To start, a note from local anglers: The water remains high on almost all lakes and rivers in the area. Beware, since high water can hide normally visible hazards.
Anglers report that fishing is challenging on Lake Bonaparte and Cranberry Lake right now. They're struggling to bring in a limit and those limits are likely to include small fish.
Try downsizing your baits until you find fish, then go back to larger baits to catch the larger fish.
That said, some of the best trout fishing is happening on the St. Regis River in St. Regis Falls, the Salmon River at Malone, and most other trout streams in the St. Lawrence River Valley. The reason is the high water levels that are still out there from past rains.
In trout streams, the higher levels mean morning water temperatures that can be as much as 12 degrees lower than in the afternoon. Those lower temperatures during the first three hours of morning are when trout anglers are getting the best and biggest fish.
This week's fishing forecast...
Salmon fishing has been good this past week. Many kings have been in the 20-28 pound class. Best spots have been Stony Point wall, south of Galloo Island and in front of Sandy Pond in 90-150 feet of water. Best baits have been Pro-troll flashers in green or chartreuse followed by Pro-Am flies. Michigan Stinger spoons in green-silver, orange-chartreuse or black silver.
They are catching muskies from shore at Hawkins Point, Massena, with bobbers and 8- to 9-inch big shiners hanging two feet under bobber. Best results at mid-morning. (Note: smallmouth bass reportedly also going for the big shiner lures…)
The hot weather is driving the smallmouth bass to deeper water on the St. Lawrence River from Morristown to Massena.
The fishing is still not up to par in the Waddington area as water continues to contain more sediment than usual since the opening of the gates at the Iroquois Dam.
Smallmouth bass can be taken on soft plastics, especially weighted tubes and deep diving baits. Try top water baits early in the morning or in the evening. The top water bite is explosive and a thrill to behold.
Largemouth bass are in weed beds. They like jig and pig and big plastic worms. Soft plastic colors working best include watermelon, green pumpkin, and colors that mimic gobies and other food sources. Some fishermen are bringing in five bass limits totaling over 20 pounds.
For walleye, use crayfish in 30 feet of water, close to bottom. Bass are also going for crayfish, in 10 to 15 feet.
At Ogdensburg, use minnows to catch fresh water drum near the international bridge.
Anglers also reporting catches of big perch near The ‘Burg.
At Dexter, four- to eight-pound trout are being caught using tiny green bucktail jigs tipped with pinhead minnow, fished below a bobber.
Also, at the river mouth near the last buoy, catfish are schooling in the channel.
Bass are beginning to burrow deeper into the weeds as they seek the cooler weed-shaded water. Black Lake bass are attracted to black and blue jig and pig and soft plastics, including big plastic worms.
For this week’s Fishing Report, thanks to Capt. Bob Dick, Moby Dick Charters, Henderson Harbor; www.mobydickcharters.com; St. Lawrence County bass angler Fred Morrill; angler and FISHCAP coordinator Don Meissner; and Massena Bait & Tackle, East Hatfield St., Massena.
For more on fishing in the St. Lawrence River Valley, go to www.fishcap.net .
Thursday, December 18, 2014, Watertown, NY