Press Release

Best Places to Fish in New York State

With 7,600 lakes and ponds, 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, and coastline galore, New York is an angler’s oasis. World-class fishing draws fishing enthusiasts from around the globe to cast a line into the Empire State’s impressive waterways, home to over 165 species of fish. From deep sea to ice fishing, from Great Lakes to small ponds, fishing in New York is the reel deal. Download the HuntFishNY app and check out the Tackle Box feature to find fishing regulations, waterbodies, fish species and stocking information, and more all in one spot! New York State also provides anglers with six Free Fishing Days each year, or you can purchase a fishing license.


 


Adirondacks

Fishing

Lake Placid: Known for its scenic beauty and surrounding Adirondack mountains, Lake Placid offers excellent fishing for lake trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout. Smallmouth bass are plentiful along the rocky shoreline and landlocked salmon can also be found in Lake Placid, where most of the cool blue lake is 40 feet deep. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Smoke Signals.


Saranac Lake: This expansive chain of lakes is famous for its diverse fish population, including northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, walleye, muskellunge, and a variety of trout species. Fun fact: ESPN chose Saranac Lake for the bass fishing segment for the Great Outdoor Games. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Bitters & Bones.


Ausable River: Fly fishing at its best! This world famous river has crystal waters and plenty of boulders where the fish like to hide. Renowned for its trout fishing, you’re likely to reel in brown and rainbow trout. It offers both wading and float fishing opportunities, and the river is divided into several sections with varying degrees of difficulty. Most of the fishing action for salmon occurs during spring on the flatwater section downstream to the river’s mouth. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Adirondack Mountain Coffee Cafe.


Indian Lake: Cast a line and get ready for a plethora of lake trout, brown trout, and brook trout. Indian Lake is also a great place to catch smallmouth bass, whitefish, brown bullhead, rainbow smelt, pumpkinseed sunfish, golden shiners, and northern pike. The western tributaries of the lake are popular for smelt dipping in the spring. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Indian Lake Restaurant & Tavern.


Capital-Saratoga


Woman holding fish with lake in background

Credit: @lynns_lunkers on Instagram


Burden Lake: The cool blue waters of Burden Lake (pictured) hold an abundant panfish population as well as perch that have been up to 13″! Bass are plentiful, and you’ve got a good shot at catching chain pickerel, yellow and brown bullhead, bluegill, white sucker, golden shiner, and on rare occasion, very large northern pike and walleye. This lake is popular year round and a hot spot for ice fishing. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Kay’s.


Rensselaer Lake (Six Mile Waterworks): Situated within the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Rensselaer Lake is a small but serene fishing spot. It is stocked with trout and also supports a variety of panfish. Abundant bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, and rock bass populations provide great fishing. Largemouth bass are present with reports of 3-5 pounders occasionally being caught. Rowboats, canoes, and kayaks are welcome in the lake, or you can fish freely from the expansive shore. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Josie’s Table.


Thompsons Lake: The lake is a popular all year destination in the Capital Region for panfish and trout. Each spring the lake is stocked with nearly 2,000 rainbow trout and 500-750 brown trout. You’ll have the opportunity to catch: chain pickerel, carp, golden shiner, bluntnose minnow, white sucker, banded killifish, pumpkinseed, smallmouth and largemouth bass and so much more. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Maple on the Lake.


Mohawk River: The Mohawk River, a tributary of the Hudson River, provides excellent fishing. It is known for its population of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, and northern pike. The best fishing is in the river’s 9.5-mile stretch between Crescent Dam and Lock 7 where several fishermen have caught monster-sized northern pike, up to 40”. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Max410 at The Waters Edge.


Catskills


hand holding a fish

Credit: @chasingbowsandbrowns on Instagram


Ashokan Reservoir: Ashokan, meaning “Place of Fish” is aptly named considering the recreational fishing opportunities for both coldwater and warm water fish that the reservoir provides. Every spring it is stocked with over 16,000 brown trout. The picturesque reservoir offers both shore and boat fishing and is also a major component of the Catskill System of the New York City Water supply. While you’re in the area grab a bite at The Reservoir Inn.


North-South Lake: This beautiful lake in the heart of the Catskill Mountains provides superb fishing for panfish and bullhead and is a great place to take the whole family. With a beach, boat rentals, and maintained trails, you can make a whole day of your fishing trip. Recent stockings of approximately 300 tiger muskellunge provide anglers with the opportunity to hook these fast-growing fish. While you’re at it you might also catch: black crappie, chain pickerel, tiger muskellunge, golden shiner, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass, and yellow perch. While you’re in the area grab a bite at The Reservoir Inn.


Esopus Creek: The Catskills are recognized as the birthplace of American fly fishing. When it comes to prime fly fishing conditions, Esopus Creek is the spot! Flowing through the heart of the Catskills, the Esopus Creek is another popular trout fishing destination. It is stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout, and also supports a wild trout population, with fish averaging 8-12”, and an occasional trophy size catch greater than 20”. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Selena’s.


Beaverkill River: The Catskills region is known as the birthplace of American fly fishing and the Beaverkill River is a legendary trout stream, stocked annually with over 18,000 brown trout. This 44-mile long tributary of the East Branch Delaware River is divided into the Upper Beaverkill and the Lower Beaverkill, each with its own unique fishing experience. Just under 30 minutes away, you can also visit the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum. While you’re in the area grab a bite at The Riverside Cafe & Lodge.


Central New York


Man holding two fish while on a small boat

Credit: @captain_schultes on Instagram


Otsego Lake: Otsego Lake is a beautiful and serene lake located just south of Cooperstown. The lake supports an underfished exceptional smallmouth bass fishery and is also well known for its trout fishing. Take a stroll around neighboring Glimmerglass State Park after your fishing expedition! While you’re in the area grab a bite at The Hawkeye Bar & Grill


Susquehanna River: The Susquehanna River flows for over 440 miles, making it the longest river on the American east coast. The North Branch flows from Otsego Lake and provides a diverse warmwater sportfish community. Anglers can target smallmouth bass, walleye, muskellunge, catfish, and panfish in its waters. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Mel’s at 22.


Oneida Lake: Oneida Lake (pictured) is the largest lake lying wholly within New York State, but a relatively shallow natural lake with an average depth of 22’. It is named for the Oneida Nation, one of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Nations. The Oneida people call the lake “Tsioqui” or “white water”, a reference to the wave action on the lake on windy days. It is known for its excellent walleye, bass, and panfish fishing. Anglers also target species like yellow perch, northern pike, and muskellunge. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Oneida Lake Brew Haus.


West Canada Creek: West Canada Creek is a popular trout fishing destination near Utica known for its wild brown trout and stocked rainbow trout. The creek offers both fly fishing and spin fishing opportunities. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Ohio Tavern & Restaurant.


Chautauqua-Allegheny


Back view of two chairs facing a boat on Chautauqua Lake.

Credit: @chq1874 on Instagram


Chautauqua Lake: Chautauqua Lake is the largest inland lake in Western New York and is one of the highest navigable waters in North America. The lake supports a diverse sport fishery, with angling for walleye, muskellunge, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and several species of panfish. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Guppy’s.


Allegheny Reservoir: The Allegheny Reservoir, located on the border of New York and Pennsylvania, offers great fishing opportunities on its 12,000-acre lake. Big muskies, walleye, various kinds of trout, and northern pike are common catches. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Horseshoe Inn.


Allegany State Park: Allegany State Park is one of the largest parks in New York State at approximately 65,000 acres. The park represents one of the largest contiguous areas of publicly accessible wild and stocked trout fishing in the state and has the largest concentration of wild brook trout streams in western New York. With three campgrounds right in the park there are hundreds of rental cabins for anglers wishing to stay and fish for several days. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Myers.


Cuba Lake: Head over to Cuba Lake if you’re looking to reel in largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, and panfish. This 445 acre lake offers year round fun from fishing (including ice fishing) to boating, swimming, and special events hosting neighboring towns. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Murdock’s.


Finger Lakes


ice fishing hut on frozen snow-covered lake

Credit: @parryshamilton on Instagram


Seneca Lake: Seneca Lake is the largest of the Finger Lakes and provides supreme fishing experiences. The fishery has benefited greatly in recent years with annual stocking of hatchery-reared lake trout, brown trout, and landlocked salmon. The lake’s rainbow trout fishery is sustained entirely by natural reproduction. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Sapalta.


Keuka Lake: The pristine, deep waters of Keuka Lake are home to brown trout, smallmouth bass and landlocked salmon, as well as pike, pickerel, lake trout and yellow perch. With a shoreline extending 22 miles, Keuka Lake boasts quiet coves and local hot spots known for creating the ideal temperatures and conditions for native fish species. While you’re in the area grab a bite at The Waterfront.


Skaneateles Lake: Skaneateles Lake, known for its crystal-clear warm waters makes for great fishing, especially for pickerel, large-mouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and panfish. The lake water is so pristine that nearby towns, including the city of Syracuse, use it as a source of drinking water – unfiltered. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Blue Water Grill.


Canandaigua Lake: The fourth largest of the Finger Lakes, Canandaigua Lake takes its name from the Seneca word for “chosen place.” Fish from the shore, boat rental, or personal watercraft and enjoy access to a variety of fish species including: lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, bass, pike, and panfish. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Peppers.


Greater Niagara


Man holding fish, standing in water

Credit: @frankie_fishpics on Instagram


Niagara River: The Niagara River is renowned for its world-class fishing and its massive runs of chinook salmon, coho salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, and lake trout. The outflow of the river into Lake Ontario is a powerful attraction to highly sought sportfish. The Lower Niagara can be fished year-round, with different opportunities during each season. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Nelsons Cafe.


Lake Ontario: Lake Ontario offers the largest found chinooks in New York State! It is also recognized for its trophy-sized salmon, trout, and bass. Popular fishing areas on Lake Ontario include the mouth of the Niagara River, Wilson Harbor, and Oak Orchard Creek. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Castaways on The Lake.


Eighteenmile Creek: Eighteen Mile Creek (pictured) in Erie County supports an outstanding run of Lake Erie steelhead. Here you can enjoy 13 miles of angling opportunity which also offers a fair share of brown trout, and smallmouth bass. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Wanakah Grill.


Lake Erie: “The Walleye Capital of the World” is another name for Lake Erie, and for good reason! Trophy-size walleye has been caught within the three lake basins – Central, Eastern, and Western – each more productive than the last. Yellow perch, trout, bass, and even salmon thrive in Lake Erie. While you’re in the area grab a bite at The Beach Club at Mickey Rats.


Hudson Valley


Men on small boat in body of water

Credit: @charlesstevensphotos on Instagram


Hudson River: The Hudson River offers ample fishing for striped bass, abundant in the spring, as well as smallmouth and largemouth bass, tiger musky and walleye throughout much of the year. Guided charter boat expeditions provide sporting types with the opportunity to catch and land trophy fish. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Wm. Farmer and Sons.


Catskill Creek: Catskill Creek is a popular trout fishing destination offering opportunities to catch brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. The creek enters the Hudson River in the village of Catskill after flowing for 37 miles and the river town section of the Creek is stocked with 6,500 yearlings and 400 two-year-old Brown Trout. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Barnwood Restaurant.


Wallkill River: The Wallkill River is unique in that it flows slowly from south to north, but the Wallkill offers plenty of opportunities to catch smallmouth bass, walleye and carp. The smallmouth bass fishery in the river also provides great angling from a boat or from shore. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Truss and Trestle.


Wappingers Creek: The Wappingers Creek (pictured) is stocked annually with over 12,000 brown trout and 2,000 rainbow trout. This is the largest stream in Dutchess County and wild brook trout can also be found in the headwaters. While you’re in the area grab a bite at County Fare.


Long Island


men standing in ocean fishing

Credit: @charlesstevensphotos on Instagram


Montauk Point: Montauk, located on the eastern tip of Long Island, is famous for its world-class fishing. It offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities, including surf fishing, charter boat fishing, and fishing from Montauk Point State Park. If you’re looking to reel in striped bass, bluefish, fluke (summer flounder), and black sea bass, this is the place to be, and by far the most popular destination for shore anglers. After your fishing adventure, walk down a path to rock-covered Montauk Point beneath the lighthouse. While you’re in the area grab a bite at George’s Lighthouse Bar & Grill.


Massapequa Reservoir: Perhaps the most heavily fished pond on Long Island, the Massapequa Reservoir is a must-visit spot if you’re looking to fish on the shoreline. Home to a variety of species including largemouth bass, pumpkinseed, bluegill, brown bullhead, carp, and American eel, this reservoir is also fully stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout seasonally, and the western half of the pond is a prime location to catch sunfish and bass. While you’re in the area grab a bite at The Good Life.


Captree State Park: Captree State Park is a fishing haven and a picnicker’s delight, located on the south shore of Long Island. Fantastic fishing can be found from its piers and it is also a popular charter boat destination. Catches include striped bass, bluefish, fluke, and black sea bass. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Salt Shack.


Laurel Lake: The clear waters of the 30-acre Laurel Lake produce some of the nicest holdover trout on Long Island. You can also fish for largemouth bass, chain pickerel, bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, white perch, and brown bullhead. Fishing fun can be had year-round here, with exceptional ice fishing all winter. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Love Lane Kitchen.


New York City 


People fishing off of pier

Credit: @leok_nycphotography on Instagram


Hudson River Park: (Manhattan) Along the Hudson River in Manhattan, anglers can fish with the unique view of the Manhattan skyline, all from Piers 26 and 51. More than 200 species are found in the Hudson River and its tributaries, with 85 species just within the Hudson River Park’s waters. Reel in a variety of striped bass, bluefish, flounder, and even the occasional weakfish. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Hudson Clearwater.


Pelham Bay Park: (Bronx) Located in the Bronx, Pelham Bay Park encompasses diverse habitats, including saltwater shoreline along Long Island Sound. You can fish from the park’s shores and piers for species such as striped bass, bluefish, flounder, and blackfish. While you’re in the area grab a bite at George’s.


Van Cortlandt Lake: (Bronx) Van Cortlandt Lake supports a diverse warmwater fish community that provides quality fishing for largemouth bass and a variety of panfish. Fish along the grassy shore of this gorgeous 18-acre lake, which is also home to yellow perch, brown bullheads, largemouth bass, black crappie, and carp. While you’re in the area grab a bite at The Last Stop.


Thousand Island-Seaway


People fly fishing


St. Lawrence River: Ranked #1 bass lake by Bassmaster in 2022, the St. Lawrence River is truly a natural wonder and holds its own as the largest east-west river in North America. This world-class fishing destination surrounded by stunning scenery is plentiful in a variety of species, including: smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, muskellunge, walleye, yellow perch, and various panfish. Popular areas along the river include Alexandria Bay, Clayton, and Ogdensburg. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Riley’s by The River.


Black Lake: Often referred to as “Nature’s Fish Hatchery”, Black Lake offers a bounty of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, yellow perch, and panfish. This is the largest and most diverse of the many Indian River lakes, boasting over 60 miles of shoreline combined with numerous islands. Anglers can take advantage of all kinds of ideal fish habitats from rocky points and shoals, to sandbars, weed beds, shallows, and deep water. While you’re in the area grab a bite at The Local Table and Tap.

Salmon River: The Salmon River (pictured) offers some of the finest sportfishing in the country. Two major fish records have been set in the Salmon River: the Great Lakes record Chinook salmon (47 lbs. 13 oz.) and the world record Coho salmon (33 lbs. 4 oz.). Anglers come to fish for the 20-pound steelhead or King and Coho Salmon that run up the river each year. The river is also home to huge lake-run brown trout that migrate from Lake Ontario. Occasionally, Atlantic Salmon can also be caught. While you’re in the area grab a bite at Artie’s Hometown Diner.


Fishing Charters


Family fishing on a charter boat in ocean


Experience the thrill of a once-in-a-lifetime catch with New York State’s premier fishing charters, where the pristine waters await to indulge your passion for angling adventures. Great for both newbies and avid fishermen, these excursions are the reel deal:


Cannonball Runner Charters (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

Rochester Sport Fishing (Finger Lakes)

Good Times Sportfishing (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

Angler’s Edge Outdoors (Greater Niagara)

Chasin’ Tail Adventures (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

Sea Rogue Fishing Charters (Long Island)

Long Island Fishing Charters (Long Island)

Marilyn Jean Fishing (New York City)

JIB VI Captree Fishing (Long Island)





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