New York's 2009 Fishing Calendar

Are you planning your 2009 angling vacation? Consider this sampling of 36 great fishing trips throughout the Empire State. (Feb 2009)

Another year of great fishing opportunities has arrived for New York anglers. Excellent hardwater fishing destinations are plentiful whenever there is safe ice. When warmer weather arrives, countless freshwater choices include tiny streams for brook trout, raging rivers for pike and deep cool lakes for bass and trout.

With 2,200 miles of ocean shoreline, the Empire State's saltwater options are hard to beat, too.

Regulations vary across the state, so always check the current rules before heading out to fish.

There are more places to explore than any angler could hope to hit in a year -- or a lifetime. But here's a roundup of 36 of the best places to wet a line in 2009:

Lake Trout
Lake Gilead

Lake Gilead is open for lake trout year 'round. Minimum length is 18 inches, and the daily limit is three fish. Lakers feed at varying depths, so start out with your baits set deep, middle and shallow until you figure out where they're feeding.

The lake lies south of the Putnam County town of Carmel. This lake is owned by New York City, and a free Public Access Permit is required. Call 1-800-575-5263 for information.

Landlocked Salmon
Piseco Lake

This Hamilton County lake is open all year for the taking of landlocked salmon, with a minimum length of 18 inches and a daily limit of two fish.

For details on multiple access points along Old Piseco Road, check DeLorme's New York Atlas and Gazetteer, page 79.

Boyd Corners Reservoir

Walleyes may be taken from this reservoir, situated northwest of Carmel, from the first Saturday in May through March 15.

There's an 18-inch minimum length, with a daily limit of three fish.

Boyd Corners Reservoir is also open year 'round for trout longer than 12 inches, with a daily limit of three fish. See DeLorme's NYAG, page 33, for access details.

Northern Pike
Silver Lake

Silver Lake lies in the Clinton County town of Black Brook. Big toothy northern pike may be taken here from Nov. 15 to March 15.

It's also home to yellow perch, rainbow trout, and largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Pike tend to run with the bait for a while before swallowing it, so watch for the line to stop running off the spool before you set the hook.

Access is off Route 3 onto Silver Lake Road. See DeLorme's NYAG, page 102, for details.

Rainbow Trout
Arctic Lake

Trout may be taken year-round from Arctic Lake, which lies in the Broome County town of Sanford. The daily limit is five fish, with no more than two longer than 12 inches. This 60-acre lake in Oquaga State Park also has an abundance of panfish.

Meacham Lake

This Franklin County lake in the town of Duane is open for taking of splake year 'round. The daily limit is five fish of any length.

Meacham Lake is also home to landlocked salmon, with a year-round season. Daily limit is three fish, with a 15-inch minimum.

Hardwater anglers can also expect to catch pike, yellow perch and largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Access is off Route 30 onto Meacham Road. For details, see DeLorme's NYAG, page 101.

Lake Whitefish
West Caroga Lake

Whitefish of any length may be taken year 'round from this Fulton County lake in Caroga.

Daily limit is five fish. Use fish eggs or small pieces of cut bait, fished close to the bottom.

The lake is also home to trout, yellow perch and panfish. Trout of any length are legal year 'round. Limit is five fish per day.

For area details, check DeLorme's NYAG, page 79.

Landlocked Salmon
Lake George

This big lake is open for landlocked salmon year 'round. Daily limit is two fish, with an 18-inch minimum.

The use or possession of smelts is prohibited here. There's public access south of the lake town of Ticonderoga in Essex County, off Route 3.

For details and other access sites, see DeLorme's NYAG, page 89.

Yellow Perch
Cayuta Lake

Cayuta Lake in Catharine is a great destination for fast flag action. In addition to plentiful perch, Cayuta Lake is home to sunfish and black crappies.

Special regulations are in effect here on walleyes, which may not be taken after March 15. Up to that date, the daily limit is three fish, with a minimum length of 18 inches.

For area details, see DeLorme's NYAG, page 45.

Winter Flounder
Middle Bay

Good fishing for winter flounder may be had through May and into June. Try fishing on the bottom with clam strips.

Boat launches, rental boats and charters may be found in nearby Island Park, an excellent launch point. For more Middle Bay access and details, see DeLorme's NYAG, page 25.

Brown Trout
Keuka Lake

This Yates County hotspot is one of the Finger Lakes and home to lake trout, rainbows, largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch and pickerel. Its shoreline touches many towns and offers many access points.

Check DeLorme's NYAG, page 45, for details.

Brook Trout
New Albion Lake

This 45-acre manmade lake is in the northwest corner of Cattaraugus County. Open for fishing year 'round, the lake is stocked annually with brookies and brown trout.

Shoreline fishing is allowed around the entire lake. Mosher Hollow Road runs along the northeast shoreline.

There's a hand launch site for cartop boats and canoes. Electric motors only are allowed.

Striped Bass
Little Neck Bay

Try casting bucktail jigs and swimming plugs to gain the attention of hungry stripers here.

For access details to this early-season hotspot on Long Island Sound, check DeLorme's NYAG, page 25.

Rondout Creek

Fishing for wal

leyes in this Ulster County creek in Eddyville is open from the first Saturday in May to March 15. Daily limit is three fish, with a minimum length of 18 inches.

For area details, see DeLorme's NYAG, page 36.

Brown Trout
Red House Lake

This 110-acre manmade lake in Allegany State Park is stocked each spring with yearling brown trout and rainbows. There's also a fall stocking of yearling brown trout, as well as surplus hatchery breeders most years.

Other than the swimming area, shoreline access is available all around the lake via multiple roads and a bike path.

There's a launch for small trailered boats at the northwest corner (electric motors only). There are also rowboat and canoe rentals on site.

Largemouth Bass
Bear Lake

Make sure to hit this 141-acre kettle lake just north of Stockton in Chautauqua County when bass season opens the third Saturday of June.

There's an abundance of bass here in the 12- to 15-inch range. Over 70 percent of the shoreline is excellent habitat for predatory largemouths. Try spinner baits, surface plugs and crayfish or shiners here.

There's a state-operated hand launch for boats and canoes on Bear Lake Road.

Rainbow Trout
Hemlock Lake

This 1,799-acre lake is one of the only two Finger Lakes with an undeveloped shoreline. Hemlock Lake is stocked annually with rainbows, lakers and brown trout and also gets naturally reproducing rainbow trout from Springwater Creek.

Trout may be taken year 'round. Robust populations of smelts and alewives contribute to excellent trout growth here.

This Livingston County lake is about 25 miles south of Rochester. Hemlock Lake is a water source for the City of Rochester. Its recreational uses are regulated by the City of Rochester Water Department.

A permit is required for fishing and boating and may be obtained from a self-service booth at the north end of the lake. Only boats not exceeding 16 feet and motors not exceeding 10 horsepower are allowed.

Brook Trout
Heath Creek

This nice brook trout stream in Corinth is open for brookies from April 1 to Oct. 15. The daily limit is five trout, plus five brook trout under 8 inches. For area details, check DeLorme's NYAG, page 80.

Largemouth Bass
Massapequa Reservoir

Spring and fall stockings of trout generally draw a crowd to this popular Long Island pond. But not so widely known is that in recent years, this reservoir has developed into the best bass fishery in Nassau County.

The 20-acre reservoir lies within the Nassau County Preserve. Boats are prohibited, but there's plenty of shoreline access via footpaths.

The reservoir's eastern end is thick with coontails, making it tough to fish. But the payoff may well be worth the hangups.

The western end is more open, offering good bass fishing over the summer months. Massapequa is south of Clark Street and north of Sunrise Highway (Route 27), with Lake Shore Drive and Parkside Boulevard bordering the east and west.

Park on Lake Shore Drive or in a dirt turnoff area off Sunrise Highway of the Massapequa Train Station.

Cox's Ledge

Catch a charter out of Montauk and head for Cox's Ledge for good cod fishing throughout the summer. For public boat launch facilities owned by the Town of East Hampton, head to West Lake Drive in Montauk.

The West Lake launch has a multi-lane concrete ramp and parking for 25 vehicles with trailers.

For access and area details, see DeLorme's NYAG, page 29.

Chain Pickerel
Black Lake

This 10,908-acre lake in St. Lawrence County is the consummate warmwater destination at any time of year. Anglers can also expect to catch largemouths and smallmouths, pike, walleyes, crappies and a variety of other panfish.

See DeLorme's NYAG, page 98, for multiple access sites.

Gardiners Bay

Shore-fishing for snapper blues should be good this month, and good schools of larger bluefish will provide action in deeper waters through September. To catch the big ones, fish chunk baits on bottom. Don't forget a wire leader!

Good access is through Orient Beach State Park. See DeLorme's NYAG, page 28, for details.

Coho Salmon
Salmon River

Though coho salmon generally weigh about 8 to 10 pounds, a world-record fish from this river topped the scales at 33 pounds, 4 ounces.

In August, both coho and the larger chinook salmon begin staging at the mouth of the Salmon River.

Try trolling in the estuary with spoons, dodgers, flies, cut bait and plugs. After Labor Day, fish up into the river proper. For multiple access sites, see DeLorme's NYAG, page 83.

Smallmouth Bass
Great Sacandaga Lake

This big lake, located in Edinburg and Day, is considered to be one of Saratoga County's best smallmouth waters. Special regulations apply to other species here, so be sure to check the rulebook before heading out.

For access details, see DeLorme's NYAG, page 79.

Wappinger Lake

This Dutchess County lake in the town of Wappingers Falls provides fun fishing for big carp. These fish average 5 to 10 pounds, with an occasional 15- to 20-pounder taken.

Hungry carp will take bread dough, canned corn or commercial baits.

See DeLorme's NYAG, page 37.

Chinook Salmon
Lake Ontario

Adult chinooks go up to 30 pounds here. The biggest fish spend most of their time in deep open water, but will follow forage fish into shore as fall approaches.

Chinooks gather around the mouths of tributaries now to make the spawning run upstream. The spawn peaks in October and is generally over by early November. Try trolling silvery spoons or other baitfish look-alikes.

For access sites and tributary locations, see DeLorme's NYAG, pages 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 72, 74, and 83.

Smallmouth Bass<br<grass River
The main branch of the Grass River flows through the St. Lawrence County town of Russell. The Grass River also offers good angling for pike, muskellunge and walleyes.

See DeLorme's NYAG, page 93.

Regulations vary across the state, so always check the

current anglers' law book before heading out to fish.

Striped Bass
Shinnecock Bay

Surf-fishing for stripers along the south shore is often at its most productive this month. Try evening fishing with clams and bunker chunks off the Ponquogue Bridge Pier.

See DeLorme's NYAG, page 28.

Brown Trout
Old Chenango Canal

Better get to this Madison stream quickly, since the season closes on Oct. 15. The Old Chenango is stocked annually with brown trout.

For access sites and area details, check DeLorme's NYAG, page 62.

Black Crappies
Butterfield Lake

This 922-acre Jefferson County lake is a great warmwater destination.

Butterfield is also home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, pike, walleyes, yellow perch, bullheads and sunfish. See DeLorme's NYAG, page 92, for access information.

Tiger Muskellunge
Findley Lake

Each fall, this 292-acre lake in southwestern Chautauqua County is stocked with fingerling tiger muskies. These fish have grown to a tackle-busting 30 to 45 inches.

Use large live minnows or baitfish imitations measuring 6 to 10 inches.

There are two access sites here, at the lake's north end off Route 426.

Plum Gut

Some big blackfish are taken here near Orient Point in late fall. The Narrow River Road ramp, owned by the town of Southold, is off Narrow River Road in Orient. There's a wide concrete ramp and plenty of parking.

Or head to the Beach Road Boat Ramp in Greenport (also owned by Southold), where there's a single-lane concrete ramp for smaller boats.

See DeLorme's NYAG, page 28.

Eighteenmile Creek

This Erie County stream offers quality lake-run steelhead angling from November through April.

Access along the stream bank is a combination of Erie County park lands, public-fishing right of way access and private property requiring landowner permission.

Special regulations are in effect here, so be sure to check the rule book.

Northern Pike
Sandy Ponds

North and South Sandy ponds, about four miles west of Sandy Creek in Oswego County, are separated from Lake Ontario by the Sandy Pond Beach Natural Area.

This year, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation dedicated $500,000 for a boat launch and ice-fishing improvements here. North Sandy spans 2,400 acres, and South Sandy covers 295 acres.

Ontario may be accessed through a channel in North Sandy. For good pike action, try tip-ups baited with large minnows. Lake Ontario regulations apply here, so be sure to check the rulebook before heading out.

Whitney Point Reservoir

This 1,200-acre reservoir in the Broome County town of Triangle is open for walleyes from May through March 15. Minimum length is 18 inches, and the daily limit is three fish. See DeLorme's NYAG, page 47, for area details.

Tiger Muskellunge
Lincoln Pond

Lincoln Pond, in the Essex County town of Elizabethtown, offers good fishing for tiger muskies as well as pike, largemouths and smallmouths, yellow perch and sunfish. For access, see DeLorme's NYAG, page 97.

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