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An online space for outdoorsmen from CNY and beyond. Tell us about the one you caught or the one that got away.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Don't overlook fall fishing

Early one morning this past week I tossed the fishing kayak on the car and loaded up the fishing gear and headed north to Florence for a day of fishing. In the morning I fished for bass and caught a few despite some strong winds. In the mid-afternoon I headed a few miles away to one of my favorite trout streams.
I did not see another person the entire day. This was not entirely surprising, considering that it was a weekday during September. But it was a beautiful early autumn day and I had decent fishing success despite less than ideal fishing conditions. The red maples lining the banks of the pond and along the stream were approaching their peak color while other trees were showing the early signs of change.
From small streams to Great Lakes there is still a lot of fishing action to be had. Sometimes it can be spectacular like the salmon runs up the Lake Ontario tributaries.
Other times it can be quiet and tranquil like you will find on many small trout streams or bass ponds. But the point is to get out and enjoy it, not put your fishing tackle away until next year.
Bass fishing has been tough all year in most places. Perhaps the cold weather and cold water temperatures early in the season threw off the patterns and locations of the fish. In any case fish were widely scattered and often they were not in the places that anglers expected them to be. Hopefully this fall will find them in more predictable locations and depths and eager to bite as they bulk up for the coming winter.
Recently Dea and Dave Kershaw spent a perfect late summer day fishing the St. Lawrence River with Capt. Al Benas of 1,000 Islands Charters. The highlight of the angling adventure was Dea catching a dandy five-pound bass as shown in the accompanying photo.
Many anglers are eagerly awaiting the annual salmon run up the tributaries of Lake Ontario such as the Salmon River, South Sandy Creek and many others. The actual run varies each year, depending on the biological clock of the fish. Some theorize that it is later this year than last because last year the water was warmer than normal while this year it is colder than normal. Perhaps this influences the development of the eggs and their spawning time.
In any case the salmon are starting to move into predictable areas off the mouths of the various rivers. They haven’t started staging yet so anglers are still having success targeting them with flasher and fly combinations. Bill Hilts Jr., Niagara County’s Sportfishing Coordinator, reported that salmon were being found in depths of 80–150 feet out in front of rivers in the western part of Lake Ontario.
No salmon were reported in the estuary or mouth of the Salmon River. Fran Verdoliva, superintendent of the Salmon River Hatchery, said that often heavy rains and cold water will trigger a run but only if the salmon are ready to spawn. Probably the last week of September through the middle of October will see the peak of the action in the river.
Walleye action has picked up on Oneida Lake but most anglers have not been catching many large ones. Various people at Marion Manor Marina said that there haven’t been any consistent west winds to bring the bait and the walleye into the usual locations.
Most trout streams are currently low and fishing is fair. But this can change overnight, especially in autumn. Soon the brown and brook trout will be moving up smaller streams to spawn. The season will end on most streams on October 15. The DEC announced that current fishing regulations will remain in effect until April 1, 2015 because the new fishing licenses are good for one year from the time they are issued.
But whatever your favorite species or type of angling is, make sure that you take advantage of it this autumn. Fall fishing can be very productive and there is much less pressure and competition. Enjoy it while you can because it is a long winter.
Deer Management Permits: All licensing agents are issuing hunting licenses, including deer management permits, muzzleloader tags, etc. Locally they are not having any problems printing the licenses or special tags. Remember that in areas oversubscribed for deer management permit applications, the actual permits are determined by computer lottery. Licensing agents can tell you which areas have a high, average or low probability of getting a permit.
QDMA Sportsman’s Banquet: The CNY Branch of the Quality Deer management Association will hold its Sportsman’s Banquet on Thursday, Sept. 25 at the Pompey Rod & Gun Club. Location is 2035 Swift Road in Fabius. Doors open at 5 p.m.; dinner is 6 p.m. For tickets or information contact John Rybinski (315) 427-9682 or email
Early Bear Seasons: The new 2014 early bear hunting seasons opened on Saturday, September 6, in portions of New York’s southern zone and open Saturday, September 13, in the northern zone.
Following recommendations in DEC’s recently adopted bear management plan to reduce bear populations in the region, the new early firearms bear season runs from September 6-21 in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 3A, 3C, 3H, 3J, 3K, 3M, 3P, 3R, 4P, and 4R. The early bowhunting season for bears will then open in all of the Southern Zone on October 1, followed by the regular firearms season beginning November 15.
New this year, DEC has also expanded bear hunting in northern New York to include WMUs 6A, 6G, 6K and 6N. In these newly opened units, bear hunting begins with bowhunting equipment only from September 13 through October 17. In the rest of northern New York (WMUs 5A, 5C, 5F, 5G, 5H, 5J, 6C, 6F, 6H, and 6J), the early firearms season begins Saturday, September 13 and continues until October 17. Muzzleloader season then opens in all northern WMUs on October 18, followed by the regular firearms season for bear on October 25.
Some hunters and anglers may not be familiar with these license changes, but licensing-issuing agents are prepared to provide assistance and ensure the license buyers secure all the desired permits and privileges. Highlights of the changes are available on DEC’s website at
In addition, the new Hunting and Trapping regulation guides are available at all license issuing outlets, as well as on DEC website at Information about black bear hunting in New York, season dates and regulations, is available at
New Crossbow Hunting Regulations: The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted final regulation changes to ensure that the crossbow is a legal implement for the fall 2014 hunting seasons.
With the purchase of a 2014-2015 sporting license, on sale as of August 4, 2014, New York hunters will receive copies of the new Hunting and Trapping Law and Regulations Guide, and the new crossbow regulations are clearly described in the Guide. The Guide features information on the educational requirements for hunters using crossbows. Hunters are required to read the safety information available in the Guide and on the DEC website, and certify that they have done so. This certification must be carried when afield hunting with a crossbow.
For licensing, the new law treats crossbows as a “muzzleloader.” Hunters must possess a muzzleloader hunting privilege to legally hunt with a crossbow during any muzzleloader season OR during open portions of the early bowhunting seasons. The muzzleloader license privilege is not required when hunting with a crossbow during the early bear season or the regular firearms seasons.


Blogger John Hillman said...

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Crossbow Reviews

September 5, 2015 at 9:48 AM 

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