Central New York Fishing Hotline
July 25 - August 1
As of June 4th there are new regulations in effect for Aquatic Invasive Species Control at NYS DEC Boat Launching and Fishing Access Sites. Please view Aquatic Invasive Species Control for more information.
A reminder that as of May 1, 2014 there is a New Boating Education Law: Any person born on or after May 1, 1996 MUST have a boating safety certificate to operate a motor boat. For more information on this new law, or to find a boater safety course, please visit the NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation boating education web page. A link can be found in the right hand column under Links Leaving DEC's Website, titled New York State Parks Boating Guide.
Tip of the week: The last few weeks have been a little "crazy" weather wise, with extremely hot days and then we get hit with a major cold front. I thought this might be a good time for a tip on having confidence when fishing. Confidence is not something that is often talked about when people discuss fishing, but it's very important. Let's say you watch the weather report and see that it's not going to be what you would consider a "perfect day" or you talk to someone at the dock who mentions fishing has been very hard, or you read this hotline and see that fishing has been slow on lake X. If you start your day off with negative thoughts like the fish aren't going to bite today or I'm not going to catch anything, you're not going to have any confidence and most likely you will put less effort into the day. As mentioned a few tip of the weeks ago, often tiny little adjustments can make a big difference in the number of fish we catch. With little confidence we often don't try to make these adjustments as we think, "what is the point, the fish aren't biting anyways." It can often be difficult to do, but try to keep a positive attitude when fishing as it can often make a big difference in the number of fish you catch.
Salmon fishing has been good one day and slow the next. Look for salmon in 150 to 300 foot of water and from 40 to 110 feet down. Fish are being taken on spoons, flasher and flies and cut-bait. Green and white continue to be good colors. Brown trout are being taken on spoons fished 80 feet down. While lake trout are being found near bottom with cowbells and peanuts (small flies or plugs) working well.
Oswego Harbor Fest is taking place this weekend (7/25-27) so expect a lot of boat traffic. The river is down and is flowing at approximately 2,040 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 7/24. Some freshwater drum (sheepshead), channel catfish and smallmouth bass are being taken in the river. Try crayfish for the sheepshead and bass, and worms or cut-bait for the catfish.
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.
The current flow is 185cfs. Fishing is slow on the river at this time, which is usual for this time of year.
The walleye bite continues with fish being taken in 30 to 40 feet of water with stickbaits, blade baits (gold or fire tiger), buck tail jigs tipped with night crawlers and worm harnesses all producing fish. Some walleye are also being taken on worm harnesses being trolled along weed edges. Bass fishing has been good for anglers fishing around the shoals with drop-shot rigs or tube baits. Chain pickerel fishing continues to be good on the lake. Though boney, pickerel are good eating and one way of dealing with the bones is to grind the filets in a food processor and then make fish patties out of them. The daily limit for pickerel is 5 and minimum length is 15 inches.
Fishing has slowed down on the lake over the last few weeks, but some largemouth bass are being taken around the weed edges on spinnerbaits or plastics.
Jigging is still producing lake trout in 90 to 110 feet of water. It varies by day on whether plastics or spoons are working better, so give both a try. Lake trout are also being taken by anglers trolling spoons 60 to 80 feet down over 90 to 110 feet of water. A variety of methods are working to get baits down: wire with divers, copper (300 feet has been a good starting point) and down riggers. No word on how the water fleas have been, but it would be a good idea to be prepared to deal with them. Smallmouth bass are being taken off the points with drop-shot rigs working.
Whitney Point Reservoir
Walleye action has been good around the islands for anglers drifting with worms or minnows.
Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers
Rain events continue to make the river difficult to fish. When conditions allow, anglers have been getting walleye on crankbaits; walleye divers have been working well.
Lake trout and rainbow trout are being found 35 to 60 feet down for anglers trolling with small spoons. Smallmouth bass are being found from the bank out to 20 feet of water. Good baits to try would be stick worms (some examples are Senkos, Stik-O's and Yum Dingers), drop-shot rigs, tube jigs or live crayfish.
Fleas and weed mats seem to be less of a nuisance this week, but it does vary by day and wind direction. Anglers trolling 40 to 80 feet down over 150 to 250 feet of water are getting lake trout and a few brown trout. Darker colored spoons seem to be working better than flasher and flies lately and anglers are using wire with divers (200 feet back) and down riggers to get baits down. Vertical jigging is also producing fish in 75 to 95 foot of water with a variety of plastics working, and is a good option if fleas and weeds become too much of a hassle. Bass fishing has been good on the north end for anglers fishing plastics in 15 to 20 feet of water.
Fishing has slowed on the pond as vegetation has made fishing more difficult. There are still a few northern pike being and largemouth bass being caught.
Eastern Region 8
Trolling spoons or stickbaits real early in the morning in 20 to 30 feet of water is still producing some brown trout. As the day brightens move to deeper water. Look for salmon 80 to 85 feet down over 100 to 150 feet of water. Spoons, flasher and flies and cut-bait are all working at this time. Look for lake trout near bottom with spoons or cowbells and peanuts. Trolling crankbaits in 20 to 30 feet of water is producing a few smallmouth bass.
Weed mats and water fleas are still making trolling difficult on the lake. If fishing with a down rigger try using flea flicker line, or use a Dipsey diver with wire, or try trolling with copper line. Trolling spoons from 40 to 120 feet down continues to work well for lake trout. Vertical jigging is also producing lake trout in 85 to 95 feet of water, and is a good alternative to trolling if fleas or weeds become an issue.
Overall, fishing has been slow recently but some lake trout are being taken by anglers trolling spoons 50 to 85 feet down over 200 feet of water. Like the other Finger Lakes, anglers are using a variety of methods to get baits down. A good starting point has been 150 feet for wire and divers and 250 feet for copper. Fleas and weeds have been less of a nuisance this week when trolling.
Trolling 60 feet down over 120 to 135 feet of water was working for lake trout. Flasher and flies, or spoons were both producing fish. Water fleas have started and can make trolling more difficult. With the fleas starting it may pay to vertical jig instead or try flea-flicker lines, wire and divers or troll with copper. Jigging was producing fish in 110 to 120 feet of water around the Bluff area.
Sodus and Irondequoit Bays
Bass are being taken on the outside weed edges with spinnerbaits, stick worms (some examples are Senkos, Stik-O's, and Yum Dingers) and a variety of plastics.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck fishing.
The fishing line can also be heard at (607) 753-1551.