Home Fish News Youth Photos Humor Clubs Contact
Your ?? Hunt Trap Calendar Links Web Extras Bios Join us on Facebook
 

    fishing Report for Western new york                                                                                                                                               with Ron Schroder

WESTERN/CENTRAL NEW YORK FISHING - WEST TO EAST

1 – 18 - 19   

 

*TIP: SAFETY ON ICE:

This past week's cold spell has improved conditions for ice fishing across New York State. Still, anglers should keep safety in mind and test the ice before venturing out to enjoy some hard-water fishing.

Four inches of solid ice is usually safe for anglers on foot. However, ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even on the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice is not evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Ice fishing continues to increase in popularity in New York State. Unlike the open-water season, when an angler usually needs a boat to access good fishing locations, boats are not required to access these same locations once a waterbody is covered with safe ice. It's also a great sport for families, as they can mix in skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or other activities during ice fishing trips to keep everyone interested and happy.

Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the new I FISH NY Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF). Additional valuable information, including where to fish recommendations, can be found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Ice Fishing Chapter (PDF) of the DEC's I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing.

The use of fish for bait is popular when ice fishing and bait fish may be used in most but not all waters that are open to ice fishing.

Anglers should take these important steps when using baitfish while ice fishing:

Review and follow the DEC baitfish regulations;

>Make sure that the use of baitfish is permitted in the waterbody by checking the special regulations by county section of the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide;

>Use only certified disease-free bait fish purchased at a local tackle store or use only personally collected bait fish for use in the same water body in which they were caught;

>Do not reuse baitfish in another waterbody if the water the baitfish were purchased in has been replaced; and

>Dump unused baitfish and water in an appropriate location on dry land

DEC reminds anglers to make sure that they have a valid fishing license before heading out on the ice. Fishing licenses are now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.

 

*LAKE ERIE: Weather will be the limit on lake outings for the next several days. When conditions permit you might try for yellow perch off Cattaraugus Creek to Evangola State Park in 45 – 60 fow. Perch schools are small, scattered and finicky, so expect to work for them. Small minnows or salted shiners will work. Anglers are catching some walleye from Cattaraugus Creek to the Pennsylvania line in 30 - 70 fow.  Live minnows seem best followed by stickbaits and worm harnesses. Bottom bouncing or casting weight forward spinners around rocky reef structure inside 50 feet of water has produced some walleye catches as well. Anglers are seeing some smallmouth bass action in 20 to 40 feet of water around rocky structure. A drop-shot rig with tubes, plastics or crayfish works well when fishing deeper waters. For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. Lake trout are an underutilized species in Lake Erie that had been active outside 75 feet of water, from Dunkirk to the PA line. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom is a productive method.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: The Lake Erie tributaries are pretty much locked up with ice and with a lot of snow on the way this weekend. Fishing will certainly be challenging. Best bets for open holes is on Cattaraugus Creek at the dam and near Gowanda, and the upper sections of Buffalo and Cayuga Creeks. Productive wintertime steelhead offerings include egg sacs, egg flies, trout beads and small jigs tipped with a grub (fished under a float). Drift baits and flies slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Downsize your float to detect light biters. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Walleye provided some good fishing this past week. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019 to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov. The inner harbor had solid ice around 3 inches on Tuesday. However, winds broke up much of the harbor's ice on Wednesday. Currently, harbor ice is thinner than the DEC's safe recommendation of 4 inches.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Fishing has slowed from both boat and shore. Brown trout, steelhead and walleye have all been caught with some consistency. Boaters are using three-way rigs to entice fish to hit with MagLips, Kwikfish, beads, egg sacs and minnows. Devils Hole and Artpark are the top spots for steelhead catches for both boaters and shore anglers, but some lower drifts are starting to produce trout catches too. Pink and orange egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs with plastics fished under a float or casting medium-sized spoons and spinners are good steelhead offerings. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait, like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Walleye fishermen must note that the daily limit drops to one per person from Jan. 1 to March 15 in the lower river. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Most creeks are frozen partially or fully. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Many of the embayments along the lake are showing 4 to 6 inches of ice. anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will

catch next.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Chautauqua Lake is now completely locked up with ice, and anglers are reporting that most parts of the lake have between 4 and 6 inches of solid, clear ice. Ice may be thinner off Mayville, near the Bell Tower and near stream inlets. Anglers generally catch lots of yellow perch, but expect many throwbacks for every keeper. There is also good opportunity to catch walleye, as population levels are up. Anglers should be alert for bad conditions especially with the heavy snow forecasted – the snow can hide poor ice. Off Mission Meadows a huge pressure crack about is reported about 50 yards off shore. You can cross it but there are spots of open pockets of water. Ice is 4 inches plus. Off Long Point it’s about 4 – 6 inches but the bite is slow. Mayville is still too thin, but the weekend prospect is looking good. Prendergast has had some anglers, but they are staying close to shore, most likely meaning they are perch fishing. Early ice is good for crappie fishing. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. 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 creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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 region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*SILVER LAKE: Ice is reportedly between 4 and 6 inches lake-wide, and is a mix of clear and white ice. The south end is a popular spot to set tip-ups for northern pike and to jig for bluegill. Deep sections of the lake are a better bet for yellow perch. There are no reports catch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Ice is reported on the lake at the ends – about 4 inches at yhe north and south ends but ice starts to get thinner approaching deeper water. It’s bluegill at the north end and pike at the south end. (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: There should be ice but there are no reports on thickness or catches. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: There should be ice but there are no reports on thickness or catches. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Ice is reported at 4 – 5 inches. Expect thinner ice near stream inlets and in spots near the northwest corner. Deeper sections of the lake are typically good for yellow perch. Shallow weedy areas are best for bluegill, chain pickerel and largemouth bass. The bonus walleye catch is possible in shallow and deep water. Fish have been finicky according to early reports. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Ice is forming at the south end, but no reports yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Open water fishing remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. Up to 6 inches of ice was formed. If you try it, be careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable.  (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: Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. On open water, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: Possibly some ice at the north end but there have been no confirming reports. On the open water, anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter. (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: There are no positive reports coming from the lake for the hard water angler. If there is ice let us know. The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Myers and Long Point are two areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. Rain and snow melt 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. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations before heading to the streams. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming and some anglers are going out but a lot of open water is still reported. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming but there are no report of safe ice. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (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: Ice is reported at 6 – 9 inches especially at the north end. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake, but there are fish up to 13 inches. Anglers are also having some success fishing from shore for perch and bass. The lake is way lower than normal, so use caution when boating. (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 creeks are frozen partially or fully or covered with snow. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Fish it low-and-slow to take rainbow and brown trout due to the cold water temperatures. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners.  If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. 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.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Ice is forming but may still take a while longer. One report received had 14 inches on the reservoir and another had two anglers going through 70 yards of the boat launch. If you try it, be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: Action is slow but there is about 6 inches of ice on the pond. In some areas snow has hindered solid ice formation. Also be cautious of gas holes in the ice. If you try it, be extra careful and check as you go. No reports on catch. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on ice conditions or fishing. If you try it, be extra careful and check as you go.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the Oneida Lake region from 1pm Saturday to 4pm on Monday, calling for up to 24″ of snow with wind. Reports of 6-8″ are regular.  Walleye activity remains steady along the north shore with a reasonable drag.  Still good perch activity off Sylvan Beach, although it is a bit challenging getting out still.  Access off Big Bay is easy with some ice reports up to 8″ and great crappie and bluegill. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ;  Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first.  (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

The new parking regulations at the Lewis Point Ice Fishing Access Site are apparently creating angler conflicts. The changes were made to stop the free-for-all parking that has existed in the past. If the lot is full when you arrive, please accept that fact and go to an alternate access spot such as Verona Beach State Park or the DEC South Shore Boat Launch. The Lewis Point site is through a Cooperative Agreement with the landowner. If parking issues continue the agreement may not continue and that access will be lost.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted. Wind and freezing temperatures however make the piers very treacherous. If conditions allow you can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. In the tribs, if you can find open water, brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are locked-in with an ice cover, which means the wind can’t stop ice making. Of course, first ice is very unpredictable…just like last ice. Where ever you choose to fish, start walking with a spud in your hand. Spud for ice safety. It’s the best tool when it’s first ice. A run-down on the bays: Sodus Bay usually has safe ice between LeRoy Island and along the north east side of the bay. As of yesterday, there was 4 inches near Skipper’s Landing. (East side.) Another location for first ice is Spiegel Drive near the Bay Bridge Sport Shop. (South end of Sodus). Port Bay is solid; however, the north end can be tricky because of the current near the channel. Another great place to fish first ice is Blind Sodus Bay (Little Sodus Bay.) located adjacent to Fair Haven Bay. If you are new to the area, follow the crowds. It’s a good starting point and the ice should be thick enough. You’ll be walking. No machines yet! Excellent perch fishing is reported in Sodus, Port and Fairhaven Bays. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The smallmouth are being caught near the channel and some walleyes are being caught near the islands. Some pike are being caught next to Leroy Island. Anglers are catching bluegills at the north and south ends of Port Bay. The water level in the bays is low so make sure you are careful launching your boat. The Canal is officially closed for the season, however not all sections are drained. The water at Widewaters will remain at the current level and it is covered with reported safe ice. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. You can also check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (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:  Walleye and northern pike are possibilities in the bays through the ice. Braddock, however is reported very slow. Irondequoit offers a little better action. On the Greece ponds, its 4 – 6 inches of ice and some good perch action. At Mendon Ponds Park, we again have ice that’s safe. No report on catch. Anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls and at the piers (be careful of ice) for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Boaters have good opportunity to catch fish 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. 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. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Over the last couple of days anglers have been getting into fish in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. With the recent drop in water level the fish have been holding in and around the deeper and larger runs. The Lower Fly Zone, below the Altmar bridge, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Ellis Cove, Bovines, Trestle Pool and Pineville is where most anglers have been fishing over the last couple of days. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success indicator fishing with single egg patterns or dead drifting with nymphs. The most productive patterns have been wiggle stones, rusher nymphs, steelhead hammer, black stoneflies, steelhead buggers, estaz eggs, steak-n-eggs and glo-bugs. Anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing had the most success with blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html)

*OSWEGO RIVER: The river has been dropping but still running high making shore fishing difficult. There are still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

*OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are high and muddy. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for 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. (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: Has ice but no current conditions.

Loon Lake / Steuben: Has ice but no current conditions.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: The ice is now 6-7 inches; some snow on top but mostly just patches; fishing is great; catching VERY slow. The pressure crack in the middle of the lake is still active and dangerous. They are forecasting 12-20 inches of snow beginning Saturday afternoon and ending Monday morning.   

Harwood & Case Lakes / Cattaraugus: Has ice but no current conditions.

 

>))))*>

 

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

 

JANUARY 2019

 

1 - Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)

1-2/28 - NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament. There are 7 species categories to choose from – pike, perch, trout, crappie, pickerel, panfish and walleye. The prize structure will be based on how many anglers are competing across the state. Anglers can enter fish caught through the ice or in open water. The contest includes all state waterways. More than 65 weigh-in locations are available, which are also registration points. You can also register online at www.nyswinterclassic.com. That same website has other tournament information such as rules and a leaderboard once the contest is underway. (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

2-3/15 – Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Fishing Derby (Entry fee is $20) 8 species divisions. (For information call 716-407-3021)

9-2/13 – Fly Tying Course for Beginners at the Field & Stream Store, Market Place Mall, 1200 Miracle Mile Drive, Rochester, NY. (6 Wednesdays at 6:00 pm) Visit store to register. Fly tying equipment will be provided for use during class. Learn a different fly each week. (For more information call 585-456-1964.)

18-20 - Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo 2019 The Expo will be offering plenty of other seminar opportunities for salmon from the likes of captains like Vince Pierleoni, Bob Songin, Lucas Faulkner, Mike Lavender, Scott Richardson, Mark Penner and many others focusing on salmon and trout for every level of expertise. There are similar offerings for walleye, bass, perch, streams, electronics and more. In fact, there will be nearly 200 free seminars this coming Expo, the most ever. (For information go to www.niagarafishingexpo.com.

19 - The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Salmon School at the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center, Niagara Falls, NY Offering Lake Ontario salmon fishermen an extensive salmon school – a full day of in-depth angling information. If you were planning on attending this special Chinook instruction, you are too late. According to LOTSA President Joe Yaeger, the Salmon School is already SOLD OUT. There is an opportunity to get on to a waiting list. Send an email to Alan Sauerland at lotsa1.org@gmail.com to be contacted should there be a cancellation. Check out the LOTSA website at www.lotsa1.org for more information.

19-20 - Greater Olean Area Outdoor & Recreational Sports Show at the Daniel A Carter Events Center, 2593 W 5 Mile Road, Allegany, NY (Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 3:00 pm) Hosted by the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. 60 booths. (Admission: $3.00/Seniors $2.00/Children 12 and under free) (For information call 716-372-4433 or email meme@oleanny.com or go to http://www.oleanny.com)

25-27 - New York Sportsman’s Expo at the New York State Fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse, NY (Fri - Noon to 7:00 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/)

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

1 – 11 - 19   

 

TIP: SAFTY ON ICE:

While ice fishing can be a fun and rewarding activity for people of all ages, every venture out onto the ice should begin by following several safety steps:

>Always wear a life jacket or float coat while on the ice. Avoid inflatable life jackets, which do not perform well in freezing temperatures.

>When arriving at the water's edge, visually survey the ice. Look for open water areas and signs of recent changes in water levels. Ice sloping down from the bank can indicate a recent drop in water level, while wet areas on the ice can indicate a rise in water level.

>Listen for loud cracks or booms coming from the ice. This can be an indicator of deteriorating ice.

>Look for new ice, which is clear or has a blue tint. New ice is stronger than old ice, which can appear white or gray.

>Remember that ice thickness is not consistent across the surface of the lake or pond.

>Beware of ice around partially submerged objects such as trees, brush, embankments or structures. Ice will not form as quickly where water is shallow or where objects may absorb heat from sunlight.

>Anglers should use an ice staff to probe ahead as they walk. If the ice staff punches through, retreat to shore slowly.

>Always carry a pair of ice awls, which are handheld spikes. Ice awls can assist in performing a self-rescue, in which the spikes are driven into the ice to help someone pull themselves out of the water.

>Never walk on ice that has formed over moving water such as a river or stream.

>Never go out on ice alone.

>Always let someone know your plans and when you expect to return.

Those who are new to ice fishing can get started by visiting the PFBC’s Ice/Winter Fishing webpage.

 

TIP #2: SEASON CHANGES:

DECEMBER 2018

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

JANUARY 2019

1 - Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)

 

LAKE ERIE: Weather has limited outings on the open lake. When conditions have permitted, a few anglers were catching fair numbers of yellow perch, including the occasional limit catch, off Cattaraugus Creek to Evangola State Park in 45 – 60 fow. Perch schools are small, scattered and finicky, so expect to work for them. Small minnows or salted shiners will work. Anglers are catching some walleye from Cattaraugus Creek to the Pennsylvania line in 50 - 70 fow.  Out of Cattaraugus Creek, the walleye bite was best in 30 - 70 feet of water. Live minnows seem best followed by stickbaits and worm harnesses. Bottom bouncing or casting weight forward spinners around rocky reef structure inside 50 feet of water has produced some walleye catches as well. Anglers were also connecting at night with walleye by long line trolling off Donnaley’s Wall near the Buffalo Small Boat Harbor. Anglers are seeing smallmouth bass action in 20 to 40 feet of water around rocky structure. Good spots to try include Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef, Evans Bar, Sturgeon Point and Van Buren Reef. A drop-shot rig with tubes, plastics or crayfish works well when fishing deeper waters. Remember the start of Lake Erie and tributaries Black Bass (20 inch limit) fishing season is tomorrow and the musky season ends today.  For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. Lake trout are an underutilized species in Lake Erie that had been active outside 75 feet of water, from Dunkirk to the PA line. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom is a productive method.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Steelhead fishing is good again as creeks are getting back to normal. The Erie tributaries have been fishing well, with good numbers of steelhead spread throughout. With colder water temperatures, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Target steelhead in deeper holes, pool tailouts and slower moving seams. Downsize your float to detect light biters. Steelhead commonly take flies such as egg imitations, nymphs and wooly buggers. Drift anglers do well with egg sacs, beads and jigs with grubs fished under a float. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Walleye provided some good fishing this past week. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. Action at the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019 to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Fishing has been good from both boat and shore. Brown trout, steelhead and walleye have all been caught with consistency. Boaters are using three-way rigs to entice fish to hit with MagLips, Kwikfish, beads, egg sacs and minnows. Devils Hole and Artpark are the top spots for steelhead catches for both boaters and shore anglers, but some lower drifts are starting to produce trout catches too. Pink and orange egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs with plastics fished under a float or casting medium-sized spoons and spinners are good steelhead offerings. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Some anglers prefer the old standby, a Yellow Sally fly, spinner and a worm fished off a three-way rig. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Walleye fishermen must note that the daily limit drops to one per person from Jan. 1 to March 15 in the lower river. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next. A reminder for musky fishermen, the season for them in the lower river and Lake Ontario closes December 15th.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Fishing pressure especially on the Oak looks like its settling into the typical winter time mode with just a few cars in the parking areas. Flows in the Oak are about moderate to medium or what you might call “one click less than medium”. Water color is stained at approximately 1 ft plus of visibility and may get a little dirtier over today or tomorrow. Flows in the other area smaller tributaries are about medium with dirty water color. Fishing on the tributaries is now primarily for a mix of post spawn brown trout and steelhead, although the odd fresh salmon can still surprise you. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Peach and orange beads have been catching fish, too. Pier fishing has been producing some pike and steelhead for casters using spoons and spinners. You can cast out heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Firetiger or blue-silver are color patterns working for spoons and spinners being tossed off the piers. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive on calmer nights. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Not much action on the lake as anglers wait for good ice. Ice was forming on the south portion of the lake but it has disappeared as the wind picked up. Walleye shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets.. Yellow and white perch are abundant and will hit the harnesses so take plenty of crawlers. Anglers are seeing fair yellow perch catches around the north basin on small minnows. Target crappie in the canals, inlets and traditional open lake areas. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic (best colors are silver, chartreuse and black) and fished under a pencil float, works for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Streams are running high and may be snowed over in spots. Fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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 region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

SILVER LAKE: Action slow. The south end of the lake is locked up but some cold nights with no wind are needed to create safe ice. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but windy conditions now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming but windy conditions now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: Action slow. Ice is forming but windy conditions now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Action slow. Reports have the lake open. Ice is forming but the windy conditions keep the lake open. If you try going out by boat or on ice be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Ice is forming at the south end, but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Open water fishing remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. Up to 4 inches of ice was formed but warm temperatures and rain now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. The south end of Waneta has the best possibilities but again be extra careful. A buddy, spud and floatation device are advisable.  (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: Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. On open water, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: Anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CAYUGA LAKE: The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Myers and Long Point are two areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. Rain and snow melt 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. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations before heading to the streams. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow.  Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (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: Action slow. The lake remains open with patches of skim ice along the shoreline. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake, but there are fish up to 13 inches. Anglers are also having some success fishing from shore for perch and bass. The lake is way lower than normal, so use caution when boating. (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 inland trout streams in the area are in fair shape. For fly fishermen terrestrials are on the menu. Ant dry flies, foam beetles, grasshopper and cricket patterns will take fish. Fish these patterns on a dead drift, giving it a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. 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.

 

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Action slow. Ice is forming but it will take a while to lock up. Nothing reported fishable. If you try it, be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: Action slow. Ice is forming but nothing reported fishable, still lots of open water. If you try it, be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but it will take a while to lock up. Nothing reported fishable. If you try it, be extra careful.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: Action slow. Skim Ice is locking up the lake but nothing near fishable yet. There are lots of cracks.  There was a lot of slush in the water yesterday with the snow so it will be interesting to see how things set up for ice fishing. The lake needs a few cold nights with no wind. The shore walleye bite has slowed. Some anglers were getting a few from shore just before and after dark. Bucktail jigs and blade baits, along with worm harnesses, are getting the job done. Also, try fishing black and purple hair jigs tipped with a night crawler. Anglers also are reporting some catches using Sonar lures (gold). Keep an eye out for bass (now catch and release) around the shoals and deep weed edges. There are some reports using artificial crayfish along these edges. Plastics, bass jigs, crankbaits and topwaters would also be good lure choices. Pickerel fishing has also been good. Look for pickerel in 5 to 10 foot of water, and just about any lure will work. Using lures with a single hook though, like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jigs or swimbaits - makes unhooking them much easier. Oneida Lake has an abundant pickerel population with many quality size fish, 20 inches or more. Anglers have been finding a perch bite in 10-15 feet of water using minnows. Try jigging for perch with chartreuse glow jigs tipped with mousie grubs. Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year, but no reports yet. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ;  Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first.  (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted. Wind and freezing temperatures can make the piers very treacherous. If conditions allow you can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. Maxwell Creek is still flowing and brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. There were anglers also fishing Salmon Creek in Pultneyville and Bear Creek in Ontario for browns. The flow in area streams is borderline flooding. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: No safe ice reported but portions of the bays have skim ice forming between wind sessions. Excellent perch fishing is reported (if you can get out) in Sodus, Port and Fairhaven Bays. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The smallmouth are being caught near the channel and some walleyes are being caught near the islands. Some pike are being caught next to Leroy Island. Anglers are catching bluegills at the north and south ends of Port Bay. The water level in the bays is low so make sure you are careful launching your boat. The Canal is officially closed for the season, however not all sections are drained. The water at Widewaters will remain at the current level. There is no solid ice yet, and the skim coat has made launching the boats difficult. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. You can also check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls and at the piers (be careful of ice) for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Boaters have good opportunity to catch fish 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. 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. Bass (catch and release/artificals only) are providing some action along the weed beds in the bays. Try spinnerbaits, top waters and plastics. Also walleye and northern pike are good possibilities in the bays. On the Greece ponds, ice is reforming but still lots of open water. Perch are being caught from shore. At Mendon Ponds Park and the bays we also have ice that’s refreezing and unsafe. On Irondequoit Bay the docks have been removed so bring rope and boots if  you plan on launching. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Conditions have been tough, but as expected, after the system stabilized from dam release adjustments the bite turned back on bringing some fresh fish into the river with nearly perfect conditions.  With the current conditions the drift boats still have plenty of water to float, the bank anglers have plenty of options and fresh fish are still entering the river. Anglers who are fly fishing have had success swinging streamers with sinking leaders, dead drifting nymphs or indicator fishing with single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been, egg sucking leeches, wiggle stones, steelhead stones, steak-n-eggs, glo bugs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs or beads have produced the best results. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html)

 

OSWEGO RIVER: The river has been dropping but still running high making shore fishing difficult. There are still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are high and muddy. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for 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. (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: had some ice but it’s now open water.

Loon Lake / Steuben: Had ice but the warm days took its toll; now refreezing. No safe access to ice unless you have a boat. No report on center ice condition.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: Not much ice still quite a bit of open water as of a couple days ago.

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: The shore ice is questionable and what ice that is on the lake appears to be only about an inch. There is no snow on the ice but the wind needs to die down to allow further freezing.   

Harwood & Case Lakes / Cattaraugus: Some ice but condition is unknown. Shore ice is in process of refreezing and not safe.

 

>))))*>

 

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

 

JANUARY 2019

 

1 - Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)

1-2/28 - NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament. There are 7 species categories to choose from – pike, perch, trout, crappie, pickerel, panfish and walleye. The prize structure will be based on how many anglers are competing across the state. Anglers can enter fish caught through the ice or in open water. The contest includes all state waterways. More than 65 weigh-in locations are available, which are also registration points. You can also register online at www.nyswinterclassic.com. That same website has other tournament information such as rules and a leaderboard once the contest is underway. (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

2-3/15 – Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Fishing Derby (Entry fee is $20) 8 species divisions. (For information call 716-407-3021)

9-2/13 – Fly Tying Course for Beginners at the Field & Stream Store, Market Place Mall, 1200 Miracle Mile Drive, Rochester, NY. (6 Wednesdays at 6:00 pm) Visit store to register. Fly tying equipment will be provided for use during class. Learn a different fly each week. (For more information call 585-456-1964.)

12 - Fly Tying 101 at The Orvis Shop, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (Free.) (Call the store at 716-276-7200 information/register go to www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

18-20 - Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo 2019 The Expo will be offering plenty of other seminar opportunities for salmon from the likes of captains like Vince Pierleoni, Bob Songin, Lucas Faulkner, Mike Lavender, Scott Richardson, Mark Penner and many others focusing on salmon and trout for every level of expertise. There are similar offerings for walleye, bass, perch, streams, electronics and more. In fact, there will be nearly 200 free seminars this coming Expo, the most ever. (For information go to www.niagarafishingexpo.com.

19 - The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Salmon School at the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center, Niagara Falls, NY Offering Lake Ontario salmon fishermen an extensive salmon school – a full day of in-depth angling information. If you were planning on attending this special Chinook instruction, you are too late. According to LOTSA President Joe Yaeger, the Salmon School is already SOLD OUT. There is an opportunity to get on to a waiting list. Send an email to Alan Sauerland at lotsa1.org@gmail.com to be contacted should there be a cancellation. Check out the LOTSA website at www.lotsa1.org for more information.

19-20 - Greater Olean Area Outdoor & Recreational Sports Show at the Daniel A Carter Events Center, 2593 W 5 Mile Road, Allegany, NY (Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 10:00 am – 3:00 pm) Hosted by the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce. 60 booths. (Admission: $3.00/Seniors $2.00/Children 12 and under free) (For information call 716-372-4433 or email meme@oleanny.com or go to http://www.oleanny.com)

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

1 – 4 - 19   

 

*TIP: SAFTY ON ICE:

>Fish with a friend. Ice fishing is a great sport to share with family members and friends, and having a partner with you increases both the fun and the safety.

>Ice varies in thickness and condition. Always carry an ice spud or chisel to check ice as you proceed.

>Be extremely cautious crossing ice near river mouths, points of land, bridges, islands, and over reefs and springs. Current almost always causes ice to be thinner over these areas.

>BE AWARE of changeable weather and ice conditions, especially after a period of mild, above freezing temperatures. Re-check the ice status BEFORE venturing onto it.

>Avoid going onto the ice if it has melted away from the shore. This indicates melting is underway, and ice can shift position as wind direction changes.

>Waves from open water can quickly break up large areas of ice. If you can see open water in the lake and the wind picks up, get off!

>Bring your fully-charged cell phone with you.

>Carry a set of hand spikes to help you work your way out onto the surface of the ice if you go through. Holding one in each hand, you can alternately punch them into the ice and pull yourself up and out. You can make these at home, using large nails, or you can purchase them at stores that sell fishing supplies.

>Carry a safety line that can be thrown to someone who has gone through the ice.

>Heated fishing shanties must have good ventilation to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Open a window or the door part way to allow in fresh air.

 

*TIP #2: SEASON CHANGES:

DECEMBER 2018

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

JANUARY 2019

1 - Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)

 

*LAKE ERIE: Weather has limited outings on the open lake. When conditions have permitted, a few anglers were catching fair numbers of yellow perch, including the occasional limit catch, off Cattaraugus Creek to Evangola State Park in 45 – 60 fow. Perch schools are small, scattered and finicky, so expect to work for them. Small minnows or salted shiners will work. Anglers are catching some walleye from Cattaraugus Creek to the Pennsylvania line in 50 - 70 fow.  Out of Cattaraugus Creek, the walleye bite was best in 30 - 70 feet of water. Live minnows seem best followed by stickbaits and worm harnesses. Bottom bouncing or casting weight forward spinners around rocky reef structure inside 50 feet of water has produced some walleye catches as well. Anglers were also connecting at night with walleye by long line trolling off Donnaley’s Wall near the Buffalo Small Boat Harbor. Anglers are seeing smallmouth bass action in 20 to 40 feet of water around rocky structure. Good spots to try include Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef, Evans Bar, Sturgeon Point and Van Buren Reef. A drop-shot rig with tubes, plastics or crayfish works well when fishing deeper waters. Remember the start of Lake Erie and tributaries Black Bass (20 inch limit) fishing season is tomorrow and the musky season ends today.  For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. Lake trout are an underutilized species in Lake Erie that had been active outside 75 feet of water, from Dunkirk to the PA line. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom is a productive method.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Steelhead fishing is good again as creeks are getting back to normal. The Erie tributaries have been fishing well, with good numbers of steelhead spread throughout. With colder water temperatures, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Target steelhead in deeper holes, pool tailouts and slower moving seams. Downsize your float to detect light biters. Steelhead commonly take flies such as egg imitations, nymphs and wooly buggers. Drift anglers do well with egg sacs, beads and jigs with grubs fished under a float. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Walleye provided some good fishing this past week. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019 to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Fishing has been good from both boat and shore. Brown trout, steelhead and walleye have all been caught with consistency. Boaters are using three-way rigs to entice fish to hit with MagLips, Kwikfish, beads, egg sacs and minnows. Devils Hole and Artpark are the top spots for steelhead catches for both boaters and shore anglers, but some lower drifts are starting to produce trout catches too. Pink and orange egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs with plastics fished under a float or casting medium-sized spoons and spinners are good steelhead offerings. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Some anglers prefer the old standby, a Yellow Sally fly, spinner and a worm fished off a three-way rig. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. Walleye fishermen must note that the daily limit drops to one per person from Jan. 1 to March 15 in the lower river. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next. A reminder for musky fishermen, the season for them in the lower river and Lake Ontario closes December 15th.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Fishing pressure especially on the Oak looks like its settling into the typical winter time mode with just a few cars in the parking areas. Flows in the Oak are about moderate to medium or what you might call “one click less than medium”. Water color is stained at approximately 1 ft plus of visibility and may get a little dirtier over today or tomorrow. Flows in the other area smaller tributaries are about medium with dirty water color. Fishing on the tributaries is now primarily for a mix of post spawn brown trout and steelhead, although the odd fresh salmon can still surprise you. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Peach and orange beads have been catching fish, too. Pier fishing has been producing some pike and steelhead for casters using spoons and spinners. You can cast out heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Firetiger or blue-silver are color patterns working for spoons and spinners being tossed off the piers. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive on calmer nights. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Not much action on the lake as anglers wait for good ice. Ice was forming on the south portion of the lake but it has disappeared. Walleye shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets.. Yellow and white perch are abundant and will hit the harnesses so take plenty of crawlers. Anglers are seeing fair yellow perch catches around the north basin on small minnows. Target crappie in the canals, inlets and traditional open lake areas. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic (best colors are silver, chartreuse and black) and fished under a pencil float, works for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Streams are running high and may be snowed over in spots. Fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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 region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*SILVER LAKE: Action slow. Lake is open. Need some cold nights with no wind to lock up and we’ve got a warm front coming. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Action slow. Ice was forming but warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Action slow. Ice was forming but warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: Action slow. Ice was forming but warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Action slow.  Ice was forming but warm temperatures have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Ice is forming at the south end, but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Open water fishing remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. Up to 4 inches of ice was formed but warm temperatures and rain now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. (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: Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. On open water, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: Anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into good pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter.

 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CAYUGA LAKE: The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Myers and Long Point are two areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. Rain and snow melt 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. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations before heading to the streams. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow.  Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (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: Action slow. The lake remains open with patches of skim ice along the shoreline. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake, but there are fish up to 13 inches. Anglers are also having some success fishing from shore for perch and bass. The lake is way lower than normal, so use caution when boating. (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 inland trout streams in the area are in fair shape but may be running high depending on rains and snow melt. For fly fishermen terrestrials are on the menu. Ant dry flies, foam beetles, grasshopper and cricket patterns will take fish. Fish these patterns on a dead drift, giving it a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. A few trout reports have come from the Finger Lakes tribs but not many. Again the rains may change that quickly. Remember the regular trout season closed on the 15th but many streams are open all year. The Finger Lakes tribs close at midnight December 31st. 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.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Action slow. Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it, be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: Action slow. Ice is forming but nothing reported fishable, still lots of open water. If you try it, be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it, be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: Action slow. Skim Ice is forming but nothing near fishable yet. The lake needs a few cold nights with no wind. The shore walleye bite has slowed. Some anglers were getting a few from shore just before and after dark. Bucktail jigs and blade baits, along with worm harnesses, are getting the job done. Also, try fishing black and purple hair jigs tipped with a night crawler. Anglers also are reporting some catches using Sonar lures (gold). Keep an eye out for bass (now catch and release) around the shoals and deep weed edges. There are some reports using artificial crayfish along these edges. Plastics, bass jigs, crankbaits and topwaters would also be good lure choices. Pickerel fishing has also been good. Look for pickerel in 5 to 10 foot of water, and just about any lure will work. Using lures with a single hook though, like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jigs or swimbaits - makes unhooking them much easier. Oneida Lake has an abundant pickerel population with many quality size fish, 20 inches or more. Anglers have been finding a perch bite in 10-15 feet of water using minnows. Try jigging for perch with chartreuse glow jigs tipped with mousie grubs. Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year, but no reports yet. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ;  Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first.  (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted in the Sodus Bay channel. You can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. Maxwell Creek is still flowing and brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. There were anglers also fishing Salmon Creek in Pultneyville and Bear Creek in Ontario for browns. The flow in area streams is borderline flooding. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Excellent perch fishing is reported (if you can get out) in Sodus, Port and Fairhaven Bays. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The smallmouth are being caught near the channel and some walleyes are being caught near the islands. Some pike are being caught next to Leroy Island. Anglers are catching bluegills at the north and south ends of Port Bay. The water level in the bays is low so make sure you are careful launching your boat. The Canal is officially closed for the season, however not all sections are drained. The water at Widewaters will remain at the current level. There is no solid ice yet, and the skim coat has made launching the boats difficult. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. You can also check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls and at the piers for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Boaters have good opportunity to catch fish 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. 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. Bass (catch and release/artificals only) are providing some action along the weed beds in the bays. Try spinnerbaits, top waters and plastics. Also walleye and northern pike are good possibilities in the bays. On the Greece ponds, ice has formed and melted but perch are being caught from shore. At Mendon Ponds Park we also have ice that’s unsafe. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Anglers have been getting into some fish that have been holding along the inside seams of the transition water. The darker colored fish have been holding in the softer water and normal winter holding water. With the current conditions the drift boats still have plenty of water to float, the bank anglers have plenty of options and fresh fish are still entering the river. Anglers who are fly fishing have had success swinging streamers with sinking leaders, dead drifting nymphs or indicator fishing with single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been, egg sucking leeches, wiggle stones, steelhead stones, steak-n-eggs, glo bugs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs or beads have produced the best results. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html)

 

*OSWEGO RIVER: The river has been running high. This flow makes shore fishing difficult, but there were still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

*OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are high and muddy. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for 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. (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: had some ice but it’s now open water.

Loon Lake / Steuben: Had ice but the warm days have taken it’s toll.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: Not much ice still quite a bit of open water.

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: The shore ice is not good.          

                                                                   >))))*>

 

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

 

JANUARY 2019

 

1 - Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)

1-2/28 - NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament. There are 7 species categories to choose from – pike, perch, trout, crappie, pickerel, panfish and walleye. The prize structure will be based on how many anglers are competing across the state. Anglers can enter fish caught through the ice or in open water. The contest includes all state waterways. More than 65 weigh-in locations are available, which are also registration points. You can also register online at www.nyswinterclassic.com. That same website has other tournament information such as rules and a leaderboard once the contest is underway. (For information go to www.nyswinterclassic.com.)

2-3/15 – Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Fishing Derby (Entry fee is $20) 8 species divisions. (For information call 716-407-3021)

9-2/13 – Fly Tying Course for Beginners at the Field & Stream Store, Market Place Mall, 1200 Miracle Mile Drive, Rochester, NY. (6 Wednesdays at 6:00 pm) Visit store to register. Fly tying equipment will be provided for use during class. Learn a different fly each week. (For more information call 585-456-1964.)

12 - Fly Tying 101 at The Orvis Shop, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (Free.) (Call the store at 716-276-7200 information/register go to www.orvis.com/buffalo.)

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

 

12 – 28 - 18   

 

TIP: SAFTY TIPS ON ICE:

>Fish with a friend. Ice fishing is a great sport to share with family members and friends, and having a partner with you increases both the fun and the safety.

>Ice varies in thickness and condition. Always carry an ice spud or chisel to check ice as you proceed.

>Be extremely cautious crossing ice near river mouths, points of land, bridges, islands, and over reefs and springs. Current almost always causes ice to be thinner over these areas.

>BE AWARE of changeable weather and ice conditions, especially after a period of mild, above freezing temperatures. Re-check the ice status BEFORE venturing onto it.

>Avoid going onto the ice if it has melted away from the shore. This indicates melting is underway, and ice can shift position as wind direction changes.

>Waves from open water can quickly break up large areas of ice. If you can see open water in the lake and the wind picks up, get off!

>Bring your fully-charged cell phone with you.

>Carry a set of hand spikes to help you work your way out onto the surface of the ice if you go through. Holding one in each hand, you can alternately punch them into the ice and pull yourself up and out. You can make these at home, using large nails, or you can purchase them at stores that sell fishing supplies.

>Carry a safety line that can be thrown to someone who has gone through the ice.

>Heated fishing shanties must have good ventilation to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Open a window or the door part way to allow in fresh air.

 

TIP #2: A reminder - from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

 

TIP #3: SEASON CHANGES:

DECEMBER 2018

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

JANUARY 2019

1 - Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)

 

LAKE ERIE: Weather has limited outings on the open lake. When conditions have permitted, a few anglers were catching fair numbers of yellow perch, including the occasional limit catch, off Cattaraugus Creek to Evangola State Park in 55 – 65 fow. Perch schools are small, scattered and finicky, so expect to work for them. Small minnows or salted shiners will work. Anglers are catching some walleye from Cattaraugus Creek to the Pennsylvania line in 50 - 70 fow.  Out of Cattaraugus Creek, the walleye bite was best in 30 - 70 feet of water. Stickbaits and worm harnesses work well. Bottom bouncing or casting weight forward spinners around rocky reef structure inside 50 feet of water has produced some walleye catches as well. Anglers were also connecting at night with walleye by long line trolling off Donnaley’s Wall near the Buffalo Small Boat Harbor. Anglers are seeing smallmouth bass action in 20 to 40 feet of water around rocky structure. Good spots to try include Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef, Evans Bar, Sturgeon Point and Van Buren Reef. A drop-shot rig with tubes, plastics or crayfish works well when fishing deeper waters. Remember the start of Lake Erie and tributaries Black Bass (20 inch limit) fishing season is tomorrow and the musky season ends today.  For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. Lake trout are an underutilized species in Lake Erie that had been active outside 75 feet of water, from Dunkirk to the PA line. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom is a productive method.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Steelhead fishing had been on hold as creeks are running high and stained. The Erie tributaries have been fishing well this fall, with good numbers of steelhead spread throughout. With colder water temperatures, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Target steelhead in deeper holes, pool tailouts and slower moving seams. Downsize your float to detect light biters. Steelhead commonly take flies such as egg imitations, nymphs and wooly buggers. Drift anglers do well with egg sacs, beads and jigs with grubs fished under a float. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Walleye provided some good fishing this past week. Some specific areas are at the head of the river at night and in the Thompson’s Hole area of the upper river.  Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There are serious concerns over what is happening with Grass Island, important fish nursery habitat near Woods Creek and Buckhorn Island State Park. There is a restoration effort underway starting in the Summer of 2019 to help the process along, to be completed in the summer of 2020. Check it out at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/BuckhornIslandNiagaraRiverRestorationProjects.pdf. To send a letter of support and to make comment, contact David Spiering with State Parks at David.Spiering@parks.ny.gov.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Fishing has been good from both boat and shore. Brown trout, steelhead and walleye have all been caught with consistency. Boaters are using three-way rigs to entice fish to hit with MagLips, Kwikfish, beads, egg sacs and minnows. Devils Hole and Artpark are the top spots for steelhead catches for both boaters and shore anglers, but some lower drifts are starting to produce trout catches too. Pink egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs with plastics fished under a float or casting medium-sized spoons and spinners are good steelhead offerings. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Some anglers prefer the old standby, a Yellow Sally fly, spinner and a worm fished off a three-way rig. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next. A reminder for musky fishermen, the season for them in the lower river and Lake Ontario closes December 15th.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Fishing pressure especially on the Oak looks like its settling into the typical winter time mode with just a few cars in the parking areas. Fishing on the tributaries is now primarily for a mix of post spawn brown trout and steelhead, although the odd fresh salmon can still surprise you. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Peach and orange beads have been catching fish, too. Pier fishing has been producing some pike and steelhead for casters using spoons and spinners. You can cast out heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Firetiger or blue-silver are color patterns working for spoons and spinners being tossed off the piers. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive on calmer nights. Fishing pressure is definitely intense at times but less now through the mid week period and even less come Saturday – the start of deer season. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Not much action on the lake as anglers wait for good ice. Ice was forming on the south portion of the lake but it is not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Walleye shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets.. Yellow and white perch are abundant and will hit the harnesses so take plenty of crawlers. Anglers are seeing fair yellow perch catches around the north basin on small minnows. Target crappie in the canals, inlets and traditional open lake areas. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic (best colors are silver, chartreuse and black) and fished under a pencil float, works for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Streams are running high and may be snowed over in spots. Fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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 region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

SILVER LAKE: Action slow. Lake is open. Need some cold nights with no wind to lock up and we’ve got a warm front coming. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Action slow. Ice was forming but the rain and warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Action slow. Ice was forming but the rain and warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: Action slow. Ice was forming but the rain and warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Action slow.  Ice was forming but the rain and warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Ice is forming at the south end, but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Open water fishing remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. Up to 4 inches of ice was formed but warm temperatures and rain now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. (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: Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. On open water, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: Anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into good pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CAYUGA LAKE: The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Myers and Long Point are two areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Pickerel are also providing a fair to good bite. Rain and snow melt 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. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations before heading to the streams. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow.  Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it be extra careful. On the open water, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming and going, but nothing reported fishable. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake, but there are fish up to 13 inches. Anglers are also having some success fishing from shore for perch and bass. The lake is way lower than normal, so use caution when boating. (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 inland trout streams in the area are in fair shape but may be running high depending on rains and snow melt. For fly fishermen terrestrials are on the menu. Ant dry flies, foam beetles, grasshopper and cricket patterns will take fish. Fish these patterns on a dead drift, giving it a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. A few trout reports have come from the Finger Lakes tribs but not many. Again the rains may change that quickly. Remember the regular trout season closed on the 15th but many streams are open all year. The Finger Lakes tribs close at midnight December 31st. 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.

 

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Action slow. Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: Action slow. Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming and going but nothing reported fishable. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. The lake needs a few cold nights with no wind to lock up. The shore walleye bite has slowed. Some anglers were getting a few from shore just before and after dark. Bucktail jigs and blade baits, along with worm harnesses, are getting the job done. Also, try fishing black and purple hair jigs tipped with a night crawler. Anglers also are reporting some catches using Sonar lures (gold). Keep an eye out for bass (now catch and release) around the shoals and deep weed edges. There are some reports using artificial crayfish along these edges. Plastics, bass jigs, crankbaits and topwaters would also be good lure choices. Pickerel fishing has also been good. Look for pickerel in 5 to 10 foot of water, and just about any lure will work. Using lures with a single hook though, like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jigs or swimbaits - makes unhooking them much easier. Oneida Lake has an abundant pickerel population with many quality size fish, 20 inches or more. Anglers have been finding a perch bite in 10-15 feet of water using minnows. Try jigging for perch with chartreuse glow jigs tipped with mousie grubs. Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year, but no reports yet. For views around the lake go to: Chapman Park - https://owc.enterprise.earthnetworks.com/OnlineWeatherCenter.aspx?aid=7300 ;  Sylvan Beach - http://sylvanbeachny.com/sylvan-beach-live-cams/ and North Shore - http://oneidalakeview.com/webcams/oneida+lake+view/first.  (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with salmon and trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted in the Sodus Bay channel. You can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. Maxwell Creek is still flowing and brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and red beads. There were anglers also fishing Salmon Creek in Pultneyville and Bear Creek in Ontario for browns. The flow in area streams is borderline flooding. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Excellent perch fishing is reported (if you can get out) in Sodus, Port and Fairhaven Bays. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The smallmouth are being caught near the channel and some walleyes are being caught near the islands. Some pike are being caught next to Leroy Island. Anglers are catching bluegills at the north and south ends of Port Bay. The water level in the bays is low so make sure you are careful launching your boat. The Canal is officially closed for the season, however not all sections are drained. The water at Widewaters will remain at the current level. There is no solid ice yet, and the skim coat has made launching the boats difficult. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. You can also check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls and at the piers for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Remember snagging is illegal and only the Conservation Officers benefit if you use snatch hooks and they are watching. Boaters have good opportunity to catch fish 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. 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. Bass (catch and release/artificals only) are providing some action along the weed beds in the bays. Try spinnerbaits, top waters and plastics. Also walleye and northern pike are good possibilities in the bays. On the Greece ponds, ice has formed and melted but it’s now not fishable. At Mendon Ponds Park we also have ice that’s unsafe. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Anglers have been getting into some fish that have been holding along the inside seams of the transition water. The darker colored fish have been holding in the softer water and normal winter holding water. With the current conditions the drift boats still have plenty of water to float, the bank anglers have plenty of options and fresh fish are still entering the river. Anglers who are fly fishing have had success swinging streamers with sinking leaders, dead drifting nymphs or indicator fishing with single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been, egg sucking leeches, wiggle stones, steelhead stones, steak-n-eggs, glo bugs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs or beads have produced the best results. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html)

 

OSWEGO RIVER: The river has been running high with recent rain and snow events. This flow makes shore fishing difficult, but there were still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are high and muddy. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for 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. (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 had some ice but with the warm-up and rain it’s now unsafe.

Loon Lake / Steuben: Had ice but the warm days and rain have taken it’s toll. Shore ice gone.

Cuba Lake / Allegany: Not much ice still quite a bit of open water and the shores looking rough.

Cayuta Lake / Schuyler: The shore ice is not good. The spud went thru on the first tap,              

 

>))))*>

 

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

 

DECEMBER 2018

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

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

31 – Fish Printing at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Create colorful artwork using real and replica fish in the style of gyotaku, the Japanese method of fish printing. Paper will be provided but participants can also bring a white shirt or bandanna. (Materials fee: $3/free for Friends members.) (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

 

JANUARY 2019

1 - Start of Fishing Season on Lake Ontario, the Lower Niagara River and Tributaries for Lake Trout (>9/30)

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

 

Go to fullsize image

 

 

12 – 22 - 18   

 

*TIP: SAFTY TIPS ON ICE:

>Fish with a friend. Ice fishing is a great sport to share with family members and friends, and having a partner with you increases both the fun and the safety.

>Ice varies in thickness and condition. Always carry an ice spud or chisel to check ice as you proceed.

>Be extremely cautious crossing ice near river mouths, points of land, bridges, islands, and over reefs and springs. Current almost always causes ice to be thinner over these areas.

>BE AWARE of changeable weather and ice conditions, especially after a period of mild, above freezing temperatures. Re-check the ice status BEFORE venturing onto it.

>Avoid going onto the ice if it has melted away from the shore. This indicates melting is underway, and ice can shift position as wind direction changes.

>Waves from open water can quickly break up large areas of ice. If you can see open water in the lake and the wind picks up, get off!

>Bring your fully-charged cell phone with you.

>Carry a set of hand spikes to help you work your way out onto the surface of the ice if you go through. Holding one in each hand, you can alternately punch them into the ice and pull yourself up and out. You can make these at home, using large nails, or you can purchase them at stores that sell fishing supplies.

>Carry a safety line that can be thrown to someone who has gone through the ice.

>Heated fishing shanties must have good ventilation to prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Open a window or the door part way to allow in fresh air.

 

*TIP #2: A reminder - from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

 

*LAKE ERIE: Weather has limited outings on the open lake. When conditions have permitted, a few anglers were catching fair numbers of yellow perch, including the occasional limit catch, off Cattaraugus Creek to Evangola State Park in 55 – 65 fow. Perch schools are small, scattered and finicky, so expect to work for them. Small minnows or salted shiners will work. Anglers are catching some walleye from Cattaraugus Creek to the Pennsylvania line in 50 - 70 fow.  Out of Cattaraugus Creek, the walleye bite was best in 30 - 70 feet of water. Stickbaits and worm harnesses work well. Bottom bouncing or casting weight forward spinners around rocky reef structure inside 50 feet of water has produced some walleye catches as well. Anglers were also connecting at night with walleye by long line trolling off Donnaley’s Wall near the Buffalo Small Boat Harbor. Anglers are seeing smallmouth bass action in 20 to 40 feet of water around rocky structure. Good spots to try include Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef, Evans Bar, Sturgeon Point and Van Buren Reef. A drop-shot rig with tubes, plastics or crayfish works well when fishing deeper waters. Remember the start of Lake Erie and tributaries Black Bass (20 inch limit) fishing season is tomorrow and the musky season ends today.  For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. Lake trout are an underutilized species in Lake Erie that had been active outside 75 feet of water, from Dunkirk to the PA line. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom is a productive method.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Steelhead fishing had been on hold as creeks are running high and stained. The Erie tributaries have been fishing well this fall, with good numbers of steelhead spread throughout. With colder water temperatures, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Target steelhead in deeper holes, pool tailouts and slower moving seams. Downsize your float to detect light biters. Steelhead commonly take flies such as egg imitations, nymphs and wooly buggers. Drift anglers do well with egg sacs, beads and jigs with grubs fished under a float. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Walleye provided some good fishing this past week. Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  Also providing some action are lake trout and silver bass. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Fishing has been good from both boat and shore. Brown trout, steelhead and walleye have all been caught with consistency. Boaters are using three-way rigs to entice fish to hit with MagLips, Kwikfish, beads, egg sacs and minnows. Devils Hole and Artpark are the top spots for steelhead catches for both boaters and shore anglers, but some lower drifts are starting to produce trout catches too. Pink egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs with plastics fished under a float or casting medium-sized spoons and spinners are good steelhead offerings. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Some anglers prefer the old standby, a Yellow Sally fly, spinner and a worm fished off a three-way rig. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next. A reminder for musky fishermen, the season for them in the lower river and Lake Ontario closes December 15th.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Fishing pressure especially on the Oak looks like its settling into the typical winter time mode with just a few cars in the parking areas. Fishing on the tributaries is now primarily for a mix of post spawn brown trout and steelhead, although the odd fresh salmon can still surprise you. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Peach and orange beads have been catching fish, too. Pier fishing has been producing some pike and steelhead for casters using spoons and spinners. You can cast out heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Firetiger or blue-silver are color patterns working for spoons and spinners being tossed off the piers. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive on calmer nights. Fishing pressure is definitely intense at times but less now through the mid week period and even less come Saturday – the start of deer season. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Not much action on the lake as anglers wait for good ice. Ice is forming on the south portion of the lake but it is not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Walleye shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets.. Yellow and white perch are abundant and will hit the harnesses so take plenty of crawlers. Anglers are seeing fair yellow perch catches around the north basin on small minnows. Target crappie in the canals, inlets and traditional open lake areas. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic (best colors are silver, chartreuse and black) and fished under a pencil float, works for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Streams are running high and may be snowed over in spots. Fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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 region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*SILVER LAKE: Action slow. Lake is open. Need some cold nights with no wind to lock up and we’ve got a warm front coming. Possibly for New Years.

 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Action slow. Ice was forming but the rain and warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Action slow. Ice was forming but the rain and warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: Action slow. Ice was forming but the rain and warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Action slow.  Ice was forming but the rain and warm temperatures now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Ice is forming at the south end, but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Open water fishing remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. Up to 4 inches of ice was formed but warm temperatures and rain now have it unsafe. If you try it, be extra careful. (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: Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. On open water, good laker action is reported good especially off the state park launch. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: Anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into good pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter.

 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CAYUGA LAKE: The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Myers and Long Point are two areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Rain and snow melt 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. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations before heading to the streams. A season reminder, bass season closes today – the 30th. Now it’s catch and release. The Mud Lock boat launch is closed due to construction as improvements are being made. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow.  Ice is forming but nothing fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow.  Ice is forming but nothing fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. On the open water, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming in spots, but nothing fishable yet. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake, but there are fish up to 13 inches. Anglers are also having some success fishing from shore for perch and bass. The lake is way lower than normal, so use caution when boating. (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 inland trout streams in the area are in fair shape but may be running high depending on rains and snow melt. For fly fishermen terrestrials are on the menu. Ant dry flies, foam beetles, grasshopper and cricket patterns will take fish. Fish these patterns on a dead drift, giving it a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. A few trout reports have come from the Finger Lakes tribs but not many. Again the rains may change that quickly. Remember the regular trout season closed on the 15th but many streams are open all year and the Finger Lakes tribs are open until December 31st. 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.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. The lake needs a few cold nights with no wind to lock up.  If you try it, be extra careful. The shore walleye bite has slowed. Some anglers were getting a few from shore just before and after dark. Bucktail jigs and blade baits, along with worm harnesses, are getting the job done. Also, try fishing black and purple hair jigs tipped with a night crawler. Anglers also are reporting some catches using Sonar lures (gold). Keep an eye out for bass (now catch and release) around the shoals and deep weed edges. There are some reports using artificial crayfish along these edges. Plastics, bass jigs, crankbaits and topwaters would also be good lure choices. Pickerel fishing has also been good. Look for pickerel in 5 to 10 foot of water, and just about any lure will work. Using lures with a single hook though, like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jigs or swimbaits - makes unhooking them much easier. Oneida Lake has an abundant pickerel population with many quality size fish, 20 inches or more. Anglers have been finding a perch bite in 10-15 feet of water using minnows. Try jigging for perch with chartreuse glow jigs tipped with mousie grubs. Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year, but no reports yet. (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with salmon and trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted in the Sodus Bay channel. You can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. Maxwell Creek is still flowing and brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and green beads. There were anglers also fishing Salmon Creek in Pultneyville and Bear Creek in Ontario for browns. The flow in area streams is borderline flooding. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Excellent perch fishing is reported (if you can get out) in Sodus, Port and Fairhaven Bays. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The smallmouth are being caught near the channel and some walleyes are being caught near the islands. Some pike are being caught next to Leroy Island. Anglers are catching bluegills at the north and south ends of Port Bay. The water level in the bays is low so make sure you are careful launching your boat. The Canal is officially closed for the season, however not all sections are drained. The water at Widewaters will remain at the current level. There is no solid ice yet, and the skim coat has made launching the boats difficult. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. You can also check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls and at the piers for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Remember snagging is illegal and only the Conservation Officers benefit if you use snatch hooks and they are watching. Boaters have good opportunity to catch fish 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. 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. Bass (catch and release/artificals only) are providing some action along the weed beds in the bays. Try spinnerbaits, top waters and plastics. Also walleye and northern pike are good possibilities in the bays. On the Greece ponds, ice is forming around but it’s not fishable. At Mendon Ponds Park we again have ice that’s unsafe. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Over the last couple of days we’ve had stable weather and water conditions so anglers have been doing well throughout the river. Anglers have been getting into fresh fish that have been holding along the inside seams of the transition water. The darker colored fish have been holding in the softer water and normal winter holding water. With the current conditions the drift boats still have plenty of water to float, the bank anglers have plenty of options and fresh fish are still entering the river. Anglers who are fly fishing have had success swinging streamers with sinking leaders, dead drifting nymphs or indicator fishing with single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been, egg sucking leeches, wiggle stones, steelhead stones, steak-n-eggs, glo bugs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs or beads have produced the best results. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html)

 

*OSWEGO RIVER: The river has been running high with recent rain and snow events. This flow makes shore fishing difficult, but there were still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

*OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are high and muddy. Snow may also cover the banks making conditions risky. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for 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. (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 had some ice but with the warm-up and rain it’s now unsafe.

Loon Lake Had ice but the warm days and rain have taken it’s toll. Be extremely careful if you do go out. 

 

                                                                 >))))*>

 

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

 

DECEMBER 2018

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 – 14 - 18   

 

TIP: SAFTY TIPS ON ICE: Stay safe on the ice this winter while enjoying a day of ice-fishing. Follow these tips for safety on the ice:

-- The minimum ice thickness for supporting one person is at least 4 inches of clear, solid ice.

-- Drill holes or use an ice chisel or spud bar to check the ice conditions while working your way out to your fishing spot.

-- Wear a life jacket.

-- Commercial or homemade ice picks should be worn around your neck in case you fall through and need something to grip the ice and pull yourself out.

-- Fish with others in case trouble arises.

-- Have a long rope with you so someone can rescue you if you break through the ice.

-- Before heading out, tell a family member or friend where you will be fishing.

-- Avoid alcoholic beverages. These affect your judgment and increase your chances for hypothermia.

 

TIP #2: SEASONS UPDATE:

DECEMBER 2018

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

 

TIP #3: A reminder - from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

 

LAKE ERIE: Weather has limited outings on the open lake. When conditions have permitted, a few anglers were catching fair numbers of yellow perch, including the occasional limit catch, off Cattaraugus Creek to Evangola State Park in 55 – 65 fow. Perch schools are small, scattered and finicky, so expect to work for them. Small minnows or salted shiners will work. Anglers are catching some walleye from Cattaraugus Creek to the Pennsylvania line in 50 - 70 fow.  Out of Cattaraugus Creek, the walleye bite was best in 30 - 70 feet of water. Stickbaits and worm harnesses work well. Bottom bouncing or casting weight forward spinners around rocky reef structure inside 50 feet of water has produced some walleye catches as well. Anglers are seeing smallmouth bass action in 20 to 40 feet of water around rocky structure. Good spots to try include Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef, Evans Bar, Sturgeon Point and Van Buren Reef. A drop-shot rig with tubes, plastics or crayfish works well when fishing deeper waters. Remember the start of Lake Erie and tributaries Black Bass (20 inch limit) fishing season is tomorrow and the musky season ends today.  For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. Lake trout are an underutilized species in Lake Erie that had been active outside 75 feet of water, from Dunkirk to the PA line. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom is a productive method.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Steelhead fishing had been on hold as creeks are running high and stained. The Erie tributaries have been fishing well this fall, with good numbers of steelhead spread throughout. With colder water temperatures, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Target steelhead in deeper holes, pool tailouts and slower moving seams. Downsize your float to detect light biters. Steelhead commonly take flies such as egg imitations, nymphs and wooly buggers. Drift anglers do well with egg sacs, beads and jigs with grubs fished under a float. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Walleye provided some good fishing this past week. Try bouncing jigs along the bottom.  When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. Look for walleye off the head of Strawberry Island. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Brown trout and steelhead are now the dominant catch, with walleye not far behind. Devils Hole and Artpark are the top spots for steelhead catches for both boaters and shore anglers, but some lower drifts are starting to produce trout catches too. Pink egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs with plastics fished under a float or casting medium-sized spoons and spinners are good steelhead offerings. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Some anglers prefer the old standby, a Yellow Sally fly, spinner and a worm fished off a three-way rig. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. A reminder for musky fishermen, the season for them in the lower river and Lake Ontario tomorrow, December 15th. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next. A reminder for musky fishermen, the season for them in the lower river and Lake Ontario closes December 15th.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: No serious icing that we’ve heard of on any of the waterways. No major precipitation is in the near forecast although temperatures are forecast warmer in the 40’s°F thru the upcoming weekend. The little bit of snow we have and resultant melt off should maintain flows or bump them up only slightly. Fishing on the tributaries is now primarily for a mix of post spawn brown trout and steelhead, although the odd fresh salmon can still surprise you. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Peach and orange beads have been catching fish, too. Pier fishing has been producing some pike and steelhead for casters using spoons and spinners. You can cast out heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Firetiger or blue-silver are color patterns working for spoons and spinners being tossed off the piers. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive on calmer nights. Fishing pressure is definitely intense at times but less now through the mid week period and even less come Saturday – the start of deer season. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Not much action on the lake as anglers wait for good ice. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. This weekend’s warm-up may slow the freezing process. If you try it, be extra careful. Walleye shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets.. Yellow and white perch are abundant and will hit the harnesses so take plenty of crawlers. Anglers are seeing fair yellow perch catches around the north basin on small minnows. Target crappie in the canals, inlets and traditional open lake areas. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic (best colors are silver, chartreuse and black) and fished under a pencil float, works for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Streams are running high and may be snowed over in spots.Fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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 region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

SILVER LAKE: Action slow. Lake is open. Need some cold nights with no wind to lock up and we’ve got a warm front coming. Possibly for Christmas.

 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful.Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: Action slow.  Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Action slow.  Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Ice is forming at the south end, but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. Open water fishing remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow. Up to 4 inches of ice formed but warm temperatures now has it unsafe. If you try it be extra careful. (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: Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. On open water, laker action is reported fair to good. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: Anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into good pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter.

 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CAYUGA LAKE: The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Myers and Long Point are two areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Rain and snow melt 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. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations before heading to the streams. A season reminder, bass season closes today – the 30th. Now it’s catch and release. The Mud Lock boat launch is closed due to construction as improvements are being made. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow.  Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. Some anglers are connecting on rainbows from the typical shoreline spots using the time-tested marshmallow and worm setup. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow.  Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. On the open water, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming in spots, but not reported fishable yet. The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake, but there are fish up to 13 inches. Anglers are also having some success fishing from shore for perch and bass. The lake is way lower than normal, so use caution when boating. (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 inland trout streams in the area are in fair shape but may be running high depending on rains and snow melt. For fly fishermen terrestrials are on the menu. Ant dry flies, foam beetles, grasshopper and cricket patterns will take fish. Fish these patterns on a dead drift, giving it a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. A few trout reports have come from the Finger Lakes tribs but not many. Again the rains may change that quickly. Remember the regular trout season closed on the 15th but many streams are open all year and the Finger Lakes tribs are open until December 31st. 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.

 

WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

SANDY POND: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONEIDA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. The lake needs a few cold nights with no wind to lock up.  If you try it, be extra careful. The shore walleye bite has slowed. Some anglers were getting a few from shore just before and after dark. Bucktail jigs and blade baits, along with worm harnesses, are getting the job done. Also, try fishing black and purple hair jigs tipped with a night crawler. Anglers also are reporting some catches using Sonar lures (gold). Keep an eye out for bass (now catch and release) around the shoals and deep weed edges. There are some reports using artificial crayfish along these edges. Plastics, bass jigs, crankbaits and topwaters would also be good lure choices. Pickerel fishing has also been good. Look for pickerel in 5 to 10 foot of water, and just about any lure will work. Using lures with a single hook though, like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jigs or swimbaits - makes unhooking them much easier. Oneida Lake has an abundant pickerel population with many quality size fish, 20 inches or more. Anglers have been finding a perch bite in 10-15 feet of water using minnows. Try jigging for perch with chartreuse glow jigs tipped with mousie grubs. Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year, but no reports yet. (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with salmon and trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted in the Sodus Bay channel. You can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. Maxwell Creek is still flowing and brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and green beads. There were anglers also fishing Salmon Creek in Pultneyville and Bear Creek in Ontario for browns. The flow in area streams is borderline flooding. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Excellent perch fishing is reported (if you can get out) in Sodus, Port and Fairhaven Bays. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The smallmouth are being caught near the channel and some walleyes are being caught near the islands. Some pike are being caught next to Leroy Island. Anglers are catching bluegills at the north and south ends of Port Bay. Also at the south end of Port Bay good bullhead action. Throw-out worms. The water level in the bays is low so make sure you are careful launching your boat. The canal is officially closed for the season, however not all sections are drained. The water at Widewaters will remain at the current level. There is no solid ice yet, and the skim coat has made launching the boats difficult. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. You can also check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls and at the piers for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Remember snagging is illegal and only the Conservation Officers benefit if you use snatch hooks and they are watching. Boaters have good opportunity to catch fish 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. 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. Bass (catch and release/artificals only) are providing some action along the weed beds in the bays. Try spinnerbaits, top waters and plastics. Also walleye and northern pike are good possibilities in the bays. On the Greece ponds, ice is forming around but it’s not fishable. At Mendon Ponds Park we again have ice that’s unsafe. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Over the last couple of days we’ve had stable weather and water conditions so anglers have been doing well throughout the river. Anglers have been getting into fresh fish that have been holding along the inside seams of the transition water. The darker colored fish have been holding in the softer water and normal winter holding water. With the current conditions the drift boats still have plenty of water to float, the bank anglers have plenty of options and fresh fish are still entering the river. Anglers who are fly fishing have had success swinging streamers with sinking leaders, dead drifting nymphs or indicator fishing with single egg patterns. The most productive patterns have been, egg sucking leeches, wiggle stones, steelhead stones, steak-n-eggs, glo bugs and sucker spawn. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing, pink and blue egg sacs or beads have produced the best results. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html)

 

OSWEGO RIVER: The river has been running high with recent rain and snow events. This flow makes shore fishing difficult, but there were still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are high and muddy. Snow may also cover the banks making conditions risky. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for 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. (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 had some ice and a few anglers were out but with the warm-up it’s now unsafe.

Loon Lake was reported with ice up to 6 inches but the warm days may have taken it’s toll. Be extremely careful if you do go out. 

 

                                                                 >))))*>

 

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

 

DECEMBER 2018

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 – 7 - 18   

*TIP: ICE SAFETY:

General Ice Thickness Guidelines 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.

TIP 2: SEASONS UPDATE:

NOVEMBER 2018 

30 - End of Statewide Fishing Season for Black Bass and Muskellunge

30 - End of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County) and Rushford Lake (Allegany County)

30 - Close of Lake Erie and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season

DECEMBER 2018

1 - Start of Statewide Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>6/15/19)

1 - Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries Black Bass (20 inch limit) fishing season (>6/15/19)

 

*TIP #3: A reminder - from Nov 1 to May 1, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet must wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) while underway. For more information on boating regulations please view the NYS Boater's Guide.

 

*LAKE ERIE: Weather has limited outings on the open lake. When conditions have permitted, a few anglers were catching fair numbers of yellow perch, including the occasional limit catch, off Cattaraugus Creek to Evangola State Park in 55 – 65 fow. Perch schools are small, scattered and finicky, so expect to work for them. Small minnows or salted shiners will work. Anglers are catching some walleye from Cattaraugus Creek to the Pennsylvania line in 50 - 70 fow.  Out of Cattaraugus Creek, the walleye bite was best in 30 - 70 feet of water. Stickbaits and worm harnesses work well. Bottom bouncing or casting weight forward spinners around rocky reef structure inside 50 feet of water has produced some walleye catches as well. Anglers are seeing smallmouth bass action in 20 to 40 feet of water around rocky structure. Good spots to try include Seneca Shoal, Myers Reef, Evans Bar, Sturgeon Point and Van Buren Reef. A drop-shot rig with tubes, plastics or crayfish works well when fishing deeper waters. Remember the start of Lake Erie and tributaries Black Bass (20 inch limit) fishing season is tomorrow and the musky season ends today.  For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page. Lake trout are an underutilized species in Lake Erie that had been active outside 75 feet of water, from Dunkirk to the PA line. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom is a productive method.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Steelhead fishing had been on hold as creeks are running high and stained. The Erie tributaries have been fishing well this fall, with good numbers of steelhead spread throughout. With colder water temperatures, it is best to keep drifted offerings slow and low for steelhead that are lethargic and hugging the bottom. Target steelhead in deeper holes, pool tailouts and slower moving seams. Downsize your float to detect light biters. Steelhead commonly take flies such as egg imitations, nymphs and wooly buggers. Drift anglers do well with egg sacs, beads and jigs with grubs fished under a float.For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page. While the rest of the state will trigger a catch and release bass fishing season, Lake Erie will institute its new trophy season on Saturday and continuing through June 14, when the regular season re-opens. Anglers will be allowed to keep one bass per person per day with a minimum size of 20 inches in length.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Musky season is closed and while bass season is open, it is now catch and release/artificials only. When fishing the west river, be aware that the international line runs quite close to the island. Harbor, bay and slack areas are also a good bet for a mix of bass, sunfish and perch. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. Look for walleye off the head of Strawberry Island. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Brown trout are now the dominant catch, with some steelhead and lake trout mixed in. Be aware that lake trout season is closed in the lower river until January 1st. Incidentally caught lake trout should be quickly returned to the water. Devils Hole and Artpark are the top spots for steelhead catches for both boaters and shore anglers, but some lower drifts are starting to produce trout catches too. Pink egg sacs, egg pattern flies, shiners or jigs with plastics fished under a float or casting medium-sized spoons and spinners are good steelhead offerings. There are less specific reports of decent walleye and smallmouth bass catches around the lower river as well. Try drifting with bottom bouncing rigs with tubes, plastics, flatfish lures, live crayfish, shiners or by casting towards shore with jerkbaits, stickbaits and spinners. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. Walleye action has been good near Lewiston for bigger fish. You might not see the numbers, but the quality is there. Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective. Some anglers prefer the old standby, a Yellow Sally fly, spinner and a worm fished off a three-way rig. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait like sheepshead.  A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit. A reminder for musky fishermen, the season for them in the lower river and Lake Ontario remains open until December 15th. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html).

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Look for some trout action at the Niagara Bar and at the mouths of Eighteenmile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, Sandy Creek and the Genesee River. Action is usually best at dawn and the bite picks up again near dusk. Flasher-fly combos, J-Plugs, J-13 Rapalas and large spoons are good lures. A fair number of pike, perch and bass are being caught, too. Piers are clear so casting spoons and spinners will produce but be alert to wave conditions. For those new to fishing Lake Ontario, visit the Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon page for more information. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next. A reminder for musky fishermen, the season for them in the lower river and Lake Ontario closes December 15th.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Fishing on the Lake Ontario tributaries is now primarily for a mix of post spawn brown trout and steelhead, although the odd fresh salmon can still surprise you. Flows on Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks have bumped up to slightly high and stained, with 2 feet or less of visibility. The freestone creeks are all fishable at present, ranging from slightly low to slightly high. However, the forecasted rain on Saturday night will likely have all creeks on the rise again. The freestone creeks first and the dammed streams on a day or so delay. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the water conditions. Once conditions stabilize skein, egg sacs or egg imitations will be the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads will also work. Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Peach and orange beads have been catching fish, too. Pier fishing has been producing some pike and steelhead for casters using spoons and spinners. You can cast out heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Firetiger or blue-silver are color patterns working for spoons and spinners being tossed off the piers. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive on calmer nights. Fishing pressure is definitely intense at times but less now through the mid week period and even less come Saturday – the start of deer season. At harbor sites, anglers can catch a variety of warmwater fish including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bowfin, yellow perch, rock bass, bullhead and other sunfish. You never know what you will catch next.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Not much action on the lake as anglers wait for ice. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Walleye shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets.. Yellow and white perch are abundant and will hit the harnesses so take plenty of crawlers. Anglers are seeing fair yellow perch catches around the north basin on small minnows. Target crappie in the canals, inlets and traditional open lake areas. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic (best colors are silver, chartreuse and black) and fished under a pencil float, works for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. A list of State maintained access sites can be found on the Chautauqua Lake page. Various municipalities also provide access points. Go to http://www.wunderground.com/webcams/towerclimber/1/show.htm . (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9230.html)

 

*WESTERN TROUT STREAMS: Streams are running high and may be snowed over in spots.Fly anglers can see surface action on terrestrial patterns such as ants, foam beetles and grasshoppers. Fish terrestrial patterns on a dead drift, giving a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners. 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 region's best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

 

*SILVER LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful.Bass season is open on the lake.  (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: Action slow.  Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake.  (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Action slow.  Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. Bass season is open on the lake. (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: Ice is forming at the south end, but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. Open water fishing remains fair on the lake. Try trolling spoons or flasher and flies for lakers and a few rainbows at 40 to 80 feet over a 100 to 200 foot bottom. Jigging blade baits and spoons at 100 feet also is reported to be working. Trolling at 30 feet is working for rainbows and some browns. The bass have been active. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. Color of bait has made a big difference in the catch rate. As light conditions or wave activity changes, often the bait selection will have to change along with the color selection. Use darker baits under low light and more colorful baits when it was sunny. Keep your boat moving until you find fish, then work the area slowly. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries.  (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: Action slow.  Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (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: Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. On open water, laker action is reported fair to good. Try jigging at 70 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white and green tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 100 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Some lakers are being caught on small spoons trolled 40 to 70 feet down over 90 foot of water. Some say yellow and green are good colors. On open water, try for perch in the Branchport arm. (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: Anglers are trying their luck at trolling for browns and Atlantic salmon with 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. One report has lake trout and Atlantics being taken trolling small flatfish in 60 to 70 fow over a 70 to 100 foot bottom, at about 2.5 mph. Anglers out of Watkins Glen are getting into good pike action using spoons, swimbaits, and stickbaits. Reports are many of the pike have signs of lamprey attacks, though the wounds for the most part didn't look very fresh. Anglers are also getting into some perch and smallmouth bass. The Sampson State Park boat launch is closed as it will be worked on over the winter.

 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CAYUGA LAKE: The lake trout and brown trout bites have been fair to good and the landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water by anglers vertical jigging. Anglers trolling are doing better fishing the 50 to 80 foot level over a 150 to 200 foot bottom. Off Myers and Long Point are two areas being mentioned. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Greens and blues, along with white/chartruse were hot colors.  For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. In the goby-era fish have become quite selective in their feeding zones and habits, especially while the water is still cold. The trout are feeding heavily upon alewives. Heavy rain 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. Please review the Finger Lakes Tributary Regulations before heading to the streams. A season reminder, bass season closes today – the 30th. Now it’s catch and release. The Mud Lock boat launch is closed due to construction as improvements are being made. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Action slow.  Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. On the open water, trolling 50 - 70 feet down with small spoons is producing some lake trout and rainbow action. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs in 5 to 40 foot of water is working for smallmouth bass (now catch and release), panfish, rock bass and some perch. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet. Also keep an eye out for an improving walleye bite. The docks are now out at the state sites. (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: Action slow.  Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. On the open water, lake trout and a few rainbow trout were being caught trolling with spoons 50 – 70 feet down over a 100 to 120 foot bottom. The 60 to 90 foot level seems productive for anglers vertical jigging. Fishing is better in early AM before boat traffic picks up. Fishing tube baits or drop-shot rigs along shore out to 20 feet of water should produce some smallmouth bass (now catch and release), rock bass and maybe some perch. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. Northern action is being found at the north end. (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: The walleye, bass (now catch and release) and tiger musky bites are slow. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds on the north end and around Lader Point. Good baits have been Texas-rigged creature baits and tube baits. Also on the north end, try chatterbaits, spinnerbaits or large topwaters for the tiger musky in 10 to 15 foot of water. Fish with worm harnesses, stickbaits, crankbaits and jigs for walleye off the causeway just before and after dark. The fish seem to be well fed so you may need to use reaction baits (stickbait and crankbaits) to get them to hit. No word on the panfish bite. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake, but there are fish up to 13 inches. Anglers are also having some success fishing from shore for perch and bass. The lake is way lower than normal, so use caution when boating. (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 inland trout streams in the area are in fair shape but may be running high depending on rains and snow melt. For fly fishermen terrestrials are on the menu. Ant dry flies, foam beetles, grasshopper and cricket patterns will take fish. Fish these patterns on a dead drift, giving it a slight twitch every now and again to imitate a struggling insect. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. If you are a catch-and-release angler and use spinners, it is good practice to outfit your spinners with a single hook rather than a treble hook. A few trout reports have come from the Finger Lakes tribs but not many. Again the rains may change that quickly. Remember the regular trout season closed on the 15th but many streams are open all year and the Finger Lakes tribs are open until December 31st. 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.

 

*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*SANDY POND: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it be extra careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONEIDA LAKE: Action slow. Ice is forming but not reported fishable yet. If you try it, be extra careful. The shore walleye bite has slowed. Some anglers were getting a few from shore just before and after dark. Bucktail jigs and blade baits, along with worm harnesses, are getting the job done. Also, try fishing black and purple hair jigs tipped with a night crawler. Anglers also are reporting some catches using Sonar lures (gold). Keep an eye out for bass (now catch and release) around the shoals and deep weed edges. There are some reports using artificial crayfish along these edges. Plastics, bass jigs, crankbaits and topwaters would also be good lure choices. Pickerel fishing has also been good. Look for pickerel in 5 to 10 foot of water, and just about any lure will work. Using lures with a single hook though, like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jigs or swimbaits - makes unhooking them much easier. Oneida Lake has an abundant pickerel population with many quality size fish, 20 inches or more. Anglers have been finding a perch bite in 10-15 feet of water using minnows. Try jigging for perch with chartreuse glow jigs tipped with mousie grubs. Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year, but no reports yet. (Lake Profile- http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html)

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing is done for the season. There are a few browns close to shore for anyone that wants to fish the lake but watch the weather. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers, though, with salmon and trout being caught. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: Pier fishing is ongoing with brown trout catches and some steelhead being netted in the Sodus Bay channel. You can cast out heavy spoons such as Kastmasters and Little Cleos. Off the Port Bay pier you can also try for browns. Maxwell Creek is still flowing and brown trout and steelhead are hitting on egg sacs and green beads. There were anglers also fishing Salmon Creek in Pultneyville and Bear Creek in Ontario for browns. The flow in area streams is borderline flooding. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

* WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Excellent perch fishing is reported (if you can get out) in Sodus, Port and Fairhaven Bays. Try Power Bait shad 2 to 3 inches. Or throw out some jigs tipped with spikes. The perch are running 10 to 12 inches and are schooling near the drop-offs in both bays. All the bays in the county have excellent bass populations (now catch and release). Just fish the weedlines using Zoom baits, spinners or top water lures. Use strong leaders because you’ll be pulling them from heavy cover. The smallmouth are being caught near the channel and some walleyes are being caught near the islands. Some pike are being caught next to Leroy Island. Anglers are catching bluegills at the north and south ends of Port Bay. Also at the south end of Port Bay good bullhead action. Throw-out worms. The water level in the bays is low so make sure you are careful launching your boat. The canal is officially closed for the season, however not all sections are drained. The water at Widewaters will remain at the current level. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. You can also check the Wayne County Tourism web page (www.waynecountytourism.com) for the locations and hours of local bait and tackle shops. (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS: Anglers are fishing the river at the lower falls and at the piers for trout but high muddy waters doesn’t make it easy. Casting heavy (3/4 ounce plus) Little Cleo, K.O. Wobbler and Moonshine glow spoons at night works well. Treated skein fished under a float can be productive. Remember snagging is illegal and only the Conservation Officers benefit if you use snatch hooks and they are watching. Boaters have good opportunity to catch fish 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. 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. Bass (catch and release/artificals only) are providing some action along the weed beds in the bays. Try spinnerbaits, top waters and plastics. 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. On the Greece ponds action is slow as anglers wait for ice. It is forming around the edges but nothing fishable. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) (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: Fishing has been more difficult with the higher water. Steelhead are spread out from top to bottom of the river but high water is hindering fishing. In the mid to upper end of the river anglers reported fish holding in the deeper holes and larger runs. In the lower end of the river the best reports came from anglers who fished the DSR. Over the last couple of days the most productive patterns have been estaz eggs, woolly buggers, black egg sucking leeches, glo-bugs and comets. For those anglers who are bottom bouncing, blue and pink egg sacs have been productive. We are into the winter pattern and a hole that is hot today will be dead tomorrow.  If you want to get in on the smallmouth action, there are good numbers of bass holding in the deeper holes of the mid to lower section of the river. View Pacific Salmon Fishing for more information on salmon fishing.  (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html)

 

*OSWEGO RIVER: The river has been running high with recent rain and snow events. This flow makes shore fishing difficult, but there were still some steelhead and brown trout being taken. The salmon spawn is coming to an end and the trout will start feeding more heavily on baitfish because there is no longer such an abundance of salmon eggs. The next few months offer an opportunity to capture trout on Lake Ontario tributaries with marabou jigs. You can still fish them like any other jig by casting out and jigging it back to you along the bottom. Anglers also take a few walleye with large stickbaits and some sheepshead on crayfish and nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken on tube baits, crayfish and live minnows. 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/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html)

 

*OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga, Susquehanna and Unadilla Rivers are high and muddy. Snow may also cover the banks making conditions risky. If you do go out, fish the riffles in the more heavily oxygenated water. Walleye, bass, tiger musky and muskellunge are possibilities. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes. Try for smallmouth bass with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes. Also don’t forget bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. A more specific report for 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. (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 )

Surplus Broodstock Trout Stocking: DEC Randolph Fish Hatchery has completed their annual fall stocking of broodstock trout in select Allegany and Cattaraugus County waters. All breeder trout are over 2 years old and are stocked in waters where trout fishing is permitted all year. Each water was stocked with hundreds of rainbow trout, brown trout and/or brook trout ranging between 14-28 inches. The following waters were stocked in mid to late-October: Redhouse Lake, Quaker Lake, New Albion Lake, Case Lake, Harwood Lake, Allen Lake and the Genesee River (between Wellsville and the PA line).

 

                                                                 >))))*>

 

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

 

DECEMBER 2018

1 - Start of Statewide Black Bass catch and release / artificial lures only season (>6/15/19)

1 - Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries Black Bass (20 inch limit) fishing season (>6/15/19)

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

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

 

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