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       fishing Report for western new york

                                                                                    with Ron Schroder

WESTERN/CENTRAL NEW YORK FISHING - WEST TO EAST

 

3 – 17 - 17

 

*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).

  

                                                                   >))))*>

 

*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 )

 

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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 )

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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*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.

 

                                                                   >))))*>

 

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 )

 

                                                                   >))))*>

 

*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 )

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

 

 

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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 ) (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 it 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 new 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 some high water levels. Melting snow and rain added to the flow, but have also added 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 – 6 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 and is providing some safe 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: Some ice (3 – 6 inches) formed on the ponds and bays this past 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 decent 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.

Cuba Lake (Allegany County) The inlet area is wide open. The ice has pulled away from the shore a considerable distance. There will be a few anglers that find a way out but there's better options than this lake.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) Ice covered but no details.

Dryden Lake (Tompkins County) There was up to 5 inches of ice with several inches of snow. Action is reported slow.

Red House Lake (Cattaraugus County) Had fishable ice before past rain now an unknown.

Quaker Lake (Cattaraugus County) Had fishable ice before past rain now an unknown.

 

 

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

JANUARY 2017

14 - Outfitters Fair at Southtowns Walleye Club, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. NY. New and used fishing and hunting equipment. Free parking. Limited tables at $20 for vendors. (For information call 716-465-6100.)

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)

 

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TIP: NEW TO ICE FISHING?: Fishing through the ice requires skill and knowledge as does open water angling. But, anyone can ice fish successfully if he/she does the homework. Learning about the water to be fished, the equipment and its capabilities, proper clothing and safety precautions are all part of a successful, enjoyable winter fishing experience. Perhaps the best way to get started is to accompany a friend or neighbor on a half-day ice fishing outing. If you are unable to locate anyone to go with, the next best alternative is to visit a tackle shop in a popular ice fishing area. The proprietors are interested in seeing that you have a successful and enjoyable trip and will provide you with all of the necessary equipment. You may also watch for announcements of local ice fishing contests or tournaments run by local sportsmen's clubs -- ice fishermen tend to be a highly social group, eager to share tips, techniques and stories.

 

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)

 

TIP 3: SEASON CHANGES:

December 31 - Close of Fishing Season for Trout in the Finger Lakes Tributaries

January 1 – Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)
January 1 – Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

 

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 blew out all of the Lake Erie tributaries again on Tuesday. The smallest streams are your best options today. All streams except Cattaraugus Creek will be options this weekend. Some excellent stream fishing is reported along the Eighteen Mile Creek near Hamburg. 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:  Water clarity has improved over past few days and the upper river is currently in good fishing shape. Shore anglers 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: River waters are riled with each big blow on Lake Erie. Lower river waters have been settling over past couple days. On Thursday, waters off Artpark were murky green with 1-2 feet of visibility. 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. 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 3 inches) on the south end but shore ice was soft. Not much action noted. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. (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 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. (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 – 5 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. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore ice 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 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: 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. 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. 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. Keep an eye on the tributaries. The higher flows should help bring some more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices for these fish. Remember the Finger Lakes trout season on the tributaries ends December 31, 2016. (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 moderate 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. 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 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/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: The temperature has definitely dropped but the lake has had strong winds recently. Remember if you find ice this week, it was formed while windy, snowy conditions covered the region. Slush ice cannot be considered safe. Shore ice 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. One area reporting up to 6 inches of ice is Big Bay. Again the ice is new 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 some high water levels. Melting snow is predicted so that will add 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: Some ice (0 – 6 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 jigs with spikes. They are also hitting two inch Berkley Power Bait. Use the shad color. The Canal widewaters is iced over but not enough to provide safe 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: Some ice (3 – 6 inches) formed on the ponds and bays this past week but with the forecasted warmer temperatures it may not last. 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. 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 decent 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.

Cuba Lake (Allegany County) Anglers are going out but reports vary from 11/2 – 5 inches of ice. Catch action is slow.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) Ice covered but no details.

Dryden Lake (Tompkins County) There was up to 5 inches of ice with several inches of snow. Action is reported slow.

Red House Lake (Cattaraugus County) Had fishable ice before past rain now an unknown.

Quaker Lake (Cattaraugus County) Had fishable ice before past rain now an unknown.

 

 

                                                                  >))))*>

 

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

DECEMBER

31 - Close of Fishing Season for Trout in the Finger Lakes Tributaries

JANUARY 2017

1 – Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)
1 – Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

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

 

 

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12 – 30 - 16

 

*TIP: 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)

 

 

*TIP 2: SEASON CHANGES:

December 31 - Close of Fishing Season for Trout in the Finger Lakes Tributaries

January 1 – Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)
January 1 – Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

 

*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. The walleye bite has cooled but best bets are from west of Sturgeon Point to straight off Cattaraugus Creek in 65-75 feet of water. Best catches were on Renosky stickbaits in green, orange or purple. Worm harnesses have caught walleye as well but expect to also catch some yellow perch, white bass and sheepshead. Walleye anglers are also catching some steelhead, suggesting they may be staging in deeper water. 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. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss. Some anglers have located some productive schools between Sturgeon Point and Evangola State Park in 55-65 feet of water, but searching has been required. Live emerald shiners,if you can find them, are the top bait for perch.  Many anglers are resorting to small golden shiners and salted minnows. Fish right on bottom. The rehabilitation of the Dunkirk Fishing Platform has been completed and it is now open for fishing.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Rain and considerable snowmelt blew out all Lake Erie tributaries at the start of the week, with water levels peaking last Tuesday. Most steelhead streams were back to prime fishing shape by Thursday. Cattaraugus Creek remains a bit high today at about 1,000 cubic feet per second, but could be fishable by Sunday. Look for a fresh run of steelhead to have moved in on this past high water event. 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. The Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors remain ice-free. Trout sometimes show in the harbors in winter months.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Water clarity has improved over past few days and the upper river is currently in good fishing shape. Shore anglers 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: Lower river waters have been settling over past couple days. On Thursday, waters off Artpark were murky green with 1-2 feet of visibility. 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.

Muskellunge and tiger muskellunge seasons closed on December 15 on the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The Province of Ontario lake trout season opened on Dec. 1. If you do venture across the border, make sure you abide by all of the rules. The most recent rule is requiring charter boat skippers to obtain working papers to fish in Canadian waters. Once they call in, they are hit with GST and PST taxes for their trip. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. 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. Anglers have been catching some yellow perch, especially up towards Fisherman's Park. Perch have actually been reported all the way up to the dam and have been a nuisance catch for trout anglers. Wilson Harbor's ice in the back bay has deteriorated. 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 should be considered unsafe until extended freezing temperatures return. Some good ice is around Long Point and Victoria at this time, with a few Walleye being caught. Ice north of Long Point is not safe. Fishing has been very slow and not many people are venturing out yet. If you  do go on it 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:  Ice has formed (about 4 inches) on the south end but with the forecasted higher temperatures it may not last. Not much action noted. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. (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 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. (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 – 5 inches) at the south end with bluegills and some largemouth bass and pickerel being caught. 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. The North end is locked in to just past Log Cabin Pt. but no one fishing. Shore ice could be iffy. 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: 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. 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. 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. Keep an eye on the tributaries. The higher flows should help bring some more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices for these fish. Remember the Finger Lakes trout season on the tributaries ends December 31, 2016. (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 fishing is taking place on 2 – 3 inches of ice at the north end of the lake. Specific reports mention 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 moderate flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 and the Finger Lakes tributaries close Saturday, 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 – 5 inches) has formed on the reservoir but with the forecasted warmer temperatures and snow it may not last. 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. 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 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/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA 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 ice 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. One area reporting up to 6 inches of ice is Big Bay. Again the ice is new 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out, an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have some nice water levels. Melting snow is predicted so that will add 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 check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. If we receive some more rain the stream fishing should be excellent. 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 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 jigs with spikes. They are also hitting two inch Berkley Power Bait. Use the shad color. The Canal widewaters is iced over but not enough to provide safe 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: Some ice (3 – 6 inches) formed on the ponds and bays this past week but with the forecasted warmer temperatures it may not last. Those that got out said perch were biting on the ponds but Braddock Bay was reported extra slow. No details on Irondequoit Bay other than the south end is completely open. No word on the northeast corner. 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 decent 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 steady 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. There are a large number of gizzard shad in the river right now. The gulls have been feasting on them in the lower section of 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.

A number of muskies were tagged in 2014 on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please Do Not remove the tag. Please, write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length at 607-753-3095 or fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. (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.

Cuba Lake (Allegany County) Anglers are going out but no details on ice or catch action.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) Again, ice covered but no details.

Dryden Lake (Tompkins County) There is up to 5 inches of ice with several inches of snow. Action is reported slow.

  

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

DECEMBER

31 - Close of Fishing Season for Trout in the Finger Lakes Tributaries

JANUARY 2017

1 – Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)
1 – Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

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

 

 

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12 – 23 - 16

 

TIP: 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)

 

Tip 2: With ice fishing just around the corner (maybe?), a reminder that there were some changes to the ice fishing regulations. They can be viewed under the ice fishing section on the General Regulations Page, which is page 51 of your Freshwater Fishing Guide. Also, on page 5 under Highlights of Changes. Of note are: A total of seven ice fishing devices/lines is allowed for ice fishing (statewide) with total of 15 ice fishing devise/lines for Lake Champlain. Names and addresses are not required on ice fishing devices. Still read through the regulations pertaining to the water you intend to fish as there may be Special Regulations By County, or Border Waters that are different from the Statewide Regulations.

 

TIP 3: SEASON CHANGES:

January 1 – Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)
January 1 – Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

 

LAKE ERIE:  Boating season for most fair-weather fishermen is done, however, there are those 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. The walleye bite has cooled but best bets are from west of Sturgeon Point to straight off Cattaraugus Creek in 65-75 feet of water. Best catches were on Renosky stickbaits in green, orange or purple. Worm harnesses have caught walleye as well but expect to also catch some yellow perch, white bass and sheepshead. Walleye anglers are also catching some steelhead, suggesting they may be staging in deeper water. 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. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss. Some anglers have located some productive schools between Sturgeon Point and Evangola State Park in 55-65 feet of water, but searching has been required. Live emerald shiners,if you can find them, are the top bait for perch.  Many anglers are resorting to small golden shiners and salted minnows. Fish right on bottom. The rehabilitation of the Dunkirk Fishing Platform has been completed and it is now open for fishing. Some ice fishing opportunity has been possible this week at the small boat harbor. There’s 3 – 5 inches of ice. Be careful of soft ice around the floating docks.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Steelhead fishing activity had been light during the recent cold snap. However, this week's milder temperatures and some snowmelt have opened the streams back up. Cattaraugus Creek is currently in decent shape with slightly high flow. Expect Catt Creek levels to rise with forecasted rain and snowmelt. Chautauqua, Canadaway, Eighteenmile, Buffalo and Cayuga Creeks are all in good shape today with moderate flows and nice color. Rain and snowmelt should sustain tributary flows for most of the this coming week, offering plenty of steelhead fishing opportunities. Productive wintertime steelhead baits include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small hair 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.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Water clarity has improved greatly over past few days and the upper river is currently in good fishing shape. Shore anglers 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 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: When conditions permit, boaters have seen good action for a mix of trout. Controlled drifting in the upper drifts with a three-way rig and egg sacs or flatfish style lures, works well for steelhead. The best drifting bait has been the MagLip in a 3.0 size, fished off the three-way rigs. Silver-green and silver-pink are good colors to start with, but it will probably be based on water clarity. Don’t be afraid to change things up. Expect to catch some incidental lake trout as well. Keep in mind that lake trout season is closed until January 1st, all incidentally caught lake trout should be promptly released. Shore anglers can target steelhead 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. Muskellunge and tiger muskellunge seasons closed on December 15 on the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The Province of Ontario lake trout season opened on Dec. 1. If you do venture across the border, make sure you abide by all of the rules. The most recent rule is requiring charter boat skippers to obtain working papers to fish in Canadian waters. Once they call in, they are hit with GST and PST taxes for their trip. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS: Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks have open water below the dams and are good options for trout fishing this weekend. Both creeks currently have lower flows, but should see a bump in flow from rain and snowmelt. Anglers are catching a mix of steelhead and brown trout on both creeks. Some fresh salmon showed at the Oak earlier in the week as well. Smaller tributaries like Johnson and Sandy Creeks have been low and icy, but sections are starting to open back up due to milder weather. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. When fishing clear conditions, downsize your tippet, bait and hooks to trick finicky trout. If you want to target trout, your best option is with a small jig tipped with a wax worm or spike and fished under a float. Don’t be surprised if you catch some decent perch using that set-up – from the harbor to the dam.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. Yellow perch and pike fishing has been fair at Wilson and Olcott Harbors. Ice on Wilson Harbor is reported at 4 – 5 inches. Some perch catches have been reported along the lower stretch of Oak Orchard Creek as well. Small minnows work best. Lake Alice is slow as the ice decides whether to stay or go. The bluegill catch rate and also the sizes have dropped off around the Waterport Bridge area.  A reminder to anglers it’s now catch and release/artificial only for bass. 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.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  Chautauqua Lake is now ice covered, but ice should be considered unsafe until extended freezing temperatures return. Ice fishing is starting out slow. Some good ice is around Long Point and Victoria at this time, with a few Walleye being caught. Ice north of Long Point is not safe. Burtis Bay has ice around 3 to 4 inches. Fishing has been very slow and not many people are venturing out yet. If you  do go on it 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:  Ice has formed (about 4 inches) on the south end but with the forecasted higher temperatures it may not last. Not much action noted. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. (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 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. (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 – 5 inches) at the south end with a few bluegills and pickerel being caught. 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. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes 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: 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. 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. 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. Keep an eye on the tributaries. The higher flows should help bring some more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices for these fish. Remember the Finger Lakes trout season on the tributaries ends December 31, 2016. (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 fishing is taking place on 2 – 3 inches of ice. Specific reports mention 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 moderate flows. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 and the Finger Lakes tributaries close 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 (3 – 4 inches) formed on the reservoir this past week but with the forecasted warmer temperatures it may not last. A few anglers have been out but no reports on catch. 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 jigs with spikes. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  Although there have been cold temperatures, there has also had a good deal of wind. Some areas of the pond have ice but at this point much of it is not safe. Temperatures over the next few days are expected to warm up to near 40 degrees by the weekend so please be patient until we have safe conditions. 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 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/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA 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 ice 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. Very cold temperatures are expected in the area today and tomorrow with daytime highs in the teens and nighttime lows in the single digits. Although this is good for some beginning ice formation, the wind is an issue. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out, an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have some nice water levels. Melting snow is predicted so that will add 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 check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. If we receive some more rain the stream fishing should be excellent. 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 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 jigs with spikes. They are also hitting two inch Berkley Power Bait. Use the shad color. The Canal widewaters is iced over but not enough to provide safe 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: Some ice (3 – 6 inches) formed on the ponds and bays this past week but with the forecasted warmer temperatures it may not last. Those that got out said perch were biting on the ponds but Braddock Bay was reported extra slow. No details on Irondequoit Bay.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” have been caught, so maybe the high water helped to bring some more in. Most of the fish being landed are caught in the softer water along the edges or in the inside seams. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs have produced steady results (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER:  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. Minnows, crayfish, worms, and leeches are the baits of choice for the bass. 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.

A number of muskies were tagged in 2014 on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please Do Not remove the tag. Please, write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length at 607-753-3095 or fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. (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 but no word on thickness or fishing.

Cuba Lake (Allegany County) Anglers were going out but no details.

Loon Lake (Steuben County) Again, ice covered but no details.

 

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

DECEMBER 2016

15 - Close of Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

JANUARY 2017

1 – Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)
1 – Start of Catch and Release, artificial lures only, seasons for Lake, Brown and Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon on Fall Creek (Cayuga Lake) from the downstream edge of the railroad bridge below Route 13 to Ithaca Falls (>3-31)

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

 

 

Go to fullsize image

 

12 – 16 - 16

 

*TIP: 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)

 

 

*Tip 2: With ice fishing just around the corner (maybe?), a reminder that there were some changes to the ice fishing regulations. They can be viewed under the ice fishing section on the General Regulations Page, which is page 51 of your Freshwater Fishing Guide. Also, on page 5 under Highlights of Changes. Of note are: A total of seven ice fishing devices/lines is allowed for ice fishing (statewide) with total of 15 ice fishing devise/lines for Lake Champlain. Names and addresses are not required on ice fishing devices. Still read through the regulations pertaining to the water you intend to fish as there may be Special Regulations By County, or Border Waters that are different from the Statewide Regulations.

 

*TIP 3: December 15 - Close of Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Boating season for most fair-weather fishermen was done by the end of September or mid October, however, there are those who will pursue offshore perch, late-season walleye, bass, musky and waterfowl. 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. The walleye bite has cooled but best bets are from west of Sturgeon Point to straight off Cattaraugus Creek in 65-75 feet of water. Best catches were on Renosky stickbaits in green, orange or purple. Worm harnesses have caught walleye as well but expect to also catch some yellow perch, white bass and sheepshead. Walleye anglers are also catching some steelhead, suggesting they may be staging in deeper water. 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. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss. Some anglers have located some productive schools between Sturgeon Point and Evangola State Park in 55-65 feet of water, but searching has been required. Live emerald shiners,if you can find them, are the top bait for perch.  Many anglers are resorting to small golden shiners and salted minnows. Fish right on bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing has picked up a bit in the Buffalo area at depths of 15-25 feet. Anglers are catching bass around harbor gaps and around small reefs, rock piles and humps between the breakwalls and international line. The deep edges of larger reefs such as Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef and Evans Bar are also good bass options. A drop-shot rig with shiners, crayfish, tube jigs or plastics are good bass offerings. For more bass fishing information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. The rehabilitation of the Dunkirk Fishing Platform has been completed and it is now open for fishing.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Anglers saw decent steelhead action earlier this week on Eighteenmile Creek and the Chautauqua County tributaries. Fishing is now a bit more challenging due to lower flows and icy conditions. Cattaraugus Creek has dropped to a fishable level for the first time in a couple weeks. It may be short lived, considering possible snowmelt on Saturday. Productive wintertime steelhead baits include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small hair jigs tipped with a waxworm (fished under a float). In cold water conditions, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and deep, as steelhead are lethargic and hugging the bottom. It is also good to concentrate efforts during the warmest part of the day.. 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.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  River waters are currently very muddy, and will take at least a couple days to clear without additional wind. Previously, anglers were 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 Bird Island Pier. Muskellunge, tiger muskellunge and black bass seasons closed on November 30th. Anglers may still 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 water has the fishing on hold at present. As waters settle out, look for the trout bite to pick up along the shoreline first. Before water conditions went south, boaters were catching good numbers of steelhead with lake trout and the occasional brown trout mixed in. Keep in mind that lake trout season is closed until January 1st, all incidentally caught lake trout should be promptly released. Trout are spread throughout, but catches have been best in the upper drifts and on the Niagara Bar. Drifters are picking up smallmouth bass on the bar as well. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and flatfish style lures has worked very well for trout. Best drifting bait has been the MagLip in a 3.0 size. Three-way rigs with egg sacs or shiners will also entice bites as well. Shore anglers can target steelhead 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. Muskellunge and tiger muskellunge seasons closed on December 15 on the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The Province of Ontario lake trout season opened on Dec. 1. If you do venture across the border, make sure you abide by all of the rules. The most recent rule is requiring charter boat skippers to obtain working papers to fish in Canadian waters. Once they call in, they are hit with GST and PST taxes for their trip. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS: Fishing effort on the Lake Ontario tributaries has been dropping along with the air temperatures. Now that the Erie Canal dewatering has concluded, Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks are running low and clear. Oak Orchard anglers report fair catches of steelhead and brown trout, while Eighteenmile anglers see a modest mix of steelhead, brown trout and coho salmon. Egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and grub-tipped marabou jigs are good trout offerings. When fishing clear conditions, downsize your tippet, bait and hooks to trick finicky trout. . If you want to target trout, your best option is with a small jig tipped with a wax worm or spike and fished under a float. Don’t be surprised if you catch some decent perch using that set-up – from the harbor to the dam.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. Yellow perch and pike fishing has been fair at Wilson and Olcott Harbors. Some perch catches have been reported along the lower stretch of Oak Orchard Creek as well. Small minnows work best. Lake Alice fishing seems to be slowing with the bluegill catch rate and also the sizes dropping off around the Waterport Bridge area and bass in the deep water locations.  A reminder to anglers it’s now catch and release/artificial only for bass. 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.

*CHAUTAUQUA 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. 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 covered with a combination of ice and snow. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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. (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 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. (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:  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.

 (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes 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: 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. 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. 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. Keep an eye on the tributaries. The higher flows should help bring some more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices for these 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. (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. 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/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 covered with a combination of ice and snow. Be sure to call ahead before traveling any distance. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded). 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. 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/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND:  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/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA 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/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA 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. Very cold temperatures are expected in the area today and tomorrow with daytime highs in the teens and nighttime lows in the single digits. Although this is good for some beginning ice formation, the wind is an issue. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out, an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have some nice water levels. More rain/snow is predicted so that will add to the flow. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead were caught this past week. Egg sacs are the bait of choice. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. If we receive some more rain the stream fishing should be excellent. 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 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. Open water action is limited however perch are being taken by shore anglers on Port Bay. Use minnows or small jigs with spikes. They are also hitting two inch Berkley Power Bait. Use the shad color.

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. 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. (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: Rain, snow and high winds have limited angler activity. Most of the fish being landed are caught in the softer water along the edges or in the inside seams. Some anglers are reporting the best action is in the morning on nymphs. The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs have produced steady results (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the snow and wind had over the last couple of days, the water flow has risen. This level makes many areas along the river unfishable. 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. Minnows, crayfish, worms, and leeches are the baits of choice for the bass. 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.

A number of muskies were tagged in 2014 on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please Do Not remove the tag. Please, write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length at 607-753-3095 or fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. (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 ANGLER EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

DECEMBER 2016

15 - Close of Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

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

 

 

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12 – 9 - 16

 

Tip: Stay Warm This Winter: Whether you’re fishing, hunting, hiking, camping or just walking  around the neighborhood, knowing how to keep warm and dry can help you enjoy the outdoors

during the beautiful winter season instead of sitting inside listening to the weatherman talk about the wind chill index. Layer yourself with loose fitting clothing. This creates air spaces that trap

heat, plus the layers can be quickly adapted to changing conditions and activities. Choose clothing that wicks moisture away from you. It’s also a good idea to invest in GORE-TEX™ rainwear. Use mittens instead of gloves and use a thin liner sock under a thick wool sock. Most importantly, wear something on your head. Most body heat is lost through the head, neck, and shoulders. Keep your head and trunk warm and your body will circulate blood to your feet and hands. (By Larry Whiteley, Host of the awardwinning Outdoor World Radio. For more tips, go to

basspro.com.)

 

Tip 2: Reminder: November 30 - End of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Black Bass and Muskellunge

Tip 3: Reminder: December 15 - Close of Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

 

LAKE ERIE:  Boating season for most fair-weather fishermen was done by the end of September or mid October, however, there are those who will pursue offshore perch, late-season walleye, bass, musky and waterfowl. Boating season for most fair-weather fishermen was done by the end of September or mid October, however, there are those who will pursue offshore perch, late-season walleye, bass, musky and waterfowl. Finding a place to launch your craft got a little harder as of this week. 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. The walleye bite has cooled but best bets are from west of Sturgeon Point to straight off Cattaraugus Creek in 65-75 feet of water. Best catches were on Renosky stickbaits in green, orange or purple. Worm harnesses have caught walleye as well but expect to also catch some yellow perch, white bass and sheepshead. Walleye anglers are also catching some steelhead, suggesting they may be staging in deeper water. 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. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss. Some anglers have located some productive schools between Sturgeon Point and Evangola State Park in 55-65 feet of water, but searching has been required. Live emerald shiners,if you can find them, are the top bait for perch.  Many anglers are resorting to small golden shiners and salted minnows. Fish right on bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing has picked up a bit in the Buffalo area at depths of 15-25 feet. Anglers are catching bass around harbor gaps and around small reefs, rock piles and humps between the breakwalls and international line. The deep edges of larger reefs such as Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef and Evans Bar are also good bass options. A drop-shot rig with shiners, crayfish, tube jigs or plastics are good bass offerings. For more bass fishing information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. The rehabilitation of the Dunkirk Fishing Platform has been completed and it is now open for fishing.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Anglers reported an influx of some fresh steelhead on the tail of last week's high water event. The creeks received another helpful bump in flow at mid-week as well. Steelhead fishing has been decent this past week on select streams, especially for anglers who are covering more ground. A DEC survey of Chautauqua Creek on Monday showed a few steelhead in most holes, with higher numbers of fish in pools below larger obstacles. It’s likely that fish are similarly scattered on other streams. Cattaraugus Creek is a little high and murky today, but with the cold air temperatures, it could drop to a fishable level this weekend. All other Lake Erie tributaries are in good shape with moderate flows and range from slightly stained to clear. Lake Erie steelhead commonly hit natural baits like egg sacs or worms, flies such as egg imitations, black stone flies, streamer and bugger patterns, and lures like minnow-type stickbaits, in-line spinners and small spoons. Increase your catch odds by covering as much water as possible while fishing every possible pool, seam and undercut. Using light fluorocarbon tippet, small baits or flies, small hooks and moving stealthily are also good practice when fishing clear conditions. Some pink salmon and Chinook salmon have shown up in the Catt as well. Be aware that a Seneca Nation fishing license is needed to fish on Seneca territory. Lake Erie steelhead commonly hit natural baits like egg sacs or worms, flies such as egg imitations, streamers and bugger patterns, and lures like minnow-type stickbaits, in-line spinners and small spoons. 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.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Muskellunge, tiger muskellunge and regular black bass seasons are closed on the upper river as of November 30th. Anglers may still target black bass on the upper river, however bass fishing is now by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Bass – both smallmouth and largemouth – are available for boaters and shorecasters and fishing action has been picking up. Clarity has improved on the river and waters are currently a chalky-green coloration. Yellow perch are starting to show along Unity Island, with better catches reported at the northern end. Anglers are picking through small ones for the occasional keeper. 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 Bird Island Pier. 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: The lower river is in decent fishing shape with a cloudy green hue. Fishing charters are picking up decent numbers of steelhead in the upper drifts, with lake trout and the occasional brown trout mixed in. Keep in mind that lake trout season is closed until January 1st, all incidentally caught lake trout should be promptly released. Trout action is best for boaters in the Devils Hole and Artpark drifts. Egg sacs, live shiners or Kwikfish lures on a three-way bottom bouncing rig is the typical trout tactic. Shore anglers can target trout at 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. The Stella drift has been producing catches of smallmouth bass and the occasional walleye for boaters. Bottom bouncing rigs with shiners has worked well. Muskellunge season has closed just about everywhere in the state, however the muskellunge and tiger muskellunge seasons extend to December 15 on the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The New York Power Authority fishing platform closed for the winter season on December 8th. The Province of Ontario lake trout season opened on Dec. 1. If you do venture across the border, make sure you abide by all of the rules. The most recent rule is requiring charter boat skippers to obtain working papers to fish in Canadian waters. Once they call in, they are hit with GST and PST taxes for their trip. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS: The Erie Canal de-watering is currently underway, and Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks are receiving some supplemental water flow as a result. Oak Orchard Creek currently has moderate to slightly high flow with a slight stain, while Eighteenmile Creek has moderate flow with a slight stain. Fishing pressure has been lighter on both creeks lately, despite good trout action. Anglers are catching mostly brown trout and steelhead with the odd fresh king salmon mixed in. Johnson and Sandy Creeks have lighter numbers of trout spread throughout their reaches. Flows are lower and clear, so key on deeper holes. Downsize lines, hooks, baits and move stealthily when fishing clear conditions. Egg sacs, single eggs, trout beads and egg pattern flies are tops for brown trout and steelhead. 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. Yellow perch and pike fishing has been fair at Wilson and Olcott Harbors. Some perch catches have been reported along the lower stretch of Oak Orchard Creek as well. Small minnows work best. Lake Alice fishing seems to be slowing with the bluegill catch rate and also the sizes dropping off around the Waterport Bridge area and bass in the deep water locations.  A reminder to anglers it’s now catch and release/artificial only for bass. 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.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  Muskellunge and regular black bass seasons are now closed. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. With over a week of consistently cold temperatures on the way, it may not be long before parts of the lake start to skim over. In the meantime, yellow perch are still readily available in the nearshore zone around weed beds. Some crappie catches have been reported in Ashville Bay as well. Small minnows are the top bait for perch and crappie. Anglers were recently catching some walleye in the north basin at depths over 20 feet. Yellow perch will readily hit live minnows and small tube jigs. Worms and ice fishing jigs tipped with a waxworm work well for sunfish. 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: Fall can be a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and many other anglers have shifted their focus. The area trout streams have moderate to lower flows. 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:  Walleye, bass, perch and pike are providing some action. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. For the bass try both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. Remember, bass fishing is now catch and release/artificial only until 3/15/17. A web cam for the lake is located at Silver Lake Marine. 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: Fishing is on again/off again and hopefully you pick the right day. When on, bass are hitting trick worms, jig and pig, creature baits and drop shotting. A mix of colors worked, with kudzu being the top producer. Most of the bass being caught are coming off the deep weed edge in ten to twenty feet of water. Work your lures very slowly. A tip for folks in search of pike. Fish the south end - close to the outlet flow in 10 or 12 fow along the weed edge. Use pike and bass minnows with no leader, only a tiny splitshot if your minnow won't head down into the weeds all by himself. Watch the line - it will go - if not, let the minnow settle in, then put a little, very little tension on the line. Very slowly inch it thru the weeds. Watch that rod tip - it will bump - you set that hook instantly. Walleye are providing very little action. Good numbers of perch, rock bass and sunfish are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Try for large crappie along the east side along the weed edge. Try a plastic gulp 2 inch black/silver behind a 16th oz jig. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes 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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Fish off the points along the east side, over structure. Let your weight touch bottom then move out to deeper water. Smallmouth are providing a fair bite. Try natural colored plastics under a bobber. Crappie are also providing some action for anglers out night fishing.  (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) Another angler offered “It might even be worth while to try trolling with a worm harness. I have caught both rainbows and browns on them in addition to walleyes in other lakes. They are usually considered a Spring and Summer tactic but you never know in a multi-species body of water what you might find. I use them a lot, best on a drift with a little wind and cast lures from the front of the boat.  Yes they work great for trout. (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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. This time of year the Smallies are very thermocline oriented and huge!  Some anglers have had some awesome strikes out over 90' of water, on spoons. (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:  Fishing action is reported slow. For walleye try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs. In clear conditions try watermelon seed or other green type plastic baits. If you find turbid water switch to green pumpkin or black. Moving baits such as a small crank bait, lipless crank bait or spinnerbait will work but make very slow presentations. The shoreline shallows were producing some sizeable crappie and bluegills and bass. Fish have been caught from 2-12 feet deep depending on the temperature of the water. Afternoon and evenings have produced the largest number of bass, with both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. For the bluegills try yellow jigs, worms and waxworms in 20 – 25 fow. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes 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:. 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: Try for bass, bluegills and sunnies using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs in the canal between the lakes. For best results try a bobber at about 3 feet up while fishing in 6 fow. Pickerel are being picked up on Lamoka with gold and silver inline spinners. Red and orange are also working colors. Largemouth bass are hitting senko rubber worms. Seems like the smaller 3"-4" worms are working better. Green pumpkin and purple were working. Just bump the worm off the bottom. The weight of the worm and hook should be enough. Work it slowly though because the fish are very slow to take the worm. Remember, it’s now catch and release/artificals only for the bass. 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 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: 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: 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. 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. Keep an eye on the tributaries. The higher flows should help bring some more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices for these 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: Anglers fishing along shore are getting a mixed bag of rock bass, yellow perch and an occasional rainbow or lake trout. Look for the lakers and rainbows mainly in 35-70 feet over 75 - 125 feet of water, hitting on small silver spoons. Smallmouth bass are also being caught near shore in 10 – 30 feet of water with topwaters, flukes and tube jigs. Shore anglers are starting to get a few rainbow trout on the marshmallow worm rigs. Yellow perch and some smallmouth bass are hitting on worms, crayfish and minnows fished in 30 to 40 foot of water near bottom. Bullhead and black crappie are being caught on the south end. The gate to the launch was closed on 11/22. (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: The lake level is good but still be careful when boating. Trolling and jigging 45 to 80 feet down over a 120 – 150 foot bottom with spoons or flasher and flies has been producing a few lake trout. Trolling a little higher in the water column, like 40 feet, is producing some browns and rainbows. The north end seems preferable. Pike and perch action is slow but should pick up shortly. Some chunky bass up to 17.5" are being caught on jerkbaits and tubes. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass The heavy rains followed by snow should have helped to bring some brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices for these fish. (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: Tiger musky have been hitting for anglers casting stickbaits, swimbaits and spinnerbaits. If a tiger musky follows but doesn't hit, try that area again a little later in the trip. Anglers trolling are also getting a few tigers on spoons or stickbaits. Don't forget to use a wire leader even if you're just fishing for bass. It really ruins your day when a nice tiger hits a bass bait and then bites off. The tigers are legal on Otisco until 3/15/17 Largemouth bass are still hitting on tube baits or creature baits fished around the vegetation on the north end of the lake in 2 to 10 foot of water. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (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: Fall can be a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and many other anglers have shifted their focus. The area trout streams have moderate to lower flows. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded). 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: Try crankbaits, spinnerbaits and tube jigs for the bass along the shoreline early and late in the day. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. Crappie are being taken close to shore. Best bets are fathead minnows and jigs. Some walleye are being caught, but many are under-sized. Try jigging a bucktail jig tipped with nightcrawler or trolling worm harnesses in the old river channel. Anglers are picking up bullhead and channel catfish from shore. Try nightcrawlers for bait and you can add cut-bait for the catfish. Some nice perch are also being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  The pond is weeded but anglers are finding a few bass flipping or pitching bass jigs or plastics into the vegetation. Try weedless topwater baits over the vegetation. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: Try fishing along the shoreline weedbeds for bass, crappie, perch and bullhead. For the bass try the 5 to 15 foot depths with bass jigs, crankbaits or jerkbaits.  Remember it’s now catch and release/artificial only for them. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: Walleye fishing continues to be challenging. Perhaps the colder temperatures will help. Some anglers are getting them on blade baits fished in 20 to 30 feet of water, or trolling with stickbaits in 25 to 30 foot of water. Some walleye are also being taken shallow, 10 to 15 foot of water, on crankbaits or stickbaits. Anglers are reporting a good perch bite along the North shore of the lake in 10-14 feet of water. Fat-head minnows and worms are working well. Smallmouth bass are being taken around the shoals on drop-shot rigs and tube jigs. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificial only for them. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out, an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have some nice water levels. More rain/snow is predicted so that will add to the flow. Maxwell Creek has a good flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead were caught this past week. Egg sacs is the bait of choice. You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. If we receive some more rain the stream fishing should be excellent. 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: Largemouth and some nice perch (particularly Port Bay) are being caught in the bays. A lot of small perch are being caught for every keeper. Fish the weedlines for most of the action. A specific perch spot mentioned, for Sodus, is in 20 feet of water by the channel and near any of points that extend out in the bay. Try off the islands in Sodus for both smallmouth and largemouth using Senko worms, spinnerbait and topwater lures. Look for bluegills, rock bass and crappie also in the shallow areas of the bays. Try tube baits for crappie, rock bass and bluegills and nightcrawlers. Also in Sodus, around the islands, try stickbaits, spinnerbaits, spoons or large minnows under bobbers for pike. The bays are low and the docks have been pulled at the state launch sites so be prepared. Action at the widewaters of the Erie Canal continues and a few anglers are going after bluegills, crappie and bass. Try tube baits for crappie, rock bass and bluegills; nightcrawlers or leeches for bullhead and Zoom bait or spinnerbaits for bass. Anglers are catching crappies near the Port Gibson bridge and catfish are hitting near Palmyra. Use cut bait or doughballs for the cats. Cut shrimp also works if you have lots of spare change devoted to fishing. The canal will drop the water level in a few weeks, however, the Widewaters will not be affected. A reminder – bass fishing is now catch and release/artificals only. 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: Boaters have good opportunity to catch trout that are holding in the lower, slack water sections of the Genesee River. Trolling with stickbaits (where possible) or casting and retrieving stickbaits are good methods. Casting medium sized spoons is a good bet for trout during low light periods. 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. Also keep an eye on Irondequoit Creek. Bass are providing some action along the weed beds in the ponds and bays. Try spinnerbaits, top waters and plastics. As the waters cool that action should improve. Fishing for bullhead and crappie along the shores of Long and Cranberry Ponds and the bays is a possibility. Also walleye and northern pike are good possibilities in the bays. Some action for walleye is reported on Irondequoit Bay but the best bet is perch. It’s fun, but most are small. You just have to move if you're only getting dinks. Sometimes a small move of only 25-50 feet will get you into better fish. They've been hitting minnows, plastics, and even plain buckshot spoons. Anglers are using stickbaits. (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: Rain and high water have helped to move fish around through the Salmon River and area streams such as the Sandies and Grindstone Creek which provide a good deal of activity. The Lower Fly Section is open. There are plenty of steelhead to be found in the river, but action is reported slow. Fish are spread out from top to bottom. The deep holes such as Trestle Pool, Sportsman Pool, Papermill, Town Pool and Black Hole have all been holding fish but also getting the most pressure. Most of the fish being landed are caught in the softer water along the edges or in the inside seams. The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs have produced steady results. The Upper Reservoir continues to produce good catches of Smallmouth Bass and Walleyes. As soon as the weather begins cooling expect a good topwater bass bite in the reservoirs with very little fishing pressure! (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain/snow we have had over the last couple of days, the water flow has risen. This level makes many areas along the river unfishable. 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. Minnows, crayfish, worms, and leeches are the baits of choice for the bass. 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 helped to bring the water level up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. When the rivers clear, try fishing with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes for some nice sized smallmouth bass. For the tubes natural colors often work best and for the stickbaits the flashier the bait the better. The bass action has been good for many anglers, and should continue to improve. Just remember it’s now catch and release, artificial only. Some specifics on the Chemung - the section between Waverly and Elmira has been good early in the morning. A mixed bag of smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish are being taken on stickworms (Senko style baits) or spinners. White has been a good color for the stickworms and black/silver or perch colored for the spinners.

A number of muskies were tagged in 2014 on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please Do Not remove the tag. Please, write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length at 607-753-3095 or fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. (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 ANGLER EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

DECEMBER 2016

10 – Coping with Cold at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Discover how animals prepare for the cold months ahead on this guided walk in the woods. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

15 - Close of Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

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

 

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

12 – 2 - 16

 

*Tip: A Great Winter Experience: Winter canoe or kayak trips can be just as enjoyable as

summer ones. At this time of year bugs, sunburn, and crowds of people are gone. With the departure of the summer crowds, the woods and waterways seem to come alive with wildlife—a

definite plus for off-season paddling! Before you load the canoe or kayak and head for the putin,

take a few precautions: • Don’t go alone. Set a definite schedule with launching and pickup time and stick to it. Let others know where you plan to be. • Stay dry. Capsizing in winter can mean a lifeor-death situation. Wear a life jacket and a wet suit. • Stay warm. Wear layers of clothes and plenty of wool clothing. If wool gets wet, it retains its insulating value. • Start early and stop early. Paddling in the winter sounds tough and can be somewhat dangerous. However, if you love paddling in the water, it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss.

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

basspro.com.)

 

*Tip 2: Reminder: November 30 - End of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Black Bass and Muskellunge

 

*TIP 3: There must be a U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device for every person on board any vessel, personal watercraft (PWC), canoe, kayaks and rowboats. If aboard a PWC, it must be worn at all times when the PWC is in operation. From November 1 to May 1, lifejackets must be worn by all persons on boats under 21', canoes, kayaks, rowboats while they are underway..

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Boating season for most fair-weather fishermen was done by the end of September or mid October, however, there are those who will pursue offshore perch, late-season walleye, bass, musky and waterfowl. oating season for most fair-weather fishermen was done by the end of September or mid October, however, there are those who will pursue offshore perch, late-season walleye, bass, musky and waterfowl.

Finding a place to launch your craft got a little harder as of this week. 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. The walleye bite has cooled but best bets are from west of Sturgeon Point to straight off Cattaraugus Creek in 65-75 feet of water. Best catches were on Renosky stickbaits in green, orange or purple. Worm harnesses have caught walleye as well but expect to also catch some yellow perch, white bass and sheepshead. Walleye anglers are also catching some steelhead, suggesting they may be staging in deeper water. 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. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss. Some anglers have located some productive schools between Sturgeon Point and Evangola State Park in 55-65 feet of water, but searching has been required. Live emerald shiners,if you can find them, are the top bait for perch.  Many anglers are resorting to small golden shiners and salted minnows. Fish right on bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing has picked up a bit in the Buffalo area at depths of 15-25 feet. Anglers are catching bass around harbor gaps and around small reefs, rock piles and humps between the breakwalls and international line. The deep edges of larger reefs such as Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef and Evans Bar are also good bass options. A drop-shot rig with shiners, crayfish, tube jigs or plastics are good bass offerings. For more bass fishing information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. The rehabilitation of the Dunkirk Fishing Platform has been completed and it is now open for fishing.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: There have been some good days, however steelhead fishing was generally slow for much of November. Rains brought all stream levels up on the first day of December, and hopefully a fresh slug of steelhead will have moved in on the water surge. The smallest streams are the best bet for fishable conditions today. Without additional measurable precipitation, all streams except Cattaraugus Creek should be options for the weekend. Lake Erie steelhead commonly hit natural baits like egg sacs or worms, flies such as egg imitations, black stone flies, streamer and bugger patterns, and lures like minnow-type stickbaits, in-line spinners and small spoons. Increase your catch odds by covering as much water as possible while fishing every possible pool, seam and undercut. Using light fluorocarbon tippet, small baits or flies, small hooks and moving stealthily are also good practice when fishing clear conditions. Some pink salmon and Chinook salmon have shown up in the Catt as well. Be aware that a Seneca Nation fishing license is needed to fish on Seneca territory. Lake Erie steelhead commonly hit natural baits like egg sacs or worms, flies such as egg imitations, streamers and bugger patterns, and lures like minnow-type stickbaits, in-line spinners and small spoons. 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.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Muskellunge, tiger muskellunge and regular black bass seasons are closed on the upper river as of November 30th. Anglers may still target black bass on the upper river, however bass fishing is now by catch and release only, artificial lures only. Bass – both smallmouth and largemouth – are available for boaters and shorecasters and fishing action has been picking up. But remember it’s catch and release/artificals only for the bass. 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 Walleye have been hitting off the wall at Broderick Park. Bass and walleye are on their fall feed right now. However, anglers who are there at the right time catch a brief flurry of yellow perch or white bass, and the occasional hefty smallmouth bass. The occasional walleye has also been caught by boaters near the head of the river and from the Bird Island Pier.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Steelhead are now the top target in the upper drifts, but catches have been mostly lake trout with some steelhead and the occasional brown trout mixed in. Keep in mind that lake trout season is closed until January 1st, all incidentally caught lake trout should be promptly released. Trout action is best for boaters in the Devils Hole and Artpark drifts. Egg sacs, live shiners or Kwikfish lures on a three-way bottom bouncing rig is the typical trout tactic. Shore anglers can target trout at 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. The Stella drift has been producing catches of smallmouth bass and the occasional walleye for boaters. Bottom bouncing rigs with shiners has worked well. Muskellunge season has closed just about everywhere in the state, however the muskellunge and tiger muskellunge seasons extend to December 15 on the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The New York Power Authority fishing platform typically closes on December 1st or with the onset of ice and snow. The Province of Ontario lake trout season opens on Dec. 1. If you do venture across the border, make sure you abide by all of the rules. The most recent rule is requiring charter boat skippers to obtain working papers to fish in Canadian waters. Once they call in, they are hit with GST and PST taxes for their trip. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

*LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS: The Erie Canal de-watering is currently underway, and Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks are receiving some supplemental water flow as a result. Oak Orchard Creek currently has moderate to slightly high flow with a slight stain, while Eighteenmile Creek has moderate flow with a slight stain. Fishing pressure has been lighter on both creeks lately, despite good trout action. Anglers are catching mostly brown trout and steelhead with the odd fresh king salmon mixed in. Johnson and Sandy Creeks have lighter numbers of trout spread throughout their reaches. Flows are lower and clear, so key on deeper holes. Downsize lines, hooks, baits and move stealthily when fishing clear conditions. Egg sacs, single eggs, trout beads and egg pattern flies are tops for brown trout and steelhead. 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. Yellow perch fishing has improved at Wilson and Olcott Harbors. Some perch catches have been reported along the lower stretch of Oak Orchard Creek as well. Small minnows work best. Lake Alice fishing seems to be slowing with the bluegill catch rate and also the sizes dropping off around the Waterport Bridge area and bass in the deep water locations.  A reminder to anglers it’s now catch and release/artificial only for bass. 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.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  Muskellunge and regular black bass seasons are closed as of November 30th. Anglers may still target bass by catch and release only, artificial lures only. The better walleye bite is in the north basin. Vertical jigging programs have worked well over depths of 30-60 feet. Blade baits, jigging Rapalas, jigging spoons and live shiners are good offerings. Walleye are still available in the deeper section of the south basin as well. Trolling with worm harnesses or stickbaits is a good bet. Good sized yellow perch and sunfish are available around weed beds in 6-15 feet of water. Yellow perch will readily hit live minnows and small tube jigs. Worms and ice fishing jigs tipped with a waxworm work well for sunfish. 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: Fall can be a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and many other anglers have shifted their focus. The area trout streams have moderate to lower flows. 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:  Walleye, bass, perch and pike are providing some action. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. For the bass try both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. Remember, bass fishing is now catch and release/artificial only until 3/15/17. A web cam for the lake is located at Silver Lake Marine. 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: Fishing is on again/off again and hopefully you pick the right day. When on, bass are hitting trick worms, jig and pig, creature baits and drop shotting. A mix of colors worked, with kudzu being the top producer. Most of the bass being caught are coming off the deep weed edge in ten to twenty feet of water. Work your lures very slowly. A tip for folks in search of pike. Fish the south end - close to the outlet flow in 10 or 12 fow along the weed edge. Use pike and bass minnows with no leader, only a tiny splitshot if your minnow won't head down into the weeds all by himself. Watch the line - it will go - if not, let the minnow settle in, then put a little, very little tension on the line. Very slowly inch it thru the weeds. Watch that rod tip - it will bump - you set that hook instantly. Walleye are providing very little action. Good numbers of perch, rock bass and sunfish are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Try for large crappie along the east side along the weed edge. Try a plastic gulp 2 inch black/silver behind a 16th oz jig. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes 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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Fish off the points along the east side, over structure. Let your weight touch bottom then move out to deeper water. Smallmouth are providing a fair bite. Try natural colored plastics under a bobber. Crappie are also providing some action for anglers out night fishing.  (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes until March 15, 2017.) Another angler offered “It might even be worth while to try trolling with a worm harness. I have caught both rainbows and browns on them in addition to walleyes in other lakes. They are usually considered a Spring and Summer tactic but you never know in a multi-species body of water what you might find. I use them a lot, best on a drift with a little wind and cast lures from the front of the boat.  Yes they work great for trout. (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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. This time of year the Smallies are very thermocline oriented and huge!  Some anglers have had some awesome strikes out over 90' of water, on spoons. (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:  Fishing action is reported slow. For walleye try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs. In clear conditions try watermelon seed or other green type plastic baits. If you find turbid water switch to green pumpkin or black. Moving baits such as a small crank bait, lipless crank bait or spinnerbait will work but make very slow presentations. The shoreline shallows were producing some sizeable crappie and bluegills and bass. Fish have been caught from 2-12 feet deep depending on the temperature of the water. Afternoon and evenings have produced the largest number of bass, with both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. For the bluegills try yellow jigs, worms and waxworms in 20 – 25 fow. (Bass season remains open on select Finger Lakes 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:. 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: Try for bass, bluegills and sunnies using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs in the canal between the lakes. For best results try a bobber at about 3 feet up while fishing in 6 fow. Pickerel are being picked up on Lamoka with gold and silver inline spinners. Red and orange are also working colors. Largemouth bass are hitting senko rubber worms. Seems like the smaller 3"-4" worms are working better. Green pumpkin and purple were working. Just bump the worm off the bottom. The weight of the worm and hook should be enough. Work it slowly though because the fish are very slow to take the worm. Remember, it’s now catch and release/artificals only for the bass. 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 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: 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: 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. 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. Keep an eye on the tributaries. The higher flows should help bring some more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices for these 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: Anglers fishing along shore are getting a mixed bag of rock bass, yellow perch and an occasional rainbow or lake trout. Look for the lakers and rainbows mainly in 35-70 feet over 75 - 125 feet of water, hitting on small silver spoons. Smallmouth bass are also being caught near shore in 10 – 30 feet of water with topwaters, flukes and tube jigs. Shore anglers are starting to get a few rainbow trout on the marshmallow worm rigs. Yellow perch and some smallmouth bass are hitting on worms, crayfish and minnows fished in 30 to 40 foot of water near bottom. Bullhead and black crappie are being caught on the south end. The gate to the launch was closed on 11/22. (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: The lake level is good but still be careful when boating. Trolling and jigging 45 to 80 feet down over a 120 – 150 foot bottom with spoons or flasher and flies has been producing a few lake trout. Trolling a little higher in the water column, like 40 feet, is producing some browns and rainbows. The north end seems preferable. Pike and perch action is slow but should pick up shortly. Some chunky bass up to 17.5" are being caught on jerkbaits and tubes. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass.  Check for trout in the Inlet. Between the rain and snow melt that took place this week, most streams should have a good flow at this time. The higher flows should have helped to bring more brown trout and Atlantic salmon into the tributaries. Egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics are usually good bait choices for these fish. (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: Tiger musky have been hitting for anglers casting stickbaits, swimbaits and spinnerbaits. If a tiger musky follows but doesn't hit, try that area again a little later in the trip. Anglers trolling are also getting a few tigers on spoons or stickbaits. Don't forget to use a wire leader even if you're just fishing for bass. It really ruins your day when a nice tiger hits a bass bait and then bites off. The tigers are legal on Otisco until 3/15/17 Largemouth bass are still hitting on tube baits or creature baits fished around the vegetation on the north end of the lake in 2 to 10 foot of water. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (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: Fall can be a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and many other anglers have shifted their focus. The area trout streams have moderate to lower flows. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded). 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: Try crankbaits, spinnerbaits and tube jigs for the bass along the shoreline early and late in the day. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. Crappie are being taken close to shore. Best bets are fathead minnows and jigs. Some walleye are being caught, but many are under-sized. Try jigging a bucktail jig tipped with nightcrawler or trolling worm harnesses in the old river channel. Anglers are picking up bullhead and channel catfish from shore. Try nightcrawlers for bait and you can add cut-bait for the catfish. Some nice perch are also being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*SANDY POND:  The pond is weeded but anglers are finding a few bass flipping or pitching bass jigs or plastics into the vegetation. Try weedless topwater baits over the vegetation. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificials only for the bass. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Try fishing along the shoreline weedbeds for bass, crappie, perch and bullhead. For the bass try the 5 to 15 foot depths with bass jigs, crankbaits or jerkbaits.  Remember it’s now catch and release/artificial only for them. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: Walleye fishing continues to be challenging although it is improving. Perhaps the colder temperatures will help. Some anglers are getting them on blade baits fished in 20 to 30 feet of water, or trolling with stickbaits in 25 to 30 foot of water. Some walleye are also being taken shallow, 10 to 15 foot of water, on crankbaits or stickbaits. Anglers are reporting a good perch bite along the North shore of the lake in 10-14 feet of water. Fat-head minnows and worms are working well. Smallmouth bass are being taken around the shoals on drop-shot rigs and tube jigs. Remember it’s now catch and release/artificial only for them. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out, an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The streams have some nice water levels. More rain is predicted for tomorrow so that will add to the flow. Maxwell Creek has decent flow on both sides of Lake Road. Some steelhead were caught this past week. Egg sacs is the bait of choice.

You can also check-out some of the smaller tribs, like Salmon Creek and Bear Creek. If we receive some more rain the stream fishing should be excellent. 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: Largemouth and some nice perch (particularly Port Bay) are being caught in the bays. A lot of small perch are being caught for every keeper. Fish the weedlines for most of the action. A specific spot mentioned is off the islands in Sodus for both smallmouth and largemouth using Senko worms, spinnerbait and topwater lures. Look for bluegills, rock bass and crappie also in the shallow areas of the bays. Try tube baits for crappie, rock bass and bluegills and nightcrawlers. Also in Sodus, around the islands, try stickbaits, spinnerbaits, spoons or large minnows under bobbers for pike. The bays are low and the docks have been pulled at the state launch sites so be prepared. Action at the widewaters of the Erie Canal continues and a few anglers are going after bluegills, crappie and bass. Try tube baits for crappie, rock bass and bluegills; nightcrawlers or leeches for bullhead and Zoom bait or spinnerbaits for bass. Anglers are catching crappies near the Port Gibson bridge and catfish are hitting near Palmyra. Use cut bait or doughballs for the cats. Cut shrimp also works if you have lots of spare change devoted to fishing. The canal will drop the water level in a few weeks, however, the Widewaters will not be affected. A reminder – bass fishing is now catch and release/artificals only. 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: Boaters have good opportunity to catch trout that are holding in the lower, slack water sections of the Genesee River. Trolling with stickbaits (where possible) or casting and retrieving stickbaits are good methods. Casting medium sized spoons is a good bet for trout during low light periods. 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. Also keep an eye on Irondequoit Creek. Bass are providing some action along the weed beds in the ponds and bays. Try spinnerbaits, top waters and plastics. As the waters cool that action should improve. Fishing for bullhead and crappie along the shores of Long and Cranberry Ponds and the bays is a possibility. Also walleye and northern pike are good possibilities in the bays. Some action for walleye is reported on Irondequoit Bay but the best bet is perch. It’s fun, but most are small. You just have to move if you're only getting dinks. Sometimes a small move of only 25-50 feet will get you into better fish. They've been hitting minnows, plastics, and even plain buckshot spoons. Anglers are using stickbaits. (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: Rain and high water have helped to move fish around through the Salmon River and area streams such as the Sandies and Grindstone Creek which provide a good deal of activity. The Lower Fly Section is open. There are plenty of steelhead to be found in the river, with fish spread out from top to bottom. The deep holes such as Trestle Pool, Sportsman Pool, Papermill, Town Pool and Black Hole have all been holding fish but also getting the most pressure. The Upper Fly Zone is now closed until April 1st.. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs have produced steady results. The Upper Reservoir continues to produce good catches of Smallmouth Bass and Walleyes. As soon as the weather begins cooling expect a good topwater bass bite in the reservoirs with very little fishing pressure! (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain we have had over the last couple of days the water flow has risen to 15,500cfs as of this afternoon. This level makes many areas along the river unfishable.

Trout have shown up in decent numbers over the last two 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. 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. Minnows, crayfish, worms, and leeches are the baits of choice for the bass. 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 helped to bring the water level up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. When the rivers clear, try fishing with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes for some nice sized smallmouth bass. For the tubes natural colors often work best and for the stickbaits the flashier the bait the better. The bass action has been good for many anglers, and should continue to improve. Just remember it’s now catch and release, artificial only. Some specifics on the Chemung - the section between Waverly and Elmira has been good early in the morning. A mixed bag of smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish are being taken on stickworms (Senko style baits) or spinners. White has been a good color for the stickworms and black/silver or perch colored for the spinners.

A number of muskies were tagged in 2014 on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please Do Not remove the tag. Please, write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length at 607-753-3095 or fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. (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 ANGLER EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page)

DECEMBER 2016

1 – Start of Statewide Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>6/16/16)
1 – Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>5/5/17)

3 - Rod & Gun Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Lyons Road (Route 14N), Geneva, NY (9:15 am) Selling over 1000 lots of modern & antique 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)

10 – Coping with Cold at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Discover how animals prepare for the cold months ahead on this guided walk in the woods. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

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

 

 

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11 – 25 - 16

 

TIP: Find Wintertime Slabs: Don’t wait until spring to go crappie fishing. Great fishing is out there right now! In winter, the structure with the most potential will be relatively deep, depending on the location of the thermocline and the mean depth of the lake. You’ll find prime structure on the main lake adjacent to a channel or major dropoff. Focus your search on points, ridges, humps, and flats with tight contour lines. Once you locate the structure and identify the edge, you will need to find key crappie holding cover. Hot spots can be stumps, rock piles or brush piles. The bigger slabs will be on isolated pieces of cover. Finding winter crappie takes a little work, but once you hook into them you’ll quickly forget about the winter chill.

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

basspro.com.)

 

Tip 2: Reminder: November 30 - End of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Black Bass and Muskellunge

 

TIP 3: There must be a U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device for every person on board any vessel, personal watercraft (PWC), canoe, kayaks and rowboats. If aboard a PWC, it must be worn at all times when the PWC is in operation. From November 1 to May 1, lifejackets must be worn by all persons on boats under 21', canoes, kayaks, rowboats while they are underway..

 

LAKE ERIE:  Lake conditions have kept most anglers away again this past week The boating season is winding down. Most boat launch sites have pulled their launch docks, so don’t forget your waders. The walleye bite has cooled but best bets are from west of Sturgeon Point to straight off Cattaraugus Creek in 65-75 feet of water. Best catches were on Renosky stickbaits in green, orange or purple. Worm harnesses have caught walleye as well but expect to also catch some yellow perch, white bass and sheepshead. Walleye anglers are also catching some steelhead, suggesting they may be staging in deeper water. 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. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss. Some anglers have located some productive schools between Sturgeon Point and Evangola State Park in 55-65 feet of water, but searching has been required. Live emerald shiners,if you can find them, are the top bait for perch.  Many anglers are resorting to small golden shiners and salted minnows. Fish right on bottom. Smallmouth bass fishing has picked up a bit in the Buffalo area at depths of 15-25 feet. Anglers are catching bass around harbor gaps and around small reefs, rock piles and humps between the breakwalls and international line. The deep edges of larger reefs such as Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef and Evans Bar are also good bass options. A drop-shot rig with shiners, crayfish, tube jigs or plastics are good bass offerings. For more bass fishing information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. The rehabilitation of the Dunkirk Fishing Platform has been completed and it is now open for fishing.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Steelhead fishing has been challenging due to low and clear conditions, especially when there is considerable fishing pressure. Cattaraugus Creek is about as clear as it gets in the fall with about 30 inches of visibility, but has the best flow rate of around 240 cubic feet per second. Anglers have reported steelhead catches all the way up to the Scoby Dam, however numbers have been better below Gowanda. Other stream conditions have been pretty good thanks to periodic rainfall. Light numbers of steelhead are scattered throughout. Increase your catch odds by covering as much water as possible while fishing every possible pool, seam and undercut. Using light fluorocarbon tippet, small baits or flies, small hooks and moving stealthily are also good practice when fishing clear conditions. Some pink salmon and Chinook salmon have shown up in the Catt as well. Be aware that a Seneca Nation fishing license is needed to fish on Seneca territory. Lake Erie steelhead commonly hit natural baits like egg sacs or worms, flies such as egg imitations, streamers and bugger patterns, and lures like minnow-type stickbaits, in-line spinners and small spoons. 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.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER:  Only a couple more weeks remain before muskellunge season closes after November 30th. The tail end of the season is often the most productive. Some musky over 40 inches have been caught this week in the vicinity of Strawberry Island. Drifting and jigging with large (8"-10") tube jigs or large live shiners and casting large stickbaits are good musky tactics. Trolling around the outer Buffalo Harbor and North Gap can sometimes produce a musky catch. Bass – both smallmouth and largemouth – are available for boaters and shorecasters and fishing has been picking up. Finding holding areas like flats or deep holes is the key to success. Some nice sized smallmouth bass have shown for boaters fishing drop-shot or bottom bouncing rigs with crayfish, shiners or tubes. 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 Walleye have been hitting off the wall at Broderick Park. Bass and walleye are on their fall feed right now. However, anglers who are there at the right time catch a brief flurry of yellow perch or white bass, and the occasional hefty smallmouth bass. The occasional walleye has also been caught by boaters near the head of the river and from the Bird Island Pier.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Steelhead are now the top target in the upper drifts, but catches have been mostly lake trout with some steelhead and the occasional brown trout mixed in. Keep in mind that lake trout season is closed until January 1st, all incidentally caught lake trout should be promptly released. Trout action is best for boaters in the Devils Hole and Artpark drifts. Egg sacs, live shiners or Kwikfish lures on a three-way bottom bouncing rig is the typical trout tactic. Shore anglers can target trout at 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. The Stella drift has been producing catches of smallmouth bass and the occasional walleye for boaters. Bottom bouncing rigs with shiners has worked well. The New York Power Authority fishing platform typically closes on December 1st or with the onset of ice and snow. The Province of Ontario lake trout season opens on Dec. 1. If you do venture across the border, make sure you abide by all of the rules. The most recent rule is requiring charter boat skippers to obtain working papers to fish in Canadian waters. Once they call in, they are hit with GST and PST taxes for their trip. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. See the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

LAKE ONTARIO -  WEST - TRIBS: Decent numbers of colorful brown trout and steelhead now make up the bulk of catches at Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile Creeks. Some Atlantic salmon are showing as well. Anglers are also reporting the occasional fresh king salmon catch, however the majority of remaining kings are post-spawn zombies. Oak Orchard Creek currently has moderate flow and clear waters, while Eighteenmile Creek is running low and clear. The Erie Canal navigation season ends on November 20th. During the subsequent dewatering of the canal, Oak Orchard and Eighteenmile will receive some supplemental water flow. Sandy and Johnson Creeks have trout scattered throughout, however low and clear conditions have made fishing a challenge. Downsize lines, hooks, baits and move stealthily when fishing clear conditions. Egg sacs, single eggs, trout beads and egg pattern flies are tops for brown trout and steelhead. Trout catches can be especially good just below pairs of actively spawning salmon. Boaters can target migrating trout and salmon in the lower, slower moving sections of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek and the Genesee River. Trolling with stickbaits (where possible) or casting and retrieving stickbaits are good methods. 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. Yellow perch fishing has improved at Wilson and Olcott Harbors. Some perch catches have been reported along the lower stretch of Oak Orchard Creek as well. Small minnows work best. Lake Alice fishing seems to be holding with the bluegill catch rate and also the sizes improving around the Waterport Bridge area and bass in the deep water locations. A reminder - the Erie Canal System will close on November 20th this year and then the dewatering process should start shortly after that. 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.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE:  The better walleye bite is in the north basin. Vertical jigging programs have worked well over depths of 30-60 feet. Blade baits, jigging Rapalas, jigging spoons and live shiners are good offerings. Walleye are still available in the deeper section of the south basin as well. Trolling with worm harnesses or stickbaits is a good bet. Good sized yellow perch and sunfish are available around weed beds in 6-15 feet of water. Yellow perch will readily hit live minnows and small tube jigs. Worms and ice fishing jigs tipped with a waxworm work well for sunfish. Muskie fishing remained a little slow, but anglers were still catching some along weed edges and over deeper water of 35-40 feet, on gear run 15-20 feet down. In the southern basin try trolling in 12 feet of water with smaller baits like 51/2-inch Wiley plugs or 4-inch Baker or Tuff Shad baits. Lure color was natural colors – brown, brown-perch or perch patterns. Speed of troll ranged from 3.5 mph to 4.5 mph with the average speed around 3.8 mph. 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: Fall can be a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and many other anglers have shifted their focus. The area trout streams have moderate to lower flows. 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:  Walleye, bass, perch and pike are providing some action. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. For the bass try both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. A web cam for the lake is located at Silver Lake Marine. 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: Fishing is on again/off again and hopefully you pick the right day. When on, bass are hitting trick worms, jig and pig, creature baits and drop shotting. A mix of colors worked, with kudzu being the top producer. Most of the bass being caught are coming off the deep weed edge in ten to twenty feet of water. Work your lures very slowly. A tip for folks in search of pike. Fish the south end - close to the outlet flow in 10 or 12 fow along the weed edge. Use pike and bass minnows with no leader, only a tiny splitshot if your minnow won't head down into the weeds all by himself. Watch the line - it will go - if not, let the minnow settle in, then put a little, very little tension on the line. Very slowly inch it thru the weeds. Watch that rod tip - it will bump - you set that hook instantly. Walleye are providing very little action. Good numbers of perch, rock bass and sunfish are available. Fish live bait (worms and small minnows) or small spinner baits. Try for large crappie along the east side along the weed edge. Try a plastic gulp 2 inch black/silver behind a 16th oz jig.  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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. Fish off the points along the east side, over structure. Let your weight touch bottom then move out to deeper water. Smallmouth are providing a fair bite. Try natural colored plastics under a bobber. Crappie are also providing some action for anglers out night fishing.   (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: A suggestion is to fish the 20 to 50 fow level for trout with medium spoons in black and glow, purple, hot pink or orange crush. Try for the browns and rainbows up higher and the lakers lower. This time of year the Smallies are very thermocline oriented and huge!  Some anglers have had some awesome strikes out over 90' of water, on spoons. (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:  Fishing action is reported slow. For walleye try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs. In clear conditions try watermelon seed or other green type plastic baits. If you find turbid water switch to green pumpkin or black. Moving baits such as a small crank bait, lipless crank bait or spinnerbait will work but make very slow presentations. The shoreline shallows were producing some sizeable crappie and bluegills and bass. Fish have been caught from 2-12 feet deep depending on the temperature of the water. Afternoon and evenings have produced the largest number of bass, with both wacky and Texas rigged worms. Colors have varied with water clarity and light conditions. If you are not getting bit, change something, either bait color, presentation or location. Present your baits slow and then slow down more. Many bites come while the bait is dead sticked or just moved and inch or two. For the bluegills try yellow jigs, worms and waxworms in 20 – 25 fow. (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 bass reports or tributary reports. (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: Try for bass, bluegills and sunnies using worms, rubber worms, crabs and spinnerbaits. Also try for yellow perch with minnows fished in 15 fow. Crappies are hitting small minnows and jigs in the canal between the lakes. For best results try a bobber at about 3 feet up while fishing in 6 fow. Pickerel are being picked up on Lamoka with gold and silver inline spinners. Red and orange are also working colors. Largemouth bass are hitting senko rubber worms. Seems like the smaller 3"-4" worms are working better. Green pumpkin and purple were working. Just bump the worm off the bottom. The weight of the worm and hook should be enough. Work it slowly though because the fish are very slow to take the worm. Some musky have been caught by trolling large stickbaits in 10 to 20 feet of water. 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 along with some smallmouth. (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. No bass reports. No reports on the tribs either but the rains should trigger some trout movement. The heavy rains at the south end of Seneca also sent a lot of debris into the lake. Be careful! (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 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. For shore fishermen, now is still a good time to fish stream mouths - even if the creeks are nearly dry, 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. The north end offers the best chances. Casting dropshot rigs along with chatterbaits produced some fish. Keep an eye on the tributaries – the rain should help. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: Anglers fishing along shore are getting a mixed bag of rock bass, yellow perch and an occasional rainbow or lake trout. Look for the lakers and rainbows mainly in 35-70 feet over 75 - 125 feet of water, hitting on small silver spoons. Smallmouth bass are also being caught near shore in 10 – 30 feet of water with topwaters, flukes, tube jigs, drop-shot rigs, or a Ned-rig. A Ned-rig is basically a jig head with a short (3-4") piece of the tail section of a stick worm (Senko and Stik-O's are examples) threaded on the hook. Shore anglers are starting to get a few rainbow trout on the marshmallow worm rigs. Yellow perch and some smallmouth bass are hitting on worms, crayfish and minnows fished in 30 to 40 foot of water near bottom. Bullhead and black crappie are being caught on the south end. The docks at the launch site have been removed, so be prepared. Also, as a "heads-up" with snow in the forecast for Monday 11/21 DEC may be closing the gate to the launch on that day; maybe for the season. This will be determined based on what the actual weather is on Monday.  (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: The lake level is good but still be careful when boating. Trolling and jigging 45 to 80 feet down over a 120 – 150 foot bottom with spoons or flasher and flies has been producing a few lake trout. Trolling a little higher in the water column, like 40 feet, is producing some browns and rainbows. The north end seems preferable. Pike and perch action is slow but should pick up shortly. Some chunky bass up to 17.5" are being caught on jerkbaits and tubes.   Check for trout in the Inlet. Try egg sacs or egg imitating flies and plastics and see if anything happens.  (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: Tiger musky have been hitting for anglers casting stickbaits, swimbaits and spinnerbaits. If a tiger musky follows but doesn't hit, try that area again a little later in the trip. Anglers trolling are also getting a few tigers on spoons or stickbaits. Don't forget to use a wire leader even if you're just fishing for bass. It really ruins your day when a nice tiger hits a bass bait and then bites off. Largemouth bass are still hitting on tube baits or creature baits fished around the vegetation on the north end of the lake in 2 to 10 foot of water. (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: Fall can be a good time to fish the inland trout streams, as trout are on the feed and many other anglers have shifted their focus. The area trout streams have moderate to lower flows. The statewide trout season closed on October 15 (Great Lakes and Finger Lakes tributaries excluded). 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: Try crankbaits, spinnerbaits and tube jigs for the bass along the shoreline early and late in the day. Crappie are being taken close to shore. Best bets are fathead minnows and jigs. Some walleye are being caught, but many are under-sized. Try jigging a bucktail jig tipped with nightcrawler or trolling worm harnesses in the old river channel. Anglers are picking up bullhead and channel catfish from shore. Try nightcrawlers for bait and you can add cut-bait for the catfish. Some nice perch are also being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

SANDY POND:  The pond is weeded but anglers are finding a few bass flipping or pitching bass jigs or plastics into the vegetation. Try weedless topwater baits over the vegetation. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: Try fishing along the shoreline weedbeds for bass, crappie, perch and bullhead. For the bass try the 5 to 15 foot depths with bass jigs, crankbaits or jerkbaits. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: Walleye fishing continues to be challenging although it is improving. Perhaps the colder temperatures will help. Some anglers are getting them on blade baits fished in 20 to 30 feet of water, or trolling with stickbaits in 25 to 30 foot of water. Some walleye are also being taken shallow, 10 to 15 foot of water, on crankbaits or stickbaits. Anglers are reporting a good perch bite along the North shore of the lake in 10-14 feet of water. Minnows and worms are working well. Smallmouth bass are being taken around the shoals on drop-shot rigs, tube jigs or live crayfish. It may be necessary to adjust your fishing style if fishing with worms to avoid the bait stealing gobies. Sometimes just fishing worms 1.5-2 feet off bottom, instead of right on bottom, can help avoid some of the gobies. 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: Between the weather and other pursuits (hunting) very few boats are out on the lake. If your boat is still out, an option after nightfall is to anchor in 15-30 feet of water (off tributary mouths) and cast glow spoons or stickbaits. Be sure you are outside casting range of pier anglers. Bass fishing is good with big numbers concentrating from 10 - 30 FOW. Live bait, jigs, trolling stickbaits – just about any application will work for bass. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: There are few browns being caught in Maxwell, north of Lake Road. Some anglers are fishing the north end of Maxwell casting cleos out in the lake. Bear Creek is on Lake Road in the town of Ontario. Furnace is another stream north of Wolcott. They may have fish depending on water levels. 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: Largemouth and some nice perch (particularly Port Bay) are being caught in the bays. A lot of small perch are being caught for every keeper. Fish the weedlines for most of the action. A specific spot mentioned is off the islands in Sodus for both smallmouth and largemouth using Senko worms, spinnerbait and topwater lures. Look for bluegills, rock bass and crappie also in the shallow areas of the bays. Try tube baits for crappie, rock bass and bluegills and nightcrawlers. Also in Sodus, around the islands, try stickbaits, spinnerbaits, spoons or large minnows under bobbers for pike. The bays are low and the docks have been pulled at the state launch sites so be prepared. Action at the widewaters of the Erie Canal continues and a few anglers are going after bluegills, crappie and bass. Try tube baits for crappie, rock bass and bluegills; nightcrawlers or leeches for bullhead and Zoom bait or spinnerbaits for bass. Anglers are catching crappies near the Port Gibson bridge and catfish are hitting near Palmyra. Use cut bait or doughballs for the cats. Cut shrimp also works if you have lots of spare change devoted to fishing. The canal will drop the water level in a few weeks, however, the Widewaters will not be affected. 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: Boaters have good opportunity to catch trout that are holding in the lower, slack water sections of the Genesee River. Trolling with stickbaits (where possible) or casting and retrieving stickbaits are good methods. Casting medium sized spoons is a good bet for trout during low light periods. 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. Also keep an eye on Irondequoit Creek. Bass are providing some action along the weed beds in the ponds and bays. Try spinnerbaits, top waters and plastics. As the waters cool that action should improve. Fishing for bullhead and crappie along the shores of Long and Cranberry Ponds and the bays is a possibility. Also walleye and northern pike are good possibilities in the bays. Some night action for walleye is reported on Irondequoit Bay. Anglers are using stickbaits. (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: Rain and high water have helped to move fish around through the Salmon River and area streams such as the Sandies and Grindstone Creek which provide a good deal of activity. The Lower Fly Section is open. There are plenty of steelhead to be found in the river, with fish spread out from top to bottom. The deep holes such as Trestle Pool, Sportsman Pool, Papermill, Town Pool and Black Hole have all been holding fish but also getting the most pressure. The Upper Fly Zone is open. For those using spinning gear, blue or pink egg sacs have produced steady results. The Upper Reservoir continues to produce good catches of Smallmouth Bass and Walleyes. As soon as the weather begins cooling expect a good topwater bass bite in the reservoirs with very little fishing pressure! The Chinook and coho egg collection is now done at the hatchery. Anglers should be aware of the regulation changes that started May 1st. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER:  Trout have shown up in decent numbers over the last two weeks. A number of them were caught off the high wall and low wall this past weekend. 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. 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. Minnows, crayfish, worms, and leeches are the baits of choice for the bass. 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 helped to bring the water level up in the Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers. When the rivers clear, try fishing with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes for some nice sized smallmouth bass. For the tubes natural colors often work best and for the stickbaits the flashier the bait the better. Minnows are also working for the smallmouth bass. The bass action has been good for many anglers, and should continue to improve. Some specifics on the Chemung - the section between Waverly and Elmira has been good early in the morning. A mixed bag of smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish are being taken on stickworms (Senko style baits) or spinners. White has been a good color for the stickworms and black/silver or perch colored for the spinners.

A number of muskies were tagged in 2014 on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please Do Not remove the tag. Please, write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length at 607-753-3095 or fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. (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 )

Stocking: DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery has conducted their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout stocked are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. The following waters have been stocked: Case Lake received 300 brown trout (15"-26") and 25 rainbow trout (28"); Quaker Lake received 150 brown trout (21"-26") and 200 rainbow trout (15"); Red House Lake received 250 brown trout (15"-26"); Allen Lake received 200 brook trout (15"-20"), 50 brown trout (15") and 25 rainbow trout (21"); Genesee River received 150 brown trout (15"-26") and 325 rainbow trout (15"-28").

 

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

NOVEMBER 2016

30 - End of Statewide Fishing Season for Black Bass

DECEMBER 2016

1 – Start of Statewide Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>6/16/16)
1 – Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries Black Bass catch a