The 10 Best Fishing Spots In New York This Summer

Written by Crystal
Updated: May 2, 2023
© FedBul/
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Should you troll or cast?

It’s a question every angler finds themselves asking at some point. The answer? Pick a technique is the one that suits you and your environment.

Pro anglers suggest casting by shallow waters to avoid spooking the fish. On the other hand, casting is more time-consuming. Whereas trolling gives you access to the most fish in a short amount of time. Whether you want to troll or cast, New York waters have an opportunity for you!

Keep reading to discover the 10 best fishing spots in New York this summer.

1. Lake Ontario

There are close to 10,000 drumlins in Lake Ontario.

©Michael J. Eves/

When you think of New York fishing, Lake Ontario probably isn’t the first spot that pops into your mind. But it should be! This location is an angler hotspot and has earned its name on our list of the best fishing spots in New York this summer. Trolling for trout and salmon on this massive lake will be a memory you’ll never forget.

Be safe out there. You’ll need a boat that can handle the rough waters. If you don’t want to get on a boat, the trout and salmon come close to the shore during the summer. There are about 10,000 drumlins in Lake Ontario. The elongated sediment hills are great for walleye fishing.

Finally, buy a marine radio. Even if you don’t go out on a boat, you’ll get frequent weather reports and up-to-date fishing information, like shark alerts!

2. Hudson River

New York City Skyline - Statue of Liberty
New York City skyline with the Statue of Liberty over the Hudson River.


Summer means striper season on the Hudson (sometimes a few sharks sneak in too). The famous and celebrated fish will be active in the estuary thanks to the forsythia blooming.

Coastwide, the striped bass populations are declining. Use non-offset circle hooks and natural boats as you fish along the Hudson. You’ll give the stripers a better chance of living after catch-and-release.

3. Oneida Lake

Crappie jumping out of water
Crappie is commonly seen in Oneida Lake.


Do you want to do a little bit of sight fishing? Perhaps you love the way the sun dances through clear lakes. Then you’ll love Oneida and its great water clarity. Ever since the zebra mussels showed up in the 90s, the water quality has been improving. There’s the perfect weed growth in the larger bays and along the shoreline. You can find aquatic vegetation as deep as 20 feet!

4. Canadice Lake

Only 30 miles from Rochester, New York, you’ll find Canadice Lake. It’s the smallest Finger Lake. It only has 649 surface acres. The lake is 3 miles long, .3 miles wide, and has a maximum depth of 95 feet. There’s a public boat access area on the lake’s east side. You’ll find easy access points at the Birch Hill and Canadice Road intersection. You’ll have a chance to catch chain pickerel, brown bullhead, bluegill, black crappie, yellow perch, lake trout, brown trout, and rock bass.

5. Cayuga Lake

What’s the second largest of the Finger Lakes? Cayuga Lake. You’ll have a diverse fishing environment. There are coldwater and warm water fish species on this reservoir. The waters are deep too, which is excellent for finding trout and salmon.

The maximum depth is 435 feet, and the average depth is 181 feet. There are 106 miles of shoreline and plenty of aquatic vegetation. The northern end of the lake has the densest vegetation. As you move south, there are still aquatic plants, but not as many. They start to form a narrow fringe along the shoreline. Look for an access point in Cayuga, Tompkins, or Seneca County for easy access. Cayuga county has access points at Long Point State Park, Mud Lock, and Frontenac Park.

6. Lake Erie

Lake Erie
Lake Erie, New York is a premier walleye fishery.

© johnson

While in New York fishing, you must visit one of the premier walleye fisheries; Lake Erie. Walleyes are abundant throughout the lake. You can troll, drift, or cast; pick whatever technique suits you best! Most anglers focus on the walleye; they reach trophy sizes. On average, the walleye are between 18-28 inches long and 4-8 pounds. However, trophy sizes easily exceed 30 inches in length and 10 pounds.

7. Black Lake

Enter a freshwater angler’s paradise as you arrive at Black Lake. This lake is on our list of the best fishing spots in New York this summer for several reasons. For one, there’s plenty of fish here! The lake is often called “Nature’s Fish Hatchery.” That’s because it’s a natural lake that’s insanely fertile. We’re talking about some of the most extensive and diverse fish species. Yellow perch, walleye, black crappie, bluegill, rock bass, northern pike, channel catfish, brown bullhead, longnose gar, redhorse sucker, and the list goes on! A glacier formed the lake right towards the end of the last ice age.

8. Valentino Pier

Have you ever wanted to go fishing in New York but were worried about the rules and regulations? Then you’ll feel good about fishing at Valentino Pier. NYC Parks goes above and beyond to reassure anglers about fishing here. The guidelines are easy to find posted around the pier.

There are a lot of areas along the pier that permit fishing. You’ll need a fishing license, lead-free fishing sinker, and barbless hooks. They recommend using non-stainless steel hooks since they disappear faster than stainless ones.

Get social. This is the spot to go when you want the whole NYC experience with a bit of fish! You’ll likely find a few other fish enthusiasts setting up for a few hours of fun.

9. St. Lawrence River

Pikes can be caught in St Lawrence River.


Have a fishing adventure! The St. Lawrence River is vast and powerful. Flowing for 700 miles before reaching the Atlantic Ocean, this is one of the most popular recreational fisheries. Anglers love the diversity of fish habitats and the wide variety of species. There’s the highly sought-after panfish, delightful muskies, bass, pikes, walleye, perch, and more. You don’t have to be a pro to have a good time. This is the type of spot that can suit whatever level of challenge you’re looking for.

10. Balsam Pond

Maybe you don’t feel like fishing a mighty river. In that case, you’ll get a kick out of Balsam Pond. The pond sits in the Balsam Swamp State Forest, so get ready to see some wildlife. There’s a lot of aquatic vegetation in the water and fish variety. The pond houses chain pickerel, black crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, golden shiners, brown bullheads, and pumpkinseed sunfish. The most popular gamefish here are largemouth bass and chain pickerel. Use weedless lures for the best results.

The bass reach 15 inches on average, and some get as big as 20 inches. Ever wonder why some bass get so much bigger than others? The length and weight depend on the aquatic environment and food available. Take a peek at this record-sized largemouth bass!

Summary Of The 10 Best Fishing Spots In New York This Summer

RankFishing SpotLocation
1Lake OntarioRochester
2Hudson RiverAdirondacks to NYC
3Oneida LakeNortheast of Syracuse
4Canadice LakeRochester
5Cayuga LakeIthaca
6Lake ErieBuffalo
7Black LakeHammond
8Valentino PierNYC
9St. Lawrence RiverOgdensburg
10Balsam PondMc Donough

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About the Author

Crystal is always looking to learn more, and share her finds with you along the way. It's amazing how you can spend your entire life living with plants and animals, but still know so little about them! Let's explore our world together as Crystal covers topics about creatures, places, and experiences.

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