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Central New York Fishing Hotline

June 24 - July 1

Tip of the week: The weekend of June 25 and 26, is Free Fishing Weekend. Anyone can fish in the freshwater of NY state and no license is required. Since no license is required, It's a perfect time to take a friend or relative fishing!

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 is also the start of the new regulation guide, 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.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

Brown trout are being taken on spoons fished in 25 to 50 foot of water. Lake trout are being taken near bottom in 160 foot of water. Cowbells and "peanuts" (a small plug or fly) have been working for the lake trout. A few Chinook salmon are also being caught.

Oswego River

The river is about the same as last week and is at 1,570 cubic feet per second (cfs), as of 6/24. Anglers are getting a few walleye, channel catfish and smallmouth bass. For the walleye, try using large stickbaits after dark as that is often a great way to catch walleye in the river. For the catfish, try cut-bait or nightcrawlers.

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

Things are slow on the river, which is usual for this time of year.

Oneida Lake

Walleye fishing has been difficult over the last few weeks. But, some anglers are getting them on blade baits fished in 20 to 25 foot of water, or trolling with stickbaits in 25 to 30 foot of water. Good starting points for bass fishing would be near shore weed beds or around the shallow water shoals. Keep moving if not finding fish though. With round gobies becoming more abundant and a major source of prey for the bass, it may alter "typical" seasonal patterns. It may also be necessary to adjust your fishing style to avoid the bait stealing gobies. Sometimes just fishing worms 1.5-2 feet off bottom, instead of right on bottom, can help avoid some of the gobies.

Cayuga Lake

There is a very large Bassmaster Elite tournament being held on the lake this weekend. It will be taking place from June 23 to 26; expect a lot of boat traffic during the event. Lake trout are still being found in a variety of depths, from 50 to 100 foot of water. Both trolling and vertical jigging are working for these fish.

Skaneateles Lake

There are a few reports of some brown drake hatching activity taking place, though it's been slow and sporadic thus far. For smallmouth bass try topwaters, tube jigs, drop-shot rigs, or a Ned-rig. A Ned-rig is basically a jig head with a short (3-4") piece of the tail section of a stick worm (Senko and Stik-O's are examples) threaded on the hook.

Owasco Lake

Try along the shoreline for smallmouth bass using weightless stick worms (Senko and Stik-O's are examples), tube jigs or topwaters. Trolling 40 to 80 feet down over 100 foot of water has been working for the lake trout. Weed mats have been an annoyance over the last week, so be prepared to deal with them when trolling.

Otisco Lake

Working the shoreline with swim jigs, tube jigs or a Ned-rig (see Skaneateles report for description) is still working for smallmouth bass. Largemouth bass were hitting on tube baits or creature baits flipped into the curly-leaf pond weed on the north end of the lake. Tiger musky are still doing more following than hitting. Bluegills are biting on small jigs fished under a bobber along shore. For walleye try casting stickbaits from the causeway after dark or trolling during the day with stickbaits

Sandy Pond

For largemouth bass try flipping or pitching bass jigs or plastics into the vegetation. Try weedless topwater baits over the vegetation. A few walleye are still being taken on stickbaits or jigs.

Whitney Point Reservoir

For the smallmouth bass try small crayfish colored crankbaits fished along shore or tube jigs. Look for channel catfish on the north end or off Keibel Road, night crawlers are always a good choice.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

For smallmouth bass try small crankbaits, tube jigs, topwaters and the Ned-rig (see Skaneateles report for description). For musky, try large stickbaits, spinnerbaits or a large minnow fished under a bobber. Look for walleye in the deeper holes with bucktail jigs or crankbaits.

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

The windy conditions continue to alter the fishing from day to day, with fish being found at one depth one day and gone the next. Brown trout were being taken in 20 to 30 foot, and lake trout were being found near bottom in 120 to 200 foot of water. A few steelhead are being taken fishing 40 feet down over 150 foot of water, while a few kings are being taken 100 foot down over the 150 foot of water.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bay

Look for largemouth bass along the weed edges with plastics or crankbaits. Try over the vegetation or along shore with topwaters or weightless stick worms (Senko or Stik-O are examples). Some northern pike are being taken in Sodus on spoons or large minnows. Yellow perch are still being taken in the bays on small minnows.

Seneca Lake

Weed mats have been an annoyance when trolling, so be prepared to deal with them if trolling. Lake trout are being taken by anglers trolling in 80 to 100 foot of water. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 email link below.

Keuka Lake

Lake trout are being taken by anglers vertical jigging or trolling in 80 to 100 foot of water. Fishing alewives (sawbelly) near bottom in 50 to 60 foot of water is also working for lake trout. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 email link below.

Canandaigua Lake

Trolling near bottom in 125 to 200 foot of water is producing some lake trout. 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.