Otisco Lake Yields Another Near-World Record Muskie
Ice fishing seems to be hitting its stride all across New York. And no spot is currently hotter than Otisco Lake, especially when it comes to trophy muskies.
Last week Joshua Stratmann of Greece, N.Y. brought home a tiger muskie following a twenty-five minute fight. The whale measured forty-five and 3/4 inches long and weighed twenty-four pounds seven ounces. While it's longer than the world record for a muskie caught on a tip-up, it falls about three pounds short.
NYup.com now reports an even bigger one was caught on the lake this past weekend. Walter Kemblowski of Marietta landed one weighing twenty-six pounds 10oz, it was forty-seven inches long. Again close to the record but just short, by about 11 ounces.
Inch by inch, ounce by ounce, the tiger muskies caught ice fishing this winter on Otisco Lake just keep getting bigger.
Check out more ice fishing hotspots around New York below.
Nothing can be more annoying than coming home empty handed from a day of ice fishing. Maybe this can help shut up your buddies and fill the freezer. Here are the hottest spots on the lakes and rivers from each region of New York.
There's still plenty of time for getting in some ice fishing, regulations require shanties to be removed by March 15, so there's at least four weeks to go. And If the pictures on social media are true, there's a lot of nice catches being made. Here is where the big ones are being taken, according to the DEC.
Region 7 (Central NY)
Walleye and yellow perch are being caught on Oneida Lake. Most being caught in 15-30 feet of water at Lewis Point, Sylvan Beach, Cleveland Dock and South Shore.
Region 6 (Western Adirondacks, Eastern Lake Ontario)
Yellow Perch, Walleye, Northern Pike, and Panfish are coming from the St. Lawrence River and Chaumont Bay.
Region 8 (West Central NY)
It's not been a banner season with waters taking a long time to freeze. Sodus Bay is reporting Yellow Perch being caught in 20 foot of water with small jigs tipped with spikes.
Region 9 (Western NY)
Chautauqua Lake is a top ice fishing spot with Yellow Perch are readily caught lake-wide. The best locations are in weedy areas in depths under 15 feet. The lake also reports plenty of Walleye, especially in the north basin is typically productive for walleye at depths over 20 feet.
Region 5 (Eastern Adirondacks/Lake Champlain)
The smaller waters and in the interior Adirondacks have been reporting good action for a couple of months on Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, Walleye, Rainbow Smelt, Trout and Salmon. Shallow bays on Lake Champlain have been yielding Pike, Perch, Catfish and Panfish. Lake George and Lake Champlain are just becoming safe for ice fishing and provide chances to catch Lake Trout and landlocked Salmon.
Region 4 (Capital District/Northern Catskills)
Larger and deeper waters are just now getting safe like Otsego Lake. An increase in ice fishing has other areas seeming to be fished-out.
Region 3 (Southeastern NY)
Most catches have been coming from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection reservoirs East of the Hudson River. Several reports of large Walleye, Perch, Crappie and Tiger Muskies.
The best place to get day to day information on the hottest spots are at local bait and tackle shops. Ice fishing regulations vary across the state, get the specifics at DEC.gov. Here are some prize catches from across the state.