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Central New York Fishing Hotline

October 11 - October 25

We are hitting that time of year again, though there is still plenty of good fishing left, many anglers are now putting down the rods/reels and heading to the woods. This means reports will be much harder to come by so there will likely be few changes to the hotline over the next few months.

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 around river mouths so fishing from piers can be good at times. Good methods are casting spoons or fishing with egg sacs. Smallmouth bass fishing usually continues to be good into the fall in the lake and around the bays. Largemouth bass and yellow perch are being taken in the bays. Bass are hitting a variety of baits and perch are being taken on small minnows and jigs.

Oswego River

The flow is a little higher than last week and it's running at 4,390 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of October 11. There are some salmon in the river with beads, skein and egg sacs working at times. This continued nice weather streak has kept the river temperature up, some cooler weather would help. 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 350 cfs as of October 11. There are salmon in the river with most of the activity taking place in the mid-to-upper river at this time. However, there is still plenty of activity in the lower river with reports of fish still being seen in the estuary. With the continued warm weather and bright sunny days most of the movement has been early and late in the day. A variety of baits have been working such as estaz eggs, beads, egg sacs, and egg sucking leeches.

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.

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 fall walleye shore bite is slowly starting to turn on but the warm temperatures have slowed things down, though some fish are still being taken. Casting stickbaits (minnow imitating lures) from shore just before and after dark can often be a good way to catch walleye in the fall. Typically, the walleye follow the young-of-year (YOY) gizzard shad as they move closer to shore during the early fall as the water cools. The YOY gizzard shad are also being fed on by bass, so keep an eye out for bird activity or for fish breaking on the surface. When found this can be some very exciting fishing.

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 so don't be surprised if you hook into something big or get bit off.

Skaneateles Lake

Yellow perch are being taken in 15 to 35 foot of water on small minnows and jigs. 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

Some lake trout are being taken by anglers vertical jigging or trolling. Yellow perch and a few northern pike are also being taken.

Cayuga Lake

Lake trout are being taken in 95 to 130 feet of water vertical jigging and 85 to 100 feet down over 120 to 300+ foot of water for anglers trolling.

Seneca Lake

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

Canandaigua Lake

Vertical jigging in 75 foot of water early and late in the day is working for lake trout.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers

Look for smallmouths with tube baits or crankbaits. For walleye, try jigs tipped with worms or crankbaits like shad raps.

Sandy Pond, Whitney Point Reservoir and Keuka Lake

No new information.

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.