12 Best Fishing Lakes in New York
As a state that is most commonly known for their large amount of
salmon, bass and trout, New York has a number of outstanding lakes
that would be the most ideal for a fishing trip or excursion. While
you may see other states as more prominent for fishing trips, New York
is ideal and won’t disappoint. Here is a list of the top 12 fishing
lakes in New York.
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1. Lake Champlain - If you are an angler that likes to fish for
salmon, trout as well as walleyes then Lake Champlain is by far the
best place to go in New York. There are 70 islands and 600 miles of
beautiful shoreline allowing fly-fishing on the rivers, ice fishing in
the winter and pursuing the pools. This lake is hardly ever short on
the amount of fish available for catching with four-pound salmons
being common and the typical flounder here and there. You may even get
lucky one day and get one over 12 pounds. In addition, the lake is
being stocked each year with thousands of walleyes by the Walleye
Association, which means there are plenty of walleyes up for grabs.
Other species include catfish, steelhead, white perch, smallmouth and
largemouth bass. In addition, this is the most popular lake in the
state for ice fishing.
2. Lake Placid – Near the town Lake Placid in New York, Lake Placid
covers over 2,100 acres with smallmouth bass, lake trout and rainbow
trout being the most prominent fish species in the lake. Lake Placid
features two large islands with a rocky lake floor that holds minimal
vegetation. The average depth of the lake is 52 feet while the maximum
depth of Lake Placid is about 150 feet.
3. Lake George – Located on just under 30,000 acres with a maximum
depth of around 200 feet and situated at the southeast bottom of the
beautiful Adirondack Mountains, Lake George is a very narrow and long
lake that drains into the state’s most popular lake – Lake Champlain.
Throughout the months of July and August, fishermen should go deep –
somewhere between thirty and fifty feet – to catch the best bass.
During the spring as well as fall, if you are after trout or salmon,
then the best fishing technique to use would be top water trolling for
the most success. However, in the summer, for trout, fishermen should
utilize deep water trolling with downriggers, leadcore and/or
wirelines. During the winter months, you can expect to catch yellow
perch, northern pike, salmon, lake trout and pickerel.
4. Oneida Lake – A shallow, natural lake found within the heart of New
York, Oneida Lake is the most prominent lake in New York that lies
solely in the state of New York. Right now, a number of species such
as the pumpkinseeds, bluegills and black crappier can still be
captured especially in the bays and when the warmer weather gets here,
fishermen will be able to part in bullhead fishing and come out on
top. The lake also boasts fish such as both large and smallmouth bass,
tiger musky, sunfish, white bass, carp and channel catfish. In deeper
water, walleye can be captured effectively during the summer months
with trolling worm harnesses and/or stickbaits and then in the
shallower water once the cool air enters the area.
5. Canandaigua Lake – Boasting over 10,000 beautiful acres of fishing
lake, 36 miles of beautiful shoreline, an average depth of
approximately 125 feet and a maximum depth reaching over 275 feet,
Canandaigua Lake is considered the fourth largest of the Finger Lakes.
The lake has a wide variety of species to be had such as rainbow
trout, lake trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass,
yellow perch and rock bass. The north end of the Canandaigua Lake is
known for black crappies and yellow perch. The best way to catch these
is by using minnows and small jibs just under the floats.
6. Cayuga Lake – Over 42,000 acres of fishing lake, Cayuga Lake is
located near Ithaca, New York, and measures 40 miles in length making
it to the longest of the Finger Lakes. A number of fish species are
found here including but not limited to largemouth bass, smallmouth
bass, northern pike, rainbow trout, lake trout, brown trout and
landlocked salmon. Largemouth bass, pickerel and northern pike can be
found in large amounts in the north and south ends of the lake. The
south end of the lake from April to May will bring in a large chance
for capturing landlocked salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout and
northern pike. Lake trout is generally found during the summer months
in the deeper water by utilizing vertical jigging and trolling.
Fishing during the spring and summer at the north end will definitely
bring in loads of largemouth bass.
7. Seneca Lake – Known as the largest lake of the Finger Lakes, Seneca
Lake boasts well over 40,000 acres of abundant fishing. Seneca Lake
has a maximum depth of over 600 feet and an average depth of nearly
300 feet. The lake is considered the second deepest in the United
States pertaining to depth below sea level. Here, you will find
landlocked salmon, rock bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass,
northern pike, lake trout, rainbow trout and brown trout. Brown trout
and Atlantic salmon are the tops sources of capture right now at
Seneca Lake. Spoons and flies are proper for getting trout about 100
feet down while the pier is an excellent place to capture yellow perch
with the most adequate source of bait being fathead minnows.
8. Keuka Lake – Known s the third largest lake of the prestigious
Finger Lakes, Keuka Lake consists of over 11,000 acres of fishing
lake, which features a number of fish species including but not
limited to pickerel, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout,
smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and landlocked salmon. The lake
connects to Seneca Lake at the northeast end. With an average depth of
100 feet and maximum depth of 187 feet, the lake is shaped in the form
of the letter Y and is 20 miles in length boasting 60 miles of
shoreline Anglers will find a load of trout at Keuka Lake especially
those using flies off downriggers. A lot of fishermen find luck by
using vertical jigging with plastics in water that is 65 to about 80
feet deep. Yellow perch isn’t as popular as in the past, but is being
caught with minnows.
9. Otsego Lake – Located near Cooperstown, New York, Otsego Lake takes
up more than 4,000 beautiful acres, is nine miles in length and is
regarded as the primary source of the Susquehanna River. Bass and
pickerel are best to be sought after during early summer (May and
June) and in the fall, you can expect to catch a smallmouth bass that
weighs about four pounds or even a 10-pound lake trout. Otsego Lake
also features a number of other fish species including largemouth
bass, brown trout as well as landlocked salmon.
10. Saratoga Lake – Located near Saratoga Springs and taking up nearly
3,800 acres of lake, Saratoga Lake is home to small and largemouth
bass as well as northern pike, walleye, pickerel and crappie. The lake
averages a depth of 25 feet with a maximum depth of 96 feet. If you
are into ice fishing, then you’ll be happy to know that Saratoga Lake
is a great place to capture crappies, bluegills, pike, perch and
walleyes – usually near the bottom or mid-depth.
11. Black Lake – Located near Hammond, New York, with 60 miles of
beautiful shoreline, Black Lake covers a marvelous 10,000 acres. The
most prominent fish species found in Black Lake include muskie,
northern pike, walleye, bluegill, black crappie, rock bass, largemouth
and small mouth bass. Apart from being a popular lake for ice fishing,
it is one of the most popular lakes in the state of New York for
crappie and bass fishing due to the abundance amount of fish available
for capture in the water year-round.
12. Chautauqua Lake –Boasting more than 13,000 acres of lake as well
as more than 40 miles of shoreline, Chautauqua Lake is home to a large
amount of walleye, muskie, smallmouth and largemouth bass as well as
bluegill. This lake is located just over 1,300 feet above sea level
making it among the highest North America waters that can be
navigated. It is a premier fishing lake with it being common that
fisherman catch 40-inch or 50-inch fish from this lake. Smallmouth
bass can usually be found within gravel bars and deep drop-offs while
largemouth bass are generally in weedy, shallow areas (as well as
underneath docks) that will allow for cover. Panfish are commonly
captured by using weed lines. In order to obtain the best catches
during the summer and fall months, be sure to use live bait such as
worms or minnows.
If you don’t at least try one of these lakes, then you are missing out
on what the wonderful Big Apple State has to offer all you anglers!
With lots of fish to catch, New York is the place to travel to for
your next fishing trip!