New York State's Top Fishing Waters
While excellent fishing is found across New York State, certain waters are anglers' favorites for various species. The following list is just a sample of the top waters. Keep in mind, however, that there are hundreds of smaller, yet exceptionally good lakes, ponds, and streams scattered across the state. Many of the fishing trips listed here require specialized techniques and expertise. A charter or guided trip would be a good way for you and your family to get an introduction on how to catch these fish.
Popular Larger Waters
- Hudson River - Largemouth and smallmouth bass around tributary mouths and in-river structures (submerged logs, pilings) during the summer and fall. In spring, fish for striped bass from below the Troy Dam to the New York City area. Use minnow imitating plugs, or cast bait (cut or live herring).
- Delaware River - Downstream of Lordville for smallmouth bass and walleye; upstream of Lordville and in the branches below Cannonsville and Pepacton reservoirs for brown and rainbow trout. In spring, fish with small spinners, jigs (shad darts) and streamer flies for upstream-migrating American Shad.
- Mohawk River - Tiger muskellunge in Albany and Schenectady counties; walleye and smallmouth bass everywhere.
- Lake Champlain - Lake trout, landlocked salmon, brown trout, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, walleye, and northern pike.
- Finger Lakes - Walleye, smallmouth bass, lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and landlocked salmon.
- Oneida Lake - Walleye, perch, and smallmouth and largemouth bass.
- Lake Ontario - Pacific salmon, lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout/steelhead, walleye, black bass, northern pike and panfish.
- Lake Erie - Walleye, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout/steelhead.
- Salmon River - Along a 12-mile stretch open to the public for chinook salmon, coho salmon, and steelhead. Best fishing runs from mid-September through November and mid-March through mid-May.
- St. Lawrence River - Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, muskellunge, and walleye.
- Niagara River - Upper river- musky, particularly during October and November. Also walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. Lower river- fish for chinook salmon and steelhead in autumn, lake trout during winter and spring. Also good fishing for walleye and smallmouth bass.
Additional Waters and Information
|Cayuga Lake||7, 8||Cayuga, Thompkins,
|lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, black bass, yellow perch|
|Seneca Lake||8||Seneca, Yates||lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, northern pike|
|Keuka Lake||8||Steuben, Yates||lake trout, brown trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, yellow perch|
|Chautauqua Lake||9||Chautauqua||walleye, muskellunge, black bass, crappie, yellow perch, panfish|
|Saratoga Lake||5||Saratoga||black bass, walleye, northern pike, bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch|
|Black Lake||6||St. Lawrence||black bass, northern pike, crappie|
|Lake George||5||Warren||lake trout, landlocked salmon, black bass, northern pike, yellow perch|
|Honeoye Lake||8||Ontario||largemouth bass, walleye, chain pickerel, panfish|
|Conesus Lake||8||Livingston||black bass, walleye, northern pike, tiger muskellunge|
|Canandaigua Lake||8||Ontario, Yates||lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, yellow perch, black bass|
|Waneta Lake||8||Schuyler||muskellunge, pickerel, black bass, panfish|
|Otisco Lake||7||Onondaga||black bass, tiger muskellunge, walleye|
|Owasco Lake||7||Cayuga||lake trout, brown trout, black bass, northern pike|
|Lake Ronkonkoma||1||Suffolk||largemouth bass, panfish, walleye, tiger muskellunge|
|Prospect Park Lake||2||Kings||largemouth bass, panfish, carp|
|Kissena Lake||2||Queens||largemouth bass, panfish, carp|
|Oakland Lake||2||Queens||largemouth bass, panfish, carp|
|Central Park Lake||2||New York||largemouth bass, panfish, carp|
|Beaver Kill||3, 4||Delaware, Sullivan||brown trout|
|E. Branch and W. Branch
|4||Delaware||rainbow trout, brown trout|
|Esopus Creek||3||Ulster||rainbow trout, brown trout|
|Susquehanna River||4, 7||multiple||walleye, smallmouth bass, tiger muskellunge|
|Ausable River||5||Essex||brown trout, rainbow trout|
|St. Lawrence River||6||Jefferson, St. Lawrence||black bass, walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, panfish|
|Lower Genesee River||8||Monroe||Pacific salmon, brown trout, steelhead, walleye|
|Oak Orchard Creek||8||Orleans||Pacific salmon, brown trout, steelhead, walleye|
|Wiscoy Creek||9||Wyoming||brown trout|
|Genesee River||9||Allegany||brown trout|
|East Koy Creek||9||Wyoming||brown trout|
|Black River||6||Lewis, Jefferson||Pacific salmon, walleye, black bass|
|Peconic River||1||Suffolk||largemouth bass, chain pickerel, panfish|
|Connetquot River||1||Suffolk||flyfishing by reservation only (OPRHP); call (631)581-1005|
|Nissequoque River||1||Suffolk||flyfishing by reservation only (OPRHP); call (631)265-1054|