Ice Fishing in New York!
New York fish are just as hungry in the winter.
The rods, jigs and tip-ups prove it as lines stretch and flags pop on most every body of water in the state. With so many waterways, you’ll find lots of elbow room for winter fishing. Before the ice arrives, you can still bundle up for shore and pier fishing. Wade a remote stream or troll miles off shore for trophy king salmon. The walleye are teeming in the Chemung, Susquehana, and Delaware Rivers in December, and they’re suckers for jigs, spinners and minnows.
Ice fishing takes over as soon as the ice is thick enough, and modern science has made the sport better with powered ice augers, sonar fish finders and underwater camera systems to help you hook steelhead on the Oswego River, Oak Orchard Creek and countless smaller streams. Lake trout love to winter on the Niagara River, while Sodus Bay puts out the welcome mat for northern pike, perch and bluegill. Ice shanty villages pop up across the state’s fabled frozen waters from Niagara to the Hudson, and it’s time for the Almost-Annual New York State Crappie Derby, 1/26/13, and all are invited to this winter “party on the ice.”
Where to find your catch this winter: Whether you jig with a short rod or use tip-ups, you’ll find fine fishing in every region on lakes, rivers and ponds. What’s your pleasure? Hook tiger muskie on the Mohawk, largemouth bass on the Hudson, landlocked salmon on Lake Champlain, or chinook and coho salmon on the Salmon River. Head for shallow ponds and lakes for chain pickerel, northern pike and yellow perch, or deepwater lakes for northern pike and walleye; you’ll find the fish are eager to come to the surface for a meal.
Ice Fishing the State Parks: Our State Parks should be at the top of your list for winter fishing. Harriman State Park at Bear Mountain is ice fishing heaven with 30 lakes and reservoirs, plus cabin rentals. Sterling Forest State Park provides boat launches on Sterling Lake, while Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park serves up perch, sunnies, and bass on Crom Pond and Lake Mohansic. Rockland Lake State Park offers ample populations of norlunge, bass, and perch, and Lake Taghkanic State Park in Ancram provides daily ice reports, launches and lodging.
Late Season Ice Fishing Tips: When spring thaws raise stream levels, head to the nearest creek for plenty of hungry fish, or shore fish for Finger Lakes trout with Rapalas or bass minnows. As spring peeks into March, trout begin their runs from Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes, smelt begin to make their way up smaller streams and, as soon as the ice is off, spring bullheads come looking for a meal.
New to the sport? Try one of many charter services or guides available across the state. They’ll show you the best spots for the fastest growing winter sport in North America, along with heated shanties, instruction, and help drilling all those holes.
You CAN do it all this winter - in New York State!
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New York State Ice Fishing
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