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Central New York Fishing Hotline

September 13 - September 20

A drawdown will be taking place on DeRuyter Reservoir, Madison County, to allow dam repair work to take place. Access from the dam will be greatly restricted once construction starts and launching from the fee launch site at the south end will not be feasible until the water level returns to normal next year. Note also that during the lake drawdown period this fall, anglers should expect higher than normal flows in Limestone Creek.

For those interested, there are also other fishing hotline/reports available for the region. A few of the web sites are: Wayne County Tourism, Visit Oswego County, and Oneida Lake Fishing Report (leaves DEC website).

The New York State Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide runs from April 1st of the current year to March 30th of the following year. Starting on April 1, 2019 the guide you want to be using is the 2019-20 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide (PDF, 10 MB). The Fishing Guide can also be picked up where fishing licenses are sold.

Region 7 and Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario and Bays

Salmon are being taken around river mouths as they stage to enter the rivers for spawning. There are also salmon being taken out deeper in 200 foot of water fishing 60 to 100 foot down. Spoons, flashers and flies, j-plugs and cut-bait (meat rigs) are all still working.

Sandy Pond

Nothing new to report this week for the pond.

Oswego River

The flow is up from last week and it's running at 4,750 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of September 13. There are some salmon in the river with beads and skein working at times. Please view this link for more information on Fishing for Pacific Salmon. A video on Salmon and Trout Identification can be found on the top of the Great Lakes Fishing page.

Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory personal flotation device (PFD) zones on the river. Visit Oswego County Tourism website (leaves DEC website) for more information on this and also for information on the life jacket loaner programs in the area.

Salmon River

The river is running at 335 cfs as of September 13. There are salmon in the river with most of the activity taking place in the lower river at this time. With the bright sunny days most of the movement has been early and late in the day. Just a reminder that the Lower Fly fishing section opens on September 15th. Please view this link for more information on Fishing for Pacific Salmon. A video on Salmon and Trout Identification can be found on the top of the Great Lakes Fishing page.

The 21st Salmon River Fish Hatchery Open House will be taking place on Saturday, September 28 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Water flow information by Brookfield Renewable Energy for the Salmon River can be found at the Brookfield Renewable website (leaves DEC website).

Oneida Lake

The young-of-year (YOY) gizzard shad are now big enough for bass to start feeding on them. Keep an eye out for bird activity or for fish breaking on the surface. When found this can be some very exciting fishing. The walleye bite has slowed, which is probably a result of the walleye also targeting the YOY shad, but some are still being caught over a wide range of depths from shallow weed beds to 25 or more feet. A variety of baits are working depending on the depth you are fishing, some popular ones have been worm harnesses, blade baits, swim baits and stickbaits.

Otisco Lake

For tiger musky cast jerkbaits, chatterbaits, or spinnerbaits around the weed beds on the north end and along shore. Largemouth bass can be found in the weed beds fishing with Texas rigged creature baits or working jigs or rubber worms in the 10 to 15 foot zone on the edge of weeds. Tiger musky are also being caught on these same baits by anglers targeting bass.

Skaneateles Lake

Trolling 25 to 50 feet down with small spoons is working for trout and salmon. These fish are feeding on young-of-year (YOY)yellow perch so keep moving around until you mark these schools of small perch. Most of the action has been north of Lourdes Camp but the perch fry are spread out across the lake over a variety of depths. Smallmouth bass and rock bass are biting in 20 to 40 foot of water on drop-shot rigs, Ned-rigs and tube jigs.

Owasco Lake

Water fleas are still being a nuisance at times on Owasco for anglers trolling, so if trolling be prepared to deal with them. Flea-flicker lines or using a larger pound test monofilament sometimes help, and vertical jigging is also an option if fleas get too bad. Anglers vertical jigging are having some luck with lake trout.

Cayuga Lake

Water fleas are still being a nuisance at times on Cayuga for anglers trolling, so if trolling be prepared to deal with them. Flea-flicker lines or using a larger pound test monofilament sometimes help, and vertical jigging is also an option if fleas get too bad. Weed matts can also be a nuisance while trolling this time of year as well. Lake trout are being taken in 75 to 110 feet of water vertical jigging and 85 to 100 feet down over 120 to 300+ foot of water for anglers trolling. Flashers and flies, and cowbells with spin-n-glo's are all still working.

Seneca Lake

Some lake trout are being taken by trolling or vertical jigging in 100 to 140 feet of water.

Keuka Lake

Lakers are being taken in 65 to 75 feet of water fishing close to bottom with live alewives or vertical jigging with white paddle tail plastics. Trolling 35 to 55 feet down over 80 to 90 feet of water with spindoctors is also working for lake trout.

Canandaigua Lake

Vertical jigging in 75 foot of water early and late in the day is working for lake trout. Water fleas are still being a nuisance at times on Canandaigua for anglers trolling, so if trolling be prepared to deal with them. Flea-flicker lines or using a larger pound test monofilament sometimes help, and vertical jigging is also an option if fleas get too bad. Weed matts can also be a nuisance while trolling this time of year as well.

Whitney Point Reservoir

Try for smallmouths along shore with tube baits or wacky rigged stickworms. Channel catfish should be hitting on cut-bait or worms. Look for walleye in the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

Look for smallmouths with tube baits, spinnerbaits and topwaters. For walleye, try jigs tipped with worms and for catfish try cut-bait or worms.

Warm water (bass, pike, etc.) angler diary cooperators are needed for Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Hemlock, and Canadice Lakes. If interested please contact Region 8 Fisheries at fwfish8@dec.ny.gov or by calling 585-226-5343.

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.