New York State Fishing
10 Great Ways to Match Wits with the World-Class Trophy Fish of New York State
There's never a lack of
stories to tell after a New York State fishing trip. Like that time you spotted
sea gulls circling off the coast of Long Island
signaling that sharks were there for the catching. Or the day you noticed
herons plucking up bait fish along the shore of Lake Erie
and correctly deduced that small mouth bass were feeding in the area. And then
there was that hold-your-breath moment when the muskie leapt out of Chautauqua Lake
to catch your flying lure. Perhaps that's why 1.1
million people fish the freshwater lakes and streams, great lakes and ocean
waters of New York
State every year.
Home to 165 different species of fish, New York draws anglers from around the world with its pristine settings and diverse experiences. Whether braced to haul in a 300-pound mako shark on a surf-buffeted fishing boat or stealthily trolling for trout with a carefully selected lure on a quiet lake, there's nothing more thrilling than outsmarting a cunning fish. It's the kind of sport that draws families and friends together, creating appreciation and understanding for nature and wildlife. And best of all, while experience builds skill, the excitement and satisfaction of outwitting and out-maneuvering a fish can be enjoyed from the very first outing. Across the state, tournaments cater to novices as well as world-class fishing pros. Fishing outfitters, fishing guides, equipment, and boat charters are readily available.
Here are ten great ways to go angling for fun in N.Y. State:
1.Tussle with a living fossil: The bowfin, a living
survivor of a type of fish that lived in the age of dinosaurs, has evolved
little from its fossil ancestors of 65 million years ago. A voracious predator,
the bowfin has a swim bladder that allows it to gulp air and a distinctive torpedo-shaped
body and a bullet-shaped head with rows of short, sharp upper and lower teeth. These
living fossils are a fighting fish when caught and can weigh in at over 20
Champlain in the Adirondacks region, best known for its
bass, trout and salmon, is a great place to tussle with bowfin. Bass
enthusiasts will find plenty of challenge as well. The Plattsburgh
area is hosting six bass tournaments this summer on Lake Champlain, which was recently
named the 5th best bass lake in the U.S. by Bassmaster
While you're in the Adirondacks region... Choose
from 3,000-plus lakes and ponds and thousands of miles of mountain biking,
hiking and canoe trails, splash into Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom, take
a steamboat cruise at Lake George, explore Fort Ticonderoga.
2.Learn to Tie a Fly. The art of
fly-fishing is fooling the fish into thinking the lure is an actual fly, so
catching a trout means not only having a realistic lure, but learning to maneuver
it to mimic fly behavior. The birthplace of American fly fishing, the Catskills region offers some of
the best fly fishing in the world. Newbies as well as enthusiasts can learn
about stream ecology and hone their fly-tying and fly casting skills at the Catskill Fly
Fishing Center and Museum before heading out on world renowned trout
fishing streams such as the Beaverkill, Esopus,
Rondout and Willowemoc streams and the Delaware and Neversink Rivers.
While you're in the Catskills area... Ride the
thrilling Black Vortex at the Zoom Flume Water Park in East Durham, go tubing
down Esopus Creek, thrill to the longest zipline in America at Hunter Mountain or
take a scenic ride on the Catskill Mountain Railroad in Mt. Tremper.
3. Play a shark. One of the most thrilling fishing experiences is "playing" a mako shark. The idea is to exhaust the fish before reeling it in and that can take 30 minutes or more. Often, when hooked, they leap high out of the water, twist and sometimes somersault to free themselves of the hook and it takes skill to give the shark just enough line. Long Island charter boats offer deep-sea fishing for sharks, bluefin tuna, sea bass and more. For those who prefer to stay on land, Montauk Point State Park offers some of the world's best surf fishing. And whether you land a big one or not, at the end of the day you can enjoy a fine catch at one of the many great seafood restaurants.
While you're on Long Island... Relive rural 18th
century life at Old Bethpage Village Restoration, catch the waves-and a
concert--at Jones Beach, and at the Atlantis Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead,
train seals and sea lions and view predator sharks from the safety of a shark
4. Go for the gold: Pet goldfish rarely grow bigger
than six inches, but in the wild their size can more than double. Native to China, they have found their way into waters
across the state, but they prefer warm, weed-rich shallows and slow moving
rivers such as the lower Hudson.
The lower Hudson River in
the Hudson Valley region is
also home to another Asian immigrant species, carp. While the record catch
of these reddish-tinged fish weighed in at over 50 pounds, they are more
frequently reeled in between 10 to 30 pounds. The most exciting time to spot
carp is in late spring and early summer, when the females thrash around in the
shallows as they lay up to 10 million eggs.
While you're in the Hudson Valley region...
Indulge your passion for gourmet dining at The Culinary Institute of America,
tour the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde
Park and try blacksmithing, weaving and other 18th
century activities at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-On-Hudson.
5. Fish the Great Sacandaga. One of the
largest of the Capital-Saratoga
region's many lakes, Great Sacandaga Lake is 29 miles long at some points and
six miles wide, and it beckons with some of the largest Northern Pike ever
caught. Pike are
predators, hiding in shallow vegetation and springing out to ambush fish,
frogs, ducks and muskrats. Anglers often troll or jerk the line, imitating the
pike's prey. Once the pike snatches the hook, anglers need to be alert and
ready to for a hard fight as the pike, which can grow to over 40 pounds,
fights, twists and often jumps out of the water.
While you're in the Capital-Saratoga
region... Canoe and swim at one of the area's lovely lake beaches,
sample fresh-pressed cider at Eagle Mills, bask in the fresh Saratoga Mineral
Spas, discover historic Albany
on an amphibious Aqua Ducks Tour.
6. Discover two-story fishing. Many of
the 11 glacier carved lakes of the Finger Lakes region are so deep that in
many areas they function as what the fishing world calls call "two-story fisheries." What
that means is that anglers can fish on the same lakes for both cold water fish
such as trout and Atlantic salmon, and warm water fish such as the region's
renowned trophy bass, which often weigh in at 5 to10 pounds (state record for
smallmouth bass was eight pounds with the largemouth coming in at 11 pounds).
And whether on a fishing charter
or casting a line from the shore, visitors to this region will find the diversity
of the sport fishing as exciting as the scenery.
While you're in the Finger Lakes region... Watch
glass blowing demonstrations at the Corning Museum of Glass, enjoy the
interactive exhibits and witness NASCAR's biggest names compete at Watkins Glen
7. Drop a line for salmon. Salmon are among New York
State's largest, most popular and hard-fighting sport fish, and in summer, one
of the best places to find them is Lake Ontario in the Greater Niagara
region. Here the waters are stocked with both native Atlantic salmon as well as
several types of Pacific salmon. Along with Lake Erie, Lake
Ontario is one of the two New York lakes stocked with chinook salmon, and only Lake Ontario
and its tributaries are stocked with coho salmon. During the summer months,
both Atlantic and Pacific salmon head for the
deeper parts of the lake, so fishing
charters are the best way to reach these rod-bending grand fish.
While you're in the Greater Niagara region...
Admire Niagara Falls from the deck of the Maid
of the Mist and on the Cave of the Winds walk, ride the thrilling
Whirlpool Jet Boat, and splash into the water park and wild rides at Darien Lake
8. Troll-and cast--for trophies. The lakes, streams and rivers of the Thousand Islands-Seaway region draw anglers from around the world to cast their lines for trophy-size fish. In fact, two towns in this region, Oswego and Pulaski, were in the running for the 2012 national title of World Fishing Network's Ultimate Fishing Town; which was in the end won by the Town of Olcott in the Greater Niagara region. Standing state records for Chinook, Coho, and hybrid Chinook/Coho, which also hold world records as well as Atlantic salmon all have been set in Lake Erie, while the St. Lawrence River and Alexandria Bay are acclaimed for their pike, walleye and muskellunge or muskie. A record-breaking muskie, weighing in at over 69 pounds was caught near Clayton, where the Thousand Islands Museum features a Muskie Hall of Fame and historic exhibits. Not to be outshined, St. Lawrence International Junior Carp Tournament competitors have brought in prize-winning carp weighing more than 40 pounds, with the state record standing at 50 pounds, 6 ounces since 1995.
While you're in the Thousand Islands-Seaway region... Visit historic 1812 military sites in Ogdensburg, Sackets Harbor and Oswego, see a true American "hunting lodge" castle on an island, stay in historic lighthouse, drive or cruise along the 500-mile coast while counting the nearly 2000 islands, large and small.
9. Beware the mighty muskellunge. Nicknamed "waterwolves," muskellunge, like all pike,
lurk in the shallows to ambush their prey. But they can grow to well over 40
pounds and have reportedly eaten small pets and even sunk their sharp teeth
into a passing swimmer. Their solitary nature, size and strength make them a
tough fish to find and a prized species to land. Those up to the challenge can
head to Lake Chautauqua
in the Chautauqua-Allegheny
region. Many fish in the 40-50 inch class are caught each year on Lake Chautauqua.
While you're in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region... Explore
Amish country, thrill to the Aerial Park and zipline at Holiday
Valley, catch a concert at Chautauqua
Institution, get a glimpse of pre-contact Native American life at the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum.
10. Catch a leaping sprinter. Known for
their fighting spirit, smallmouth
bass often resist being reeled in with a series of bounding jumps and
sprints. They are drawn to cold water regions of lakes and rocky stream beds. Spring-fed Otsego
Lake and the Susquehanna River in the Central New York
region offer excellent opportunities to fish for smallmouth bass, and several boat charter operators
and parks in the Coopertown area offer fishing. Central New York is also
home to Oneida Lake, (also
shared by Madison, Oswego and Onodaga) whose largemouth bass earn it a spot
among the top 15 bass fishing spots in the country by Bassmaster
magazine. The Lake is also a popular
tournament stop for professional anglers.
While you're in the Central New York region... Pay homage to your favorite team at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, explore Howe Caverns, visit the Farmers' Museum, a recreated 19th century village and farm.
These are just a few of the diverse fishing experiences that beckon in New York State. For more ideas, visit www.iloveny.com. Details on fishing license
requirements and other regulations along with fascinating in-depth info on the
many species that call New York
home are available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/.
The summer also brings a wide array of fishing tournaments. See the attached
listing for a region by region listing of some of the many tournaments across
About New York State
New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it's wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information, visit http://cts.vresp.com/c/?M.SilverAssociates/bf864c8a82/f2b490c139/5294a167eb. Media can find press releases and more at thebeat.iloveny.com.