Upstate New York Fishing Report – June 25, 2020

Eastern Finger Lakes / Central New York Fishing Report

Mike Crawford of
Fine weather with clear skies and light winds has been the normal here in Upstate New York for the last 25 days! Wow!

Upper Delaware River
Fly Fishing The Upper Delaware River

In Upstate New York we DO NOT take such days for granted and enjoy the sun and warm temperatures!
For the angler, however, this long stretch of hot and clear and dry and calm has deteriorated the light tackle fishing in the trout streams, rivers and lakes of the region.

Forecasted rain and thunderstorms have been hit or miss this past week and we need the rain to cool things down and freshen things up!

Brian Fisher
Brian Fisher of Syracuse with a nice wild Upper Delaware early Summer Brown caught and released on a dry fly!

Oneida Lake has moved quickly into summer conditions. So have the eastern Finger Lakes and area trout streams. Fishing is best early in the morning and again late in the evening.

Mike Crawford
Mike Crawford with a wild rainbow caught on a dry fly!

These days find me launching at daybreak looking for trout and salmon on the lake with the fly rod. So far not so good. A few trips to the Upper Delaware River have been enjoyable! The low water and bright sun for days on end looks to be the marked end to what was a spectacular spring season of fly fishing in this system.

Keep it real and stay safe and strong.

Greater Niagara Region

Bill Hilts, Jr.

This weekend, June 27 and 28, is another one of the state’s Free Fishing Weekends. No fishing license is needed, but you do have to abide from the regulations in place for the body of water that you intend to fish. Check out the DEC website at for details on regulations. The Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby will be starting on June 27 and run through July 26. A $10,000 Grand prize is up for grabs for the largest salmon weighed in and other fish species categories include brown trout, lake trout and walleye. There is $2,500 in weekly prizes being handed out – $1,000 for the biggest salmon and $500 each for the other 3 categories. Minimum weights are in place to make the boar or collect the prizes such as 20 pounds for a salmon, 10 pounds for a trout or 8 pounds for a walleye. Lake trout must be at least 30 inches long, too. Check out for details. Fishing is really starting to pick back up again in the lake.

Michelle Petersen salmon
Michelle Petersen of Smickburg, Pa. with a 24-pound Olcott salmon caught over the weekend.

Trollers are catching a mixed bag of steelhead, Coho salmon and Kings throughout from 80 to 440 feet of water according to Roy Letcherof Newfane. Put your spoons, flies and meat rigs down 30 to 80 feet. Michelle Peterson of Smicksburg, Penn. caught a 24-pound king this week aboard the Hotline while fishing out of Olcott with Letcher and her husband Dave Petersen. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors reports that the hot spoons have been bright colors and glows, with oranges, caramels and dotted baits leading the way. When those slow down, meat rigs are picking up the slack. Eighteen Mile Creek has been producing a mix of bass, pike, panfish and carp all the way out to the pier. The same is being reported over in Wilson to the west.

Mike Rzucidlo carp
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a 16 pound carp he caught in the lower Niagara River on a jig.
Mike Rzucidlo sheepshead
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls peeks over the top with a 15 pound sheepshead he caught in the lower Niagara River on a jig.
Mike Rzucidlo white bass
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a white bass from the lower river.
Mike Ziehm sheepshead
Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls with a big Niagara River sheepshead.
Mike Ziehm white bass
Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls with a lower river white bass that weighed around 3 pounds.

Action in the Niagara River is still hampered by moss, but it appears to be clearing up according to reports. The NYPA platform was closed some mornings this week after opening on Monday but it opened later when water levels came down. Before you head down, call the number at 286-6662 to see if it is open. Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle reports that anglers have been catching rock bass, smallmouth bass and even a few steelhead off the platform using minnows. A bit down river from shore, Mike Rzucidlo and Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls have been hitting a mixed bag of fish on jigs. Carp to 16 pounds, sheepshead to 15 pounds, white bass to 3 pounds and some chunky smallmouth bass all from the same water. Bass fishing has been working for a few boaters along the Youngstown drifts and out in the lake around the green buoy using Ned rigs, swim baits and tubes. However, with the opening of the regular bass season last Saturday, live bait can now be used so try crayfish or minnows. Bass are starting to turn on in the upper river, too. Ned rigs have been hot there as well. Make sure you stay in New York waters due to the boundary restrictions in place from Canada both above and below the falls and out into the lakes. Have a happy and safe free fishing weekend and if you are going fishing in Lake Ontario, make sure you are in the LOC Derby!

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

A hot one on the lake over the weekend and yesterday hit 90. Water temps out of Oswego are 64 degrees… surface.

The fish are scattered; however, they are being caught west of Sodus Bay and straight out from Chimney Bluffs.
Steelhead, cohos and kings have been in 100 to 400 fow and are hitting spoons and cut bait (meat).

Huge lake trout are being caught near the bottom. Cowbell rigs are working.

There has been lots of bait being marked and the alewives are exceptionally large. Use riggers and dipsy’s out 150 feet.

The Sodus Pro-Am has been scheduled. The long-running contest will be July 18-19th with the IK a Day July15-19, 2020. The web page has been updated for current information.


The parking lot at Bay Bridge had the usual number of bass boat trailers as anglers hit the water before dawn on opening day for bass.

Largemouths were caught around any weed-lines. Use rubber or top water stuff, however, make sure it is a weedless lure.

Sodus Bay will have heavy recreational boat traffic by noon, so fish early in the day. Port Bay is another hot spot for bass. The 500-acre bay has a great DEC launch site at the south end off West Port Bay Road.

For bass you can keep five fish 12-inch minimum length. If you are looking for live bait, try Bay Bridge Sport Shop and Davenports at the south end of Sodus Bay.

Erie Canal

The bass anglers were fishing the canal at Widewaters. The largemouths will be five to seven pounds. Fish the weeds.

There is no boat traffic so try kayak fishing.

Keep informed from the NYS Canal web for changes and restrictions with canal waters.

Charters in Wayne County are Opened for Business

Wayne County Charters are now opened for business. The Finger Lakes region has currently met all the necessary requirements during Phase One to operate their business. All steps and guidelines to ensure safety are listed HERE.

Charters in Wayne County are Opened for Business

Wayne County Charters are now opened for business. The Finger Lakes region has currently met all the necessary requirements during Phase One to operate their business. All steps and guidelines to ensure safety are listed HERE.

Boat Launches Opened

Privately-owned marinas, boat launches, and many other recreational marine locations are now opened.

The official statement from New York State is made in conjunction with similar ones from the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, is the latest change to the guidance from Empire State Development on what is and isn’t affected by the governor’s Executive Order 202, which ordered employers to reduce the number of employees working at individual locations to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidance regarding privately-owned marinas, boatyards and recreational marine manufacturers allows for operations and boat repair/maintenance so long as the facilities ‘adhere to strict social distancing and sanitization protocols.’ However, watercraft cannot be used for charters or rentals, and any restaurant facilities there must remain take-out or delivery only.

Safety Precautions from DEC

While enjoying the outdoors, please continue to follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines (leaves DEC’s website) for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

  • Try to keep at least six (6) feet of distance between you and others.
  • Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.
  • Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and playground equipment.

When fishing, DEC recommends avoiding busy waters and following the guidelines on DEC’s website about fishing responsibly in New York State. If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, they should consider going to another parking lot. If an angler is fishing upstream, they should fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day. Anglers fishing from boats should be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another. For more information about the benefits of being outdoors safely and responsibly, go to DEC’s website.

New York State is open for fishing and DEC encourages anglers to recreate locally at a nearby waterbody. New York’s lakes and streams offer great opportunities for fishing in a wide array of settings across the state. Even during the current COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outdoors and connecting with nature while angling in New York’s waters is a great way to help maintain mental and physical health.

Charters and Guides

The “New York State on PAUSE” Executive Order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone during the COVID-19 response, includes a directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close effective at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

At this time, fishing guides or charters of any size have been determined to be not essential and are subject to workforce reduction requirements of the Executive Order. The full and updated guidance on which types of businesses are determined essential and other designations associated with the order can be found online. For more info

Orleans County

Capt. John Oravec, Tight Lines Charters

Fish on! Lake Ontario, off Point Breeze in the Orleans County waters, is offering visiting anglers exciting mixed bag action in 150 to 300 ft. of water! Most of the “silvers” are hitting a spoon downrigger program, frogs and eyepopper colors early AM then switch to black gold or purple/silver patterns. Your hot rigging is a 6′ slider rig so each rigger has 2 spoons. 75% of the steelhead hits are on the sliders – so much fun! If you need help with sliders, myself or any captain will show you. Area tackle shops like Captains Cove, Oak Orchard Tackle and Narby’s stock the components and spoons. The big Lakers are feeding on the bottom 3 to 6 miles east of the “Oak” near Bald Eagle Marina.

Come on up! Area launches, lodging and food vendors are finally open! So are the charter boats – clean and ready to get one on! Troutman Out!

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