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Central New York Fishing Hotline

June 16 - June 23

Tip of the week: The traditional bass season kicks off on Saturday June 17th. There are still bass on beds on many waters. Fishing along the shoreline or inside weed edges would be a good starting point and then move deeper if not getting bites. Good baits to try are stickworms (Senko style baits), topwaters, chatterbaits, or shallow diving crankbaits.

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

April 1st was the start of the new Freshwater Fishing Regulation Guide, April 1, 2017-March 31, 2018. You can obtain a copy from a licensing agent or view it at Summary of Freshwater Fishing Regulations.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

Use caution when boating as the lake level is up at this time and there is likely to be debris floating around. Boaters are also being asked to observe a NO WAKE ZONE within 500 feet of the Lake Ontario shoreline.

Look for smallmouth bass in shallow water. Try using a fast moving lure (search bait) until fish are found and then slow down and fish stickworms or tube jigs. Brown trout fishing has slowed but some are still being taken in 20 to 40 foot of water on spoons or stickbaits early in the morning. Chinook salmon are being taken on spoons or flasher and flies fished in 80 to 200 foot of water.

Oswego River

The river is down, but that may change after todays rain, and is at 5,060 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 6/16. With bass season starting Saturday try crayfish or tube jigs. Some walleye have been taken by anglers fishing early or late in the day. Freshwater drum (sheepshead) are also being caught in the river.

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

This river flow is at 185 cfs as of 6/23. Things are quiet on the river this time of year, which is normal, a few smallmouth bass are being caught and released though. Some 2-year old brown trout were stocked around Pineville and the 2A parking areas. A reminder that brown trout must be 15" on the Salmon River.

The Salmon River Fish Hatchery building continues to be closed due to construction. The grounds, including picnic area and fish ladder, are still open dawn to dusk. We anticipate construction to be finished early summer. If you are planning a visit, we suggest calling the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in advance. You can reach the hatchery at 315-298-5051, Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

Cayuga Lake

VHS was confirmed on some round gobies collected on Cayuga Lake in early May. For more information on this please view the Press Release.

Anglers continue to have good luck catching lake trout either trolling or vertical jigging. Fish are still being found over a variety of depths out to about 140 feet. Atlantic salmon and brown trout are being taken by trolling from the surface down to about 40 feet, with stickbaits or small spoons. Look for bass on the north end along the shore or inside weed lines.

Skaneateles Lake

Look for smallmouth bass along the shore with tube baits, topwaters, and stickworms (Senko style baits). Rock bass should be biting in the same areas and on the same baits.

Owasco Lake

The Emerson Park boat launch is still being worked on so launching may require some patience if it's a busy day. Lake trout are being taken over a variety of depths on spoons or flasher and flies fished 40 to 60 feet down.

Oneida Lake

With bass season kicking off on Saturday there will likely be more boat traffic as tournaments will be taking place. Look for bass near shore or around the many shoals. Try football jigs, chatterbaits, topwaters, and shallow diving crankbaits. Walleye fishing was a little better last week for anglers trolling with worm harness or fishing blade baits in the deeper water and also for anglers fishing in shallow water around weed edges.

With round gobies now abundant in the lake, it may require some adjustment in the way anglers fish for walleye. The same thing was required when zebra mussels become established in the lake and the water went from turbid to clear, fishing methods needed to be changed to match the conditions. Gobies are very bottom oriented fish so sometimes just getting a foot or two off bottom will help to avoid some of them. If using worm harnesses try trolling instead of drifting, the faster speed keeps them higher off bottom and also helps to avoid some of the gobies. Using artificial lures instead of live bait can also help. Walleye tend to be "well fed" in goby waters and can be difficult to catch; full fish are generally harder to catch than hungry fish. Sometimes going for reaction bites can help, fish hit out of reflex instead of hunger. This can be accomplished by giving erratic action to your lures by speeding them out, slowing them down, stopping them briefly, giving short quick jerks with the rod, etc.

Sandy Pond

Due to the high water level the DEC boat launch is CLOSED until further notice.

Otisco Lake

With bass season kicking off this weekend expect more boat traffic. Look for bass near shore or around the wed beds. For walleye try trolling stickbaits and for the tiger musky cast large spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, stickbaits, swim baits or live minnows. Don't forget the wire leaders even if your not targeting tigers, it will help save some of your expensive bass baits from being bitten off.

Whitney Point Reservoir

Try along shore for smallmouth bass using crankbaits, spinner baits or tube jigs. Look for walleye along the old river channel with jigs or worm harnesses. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 link below.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

With bass season kicking off on Saturday try casting crankbaits or topwaters along shore. If that's not working try fishing in the deeper holes with tube jigs. Also look for walleye on jigs in the deeper holes as well. If anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 link below.

Eastern Region 8

Due to high water level, the following Lake Ontario boat launches will be closed until further notice. Other boat launches may not have docks installed. You should call Region 8 Fisheries Office at 585-226-5343 if you have any questions on whether a particular DEC launch is open.

Sandy Creek FAS - Town of Hamlin, Monroe County
Port Bay South FAS - Town of Wolcott, Wayne County
Port Bay West FAS - Town of Huron, Wayne County

Lake Ontario

Use caution when boating as the lake level is running high at this time, as are the bays, and there is likely to be debris floating around. Boaters are also being asked to observe a NO WAKE ZONE within 500 feet of the Lake Ontario shoreline. See above for DEC closed launch sites.

Brown trout fishing has slowed but some are still being taken on spoons and stickbaits early in the morning. Chinook salmon are hitting on flashers and flies, or spoons fished 80 to 120 foot down. Lake trout are near bottom and hitting on spoons are flashers and "peanuts". Peanuts are small plugs or flies.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bays

Use caution when boating as the lake level is running high at this time, as are the bays, and there is likely to be debris floating around. Boaters are also being asked to observe a NO WAKE ZONE within 500 feet of the Lake Ontario shoreline.

Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua Lakes

Bass are likely to still be spawning on these lakes. Fishing along shore with fast moving baits until fish are found, and then slow down and try tube jigs or stickworms (Senko style baits). If anyone would like to contribute to the hotline or if they have a good recommendation for a contact (baitshop, etc.), please use the fwfish7 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 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.