangerous at best. 100 Acre Pond is shallow and freezes the best. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SALMON RIVER: Despite snow squalls and white out conditions at times anglers are reported  as having a good day in the lower end of the river while float fishing with egg sacs and beads. Overall, however, steelhead fishing continues to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Some anglers reported having a slow day in Altmar. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs have produced results The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is up making shore fishing very difficult. Trout have shown up in decent numbers over the last few weeks. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Don’t be afraid to fish down behind the YMCA or Old City Hall with the current water flow. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Bullhead are hitting worms and leeches and rock bass are hitting minnows and hair jigs. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam.. Also, remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

OTHER WATERS: Rain and snow brought water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. Cold temperatures and the snow are also creating unsafe fishing conditions. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) No New Reports This Week. Ice is reforming and surely has soft spots. If you go out be extra careful and watch the ice quality and quantity.

Cuba Lake (Allegany County) 2 – 3 inches of soft ice is reported. If you go out be extra careful and check the ice as you go. Not recommended.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) No New Reports This Week. Ice is reforming and surely has soft spots. If you go out be extra careful and watch the ice quality and quantity.

Dryden Lake (Tompkins County) No New Reports This Week. Ice is reforming and surely has soft spots. If you go out be extra careful and watch the ice quality and quantity.

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) There is a reported 5-7 inches of ice reported but it’s a mix of white and black ice covered by about 2-3 inches of snow. If you go out be extra careful and watch the ice quality and quantity. Fishing action was reported as fair plus.

Red House Lake (Cattaraugus County) Has some ice, but nothing safe yet. Ice is reforming.

Quaker Lake (Cattaraugus County) Wide open except for some ice reforming near the mouth of Quaker Run Creek and the bay.

 

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THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

4 - The Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Association (Sunrise – 2:00 pm) Tournament boundaries include Lake Ontario and its tributaries, as well as the Lower Niagara River. Fish can be caught from boat or shore. Sign up at Lewiston Landing at the launch ramp starting at 5:30 a.m. Awards ceremony and after party will be held at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall, 145-6th Street, Lewiston starting at 3 p.m. Cost is $20 for entry plus $20 for NRAA membership. An optional $5 cost is available for anyone looking to compete for the biggest brown trout. For more information check out www.niagarariveranglers.com or call Paul Jackson at 731-4780. Entry forms should also be available at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston and The Slippery Sinker in Olcott.

4-5 - S-VE Sportsman’s Club Sportsman Days at the Spencer-Van Etten High School, S-VE High School, 16 Darts Cross Road, Spencer, NY (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Sponsored by the Spencer-Van Etten High School Sportsman’s Club. From hunting with dogs to hunting with guides. Artists, taxidermists, wood carvers, archery shops, fishing experts and guides. Archery range and fly casting area for kids. Free venison samples. Youth 3D archery tournament. Youth game calling contest. National Guard, seminars, Book Signing, DEC officers and Cornell deer researchers. Bring your deer mounts to hang in our “hall of Horns”. Food and drinks available for sale by our student council. Free! (For information call Doug 607-589-6512 or email @ cheveefann@aol.com)

4-12 - The Great American Outdoor Show at the State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, PA. The show features over 1,100 exhibitors ranging from shooting manufacturers to outfitters to fishing boats and RVs, and archery to art covering 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! Not to mention a jam packed schedule including country concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and much more! (Cost: $35.00) (For information go to greatamericanoutdoorshow.org )

11 - NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Sodus Bay -  Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete)Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

What Are You Catching?  Let us know (Click Here)

 

 

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*TIP: FALLING THROUGH THIN ICE – WHAT TO DO: A news item this week carried the story of a pair of Ohio ice fishermen who drowned last Monday after falling through the ice on Sandy Pond in Oswego. Ice fishing is one of the great winter sports, but it's dangerous. This season's crazy temperature swings have made it an even more hazardous undertaking. Here’s what to do if you go through:

*Brace Yourself: This may be difficult to do at first but due to the immediate change in body temperature and shock from the cold water, the body's immediate reaction is going to be to gasp for air and hyperventilate. Breathing in the freezing water increases the chances of drowning.
*Keep Calm: Do not flail your arms; this will release more body heat. The body loses 32 times more heat in cold water than in cold air. Panicking will do nothing, keep your head above the water, grab onto the ice in the direction you came from. This ice should be strong enough to help you out of the water.
*Do Not Undress Winter Clothes: Keep winter clothing on while in the water, it will not drag you down. It will help keep in body heat and any air inside the clothing will help you float.
*Get Horizontal: Once you've gotten most of your upper body out of the water, kick your legs as strongly as possible in hopes of getting yourself out of the water and onto the ice.
*Roll Onto The Ice: Do not stand up, roll over the ice once you're out to help prevent more cracks in the ice and from falling in again. Always stay off ice that's only 3 inches thick or less.
*Retrace Your Steps: Once out and far enough away from the hole, trace your footsteps back to safety. Take it slow because your body is still dealing with the affects of the freezing water.
*Throw, Don't Go: Never enter the water to rescue someone. If someone is there to help you it is safer for that person to throw a lifesaving device, branch, coat, or rope into the water, wait until you grab hold and then tow you to safety. Otherwise you could both end up in the water.
*Get Warm: Once out of the water seek medical attention to bring body temperature back to normal.

(http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/148529561755yfn3zkky1)

 

*TIP 2: General Ice Thickness Guidelines: Ice has formed on many waters but not all is safe. Snow has also fallen in some areas. If it came as freezing was occurring the resulting ice is not as solid. Be extra careful on snow covered ice until it can be checked for thickness. ice thickness guide card

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

No matter what you are going to do once you get on the ice - like fishing, snowmobiling, skating or even ice boating, it’s a good idea to contact a local bait shop or resort on the lake about ice conditions. It’s also important to do some checking yourself once you get there. Several factors affect the relative safety of ice, such as temperature, snow cover and currents. But a very important factor is the actual ice thickness. (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html)

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Sunny days without wind brought out the offshore yellow perch patrol, with close to 15 boats launching out of the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek on Saturday. The most productive report was 10 perch caught while fishing the entire day. Many did less with nothing to report. Those who did venture out reported that, even in deeper water, the water conditions were murky, but they did mark fish they suspected were yellow perch. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. Pink salmon seem to be more abundant this year, as many have been caught by walleye anglers over the summer. Pink salmon look a lot like steelhead or coho in the open lake, but can be distinguished by larger spots on their back and tail, and a more deeply forked tail. As they move into the streams, males will develop a distinctive hump behind their head. Pink salmon range 19 to 22 inches and 3 to 4 pounds.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Anglers are reporting improved conditions on area tributaries for a mix of dark and fresh steelhead. The smaller streams are your best bet following high precipitation days. Productive wintertime steelhead baits include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). High, stained waters are more productive with buggers and streamers, especially with warm rains increasing temperatures a notch or two. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors remain ice-free. Trout sometimes show in the harbors in winter months.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters are murky green. Anglers are picking up some yellow perch at Beaver Island Marina on emerald shiners. Other open marinas are also worth a shot for perch. Emerald shiners are readily available for dipping at Broderick Park. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs usually produces some rainbow trout catches this time of year along Unity Island and the Bird Island Pier. Anglers may target black bass on the upper river by catch and release only, artificial lures only. If you do venture into Canadian waters, make sure you call yourself in to notify the Canadian authorities of your intentions. Remember, worms are the only live bait you can use and they cannot be in dirt. It’s a pretty painless process, but they do mean business if you violate the Canadian rules.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Water conditions are looking good for the weekend. Charter boats have seen good trout action in the mid to upper drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. In the gorge, drifters are catching steelhead and lake trout on three-way rigs with egg sacs or flatfish lures. On the Niagara Bar, catches have been mostly lake trout with some brown trout and steelhead mixed in. Shore anglers can target trout along Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners and jigs with plastics fished under a float, or casting medium-sized spoons and Vibrax spinners are good trout offerings. Shore anglers have been catching their share of trout in the gorge, using spoons, spinners, jigs and beads. One problem noted is too much bait in the River. Anglers are seeing a large number of smaller-sized smelt in the river right now. Regulation notes: Lake trout season is open on the lower river as of January 1st. Also starting on January 1st, walleye daily limit decreased to 1, with minimum length of 18 inches. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Some boats ventured out on the Lake during the few days of nice weather this past week. The anglers encountered some decent brown trout action off Olcott.  They were using Bay Rat Lures in the smaller sizes, trolled behind planer boards. Best color patterns were goby and coho crusher. Rapalas and Challengers were working, too. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  Eighteenmile Creek anglers are seeing the effects of the rain and snowmelt. There is moderate flow below Burt Dam, but waters are stained. Egg sacs or egg imitations will still catch fish but a jig fished under a float and tipped with a waxie is on the list of enticements. For jigs, black with silver or white might work. Monday, egg sacs were working nicely. Action over at the Oak Orchard River has been going well, too, using the same baits. The smaller tributaries in Niagara and Orleans Counties are high and muddy but should improve to moderate flows with a stain. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. Lake Alice is open in some areas and has a very thin ice covering in others. NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A reminder to anglers it’s now catch and release/artificial only for bass.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open (but may close over with forecasted snows) with moderate flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

*SILVER LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch or bass. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on this Lake until March 15, 2017. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on this Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on the Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch or bass. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on Honeoye Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No bass reports or tributary reports. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THESE WATERS. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows along with some smallmouth. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 21 inches. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

*OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 and the Finger Lakes tributaries closed December 31, 2016. However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. The statewide trout season closes on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded).  Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATERS. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Two anglers drowned on Sandy, this past week, after going through the ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. If you try a boat, watch out for floating ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Very few anglers fishing the lake except for possible shore anglers at the tributary mouths. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Melting snow and rain added to the flow, and also the ice buildup along the banks. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. A good refreeze is needed. You might try boat or shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON COUNTY WATERS. A good refreeze is needed. You might try shore fishing for perch. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SALMON RIVER: Overall, steelhead fishing continued to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Some anglers reported having a slow day in Altmar. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs and pink trout worms have produced results The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is high making shore fishing difficult. Trout have shown up in decent numbers over the last few weeks. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Bullhead are hitting worms and leeches and rock bass are hitting minnows and hair jigs. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam.. Also, remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

*OTHER WATERS: Rain and snow kept water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. Cold temperatures and the snow are also creating unsafe fishing conditions. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

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*THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

JANUARY 2017

27-29 - New York Sportsman’s Expo in the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Fri - Noon to 8:00 pm/Sat – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm/Sun – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) This year's show will include more than 40 new exhibits, including outfitters from across the globe  . The schedule also includes seminars a kids' trout pond and more. (Admission: $10 ages 13-64; $5 for children 6 – 12; 5 and under no charge. Seniors are $7 and Military/Fire and Police are $7 with ID) (For information go to http://www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com/ )

28 – The Oneida Lake Perch Team Ice Fishing Derby headquartered at Bartel Road Bait & Tackle, Brewerton, NY.  (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information and registration contact Christopher Jones at 530-9916176  email: bigbuck326@aol.com or Jim Bogardus at 315-593-1457  email: jboggey1@gmail.com)

28 - Power Sports Open House at the Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (11:00am-5:00pm) Just because it's snowing outside doesn't mean you can't start thinking about that new fishing boat.  Stop in to Cabela's this weekend for our Power Sports open house.  Check out some of the new 2017 models we have in stock and chat with our fishing Pro-Staffers on the best ways to outfit your boat for the upcoming fishing season. 

-->Recieve a $1,000 Cabela's Gift Card with the purchase of a 2016 or older new boat

-->Alumacash Red Tag Sale up to $1,500 rebates on select models

-->Cabela's Pro-Staff will be on site to answer your fishing questions

-->Cabela's Power Sports Service Team will be available for questions in our service department and you will receive 10% off coupons for service

-->FREE Food and refreshments through out the day

-->Boats on display from Alumacraft, Lowe, and Ranger

(For information call 716-608-4770)

29 – NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Chaumont Bay – Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete) Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

30-2/27 - NY State Winter Classic Ice Fishing Tournament, Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY (Every Monday, 01/30-02/27 11:00am-11:00pm)

Cabela’s is excited to be a sponsor of the 2017 New York State Winter Classic Ice Fishing Tournament.  Stop in to the store to register for the tournament or bring your fish in to be weighed by one of our Outfitters.  You'll also have a chance to win a Cabela's ice shelter. Registration will take place at our customer service counter. (For more information on the tournament, please visit www.nysiceproam.com.) 

FEBRUARY 2017

1 – Deadline for submitting nominations to the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame. (For information visit www.nysohof.org.)

4 - 2017 NYS Ice Pro-Am Tournament Team-Only Event on Oneida Lake. All IPA events (Pro-Am Division) will be limited to the 1st 100 teams that register. All teams must register via mail-in entry form and payment of tournament fees by December 13th. (Entry fee: $100/team) Full IPA events will allow OPEN anglers only to bring fish to weigh-in locations via ice or vehicle to accomodate all anglers. Fish must be caught on event waterway the day of the event. Information regarding the NYS Ice Pro-Am (NYS IPA) can be found at: www.NYSiceproam.com or you can call Tim Thomas at 585-330-0494)

4 - NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Oneida Lake - Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete)
Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

4 - The Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Association (Sunrise – 2:00 pm) Tournament boundaries include Lake Ontario and its tributaries, as well as the Lower Niagara River. Fish can be caught from boat or shore. Sign up at Lewiston Landing at the launch ramp starting at 5:30 a.m. Awards ceremony and after party will be held at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall, 145-6th Street, Lewiston starting at 3 p.m. Cost is $20 for entry plus $20 for NRAA membership. An optional $5 cost is available for anyone looking to compete for the biggest brown trout. For more information check out www.niagarariveranglers.com or call Paul Jackson at 731-4780. Entry forms should also be available at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston and The Slippery Sinker in Olcott.

4-5 - S-VE Sportsman’s Club Sportsman Days at the Spencer-Van Etten High School, S-VE High School, 16 Darts Cross Road, Spencer, NY (10:00 am – 5:00 pm) Sponsored by the Spencer-Van Etten High School Sportsman’s Club. From hunting with dogs to hunting with guides. Artists, taxidermists, wood carvers, archery shops, fishing experts and guides. Archery range and fly casting area for kids. Free venison samples. Youth 3D archery tournament. Youth game calling contest. National Guard, seminars, Book Signing, DEC officers and Cornell deer researchers. Bring your deer mounts to hang in our “hall of Horns”. Food and drinks available for sale by our student council. Free! (For information call Doug 607-589-6512 or email @ cheveefann@aol.com)

4-12 - The Great American Outdoor Show at the State Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg, PA. The show features over 1,100 exhibitors ranging from shooting manufacturers to outfitters to fishing boats and RVs, and archery to art covering 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space! Not to mention a jam packed schedule including country concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and much more! (Cost: $35.00) (For information go to greatamericanoutdoorshow.org )

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TIP: Anglers, Start Your Augers: Get your sled packed and start your auger—it’s ice

fishing time. At first ice, you’ll find the fish relaxed and concentrated on prime spots. They’ll be

eager to bite as they haven’t been hassled for several months and they’ve regrouped. If you don’t have a sonar unit, contour maps of the lake bottom can help. Or, if you’re fishing a lake that you also fish in the summer, you can return to some of your favorite shoals, humps, and reefs. When in doubt, it’s best to get your lure slightly above the fish rather than below them. The position of a panfish’s eyes require him to feed up. You can vastly boost the odds of a successful hookset by replacing the bottom treble hooks on your swimbaits and jigging raps with super-sharp hooks that are a size larger than the original. Gather your gear, call up some buddies, and enjoy your time on the ice.

By Larry Whiteley, Outdoor World Radio; For more tips, go to basspro.com.

 

TIP 2: ICE FISHING LINES: A total of seven ice fishing devices/lines (includes tip-ups) is allowed for ice fishing (statewide). Names and addresses are no longer required on ice fishing devices but angler does have to be present in area.

 

TIP 3: General Ice Thickness Guidelines: Ice has formed on many waters but not all is safe. Snow has also fallen in some areas. If it came as freezing was occurring the resulting ice is not as solid. Be extra careful on snow covered ice until it can be checked for thickness.

 

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

No matter what you are going to do once you get on the ice - like fishing, snowmobiling, skating or even ice boating, it’s a good idea to contact a local bait shop or resort on the lake about ice conditions. It’s also important to do some checking yourself once you get there. Several factors affect the relative safety of ice, such as temperature, snow cover and currents. But a very important factor is the actual ice thickness. (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html)

 

LAKE ERIE:  Boating season for most fair-weather fishermen is done, however, there are a few who will pursue offshore perch and late-season walleye. Finding a place to launch your craft got a little harder. The docks have been pulled at the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. Pink salmon seem to be more abundant this year, as many have been caught by walleye anglers over the summer. Pink salmon look a lot like steelhead or coho in the open lake, but can be distinguished by larger spots on their back and tail, and a more deeply forked tail. As they move into the streams, males will develop a distinctive hump behind their head. Pink salmon range 19 to 22 inches and 3 to 4 pounds.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Rain and snowmelt have the Lake Erie tributaries running high. Anglers are reporting improved action on area tributaries for a mix of dark and fresh steelhead. The smaller streams are your best bet today, which currently have moderate flows with good color. All streams except Cattaraugus Creek will be options this weekend. Productive wintertime steelhead baits include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). High, stained waters are more productive with buggers and streamers, especially with warm rains increasing temperatures a notch or two. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors remain ice-free. Trout sometimes show in the harbors in winter months.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Upper river waters are murky green. Chunk ice, a problem last week, has cleared out of most shoreline areas. Anglers are picking up some yellow perch at Beaver Island Marina on emerald shiners. Other open marinas are also worth a shot for perch. Emerald shiners are readily available for dipping at Broderick Park. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs usually produces some rainbow trout catches this time of year along Unity Island and the Bird Island Pier. Anglers may target black bass on the upper river by catch and release only, artificial lures only. If you do venture into Canadian waters, make sure you call yourself in to notify the Canadian authorities of your intentions. Remember, worms are the only live bait you can use and they cannot be in dirt. It’s a pretty painless process, but they do mean business if you violate the Canadian rules.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Water conditions are looking good for the weekend, and floating ice is no longer an issue. Charter boats have seen good trout action in the mid to upper drifts and out on the Niagara Bar. In the gorge, drifters are catching steelhead and lake trout on three-way rigs with egg sacs or flatfish lures. On the Niagara Bar, catches have been mostly lake trout with some brown trout and steelhead mixed in. Shore anglers can target trout along Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners and jigs with plastics fished under a float, or casting medium-sized spoons and Vibrax spinners are good trout offerings. Shore anglers have been catching their share of trout in the gorge, using spoons, spinners, jigs and beads. Some good news on the stocking front – the lower river will now receive a dedicated stocking of 15,000 brown trout each year instead of receiving only surplus stockings. They will also receive some surplus browns if they are available. Regulation notes: Lake trout season is open on the lower river as of January 1st. Also starting on January 1st, walleye daily limit decreased to 1, with minimum length of 18 inches. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Very few anglers fishing the lake except for possible shore anglers at the tributary mouths. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  Eighteenmile Creek anglers are seeing the effects of the rain and snowmelt. There is moderate flow below Burt Dam, but waters have become stained over past 24 hours. Brightly colored baits and lures are your best bet for a mix of steelhead and brown trout. Oak Orchard Creek currently has lower flow with a slight stain, however turbid waters could still be making way through the reservoir. The smaller tributaries in Niagara and Orleans Counties were high and muddy on Tuesday. Those creeks have since dropped to moderate flows with a stain. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. A reminder to anglers it’s now catch and release/artificial only for bass.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER There was enough ice in spots to offer some ice fishing activity before the last warm-up. However, lake level is up almost 2 feet, shore ice has deteriorated and significant rain has compounded the problem. Ice that remains should be considered unsafe until extended freezing takes place. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Long Point has been the focus of ice fishermen, as well as law enforcement. Lots of walleye were taken, but unfortunately anglers were taking “short fish” which are illegal. The size and creel limit on Chautauqua Lake is currently 18 inches minimum and a daily limit of three. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open (but may close over with forecasted snows) with moderate flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

SILVER LAKE:  About 4 inches of “bubble” ice is reported on portions of the lake but shore ice was soft. Not much action noted only a few pike and perch. No reports on bluegills. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Recent rain and snow melt has the water level up and a lot of open water between the land and the ice. Remember  ice this week, was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember ice this week, was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember ice this week, was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE:  Limited safe ice (3 – 4 inches) at the south end with bluegills and some largemouth bass and pickerel being caught. Bluegill action has been good with black a hot color. Spikes and wax worms are working well. Use a slow jigging motion. Perch had been hitting red. The ice thickness may be safe out to over a 15 foot bottom but once you get over the deeper water be sure and check the ice as you move. Remember no new ice formed this week but with rain and non-freezing temperatures, ice has deteriorated. If you go out be extra careful and watch the shore ice. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on Honeoye Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No bass reports or tributary reports. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: Ice was reported up 6 inches in spots but No New Reports This Week. With rain and non-freezing temperatures, ice has surely deteriorated. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows along with some smallmouth. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 21 inches. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Between the rain, snow and snowmelt of late, most streams should have a good flow. The higher flows should have helped to bring some more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg-imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices. The Finger Lakes trout season on the tributaries ends December 31, 2016. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: Some ice (2 – 3 inches) at the north end of the lake. No safe ice reported, however. Remember, slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 and the Finger Lakes tributaries closed December 31, 2016. However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. The statewide trout season closes on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded).  Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Some ice (4 – 6 inches) has formed on the reservoir but recent rain and snow melt has the water level up 2 feet. At least 10 feet of open water between the shore and the ice. A few anglers have been out and report a hot walleye bite but unfortunately most are small. Crappie, too, are producing. No word on ice thickness in/near the channel. Use caution as the channel area typically has less ice than the pond. If you do go out be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For perch use minnows or small jigs with spikes. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  Ice thickness reports vary from 5 to 8 inches, however, rain and snow melt earlier, mandates that caution be used around the shoreline, old holes, and pressure cracks as these areas may have been enlarged.  Slush ice has formed under the hard ice, making it hard to get your lures back down the hole and also contributes to the loss of a lot of fish taking advantage of the condition, lodging themselves in to that slush ice. Perch and a few walleye and northern pike are providing fair to good action. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No ice reports for the lake. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, rainey conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: The warm temperatures and rain this past week has put more emphasis on caution when going out. If you do go on the ice be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. One area reporting up to 6 inches of ice is Big Bay. Anglers are indicating the area off Lewis Point has some solid ice but down in the Constantia area it is questionable. Again the ice is deteriorating and it does vary in thickness. Be careful. The Lewis Point fishing access location is now open for the season. The South Shore Launch docks have been removed. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Very few anglers fishing the lake except for possible shore anglers at the tributary mouths. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have high water levels. Melting snow and rain added to the flow, and also the ice buildup along the banks. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead and brown trout were caught this past week. Egg sacs with red beads are the bait of choice. You can also cast out some bright red spoons that will work better with Maxwell’s current flow. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, see the Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Some ice (0 – 4 inches) on parts of the bays but still a lot of open water. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For perch use minnows or small, bright jigs with spikes. They are also hitting two inch Berkley Power Bait. Use the shad color. The Canal widewaters is iced over again but quality is unknown. Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet, including the new brochure. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port -  http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Some ice (3 – 6 inches) remains on the ponds and bays this week but with the warmer temperatures and rain it may be less. Those that got out said perch were biting on the ponds but Braddock Bay had questionable ice. No details on Irondequoit Bay other than most of bay is completely open. Some anglers have been out on the ponds in Mendon Ponds Park. Ice depths were reported at 3 – 5 inches but no word on catch. Be very careful at all five of MendonPonds, especially Round. There are springs that feed the ponds making the ice dangerous at best. 100 Acre Pond is shallow and freezes the best. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SALMON RIVER: Overall, steelhead fishing continued to be slow, but a few “fresh” fish have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Some anglers reported having a slow day in Altmar. Anglers who had success in the Lower fly Zone did well on natural colored patterns. Other anglers who fished the lower end of the river reported landing some steelhead while bottom bouncing or float fishing with blue and pink egg sacs. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs have produced results The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER:  The river is up making shore fishing very difficult. Trout have shown up in decent numbers over the last few weeks. Beads and sacs are an obvious choice this time of year. It’s suggested you try greens and yellows. Marabou jigs and trout worms will produce fish as well. Also, try fishing skein under a slip bobber. Don’t be afraid to fish down behind the YMCA or Old City Hall with the current water flow. Anglers fishing from drift boats are getting some steelhead and brown trout. Bullhead are hitting worms and leeches and rock bass are hitting minnows and hair jigs. Anglers are getting a few walleye, sheepshead, smallmouth, catfish, rockbass and long-nosed gar in the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam.. Also, remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/wp-content/uploads/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safely-Brochure-FINAL9.11-lowres.pdf. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

OTHER WATERS: Rain and snow brought water levels up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. Cold temperatures and the snow are also creating unsafe fishing conditions. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Cayuta Lake (Schuyler County) Ice covered with up to 6 inches of solid black ice with 2-3 inches of fresh snow on top. The parking lot is not plowed and a 4WD is recommended. No New Reports This Week but with rain and non-freezing temperatures, ice has deteriorated. If you go out be extra careful and watch the shore ice.

Cuba Lake (Allegany County) No New Reports This Week but with rain and non-freezing temperatures, ice has deteriorated. If you go out be extra careful and watch the shore ice.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) No New Reports This Week but with rain and non-freezing temperatures, ice has deteriorated. If you go out be extra careful and watch the shore ice.

Dryden Lake (Tompkins County) There was up to 5 inches of ice with several inches of snow. Action is reported slow. No New Reports This Week but with rain and non-freezing temperatures, ice has deteriorated. If you go out be extra careful and watch the shore ice.

 

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THIS WEEK'S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

JANUARY 2017

20-22 - 2017 Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo at The Conference & Event Center, Niagara Falls, NY. (Fri 1:00-8:00 pm/Sat 9:00 am – 7:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Over 100 fishing and hunting exhibitors (hunting, outdoor watersports etc.) all weekend. LOTSA marketplace on Sunday. A great place to get in on some tackle deals. Over 100 free seminars by fishing and outdoor experts including The Greater Niagara Fishing Academy. Daily family and children's activities, seminars. Kids under 10 years free. There will be a live trout pond for fishing and a youth shooting trailer. (Admission - adults $8.00 and children under 10 free. Lots of parking!) (For more information, visit www.niagarafishingexpo.com)

21-22 - Olean Sportsman Show at the Good Times of Olean Center, 800 East State Street, Olean, NY (Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 4:00 pm) Hosted by the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. 60 booths. (Admission: $3.00/Seniors $2.00/ Children 12 & under: Free with Adult) (For information call 716-372-4433 or email meme@oleanny.com or go to http://www.oleanny.com)

27-29 - New York Sportsman’s Expo in the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Fri - Noon to 8:00 pm/Sat – 9:00 am to 7:00 pm/Sun – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm) This year's show will include more than 40 new exhibits, including outfitters from across the globe  . The schedule also includes seminars a kids' trout pond and more. (Admission: $10 ages 13-64; $5 for children 6 – 12; 5 and under no charge. Seniors are $7 and Military/Fire and Police are $7 with ID) (For more information go to http://www.newyorksportsmansexpo.com/ )

28 – The Oneida Lake Perch Team Ice Fishing Derby headquartered at Bartel Road Bait & Tackle, Brewerton, NY.  (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For information and registration contact Christopher Jones at 530-9916176  email: bigbuck326@aol.com or Jim Bogardus at 315-593-1457  email: jboggey1@gmail.com)

29 – NYS Ice Pro-Am Series – Chaumont Bay – Open Team Event. Each event is considered a separate event, so teams (1 or 2 anglers) can fish one or more events. Those who fish all 3 team event can go for the Triple Crown Title and the coveted Triple Crown Cup Trophy. (Costs: Each Team Event: $100/team (optional $20 lunker pool); Triple Crown Trophy Title: ($100/team) Invitational BFS: $50/team (only those teams fishing the IPA Invitational can compete) Invitational: $275/team (max of 15 teams accepted on a 1st paid basis)(Optional $20 lunker pool) (Full details per event, rules & regs, etc. can be found on the Series Website at: www.NYSiceproam.com.)

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*TIP: USING BAIT FISH?: The use of fish for bait is popular when ice fishing, and bait fish may be used in most, but not all, waters open to ice fishing. Visit the DEC website for a list of Special Regulations by County to find out where bait fish can and cannot be used, and for other regulations that apply to baitfish available on DEC's website.

 

*TIP 2: ICE FISHING LINES: A total of seven ice fishing devices/lines (includes tip-ups) is allowed for ice fishing (statewide). Names and addresses are no longer required on ice fishing devices but angler does have to be present in area.

 

*TIP 3: General Ice Thickness Guidelines: Ice has formed on many waters but not all is safe. Snow has also fallen in some areas. If it came as freezing was occurring the resulting ice is not as solid. Be extra careful on snow covered ice until it can be checked for thickness.

For New, Clear Ice Only

2" or less - STAY OFF

4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot

5" - Snowmobile or ATV

8" - 12" - Car or small pickup

12" - 15" - Medium truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

No matter what you are going to do once you get on the ice - like fishing, snowmobiling, skating or even ice boating, it’s a good idea to contact a local bait shop or resort on the lake about ice conditions. It’s also important to do some checking yourself once you get there. Several factors affect the relative safety of ice, such as temperature, snow cover and currents. But a very important factor is the actual ice thickness. (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/ice/thickness.html)

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Boating season for most fair-weather fishermen is done, however, there are a few who will pursue offshore perch and late-season walleye. Finding a place to launch your craft got a little harder. The docks have been pulled at the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The launching area is still open, but you will need boots to board your boat, and the degree of difficulty of getting in and out increases, so use caution. Sturgeon Point also has been closed. Evidently there is a sand bar across that area, which will have to be removed. A tour of the Barcelona Harbor recently revealed that there is dredging/construction equipment in the harbor, reportedly getting ready to repair the break wall. Pink salmon seem to be more abundant this year, as many have been caught by walleye anglers over the summer. Pink salmon look a lot like steelhead or coho in the open lake, but can be distinguished by larger spots on their back and tail, and a more deeply forked tail. As they move into the streams, males will develop a distinctive hump behind their head. Pink salmon range 19 to 22 inches and 3 to 4 pounds.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Rain and snowmelt have again blown out the Lake Erie tributaries for the third consecutive week. Creek levels peaked overnight, flushing out all ice. All creeks are high and muddy today. The smallest streams are your best bet for tomorrow, and by Sunday there should be plenty of options. Steelhead fishing has generally been slow, with some "bright" spots here and there. Anglers who are covering more ground are catching more fish. Productive wintertime steelhead baits include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, locations and links to stream maps. Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors remain ice-free. Trout sometimes show in the harbors in winter months.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  There is chunky floating ice packed along the shoreline in slack areas, limiting shore fishing opportunities. Currently, upper river waters are turbid with about 1 foot of visibility. Shore anglers, that find access, are catching fair numbers of yellow perch on the northern end of Unity Island. Emerald shiners are readily available for dipping at Broderick Park and are a good bait for perch. Casting spoons or drifting egg sacs usually produces some rainbow trout catches this time of year along Unity Island and the Bird Island Pier. Anglers may target black bass on the upper river by catch and release only, artificial lures only. If you do venture into Canadian waters, make sure you call yourself in to notify the Canadian authorities of your intentions. Remember, worms are the only live bait you can use and they cannot be in dirt. It’s a pretty painless process, but they do mean business if you violate the Canadian rules.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Tough fishing conditions on the lower river at present due to floating chunk ice and murky conditions. The amount of floating ice should dissipate with each passing day. Boaters in the upper drifts have recently been catching a mix of steelhead and lake trout with the occasional walleye or smallmouth bass. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sac or flatfish style lure is the top technique. Shore anglers can target trout along Artpark, Devils Hole and Whirlpool State Parks. Egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners and jigs with plastics fished under a float, or casting medium-sized spoons and Vibrax spinners are good trout offerings. Regulation notes: Lake trout season is open on the lower river as of January 1st. Also starting on January 1st, walleye daily limit decreased to 1, with minimum length of 18 inches. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Very few anglers fishing the lake except for possible shore anglers at the tributary mouths. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS:  Eighteenmile Creek anglers are now seeing the delayed effects of the early week rain and snowmelt. There is moderate flow below Burt Dam, but waters have become stained over past 24 hours. Brightly colored baits and lures are your best bet for a mix of steelhead and brown trout. Oak Orchard Creek currently has lower flow with a slight stain, however turbid waters could still be making way through the reservoir. The smaller tributaries in Niagara and Orleans Counties were high and muddy on Tuesday. Those creeks have since dropped to moderate flows with a stain. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for information on steelhead fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to stream maps. Keep in mind that in the sections of these waterways between the bridge closest to the stream mouth, upstream to the first impassible barrier, any lure that has more than one hook point must float while at rest. Olcott Harbor and launch are ice-free. On the Lower portion of the "Oak" anglers have been catching some yellow perch. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Panfish are available from boat or shore. A reminder to anglers it’s now catch and release/artificial only for bass.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  There was enough ice in spots to offer some ice fishing activity before the last warm-up. However, lake level is up almost 2 feet, shore ice has deteriorated and significant overnight lake effect snow has compounded the problem. Ice that remains should be considered unsafe until extended freezing takes place. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Long Point has been the focus of ice fishermen, as well as law enforcement. Lots of walleye were taken, but unfortunately anglers were taking “short fish” which are illegal. The size and creel limit on Chautauqua Lake is currently 18 inches minimum and a daily limit of three. A website provides periodic updated photos of Brutis Bay. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html )

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open (but may close over with forecasted snows) with moderate flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes tributaries excluded). However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. Check the Special Regulations by County to see what streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

*SILVER LAKE:  Ice has formed (about 5 inches) on portions of the lake but shore ice was soft. Not much action noted only a few pike and perch. No reports on bluegills. Remember ice this week, was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. A web cam for the lake is   http://weather.weatherbug.com/NY/Silver%20Lake-weather/weather-cams/local-cams.html?zcode=z6286&camera_id=SLVLM&camera_animate=1 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Recent rain and snow melt has the water level up and a lot of open water between the land and the ice. Remember  ice this week, was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember ice this week, was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember ice this week, was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE:  Limited safe ice (3 – 4 inches) at the south end with bluegills and some largemouth bass and pickerel being caught. Bluegill action has been good with black a hot color. Spikes and wax worms are working well. Use a slow jigging motion. Perch had been hitting red. The ice thickness may be safe out toover a 15 foot bottom but once you get over the deeper water besure and check the ice as you move. Remember  ice this week, was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go out, be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Bass season remains open on Honeoye Lake until March 15, 2017.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25579.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Honeoye – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANANDAIGUA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - a few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. You can also try for the browns trolling at 60 – 80 feet down. Lake trout are in deeper water near bottom. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers at 50 – 90 feet over a 100 to 125 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. One angler reported - Wonderbread SD with a white glo fly produced best but they also took the Blade Runner spoons on sliding cheaters up as high as 20ft of the riggers. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, than work the area slowly. Try for rainbows trolling from 30 to 60 feet down at the south end of the lake. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. No bass reports or tributary reports. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: Ice probably gets up 6 inches in spots but there have been no reports received on conditions or catch rates. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - laker action is reported fair to good on the lake with better results coming from the west side, across from the boat launch and further down the lake off the points toward Hammondsport. Try jigging at 60-90 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout.  Fluke style plastics have also been catching some fish. Trolling is working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies. Try working flies 60 to 135 feet level over 90 to 180 feet of water. Females are full of eggs.  Lots of rock bass but many are small. Some decent, eater size perch are also in the shallows along with some smallmouth. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25577.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Keuka – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SENECA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - look for fair lake trout fishing on the lake. Try trolling in 60 to 100 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Running Dipseys back 200 to 250 feet is a good starting point. Fluorescent rainbow trout, silver, orange/silver and silver/green have also been productive spoon colors. You can also try jigging for lakers with a Swedish Pimple or a large spoon in the north portion of the lake, along the west side, off the points in 60 – 110 fow. Some anglers are recommending using 1 1/2 oz jig heads with white Swim Fishes at 85 - 120 fow. Some browns, rainbows and Atlantic salmon were hitting stickbaits, streamers and spoons trolled near surface down to 40 feet. Good colors to try silver and black, silver and blue or silver and chartreuse. Shore anglers were getting brown trout just before dark on live bait and also on stickbaits fished near the surface. Some brown trout and landlocked salmon can be found near major creek mouths. Reminder: catch limit on western Finger Lakes, beginning with Seneca Lake, is one rainbow a day. Yellow perch are being caught around the lake on small minnows or worms fished in the shallows. Also try 2" clear/chartreuse lures. Avacado Glitter SBGG88 was a specific color mentioned. Anglers are also finding some monster sunfish. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.)  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. On the open water - anglers trolling the 60 to 140 foot depths over 100 – 150 fow, are getting fair numbers of lakers, rainbows, Atlantics and brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately. Vertical jigging is also producing some fish in 50 to 85 foot of water with a variety of plastics working. Michigan Stingers (smelt pattern) is a specific lure reported effective both trolling and drifting. Green has been a hot color for the lakers. Anglers out of Taughannock have experienced a good Atlantic bite with fish ranging between 17 – 21 inches. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - you may find that some fish are hanging out. Try night crawlers or minnows (shiners) underneath a bobber. Also try casting purple/white, blue/silver or green/silver spoons. Some perch are hitting along the shoreline. Fatheads and plastics are working depending upon the day. Fish predominately in 18 - 30 feet of water. The Union Springs area was one spot mentioned. This is also a hot area for pickerel. The north end is reporting catches on nice bullhead, perch and crappie. Bass of various sizes are in shallow though no lunkers. Remember though, it’s catch and release/artificial only for the bass. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)  

OWASCO LAKE: NO SAFE ICE IS REPORTED ON THIS WATER. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you  do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. Between the rain, snow and snowmelt of late, most streams should have a good flow. The higher flows should have helped to bring some more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg-imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices. The Finger Lakes trout season on the tributaries ends December 31, 2016. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: Some ice (2 – 3 inches) at the north end of the lake. No safe ice since the wind went through. Specific reports of ice forming include the narrows, the buoys and some spots near shore. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Most trout streams are open with high flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 and the Finger Lakes tributaries closed December 31, 2016. However, a number of inland streams are open to trout fishing all year. New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the area's best trout streams. The statewide trout season closes on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded).  Check the Special Regulations by County to see what other streams are open to trout fishing beyond October 15.

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Some ice (4 – 6 inches) has formed on the reservoir but recent rain and snow melt has the water level up 2 feet. At least 10 feet of open water between the land and the ice. A few anglers have been out and report a hot walleye bite but unfortunately most are small. Crappie, too, are producing. No word on ice thickness in/near the channel. Use caution as the channel area typically has less ice than the pond. If you do go out be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. For perch use minnows or small jigs with spikes. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND:  Ice thickness reports vary from 5 to 8 inches, and this region is receiving heavy bands of lake-effect snow. With the rain and snow melt earlier in the week be cautious around the shoreline, old holes, and pressure cracks as this areas may have been enlarged.  Slush ice has formed under the hard ice, making it hard to get your lures back down the hole and also contributes to the loss of a lot of fish taking advantage of the condition, lodging themselves in to that slush ice. Perch and a few walleye and northern pike are providing fair to good action. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No ice reports for the lake. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore will be the first to form. If you do go on it be sure and let someone know what you are doing and check the ice as you go. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html