Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Central New York Fishing Hotline

August 5 - August 12

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, Lake Ontario Fishing, and Oneida Lake Fishing Report (all leave DEC website).

Under Brianna's Law, all motor boat operators will need a boating safety certificate. How soon this certificate is required depends on your age, but by January 1, 2025, all operators of motorized vessels regardless of age will need a certificate. For more information on Brianna's Law, classes, and the age breakdown please view Boating Education (leaves DEC website) on the NYS Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation site.

The 2022 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide is in now printed and available at places that sell fishing licenses. It can also be viewed on the Freshwater Fishing Regulations page.

Region 7 and Eastern Region 8

Lake Ontario

Anglers are still getting brown trout trolling in 80 to 120 foot of water on spoons. There have also been some lakers caught near bottom from 150 feet and out. Chinook salmon (Kings) are being caught in 300 to 600 foot fishing 80 to 120 feet down. Large spoons and flasher's and cut-bait have been working fished in a variety of ways from copper to downriggers. Water fleas have been an issue at times so be prepared to deal with them. It shouldn't be too long now before salmon start staging off from the river mouths.

Oswego River

The flow is about the same as last week and is 806 cubic feet per second (CFS) as of August 5. For walleye try jigs or large stickbaits and for smallmouth try tube jigs or live crayfish.

Remember 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

Things are slow which is normal for this time of year so nothing to report.

Sodus Bay

Look for bass along the outside and inside weed edges. Try Texas rigged plastic worms, stickworms (Senko style baits) and spinnerbaits or vibrating jigs.

Oneida Lake

There was an algal bloom taking place earlier in the week so expect the water to have some color. Just a reminder that the daily limit for walleye on Oneida Lake is the same as the statewide regulation, with a daily limit of 5, and a minimum length of 15-inches. Walleye fishing has been challenging lately but some are still being taken in 20 to 35 foot of water by anglers trolling stickbaits, worm harnesses, or jigging with blade baits, bucktail jigs tipped with nightcrawler and jigging rapalas. Look for bass around the shoals with topwaters, jerkbaits and tubes.

Cayuga Lake

A major bass tournament is taking place starting on Saturday and runs through August 11, so expect more boat traffic around the lake. For more information check out the Major League Fishing web site. Water fleas have been an issue at times so be prepared to deal with them if trolling. It looks like the algal bloom has subsided and the water is clearer than it has been. Keep an eye out for weed matts if trolling. Sometimes using a heavier pound test line can help with the fleas and vertical jigging is also an option if they get too bad. Lake trout are being caught in 80 to 150 foot of water by anglers vertical jigging or trolling. Bass are being caught in the north end on a variety of baits. There are a lot of pickerel up there as well so it may pay to have some wire leaders handy if you start getting "bit off" while bass fishing. The new state record smallmouth bass was recently caught on Cayuga and for more information please view the related press release.

Owasco Lake

An algal bloom has been taking place so the water has some color to it. Look for lake trout from 80 foot and out trolling with spoons or vertical jigging.

Skaneateles Lake

For smallmouth bass try tube jigs, drop shots or jerkbaits. There is a special walleye regulation on Skaneateles Lake. Walleye-all year, minimum length of 12-inches, daily limit-any number.

Otisco Lake

There is an algal bloom on this lake as well. Look for walleye in 10 to 20 foot of water. Largemouth bass are being caught in and around the weed beds. Try large jerkbaits, chatterbaits or spinnerbaits for the tiger musky in the same general areas as the bass. Otisco Lake is one of the Big Panfish Initiative (BPI) waters and now has a special regulation for Sunfish (bluegill and pumpkinseed). The daily limit is 15, with a minimum length of 8-inches. For more information please see Sunfish and Crappie Management.

If you catch a tiger musky on Otisco Lake that has been tagged, the tag should be located near the dorsal fin and be gray in color, please do not remove the tag if releasing the fish. Write down the tag number, length of fish, and location of the catch and either send an email to or call 607-753-3095 ext. 213 to report your catch.

Whitney Point Reservoir

Try crankbaits or jig and minnow for the walleye. For smallmouth bass try crankbaits or spinnerbaits near shore. For channel catfish try cut-bait or night crawlers.

Susquehanna River

Try crankbaits or jig and minnow for walleye in the deeper holes and cut-bait or worms for the channel catfish. For the smallmouth try tube baits or crankbaits.

Other Hotline Waters

Nothing to report.

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 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

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

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 Good luck fishing.

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