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Central New York Fishing Hotline

October 20 - October 28

Tip of the week: We've all been there, your fishing in the same boat or ice shanty with someone, and while they are catching fish like crazy you cannot buy a bite. It's extremely frustrating as you are just a few feet apart and using the exact same bait/lure. It's a great example of how little subtle differences can result in one angler having a great day and another a not so great day. Though you're using the same bait/lure it may be something as small as they are using 6# line and you have 8# on your reel, or they may be fishing slightly slower/faster than you are.

Fishing licenses are now good for 365 days; check to make sure your license is still valid before heading out on the water! April 1st was also the start of the new regulation guide, effective April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017. You can obtain a copy from a licensing agent or it can be viewed online at Freshwater Fishing Guide.

A number of county web sites offer good information on fishing in the area, including bait shops, guides, etc. A few examples are: Onondaga County (; Oswego County (; and Wayne County ( Oswego and Wayne counties also have a weekly fishing hotline on their web page as well.

As mentioned in previous weeks, reports are getting harder to come by as anglers put down their fishing gear and begin heading to the woods. This trend will continue through the fall/early winter until ice fishing begins. So, there will likely be little new fishing information in coming weeks.

Also, as a word of warning, many of the dock structures at the DEC boat launches will be removed shortly, or may have been removed already. So, please plan accordingly. DEC docks have been removed from Port Byron and Mud Lock (Seneca River), and Bonstead Road (Oneida River).

Region 7

Lake Ontario

The lake report is done for the season.

Oswego River

The river is up from last week and is at 5,380 cubic feet per second (cfs), as of 10/20. Salmon are being taken by the dam and off the wall. Egg imitating flies and plastics are working, as is skein (salmon eggs still attached to the membrane). Fishing skein under a slip bobber is also starting to produce a few steelhead.

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

The Lower Fly Section will Open on Friday, October 21st. The river is flowing at 185 cfs as of 10/20. There are still plenty of Chinook and coho salmon to be found in the river, with fish spread out from top to bottom. A few steelhead are also starting to show up in the lower river. The Chinook egg collection is now done at the hatchery, so hatchery workers will now be starting the coho egg take. Egg collection takes place on weekdays only, and from around 9:30 AM to about Noon. Pacific Salmon Fishing in Lake Ontario Tributaries.

Oneida Lake

The Lewis Point fishing access location is now open for the season. Yellow perch fishing is picking up with fish being taken on small minnows or jigs in 5 to 10 foot of water. The fall walleye bite hasn't really kicked in yet, though anglers are starting to get a few. With the rain and cooler temperatures predicted this weekend action could be improving in a hurry. Casting stickbaits (minnow imitating lures) from shore, just before and after dark can often be a great way to catch walleye this time of year on Oneida.

Cayuga Lake

Lake trout fishing remains about the same and they are being taken by anglers jigging or trolling in 80 to 140 foot of water. With rain in the forecast, it's possible the tributary fishing will be starting soon.

Skaneateles Lake

The lake level is still down at this time. No new information to report. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 email link below.

Owasco Lake

Lake trout are being taken on the north end by anglers vertical jigging with spoons or plastics, or trolling with spoons or flasher and flies.

Otisco Lake

The lake level is way down, so be extra careful when boating. Tiger musky fishing continues to be good for anglers casting swimbaits, chatterbaits, swim jigs and spinnerbaits.

Sandy Pond

No new information to report. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 email link below.

Whitney Point Reservoir

Fishing has been slow the last few weeks, but our fall walleye assessment electrofishing survey turned up some nice legal length walleye and a few nice largemouth bass. It may pay to try casting stickbaits along the shore early and late in the day. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 email link below.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

A word of caution for anglers headed to the Susquehanna River: with the current low water levels, launching and retrieving boats at many of the launch sites has been difficult, or impossible, at this time. Fishing with tube jigs or stickbaits (like Rapala Husky jerks) in the deeper holes is producing some nice sized smallmouth bass. For the tubes natural colors continuing to work best and for the stickbaits the flashier the bait the better. Minnows are also working for the smallmouth bass.

A number of muskies were tagged on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please Do Not remove the tag if releasing the musky. Please, write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length to 607-753-3095; or use the fwfish7 email link below. If keeping the musky please report the same information.

Eastern Region 8

Special Permit Allows Increased Fish Harvest at NYSDEC Avon Office Pond

Pond maintenance began May 2 at the DEC Region 8 headquarters. This work requires lowering the water level. Although steps will be taken to avoid fish mortality, fish kills are possible. To reduce potential fish kills, effective April 18, 2016, until further notice - Black bass, Yellow perch, Crappie, Sunfish, and Bullhead may be taken by rod and reel, for human consumption only, in any number and at any size from the DEC Region 8 Office Pond. A special permit is required to harvest fish in excess of the Statewide Regulations or during the closed season. Special permits are available at the DEC Region 8 front desk Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM - 4:45 PM. Permittees must have a valid fishing license or meet the requirements for not needing a license. Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) 11-0517(2) gives DEC authority to allow removal of fish by rod and reel from a water body when a loss of fish is anticipated.

Lake Ontario

A few salmon and trout are still being taken by anglers casting spoons off from piers. Hopefully the rain predicted over the next few days will get some much needed water into the streams.

Chemung River

An angler was nice enough to send in some Chemung River fishing information so we will be posting it on this weeks hotline. With the low water levels wading has been a better option than fishing from a boat. The section between Waverly and Elmira has been good early in the morning. A mixed bag of smallmouth bass, walleye and catfish are being taken on stickworms (Senko style baits) or spinners. White has been a good color for the stickworms and black/silver or perch colored for the spinners. With the low/clear water light line is recommended, 4 to 6 pound test and the real early morning bite has been best with action slowing down by 8:00 AM.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bays

Some largemouth bass, yellow perch and a few northern pike are still being taken in bays.

Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua Lakes

No new information. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 email 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 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

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 Good luck fishing.

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