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Fishing For Salmon In New York

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Guide to fishing for Atlantic and coho salmon in NY.

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Salmon fishing in New York

Salmon fishing in New York is an exhilarating and highly sought-after angling experience. The state is renowned for its populations of several salmon species, including Chinook salmon, coho salmon, Atlantic salmon, and the occasional pink salmon. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about salmon fishing and identify popular salmon waters in the state. These majestic fish attract anglers from around the world, as they offer thrilling fights and the chance to reel in trophy-sized catches.

One of the most prized salmon species in New York is the Chinook salmon, also known as the king salmon. These powerful fish can grow to impressive sizes, reaching weights of over 30 pounds. Lake Ontario and its tributaries, such as the Salmon River, are renowned for their world-class Chinook salmon fisheries. Anglers can target these fish using a variety of techniques, including trolling with downriggers, casting spoons or plugs, or drift fishing with bait or flies.

Coho salmon, also known as silver salmon, are another highly sought-after species in New York. They are known for their acrobatic leaps and aggressive strikes, making them a favorite among anglers. Coho salmon can be found in Lake Ontario and its tributaries, as well as some of the Finger Lakes. Anglers commonly target them using techniques such as trolling with flashers and flies, casting spoons or crankbaits, or drift fishing with bait.

Atlantic salmon, though less abundant than Chinook and coho salmon, offer a unique and challenging fishing experience in New York. The Salmon River is a popular destination for targeting these prized fish, particularly during the fall when they return from the sea to spawn. Atlantic salmon can be caught using a variety of methods, including swinging flies, drift fishing with bait or artificial lures, or casting spoons and spinners.

While less common, pink salmon can occasionally be found in New York waters during their odd-year spawning runs. These smaller-sized salmon provide exciting angling opportunities for those lucky enough to encounter them. Pink salmon can be targeted using techniques such as casting spoons or spinners, or drift fishing with bait.

Salmon fishing in New York offers a thrilling adventure for anglers, with the chance to reel in impressive fish and create lasting memories. Whether fishing on the open waters of Lake Ontario, exploring its tributaries, or targeting salmon in the scenic Finger Lakes, the state provides a diverse range of opportunities for anglers to pursue their passion for salmon fishing.

Major lakes with healthy populations of salmon include Cayuga Lake, Keuka Lake, Lake Champlain, Lake George, Otsego Lake, Piseco Lake, Seneca Lake, Schroon Lake and Skaneateles Lake.

Fishing Boats For Rent In New York

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon

World record: 79 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 24 lbs 15 oz

Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon

World record: 97 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 47 lbs 13 oz

Coho Salmon

Coho salmon

World record: 33 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 33 lbs 7 oz

Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee salmon

World record: 9 lbs 10 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 6 oz

Pink Salmon

Pink salmon

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 15 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

New York State Record Salmon

The state record Atlantic salmon was caught from Lake Ontario.

The state record chinook salmon came from the Salmon River.

The state record coho salmon was caught in Lake Ontario.

The record kokanee salmon was taken out of Twin Lakes

The state record pink salmon was caught from Lake Erie.

New York Salmon Fishing

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies, as well as a variety of other lures and baits.

Big salmon from New York waters

About The Pacific Salmon Family

Pacific Salmon are born in and remain in freshwater streams for the early years of life. The number varies by species. Afterward they migrate to the Pacific Ocean waters where they bulk up and prepare for their once in a lifetime spawning run up the freshwater stream where they were born. They will instinctively return to their birthplace, spawn and die. They are found in the streams which empty into the ocean, and adjoining ocean waters.

The preferred method for catching salmon is fly fishing. Depending on the activity level, salmon may be caught on wet or dry flies. For more details check here for articles about fly fishing.

Salmon Organizations

Atlantic Salmon Federation

Atlantic Salmon Trust

Atlantic Salmon Museum

Pacific Salmon Commission

Pacific Salmon Foundation


Salmon fishing waters and information, by state.

AK Salmon Fishing CA Salmon Fishing CO Salmon Fishing ID Salmon Fishing IL Salmon Fishing IN Salmon Fishing MA Salmon Fishing ME Salmon Fishing
MI Salmon Fishing MN Salmon Fishing MT Salmon Fishing NC Salmon Fishing ND Salmon Fishing NE Salmon Fishing NH Salmon Fishing
NJ Salmon Fishing NM Salmon Fishing NV Salmon Fishing NY Salmon Fishing OH Salmon Fishing OR Salmon Fishing PA Salmon Fishing
RI Salmon Fishing SD Salmon Fishing VT Salmon Fishing WA Salmon Fishing WI Salmon Fishing WY Salmon Fishing

Learn the life cycle of salmon

The more you know about the life cycle and seasonal migration of salmon, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit New York salmon fishing waters. Visit the salmon fishing page for more information about the life cycle of the different species of salmon.

Contribute NY Salmon Fishing Knowledge

If you have information, articles or photos relating to salmon fishing in New York, which you would like to see published here, please submit them for consideration.

Best salmon fishing waters in New York!