This coming weekend, anyone can fish in NYS without a fishing license. This could be a great opportunity to try fishing for the first time, get back into fishing, introduce a friend, spouse, or relative to the sport, or take the whole family on a fishing trip.
Where Do I Go?
There are public access areas where you can catch almost any fish from brown trout, rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, smallmouth bass, perch, and sunfish in the Cayuga Inlet as well as in Salmon Creek, and Brown and Brook trout in the west branch of Owego Creek. In Seneca County, Oak Island Park could be a good place to try for bass, panfish, and bullhead.
What Do I Need?
- Fishing Pole and reel
- 8-10 pound test line
- Bait and/or lures
- Split shot weights
- Scissors (nail clippers are also a safe and easy way to cut fishing line)
- Pliers (for getting those tricky hooks out of the fish’s mouth)
- Ice chest (if you plan on keeping your catch)
- Your family, friends, and a good attitude!
What Bait/Lures Work Best?
Small spinning lures such as a Panther Martins spinning lure are great, multi species lures. Although they are best for trout, they also work for bass and panfish. However, just a simple worm on a hook has been working great for perch and sunfish, and a spinning lure or a soft bait such as a worm or a lizard on a single hook could also work well for bass right now. A ball of power bait or just a plain dough ball on a hook could land you a nice bull head. With the lighter baits, it might make it easier to cast and to get the bait at the right depth for your target fish if you put a split shot weight on about a foot and a half up the line from your lure. With the spinning lures and soft baits, remember to reel these in and keep them moving in order for their full potential to attract fish to work!
How Do I Tie My Bait On?
Using a Palomar Knot to tie on your hook or lure will work best with these smaller species fish. Eight to ten pound test line is all you need, you can use it by following these directions to tie a fool proof knot:
Can I Keep What I Catch?
In order to keep any bass that you catch, they must be at least a foot long, and you can keep up to five bass per day. Any trout must be at least 15 inches to keep, and you can keep up to five in combination but the catch may include only three lake trout.
On the tributary streams to Cayuga lake, the same size rule as above applies, but you may only keep three trout in combination. Additionally, you cannot use treble hooks on the tributaries, only single hooks may be used there. While these are fishing regulations guidelines, be sure to pick up a fishing rules and regulations book from Dicks Sporting Goods, Bass Pro, or most sporting goods stores for more information, pointers, and tips, You can also check out the DEC website here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89821.html.
How Do I Cook What I Catch?
A healthy alternative to frying fish while still maintaining that great, crunchy texture and buttery taste is to bake it. From the post just before this one, you can find a recipe for baked butter herb perch fillets. While this recipe calls for perch, any pan or white fish will do.