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Central New York Fishing Hotline

December 5 - December 19

Very little new information to report again this week and this trend will continue until we get some ice.

As a word of warning, dock structures at DEC boat launches have been removed. So, please plan accordingly.

Also, just a reminder that from November 1st - May 1st, all persons aboard a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet regardless of age must wear a Personal Flotation Device while underway.

Tip of the week: As we await ice formation now is a good time to replace the monofilament line on your jigging rods. Monofilament line has a "memory" and line that has been left on the reel for a while will come off curly. This is very noticeable, especially when trying to get a small 1/32 ice jig to go down a hole. Depending on the species and depth of water you usually fish, you can save some money by only replacing a portion of the line. For example: if you fish mainly for bluegills in 15 foot or less of water, you may only need to replace about 15-20 yards (it's nice to have a little extra just in case). You still want your reel spooled to capacity. Basically you peel off some of the old line and use a blood knot to connect the new line to the old line.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

Lake report is done for the season.

Oswego River

The river is up even more from last week and is flowing at 11,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 12/05. This higher flow can make shore fishing challenging but helps the drift boat anglers. Anglers are still getting some nice brown trout and steelhead and good baits have been pink trout worms, egg sacs, trout beads and white jigs.
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 flow is also up from last week and is at 1,200 cfs as of 12/05. Though steelhead are scattered throughout the river, most of the activity has been taking place in the upper river with the higher flows. Steelhead are still being a bit finicky though, so it will take some work, patience, and moving around to catch one. Good baits for the steelhead remain egg sacs, streamers, woolly buggers, stoneflies and egg imitating flies and plastics.

Oneida Lake

The shore walleye bite has been slowly winding down over the last few weeks but when conditions allow, anglers are still getting them with stickbaits working.

Cayuga Lake

Anglers are getting a few brown trout in some of the tributaries. Streams are running low and clear so using light line and stealth is helping get more bites.

Skaneateles Lake

The DEC launch was closed for the season.

Susquehanna River

Anglers have been getting some musky on the river. Walleye fishing can be good this time of year for anglers fishing the deeper pools when conditions allow.

Whitney point Reservoir, Owasco Lake, Sandy Pond, Otisco Lake, Chenango and Tioughnioga Rivers

Few anglers have been out so no new information and there will probably be nothing to report until we get some ice.

Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

Steelhead and brown trout are being taken in the tributaries with egg sacks, egg pattern flies and wooly buggers working. Flows are still relatively low so using lighter line and less weight can help.

Seneca Lake

Anglers fishing from shore at Sampson State Park are getting yellow perch and also some lake trout on days when the wind isn't blowing too hard. Heavy sinkers are recommended to make a long cast to get to the fish.

Sodus Bay

Yellow perch are being taken in the deeper areas of the bay with small minnows working.

Canandaigua Lake, Keuka Lake, and Irondequoit Bay

Few anglers have been out so no new information for these water.

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.