Walleye Fishing In New York
New York is a prime destination for walleye and sauger fishing, offering anglers ample opportunities to target these sought-after species in its lakes and rivers. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about walleye, saugeye and sauger fishing and identify popular walleye waters in the state.
Watch this video for walleye tips and tactics.
Walleye, known for their delicious flesh and challenging nature, are widely distributed throughout the state. Lakes such as Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake, and Chautauqua Lake are renowned for their walleye populations. Anglers can employ various techniques like trolling with crankbaits, casting with jigs, or drifting with live bait to entice these elusive fish. Walleye fishing in New York provides not only the thrill of the chase but also the satisfaction of bringing home a tasty catch.
Sauger, closely related to walleye, are also found in New York's waterways, although they are generally less common. These fish share similar characteristics and habits with walleye, making them an exciting target for anglers seeking a walleye-like experience. Sauger can be caught using similar techniques and baits as walleye, with fishing spots like the Niagara River and Lake Champlain known for their sauger populations.
When it comes to state records, New York boasts impressive walleye and sauger records. The state record for walleye stands at over 18 pounds, showcasing the potential for trophy-sized fish in New York waters. While not as common as walleye, sauger records in New York over 4 pounds, highlighting the presence of sizable specimens.
Whether fishing in the vast waters of the Great Lakes, exploring the depths of expansive reservoirs, or casting in picturesque rivers, New York offers a variety of opportunities for walleye and sauger fishing. These species provide thrilling angling experiences and the chance to land impressive catches. Anglers visiting New York in pursuit of walleye or sauger can look forward to memorable fishing adventures in beautiful settings and the potential to break state records.
Walleye prefer moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Lakes with populations of walleye include Allegheny Reservoir, Ashokan Reservoir, Black Lake, Carry Falls Reservoir, Chautauqua Lake, Conesus Lake, Great Sacandaga Lake, Kinzua Reservoir, Lake Champlain, Long Lake, Oneida Lake, Onondaga Lake, Otsego Lake, Owasco Lake, Saratoga Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Tupper Lake and Union Falls Pond. Many of the rivers and streams flowing into and out of these lakes also contain walleye.
World record: 25 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 18 lbs 2 oz
World record: 17 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 4 lbs 8 oz
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Top lures for walleye in New York
Jigs with a variety of trailers and bait work well in virtually any depth water. When walleyes are shallow, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and rip baits are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are ideal for active walleye. Understanding the seasonal movements of walleyes improves your odds of selecting the right lures for conditions on local waters.
New York State Walleye, Sauger & Saugeye Records
The state record walleye was caught out of St. Lawrence River.
The state record sauger came from Lower Niagara River.
New York walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.
Fishing For Walleye
This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Trolling for walleye with deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners and live bait provides a way to cover vast areas and locate concentrations of fish. Use of planer boards allows anglers to cover water out both sides of the boat while trolling. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.
Walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.
Fishing For Sauger
Closely related to the walleye and similar in appearance, sauger are generally smaller than walleye, reaching 4 to 5 pounds (or more) and up to about 20 inches. Often found in muddier rivers, it thrives in larger, silty lakes. They spawn in the shallows at night, without creating or guarding specific nests.
Also find information about walleye, sauger or saugeye fishing in these states.
Learn the migration patterns of walleye
Walleye become active in spring and begin the spawning process in medium-depth water. As summer arrives they move to deeper, cooler water. In fall walleye migrate into shallower water again and feed aggressively preparing for their move to deeper water where they will spend winter.