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    fishing Report for Western new york                                                                                                                                               with Ron Schroder

WESTERN/CENTRAL NEW YORK FISHING - WEST TO EAST

5 – 11 – 18

 

TIP: RING THE DINNER BELL FOR BIG FISH: Big fish—such as bass, tiger musky, or pike—will eat rats, mice, lizards, moles, shrews, chipmunks, young rabbits, baby squirrels, baby birds,

and other small animals that sometimes fall from a bank, tree, or brush pile. Their struggles in the water are like ringing the dinner bell. Around boathouses, wharfs, pilings, docks, piers, ridges, and rock cliffs are other ideal places where an animal’s slip might make a big fish’s

meal. Even animals that are used to the water, like baby ducks paddling around, are sometimes eaten by big fish. Use baits that imitate the struggling of these animals in the water as much as possible, even if you have to make your own, and use them like you would any topwater bait.

Baby snakes skimming across the water are also favorite meals for big fish, so try using big floating plastic worms. Big fish also like frogs, so don’t forget to get out the frog baits before trying to capture those huge fish.

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

basspro.com.)

 

TIP #2: SEASON NOTICE: May 5 - Start of Statewide Fishing Season for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye (>3/15/19)

 

LAKE ERIE: Most Lake Erie boat launches are now open for the season. There may still be some dredging occurring at Sturgeon Point Marina, so best to call ahead. Walleye season is off to a pretty good start at Van Buren Bay/Reef, where anglers are catching good numbers of walleye at night, including some limits. It has been slower, but anglers are also catching some walleye at other popular night sites. Nearshore water temperature is nearing 50 degrees, so the bite is expected to improve. Traditionally productive night sites include Shorehaven Reef, Bournes Beach, Green Hills, Van Buren Bay, Evans Bar, off Hamburg and near the mouth of Smokes Creek. Trolling minnow-type stickbaits at around 2 mph over rocky areas in 8-15 feet of water is a typical program. Only limited numbers of anglers are targeting walleye during the day and results are unknown. Yellow perch fishing has been hit or miss. Searching around with good electronics improves catch odds. Fifty-five feet of water off Cattaraugus Creek is a good place to start. Limited numbers of emerald shiners have shown at times for dippers in Canadaway Creek, Buffalo River and upper Niagara River at foot of Sheridan Drive and Black Rock Canal Park. Using light action spinning rods with a split shot or two and a double hook, and emerald shiners, cast off the boat and slowly bring the minnow back to the boat. The boat spooks the perch away but by casting out you can reach the perch schooling up to prepare to spawn in the warmer shallow water. For bass try using golden shiners or ½-ounce tubes in white, goby and watermelon. The presentation should be slow and on the bottom.

 

LAKE ERIE TRIBS Steelhead fishing still is going strong in Cattaraugus Creek where anglers are catching good numbers on Seneca Lands and below Route 5&20 bridge. There are a good number of suckers also in and the steelhead that are dropping back have plenty to feed on. Sucker eggs, steelhead eggs and aquatic insects provide good amounts of food. Look for spawning suckers or steelhead and then look for drop backs feeding on eggs below them. Small yellow or orange death roe or steelhead stalker soft plastic beads have been the tickets. If the bead bite is slow, thread on a pink or white worm up to the bead and it mimics a small lamprey sucking on an egg – a trigger for steelhead. Marabou jigs have been very effective in black, olive and white in the lower ends of the tributaries for the immature springers and for drop backs. There are a few steelhead hanging around the medium-sized streams, but the run is done on the small streams. All tributaries are now fishing well for incoming smallmouth bass. Wooly buggers and minnow imitations are good bets for fly anglers, and spinning anglers generally do well with stickbaits, minnows and jigs with grubs or plastics fished under a float. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and its tributaries. Steelhead smolts have recently been stocked in the Lake Erie tributaries. If caught, handle these small steelhead with care, so they may return to the creeks as large adults. Anglers have reported the occasional smallmouth bass hook-up in the tributaries. Bass numbers are set to jump with warming water temperatures. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Upper river waters are in good shape. Look for rainbow trout off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. Remember, bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only in the Niagara River north of the Peace Bridge, until regular season opens on third Saturday of June.

 

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Steelhead fishing on the lower river has been excellent lately. Try using minnows, egg sacs, MagLips and Kwikfish throughout the river, all fished off three-way rigs. With the large amount of bait in the river you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits for the steelhead. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass (catch and release) have done well, with some caught bass over 6 pounds! Tube jigs and swim baits are working on smallmouth, especially downriver toward Youngstown. They have been catching some walleye at night off the Lewiston Landing area by tossing in a swim bait or a jerk bait. A few silver bass were also caught, good news if you like fishing for them with an ultralight outfit  For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. The NYPA fishing platform reopened last month and is now open from dawn until dusk. 

 

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: When weather has permitted, nearshore trollers have enjoyed great brown trout fishing inside 30 feet of water. Coho salmon catches have also been ramping up in the nearshore zone. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the mudline is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 75 to 125 feet back. Hot baits have been Fire Tiger Rapalas, Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. A mix of trout and salmon are available in 30-100 feet of water. Get your spoons or spin doctors and flies down 55 to 65 feet of water with your riggers and divers. Green and gold were hot colors, but it all depends on the day.Charter boats are starting to pick up the king salmon at 60 – 100 feet. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon. The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby kicks off today and runs through May 20th, so be prepared for some crowds.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2018. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page.

 

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries when conditions have permitted. Fishing pressure has been real light. Some fresh fish have been reported. The medium to large sized streams are good options for the weekend. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. Casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch are showing at Olcott and Wilson Harbors and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor, low end of Twelvemile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information.

 

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Good reports are coming in from all over - the crappie bite has exploded on Chautauqua Lake. Many of the bays are seeing action during the day and evening. Target crappie in the canals, inlets and traditional open lake areas such as Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, the flats off Mayville. 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 well for crappie. The walleye bite has also been decent. Boaters can troll with stickbaits or worm harnesses, or drift and work jigs with nightcrawlers. Shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets. During the evening, head for water 5 to 10 feet deep. Chautauqua Lake walleye regulations are now the same as the state-wide regulations, minimum length of 15 inches and daily limit of 5. The yellow perch on Chautauqua Lake have started biting again and the females have dropped their eggs, so the spawn should be about done. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. Ashville Bay has had active fishing and angler use at times, but now some of the areas available along the shoreline have been closed off due to excessive angling pressure/litter and other misdeeds. 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: Local trout streams are in good shape, however some of the larger trout streams may be slightly high and stained from rain. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. With the high-water events in WNY, the fish have had a chance to move. Try walking away from stocking points for your best chance at big fish. There are hatches of olives, Hendrickson’s and assorted other small mayflies happening and fly anglers are starting to see some surface action on dry flies late in the day. Sub-surface nymphs and buggers are a better bet most of the day. 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: Walleye and pike seasons have started but there are no reports on the fishing. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CONESUS LAKE: Walleye and pike seasons have started but there are no reports on the fishing. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

HEMLOCK LAKE: No reports on current fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

CANADICE LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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: Walleye season is underway but no reports on the action. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs. The water is very clear now, so use watermelon seed or other green type plastic baits. If you find turbid water switch to green pumpkin or black. Moving baits such as a small crank bait, lipless crank bait or spinnerbait will work but make very slow presentations. Stick to the south end for some sizeable crappie and bluegills. Also hit the shoreline for bullhead. (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: Fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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. Remember it’s now catch and released. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. 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: Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead and panfish. Also, pike and pickerel seasons are open but no reports on action. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: A few 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Rainbow fishing has been fair in the tributaries. Watch for floating debris. (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 good and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Fish the 120 – 155 foot level. 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 very cold.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  One angler, out of Long Point, reported an unusual catch – an estimated 40 – 50 pound, 41/2 – 5 foot long sturgeon. Rainbow fishing is now fair in the tributaries. For the bird watcher – a good number of loons were being seen at the south end. Keep an eye out for debris when trolling. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

SKANEATELES LAKE: There are some reports of a good perch bite on the lake with scattered walleye thrown in. The yellow perch are being caught on small minnows at about 20 feet.  Rainbow fishing is fair in the tribs. Try egg sacs. Anglers getting out on the lake are catching yellow perch on small minnows at about 20 feet.

 

OWASCO LAKE: Fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm. Try trolling in 170 foot of water along the west side of the lake. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing is fair in the tributaries. Anglers are catching perch on the north end of the lake using fathead minnows; the bullhead bite has come on in the Inlet at the south end. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. No word on smelt runs. (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: Walleye and tiger musky season are open. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits, spinnerbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for tigers. And worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. 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 success fishing from shore for perch and bass (catch& release). (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

 

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, some trout are still in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better, when the weather is colder, as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. Finger Lakes tributary fishing began on April 1st and there are special regulations that apply so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. For the fly fisherman some hatches of olives, Hendrickson’s and assorted other small mayflies. Some other waters where trout anglers are plying their skills are Cayuta Creek in Chemung and Schuyler counties; the Canisteo River in Steuben County; and Eldridge Lake and Park Station in Chemung County. All were scheduled to receive fish, while upcoming stockings were set for the Tioga County stretch of Cayuta Creek and Owego Creek (including its East Branch) in Tioga County. 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: Walleye season is open but the catch rate is unknown but probably slow, because the water temperature is still cold. Good baits, once things heat up, are jigs, worm harnesses and crankbaits. As the water has lowered, anglers can fish from the bank again. They are starting to pickup bullhead and channel catfish from shore. No word on the crappie bite but this is generally a good time of year to start working the shoreline with small jigs or minnows. Some nice perch are being caught as well.

 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

 

SANDY POND: Northern pike are being taken. Try stickbaits, spoons or large minnows fished under bobbers for the northern pike. For walleye, also try stickbaits along with jigs, and crankbaits. Shore fishing for bullhead and panfish is a possibility. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

ONONDAGA LAKE: No specific reports available. Fish species present are bluegill; pumpkinseed; smallmouth bass; largemouth bass; yellow perch; common carp; channel catfish; brown bullhead; crappie and walleye. Can you help provide fishing info? (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONEIDA LAKE: Walleye season has started off with a bang and anglers have been getting them in 10 to 35 foot of water. Shallow water seems to be better at the moment around stream or river mouths, or around shallow shoals. Try fishing black and purple hair jigs tipped with a night crawler. Anglers also are reporting some nice catches using Sonar lures (gold). 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. For anglers taking advantage of the catch and release bass season, try 5 to 10 foot of water with bass jigs, crankbaits or jerkbaits. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs. The Lock 23 area is reported as hot and Toad Harbor is improving using soft plastics.  Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year in Toad Harbor, but no reports yet. Bullhead are being taken along the south shore and in the bays, try worms or leeches. The walleye run has started at the Oneida Fish Hatchery, Constantia. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm for viewing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

 

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather is improving permitting boaters to work the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling near shore over depths of 6 to 30 feet, with stickbaits or small spoons continues to work well. Fishing with side planers, 75 to 100 feet back, has helped on the days with less wind, as has fishing early in the morning. Good colors have been black and silver, blue and silver, and lures with some orange on them (like fire tiger). There were reports from anglers that when cleaning some of the browns they have been finding round gobies in their stomach. So, it may pay to also try some goby colored baits. There have been a few Atlantic salmon, lake trout, coho and chinook salmon also caught by anglers targeting the brown trout. It is best to seek out slightly warmer and murky (but not muddy) waters off creek mouths. Be on the water early because when the sun gets higher the browns swim for cover. Some spring Chinooks are being taken in slightly deeper water and lake trout are being found in 100 foot of water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon. If you go out in the next week or two be prepared for completion, the LOC Derby starts tomorrow and runs through the 20th.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2018. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page.

 

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: A steelhead or two may still be hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. The water levels are excellent at this time. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier if wind conditions cooperate. If there is no ice/wind you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Bay fishing has been excellent with the perch bite continuing to be good. The perch are in Sodus Bay on the northwest section. The bullheads are hitting at the Bay Bridge, the south end of Sodus Bay. There is a good bite of perch at the north end and catch of crappies at the south end of Port Bay. They are suspended in 12 feet of water. They are also catching some perch from the north barrier bar shoreline. Crappies are hitting bright small jigs. The pike and walleye seasons have started. A few nice walleye were caught in Sodus Bay between the islands on the north side. Pike fishing, too, has been productive at the north end of Sodus. You can use live bait or cast bright red spoons. Remember pike need to be 22 inches and you can keep three fish. Also you can keep three walleye at 18 inches or bigger. Those are Great Lakes regulations… which cover Wayne County waters. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters Park or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. The canal is the only body of water that is not affected by the wind. The crappie fishing is excellent in the canal. The whole Canal is on schedule to be filled May 18th. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  Look fair to good shore fishing for bullhead, perch and crappie along the shores of Long and Cranberry Ponds and the Bays. Walleye and northern pike are now legal (as of Saturday) and are good possibilities. Also, anglers can still try for trout off the piers at the mouth of the Genesee. (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: Now that we are a week into May, anglers have plenty of angling opportunities. Steelhead are still in the river and the few anglers who are around have been catching fish. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success dead drifting with squirmy worms and egg patterns or swinging black and olive woolly buggers. The anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing have had the most success with blue egg sacs or pink worms. Pike and walleye are now open and with the water level coming down and the water temperature warming up, it won’t be long before the smallmouth bass start entering the lower end of the river as well. On the bass rememberit’s catch & release/artificial only.  Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone reopened April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

 

OSWEGO RIVER: The flow is good for boat fishing and makes more areas along the river accessible for shore fishing. Some steelhead and brown trout are active throughout the river. Look for walleye in the river with large stickbaits. A few smallmouth bass are also being taken, but remember it's catch and release, artificial lures only for the bass. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. 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 and Unadilla Rivers are in good shape and walleye, tiger musky and muskellunge seasons are open. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Look for walleye in the deeper holes.  With the warmer weather bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout have been stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. In, addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian) and Newville Creek (Nunda).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

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

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

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - North Brook and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Durkee Park Pond, Merril Creek, East Br. Tioughnioga River, West Br. Tioughnioga River, and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of April 8th the following waters had been stocked: Butternut Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace Brook, Geddes Brook, Green Lake, Limestone Creek, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, Pools Brook, Skaneateles Creek, and Spafford Brook.

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and West Br. of Fish Creek.

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

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek and Fall Creek.

 

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

MAY 2018

5 - Start of Statewide Fishing Season for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye (>3/15/19)

5 - Start of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County), the Chemung River and Tributaries and Tioga River (Chemung County) (>3/15/19)

11-20 - Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby 2018. 1st of 3 LOC Derbies offering over $30,000 in cash and prizes with a grand prize of $15,000 for the largest overall Salmon caught. (For more information call 888-733-5246 or visit their website at www.loc.org.)

12 - FREE Kids Fishing Classes at the Oneida Lake Hatchery, Hatchery Road (off NY Route 49),
Constantia, NY (11:00 am – 1:00 pm) Also carp fishing classes included. All bait and tackle provided FREE. (For information email
mmcgrath2@twcny.com or srybaak@yahoo.com.)

15 - Start of Bowfishing for Carp Season (A fishing or small game hunting license may be used) Water must be legal for fishing and discharge of a bow. (>9/30)

17 - Frog Call Field Trip at the Eshelman Property, 1420 Yubadam Road, Portville, NY. (6:00 – 7:30 pm) Join amphibian enthusiasts Holly Fischer and Tami Attwell as they present on the Western New York frog program. This program will take place only if it is a calm, clear evening. Please call the office to check for an update if the weather is questionable. If the program is cancelled due to weather, then we have a backup date for Thursday, May 31st with the same start time and location. This activity is free and open to the public. Donations are gratefully accepted. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited so be sure to register by 4pm, Wednesday May 16th, 2018. (For information/register call 716-933-0187)

19 - Boating Safety Course by U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 3-1 at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) This is a required class for anyone born after May 1, 1996 if you want to operate a boat or jet ski. (For information/register call Martin Laufer at 390-7727 or mdl29@msn.com)

19 - Genesee Charter Boat Association 1st Annual FREE Kid Derby at the Summerville Breakwall, Club Terrace, Rochester NY (7:00 – 10:00 am) All kids and their parents are invited to come and fish. You will NOT need a fishing license to join the fun.  The Genesee Charter Boat Association has a free fishing permit! For information you will NOT need a fishing license to join the fun.  The Genesee Charter Boat Association has a free fishing permit! (For information email Captain Larry Hammond at captlarry@bullseyecharter.com)

19 - Outdoor Basics: Learn from the experts! at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. 11:00 am - Kayaking: From family fun to the tournament trail-choose the kayak that fits the fun; 2:30 pm - Paddle Sports Accessories: Life jackets, dry bags, and more for your next adventure and 3:30 pm -? Table Top Grilling: From campsites to tailgates, best results anywhere you grill. (For information call 716-608-4770)

20 - Outdoor Basics: Learn from the experts! at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. 1:30 pm - Fryers: Fryer function from fish to French fires and 3:00 pm - Dutch Ovens and Camp Cookware Basics: Campsite cooking with Dutch ovens and camp cookware. (For information call 716-608-4770)

20 - Erie County Teach-Me-To-Fish Event at the Bison City Rod & Gun Club, 511 Ohio Street, Buffalo, NY (2:00 – 5:00 pm) (For information call Dave Barus  716-597—4081)

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

 

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5 – 4 – 18

 

*TIP: WALLEYE FISHING:  Fishing methods will vary depending on the type of water you're fishing and the bait or lure being used, but a few things to keep in mind when after walleye are:

*Walleye tend to feed more actively under low light periods, such as just before and after sunset. Because of this, these low light periods are popular times for anglers to fish for walleye.

*Walleye are generally found within a foot or two of the bottom. There are exceptions to this, such as when walleye are feeding on alewives and suspend off bottom. But fishing near bottom is usually a good starting point.

*Unlike fishermen, walleye don't read the "how-to" books and are often found in some unusual locations at unusual times. It often pays to "think out of the box" when traditional methods or locations don't produce.        

 

*TIP #2: SEASON NOTICE: May 5 - Start of Statewide Fishing Season for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye (>3/15/19)

 

*LAKE ERIE: Most Lake Erie boat launches are now open for the season. There may still be some dredging occurring at Sturgeon Point Marina, so best to call ahead. Prior to this week's rough conditions, anglers were targeting yellow perch between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point in 50-60 feet of water. Perch catches have been modest at best so far. Using light action spinning rods with a split shot or two and a double hook, and emerald shiners, cast off the boat and slowly bring the minnow back to the boat. The boat spooks the perch away but by casting out you can reach the perch schooling up to prepare to spawn in the warmer shallow water. Walleye season kicks off tomorrow at 12:01 AM, but may be off to a slow start due to cooler-than-normal water temperatures. The nearshore shoals/shallows are typically productive when the season opens, with better action at night. Shorehaven Reef, Bournes Beach, Green Hills, Van Buren Bay, Evans Bar, off Hamburg and near the mouth of Smokes Creek are good spots to try. Trolling minnow-type stickbaits at around 2 mph over rocky areas in 6-15 feet of water is a typical program. With cool lake and harbor temperatures, there has been no sign of smallmouth bass influx into harbors yet. That could pick up any day.

 

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS Steelhead numbers were dwindling on the smallest streams, while catches remained decent to good on streams like Chautauqua, Eighteenmile and Buffalo Creeks. Cattaraugus Creek was back in fishable shape at the start of the week and provided a few days of excellent fishing, with some anglers reporting double digit catches! Last night's rain gave the small to medium streams a needed bump in flow, but has muddied Cattaraugus Creek waters. There are a good number of suckers also in and the steelhead that are dropping back have plenty to feed on. Sucker eggs, steelhead eggs and aquatic insects provide good amounts of food. Look for spawning suckers or steelhead and then look for drop backs feeding on eggs below them. Small yellow or orange death roe or steelhead stalker soft plastic beads have been the tickets. If the bead bite is slow, thread on a pink or white worm up to the bead and it mimics a small lamprey sucking on an egg – a trigger for steelhead. Marabou jigs have been very effective in black, olive and white in the lower ends of the tributaries for the immature springers and for drop backs. The Buffalo River has had slow but steady action in the lower end for the immature chromers. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and its tributaries. Steelhead smolts have recently been stocked in the Lake Erie tributaries. If caught, handle these small steelhead with care, so they may return to the creeks as large adults. Anglers have reported the occasional smallmouth bass hook-up in the tributaries. Bass numbers are set to jump with warming water temperatures. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

 

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Upper river waters are in good shape. Look for rainbow trout off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. Remember, bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only in the Niagara River north of the Peace Bridge, until regular season opens on third Saturday of June. There have been some dippers targeting smelt, but very few smelt have been caught so far. Water needs to warm up just a few more degrees to hit the optimal smelt dipping temperatures of 39-40 degrees.

 

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Steelhead fishing on the lower river has been excellent lately, with plenty of double digit catches. Try using minnows, egg sacs, MagLips and Kwikfish throughout the river, all fished off three-way rigs. With the large amount of bait in the river you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. (The walleye become legal tomorrow.) Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits for the steelhead. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass (catch and release) have done well, with some caught bass over 6 pounds! There has been some reports of a few smelt being taken, but most of the reports are showing very limited numbers if any at all. Water temps were around 37-38 degrees, so it won’t be long. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf. The NYPA fishing platform reopened last month and is now open from dawn until dusk. 

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: When weather has permitted, nearshore trollers have enjoyed great brown trout fishing inside 30 feet of water. Coho salmon catches have also been ramping up in the nearshore zone. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the mudline is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 75 to 125 feet back. Hot baits have been Fire Tiger Rapalas, Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. A mix of trout and salmon are available in 30-100 feet of water. Charter boats are starting to pick up the occasional king salmon. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2018. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries when conditions have permitted. Fishing pressure has been real light. Some fresh fish have been reported. The small to medium sized freestone streams are good options for the weekend. Eighteenmile is running a little high and stained, but is fishable. Oak Orchard Creek is also high with a slight stain and about 2 feet of visibility. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. The Olcott and Wilson Harbors have the launch docks in place. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch are showing at Olcott and Wilson Harbors and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor, low end of Twelvemile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

 

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Walleye season opens tomorrow and Chautauqua Lake walleye regulations are now the same as the state-wide regulations, minimum length of 15 inches and daily limit of 5. Targeting walleye in shallower areas near weedlines at night is a productive early season tactic. Boaters can troll with stickbaits or worm harnesses, or drift and work jigs with nightcrawlers. Shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets. Crappie fishing has been relatively slow for most anglers, with a few good hauls mixed in. That could very well change with warmer temperatures finally arriving. Target crappie in the canals, inlets and traditional open lake areas such as Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. The yellow perch on Chautauqua Lake have started biting again and the females have dropped their eggs, so the spawn should be about done. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. Ashville Bay has had active fishing and angler use at times, but now some of the areas available along the shoreline have been closed off due to excessive angling pressure/litter and other misdeeds. 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: Local trout streams are in good shape, however some of the larger trout streams may be slightly high and stained from rain. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. With the high-water events in WNY, the fish have had a chance to move. Try walking away from stocking points for your best chance at big fish. There are hatches of stoneflies, BWO and hendricksons happening and fly anglers are starting to see some surface action on dry flies late in the day. Sub-surface nymphs and buggers are a better bet most of the day. 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: Walleye and pike seasons start tomorrow. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CONESUS LAKE: Walleye and pike seasons have started (as of tomorrow). Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for the walleye and stickbaits and spoons for the pike. Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead, crappie and panfish.

 (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*HEMLOCK LAKE: No reports on current fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*CANADICE LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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: Walleye season is underway (as of tomorrow). Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs. The water is very clear now, so use watermelon seed or other green type plastic baits. If you find turbid water switch to green pumpkin or black. Moving baits such as a small crank bait, lipless crank bait or spinnerbait will work but make very slow presentations. Stick to the south end for some sizeable crappie and bluegills. Also hit the shoreline for bullhead. (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: Fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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. Remember it’s now catch and released. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer.  (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: Check out your shore fishing areas for bullhead and panfish. Also, pike and pickerel seasons are open (as of tomorrow). Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – perch in the Branchport arm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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: A few 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 good and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Fish the 120 – 155 foot level. 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 very cold.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  One angler, out of Long Point, reported an unusual catch – an estimated 40 – 50 pound, 41/2 – 5 foot long sturgeon. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. For the bird watcher – a good number of loons are being seen at the south end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

 

*SKANEATELES LAKE: Tributary trout fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Grout Brook at the southern end of the lake was one mentioned producing rainbows on egg sacs. Anglers getting out on the lake are catching yellow perch on small minnows at about 20 feet.

 

*OWASCO LAKE: Fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm. Try trolling in 170 foot of water along the west side of the lake. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Anglers are catching perch on the north end of the lake using fathead minnows; the bullhead bite has come on in the Inlet at the south end. Some black crappie are also being caught at the south end. No word on smelt runs. (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: Walleye and tiger musky season are open (as of tomorrow). Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits, spinnerbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for tigers. And worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. 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 success fishing from shore for perch and bass (catch& release). (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, some trout are still in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better, when the weather is colder, as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. Finger Lakes tributary fishing began on April 1st and there are special regulations that apply so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. For the fly fisherman some hatches of midges and small mayflies are starting. Some other waters where trout anglers are plying their skills are Cayuta Creek in Chemung and Schuyler counties; the Canisteo River in Steuben County; and Eldridge Lake and Park Station in Chemung County. All were scheduled to receive fish, while upcoming stockings were set for the Tioga County stretch of Cayuta Creek and Owego Creek (including its East Branch) in Tioga County. 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: Walleye season is open (as of Saturday) but the prospective catch rate is unknown but probably slow, because the water temperature is still cold. Good baits, once things heat up, are jigs, worm harnesses and crankbaits. As the water has lowered, anglers can fish from the bank again. They are starting to pickup bullhead and channel catfish from shore. No word on the crappie bite but this is generally a good time of year to start working the shoreline with small jigs or minnows. Some nice perch are being caught as well.

 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

 

*SANDY POND: Shore fishing for bullhead and panfish is a possibility. Also, with pike and walleye seasons open (as of Saturday), action should be picking up. Try stickbaits, spoons or large minnows fished under bobbers for the northern pike. For walleye, also try stickbaits along with jigs, and crankbaits. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No specific reports available. Fish species present are bluegill; pumpkinseed; smallmouth bass; largemouth bass; yellow perch; common carp; channel catfish; brown bullhead; crappie and walleye. Can you help provide fishing info? (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONEIDA LAKE: Walleye season opens tomorrow and so does the 40th Annual Walleye Fishing Derby on the Lake  offering more than $9,000 in cash and prizes. The walleye should still be in shallow water around stream or river mouths, or around shallow shoals. Try fishing black and purple hair jigs tipped with a night crawler. Anglers also are reporting some nice catches using Sonar lures (gold). 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. For anglers taking advantage of the catch and release bass season, try 5 to 10 foot of water with bass jigs, crankbaits or jerkbaits. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs. The Lock 23 area is reported as hot and Toad Harbor is improving using soft plastics.  Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year in Toad Harbor, but no reports yet. Bullhead are being taken along the south shore and in the bays, try worms or leeches. The walleye run has started at the Oneida Fish Hatchery, Constantia. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm for viewing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

 

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather is improving permitting boaters to work the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling near shore over depths of 6 to 30 feet, with stickbaits or small spoons continues to work well. Fishing with side planers, 75 to 100 feet back, has helped on the days with less wind, as has fishing early in the morning. Good colors have been black and silver, blue and silver, and lures with some orange on them (like fire tiger). There were reports from anglers that when cleaning some of the browns they have been finding round gobies in their stomach. So, it may pay to also try some goby colored baits. There have been a few Atlantic salmon, lake trout, coho and chinook salmon also caught by anglers targeting the brown trout. It is best to seek out slightly warmer and murky (but not muddy) waters off creek mouths. Be on the water early because when the sun gets higher the browns swim for cover. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

DEC requests your help with recovering heads from Coho Salmon caught in Lake Ontario beginning in 2018. We are comparing Coho Salmon stocking strategies by mass marking and/or tagging all stocked Coho Salmon in 2016-2018, and wild vs. stocked Coho Salmon by clipping adipose fins in 2016-2018. For more information on data to include with coho heads and freezer locations for drop-off, see Coho Salmon Head Collection page.

 

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: A few steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. The water levels are excellent at this time. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier if wind conditions cooperate. If there is no ice/wind you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Bay fishing has been excellent with the perch bite continuing to be great. The perch are in Sodus Bay on the northwest section near Arney’s Marina. The bullheads are hitting at the Bay Bridge, the south end of Sodus Bay. There was a good catch of crappies at the south end of Port Bay last week. They are suspended in 12 feet of water. You can also catch crappies at the launch site, casting out from the shore. They are also catching some perch from the north barrier bar shoreline. Crappies are hitting bright small jigs. The pike and walleye seasons start tomorrow and remember pike need to be 22 inches and you can keep three fish also you can keep three walleye at 18 inches or bigger. Those are Great Lakes regulations… which cover Wayne County waters. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters Park or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. The canal is the only body of water that is not affected by the wind. The crappie fishing is excellent in the canal. The whole Canal is on schedule to be filled May 18th. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

 

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  Look fair to good shore fishing for bullhead, perch and crappie along the shores of Long and Cranberry Ponds and the Bays. Walleye and northern pike are now legal (as of Saturday) and are good possibilities. Also, anglers can still try for trout off the piers at the mouth of the Genesee. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

 

*SALMON RIVER: The few anglers on the River are catching dropback steelhead on egg sacs and egg-imitating flies, with the upper river producing the most action. Anglers who are fly fishing have had the most success dead drifting with squirmy worms and egg patterns or swinging black and olive woolly buggers. The anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing have had the most success with blue egg sacs or pink worms. Anglers also reported having success at some of the smaller local tributaries. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone reopened April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

The draft Lower Salmon River Restoration and Recreation Enhancement Plan is currently available on DEC's website. DEC will accept comments until May 10, 2018. DEC also encourages the public to comment on the draft Salmon River Fisheries Management Plan, available on DEC's website.

 

*OSWEGO RIVER: The water flow has dropped over the last few days. This flow is good for boat fishing and makes more areas along the river accessible for shore fishing. Steelhead and brown trout are active throughout the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

 

*OTHER WATERS: The Chemung, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla Rivers are in good shape and walleye, tiger musky and muskellunge seasons are open. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. Bullhead, catfish and panfish offer good prospects. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout have been stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. In, addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian) and Newville Creek (Nunda).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

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

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

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - North Brook and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Durkee Park Pond, Merril Creek, East Br. Tioughnioga River, West Br. Tioughnioga River, and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of April 8th the following waters had been stocked: Butternut Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace Brook, Geddes Brook, Green Lake, Limestone Creek, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, Pools Brook, Skaneateles Creek, and Spafford Brook.

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and West Br. of Fish Creek.

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

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek and Fall Creek.

 

                                                                 >))))*>

 

 

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

MAY 2018

4 – End of Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County)

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

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

5 - Start of Statewide Fishing Season for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye (>3/15/19)

5 - Start of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County), the Chemung River and Tributaries and Tioga River (Chemung County) (>3/15/19)

5-6 - Oneida Lake Walleye Derby, sponsored by the Chittenango Lions Club. For more info go to www.Lionswalleyederby.org.

8 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - NE Lake Ontario Work Group at the Redwood Hill Preserve Trailside Learning Center, 44379 Stine Road, Redwood, NY (1:00 - 4:15 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Emily Sheridan, Emily.Sheridan@dec.ny.gov, 315-785-2382.)

9 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - SE Lake Ontario Work Group at the Fair Haven State Park, Sabin Hall, 14985 State Park Rd, Sterling, NY (10:00 am - 1:30 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Emily Sheridan, Emily.Sheridan@dec.ny.gov, 315-785-2382)

9 -13 - 2018 Wild Carp Classic – this event is sold out. Opening Ceremonies will be on May 9, 2018 with 50 teams registered. The winning team will be the one with the 10 largest carp over 50 pounds. The anglers will be fishing from spots along the river from the village of Baldwinsville down to Long Branch Park at Onondaga Lake. (For information email: Paul - paul@carpfishingny.com or Ginny - ginny@carpfishingny.com)

11-20 - Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby 2018. 1st of 3 LOC Derbies offering over $30,000 in cash and prizes with a grand prize of $15,000 for the largest overall Salmon caught. (For more information call 888-733-5246 or visit their website at www.loc.org.)

12 - FREE Kids Fishing Classes at the Oneida Lake Hatchery, Hatchery Road (off NY Route 49), Constantia, NY (11:00 am – 1:00 pm) Also carp fishing classes included. All bait and tackle provided FREE. (For information email mmcgrath2@twcny.com or srybaak@yahoo.com.)

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

 

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4 – 27 – 18

 

TIP: STRATEGIES FOR CATCHING MORE BLUEGILL: Worms, crickets, and other live bait will always catch bluegill, but if you want to catch more bluegill, switch to jigs. Bug-like jigs are great

imitations, and tiny is better than big. Tiny jigs can be more easily fished at the sluggish pace that sunfish prefer. These featherweight jigs snag less and can tempt fish that may not be hungry enough to chomp a big bait. Also, enticing, erratic retrieves are possible with tiny offerings that can’t be duplicated with bigger jigs. When bluegill get picky, matching their diet with a jig imitation can bring more action. Also remember that they may smell the jig before deciding to eat, so a panfish attractor scent, or tipping it with a maggot or worm piece, could help a lot. Bluegills love eating bugs, and jigs that mimic these tiny creatures will help you catch more bluegills.

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

 

TIP #2: 2018-19 FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS GUIDE: Anglers are reminded to obtain a copy of the new 2018-19 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide from any of the over 1250 sporting license agents in New York State. The 2018-9 guide highlights some of the top fishing waters in New York State. The guide can also be viewed or downloaded online.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Out in the lake, some perch action has been reported in 50 to 55 feet of water off Evangola State Park. Using light action spinning rods with a split shot or two and a double hook, and emerald shiners, cast off the boat and slowly bring the minnow back to the boat. The boat spooks the perch away but by casting out you can reach the perch schooling up to prepare to spawn in the warmer shallow water. Even if ice is present they will be there on the beach. Casting away from the boat will bring the perch closer as they follow the slow moving minnows. A side dock was installed at the state launch at Cattaraugus Creek, but the Hanover launch was dock-less. Sturgeon Point is silted in and is still a problem.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS A small run of medium to large fish came into the creeks last week with the high waters. These fish are picking gravel in some of the first areas of the creek that presents itself. There are a good number of suckers also in and the steelhead that are dropping back have plenty to feed on. Sucker eggs, steelhead eggs and aquatic insects provide good amounts of food. Look for spawning suckers or steelhead and then look for drop backs feeding on eggs below them. Small yellow or orange death roe or steelhead stalker soft plastic beads have been the tickets. If the bead bite is slow, thread on a pink or white worm up to the bead and it mimics a small lamprey sucking on an egg – a trigger for steelhead. Marabou jigs have been very effective in black, olive and white in the lower ends of the tributaries for the immature springers and for drop backs. Check out Sturgeon Point or Dunkirk Harbor for the spring fish schooling up emerald shiners. The Buffalo River has had slow but steady action in the lower end for the immature chromers. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and its tributaries. Steelhead smolts have recently been stocked in the Lake Erie tributaries. If caught, handle these small steelhead with care, so they may return to the creeks as large adults.

For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Upper river waters are in good shape and is mostly clear of ice. Look for rainbow trout off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. There have been some dippers targeting smelt, but very few smelt have been caught so far. Water needs to warm up just a few more degrees to hit the optimal smelt dipping temperatures of 39-40 degrees.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Trout action has been good for steelhead and lake trout using minnows, egg sacs, MagLips and Kwikfish throughout the river, all fished off three-way rigs. With the large amount of bait in the river you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15 and does not reopen until May 5. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. There was a report of some smelt taken along Artpark last week, but most of the reports are showing very limited numbers if any at all. Some of the boat captains have reported seeing large pods of baitfish showing up on their fish finders and they suspect smelt. Water temps were around 37-38 degrees as of Tuesday, so it won’t be long. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf.

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps, strong winds and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario, but this should change this coming week. When weather permits, it’s expected that the good brown trout bite will resume along the shoreline from Fort Niagara to Rochester. Steelhead and Coho are also available in the nearshore zone in 8-30 feet of water. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the mudline is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 75 to 125 feet back. Hot baits have been Fire Tiger Rapalas, Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries when conditions have permitted. Fishing pressure has been real light. Some fresh fish have been reported. The small to medium sized freestone streams are good options for the weekend. Eighteenmile is running a little high and stained, but is fishable. Oak Orchard Creek is also high with a slight stain and about 2 feet of visibility. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. The Olcott and Wilson Harbors have the launch docks in place. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch are showing at Olcott and Wilson Harbors and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor, low end of Twelvemile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Some anglers report decent crappie catches in Ashville Bay Marina. Light numbers of crappie are showing in other marina and canal locations, along with decent numbers of perch. Look for improved crappie action in the canals when warmer temperatures arrive. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. Ashville Bay has had active fishing and angler use at times, but now some of the areas available along the shoreline have been closed off due to excessive angling pressure/litter and other misdeeds. 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: Local trout streams are running at high levels and they are muddy. The smaller streams are the best bet for fishable conditions until next week. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. With the high-water events in WNY, the fish have had a chance to move. Try walking away from stocking points for your best chance at big fish. Bigger flies have been moving and catching fish in high water. Olive, brown and white are best bets when using streamers. Some dark BWO's and Hendrickson hatches have been documented as well. 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: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. Pike may be closed for fishing, but if you are into fish watching get to the Inlet as the northern swim to their spawning grounds. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: No reports on current fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, crappie and perch. (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: Fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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. Remember it’s now catch and released. Yellow perch and bluegills were hitting in shallow water for anglers using minnows and small jigs. Try fishing either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – perch in the Branchport arm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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: A few 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 good and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair at the south end. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. Fish the 120 – 155 foot level. 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 very cold.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  One angler, out of Long Point, reported an unusual catch – an estimated 40 – 50 pound, 41/2 – 5 foot long sturgeon. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. For the bird watcher – a good number of loons are being seen at the south end. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: Tributary trout fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Grout Brook at the southern end of the lake was one mentioned producing rainbows on egg sacs. Anglers getting out on the lake are catching yellow perch on small minnows at about 20 feet.

OWASCO LAKE: Fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, some trout are still in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better, when the weather is colder, as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. Finger Lakes tributary fishing began on April 1st and there are special regulations that apply so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. For the fly fisherman some hatches of midges and small mayflies are starting. Some other waters where trout anglers are plying their skills are Cayuta Creek in Chemung and Schuyler counties; the Canisteo River in Steuben County; and Eldridge Lake and Park Station in Chemung County. All were scheduled to receive fish, while upcoming stockings were set for the Tioga County stretch of Cayuta Creek and Owego Creek (including its East Branch) in Tioga County. 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: Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. A reminder walleye season is closed won’t reopen until May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A reminder, walleye and northern pike seasons are closed won’t reopen until May 5.

(Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: Winds and rain have limited action the last few weeks but that will hopefully change this next week. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs. The Lock 23 area is reported as hot and Toad Harbor is improving using soft plastics. The walleye run has started at the Oneida Fish Hatchery, Constantia. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm for viewing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, a few boaters have been working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. The Pultneyville area is reported as having better prospects. Trolling with smaller stickbaits and spoons run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Natural colors seem to be working better at the moment, that may change if we get a lot of off colored water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water and work the mudlines. Watch out for floating debris. A few browns are also being taken by anglers casting spoons from piers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: A few steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. The water levels are excellent at this time. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier if wind conditions cooperate. If there is no ice/wind you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: The bullheads are finally starting to hit at Bay Bridge, the south end of Sodus Bay. Temperatures were in the 70’s yesterday, which helps the run. Rain predicted for later this week should also start the bite. Perch fishing has been productive along the west side of Sodus. There was a good catch of crappies at the south end of Port Bay last week. They are suspended in 12 feet of water. You can also catch crappies at the launch site, casting out from the shore. They are also catching some perch from the north barrier bar shoreline. Launch at the south ramp at fish along the until you find the schools. Crappies are hitting bright small jigs. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters Park or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. The canal is the only body of water that is not affected by the wind. The crappie fishing is excellent in the canal. The whole Canal is on schedule to be filled May 18th. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  It’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. Perch are spawning. Jigs with spikes or worms are producing some success. Waters are high and stained. The beginning of the week should see conditions a little better. Check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SALMON RIVER: The river flow is up. The driftboats have been taking advantage of the higher flows and floating most of the river. A few bank anglers are fishing the lower end of the river, but the majority of them are fishing the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. For those anglers who are not comfortable with the current water level, some of the smaller local tributaries are another option. Earlier in the week anglers who were fly fishing had the most success dead drifting with pink San Juan worms and squirmy worms or fishing with egg patterns. Anglers who were float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs or pink worms. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone reopened April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

The draft Lower Salmon River Restoration and Recreation Enhancement Plan is currently available on DEC's website. DEC will accept comments until May 10, 2018. DEC also encourages the public to comment on the draft Salmon River Fisheries Management Plan, available on DEC's website.

OSWEGO RIVER: With the higher water level and variable winds there is not much to report on the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: Just a reminder that walleye, northern pike, tiger musky and chain pickerel seasons are closed. They reopen on May 5th. There is no information to report this week as the rivers are high and will likely not be any reports till walleye season opens. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout have been stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. In, addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian) and Newville Creek (Nunda).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

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

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

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - North Brook and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Durkee Park Pond, Merril Creek, East Br. Tioughnioga River, West Br. Tioughnioga River, and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of April 8th the following waters had been stocked: Butternut Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace Brook, Geddes Brook, Green Lake, Limestone Creek, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, Pools Brook, Skaneateles Creek, and Spafford Brook.

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and West Br. of Fish Creek.

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

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek and Fall Creek.

 

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

APRIL 2018

28 - NY BASS Nation - Take a Soldier Fishing at Oneida Shores Park 9400 Bartell Road • Brewerton, NY (8:30 am – 1:00 pm) The event provides a soldier assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Fort Drum an opportunity to enjoy a day of free fishing on Oneida Lake. Over 100 boat captains volunteer to take out 170 soldiers on the water annually. The soldiers will be paired two to a boat with the volunteer captains for a half day of fishing. When they will return to Oneida Shores for the official weigh-in. After the weigh-in, all participants will be treated to a free, BBQ-style luncheon, followed by awards and prizes for the biggest fish caught in several categories: bowfin, carp, catfish, drum and panfish (perch, bluegill and rock bass). (For information call 315-408-7622)

28 - 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)

28 - Outdoor Skills Workshop For Women at the Dewitt Fish and Game Club, Woodchuck Hill Road, Dewitt, NY  Introductory classes include archery, rifle, shotgun, fishing, camping, map and compass and many more. This is a free event but pre-registration is required as space is limited and it fills quickly. Offered by Women in Nature (WIN), and the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. (For more information or to register, go to http://www.federationofsportsmen.com/wp/)

28 - Pompey Rod & Gun Club Show at the Club, Swift Road, Pompey, NY (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (For more info call Robert Fallert 315-656-8810.)

28 - Cabela’s Ladies’ Day Out at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. (11:00 am – 3:00 pm) - ** The Perfect Bow - Stop by the Archery Range to find a new bow with a perfect fit. Plus, test your archery skills in the range for a chance to win a cool prize! ** Handgun Basics - Maybe you're on the fence about owning a handgun, or perhaps you're weighing your options and looking for the perfect fit. We'll break down the basics and help you find your perfect match. ** Work Sharp Demo - Having a sharp knife saves you time. We'll show you how to properly sharpen a knife, whether it's a serrated or a regular blade, a hunting knife or one of your kitchen knives. Pick up on common sharpening practices along with other maintenance tips. Plus, thanks to our friends at Work Sharp, join us for a chance to win a new Work Sharp sharpener. ** Casting Perfection - Our professional Outfitters will show you everything you need to know from equipment to the proper techniques to get you casting in no time. (For information call 716-608-4770)

29-30 - Greater Wellsville Trout Derby, Genesee River. (For information/register go online to www.Trout-Derby.com.)

MAY 2018

2 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - Lake Erie Work Group at the Lackawanna Public Library, 560 Ridge Rd, Lackawanna, NY (1:00 – 4:15 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA).  Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding.  RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070)

3 -  Great Lakes Action Agenda - SW Lake Ontario Work Group at the Tinker Nature Park, Hansen Nature Center, 1525 Calkins Road, Pittsford, NY (9:00 am – 12:15 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA).  Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding.  RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070)

3 – Fly Fishing for Bass at the Monroe County Powder Mill Park Fish Hatchery, 115 Park Rd, Pittsford, NY (7:00 pm) The presentation by Kirk Klingensmith (President of Twin Tiers Five Rivers chapter of Fly Fishers International) is intended to overview bass fly fishing – for both smallmouth and largemouth. His advice will be helpful to our local waters – but will also introduce to some exceptional watersheds in the Twin Tiers regions. Kirk will cover bass behavior, techniques, fly selection, and successful approaches. (For information call Jeff Jakubowski 585-413-7087)

4 – End of Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County)

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

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

5 - Start of Statewide Fishing Season for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye (>3/15/19)

5 - Start of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County), the Chemung River and Tributaries and Tioga River (Chemung County) (>3/15/19)

5 - Montezuma Audubon Center’s 12th Annual Wildlife Festival at the Montezuma Audubon Center, Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) KrittrKris & Feathered Friends, Kindred Kingdoms Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and Wildlife Rockstars will deliver animal programs throughout the day featuring owls, hawks, falcons, and mammals. Festival goers can get up close to these amazing animals, learn about their wild characteristics, and take a selfie! Another highlight of the festival will be the Wild Zone featuring fun for all ages. Everyone will love getting a bird’s eye view while climbing the 24 foot rock wall that offers different skill levels, from novice to expert, and provides a thrilling challenge. The professional magician and good-natured dean of green, Professor GreenPockets, will entertain audiences during the “Performing Bug Show” and “Magic of the Forest,” fun and enjoyable shows that promote habitat conservation, birds and other wildlife, and the protection of endangered species. Children will also enjoy jumping in the huge bounce house, making nature crafts and stained glass art, building a bluebird box, playing nature games and winning prizes! Wildlife enthusiasts can also fish their way to the backyard bass game and then fly over to see the dragons in the pond!  (Festival admission is $5/person, $20/family.) (For information call 315-365-3588, visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

5-6 - Oneida Lake Walleye Derby, sponsored by the Chittenango Lions Club. For more info go to www.Lionswalleyederby.org.

 

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4 – 20 – 18

 

*TIP: First, sunny, windless days are a great time to go for species like crappie, bluegill and smallmouth bass (catch and release). The shine from above and the glassy surface allows you to see into the water. With this ability to see, however, also comes the ability of the fish to see you. Get used to making long casts toward potentially wary fish, and make sure you wear nondescript, earth-colored clothing to keep yourself camouflaged. Some anglers will also wear fish masks. When fly-fishing for carp, make sure you have plenty of insect repellent as well, because frequently you’ll crawl to a creek edge in search of these extremely cautious fish.

 

*TIP #2: 2018-19 FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS GUIDE: Anglers are reminded to obtain a copy of the new 2018-19 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide from any of the over 1250 sporting license agents in New York State. The 2018-9 guide highlights some of the top fishing waters in New York State. The guide can also be viewed or downloaded online.

 

*TIP #3: RECORD FISH: In 2017, two anglers qualified for record-breaking catches. Eric Scordo caught a 35 lb. 3 oz. channel catfish from Lake Ontario (Jefferson County) on April 29, 2017, and Jason Bair caught a 36-lb. freshwater drum from Oneida Lake (Oneida County) on June 16, 2017. Further information on DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form can be found on DEC's website. Full program details and an entry form can also be found in DEC's Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Early spring perch, from ice off to end of spawning, can be found in shallow water, like ten foot of water and less. Using light action spinning rods with a split shot or two and a double hook, and emerald shiners, cast off the boat and slowly bring the minnow back to the boat. The boat spooks the perch away but by casting out you can reach the perch schooling up to prepare to spawn in the warmer shallow water. Even if ice is present they will be there on the beach. Casting away from the boat will bring the perch closer as they follow the slow moving minnows.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Lake Erie tributaries are all blown out right now due to excessive rains from Silver Creek to Buffalo. Even the hard bottom streams like Walnut Creek and Silver Creek have been running high and dirty lately, but showed signs of clearing. Cattaraugus Creek remains high and muddy. Steelhead fishing had been pretty good in all creeks and the consistently cold weather will extend steelhead fishing opportunities. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and its tributaries. In the tribs, there is a mix of spawning and drop-back steelhead, with some suckers too. A push of fresh fish is possible as stream levels drop. Target the steelhead in the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float work the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. Steelhead smolts have recently been stocked in the Lake Erie tributaries. If caught, handle these small steelhead with care, so they may return to the creeks as large adults.

For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Upper river waters are in good shape and is mostly clear of ice. Look for rainbow trout off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Ice could impact fishing on the lower river. The NYPA fishing platform will reopen tomorrow the 21st. Once back to normal, the lower river trout bite should resume. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15 and does not reopen until May 5. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. There was a report of some smelt taken along Artpark this week, but most of the reports are showing very limited numbers if any at all. Some of the boat captains have reported seeing large pods of baitfish showing up on their fish finders and they suspect smelt. Water temps were around 37-38 degrees as of Tuesday, so it won’t be long. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps, strong winds and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario, but this should change this coming week. When weather permits, it’s expected that the good brown trout bite will resume along the shoreline from Fort Niagara to Rochester. Steelhead and Coho are also available in the nearshore zone in 8-30 feet of water. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the mudline is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 75 to 125 feet back. Hot baits have been Fire Tiger Rapalas, Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries when conditions have permitted. Fishing pressure has been real light. Some fresh fish have been reported. The small to medium sized freestone streams are good options for the weekend. Eighteenmile is running a little high and stained, but is fishable. Oak Orchard Creek is also high with a slight stain and about 2 feet of visibility. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. The Olcott and Wilson Harbors have the launch docks in place. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch are showing at Olcott and Wilson Harbors and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor, low end of Twelvemile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Some anglers report decent crappie catches in Ashville Bay Marina. Light numbers of crappie are showing in other marina and canal locations, along with decent numbers of perch. Some canals are skimming over with ice on colder nights. Look for improved crappie action in the canals when warmer temperatures arrive. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well for crappie. Look for bullhead along shorelines, especially during low light periods. Ashville Bay has had active fishing and angler use at times, but now some of the areas available along the shoreline have been closed off due to excessive angling pressure/litter and other misdeeds. 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: Local trout streams are running at high levels and they are muddy. The smaller streams are the best bet for fishable conditions until next week. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. With the high-water events in WNY, the fish have had a chance to move. Try walking away from stocking points for your best chance at big fish. Bigger flies have been moving and catching fish in high water. Olive, brown and white are best bets when using streamers. Some dark BWO's and Hendrickson hatches have been documented as well. 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: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. Pike may be closed for fishing, but if you are into fish watching get to the Inlet as the northern swim to their spawning grounds. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

A Public Information Session on Habitat Management Plans for Conesus Inlet and Honeoye Creek Wildlife Management Areas in Towns of Conesus and Richmond is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the conference room at the DEC Region 8 Headquarters, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon. An open house is scheduled for 6:30 - 7 p.m., followed by a formal presentation. For more information about this event call (585) 226-5383.

*HEMLOCK LAKE: No reports on current fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, crappie and perch. (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: Fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: Laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – perch in the Branchport arm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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: A few 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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 good and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. 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 very cold.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  One angler, out of Long Point, reported an unusual catch – an estimated 40 – 50 pound, 41/2 – 5 foot long sturgeon. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open for the season, and one dock is in. Tributary trout fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Grout Brook at the southern end of the lake was one mentioned producing rainbows on egg sacs. Anglers getting out on the lake are catching yellow perch on small minnows. (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: Fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, trout are in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better, when the weather is colder, as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. Finger Lakes tributary fishing began on April 1st and there are special regulations that apply so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Some other waters where trout anglers are plying their skills are Cayuta Creek in Chemung and Schuyler counties; the Canisteo River in Steuben County; and Eldridge Lake and Park Station in Chemung County. All were scheduled to receive fish, while upcoming stockings were set for the Tioga County stretch of Cayuta Creek and Owego Creek (including its East Branch) in Tioga County. 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: Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. A reminder walleye season is closed won’t reopen until May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A reminder, walleye and northern pike seasons are closed won’t reopen until May 5.

(Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: Winds and rain have limited action the last few weeks but that will hopefully change this next week. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs. The Lock 23 area is reported as hot and Toad Harbor is improving using soft plastics. The walleye run has started at the Oneida Fish Hatchery, Constantia. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm for viewing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, a few boaters have been working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. The Pultneyville area is reported as having better prospects. Trolling with smaller stickbaits and spoons run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water and work the mudlines. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. The water levels are excellent at this time. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier if wind conditions cooperate. If there is no ice/wind you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: Still waiting on the bullhead bite, which is late because of cold water and frigid temperatures. Bullhead will be hitting the month of May. You can fish on Bay Bridge, the southern end of Sodus Bay. Perch fishing was productive, however not many boats have been on the bays. (Too windy)

There was a good catch of crappies at the south end of Port Bay early last week. Launch at the south ramp at fish along the west shoreline until you find the schools. Crappies are hitting bright small jigs. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters Park or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. The canal is the only body of water that is not affected by the wind. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. The whole Canal is on schedule to be filled May 18th. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  It’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. Perch are spawning. Jigs with spikes or worms are producing some success. Waters are high and stained. The beginning of the week should see conditions a little better. Check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SALMON RIVER: The river flow is up. The driftboats have been taking advantage of the higher flows and floating most of the river. A few bank anglers are fishing the lower end of the river, but the majority of them are fishing the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. For those anglers who are not comfortable with the current water level, some of the smaller local tributaries are another option. Earlier in the week anglers who were fly fishing had the most success dead drifting with pink San Juan worms and squirmy worms or indicator fishing with egg patterns. Anglers who were float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs or pink worms. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone reopened April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

The draft Lower Salmon River Restoration and Recreation Enhancement Plan is currently available on DEC's website. DEC will accept comments until May 10, 2018 and staff will be available to answer questions and explain the plan during an open house on Thursday, April 26, 2018. The public is welcome to stop by any time from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at DEC's Salmon River Fish Hatchery, 2133 County Route 22, Altmar, NY 13302.

DEC also encourages the public to comment on the draft Salmon River Fisheries Management Plan, available on DEC's website.

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the higher water level and variable winds there was not much to report on the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: Just a reminder that walleye, northern pike, tiger musky and chain pickerel seasons are closed. They reopen on May 5th. There is no information to report this week as the rivers are high again and will likely not be any reports till walleye season opens. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout have been stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. In, addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian) and Newville Creek (Nunda).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

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

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

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - North Brook and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Durkee Park Pond, Merril Creek, East Br. Tioughnioga River, West Br. Tioughnioga River, and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of April 8th the following waters had been stocked: Butternut Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace Brook, Geddes Brook, Green Lake, Limestone Creek, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, Pools Brook, Skaneateles Creek, and Spafford Brook.

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and West Br. of Fish Creek.

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

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek and Fall Creek.

 

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

APRIL 2018

21 - First Annual Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show at the Clarion Hotel Marina & Conference Center, 30 Lake Shore Dr E, Dunkirk, NY (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) (For information call 716-366-3000 ext. 420 or email mpatton@observertoday.com.)

21 - Southtowns Walleye Club Fundraiser at the Club, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, NY. (4:00 – 6:00 pm) This event is for the benefit the New York State Conservation Council. (For information and tickets contact Dan at 716-655-0975.)

21 - Bison City Rod & Gun Flea Market at the Club, 511 Ohio St, Buffalo, NY (8:00 am – 1:30 pm) Admission free, Tables are free on a first come basis, Setup will begin at 7 AM. Bring your old, used or new sporting equipment to sell. Due to NY Safe Act, no guns may be displayed or sold. Loading equipment and components may be sold (powder, shot, primers, brass and bullets), live ammo may be sold: shotgun, pistol and rifle. (For information call: Fred Langdon or Willie Sieber at 716- 260-3240)

21 - Boating Safety Course by U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 3-1 at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) This is a required class for anyone born after May 1, 1996 if you want to operate a boat or jet ski. (For information/register call Martin Laufer at 390-7727 or mdl29@msn.com)

24 - A public information session to provide information on the completed habitat management plans for Conesus Inlet Wildlife Management Area (WMA), in the Town of Conesus, Livingston County, and Honeoye Creek WMA, in the Town of Richmond, Ontario County at the DEC Region 8 Headquarters, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY. (6:30 – 8:00 pm) The habitat management plan for Conesus Inlet WMA can be found on DEC's website. The habitat management plan for Honeoye Creek WMA can be found on DEC's website. (For more information about this event please call 585-226-5383.)

28 - NY BASS Nation - Take a Soldier Fishing at Oneida Shores Park 9400 Bartell Road • Brewerton, NY (8:30 am – 1:00 pm) The event provides a soldier assigned to the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Fort Drum an opportunity to enjoy a day of free fishing on Oneida Lake. Over 100 boat captains volunteer to take out 170 soldiers on the water annually. The soldiers will be paired two to a boat with the volunteer captains for a half day of fishing. When they will return to Oneida Shores for the official weigh-in. After the weigh-in, all participants will be treated to a free, BBQ-style luncheon, followed by awards and prizes for the biggest fish caught in several categories: bowfin, carp, catfish, drum and panfish (perch, bluegill and rock bass). (For information call 315-408-7622)

28 - 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)

28 - Outdoor Skills Workshop For Women at the Dewitt Fish and Game Club, Woodchuck Hill Road, Dewitt, NY  Introductory classes include archery, rifle, shotgun, fishing, camping, map and compass and many more. This is a free event but pre-registration is required as space is limited and it fills quickly. Offered by Women in Nature (WIN), and the Onondaga County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. (For more information or to register, go to http://www.federationofsportsmen.com/wp/)

28 - Cabela’s Ladies’ Day Out at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. (11:00 am – 3:00 pm) - ** The Perfect Bow - Stop by the Archery Range to find a new bow with a perfect fit. Plus, test your archery skills in the range for a chance to win a cool prize! ** Handgun Basics - Maybe you're on the fence about owning a handgun, or perhaps you're weighing your options and looking for the perfect fit. We'll break down the basics and help you find your perfect match. ** Work Sharp Demo - Having a sharp knife saves you time. We'll show you how to properly sharpen a knife, whether it's a serrated or a regular blade, a hunting knife or one of your kitchen knives. Pick up on common sharpening practices along with other maintenance tips. Plus, thanks to our friends at Work Sharp, join us for a chance to win a new Work Sharp sharpener. ** Casting Perfection - Our professional Outfitters will show you everything you need to know from equipment to the proper techniques to get you casting in no time. (For information call 716-608-4770)

29-30 - Greater Wellsville Trout Derby, Genesee River. (For information/register go online to www.Trout-Derby.com.)

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

 

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4 – 13 – 18

 

TIP: PLANNING A FAMILY FISHING TRIP:  When you plan a family fishing trip, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. The trip should be all about spending time with your family in the great outdoors. Catching fish is a bonus. All you need to plan an enjoyable trip is a simple, easy-to-use fishing outfit and some live bait. Have the kids help dig worms or catch crickets as part of the experience.  Kids get a kick out of carefully watching their bobbers—even the slightest movement gets them excited. They’ll love the experience, but they will also want to reel in something. After 10 or 15 minutes, if you are not catching fish, move to a different location until you find them. If for some reason the fish aren’t biting, stop fishing and teach the kids how to skip a rock, catch a crawdad, pick wildflowers, or take a hike. All of these things add excitement to the trip and create lasting family memories.

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

 

TIP #2: RENEW YOUR FISHING LICENSE: Now that your annual fishing license is good for 365 days from the date of purchase, it is very easy to forget when it expires. Be sure to check the expiration date before heading out. Anglers desiring to receive an e-mail reminder to renew their fishing license each year should be sure to add their e-mail address to their DECALS profile. This can be done online or by calling the DEC Call Center at 1-866-933-2257 (M-F 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM).

 

TIP #3: 2018-19 FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS GUIDE: Anglers are reminded to obtain a copy of the new 2018-19 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide from any of the over 1250 sporting license agents in New York State. The 2018-9 guide highlights some of the top fishing waters in New York State. The guide can also be viewed or downloaded online.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Early spring perch, from ice off to end of spawning, can be found in shallow water, like ten foot of water and less. Using light action spinning rods with a split shot or two and a double hook, and emerald shiners, cast off the boat and slowly bring the minnow back to the boat. The boat spooks the perch away but by casting out you can reach the perch schooling up to prepare to spawn in the warmer shallow water. Even if ice is present they will be there on the beach. Casting away from the boat will bring the perch closer as they follow the slow moving minnows.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Most creeks are back to (or almost) a fishable level following a big bump at mid-week. Cattaraugus Creek is the exception with higher and muddy conditions. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good in all creeks and this consistently cold weather will extend steelhead fishing opportunities through April. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and its tributaries. In the tribs, there is a mix of spawning and drop-back steelhead, with some suckers too. A push of fresh fish is possible as stream levels drop. Target the steelhead in the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float work the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. Steelhead smolts have recently been stocked in the Lake Erie tributaries. If caught, handle these small steelhead with care, so they may return to the creeks as large adults.

For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Removal of the ice boom at the head of the river is underway, allowing the remaining Lake Erie ice to make its way down the river. Floating ice will limit fishing opportunities in at least the upper river for the time being. Once conditions resume normal look for rainbow trout off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Ice could impact fishing on the lower river. The NYPA fishing platform remains closed due to high water and will remain closed until further notice. Call 716-796-0135 ext. 45 for updates on the fishing platform. Once back to normal, the lower river trout bite should resume. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15 and does not reopen until May 5. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. There is no sign of smelt yet, not surprising considering water temperatures in the mid-30s. Look for smelt to move close to shore when river temps hit 39-40 degrees. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario. When conditions permit, brown trout, steelhead and Coho are available in the nearshore zone in 8-30 feet of water. Some groups put up double digit trout catches. With the northerly winds, the shoreline has a distinct mudline. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the line is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 100 to 125 feet back. Hot baits have been Fire Tiger Rapalas, Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries when conditions have permitted. Fishing pressure has been real light. Some fresh fish have been reported. The small to medium sized freestone streams are good options for the weekend. Eighteenmile is running a little high and stained, but is fishable. Oak Orchard Creek remains at a moderate level with a slight stain and about 2 feet of visibility.. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. The Olcott and Wilson Harbors have the launch docks in place. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch are showing at Olcott Harbor and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor, low end of Twelvemile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: There is still some floating ice around the lake's northern basin, going where the wind will take it. The south basin is ice free. Anglers report decent crappie catches in Ashville Bay Marina. Light numbers of crappie are showing in other marina and canal locations, along with decent numbers of perch. Some canals are skimming over with ice on colder nights. Look for improved crappie action in the canals when warmer temperatures arrive. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well 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: Local trout streams are running at high levels and they are muddy. The smallest streams are the best bet for fishable conditions. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. Pike may be closed for fishing, but if you are into fish watching get to the Inlet as the northern swim to their spawning grounds. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, crappie and perch. (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: Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – perch in the Branchport arm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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: On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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: On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. 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 very cold.  Anglers had 37 to 38 degree water today in most areas.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  One angler, out of Long Point, reported an unusual catch – an estimated 40 – 50 pound, 41/2 – 5 foot long sturgeon. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open for the season, and one dock is in. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Grout Brook at the southern end of the lake was one mentioned producing rainbows on egg sacs. Anglers getting out on the lake are catching yellow perch on small minnows. (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: Fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, trout are in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. Finger Lakes tributary fishing began on April 1st and there are special regulations that apply so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Some other waters where trout anglers are plying their skills are Cayuta Creek in Chemung and Schuyler counties; the Canisteo River in Steuben County; and Eldridge Lake and Park Station in Chemung County. All were scheduled to receive fish, while upcoming stockings were set for the Tioga County stretch of Cayuta Creek and Owego Creek (including its East Branch) in Tioga County. 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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. A reminder walleye season is closed won’t reopen until May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A reminder, walleye and northern pike seasons are closed won’t reopen until May 5.

(Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: We are back to boat or shoreline fishing, the ice is reported as gone. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution especially next week when the temps are supposed to rise. The walleye run has started at the Oneida Fish Hatchery, Constantia. The hatchery is open to the public from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm for viewing. (Lake Profile -
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: Weather permitting, a few boaters have been working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. The Pultneyville area is reported as having better prospects. Trolling with smaller stickbaits and spoons run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water and work the mudlines. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. The water levels are excellent at this time. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: The crappies are hitting at Bay Bridge at the south end of Sodus Bay. You can fish the open water behind Bay Bridge Sport Shop. It’s still early for the bullhead bite, however when they start hitting, the best place to fish is off the bridge. If the winds are calm you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay, but you have to search for them. This is the case on Little Sodus and Fair Haven also. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. If you launch at the south end, you can fish for crappies half-way up the narrows. Crappies are suspended and will hit small bright jigs tipped with spikes. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters Park or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. The whole Canal is is on schedule to be filled May 18th. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  It’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. Perch are ready to spawn. Jigs with spikes or worms are producing. Check out your bullhead spots. They should be getting active. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SALMON RIVER: The river flow is up. The driftboats have been taking advantage of the higher flows and floating most of the river. A few bank anglers are fishing the lower end of the river, but the majority of them are fishing the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. For those anglers who are not comfortable with the current water level, some of the smaller local tributaries are another option. Earlier in the week anglers who were fly fishing had the most success dead drifting with pink San Juan worms and squirmy worms or indicator fishing with egg patterns. Anglers who were float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs or pink worms. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone reopened April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: With the higher water level and verible winds there was not much to report on the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: Just a reminder that walleye, northern pike, tiger musky and chain pickerel seasons are closed. They reopen on May 5th. There is no information to report this week as the rivers are high again and will likely not be any reports till walleye season opens. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout have been stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. In, addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monroe County: Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian) and Newville Creek (Nunda).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek.

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

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

Broome County - Oquaga Creek, Chenango Lake, Dudley Creek, East Branch Nanticoke Creek, and Nanticoke Creek.

Cayuga County - North Brook and Fall Creek.

Cortland County - Durkee Park Pond, Merril Creek, East Br. Tioughnioga River, West Br. Tioughnioga River, and the Otselic River.

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of April 8th the following waters had been stocked: Butternut Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace Brook, Geddes Brook, Green Lake, Limestone Creek, Ninemile Creek, Onondaga Creek, Pools Brook, Skaneateles Creek, and Spafford Brook.

Oswego County - Black Creek, Rice Creek and West Br. of Fish Creek.

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

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek and Fall Creek.

 

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

APRIL 2018

14-15 - Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) (For information call Jim Miller 716-938-6928.)

21 - First Annual Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show at the Clarion Hotel Marina & Conference Center, 30 Lake Shore Dr E, Dunkirk, NY (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) (For information call 716-366-3000 ext. 420 or email mpatton@observertoday.com.)

21 - Southtowns Walleye Club Fundraiser at the Club, 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, NY. (4:00 – 6:00 pm) This event is for the benefit the New York State Conservation Council. (For information and tickets contact Dan at 716-655-0975.)

21 - Bison City Rod & Gun Flea Market at the Club, 511 Ohio St, Buffalo, NY (8:00 am – 1:30 pm) Admission free, Tables are free on a first come basis, Setup will begin at 7 AM. Bring your old, used or new sporting equipment to sell. Due to NY Safe Act, no guns may be displayed or sold. Loading equipment and components may be sold (powder, shot, primers, brass and bullets), live ammo may be sold: shotgun, pistol and rifle. (For information call: Fred Langdon or Willie Sieber at 716- 260-3240)

21 - Boating Safety Course by U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 3-1 at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) This is a required class for anyone born after May 1, 1996 if you want to operate a boat or jet ski. (For information/register call Martin Laufer at 390-7727 or mdl29@msn.com)

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

 

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4 – 6 – 18

 

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

 

*TIP #2: RENEW YOUR FISHING LICENSE: Now that your annual fishing license is good for 365 days from the date of purchase, it is very easy to forget when it expires. Be sure to check the expiration date before heading out. Anglers desiring to receive an e-mail reminder to renew their fishing license each year should be sure to add their e-mail address to their DECALS profile. This can be done online or by calling the DEC Call Center at 1-866-933-2257 (M-F 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM).

 

*TIP #: 2018 FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS GUIDE: Anglers are reminded to obtain a copy of the new 2018 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide from any of the over 1250 sporting license agents in New York State. The 2018 guide highlights some of the top fishing waters in New York State. The guide can also be viewed or downloaded online.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Anglers at Dunkirk Harbor pier continue to report good steelhead catches. Casting spoons and spinners is a good bet. A few trout generally show in Barcelona as well. For the trout try jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows. In other areas it’s back to boat or shoreline fishing. The inner Buffalo Harbor is now ice free. Yellow perch are usually cooperative in the harbor right after ice out.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Most creeks are back to (or almost) a fishable level following a big bump at mid-week. Cattaraugus Creek is the exception with higher and muddy conditions. Steelhead fishing has been pretty good in all creeks and this consistently cold weather will extend steelhead fishing opportunities through April. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and its tributaries. In the tribs, there is a mix of spawning and drop-back steelhead, with some suckers too. A push of fresh fish is possible as stream levels drop. Target the steelhead in the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float work the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Wednesday's high winds pushed tons of ice through, over and around the ice boom at the head of the Niagara River. The upper and lower Niagara River is currently packed full of ice and fishing is on hold until that ice clears. Once conditions resume normal look for rainbow trout off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Wednesday's high winds pushed tons of ice through, over and around the ice boom at the head of the Niagara River. The upper and lower Niagara River is currently packed full of ice and fishing is on hold until that ice clears. The NYPA fishing platform was closed on 4/4 due to high water and remains closed until further notice. Call 716-796-0135 ext. 45 for updates on the fishing platform. Once back to normal, the lower river trout bite should resume. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15 and does not reopen until May 5.. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario lately. When conditions permit, brown trout, steelhead and Coho are available in the nearshore zone in 8-40 feet of water. Some groups put up double digit trout catches. With the northerly winds, the shoreline has a distinct mudline. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the line is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 100 to 125 feet back. Hot baits have been Fire Tiger Rapalas, Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries when conditions have permitted. Some fresh fish have been reported. The small to medium sized freestone streams are good options for the weekend. Eighteenmile is running a little high and stained, but is fishable. Oak Orchard Creek remains high and stained with poor visibility. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. The Olcott and Wilson Harbors have the launch docks in place. Spring casting at pier sites is often productive for trout. Spoons and spinners are a good bet. Yellow perch are showing at Olcott Harbor and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor, low end of Twelvemile Creek and Oak Orchard Creek. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: There is still some floating ice around the lake's northern basin, going where the wind will take it. The south basin is ice free. Anglers report decent crappie catches in Ashville Bay Marina. Light numbers of crappie are showing in other marina and canal locations, along with decent numbers of perch. Some canals are skimming over with ice on colder nights. Look for improved crappie action in the canals when warmer temperatures arrive. Traditional open lake crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, the flats off Mayville. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well 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: Local trout streams are running at high levels and they are muddy. The smallest streams are the best bet for fishable conditions. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. Pike may be closed for fishing, but if you are into fish watching get to the Inlet as the northern swim to their spawning grounds. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, crappie and perch. (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: Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – perch in the Branchport arm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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: On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (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: On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. 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 very cold.  Anglers had 37 to 38 degree water today in most areas.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  One angler, out of Long Point, reported an unusual catch – an estimated 40 – 50 pound, 41/2 – 5 foot long sturgeon. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: The launch is now open for the season, and one dock is in. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so please review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Grout Brook at the southern end of the lake was one mentioned producing rainbows on egg sacs. Anglers getting out on the lake are catching yellow perch on small minnows. (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm. Tributary fishing began on April 1st so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, trout are in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. Finger Lakes tributary fishing began on April 1st and there are special regulations that apply so review the Finger Lakes and Tributary Regulations section of your guide. Rainbow fishing has been good in the tributaries as the cold spring has delayed spawning and kept fish in the streams longer. Some other waters where trout anglers are plying their skills are Cayuta Creek in Chemung and Schuyler counties; the Canisteo River in Steuben County; and Eldridge Lake and Park Station in Chemung County. All were scheduled to receive fish, while upcoming stockings were set for the Tioga County stretch of Cayuta Creek and Owego Creek (including its East Branch) in Tioga County. 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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. A reminder walleye season is closed won’t reopen until May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A reminder, walleye and northern pike seasons are closed won’t reopen until May 5.

 (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: We are back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution especially next week when the temps are supposed to rise. Just a reminder that walleye season is closed and will reopen on May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has started for the 2018 season. Weather permitting, a few boaters have been working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. The Pultneyville area is reported as having better prospects. Trolling with smaller stickbaits and spoons run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are open, and you can launch at the ramps on Sodus and Port Bay. The DEC docks are not in so be careful. The crappies are hitting at Bay Bridge at the south end of Sodus Bay. You can fish the open water behind Bay Bridge Sport Shop. It’s still early for the bullhead bite, however when they start hitting, the best place to fish is off the bridge. If the winds are calm you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay, but you have to search for them. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. If you launch at the south end, you can fish for crappies half-way up the narrows. Crappies are suspended and will hit small bright jigs tipped with spikes. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters Park or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  It’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. Check out your bullhead spots. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (Bay Profiles: Braddock - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88339.html / Irondequiot - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88359.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SALMON RIVER: The river flow is up. The driftboats have been taking advantage of the higher flows and floating most of the river. A few bank anglers are fishing the lower end of the river, but the majority of them are fishing the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. For those anglers who are not comfortable with the current water level, some of the smaller local tributaries are another option. Earlier in the week anglers who were fly fishing had the most success dead drifting with pink San Juan worms and squirmy worms or indicator fishing with egg patterns. Anglers who were float fishing had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs or pink worms. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone reopened April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the higher water level, very strong winds and dropping temperatures there was not much to report on the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: Just a reminder that walleye, northern pike, tiger musky and chain pickerel seasons are closed. They reopen on May 5th. There is no information to report this week as the rivers are high again and will likely not be any reports till walleye season opens. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area waters in preparation for the traditional April 1st trout opener. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout will be stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. In, addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked by March 30, *italicized listings are scheduled for stocking between 4/2 and 4/6:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chemung County - Wyncoop Creek ( March 21), Cayuta Creek (March 21), Newton Creek (March 19), Sing Sing Creek (March 19), and Post Creek (March 19).

Genesee County: Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia). * Oatka Creek (Le Roy).

Monroe County: * Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek (March 20).

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

Broome County - Chenango Lake (March 30), Dudley Creek (March 28), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (March 28), and Nanticoke Creek (March 28).

Cayuga County - North Brook (March 30).

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of March 25th the following waters had been stocked: Ninemile Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace brook, and Geddes Brook.

Tioga County - West Branch Owego Creek (March 28), Owego Creek (March 28) and the East Branch of Owego Creek (March 27).

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek (March 27) and Fall Creek (March 27).

 

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

APRIL 2018

6-8 - Fifth Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club. (4/6 5:00 pm – 14/8 1:00 pm) The contest is simple. Best two bullheads based on total weight will win the top prizes. Tiebreaker is total length for those two fish. You may only fish in Niagara County waters. The weigh-in will take place at the club, located at 2934 Wilson Cambria Road, Wilson, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 8 with awards to follow. Register at CMC Auto Repair in Wilson or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott. You can also register through PayPal. (For more information contact Eric at 716-628-6078.)

7 - Fly Fishing Academy offered in Campbell, NY by the Twin Tiers -- Five Rivers Chapter of International Federation of Fly Fishers. (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) One-day comprehensive introduction to fly casting and fly-fishing for ages 11-adult. Topics will include: Fly Fishing Introduction –what is a fly; Fish Food & Fishing Flies; Leaders; Fly Fishing Knots; Nymphing, Dry Flies; Modern Streamer Fishing; Reading the Water; Local Trout Streams; Equipment; Beyond Trout – Panfish, Bass & Carp. Class size is limited. (for information/pre-register contact Matt Towner at 607-542-0285 Mtowner23@gmail.com, or Kirk Klingensmith at 607-346-7189    kklingensmi@stny.rr.com.)

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3 – 30 – 18

 

TIP: Season Note: April 1 -  Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (>10/15)

 

TIP 2: EARLY SEASON STREAM TROUT FISHING: Even with the expected fishable stream flows, trout will still be relatively lethargic until stream temperatures warm. Anglers will have best success using bait and lures such as spinners that can be fished slow and deep. Fishing will improve markedly once water temperatures move into the sixties later in the spring. The warming also encourages aquatic insect activity, which improves opportunities for those preferring to use fly fishing gear. Also during this early season, where permitted, worms and salted minnows are often good bait choices for stocked and wild trout. Though the water is cold this time of year, spinners, small spoons and streamers can also work well. Sometimes stocked trout seem to prefer these "flashy" baits over natural baits.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors are opening back up and are good options for steelhead. Just a week ago, anglers were catching lots of steelhead through the ice at Dunkirk Harbor. When fishing the open water, casting spoons and spinners is a good bet. Buffalo Harbor is still ice covered, but not safe for ice fishing. Perch fishing in the harbor generally picks up after ice out. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows. In other areas it’s back to boat or shoreline fishing.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: There is a region-wide blowout in progress on the Lake Erie tributaries. With minimal precipitation forecasted for the weekend, some of the smaller tributaries may be fishable by Sunday. Prior to this high water event, anglers were catching decent numbers of steelhead. There is a mix of spawning and drop-back steelhead, with some suckers too. A push of fresh fish is possible as stream levels drop. It is recommended that anglers avoid actively spawning fish on creeks that support natural reproduction, such as Chautauqua Creek, Cattaraugus Creek and their tributaries. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float worked the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some rainbow trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The lower river trout bite was excellent at the start of the month. Action has slowed lately, coinciding with very clear water conditions. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but are finicky. Super clear water combined with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. The New York Power Authority fishing platform is scheduled to open on April 1st. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario lately. When conditions permit, brown trout, steelhead and Coho are available in the nearshore zone in 8-40 feet of water. Some groups put up double digit trout catches. With the northerly winds, the shoreline has a distinct mudline. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the line is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 100 to 125 feet back. Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

Yellow perch are showing at Olcott Harbor and in the low end of Oak Orchard Creek. Bullhead are showing at Wilson Harbor and the low end of Twelvemile Creek.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS: Anglers reported a decent steelhead bite in many of the Lake Ontario tributaries this past week, but fishing is now on hold due to high and muddy conditions. Anglers had been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. Some big perch are being caught off the piers and in the harbors. Bullhead have started to hit in Wilson, too. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information. Remember that pike season closed on March 15 if you are fishing in the harbors of Wilson or Olcott.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: Ice is melting fast on the lake and boaters are starting to get out. The canals have thawed as well. Crappie are often a top target after ice out. Traditional spring crappie spots include Ashville Bay, Burtis Bay, Cheney Point, Lakewood Bar, Rock Island, Grass Island, Bemus Bay, Whitney Bay, Dewittville Bay, the flats off Mayville and the canals. Small jigs tipped with a small minnow, one inch tube or other small plastic and fished under a pencil float, works well 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: Local trout streams are running at high levels and they are muddy. The smallest streams are the best bet for fishable conditions on April 1st. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. Pike may be closed for fishing, but if you are into fish watching get to the Inlet as the northern swim to their spawning grounds. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: Try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill and perch. (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: Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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: On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. 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 very cold.  Anglers had 37 to 38 degree water today in most areas.  The south end of the lake is starting to show some murky water approaching 40 degrees. Fishing remains challenging yet productive on this lake.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. On the Finger Lakes tribs, trout are in the streams but may be hard to catch if the water is muddy. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No reports on current fishing. Main species now are panfish, perch and bullhead. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: We are back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution especially next week when the temps are supposed to rise. Just a reminder that walleye season closed on March 15 and will reopen on May 5. (Lake Profile -
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing may be starting for the 2018 season. A few boaters have started working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are still hitting in Maxwell Creek. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are open, and you can launch at the ramps on Sodus and Port Bay. The DEC docks are not in so be careful. The crappies are hitting at Bay Bridge at the south end of Sodus Bay. You can fish the open water behind Bay Bridge Sport Shop. It’s still early for the bullhead bite, however when they start hitting, the best place to fish is off the bridge. If the winds are calm you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay, but you have to search for them. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. If you launch at the south end, you can fish for crappies half-way up the narrows. Crappies are suspended and will hit small bright jigs tipped with spikes. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  It’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. Check out your bullhead spots. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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: In the lower end of the river anglers have been getting into a mix of both bright and dark fish as well as a few browns. Anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing have had the most success with pink and blue egg sacs, marabou jigs, pink worms and beads. For those anglers who are fly fishing, egg patterns such as glo-bugs or sucker spawn under a strike indicator has been productive as well as dead drifting with pink worm flies, black stoneflies and wiggle stones. Just a reminder that the Upper Fly Zone will reopen on April 1. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: There is little activity to report from the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: With bass and walleye seasons closed not much is going on. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

Spring Trout Stocking: DEC Hatchery staff have been busy stocking area waters in preparation for the traditional April 1st trout opener. Thousands of yearling brown, brook and rainbow trout will be stocked in the region's streams, lakes and ponds. In, addition, many of the popular trout waters will also receive stockings of two-year-old brown trout that are between 12-15 inches long. For County lists of stocked waters and numbers of trout to be stocked, see the Spring Trout Stocking 2018 page.

The following waters have been stocked by March 30, *italicized listings are scheduled for stocking between 4/2 and 4/6:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chemung County - Wyncoop Creek ( March 21), Cayuta Creek (March 21), Newton Creek (March 19), Sing Sing Creek (March 19), and Post Creek (March 19).

Genesee County: Spring Brook (Byron), Dewitt Pond (Batavia). * Oatka Creek (Le Roy).

Monroe County: * Oatka Creek (Wheatland).

Ontario County: Canandaigua Outlet (Phelps, Manchester).

Livingston County: Sugar Creek (Ossian).

Schuyler County - Cayuta Creek (March 20).

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

Broome County - Chenango Lake (March 30), Dudley Creek (March 28), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (March 28), and Nanticoke Creek (March 28).

Cayuga County - North Brook (March 30).

Onondaga County - is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and a stocking list can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. As of March 25th the following waters had been stocked: Ninemile Creek, Carpenter's Brook, Skaneateles Creek, Spafford Brook, Fabius Brook, Furnace brook, and Geddes Brook.

Tioga County - West Branch Owego Creek (March 28), Owego Creek (March 28) and the East Branch of Owego Creek (March 27).

Tompkins County - Salmon Creek (March 27) and Fall Creek (March 27).

 

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

MARCH 2018

31 - Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am B 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section 2 mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)

31 - Otisco Lake Rod & Gun Club Traders Day at the club, Route 174, Marietta, NY (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) Cost: $2.00. (For information call Don Flanagan, 315-469-2859.)

APRIL 2018

1 - Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (>10/15)

1 - Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

1 - 57th Annual Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby. Entry is by pre-registration only - registration sites are Sutton’s Sporting Goods, Main St., Naples (During business hours) and the Derby Headquarters -Naples Fire Hall, Vine St (3/31/14- 5 pm to 10 pm, 4/01/14- 4 am to sunrise) (Entry Fees - $8 Ages 16-64, $5 under 16, $5 ages 65 and over)(For additional information contact Joyce Doran 585-374-2782)

2 - 15th Annual Riedman Foundation Opening Day Trout Derby at the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park, 115 Park Road,  Pittsford, NY (Register at Powder Horn Lodge – 6:30 am/Fishing 7:00 am – Noon) All ages are welcome to join in the fun at the Opening Day Trout Derby to benefit the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park. Again this year, the contestant weighing in the largest brown trout will be recognized with the Bank of America Angler Award, a $500 prize. There will also be "largest catch" prizes awarded in three age categories. Entry is only $5 per angler age eight and older. Fishing will take place in designated areas of Irondequoit Creek within the boundaries of Powder Mills Park. The derby weigh station is at Powder Horn Lodge. Prizes will be awarded at noon. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.fishpowdermill.org. (For information call 585-586-1670.)

6-8 - Fifth Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club. (4/6 5:00 pm – 14/8 1:00 pm) The contest is simple. Best two bullheads based on total weight will win the top prizes. Tiebreaker is total length for those two fish. You may only fish in Niagara County waters. The weigh-in will take place at the club, located at 2934 Wilson Cambria Road, Wilson, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 8 with awards to follow. Register at CMC Auto Repair in Wilson or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott. You can also register through PayPal. (For more information contact Eric at 716-628-6078.)

7 - Fly Fishing Academy offered in Campbell, NY by the Twin Tiers -- Five Rivers Chapter of International Federation of Fly Fishers. (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) One-day comprehensive introduction to fly casting and fly-fishing for ages 11-adult. Topics will include: Fly Fishing Introduction –what is a fly; Fish Food & Fishing Flies; Leaders; Fly Fishing Knots; Nymphing, Dry Flies; Modern Streamer Fishing; Reading the Water; Local Trout Streams; Equipment; Beyond Trout – Panfish, Bass & Carp. Class size is limited. (for information/pre-register contact Matt Towner at 607-542-0285 Mtowner23@gmail.com, or Kirk Klingensmith at 607-346-7189 kklingensmi@stny.rr.com.)

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*TIP 1: Did You Know: The State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC's) has an Angler Achievement Awards Program. The program recognizes anglers that catch freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria. In addition to the official recognition of their catch, anglers receive a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. In 2017, two anglers qualified for record-breaking catches. Eric Scordo caught a 35 lb. 3 oz. channel catfish from Lake Ontario (Jefferson County) on April 29, 2017, and Jason Bair caught a 36-lb. freshwater drum from Oneida Lake (Oneida County) on June 16, 2017. Further information on DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form can be found on DEC's website. Full program details and an entry form can also be found in DEC's Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program contact (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@dec.ny.gov

 

*TIP 2: Comment Wanted on Draft Salmon River Fisheries Management Plan. The plan will

guide the DEC's continuing efforts to manage the Salmon River and its tributaries as a year-round sport fishery that provides anglers with the opportunity to catch an array of trophy-sized salmonids. DEC proposes a variety of strategies to achieve this goal, including improvements to its Salmon River Fish Hatchery, improved and increased angler access, efforts to promote ethical angling, protection and enhancement of critical fish habitats, and utilizing science and adaptive management to measure and achieve success. The public is encouraged to comment on the plan, which covers the period from 2018 to 2033 and focuses on lake-run trout and salmon (salmonids) in the 17-mile Salmon River corridor and the river's major tributaries below the Lighthouse Hill Reservoir in the town of Orwell. The Salmon River Fisheries Management Plan is available on DEC's website. DEC will accept public comments on the draft plan until April 23, 2018. To comment on the plan, send an email with the subject line "Salmon River Plan" to fwfish7@dec.ny.gov or send written comments via U.S. Mail to: David Lemon, Regional Fisheries Manager, NYSDEC Region 7, 1285 Fisher Road, Cortland, New York 13045

 

 

NO HARD WATER ANGLING IS RECOMMENED THIS WEEK – Previous warm temperatures started the ice to deteriorate opening holes and cracks on regional waters. Forecasted higher temps for next week will further melt the ice that remains.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  No safe ice reported on the lake except for the east side of the Dunkirk Harbor and the small Boat Harbor. At Dunkirk, steelhead and brown trout were still lurking below the ice, for those equipped to reach them. The catch rate has slowed down a bit, with most anglers finding active fish in the morning, but the fish seem to come in waves, and will hit with abandon in the afternoon at times. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows. The Small Boat Harbor had hard ice but no details on how thick or if fish are being caught. Barcelona Harbor anglers were catching some trout as well, but no details on conditions. Egg sacs, minnows, jigs and spoons have all been productive. In other areas it’s back to boat or shoreline fishing.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Despite the recent cold temperatures, all Lake Erie tributaries remain wide open. The small to medium sized stream have moderate to lower flows, with clearing conditions. Cattaraugus Creek is slightly high, but certainly fishable. Most of the stream activity appears to happen later in the day as the water temperature warms up. As the water continues to clear, remember to use caution when approaching likely hot spots, to keep from alerting the fish to your presence. Anglers have been reporting suckers are already in the streams, and some of the ice anglers reported that the female trout (hens) are already dropping their eggs.

Target the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. Look for improved fishing with the next thaw. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float worked the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. A few large suckers (16 to 20-inch fish) are also being caught right on the bottom (on jigs). Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some rainbow trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. Controlled drifting with a three-way rig and egg sacs, shiners or flatfish lures also works well for boaters. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The lower river trout bite was excellent at the start of the month. Action has slowed lately, coinciding with very clear water conditions. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but are finicky. Super clear water combined with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Steelhead dominate the daily catch, but brown trout, lake trout and even an occasional walleye will also show up. Remember that walleye season closed March 15. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario lately. When conditions permit, brown trout, steelhead and Coho are available in the nearshore zone in 8-40 feet of water. With the northerly winds, the shoreline has a distinct mudline. Working small to medium sized stickbaits in and out of the line is one approach, using planer boards. Keep your lures 100 to 125 feet back. Chartreuse and orange have been good colors lately. And if you aren’t getting hits, try bumping your speed up to 2.6 – 2.8 mph. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Lake Ontario tributaries are generally low and clear. There are trout available, but you may have to use a stealthy approach with the clear conditions. Eighteenmile Creek is in good shape with moderate flow and about two feet of visibility. The few anglers that have been fishing there lately, report decent catches of steelhead. Oak Orchard Creek currently has moderate flow and about 3 feet of visibility. The small to medium sized streams have moderate to slightly lower flow and range from slightly stained to clear. Fourmile, Twelvemile, East Branch Twelvemile, Keg, Johnson, Marsh and Sandy Creeks are all worth a shot. Anglers have been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. Some big perch are being caught off the piers and in the harbors. Bullhead have started to hit in Wilson, too. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information. Remember that pike season closed on March 15 if you are fishing in the harbors of Wilson or Olcott.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Crappie action could be just around the corner. Look for bullhead near creek mouths. Remember walleye season closed March 15. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: There is still some ice on the lake and anglers have been out. This weekend willprobably be the last, however, with the warm up forecasted for next week. Anglers reported 6 – 8 inches of ice. One angler fishing over 32 feet of water got in to small crappie and perch using white plastics. Only about 20% in the keeper range. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Remember pike, walleye and bass seasons are now closed. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill and perch. (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: Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No safe ice reported on the lakes. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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: On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OWASCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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.

A report from the Naples Creek electro- fishing (shocking): DEC Region 8 Fisheries staff found a mix of female rainbow trout that had started to spawn and some that had not spawned yet. This is a good sign for anglers since it is likely that there will still be adult rainbow trout in Naples Creek on April 1st.

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*WHITNEY POINT RESERVOIR: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and panfish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution especially next week when the temps are supposed to rise. Just a reminder that walleye season closed on March 15 and will reopen on May 5. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing may be starting for the 2018 season. A few boaters have started working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are open, and you can launch at the ramps on Sodus and Port Bay. The DEC docks are not in so be careful. The crappies are hitting at Bay Bridge at the south end of Sodus Bay. You can fish the open water behind Bay Bridge Sport Shop. It’s still early for the bullhead bite, however when they start hitting, the best place to fish is off the bridge. If the winds are calm you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. If you launch at the south end, you can fish for crappies half-way up the narrows. Crappies are suspended and will hit small bright jigs tipped with spikes. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. On the Canal you can launch at Widewaters or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  The ice is out on the ponds and bays so it’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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 from top to bottom. Anglers who are fly fishing have done well dead drifting with black stoneflies, rusher nymphs and wiggle stones. Glo-bugs, estaz eggs and sucker spawn have also worked well fished under a strike indicator. For those looking to swing flies, woolly buggers and leeches have produced the best results. Anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing have had the most success with pink or blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. On the Run steelhead success is being had using white and blue egg sacs and green Hotshots. Anglers have also been finding activity in some of the smaller local tributaries. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: There is no activity to report from the river. If you do go out, one suggestion is to try behind the hotels for steelhead. 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: With bass and walleye seasons closed not much is going on. Bullhead, catfish and panfish are the targets now. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

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

MARCH 2018

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

15 - Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye

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

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)

16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/5)

16-18 -CANCELLED - Runnings Sportsman’s Classic at the Del Lago Resort and Casino, Waterloo, NY. Attendees will be able to visit with outfitters, charters and retailers along with the entire crew from Rush Outdoors TV. (For  information contact John Lenox, Vice President, at arrowflinger80@yahoo.com)

22 – Proposed Otisco Lake Boat Launch Public Meeting at the Borodino Grange Hall, 1861 E. Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Sponsored by the DEC and the Town of Spafford, this meeting will feature a presentation about the planned Otisco Lake Boat Launch, including how comments and suggestions from a previous meeting were addressed, as well as final site design details and project schedule. DEC will be available to answer questions after the presentation. Otisco is the only Finger Lake currently without a public boat launch. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

24 - Seventh Annual Fishermen’s Paradise Flea Market/Swap Meet at the Alexander Firemen’s Rec Hall, 10708 Route 98, Alexander, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) There will be a wide variety of fishing gear, from new and used rods and reels to custom baits and plastics. (Costs: $2.00/Kids 12 and under Free) (For information call Joe Kugel 716-440-0004 or Jim Thompson 585-591-0168)

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

24 - 29th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Show at the Elks Lodge No. 41, 6791 North Canal Road,  Lockport, NY (10:30 am – 2:00 pm) This is the longest-running event of its kind in the state, giving you a trip down memory lane as it relates to the fishing industry. This is a great chance to get an appraisal on some old fishing tackle that may be laying around your basement or in your garage.  (Cost: $5.00/Kids 16 and under Free) (For more information contact Dan Bedford at 716-713-9410 or email wdanfran@aol.com.)

24 - Cabela’s Sportsman’s Seminars at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Fish Fry – We all fry it and you get to try it! Join our expert fish fryers and learn how to prepare the best-tasting fried fish you’ve ever experienced. Sample different seasonings and learn some new frying techniques. 11:00 am -1:00 pm – BB-Gun Range - Bring your kids out to try their aim in our safe BB-gun range. Settle who the best shot in your family is once for all.  First-time shooters and seasoned alike are welcome. Weather permitting. 11:00 am – 6:00 pm - Free Photos with the Easter Bunny - Families are invited to celebrate Easter at Cabela's by enjoying free photos with the Easter Bunny, and many other activities during the season. Everyone's favorite Easter Bunny character will be in-store during select times from Saturday, March 24, through Easter Sunday, April 1, for a free, fun, spring-themed collectible photo. 1:00 – 4:00 pm - Let’s Make an Easter Placemat - Stop by our craft station with the kids and let their imaginations go wild as they decorate an Easter-themed placemat. Enjoy this fun activity with your family, and as always, crafts are free. While supplies last. (For information call 716-608-4770)

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

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

 

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3 – 16 – 18

 

TIP 1: SEASON CHANGES:

March 15 - Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye

March 15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

March 15 - Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)

 

TIP 2: OTHER DATES OF INTEREST:

Rainbow Trout Sampling Dates: March 22 for Naples Creek (9:00 am, just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge) and March 23 for Cold Brook (10:00 am, in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County). Sampling to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast. (For information contact fwfish8@dec.ny.gov or by calling 518-226-5343.)

March 22 – Proposed Otisco Lake Boat Launch Public Meeting at the Borodino Grange Hall, 1861 E. Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Sponsored by the DEC and the Town of Spafford, this meeting will feature a presentation about the planned Otisco Lake Boat Launch, including how comments and suggestions from a previous meeting were addressed, as well as final site design details and project schedule. DEC will be available to answer questions after the presentation. Otisco is the only Finger Lake currently without a public boat launch. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

 

NO HARD WATER ANGLING IS RECOMMENED THIS WEEK – Previous warm temperatures started the ice to deteriorate opening holes and cracks on regional waters. Recent heavy snow has weakened the ice further and in many cases hides dangerous ice flaws. Recent cold temperatures have not been enough to create safe ice.

 

LAKE ERIE:  No safe ice reported on the lake except for the Dunkirk Harbor and the small Boat Harbor. At Dunkirk, steelhead and brown trout were still lurking below the ice, for those equipped to reach them. Ice cover is reported at up to 8 inches thick in some spots. The catch rate has slowed down a bit, with most anglers finding active fish in the morning, but the fish seem to come in waves, and will hit with abandon in the afternoon at times. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows. The Small Boat Harbor has hard ice again but no details on how thick or if fish are being caught.

In other areas it’s back to boat or shoreline fishing.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: Despite the recent cold temperatures, all Lake Erie tributaries remain wide open. The small to medium sized stream have moderate to lower flows, with clearing conditions. Cattaraugus Creek is slightly high at 700 cubic feet per second, but certainly fishable. The overall steelhead bite has recently been fair. Target the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. Look for improved fishing with the next thaw. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float worked the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. A few large suckers (16 to 20-inch fish) are also being caught right on the bottom (on jigs). Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: The lower river trout bite was excellent at the start of the month. Action has slowed lately, coinciding with very clear water conditions. Steelhead, brown and lake trout are still available, but are finicky. Walleye season closed Thursday, March 16. Super clear water combined with a large amount of bait in the river means you will have to work for every fish you catch. Action is not consistent. Try running some lighter line, longer leads, smaller hooks and smaller baits. Silver and green or chartreuse, silver and pink and silver and white have been successful color combinations. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: Cold temps and choppy waters have kept boaters off Lake Ontario lately. When conditions permit, brown trout are available in the nearshore zone in 8-20 feet of water. Key on areas near stream/harbor mouths, in murky waters or in areas with a slightly higher temperature. Trolling with small to medium sized stickbaits or spoons run behind planer boards is the top tactic. Lures run directly behind the boat get less trout attention. Watch out for floating debris. While most of the fish caught are brown trout, a salmon may be included. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Lake Ontario stream conditions have been excellent lately. Eighteenmile Creek is in great shape with moderate flow and about two feet of visibility. The few anglers that have been fishing there lately, report decent catches of steelhead. Oak Orchard Creek currently has moderate flow and about 3 feet of visibility. The small to medium sized streams have moderate to slightly lower flow and range from slightly stained to clear. Fourmile, Twelvemile, East Branch Twelvemile, Keg, Johnson, Marsh and Sandy Creeks are all worth a shot. Anglers have been catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information. Remember that pike season closes on March 15 if you are fishing in the harbors of Wilson or Olcott.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Crappie action could be just around the corner. Remember walleye season closed March 15. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: There is still some ice on the lake but no safe ice is reported. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing.  A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill and perch. (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: Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No safe ice reported on the lakes. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. (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: On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OWASCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (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.) 

March 22 – Proposed Otisco Lake Boat Launch Public Meeting at the Borodino Grange Hall, 1861 E. Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Sponsored by the DEC and the Town of Spafford, this meeting will feature a presentation about the planned Otisco Lake Boat Launch, including how comments and suggestions from a previous meeting were addressed, as well as final site design details and project schedule. DEC will be available to answer questions after the presentation. Otisco is the only Finger Lake currently without a public boat launch. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch and panfish. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging for perch with 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing may be starting for the 2018 season. A few boaters have started working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: All the bays are open, and you can launch at the ramps on Sodus and Port Bay. The DEC docks are not in so be careful. Some anglers were out a few days ago catching perch in Sodus Bay. If the winds subside you can fish the Sodus Bay channel for browns. Cast Cleo’s or other heavy spoons into the channel. You can also throw on line in at Bay Bridge, on the south end of Sodus Bay. Anglers were catching perch from the north shore of Port Bay. Use caution if you drive on the barrier road. It’s very rough going. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. The canal water is now open, and you can launch at Widewaters or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. A few hardy souls were catching crappies and perch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  The ice is out on the ponds and bays so it’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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: Windy conditions along with scattered lake effect snow showers and roughly a foot of new snow have made fishing challenging. Anglers reported having good day in the upper end of the river. Over the last couple of days anglers have been getting into fish from top to bottom. Anglers who are fly fishing have done well dead drifting with black stoneflies, rusher nymphs and wiggle stones. Glo-bugs, estaz eggs and sucker spawn have also worked well fished under a strike indicator. For those looking to swing flies, woolly buggers and leeches have produced the best results. Anglers who are bottom bouncing or float fishing have had the most success with pink or blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. Anglers have also been finding activity in some of the smaller local tributaries. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: After a couple of cold and blustery days with a few inches of snow, the next few days will remain cold with snow showers possible tomorrow and clear for the weekend. There is no activity to report from the river. Remember the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information on the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely Brochure go to http://visitoswegocounty.com/…/Brookfield-Varick-Fish-Safel…. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41044.html )

OTHER WATERS: On the rivers, the snow, rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

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

MARCH 2018

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

15 - Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye

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

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)

16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/5)

16-18 -CANCELLED - Runnings Sportsman’s Classic at the Del Lago Resort and Casino, Waterloo, NY. Attendees will be able to visit with outfitters, charters and retailers along with the entire crew from Rush Outdoors TV. (For  information contact John Lenox, Vice President, at arrowflinger80@yahoo.com)

22 – Proposed Otisco Lake Boat Launch Public Meeting at the Borodino Grange Hall, 1861 E. Lake Road, Skaneateles, NY (6:00 – 8:00 pm) Sponsored by the DEC and the Town of Spafford, this meeting will feature a presentation about the planned Otisco Lake Boat Launch, including how comments and suggestions from a previous meeting were addressed, as well as final site design details and project schedule. DEC will be available to answer questions after the presentation. Otisco is the only Finger Lake currently without a public boat launch. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

24 - Seventh Annual Fishermen’s Paradise Flea Market/Swap Meet at the Alexander Firemen’s Rec Hall, 10708 Route 98, Alexander, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) There will be a wide variety of fishing gear, from new and used rods and reels to custom baits and plastics. (Costs: $2.00/Kids 12 and under Free) (For information call Joe Kugel 716-440-0004 or Jim Thompson 585-591-0168)

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

24 - 29th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Show at the Elks Lodge No. 41, 6791 North Canal Road,  Lockport, NY (10:30 am – 2:00 pm) This is the longest-running event of its kind in the state, giving you a trip down memory lane as it relates to the fishing industry. This is a great chance to get an appraisal on some old fishing tackle that may be laying around your basement or in your garage.  (Cost: $5.00/Kids 16 and under Free) (For more information contact Dan Bedford at 716-713-9410 or email wdanfran@aol.com.)

24 - Cabela’s Sportsman’s Seminars at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Store, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. 11:00 am – 12:00 pm – Fish Fry – We all fry it and you get to try it! Join our expert fish fryers and learn how to prepare the best-tasting fried fish you’ve ever experienced. Sample different seasonings and learn some new frying techniques. 11:00 am -1:00 pm – BB-Gun Range - Bring your kids out to try their aim in our safe BB-gun range. Settle who the best shot in your family is once for all.  First-time shooters and seasoned alike are welcome. Weather permitting. 11:00 am – 6:00 pm - Free Photos with the Easter Bunny - Families are invited to celebrate Easter at Cabela's by enjoying free photos with the Easter Bunny, and many other activities during the season. Everyone's favorite Easter Bunny character will be in-store during select times from Saturday, March 24, through Easter Sunday, April 1, for a free, fun, spring-themed collectible photo. 1:00 – 4:00 pm - Let’s Make an Easter Placemat - Stop by our craft station with the kids and let their imaginations go wild as they decorate an Easter-themed placemat. Enjoy this fun activity with your family, and as always, crafts are free. While supplies last. (For information call 716-608-4770)

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

 

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3 – 9 – 18

 

TIP 1: Warm water (bass, pike, etc.) angler diary cooperators are needed for Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Hemlock, Canadice, Conesus and Honeoye Lakes. If interested please contact Region 8 Fisheries at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov or by calling 518-226-5343.

 

TIP 2: DATES OF INTEREST:

March 12 - Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Campus, Jefferson Road, Henrietta, NY (Monroe County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board. DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Christopher Legard, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147)

March 14 - Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, NY (Niagara County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board. DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. (For information contact Christopher Legard, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147)

March 15 - Annual State of Lake Ontario Public Meeting at the Pulaski High School Auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, NY (Oswego County). (6:30 – 9:00 pm) The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association. DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 9. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html prior to the public meetings. In the event of heavy lake-effect snow, the meeting will be held at the same time and location on March 14. (For information contact Christopher Legard, Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147)

Rainbow Trout Sampling Dates: March 22 for Naples Creek (9:00 am, just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge) and March 23 for Cold Brook (10:00 am, in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County). Sampling to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast.

 

 

 

NO HARD WATER ANGLING IS RECOMMENED THIS WEEK – Previous warm temperatures started the ice to deteriorate opening holes and cracks on regional waters. Recent heavy snow has weakened the ice further and in many cases hides dangerous ice flaws. Recent cold temperatures have not been enough to create safe ice.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  No safe ice reported on the lake. The lake ice cover is now reported at less than 20 percent. It’s now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Harbor areas are producing good numbers of 18 – 19 inch steelhead when conditions allow. This past weekend at the City of Dunkirk Pier, fishermen literally lined up from one end of the pier to the other on the east, north and west sides. One angler estimated there were as many as 200 fishermen angling at one time, and most of them connected with a limit of three trout apiece. There were reports of some trophy sized brown trout taken also. This week, it’s reported a strong north east wind has jammed that port with ice, with only an occasional small open area at times. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: With the recent rain, snow and snowmelt, creek levels have peaked and will be dropping in a few days. Once that happens look for good tributary steelhead action. The mouth of Eighteen Mile Creek in Hamburg was having a good run of fresh steelies. White marabou jigs and olive jigs under a float worked the best. Small egg sacs fished under a float should also work. A few large suckers (16 to 20-inch fish) are also being caught right on the bottom (on jigs). Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river action has been good for boaters bouncing bottom with three-way rigs. When the wind is out of the south or southwest go with MagLips and Kwikfish lures in silver and green or chartreuse. Silver and pink will also work. When the wind isn’t there to help you, switch over to minnows or egg sacs. Use the same three-way set-up if you are fishing from a boat. If you are fishing from shore, tossing jigs or fishing a jig under a float and tipped with a small worm is very effective. If the water is clear, you may have to get your bait out a bit deeper. You can also cast spinners or spoons to get your bait out and into the fish zone. Steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleye are all available in the system. Lighter fluorocarbon lines, longer leads and smaller hooks may be needed to trick a trout into hitting. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing  may be starting for the 2018 season. The first trollers have started pounding the surf. They are trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. While most of the fish caught are brown trout, a salmon may be included. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Tributary fishing will be on hold for the weekend until the snow settles. Lake Ontario tributaries were in good shape and anglers were catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. From earlier warmer weather and higher flows, there was some spawning activity. That may be stalled some now but fish may still be in fast water areas with greater concentrations of fish more upstream then down. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information. Remember that pike season closes on March 15 if you are fishing in the harbors of Wilson or Olcott.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Crappie action could be just around the corner. Some walleye have been picked up near Ashville Bay but remember walleye season closes March 15. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: There is still ice on the lake but no safe ice is reported. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing.  A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CANADICE LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HONEOYE LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, perch, and walleye. (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: Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No safe ice reported on the lakes. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. At the south end, anglers are reporting some fair pike action. (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: On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, some trout and salmon are also available. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OWASCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Open-water fishing for lake trout is a good option now and will only get better as waters warm.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OTISCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch, walleye and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch, walleye and northern pike. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging Rapalas tipped with a minnow head for the walleye and for perch try 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing may be starting for the 2018 season. A few boaters have started working the Lake Ontario shoreline for brown trout. Trolling with smaller stickbaits run behind planer boards is the top tactic in 6-20 feet of water. Key on areas near tributary and harbor outflows that have slightly warmer water. Watch out for floating debris. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. They are hitting egg sacs and bright colored beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: No safe ice on the bays. Port Bay has open water on most of the bay with ice still on the south end. You can launch at the north…but beware… it’s a very bumpy road to the DEC launch. If you don’t have a boat, you can catch perch fishing from the shore. There are enough pull-over spots, so you don’t block the barrier road. Sodus Bay has the same situation. Most of the bay is open, however, there are a few iced-over spots. The perch don’t really care if there’s no ice, so do some open water fishing. Some anglers were casting off Bay Bridge at the south end. They were catching crappies. It’s early for bullhead fishing, however, we are already in the second week of March. It won’t be long before you’ll be eating bullheads for supper. DEC won’t have docks near their ramps so launching will be an effort. You’ll need to wear a PFD and remember if you are dressing for cold weather, you’ll be extra heavy. Don’t take chances because hypothermia is quick and deadly. The canal water is now open, and you can launch at Widewaters or fish from the canal trail on the south side of the waterway. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  The ice is out on the ponds and bays so it’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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: With the combination of rain, snow and melting snow from the warm weather, it’s no surprise the water level is high. Fishing is challenging. Over the last couple of days the few anglers who are fishing have been getting into fish. Some of the drift boats guides are continuing to take advantage of the high water and are getting into fish. In the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville bank anglers have been successful while dead drifting with nymphs or bottom bouncing with egg sacs. In the lower end of the river anglers have been getting into fish while float fishing with blue egg sacs, beads and pink worms. Anglers have also been finding activity in some of the smaller local tributaries. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain, snow and snow melt that we had during the last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once waters recede look for some  nice catches of steelhead. 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: On the rivers, the snow, rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

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

MARCH 2018

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

10 - Crown City Bassmasters Hunting & Fishing Extravaganza, Cortland, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) (For information call Jeff 607-659-7654.)

10 - Catherine Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited 31st Annual Fundraiser Banquet, Horseheads Elk Club, Horseheads, NY (5:00 pm) (For information call Jim Palmer at 607-425-6136 or email jpalmer8@stny.rr.com.)

10 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Event out of Silver Lake State Boat Launch on Silver Lake. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then). Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team ($30 per person). (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

10 – Boating Safety Class sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) (For information contact Martin Laufer at 716-390-7727.)

11 - The Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon And Trout Association Fleamarket will be held at the Brewerton Fire Hall (on RT11), Brewerton, NY.  (For information call 315 515 8778 and leave a message.)

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

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

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

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

15 - Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye

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

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)

16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/5)

16-18 -CANCELLED - Runnings Sportsman’s Classic at the Del Lago Resort and Casino, Waterloo, NY. Attendees will be able to visit with outfitters, charters and retailers along with the entire crew from Rush Outdoors TV. (For  information contact John Lenox, Vice President, at arrowflinger80@yahoo.com)

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TIP 1: Warm water (bass, pike, etc.) angler diary cooperators are needed for Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Hemlock, Canadice, Conesus and Honeoye Lakes. If interested please contact Region 8 Fisheries at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov or by calling 518-226-5343.

 

TIP 2: Cold water (rainbow, brown, lake trout and Atlantic salmon) angler diary keepers are needed for Cayuga Lake, Owasco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Otisco Lake or any of their tributaries and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 7 Fisheries office at (607) 753-3095 ext. 213, or on-line at fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.

If you fish Canadice Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Hemlock Lake, Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake and want to learn more about this program and how to sign up, please contact the Region 8 Fisheries office at (585) 226-5343, or on-line at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.

 

 

NO HARD WATER ANGLING IS RECOMMENED THIS WEEK – Previous warm temperatures started the ice to deteriorate opening holes and cracks on regional waters. Current heavy snow weakens the ice further and in many cases hides ice flaws.

 

LAKE ERIE:  No safe ice reported on the lake. It’s now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Harbor areas are producing good numbers of 18 – 19 inch steelhead. This past weekend at the City of Dunkirk Pier, fishermen literally lined up from one end of the pier to the other on the east, north and west sides. One angler estimated there were as many as 200 fishermen angling at one time, and most of them connected with a limit of three trout apiece. There were reports of some trophy sized brown trout taken also. The trout were hitting on jigs tipped with wax worms, egg sacks suspended below a float, spoons and minnows.

LAKE ERIE TRIBS: With the recent rain, snow and snowmelt, creek levels have peaked and will be dropping in a few days. Once that happens look for good tributary steelhead action. Small egg sacs fished under a float should work. Don’t be afraid to move around and try some different areas. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Some trout are being caught off Unity Island and along Bird Island Pier. Casting spoons and spinners should work, as will egg sacs or egg imitations. The upper rapids area is usually a good spot, just before the whitewater starts. River waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies.

LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river action has been good to very good for boaters bouncing bottom with three-way rigs. When the wind is out of the south or southwest go with MagLips and Kwikfish lures in silver and green or chartreuse. Silver and pink will also work. When the wind isn’t there to help you, switch over to minnows or egg sacs. Use the same three-way set-up if you are fishing from a boat. If you are fishing from shore, tossing jigs or fishing a jig under a float and tipped with a small worm is very effective. If the water is clear, you may have to get your bet out a bit deeper. You can also cast spinners or spoons to get your bait out and into the fish zone. Steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleye are all available in the system. Our latest snowfall may interrupt things for the weekend but conditions should be back to normal by the beginning of the week. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Tributary fishing will be on hold for the weekend until the snow settles. Lake Ontario tributaries were in good shape and anglers were catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Crappie action could be just around the corner. Remember that walleye season is still open until March 15. 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing.  A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CONESUS LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HEMLOCK LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25580.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Hemlock – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

CANADICE LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25573.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canadice – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

HONEOYE LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for bluegill, perch, and walleye. (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: Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No safe ice reported on the lakes. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

KEUKA LAKE: On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. At the south end, anglers are reporting some fair pike action. (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: On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, also some lakers and browns. The lake level is extremely low. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

SKANEATELES LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OWASCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36554.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Owasco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

OTISCO LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch, walleye and crappie. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

SANDY POND: No safe ice reported on the Pond. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Anglers that do get out can try for perch, walleye and northern pike. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

ONONDAGA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
ONEIDA LAKE: No safe ice reported on the lake. We are now back to boat or shoreline fishing. Try jigging Rapalas tipped with a minnow head for the walleye and for perch try 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs If you do go out use extreme caution.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. Steelhead are hitting egg sacs and beads. Use anything that’s bright. Hughes’ Marina is another place to try and catch some hold-over browns. Currently you can cast Cleos off the Sodus Pier. The pier will ice over quickly if the temps drop and the wind picks-up. If there is no ice you can catch steelies in the channel. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: No safe ice on the bays. Try the tribs and piers for steelhead and brown trout.  Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  The ice is out on the ponds and bays so it’s now shore fishing unless you have a boat available. On the lower Genesee, or from the piers, try for trout. (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: With the combination of rain, snow and melting snow from the warm weather, it’s no surprise the water level has increased. Fishing is challenging. Fish are around but it's been difficult to get them to bite. Once things settle, look for some steelhead in the lower and middle sections, with egg-imitating flies or pink, chartreuse and blue egg sacs producing fish. Also, look for fish throughout the river, dead drifting with nymphs or float fishing with egg sacs and pink worms produced the best results. Those who are bottom bouncing or float fishing in the mid to upper end of the river had the best results with egg sacs, beads and pink worms. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain, snow and snow melt that we had during the last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once waters recede look for some  nice catches of steelhead. 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: On the rivers, the snow, rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

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

JANUARY 2018

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

FEBRUARY 2018

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

MARCH 2018

3 – Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs Annual Awards Banquet at Kloc’s Grove, West Seneca, NY. (Doors open at 5:45 p.m.) (Tickets $35, pre-sale only.) (For information call Cheryl Schenne at 716-655-2328 or go to www.eriectyfsc.org) 

3 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Blind Draw Team Event out of Braddocks Bay Marina on Braddocks Bay. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then). Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team ($30 per person). (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

3 – Western New York Frogs and the Hellbender – Identification and Citizen Science at the Pfeiffer Nature Center, 1974 Lillibridge Road, Portville NY. (For informatio/register call 716-933-0187 or email naturalist@pfeiffernaturecenter.org )

3-4 - Olean Rod Gun Massive Sportman’s Show at the Daniel A Carter Auctions & Appraisals Inc,

2593 West Five Mile Road, Allegany, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (Admission - $5.00/12 and under – Free/In Uniform – Free) This event is hosted by the Olean Rod & Gun Club Inc. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. Sale items will include: ammo, reloading, archery, knives, military, collectibles, sporting good, fishing, targets & trapping. 120 tables. (For information contact Dave at 716-372-4231 or John 716-373-4867 or go to http://oleanrodandgunclub.com)

4 - Sportsmen Flea/Yard Sale at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. (Noon – 5:00 pm) Bring or look for old-new fishing, hunting, trapping, camping equipment etc. NO GUNS. (For information call Paul at 716-680-4629).

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

10 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Event out of Silver Lake State Boat Launch on Silver Lake. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then). Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team ($30 per person). (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

10 – Boating Safety Class sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at the Fort Niagara Officer’s Club, Youngstown, NY (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) (For information contact Martin Laufer at 716-390-7727.)

11 - The Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon And Trout Association Fleamarket will be held at the Brewerton Fire Hall (on RT11), Brewerton, NY.  (For information call 315 515 8778 and leave a message.)

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

 

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2 – 23 – 18

 

TIP 1: TIP # 2: 2018 STATE OF OWASCO LAKE FISHERIES: The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Owasco Lake's fisheries. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY.

 

TIP #2: JIG FISHING TIPS FROM NORTHLAND TACKLE: Jigs are simply metal weighted heads with a hook molded in that can be dressed with live bait or plastic trailers. They imitate darting, injured baitfish and are available in endless sizes, shapes and colors. Jig fishing is fun and easy. It simply requires a little personal touch. You can drag, bounce, hop, snap, thump or swim a jig with nearly any motion and speed, but you will find that SLOW, short 3-6" jerks and little twitches of the rod tip will trigger the most strikes! Jigs are made in many different head styles. The "ballhead" is the most popular and versatile. They are the fastest sinking, and work well for casting and vertical jigging. The "stand-up" style fishing jigs are designed for dragging & working along the bottom, and are superb in scattered weeds, and river current. When fishing weeds & submerged timber, "weedless" fishing jigs are your best choice.

Always let jig hit bottom before you start your retrieve and remember . . . fish generally hit a jig on the fall!

Fishing Tips:

Use the lightest fishing jig possible, and match your jig size to the weight of your line. 

For 4 lb. test line, use 1/32 and 1/16 oz. jigs. For 6 & 8 lb. line, 1/8 & 1/4 oz. jigs work best. 

When fishing with 10 & 12 lb. line, 3/8, 1/2 oz. and heavier jigs should be used. Be flexible, and match your line weight to each individual fishing condition! Cast and let them flutter down around weeds, rocks and timber, or troll and drift them slowly along the bottom. 

 

TIP #3: 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.

 

 

 

Use Extreme Caution! The weather has caused ice conditions to change, especially along shorelines and areas subject to run-off. Old holes and pressure cracks are getting larger. Keep this in mind if venturing out, use your own good judgment and follow the safety steps mentioned and referenced above. The ice surface will also likely be wet and very slick without any snow cover so creepers or cleats are highly recommend.

 

*LAKE ERIE:  Ice fishing conditions are deteriorating and open water is showing up along the shore including Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors. The two harbor areas are producing good numbers of 18 – 19 inch steelhead. They’re hitting on spoons and ninnows. If you do go out after the perch and/or walleye be sure to use extreme caution. In addition to normal safety equipment like ice picks, a rope and a life vest, it’s not a bad idea to carry along a compass. One hard water angler recently encountered a heavy snow that restricted how satellites functioned – knocking out their GPS equipment. It would have been a difficult situation had not one of the guys brought his compass along to help them get back in.

*LAKE ERIE TRIBS: With the recent rain and snowmelt, creek levels have peaked and are now dropping. Some of the smaller streams and upper section of Chautauqua Creek may be fishable by Sunday. Streams should remain relatively ice-free. Look for an influx of fresh steelhead as levels drop. Effective flies include swinging 1.5 to 2-inch streamers in olive or white and dead-drifting stonefly patterns under an indicator.

There are now water-stage recorders on Chautauqua, Canadaway, Silver, Walnut, Big Sister and Eighteenmile Creeks. At present, these recorders only measure gage height, which is height of the water in the stream above a reference point. There will be a bit of a learning curve here, to figure out how gage height translates to actual stream flow or condition. See the USGS Water Data for New York webpage for this information. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.

*UPPER NIAGARA RIVER: Pack and shore ice has melted quickly, opening up shore fishing opportunities along the upper Niagara River. River waters are murky but fishable. Fishing has been good for bass and walleye and should resume once the River clears. Controlled drifting with bottom bouncing rigs and worm harnesses is a good tactic for the ‘eyes’. Spinner and worm rigs are also working on the ‘eyes. Smallmouth bass have been hitting shiners and crayfish. Look for smallmouth bass around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the west side of Grand Island. 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. The various harbors and marinas around the upper river are worth a look for perch. Live emerald shiners are the top perch bait and have been available for dipping in many spots. For largemouth, try using shad raps in the back eddies. The Small Boat Harbor ice was hit hard with the rain and the word is that it is not safe.

*LOWER NIAGARA RIVER: Lower river waters are in good shape and action has recently been good for boaters from Devils Hole down to the Niagara Bar. Steelhead are top catch in the upper drifts on egg sacs, while lake trout are seemingly available from top to bottom. Walleye and the occasional brown trout round out the catches. A three-way rig with flat fish style lures like Mag Lip or Kwikfish produce a mix of steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. A three-way with a live shiner is a better bet for walleye. If you do catch some walleye, remember that the minimum size is 18 inches and from Jan. 1 to March 15 the daily creel is one fish per person per day. The intent there is to protect the females that are getting ready to spawn soon. Not much safe shore fishing opportunities due to shelf ice along the shoreline. Boot cleats are recommended due to very slick shorelines. For fishing access maps and lower river fishing information see the Fishing the Lower Niagara River page. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/67913.html ) State Parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access. For a copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map, check out http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf

*LAKE ONTARIO – WEST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO - WEST – TRIBS:  Lake Ontario tributaries are in good shape. Currently, anglers are catching brown trout and steelhead with occasional coho salmon mixed in. Jigs tipped with a wax worm, egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. Ice has been flushed out of Olcott and Wilson Harbors and launch docks are in place. For those new to stream fishing for steelhead, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries page for more information. If you are fishing a section of a Lake Ontario tributary (Except Niagara River and Salmon River) upstream of the bridge closest to the mouth, be aware that only one hook with a single hook point is permitted, except for floating lures and artificial flies. See the Great Lakes and Tributary Regulations for more information.

*CHAUTAUQUA LAKE: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate and the edge ice is disappearing. If you do go out be extremely careful. As the ice goes you can try some shore 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: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate and the edge ice is disappearing. If you do go out be extremely careful. As the ice goes you can try some shore fishing. A web cam for the lake is http://weather.weatherbug.com/…/weather-ca…/local-cams.html… (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26918.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CONESUS LAKE: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate and the edge ice is disappearing. If you do go out be extremely careful. As the ice goes you can try some shore fishing. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) For lake conditions at the north end check out http://www.conesuscam.com/links.htm#. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Conesus – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*HEMLOCK LAKE: Ice was reported up to 7 inches over most of lake, however since the melt – no reports. What ever ice remaining is deteriorating and anglers must use extreme caution if they go out. Be especially careful of the shore ice. (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: Ice was reported up to 10 inches over most of lake, however since the melt – no reports. What ever ice remaining is deteriorating and anglers must use extreme caution if they go out. Be especially careful of the shore ice. Talk now, as the ice goes, is to try kayak fishing for smelt and lake trout. A recommended tactic is use a 10 foot fly rod and sinking line along with smelt pattern streamers, usually with a little weight about 7 feet up the leader.  The key is to take a paddle stroke and glide, then another stroke, etc.  Strikes are usually occur when the fly starts to move after the glide. Choppy water is way better than calm. Best tip is: upon getting a strike, take 2 or 3 strong paddle strokes to drive in the hook and keep a tight line while you pause to get the rod out of the holder.  (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: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate and the edge ice is disappearing. If you do go out be extremely careful. As the ice goes you can try some shore fishing. (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 at the north and south ends of the lake has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. If you do go out be extremely careful. Open water fishing remains slow 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. The water is clear, and it helps to make long casts to your targeted area. Several baits have been effective, especially wacky rigged Zoom Trick Worms. Colors varied with light conditions. 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 either the north or south ends in about 12-16 feet of water using worms as bait. Jig it vertically from the bottom to about 1 foot off the bottom. Pickerel were hitting on stick-baits and "J-plugs" while trolling in 10-15 fow on the south end. Green and white were working colors. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25578.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Canandaigua – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WANETA/LAMOKA LAKES: No update on the 12 inches of ice on the lakes but, for sure, it has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. If you do go out be extremely careful. Check out the Waneta Web Cam http://www.wanetawebcam.com/. (Waneta Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88278.html / Lamoka Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88285.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*KEUKA LAKE: The ice in the Penn Yan branch has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. No current update on what’s left but the shore ice is gone. On the open water laker action is reported fair to good on the lake. Try jigging at 80 - 115 feet in 100 - 160 feet of water with white buck tail jigs, white paddletails or white tube jigs with no bait. Fishing with alewives near bottom in 90 to 125 foot of water is also producing some lake trout. Also on open water – 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: On the open water a few anglers try 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. Look for fair to good lake trout fishing, trolling in 50 to 80 fow over a 90 to 200 foot bottom, with flasher-flys in green or white, stickbaits or black and purple spoons. At the south end, anglers are reporting some fair pike action. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25574.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Seneca – email fwfish8@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*CAYUGA LAKE: No updates on the ice at the north end but with current conditions what ice that may be there would not considered safe. On open water, the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter and the Landlocked salmon action has been fair. Trolling and/or vertical jigging are working. Try using hairjigs for the lake trout. For those shore fishing, when conditions permit, also some lakers and browns. The lake level is extremely low. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36544.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Cayuga – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.)

*SKANEATELES LAKE: No updates on ice conditions received this week but with the current warm weather and lack of ice thickness previously, be extremely cautious if you do go out (not recommended). (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36556.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Skaneateles – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*OWASCO LAKE: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. The south end is reported clear. No hard water angling is recommended (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.)

2018 state of Owasco Lake Fisheries: The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Owasco Lake's fisheries. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Rd, Auburn, NY

*OTISCO LAKE: The lake ice has taken a hit from the warm, rainy weather and the ice left is continuing to deteriorate. No hard water angling is recommended. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/36552.html ) (Become a DEC diary keeper for Otisco – email fwfish7@dec.ny.gov.) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*EASTERN TROUT STREAMS: Local trout streams are running at moderate to high levels but may be snowed/iced in. During cold weather, trout anglers will have to look for open water on warm sunny days to test their skill. Midday is usually better when the weather is colder as that is usually the warmest time of the day. For best results keep your offerings small and your presentations s-l-o-w. 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: The reservoir was covered with ice up to 12 inches, but during this past week it was under water due to rain and runoff. This will cause some major deterioration of the ice, so if you do go out be extremely careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40284.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.) 

*SANDY POND: There was up to 18 inches of ice reported but now it’s down to 10 inches and it is deteriorating. There are reports of large holes and pressure cracks opening and shore ice melting. Anglers that do get out have found a decent perch bite although there are a number of small ones and some walleye and Northern pike. If you do go be extremely careful. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41039.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*ONONDAGA LAKE: The lake ice is deteriorating so be extra careful. No reports from anglers on exact conditions or what’s being caught. (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/60782.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)
*ONEIDA LAKE: Ice and shoreline conditions vary around the lake. There are reports of large holes and expanded pressure cracks. Please use caution and your own good judgment if deciding to venture out. On the main ice flow is reported up to 15 inches and perch and walleye are being picked up if you hit the right spot.
Jigging Rapalas tipped with a minnow head have been working for the walleye and hot jigs for perch are 5mm tungsten in chartreuse glow tipped with mousie grubs for perch and clown shad rap jigging rapalas tipped with the head of a buckeye minnow. If you do go out use extreme caution.  (Lake Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41034.html )

*LAKE ONTARIO - EAST: The lake fishing has wound down for the season. Most of the activity is taking place in the rivers. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

*LAKE ONTARIO – EAST - TRIBS: The steelhead are hitting in Maxwell Creek. The creek is open. Steelhead are hitting egg sacs and beads. Use anything that’s bright. For those new to stream fishing for salmon, view Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries for information on salmon fishing equipment, tackle, techniques and links to salmon stream maps. (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*WAYNE COUNTY BAYS: The shore ice on the Bays is disappearing and the main ice has lots of spider holes in areas where there were auger holes. Water covers the ice and in many areas you can forget the ice, it’s just water. If you do venture out (not recommend) be extremely careful.  Wayne County offers a Fishing Brochure which features where to go, what to use, and what to catch. Call 1-800-527-6510 for a free fishing packet. They also offer an ice fishing guide which gives you the basics of fishing on our bays. Contact the tourism office if you wish the brochure.  (Bay profiles: Sodus - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88424.html / Port - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88435.html ) (Reports are needed. Use our contact page.)

*MONROE COUNTY WATERS:  The Greece ponds may still have 3 – 5 inches of wet ice but it won’t last long and ice fishing is not recommended. If you do try watch shore ice, existing holes and areas of flowing water. Braddock's Bay is now open water. Irondequiot Bay is probably the same. On the lower Genesee, if you get to open water, try for brown trout. (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: With the combination of rain and melting snow from the warm weather, it’s no surprise the water level has increased. Fishing has been challenging, fish are around but it's been difficult to get them to bite. Once things settle, look for some steelhead in the lower and middle sections, with egg-imitating flies or pink, chartreuse and blue egg sacs producing fish. Also, look for fish throughout the river, dead drifting with nymphs or float fishing with egg sacs and pink worms produced the best results. Those who are bottom bouncing or float fishing in the mid to upper end of the river had the best results with egg sacs, beads and pink worms. A reminder that the Upper Fly Section is closed. For information on steelhead fishing please view Steelhead Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributarie. (River Profile - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/37926.html )

*OSWEGO RIVER: With the rain and snow melt that we had during the warm weather last week, the river rose. The flow makes it difficult to fish along the river. Once the frozen sections of the river broke up, driftboats were able to access the water for a day or so with some nice catches. Then we had high water and not much activity. 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: On the rivers, the rain and warm weather blew out the ice and sent water levels roaring, so nothing to report until things settle down. Once settled you can try marabou jigs for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass. In the deeper holes try tube baits for the smallmouth bass and walleye. Natural colors tend to work better. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) is producing smallmouth bass and also catfish. Use as light a weight as you can get away with, it seems to be improving the bite. (River Profiles: Chemung - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88333.html / Chenango - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63442.html / Tioughnioga - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89718.html and the Unadilla - http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/63437.html )

 

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

JANUARY 2018

1-2/28 – NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament through Feb. 28. Seven species categories. Open water or through the ice. (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)

FEBRUARY 2018

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

24 - Ice World Erie Exploration at Evangola State Park, 10191 Old Lake Shore Road, Irving, NY (10:00 am – noon) (For information/register call 716-549-1050) 

24 – Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Team Event out of Lakeside Park, Mayville, NY on Chautauqua Lake. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then) Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team.) (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

24-25 - Catteraugus County Sportsman Show at Seneca Allegany Event Center, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) Hosted by York-Penn Shows of New York. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. 400 tables. (Cost: $8.00) (For information call James Buck at 716-569-6810 or email  topdrake@yahoo.com)

25 – Fly Tying Demonstration Of  “Cuban Flea” Fly And Tactics For Local Steelhead at the Orvis Store, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY. (Noon)

28 – State of Owasco Lake Information Meeting at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Rd, Auburn, NY. (7:00 – 9:00 pm) DEC will present information on Owasco Lake, including summaries of the latest available fisheries research and management strategies and actions, as well as contributions from Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) and the Eastern Finger Lakes Angler Diary Cooperator Program. (For information call 607-753-3095 ext. 213.)

31- Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am B 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section 2 mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)

MARCH 2018

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

3 - Ice Masters Elite Tournament Trail Blind Draw Team Event out of Braddocks Bay Marina on Braddocks Bay. (Registration 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Weigh in at 2 p.m. (you must be off the ice by then). Several species categories. (Entry fee is $60 for a team ($30 per person). (For information contact Mark Dusablon at 607-742-0343.)

3 – Western New York Frogs and the Hellbender – Identification and Citizen Science at the Pfeiffer Nature Center, 1974 Lillibridge Road, Portville NY. (For informatio/register call 716-933-0187 or email naturalist@pfeiffernaturecenter.org )

3-4 - Olean Rod Gun Massive Sportman’s Show at the Daniel A Carter Auctions & Appraisals Inc,

2593 West Five Mile Road, Allegany, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (Admission - $5.00/12 and under – Free/In Uniform – Free) This event is hosted by the Olean Rod & Gun Club Inc. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. Sale items will include: ammo, reloading, archery, knives, military, collectibles, sporting good, fishing, targets & trapping. 120 tables. (For information contact Dave at 716-372-4231 or John 716-373-4867 or go to http://oleanrodandgunclub.com)

4 - Sportsmen Flea/Yard Sale at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY. (Noon – 5:00 pm) Bring or look for old-new fishing, hunting, trapping, camping equipment etc. NO GUNS. (For information call Paul at 716-680-4629).

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TIP :   FEBUARY17-18 - FREE FISHING DAYS in New York State. No license required so it’s the perfect time to introduce someone to the sport or invite friends or family from out of state.

 

TIP # 2: 2018 STATE OF OWASCO LAKE FISHERIES: The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) announced an informational meeting on the current state of Owasco Lake's fisheries. The meeting is scheduled for 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, at the Bass Pro Shop's meeting room, located in the Finger Lakes Mall, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY.

 

TIP #3: 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.

 

 

The weather will cause ice conditions to change over the next few days, especially along shorelines and areas subject to run-off. Old holes and pressure cracks will likely be getting larger. Keep this in mind if venturing out, use your own good judgment and follow the safety steps mentioned and referenced above. The ice surface will also likely be wet and very slick without any snow cover so creepers or cleats are highly recommended.

 

LAKE ERIE:  Ice fishing conditions continue to stay good for now, but things could change quickly. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were reports of safe ice and good fishing from a variety of local areas. Fishermen have been catching wall