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Bass Fishing In New York

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Guide to fishing for smallmouth and largemouth in NY.

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

New York Bass Fishing

Largemouth Bass, NY

Bass fishing in New York is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

New York State is a paradise for bass fishing enthusiasts, offering incredible opportunities to catch both largemouth and smallmouth bass. The state is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and reservoirs that are teeming with these prized game fish. One of the most renowned destinations for bass fishing in New York is the Thousand Islands region, where anglers can explore the St. Lawrence River's vast waters. The river's clear and fertile waters provide an ideal habitat for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Anglers often find success targeting largemouth bass near weed beds, submerged vegetation, and around structures such as fallen trees and docks. Smallmouth bass, on the other hand, are commonly found near rocky shorelines, drop-offs, and in deeper pools. Popular techniques for catching bass in New York include using plastic worms, crankbaits, jigs, and topwater lures. With its picturesque landscapes and bountiful bass population, New York offers a haven for bass anglers seeking thrilling fishing adventures.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In New York

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in New York. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in New York. The state record largemouth bass is over 11 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

While they can be found in various water bodies across the state, some notable hotspots include Lake Champlain, Oneida Lake, and the Finger Lakes. These fisheries offer excellent largemouth bass fishing opportunities throughout the year. Largemouth bass prefer areas with abundant vegetation, such as lily pads, submerged grass, and weed beds. Anglers often rely on techniques like flipping and pitching, using soft plastic baits, spinnerbaits, and jigs to entice these powerful fish. The thrill of battling a trophy-sized largemouth bass in the scenic waters of New York is an experience that any angler would cherish.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing In New York

Smallmouth Bass

While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 11 pounds.

The state's lakes, rivers, and streams are home to robust populations of smallmouth bass, providing ample opportunities for both recreational and competitive fishing. The Great Lakes, including Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, are particularly renowned for their smallmouth bass fishing. These hard-fighting fish are known for their acrobatic jumps and strong runs, making them a favorite target for anglers seeking a thrilling angling experience. Smallmouth bass are often found near rocky structures, points, and drop-offs, where they ambush their prey. Anglers commonly employ techniques such as jerkbaits, crankbaits, soft plastic baits, and tube jigs to entice these aggressive predators. With their bronze coloration and feisty nature, smallmouth bass offer anglers in New York an exciting challenge and the opportunity to reel in impressive catches.

Bass fishing basics video.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In New York

The major lakes in NY with healthy populations of bass include Allegheny Reservoir, Ashokan Reservoir, Black Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Cannonsville Reservoir, Carry Falls Reservoir, Cayuga Lake, Chautauqua Lake, Conesus Lake, Cranberry Lake, Great Sacandaga Lake, Indian Lake, Keuka Lake, Lake Champlain, Lake George, Long Lake, Lows Lake, Oneida Lake, Onondaga Lake, Otsego Lake, Owasco Lake, Pepacton Reservoir, Piseco Lake, Raquette Lake, Saratoga Lake, Seneca Lake, Schroon Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Tupper Lake, Union Falls Pond and Upper Saranac Lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In New York

Bass In New York

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 11 lbs 4 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 8 lbs 4 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for New York this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

New York State Record Bass

The state record largemouth bass was caught from Buckhorn Lake.

The state record smallmouth bass came from Lake Erie.

Smallmouth Bass, NY

Jake Turner, from Long Island, NY is a college student at SUNY Oneonta. This is his biggest smallmouth bass to date, at 20 inches long. He was using a Heddon Super Spook Jr, at Oneota Reservoir.

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Empire State.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!


Bass fishing information by state.

AL Bass Fishing AR Bass Fishing AZ Bass Fishing CA Bass Fishing CO Bass Fishing CT Bass Fishing DC Bass Fishing DE Bass Fishing FL Bass Fishing GA Bass Fishing HI Bass Fishing IA Bass Fishing ID Bass Fishing
IL Bass Fishing IN Bass Fishing KS Bass Fishing KY Bass Fishing LA Bass Fishing MA Bass Fishing MD Bass Fishing ME Bass Fishing MI Bass Fishing MN Bass Fishing MO Bass Fishing MS Bass Fishing MT Bass Fishing
NC Bass Fishing ND Bass Fishing NE Bass Fishing NH Bass Fishing NJ Bass Fishing NM Bass Fishing NV Bass Fishing NY Bass Fishing OH Bass Fishing OK Bass Fishing OR Bass Fishing PA Bass Fishing
RI Bass Fishing SC Bass Fishing SD Bass Fishing TN Bass Fishing TX Bass Fishing UT Bass Fishing VA Bass Fishing VT Bass Fishing WA Bass Fishing WI Bass Fishing WV Bass Fishing WY Fishing
The lifecycle of bass
NY bass caught by Shane Almeida
Shane Almeida - Black Lake bass

The more you know about the seasonal migration of bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit New York bass fishing lakes. Visit the bass fishing page for more in-depth information about bass activities.