NY Fisherman

Finger Lakes fishing trip may result with an encounter of the following species brown trout, coho salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, king salmon, landlocked salmon, walleye, bass, and perch
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NY State Record Fish

   How would you like to catch a state record fish? Well it is very possible. Here are the species and records that have the best chances of being broken by NY anglers in the during this fishing season.

Lake Trout

   The state record lake trout was caught by John J. Mamrak, Jr. 05/05/94 This fish was caught on a Artificial Shad fishing in Lake Ontario. This amazing fish weighed 39 lb. 8oz. There is no doubt that a bigger lake trout is swimming in the depths of Lake Ontario. The recent cut backs in the number of fish stocked have resulted in very large fish with reduced competition for food. This makes for harder fishing but yields bigger fish. The recent severe cold winter will result in some fantastic fishing in the spring off the Niagara Bar because fish have been collecting here all winter and the fishing pressure has been light due to the harsh winter weather. Later in the season the very cold water will result in some very nice thermal breaks which will collect and hold significant numbers of fish. This could be the trigger that breaks this record!

Update    Jesse Wykstra set the new state record for lake trout in August 2003 when he landed a 41 pound 8 oz Lake Trout from Lake Erie. He was fishing the Dunkirk area using an NK 28 spoon off a downrigger.The old NY state record Lake Trout weighed 39 lb. 8oz. There is a real chance that a bigger lake trout is swimming in the depths of Lake Ontario but for now Lake Erie will hold the new record.

Rainbow Trout

   The state record Rainbow Trout was caught by Gerald B. Szmania on 05/22/85 from Lake Ontario. This fantastic fish weighed 26 lb. 15oz. The same thing applies to all the stocked trout and salmon since the cut backs in stocking the fish are bigger because of less competition for available forage.The past few very mild winters have let these fish feed most of the winter and its beginning to show results. Many very large steelhead over 20 pounds were taken last season. Steelhead over 20 pounds have been taken in the salmon river this winter as well.This could be the year that the record goes down. Steelies love thermal bars and that's where they will be this summer.

Update   The new record for Rainbow Trout was broken by Rob Wilson of Tallmadge, Ohio on August 14, 2004. Rob was fishing out of Olcott, NY when he caught the fine specimen that weighed an amazing 31 lb, 3 oz and was 39 inches long. The girth of the fish was 26 inches. The fish is now the new state record, beating out the previous mark set by Gerald Szmania by five pounds.


   The state record Walleye was caught by John D. Fluder on 05/22/94 from the Kinzua Reservoir. He was using a Mr. Twister when he enticed this 16 lb. 7oz trophy to bite. It is possible that Lake Ontario harbors a walleye that will go over 20 pounds. It could be caught in the Oswego River or Bay area. It is also possible that it may come from the Black River area. In fact the whole eastern end of Lake Ontario is considered trophy walleye waters.

Update    The new record walleye is a 16-pound, 9-ounce walleye caught by Thomas Reed of Kill Buck, N.Y. It was caught on a tip up while fishing through the ice on Mystic Lake on January 20, 2009. The monster walleye was estimated to be nearly 20 years old.

Update    The new record walleye is a 18 lb. 2 oz. Walleye that measured at an amazing 32 inches in length. This fish was able to Break the previous record by one pound and seven ounce.s It was caught by Brian Hartman ON A Swimbait in the St. Lawrence River,in St. Lawrence County on 5/5/18. Nice job Brian Hartman.

Atlantic Salmon

   The state record Atlantic Salmon was caught by Mike Dandino from Lake Ontario on 04/05/97. This fish was taken on a Bomber Long A and weighed an amazing 24 lb. 15oz. Due to the efforts of a lot of concerned fisherman and their participation in the the pen rearing projects the atlantic salmon have increased their numbers greatly. Most fisherman will release atlantics when they can. Reduced competition for food with kings and coho salmon has resulted in many atlantics taken in recent years that are pushing 20 pounds.The best area of the lake to concentrate on for atlantics would be the Oak Orchard Area.

Yellow Perch

   The state record Yellow Perch was caught by George Boice from Lake Erie on 04/82. This grand fish weighed 3 lb. 8oz and was taken with a live minnow. The mild winters of the past few years have let the perch spawn a little earlier and the survival rates for the perch fry have been well despite the low water conditions of the recent drought. Seneca Lake has some very large perch taken each year. Many are very close to this record and it is possible some of the local fisherman have actually caught one bigger, and didn't even know what a trophy it really was. Sodus Bay on Lake Ontario also has seen large increase in the perch population as well. A 4 pound perch could be taken any where in NY State waters at any time!

Smallmouth Bass

   The state record Smallmouth Bass was caught by Andrew C. Kartesz on 06/04/95 from Lake Erie. This fine specimen weighed 8 lb. 4oz. Recent aquatic invaders like the zebra mussel and the round gobies have altered the food chain drastically. The smallmouth bass however have reacted in kind by finding an exploiting the round gobies as a food supply. It is against the law to possess or use gobies as bait in NY State. The Smallmouth Bass taken in Lakes Erie and Ontario last season were some of the heaviest fish ever. Since the decline in the stocking of trout and salmon many fisherman have given up on them and instead concentrated on bass instead. So more fisherman targeting bass could result in this record being broken.

Update    The record was tied by Patrick Hildenbrand fishing with a Berkley Powerbait on the St. Lawrence River, Jefferson County on 8/28/16

Update   The new record for smallmouth bass was set by Thomas Russell Jr., of Albion who caught an eight-pound, six-ounce smallmouth bass from Cayuga Lake on 6/15/2022.

Striped Bass

   The state record Striped Bass was caught by James Van Dyke on 05/09/00. This incredible fish weighed an amazing 54.3 lbs. He was fishing a Live Herring in Hudson River. The come back of the Striped Bass is an incredible success story . In the 1970's they were nearly wiped out by overfishing and pollution. It was a long hard road, but now they are back and bigger than ever I might add. Could a 70 pound striped bass be in your future?

Update    The new record for Striped bass is now 55 lbs. It was caught by Dan Mangold fishing the Hudson River, Ulster Co. on May 9, 2003 he was fishing with Cut Herring for bait.

Update    The new record for Striped bass is now 55.6 pounds. It was caught by Ian Kiraly on May 9, 2007 while Trolling a Plug on Hudson River

Update    The new record for Striped bass is now 60 pounds and was an amazing 53 inches long. It was caught by Eric Lester on a Blood Worm in the Hudson River, Orange County on 5/14/14

Brook Trout

   The state record Brook Trout category is currently vacant. The minimum qualifying weight to fill the void is set a 4 pounds. Here is an open ticket to fame and fortune for some lucky angler.

Update    The new record for Brook Trout is now 4 lb. 11 oz. This awesome fish was caught by Richard H. O'Brien with a small worm. It was caught from Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness Area, Herkimer County on May 21, 2005

Update    The new record for Brook Trout is now 4 lb. 15 oz.. This new record was caught by Jesse Yousey on May 5, 2006 on Lake Clear Wobbler while fishing in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area, Herkimer County

Update    The new record for Brook Trout is now 6 pounds and was an incredible 22.6 inches long. It was caught by Richard Beauchamp on a Lake Clear Wabbler in the Silver Lake Wilderness Area of Hamilton County on 5/16/13



  Two species of crappies can be found in New York's lakes and rivers. White and black crappies both can be taken by New York anglers. Crappies will average 6 to 14 inches in length. Some lakes and rivers often produce better fishing than others. This is due to the fact that crappies are prone to large swings in population. Various factors can cause this to happen. Drought, poor spawning seasons, depleted food supply, loss of habitat, abundant predators, and over harvest, all can affect them. To combat this New York State recently changed the regulations for crappies. There is now a 25 fish limit and a 9 inch minimum size limit in all N.Y. waters. Some of the best waters for crappies are Cayuga Lake, Whitney Point Resevoir Black Lake and Chautauqua Lake.

Update  The new record for Black Crappie 4 pounds 1 ounce it was 18.5 inches long and was caught by William Wightman on a Black marabou jig from Lake Flavia in Cattaraugus County on 5/6/18

Update  The new record for White Crappie 4 lb. 7 oz. it was caught by Roy Isaac using a live minnow from Sleepy Hollow Lake, Greene County on 8/21/2021

  Freshwater Drum

Freshwater Drum can be found in large lowland streams and lakes. It favors nearshore areas and is tolerant of high turbidity. It is native in eight watersheds of the Great Lakes. It is also found in all three watersheds of the Hudson River drainage. It has become more widespread in the Mohawk Barge Canal and Saint Lawrence River with the invasion of zebra mussels, a favored food

Update    The new record for Freshwater Drum 36 pounds and was 42.75 inches long. It was caught by Jason Bair on a Rapala Jigging Rap Oneida Lake, Oneida County on 6/16/17

Channel Catfish

  Channel Catfish live in lowland rivers and lakes with meandering channels and deep scour holes. Because it is at the edge of its native range this set of restrictive habitat preferences may differ from those where it is more abundant. In NY it is only locally abundant in a limited number of sites. It is native to downstream areas of all nine of the watersheds of the Great Lakes drainage. It has become established in all the other nine watersheds and is non native there

Update  The new record for Channel Catfish is an incredibles 35 pounds and 3 ounces it was 38.25 inches long and was caught by Eric Scordoon a Nightcrawler fromLake Ontario in Jefferson County on 4/29/17

Rock Bass

The state record Rock Bass was caught by Eric Avogardo on 5/26/84 it was caught on a live shiner and weighed an amazing 1 pound 15 oz. Rock Bass are wide spread across NY waters and are found in most lakes and streams with rocky and gravel bottoms they tend to like the same waters as smallmouth bass and average 6 to 10 inches in lenght but can attain weight of up to 2 pounds. They are fun to catch and can be caught on live bait suchs as worms, minnow, and hellgramites, crawfish, and leeches. They will also hit a variety of lures including jigs, nr twisters crankbaits and spinners.

Update   The new record for Rock Bass was caught by Jason Leusch on 5/24/2020 it was caught from Port Bay from a dock and weighed in a 2 ponds even nice job Jason

White Bass

The state record White Bass is 3 lb. 8 oz. and was caught by Morgan Fonzi it was caught on a gold Steelshad blade bait from the Lower Niagara River, Niagara County on 5/6/2020 .White Bass are not native to NY but have arrived here from Lake Erie via the Erie Canal. They have spread into all the waters which connect to this waterway. They like the same waters as smallmouth bass and average 10 to 18 inches in lenght but can attain weight of up to 5 pounds. They are fun to catch and can be caught on live bait suchs as worms, minnow, and hellgramites, crawfish, and leeches. They will also hit a variety of lures including jigs, Mr Twisters crankbaits and spinners. Your best bet to catch them would be bays and tributary streams of lake Ontario but are also now present in the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers.

Lake Ontario Charters

Oneida Lake Charters

Otsego Lake Charters

Black Lake Charters

Salmon River Guides

Oswego River Guides

Niagara River Guides

Hudson River Guide

Delaware River Guides

Finger Lakes Charters
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Long Island Charters

Susquehanna River Guides

Chautauqua Lake

Adirondack Guides

Lake George Charters

Lake Erie Charters

Lake Champlain

Great Sacandaga Lake

St. Lawrence River

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