Best Places in Central New York to Reel In a Trophy Fish
It's officially fishing season and if the old adage is true, "fish bite best in the rain," you should be able to catch the limit in no time. To make success even more likely, here are some of Central New York's fishing hot spots according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
The 1st Saturday in May is always opening day for many of New York's cool-water sportfish including; walleye, northern pike, tiger muskellunge and pickerel. Officials say following several years of good reproduction and re-stocking efforts, plus lower catch rates, 2019 should be a banner year for many species.
When it comes to Walleye, Oneida Lake and Lake Erie are some of the premier spots in the entire U.S. Central and Northern New York is home to about 80% of the state's walleye population. This list includes many other New York hotspots.
For Northern Pike, many of the Adirondack waters are excellent spots; Tupper Lake, Schroon Lake, Lake George, the Saranac Lake Chain, Cranberry Lake, First through Fourth Lakes (Fulton Chain), and Great Sacandaga Lake. Success on the lower Mohawk River has seen a huge jump in recent years, with the most action between Crescent Dam and Lock 7.
Central New York is home to the best Tiger Muskie in the entire state. The state stocks 35 different places with the fish which is a cross between Northern Pike and Muskie. Otisco Lake has produced so many trophy catches, officials increased the size limit to 36", 6 inches longer than any other water in New York. Another good location many don't know about is The Mohawk River/Barge Canal from Rome downstream to Lock 16.
While southeast New York is the best spot for Pickerel fishing, the Capitol Region and CNY have seen improvements in catch rates in recent years. Lake George, Brant Lake, and Saratoga Lake, along with the Black River are reporting better results.
With more than 75-hundred lakes and 70-thousand miles of rivers and streams in New York, there are plenty of places to wet a line. A good angler may never reveal his secret spot, but the DEC website will give you the best public fishing spots anywhere in the state.