There's never been a better time for spring fishing in New York, so grab your favorite rod and reel and hit the water! Here are the places you won't want to miss.
Around St. Patrick's Day, the slush ice is melting along the Lake Ontario shore and brown trout weighing 5 to 15 pounds begin cruising around the break walls at the mouth of the Oswego River.
Yellow PerchSeneca Lake
The Watkins Glen pier, among other places, offers open-water fishing for Seneca perch that average more then a foot long.
Fulton Chain of Lakes
Popular with family vacationers in the summer, Old Forge and the Fulton Chain also boast of some wonderful late-winter ice angling.
Seneca Lake rainbows averaging about 3 or 4 pounds charge upstream through a gauntlet of anglers to lay their eggs in Catharine Creek. It will be interesting to see how the annual spawning run is impacted by the new creel limit — just one 'bow per day.
The epitome of a put and take fishery, Kinderhook is an Albany-area trout stream which has good mayfly hatches all season, but shines brightest after hatchery trucks have seeded its pools.
Situated on the border between Onondaga and Cortland counties, Tully Lake is known for its jumbo bluegills, pumpkinseeds and red-breasted sunfish.
In the Catskills, May begins with the Hendrickson hatch and concludes with the emergence of the fabled Green Drake. A fly-fisher needs no greater excuse to spend part of the month on the Beaverkill, whose plentiful aquatic insects make it a hatch-matcher's dream.
Although walleyes can be caught throughout New York's stretch of the Susquehanna, the biggest fish are in the deep pools between Binghamton and Owego.
Few lakes can top little Honeoye, in Ontario County, for numbers "keeper" largemouths. Experienced bass anglers often do 40 or 50 bass a day.
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Suzuki's two new four-stroke, two-cylinder portable outboards have a compression reduction system for easier starting. The 20hp tiller model weighs 97 pounds the eletric-start model weighs 106 pounds. Single overhead cam, four-valve engine with Suzuki's Lean Burn Control and bat-tery-less electronic fuel injection. Built for running in skinny water, both motors come with five tilt pin positions and 15- or 20-inch shaft.
TACKLE TOTE VEST
If you wade when you fish, Fish-N-Hunt Pro Gear designed a Tackle Tote Vest that to keep gear accessible but dry when you're standing in deeper waters. It's adjustable, sturdy, has lots of pockets and a modest pricetag.
Honda Marine's BF250 outboard is a 24-valve 3.6-liter V6 that uses varia-ble valve timing and lift electronic control (VTEC). Programmed fuel injection delivers the precise amount of fuel and air to each cylinder for easy starts and instant throttle re-sponse. 20-, 25- and 30-inch shaft models.
FLEX '˜N GO TACKLE SATCHEL
On-the-go anglers will find a lot to like in Plano's new Flex '˜N Go Tack-le Satchel. It features adjustable built-in storage with a deep bin on one side and framework for the pair of swap-pable Plano 3600 StowAway boxes on the other, each Stowaway held with a flexible strap.
MSRP, Jacket $249.99-$269;
Cabela's Guidewear raingear now comes in four distinct series. Bass Angler (pictured) jackets and bibs are built with the tournament bass angler in mind. Xtreme parkas and bibs will help anglers fishing Northern lakes and rivers. Tidal jackets and pants offer lightweight, waterproof and breathable protection. River Runner jackets are perfect for wading anglers.
MSRP, $18.95 per pair.
The original Gear Grabbar is a unique way to hold lures and tools at the ready in boats. But the new Lure Hangar is a step beyond. This is a 12- by 16 1/2-inch plate,m ade to mount on your gunwhale, that holds 16 or more lures. There's enough room for a selection of jig, plugs, topwaters or whatever other baits you want to hang.
The new AV Micro is a complete underwater camera system that is the same size as a smart phone. On the boat or off the dock, use it to see where fish are hanging out. 3 1/2-inch diagonal display. Built-in rechargea-ble lithium ion batteries.
BERKLEY TRILENE XL
Berkley says they've improved a classic. New Trilene XL lines are now 10 percent stronger 20 percent more flexibility then they had been. Knot strength has also improved, said the company. Trilene XL has been around since 1972.
ABU GARCIA REVO SX
Abu Garcia's Revo SX baitcasting reel is now 25 percent lighter than before. The SX frame is crafted of a strong alloy while the handle sideplate are built with weight-reducing C6 carbon. Holds 145 yards of 12-pound mono.
SIMMS WEATHER GEAR
MSRP, jacket $349, bibs $299.
Simms designed its Contender Gore-Tex jacket and bibs for anglers who need reliability when they are motor-ing on the water at 70 mph in rain and wind. Waterproof and breathable. Cuffs are water tight and adjustable.
Anglers like their tools close by. And it's even better if it's connected to you so it doesn't go in the drink. T-Reign retractable gear tethers hold onto your pliers, hemostats or landing net. Several size options. Carabiner connects to D-ring, belt loop or strap, or use the stainless steel clip on belt or pack.