Bass Fishing Waters NY Bass-Fishing-Chautauqua-New-York-State

Bass Fishing Waters NY

article by:
Craig Robbins - New York State Conservationist

Reviewed by:
On January 24, 2017
Last modified:January 24, 2017


New York State some of the best Bass fishing waters.

Bass Fishing Waters NY

State Record for Smallmouth Bass

You may be surprised to discover that five years back, the state record for smallmouth Bass was broken three times in a four week interval by anglers taking fish from Lake Erie, just off the Chautauqua County coastline. But aside from the large fishing which can be seen in Lake Erie, Chautauqua County offers numerous other warmwater fishing hotspots, including Cassadaga and Chautauqua Lakes, less than ten miles to the south.

Cassadaga Lakes for Bass

A number of three interconnected water bodies, Cassadaga Lakes offer 217 acres of freshwater Bass filled water and much more than five miles of coastline to fish. However do not be misled by the size; the shape of the lakes makes it perfect to fish from a modest or non-motorized boat.

Two kinds of Bass fishing opportunities happen on Cassadaga. The top lake has a number of the very well defined weed lines of any water body in the state. The deep drop offs are home to monster largemouth. The lower lake is pier filled and offers superb rugged points and weed pockets. Over years of fishing here, I’ve found that plastic worms and spinnerbaits are most successful for midday fishing.

To enhance the standard of Bass fishing on Cassadaga, DEC executed a slot limitation which requires anglers to release all Bass between 12 and 15 inches long and supports them to eliminate the overabundant smaller Bass. The advantages of the regulation are paying off. Last season, during a three hour stretch, two anglers captured two largemouth Bass that each weighed over five pounds, and many others that weighed between three and five pounds.

Accessibility to Cassadaga Lakes is simple. From the Dunkirk leave off Interstate Highway 90, head south on Route 60 until you go into the town of Cassadaga. The lake is just west of Route 60, with several signs leading you right to the lake. There are just two boat ramps; a state ramp as well as a marine ramp at Lake’s End Marina.

Chautauqua Lake Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Chautauqua Lake is really a diamond in the rough. Historically famous for its exceptional musky fishing, Chautauqua Lake’s largemouth and smallmouth Bass fishing has lately gained in popularity by leaps and bounds. With more than 20 miles of pier filled coastline, this 13,000 acre lake has considerable room to fish.

A lake of glacial origin, Chautauqua has a deep northern (or upper) basin, a considerably shallower southern basin as well as a narrow exit. Averaging 25 feet deep, the top basin has a maximum depth of 75 feet and deep rocky points with several submerged turn of the century paddle wheel boats. The fundamental tough underside makes it a superb house for smallmouths. I’ve found that a plastic grub on a 1/8 to 1/4 oz jig head will usually keep a live well filled with freshwater Bass. Fishing round the rocky points off Warner Bar, the Bell Tower and Point Chautauqua are a sure fire way to wear out your forearms.

Bass Fishing Waters NY minn-kota-shop

Catching Big Bass

Another great place to fish in the top basin is along the lily pads only off the Prendergast boat launch. Plastic flogs or Slug-Gos work great here. Just south of the Prendergast launching is Whitney Bay. Cast spinner lures from the shallows into the weed pockets along the inside weed line usually creates a limit of largemouth. Across the lake you are going to locate Warner Bar which offers a combination of largemouth and smallmouth Bass. Smallmouth might be captured on the interior of the pub with tubes or grubs. The weed pockets on the northern section of the pub host some of the bigger Bass in the northern basin.

One little known region of the northern basin is simply off the Village of Mayville’s boat launch. With a rugged coastline and weed beds toward the centre of the lake, an angler can spend a really productive day.

Chautauqua Lake’s shallower southern basin also provides great fishing. Here, the lake averages 11 feet deep, and has a maximum depth of 19 feet. South of the Chautauqua Lake Memorial Bridge (Interstate 86) is a few of the finest largemouth Bass fishing north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Even during the dog days of summer there’s lots of great Weed development in which to fish. From Burtis Bay to Arnold Bay, the southern basin bays hold a concentration of freshwater Bass through the season. A couple of “must go to” places are the exterior weedline at Belleview Point and also the interior weedline in Bly Point. A jig and pork or plastic crawfish trailer will more often than not create large Bass.

The factory outlet to Chautauqua Lake is similar to a step back in time. One excursion down the factory outlet will supply you with the feeling of the rivers in Africa. The narrow way out is home to two sunken boats. Perfect Bass habitat, the factory outlet coastline has numerous downed trees and low hanging branches. With a worm or a jig and pig, anglers can get plenty of Bass. Furthermore, the “no wake zones” mean fewer anglers enterprise here, and so Bass encounter less fishing pressure.

As a whole, Chautauqua Lake is a pier angler’s dream. Sadly, many anglers share this view, which ends in cautious fish. One manner of making your presentation stick out from others’ is by cast something nobody else projects, including a four inch Slug-Go. I use spinning tackle for Slug-Go fishing, and to allow it to be simpler to place the hook, I use a 3/0 broad disparity offset shank Eagle Claw hook. The key to successful Slug-Go pier fishing is letting the bait drop slowly. Since you are striving to copy a dying baitfish, make sure you allow the lure sit after cast, then twitch it a few times and allow it to sit some more. While this can attempt any Bass angler’s patience, it generally works.

It is simple to get to Chautauqua Lake. The lake is situated just off Interstate 86 and has four public starts. To find out more, phone the Chautauqua County hunting and fishing hotline at 800 242 4569, the NYS DEC Region 9 office in Allegany at (716) 372-0645, or go to the Chautauqua Lake fishing web site at site/reg9/chaulake/index.html.