New York's 2011 Fishing Calendar
February 15, 2011
Planning your upcoming fishing year? Here are three recommended trips for every month of the year.
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As another year with only 365 days of fishing rolls around, New York anglers' biggest problem is going to be "so many waters, so little time." Here's a roundup of some best-bet places to wet a line in 2011.
Tiger Muskellunge - Bear Lake
This 141-acre lake north of Stockton gives up trophy tigers more than 40 inches long. The season on muskies is open from the first Saturday in May through March 15 with a daily limit of one fish and a minimum length of 30 inches. Public access is available on Bear Lake Road.
Lake Trout - Piseco Lake
This Hamilton County lake is open for the taking of lake trout year round with a minimum length of 21 inches and a daily limit of two fish. There are multiple access points along Old Piseco Road.
Landlocked Salmon - Schroon Lake
This Warren County water is open for the taking of landlocked salmon year round with a minimum length of 15 inches and a daily limit of three fish. Access can be had in Horicon off Route 9 just north of Pottersville on County Road 62, and on Dock Street in the Town of Schroon Lake.
Crappies - Whitney Point Reservoir
This 1,200-acre reservoir on the Otselic River in the Broome County Town of Triangle is an excellent hardwater destination for crappies, provided safe ice forms. Anglers may keep 25 fish per day with a minimum length of nine inches. Access is available at Dorchester Park at the southeast end and Upper Lisle Park on the northwest shore.
Brown Trout - Eagle Lake
This Essex County water, full of fat brown trout, lays in the towns of Crown Point and Ticonderoga. Public access can be had on Route 74 one mile west of the Hamlet of Eagle Lake.
Northern Pike - Saratoga Lake
This Saratoga Springs fishery offers anglers plentiful pike action. Statewide regulations allow taking pike from the first Saturday in May through March 15 with a minimum length of 18 inches and a daily limit of five fish. Ice fishing season begins November 15. Access is available at the northern end of the lake adjacent to Route 9P.
Lake Trout - Lake George
This big lake has shoreline in Essex, Warren and Washington counties. Lake George is open for the taking of lake trout year round with a minimum length of 23 inches and a daily limit of two fish. Access on the eastern shore is available on Black Point Road 2 miles south of Ticonderoga, within the state-owned Rogers Rock Campground on Route 9N three miles north of Hague, and at Million Dollar Beach in the Village of Lake George.
Walleyes - Lake Chautauqua
This 13,156-acre lake is an exceptional walleyes destination for hardwater anglers. The lake has been stocked annually with fingerlings since 2003. Fish ranging from 5 to 8 pounds are not uncommon.
Yellow Perch - Lake Champlain
This 120-mile-long lake offers hardwater anglers plenty of bays and shallows to fish for feisty yellow perch. It's wise to keep near shore, as safe ice doesn't always form out deep on this big lake.
American Shad - Delaware River
Shad generally move up into the Delaware by mid-March and inland past the tidal section below Trenton to their primary spawning grounds from the Water Gap at the I-80 crossing up to the state border by early April.
Striped Bass - Hudson River
The Hudson provides good striper action each spring from below the Troy Dam to the New York City area. The Hudson north of the George Washington Bridge is open for stripers from March 16 to November 30 with a length limit of 18 inches and a daily limit of one fish. South of the bridge, striper fishing is open April 15 to December 15 and anglers may keep one fish between 28 and 40 inches and one fish over 40 inches in length.
Rainbow Trout - Moreau Lake
This Saratoga County water is considered one of the best in the region for rainbows. Trout may be taken April 1 to October 15 with no minimum length and a daily limit of five fish. Access can be had via Moreau Lake State Park.
Lake Whitefish - Indian Lake
This Hamilton County water in the Town of Indian Lake offers anglers a shot at lake whitefish year round with no minimum length and a daily limit of five fish.
Northern Pike - Lake Ontario
This Great Lake offers prime pike fishing, especially along inlets like Braddock Bay, Cranberry Pond, Buck Pond and Round Pond. Fishing is also good in Irondequoit Bay in Irondequoit and Webster. State parks and other public access opportunities dot the shores of Ontario.
Walleyes - Mohawk River
Walleyes can be found everywhere along 140-mile river. The season runs from the first Saturday in May through March 15 with a minimum length of 15 inches and a daily limit of five fish. There are multiple access areas off I-90.
Smallmouth Bass - Seneca Lake
When bass season opens on the third Saturday of June, head for the largest of New York's Finger Lakes. From the season opening to November 30, anglers may take five fish with a minimum length of 12 inches.
Striped Bass - Montauk
Surf fishing is excellent from the beach at Montauk Downs State Park. There are plenty of other access points to explore, with Atlantic Ocean to one side of the point and Long Island Sound on the other.
Lake Trout - Skaneateles Lake
Fishing is excellent for the naturally-reproducing population of lake trout in this Finger Lake. This species may be taken year round with a minimum length of 15 inches and a daily limit of five fish. There's a public launch available on the west shore two miles south of the Village of Skaneateles off Route 41A.
Weakfish - Nicoll Bay
Schools of hungry weakfish can be successfully fished in estuaries, bays and tidal creeks midsummer. Weakfish may be taken year round with a length limit of 16 inches and a daily limit of one fish. Access is off the West Avenue Dock in West Sayville.
Largemouth Bass - Greenwood Lake
This lake rests in both New York and New Jersey, and given this it falls under special border water regulations. Anglers may keep bass from the third Saturday in June though November 30, with a daily limit of five fish and a minimum length of 12 inches.
Access is off Route 210 on the north shore of Greenwood.
Yellow Perch - Waneta Lake
This 30-acre lake is situated within a detached parcel west of the main unit Willowemoc Wild Forest north of Weston. There's an accessible fishing pier on site. Anglers may take yellow perch all year with a daily limit of 50 fish.
Carp - Kinzua Reservoir
This Allegheny River reservoir is known for abundant carp up to 30 pounds. With permission from the Seneca Nation of Indians, shoreline access is plentiful. There's county-owned access at Onoville Marina.
Largemouth Bass - Black Lake
Anglers may take bucketmouths on this best-bet St. Lawrence County lake from the third Saturday in June though November 30 with a minimum length of 15 inches and a daily limit of five fish. Access is adjacent to the Hammonds-Edwardsville County Road about two miles west of Edwardsville in Morristown.
Walleyes - Lake Erie
Erie is considered to be the best fishery for walleyes in western New York State. Earlier in the season, anglers experience success night fishing near the shore reef areas. The eastern basin is notorious for giving up trophy-sized walleyes. Best fishing during hot summer months is had by trolling offshore.
Smallmouth Bass - Susquehanna River
The Susquehanna is 440 miles long, providing plenty of smallmouth sweet spots. The stretch of the river from its headwaters in Ostego County down to where it enters Pennsylvania's Broome County is dominated by bronzebacks.
Brown Trout - Beaver Kill
This top trout water flows through Delaware and Sullivan counties and is best known for giving up fat brown trout. Regulations vary from one stretch to another, ranging from a daily limit of five trout over 9 inches to catch and release only.
Rainbow Trout - Nanticoke Lake
This 46-acre Broome County lake is stocked annually with more than 2,000 yearling rainbows. Access is off Squedunk Road four miles south of Center Lisle. It's a 400-yard hike in to the car-top boat launch area; electric motors only.
Chinook Salmon - Salmon River
A 12-mile stretch of the Salmon is open to the public for the taking of king salmon migrating from Lake Ontario. Two segments fall under special fly-fishing, catch-and-release regulations. Check current regulations. Most salmon taken range from 15 to 35 pounds.
Chain Pickerel - Hemlock Lake
This 1,799-acre lake is known for giving up sizable pickerel. Hemlock is one of two Finger Lakes with undeveloped shoreline, making for more scenic fishing and increased access. Hemlock, located about 25 miles south of Rochester, is a water source for the city and is regulated by the City of Rochester Water Department. A permit, required for fishing and boating, can be obtained from a self-service booth at the north end of the lake. Access is available at the northeast corner of the lake off Rix Road and at the southeast corner off Route 15A.
Northern Pike - Quaker Lake
This 268-acre lake in the Allegany State Park offers 40-inch pike. Quaker is open year round, with shoreline access all around the lake. There's a small trailered boat launch at the north end near the dam; electric motors only, 5 hp maximum.
Winter Flounder - Bellport Bay
Fishing for winter flounder is good everywhere along the south shore of Long Island this month. Access can be had via the village dock off Bellport Lane, or take advantage of the concrete launch ramp.
Muskellunge - Niagara River
The upper Niagara River is known for giving up big muskies each fall. Muskellunge may be taken from the third Saturday in June though November 30. Special regulations apply, including a 48-inch minimum length. The daily limit is one fish. There are public access points located along the river.
Largemouth Bass - Rudd Pond
This 64-acre pond in Dutchess County is a great place for late-season bucketmouths. For now, anglers may keep five fish that measure 12 inches or longer. Beginning December 1, catch-and-release-only regulations are in place. Access is off Route 62 two miles north of Millerton.
Tautog - Great Kills Harbor
Tautog remain active throughout the winter, and may be taken from October 1 to December 20 and January 17 to April 30. There is a length limit of 14 inches and a daily limit of four fish. Access is available at Crookes Point, the Great Kills Boat Launch and Unprotected Beach within the Gateway National Recreation Area on Staten Island.
Lake Trout - Upper Chateaugay Lake
This Clinton County lake is open for the taking of lake trout year round, with a minimum length of 21 inches and a daily limit of three fish. Public access is on Route 374 about half a mile north of Merrill.
Chain Pickerel - Bashakill Marsh
This Sullivan County water is the place to go for plentiful, year round pickerel. The minimum length is 15 inches; daily limit is five fish. There are two access points in Mamakating, one off Haven Road and one off South Road.