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Central New York Fishing Hotline

May 29 - June 5

The Central New York Fishing hotline (formerly the Region 7 Fishing Hotline) turns an amazing 35 on June 5th! The first Region 7 Fishing Hotline was recorded on June 5, 1980.

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 (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.

As a reminder, this is the first year with April 1st as the start of the new Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide (April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016, this new guide has a picture of an angler holding a musky on the cover). The new guide should be available at any location that fishing licenses are sold. It is available to view at, Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

Tip of the week: If you're fishing with an artificial lure and you're getting hits, but are not hooking the fish, try changing the color of the lure. If using a brightly colored lure, go to a more natural color. If you're still not hooking them, well, try downsizing the lure or changing your retrieve speed.

A few sections of area streams and lakes will have been stocked by the Friday, May 29th. These streams and lakes are:

Broome County - Arctic Lake (April 14), Greenwood Lake (April 15), Nanticoke 7a (April 16), Nanticoke Lake (April 15), Oquaga Creek (April 8), Palmers Pond (April 14), Patterson Pond (#1) (April 16), Dudley Creek (March 30), Nanticoke Creek (April 28, April 10 and March 30), East Branch Nanticoke Creek (April 28, April 10 and March 30), and Chenango Lake (May 8, April 17 and March 31)

Cayuga County- Owasco Outlet (May 8), North Brook (April 8), Owasco Inlet (April 14), Salmon Creek (April 15), and Fall Creek (May 1 and April 2)

Chenango County- Bowman Lake (April 21), Guilford Lake (April 21), Jeffrey Pond (April 21), Mill Brook Reservoir (April 21), Pharsalia Y Pond (April 21), Genegantslet Creek (April 17), and the Otselic River (April 27 and April 6)

Cortland County - Casterline Pond (May 5 and April 30), Little York Lake (April 30), East Branch Tioughnioga River (May 20, May 5 and April 23), Merrill Creek (April 23), West Branch of the Tioughnioga River (May 20, May 5 and April 23), and the Otselic River (April 27 and April 6).

Madison County - Lebanon Reservoir (April 30), Eaton Brook Reservoir (April 30), Upper Lelands Pond (April 27), Beaver Creek (April 10), Canaseraga Creek (April 10), Canastota Creek (April 10), Chenango River (April 7), Chittenango Creek (May 27 and April 8), Cowaselon Creek (April 10), Limestone Creek (April 10), Old Chenango Canal (April 10), Oneida Creek (April 7), Otselic River (April 27 and April 6), Payne Brook (April 10), Sangerfield River (April 8), and Stone Mill Brook (April 10)

Onondaga County- is stocked by Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery. Their stocking hotline is (315) 689-0003 and can also be viewed at fishonondagacounty.com. Spruce Pond, Green Lake, Spafford Creek, Limestone Creek, Onondaga Creek, W Br. Onondaga Creek, Tannery Creek, Ninemile Creek, Butternut Creek, Fabius Brook, Pools Brook, Carpenters Brook, Skaneateles Creek and Geddes Brook.

Oswego County - North Branch Salmon River (April 29), Salmon River (April 29), Black Creek (April 23) and West Branch of Fish Creek (April 23).

Tioga County - Tri-county Pond (May 4), Cayuta Creek (May 12 and April 7), Catatonk Creek (April 3), East Branch of Owego Creek (April 2 and March 18), Owego Creek (April 10 and March 19), and West Branch of Owego Creek (April 10 and March 19).

Tompkins County - Virgil Creek (April 16), Trib 4 of Enfield Creek (April 2), Enfield Creek (April 2), Buttermilk Creek (March 31), Salmon Creek (April 13 and March 30), Fall Creek (April 13 and March 30) and Sixmile Creek (April 16 and March 31).

For more information on trout fishing please view the following links: Stream Trout Fishing, Public Fishing Rights Brochures, and the 2015 Trout Stocking list.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

Anglers are still getting a mixed bag of brown trout, lake trout and Chinook salmon. Trolling near shore is working for the brown trout with stickbaits or small spoons in 15 to 30 foot of water. Fishing with side planers has helped on the days with less wind, as has fishing early in the morning. Good colors have been black and silver, blue and silver, and lures with some orange on them (like fire tiger). The brown trout are also reportedly eating lots of round goby, so try goby colored baits as well. Lake trout are being taken in 115 to 150 foot of water for anglers trolling near bottom. Chinook salmon are being caught in 40 to 100 foot of water fishing 25 to 50 feet down.For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.

Oswego River

The river is down a lot from last week, and is at 4,370 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 5/27. This flow make shore fishing easier than the flows we have been having. Anglers are still catching bullhead near Ox and 3-Mile Creek on leeches and worms. Jigs or large stickbaits are producing a few walleye in the river. Smallmouth bass are being taken by anglers taking advantage of the catch and release season.

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

The river flow is the same as last week and is at 185 cfs. Things are really winding down on the river, which is usual for this time of year. There are still a few drop-backs being taken though, drop-backs are steelhead that have finished spawning and are now working their way back to the lake. These fish are often very hungry after the rigors of spawning. Good baits are egg sacs (blue or chartreuse mesh), streamers, pink Powerbait trout worms, or good old nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass are being taken in the lower river by anglers taking advantage of the catch and release season.

Also, a reminder that the Lower Fly Section closed on May 15th. It will reopen on September 15th.

Oneida Lake

Walleye fishing continues to be hit-or-miss. Using jigs tipped with nightcrawlers, or blade style baits in 15 to 20 foot of water has been a good starting point for the walleye. If not catching fish keep covering water searching. Shore anglers are still getting walleye casting stickbaits after dark. Look for pickerel in 5 to 10 foot of water, and just about any lure will work. Using lures with a single hook though, like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jigs or swimbaits makes unhooking them much easier. For anglers taking advantage of the catch and release bass season, try 2 to 10 foot of water with bass jigs, plastic craws, tube jigs or crankbaits.

Skaneateles Lake

Anglers fishing along shore are still getting a "mixed-bag" of rock bass, yellow perch and an occasional rainbow or lake trout. Smallmouth bass are also being taken near shore by anglers taking advantage of the catch and release season.

Sandy Pond

A few walleye have been taken by anglers trolling with stickbaits. Black crappie are being taken on small minnows fished under a float. Try stickbaits, spoons or large minnows fished under bobbers for northern pike.

Otisco Lake

A few walleye are being taken by anglers trolling or casting after dark. Try large stickbaits, swimbaits, spinnerbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for tiger musky. The lake has both black and white crappie and fishing for them is typically good this time of year. Black crappie are generally found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway.

Cayuga Lake

Overall, fishing was slow over the holiday weekend. Trolling stickbaits or spoons, on the south end of the lake is producing a few brown trout and Atlantic salmon. Watch out for debris, as there are reports of a lot of it out there still. Lake trout fishing has been challenging but look for fish in 50 to 100 foot of water and try vertical jigging or trolling. Yellow perch are being taken on the north end with small minnows.

Owasco Lake

Trout fishing has been slow on this lake as well for anglers trolling. There are a few lake trout being taken in 100 feet of water. Yellow perch are still being taken on the north end with small minnows working.

Whitney Point Reservoir

Crappie are beginning to spawn along the shore with both jigs and small minnows working. Try jigs, worm harnesses, or crankbaits for walleye. Bullhead and channel catfish should be hitting on nightcrawlers, also try cut-bait for the catfish.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

Look for walleye in the deeper pools with jigs or crankbaits. A number of muskies were tagged in 2014 on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please Do Not remove the tag if releasing the musky. Please, write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length to 607-753-3095; or use the fwfish7 email link below. If keeping the musky please report the same information

Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

Anglers are still getting brown trout near shore by trolling stickbaits or spoons. Early morning action continues to be best. Lake trout are being caught near bottom trolling in 100 to 150 foot of water. Chinook salmon are being caught from 50 to 100 foot down over 150 to 200 feet of water. Steelhead are being taken on small spoons (as usual, red has been a good color) fished 30 to 40 feet down. Water temperatures are changing rapidly with the changes in wind direction so be prepared to change location from one day to the next.

Seneca Lake

There was some nice sized lake trout, brown trout and Atlantic salmon brought in during last weekends derby. Lake trout were being taken by anglers trolling or jigging in 50 to 150 foot of water. Atlantic salmon are being taken by trolling stickbaits or spoons, anywhere from just below surface to 40 feet down

Sodus Bay

Look for bluegills, rock bass and crappie in the shallow areas of the bay, especially near the Ridge Rd Bridge. Try tubes baits for crappie, rock bass and bluegills and nightcrawlers or leeches for bullhead.

Irondequoit Bay

No new reports for Irondequoit Bay. Walleye can usually be caught by trolling in the evening and at night this time of year.

Keuka Lake

Anglers vertical jigging with plastics in 110 to 160 feet are catching good numbers of lake trout. Tubes and fluke style plastics have been working well. Trolling is also working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies in 100 to 170 foot of water. Some yellow perch have moved up into shallow water.

Canandaigua Lake

A few nice brown trout have been caught by trolling just below surface along the shoreline. Lake trout are still in much deeper water near bottom.

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.