NY Fisherman

January Fishing In NY State

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   At this time of year most of the lakes and streams are frozen over so ice fishing is the main activity. Whitney Point Reservoir is also the site of the Annual New York State Crappie Derby. The sport of ice fishing has benefited greatly from technology. Now there are gas powered ice augers, and fish finders which will work through the ice, and underwater camera systems you can use to watch your bait as you fish. Also improved is the clothing. Its warmer and lighter so you can move about more freely. Re-discover ice fishing this winter! You will be pleasently surprised!

  Larger streams that flow into Lake Ontario begin to have runs of steelhead. These streams include the Salmon River, Oswego River, Oak Orchard Creek, Genesee River, Black River, and many, many, smaller streams that will have fish when the water flow is good. Lake fishing is mostly restricted to shore and pier fishing.

  Some, not many, still will troll for trout on the larger Finger Lakes during warmer periods of the winter. They fish with planner boards and troll the shore line. Rewards for these brave-hearted souls often include nice Landlocked Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Lake Trout, even a Northern Pike and a Smallmouth Bass or two. Good luck and great fishing.

   The Niagara River is the winter hot spot for NY Fisherman. Steelhead Brown trout and lake trout all seem to collect up here for the winter. It is fast becoming the place to be for winter fisherman. For Ice fishing Try Sodus Bay northern pike, perch ,bluegill, and even a trout or two may be among your catch.

  Pictured here is Mike Gee with a very nice Steelhead that he caught from Maxwell Creek in January of 2004. He was fishing a white crappie jig under a small bobber. This is a very productive method in the lower section of the creek where it enters the bay and the water current is not very prevalent. After a quick photo this spectacular steelie was released to possibly be caught another day. Catch and release is becoming more common among anglers who want to preserve our fantastic fishery.
Mike Gee with a very nice Steelhead caught from Maxwell Creek

Perch, Bluegill, Crappies, Pickerel all are fun on short ice jigging rods with 2 pound test line
   This is the results of a good days ice fishing on Lamoka Lake. Perch, Bluegill, Crappies, Pickerel all are fun on short ice jigging rods with 2 pound test line. Hard water fishing as it is called by the die hard fisherman can be quite fun but be sure the ice is safe and use the buddy system. Don't go alone. An ice auger and a five gallon bucket who knew it could be so much fun. Due to the mild winters of the last few years the ice fishing season has been short. Don't wait if you get the chance go go go!

  The date was January 3, 2005 when John Whittmier & Tim Hogan of Connecticut were on a exciting mid winter drift boat trip on the Salmon River. They were fishing with Shane Thomas of Gottum Guide Service. They were fishing the Schoolhouse Pool with a water level of about 2500 cfs. Thats when this amazing very late run Coho Salmon attacked the T4 flatfish they were using. The Coho weighed in at 20 pounds and John is going to have it mounted.
John Whittmier of Connecticut displays a 20 pound Coho Salmon caught from the Salmon River on January 3, 2005

Ray Martin with a nice Lake Trout from the Niagara Bar.
   I have heard how great the fishing on the Niagara Bar can be. So I decided to try it for myself. Wow fantastic just like they said it would be constant action with Browns and Lakers most of the Lakers were in the 10 to 16 pound range. The Browns were not hard to catch but the Lakers always seem to grab your bait first. In a days fishing I caught and released 30 fish myself and lost at least 10 more.

  We put in at Fort Niagara and went out on the Bar. This place is a fish magnet fish surfacing all over chasing bait it was something to see. Due to the river current here the water temperature is the same on the top as the bottom so the fish just love it and can be found anywhere from 5 to 50 feet deep.

  Methods used to catch trout on the Niagara Bar include using minnows fished on the bottom from a 3 way rig. Vertical jigging spoons and bass jigs for also worked well. Words don't do this fishery justice you simply must experience it for yourself. There are many guides who run trips on the Niagara River and Bar area. For your first trip you should hire a guide to learn the do's and don'ts. Then you can do it on your own.

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