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Central New York Fishing Hotline

July 24 - July 31

The Central New York Fishing hotline (formerly the Region 7 Fishing Hotline) turned 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: Fishing from a kayak can be a lot of fun and also allow you to get into areas you may not be able to access with a larger boat. One tip that makes fishing from a kayak a little easier is: use tape (electrical or duct) to secure the front carry handle, if it's a rope handle, to the front of the kayak. Fish hooks have a way of getting stuck in the rope if it's not taped down, it's very frustrating as you can't quite reach it to get the hook out.

Region 7

Lake Ontario

Salmon are still being found over a wide depth range, from 100 to 300 foot of water. A variety of trolling methods are working to get lures down, such as 200 to 300 foot of copper, lead core, Dipsey divers and downriggers. Flasher and flies and spoons are both working for the salmon depending on the day. For lake trout troll cowbells and peanuts (small plugs) near bottom in 100 to 120 foot of water. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon. Smallmouth bass are being found in 10 to 15 foot of water with crabs or minnows working.

Oswego River

The river is down to 4,780 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 7/23. Harbor Fest is taking place this weekend so be prepared for a lot of boat traffic in the river and harbor area. Look for smallmouth bass in the river with tube baits or crayfish. Try crayfish, nightcrawlers or cut-bait for the channel catfish and freshwater drum (sheephead).

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 flow is at 185 cfs as of 7/23. Things are quite on the river which is usual for this time of year, though there are some smallmouth bass being taken in the lower river and some 2-year old brown trout being caught in the middle river. The water release last weekend did bring a few Atlantic salmon into the river.

Oneida Lake

Look for smallmouth bass around the shoals with tube jigs, drop-shot rigs and bass jigs. There has been some schooling activity reported in deeper water with bass feeding on small yellow perch. This activity should increase sometime in the near future as gizzard shad become big enough for the bass to target. So, also keep an eye out for birds diving as that can usually be seen from a farther distance then the fish breaking the surface. If you can get to the schooling fish while their still at the surface try swimbaits, stickbaits or topwaters. Walleye are being taken in 30 to 40 foot of water with worm harnesses, jigs tipped with nightcrawler and blade baits. Some walleye are also still being taken in 10 to 15 foot of water on the same baits. 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.

Skaneateles Lake

Anglers fishing along shore and out to 20 foot of water are still getting some nice smallmouth bass with tube jigs, drop-shot rigs and topwaters working. Lake trout are being taken in 60 to 75 foot of water vertical jigging, and also 50 feet down over 100 foot of water by trolling small spoons.

Sandy Pond

As the aquatic vegetation gets thicker fishing on the pond becomes more difficult. If fishing for bass try spinnerbaits or weed less frogs.

Otisco Lake

Tiger musky fishing continues to be good in 10 to 15 foot of water. Casting chatterbaits with a swimbait trailer, or big in-line spinners over weed beds continues to work well. Don't forget to use a wire leader, and If tigers follow but don't hit, try doing a figure 8 at the boat. Also, if you see a fish that doesn't hit, or hits that you don't hook, try the same area again later in the day. Look for largemouth bass in the weed beds. Try casting into the holes in the weeds with a Texas rigged tubed jig or creature bait. A few tiger musky are being caught this way as well.

Cayuga Lake

Lake trout fishing continues to be good for both anglers trolling and vertical jigging. Water fleas are starting to show up though, so if trolling be prepared to deal with fleas. Weed mats are also a nuisance in some areas for anglers trolling. Trolling 50 to 70 feet down in 100 to 150 foot of water, with spoons or flasher and flies has been working. Vertical jigging with plastics in 65 to 90 feet of water continues to work well.

Owasco Lake

Look for lake trout in 70 to 100 foot of water with spoons or flasher and flies. Some rainbow trout are also being taken in those depths. Yellow perch and bass are being taken on minnows or crayfish, also try tube jigs for the bass.

Whitney Point Reservoir

Look for bass along shore and for walleyes try in 10 foot of water and also in the old river channel.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

Look for walleye in the deeper holes with crankbaits or jigs and try tube jigs for the bass.

Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

Some brown trout are still being taken by trolling with spoons in 50 to 70 feet of water; early morning action continues to be best. Lake trout are being caught near bottom trolling in 100 to 150 foot of water with flasher and flies working. Chinook salmon fishing has been more difficult as fish have become more scattered on this end of the lake. Cover water looking for bait as depths salmon are being found in has changed daily.

Seneca Lake

Weed mats and fleas are starting to make trolling more difficult in some areas so be prepared to deal with fleas if trolling. Lake trout are still relatively shallow and are being taken by anglers trolling 35 to 50 feet down over 80 to 120 foot of water. Vertical jigging is producing lake trout in 50 to 70 foot of water.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bay

Anglers continue to catch some nice bass along shore, and in and around the weed beds. Try spinnerbaits, topwaters and plastics.

Keuka Lake

Water fleas and weed mats are also a nuisance on this lake, so be prepared to deal with them if trolling. Anglers vertical jigging with plastics in 100 to 150 feet are still catching lake trout. Trolling is also working for anglers fishing spoons or flasher and flies in 100 to 150 foot of water. Having a hard time getting reports, so if anyone would like to contribute to the report please use the fwfish7 link below.

Canandaigua Lake

Fleas and weed mats are starting to become a nuisance for anglers trolling here as well, so be prepared to deal with them if trolling. Fishing continues to be slow but some lake trout and occasional rainbow trout are being taken by anglers trolling 50 to 75 feet down over 80 to 125 foot of water. Having a hard time getting reports, so if anyone would like to contribute to the report 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.