Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Central New York Fishing Hotline

July 21 - July 28

A number of county web sites offer good information on fishing in the region, including bait shops, guides, etc. A few examples are: Onondaga County (fishonondagacounty.com); Oswego County (visitoswegocounty.com); and Wayne County (waynecountytourism.com). Oswego and Wayne counties also have a weekly fishing hotline on their web pages.

April 1st was the start of the new Freshwater Fishing Regulation Guide: April 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018. You can obtain a copy from a licensing agent or view it at Summary of Freshwater Fishing Regulations.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

Try for smallmouth bass in 10 to 20 foot of water with crayfish, tube jigs or drop-shot rigs. Chinook salmon fishing continues to be good though fish have spread out more in the last week. Look in 150 to 300 foot of water, but if your not marking bait or fish keep covering water to you find them. Cut-bait, spoons and flasher and flies are still working and green has been a good color. .

Oswego River

The river is back up again and is at 9,230 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 7/21. Look for smallmouth bass in the river with crayfish or tube jigs, also try crayfish for the sheepshead.

Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory personal flotation device (PFD) zones on the river. Visit Oswego County Tourism web site for more information on this and also for information on the life jacket loaner programs in the area.

Salmon River

This river flow is at 350 cfs as of 7/21. Things are quiet on the river this time of year, which is normal, a few smallmouth bass are being caught.

The Salmon River Fish Hatchery building continues to be closed due to construction. The grounds, including picnic area and fish ladder, are still open dawn to dusk. We anticipate construction to be finished early summer. If you are planning a visit, we suggest calling the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in advance. You can reach the hatchery at 315-298-5051, Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Cayuga Lake

VHS was confirmed on some round gobies collected on Cayuga Lake in early May. For more information on this please view the Press Release.

Keep an eye out for weed mats as they have been an issue for some anglers when trolling. No word on fleas yet on Cayuga but they are starting to be a nuisance on other lakes. Also, watch out for debris from the "weekly" rain events. Anglers continue to have good luck catching lake trout either trolling or vertical jigging with fish still being found over a variety of depths out to about 150 foot. Last week jigging was more productive in 50 to 85 foot of water, than in the deeper areas. Look for bass on the north end along the shore or inside weed lines.

Skaneateles Lake

Look for smallmouth bass along the shore with tube baits, topwaters, and wacky rigged stickworms (Senko style baits). Rock bass should be biting in the same areas and on the same baits. Lake trout are being taken in 60 to 100 foot of water.

Owasco Lake

Lake trout are being taken over a variety of depths on spoons or flasher and flies fished 40 to 60 feet down.

Oneida Lake

An algal bloom has the water really colored up. Sometimes during these algal blooms largemouth bass will move into very shallow water near shore. So, if not catching them deeper you may want to move shallower. Walleye are being taken both in deep water by anglers trolling with worm harness or blade baits, and also in the shallow water around isolated weed clumps.

With round gobies now abundant in the lake, it may require some adjustment in the way anglers fish for walleye. The same thing was required when zebra mussels become established in the lake and the water went from turbid to clear, fishing methods needed to be changed to match the conditions. Gobies are very bottom oriented fish so sometimes just getting a foot or two off bottom will help to avoid some of them. If using worm harnesses try trolling instead of drifting, the faster speed keeps them higher off bottom and also helps to avoid some of the gobies. Using artificial lures instead of live bait can also help. Walleye tend to be "well fed" in goby waters and can be difficult to catch; full fish are generally harder to catch than hungry fish. Sometimes going for reaction bites can help, fish hit out of reflex instead of hunger. This can be accomplished by giving erratic action to your lures by speeding them out, slowing them down, stopping them briefly, giving short quick jerks with the rod, etc.

Sandy Pond

The DEC launch was reopened on Friday, 7/21. Please use caution and watch your wake while boating in the bay.

Otisco Lake

Look for bass near shore or around the weed beds. For walleye try trolling stickbaits and for the tiger musky cast large spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, stickbaits, swim baits or live minnows. Don't forget the wire leaders even if your not targeting tigers, it will help save some of your expensive bass baits from being bitten off.

Whitney Point Reservoir

Try along shore for smallmouth bass using crankbaits, spinnerbaits or tube jigs. Look for walleye along the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 link below.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

The rivers are currently up from the weekly rain events. Before the rain event, white marabou jigs were working for smallmouth bass, walleye, and rock bass around Rock Bottom Dam and Goudy Station. Small silver blade spinners are also working for smallmouths in the riffle areas. Fishing around hard structure (rocks, logs, etc.) with minnows or nightcrawlers 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. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 link below.

Eastern Region 8

Due to high water level, the following Lake Ontario boat launches will be closed until further notice. Other boat launches may not have docks installed. You should call Region 8 Fisheries Office at 585-226-5343 if you have any questions on whether a particular DEC launch is open.

Sandy Creek FAS - Town of Hamlin, Monroe County
Port Bay South FAS - Town of Wolcott, Wayne County
Port Bay West FAS - Town of Huron, Wayne County

Lake Ontario

Chinook salmon are hitting on flashers and flies, spoons or cut-bait in 200 to 400 foot of water. As mentoned above keep searching looking for bait or kings. Lake trout are being taken near bottom on spoons are flashers and "peanuts". Peanuts are small plugs or flies.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bays

Use caution when boating as the lake level is running high at this time, and most bays have a 5 mph speed limit.

Seneca Lake

Fleas are becoming more abundant and can be a nuisance when trolling. Fishing with heavier line (20 pound +) sometimes helps as it collects fewer fleas. Another option is to vertical jig instead of trolling. Trolling spoons or flashers and flies down 50 to 70 feet has been working for lake trout. If anyone would like to contribute to the hotline or if they have a good recommendation for a contact (baitshop, etc.), please use the fwfish7 link below.

Keuka Lake

Fleas are becoming more abundant and can be a nuisance when trolling. Fishing with heavier line (20 pound +) sometimes helps as it collects fewer fleas. Another option is to vertical jig instead of trolling. Lake trout are hitting on alewives fished near bottom in 90 to 115 foot of water. Vertical jigging at the same depths with plastics, white paddletails have been working well, is also working for lake trout. Smallmouth bass are being caught in 30 to 60 foot of water off points. If anyone would like to contribute to the hotline or if they have a good recommendation for a contact (baitshop, etc.), please use the fwfish7 link below.

Canandaigua Lake

No new information. If anyone would like to contribute to the hotline or if they have a good recommendation for a contact (baitshop, etc.), please use the fwfish7 link below.

Note: We are always looking for new participants in our Angler Diary Cooperator Program for our program on the Finger Lakes. Our numbers have dropped in recent years, and we need new cooperators now more than ever. If you fish 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, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Honeoye 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.

If you would like to contribute to the fishing report, or need more fishing information, or have any fishing/fishing equipment related questions, you can contact fwfish7@dec.ny.gov. Good luck fishing.

The fishing line can also be heard at (607) 753-1551.