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Central New York Fishing Hotline

September 27 - October 3

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.

Tip of the week: This is a repeat tip from last fall: Fishing during the fall can be very good as many species go on a "feeding frenzy" before winter. But, until fish set up on a consistent pattern, fall fishing can also be very frustrating as fish are often scattered from shallow to deep water. So, be prepared to try a variety of depths.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

Little has changed from last week. Salmon are still spread out and are being taken in 80 to 200 feet of water. A good starting point continues to be in the 80 to 100 foot depths around river mouths. Flasher and flies, spoons, j-plugs and cut-bait are all working, with green and white being good colors. Things can change quickly when fish decide to head to the tributaries, so cover water looking for fish or bait if not marking or catching fish.

Oswego River

The river is about the same as last week and is flowing at 1,350 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 9/25. There are some salmon coming into the river each day but no big runs yet. As mentioned above, things can change quickly this time of year when the fish decide to run. Try egg sacs, skein, egg imitating plastics and flies.
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.

Salmon River

The current flow is 350cfs. Little has changed from last week, with a few fish coming in each day but no big runs yet. There are fish being taken throughout the river with the deeper pools seeing the most action. And once again things can change very quickly on the river when a big pod of fish decide to make a run.

There is an Open House at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery on Saturday, September 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Oneida Lake

We continue to be stuck in the same general pattern, with walleye being taken in 30 to 40 feet of water with stickbaits, blade baits, buck tail jigs tipped with night crawlers and worm harnesses all working. With the cooler temperatures it shouldn't be long before the shore walleye bite starts to pick-up though. A few anglers have been out, but overall this night bite has been slow. Casting stickbaits from shore just before and after dark can often be very good in the fall on this lake. Bass fishing has been hot-or-cold depending on the day and they are being taken both shallow and deep. Keep an eye out for birds diving; when bass are feeding on young of the year (YOY) gizzard shad or yellow perch, they often drive them to the surface. Terns and gulls take advantage of this and can be seen from a long ways off as they dive to catch the shad or perch. Also keep an eye out for individual fish breaking. This is harder to see then the birds though. Bass usually don't stay up long during this, so you need to get to the area quickly. Casting topwaters, lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits, swimbaits or stickbaits into these feeding fish can produce some exciting action when this is taking place. YOY gizzard shad are running small this year so it may pay to down size your baits. Yellow perch action is starting to pick up and fish are being taken in 10 to 15 foot of water.

Otisco Lake

Look for walleye and smallmouth bass in 15 to 25 foot of water. Like mentioned for Oneida, these cooler temperatures may help start the nighttime shore walleye bite here as well. In the fall, casting stickbaits from the causeway after dark can produce some nice walleye. The current surface temperature (9/24) has been around 65 degrees F.

Whitney Point Reservoir

Bass fishing has slowed down, but a few are still being taken along shore. Some crappie are being taken around the pond area.

Owasco Lake

Trolling spoons or flasher and flies 50 to 75 feet down is still working for lake trout and the occasional rainbow trout. Both the north and south ends have been producing fish lately. Jigging has been good in 80 to 100 foot of water.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

Some walleye are being taken on brown colored jigs fished near bottom and also on stickbaits.

Skaneateles Lake

Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good with fish being found shallower then they have been, with 10 to 20 foot being a good depth range to try. Good baits are drop-shot rigs and tube jigs. Yellow perch are being found in 25 foot of water with small minnows working.

Cayuga Lake

Lake trout are still being taken by anglers jigging in 60 to 100 foot of water. Trolling is also producing lake trout with flasher and flies and spoons working well. Trolling 70 to 100 feet down over 120 to 180 foot of water has been a good starting point. Keep an eye out for weed mats, as they are still creating headaches for anglers trolling. Largemouth bass are being found around the lake along outside weed edges, with bass jigs or plastics working well.

Sandy Pond

Fishing has slowed on the pond as vegetation has made fishing more difficult.

Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

Some salmon are being taken by anglers casting glow in the dark spoons off piers after dark. While brown trout are hitting on cleos cast of the piers early and late in the day. Anglers trolling are still finding salmon both shallow and deep. Look for salmon in 80 to 90 foot of water around river mouths and also out over 250 foot of water. Salmon are hitting flasher and flies and cut-bait. Some salmon are being taken in the Genesee River. As mentioned above things can change quickly this time of year.

Seneca Lake

Lake trout are being taken 50 to 85 feet down over 100 to 200 foot of water. Flasher and flies in green or white continue to work well. Vertical jigging is also producing lake trout in 85 to 120 feet of water.

Canandaigua Lake

Trolling spoons 45 to 60 feet down is producing some lake trout and an occasional rainbow trout.

Keuka Lake

Jigging continues to improve and lake trout are being found in 55 to 115 foot of water with booth the Bluff area and the Branchport arm producing fish. Trolling 55 to 75 feet down is also producing fish

Sodus and Irondequoit Bays

Bass fishing has slowed, but some are still being taken in shallow water on stick worms, spinnerbaits and bass jigs. Still no word on any yellow perch activity yet.

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@gw.dec.state.ny.us. 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@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

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@gw.dec.state.ny.us. Good luck fishing.

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