For anglers, the area around Buffalo and across Western New York offers a vast number of freshwater fishing options stretching from the shores of Lake Erie to big reservoirs and mountain streams and lakes.
Salmon, trout and steelhead run up the rivers. Walleye, bass, pike and muskies are ready to chomp down on your lures in Lake Erie and other lakes and rivers. Panfish are easy to catch along many a shoreline.
With nearly a million people in Erie County, many of the region’s anglers hail from the Buffalo area, but this article encompasses areas beyond Buffalo.
We’ll cover the top fishing spots in Niagara, Wyoming, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany counties. These are the half-dozen counties that make up Region 9 for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Besides fishing and other outdoor pursuits, the region is renowned for containing the American side of Niagara Falls, home to the Bills and, perhaps most importantly, the birthplace of Buffalo wings.
But you came for the fishing, so let’s get to it.
First, we’ll cover some of the most famous fishing spots near Buffalo and across Western New York.
Then we’ll let you know about plenty of lesser-known but often excellent fishing spots in each county, starting near Buffalo and working out, so you can find a place to catch a fish close to home or during your travels.
Also, this is a big fishing guide with a TON of information. If you want to see specific areas, we suggest you use the table of contents and click to jump right to the counties or individual fishing spots you want to check out.
8 Great Fishing Spots in Western New York
The following are the types of fisheries that bring anglers from far and wide to far-western New York.
This large reservoir sprawls across the New York and Pennsylvania border, providing both states with some of their top fishing when it comes to catching walleye, muskies, northern pike, smallmouth bass and other game fish species.
This reservoir made our best fishing lists for several species in both states, including for premier gamefish such as walleye and muskies.
Like the reservoir, New York’s section of the Allegheny River also can produce plenty of smallmouth bass and some good-sized northern pike, muskies and walleye.
New York’s reach of this mainstem river typically runs too warm for trout, although some nearby waters offer good trout angling, including several spots in Allegany State Park, such as Quaker and Red House lakes. See listings in Cattaraugus County for more information.
Also, some cold-water tributaries of the Allegheny are stocked with trout. These may include
Cattaraugus County streams such as Bone Run west of Allegheny Reservoir, Fivemile Creek in the Allegany area, Forks Creek and Great Valley creeks near Great Valley and Ellicottville, Quaker Run and Red House Brook in Allegany State Park, and Wrights Creek near Humphrey.
Some of the more heavily stocked streams in Cattaraugus County, such as Elton, Ischua and Little Conewango creeks, are listed below in that county section.
In Allegany County, these streams may include California Hollow Creek southeast of Bolivar, Dodge Creek near West Clarksville, and Little Genesee and Root creeks near Bolivar.
These tributary streams may be stocked with a mix of rainbow, brown and/or brook trout, potentially including a smaller number of large trout. Some wild trout of those species may also inhabit parts of some Allegheny River tributaries.
Best known for its hatchery-fueled steelhead fishing, which peaks in the fall and can come back to life in the spring. See Canadaway, Chautauqua and Eighteenmile creek entries deeper in this article for even more steelhead fishing in Lake Erie’s New York tributaries, as well as the Lake Ontario runs into the Niagara River.
Anglers also fish Cattaraugus Creek for stocked and wild trout as well as smallmouth bass and channel catfish that move into its lower reaches from Lake Erie.
Trout stocking also includes the South Branch near East Otto and its tributary, Mansfield Creek near Mansfield.
We could keep going, but we have an entire article on the stream’s best fishing opportunities.
This huge natural lake ranks among the best fishing spots anywhere in New York, with excellent fisheries for walleye, muskies, largemouth and smallmouth bass and panfish such as crappie and yellow perch.
Be sure to read our full guide to this Chautauqua County hot spot.
The Upper Genesee River, from where it flows north from Pennsylvania into New York’s Allegany County, is an excellent trout stream.
A good bit of this excellence comes due to the fact that the stream is heavily stocked in the Amity and Wellsville areas, and bank-fishing access is very good due to a generous amount of Public Fishing Rights.
The trout stocked in these upper reaches include large numbers of both brown and rainbow trout. Most of those will be the usual 9- and 10-inchers, but the stocking truck may also offload some giant brown trout over 20 inches.
Several tributaries of the Genesee also may be stocked with hatchery trout, including some in Allegany County, such as Black Creek near Angelica and West Almond, Canaseraga Creek near Burns, Caneadea Creek near Rushford, Cryder Creek near Whitesville, Dyke Creek near Andover, and Vandermark Creek near Scio and Ward.
These early-season stocks are likely to include keeper rainbows and perhaps a modest number of larger brown trout. Some of these streams may also support self-sustaining populations of wild trout in certain areas.
Below Belmont, the Genesee River transitions into more of a warmwater fishery as it flows northward through Allegany County, along the edge of Wyoming County, and through several more counties on its long path to Rochester and Lake Ontario.
Smallmouth bass are the primary target for anglers below Belmont, although rock bass, bluegill, yellow perch and brown bullhead catfish are among other species you might catch.
Lake Erie also is also home to a massive variety of other fish, from panfish to giant trout and steelhead that are caught in the lake itself and often in the tributary streams that flow into it along Western New York’s section of its shoreline.
What Lake Erie is to bass and walleye, Lake Ontario is to cold-water species like salmon, trout and steelhead. But it also holds good numbers of those warm-water species, if you know where to look.
Lake Ontario forms the northern border of Niagara County, at the mouth of the Niagara River, which attracts many of the most popular gamefish to this western end of the Great Lake, especially during their spawning seasons.
Of course, you know this river from the most famous falls in the U.S. or Canada, but it’s also worth getting to know for its great fishing.
The river is well-known for its runs of Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, trout and walleye, all of which are stocked in the lower river and grow to substantial sizes in Lake Ontario before returning to the river below the falls during their spawning runs.
Parts of the river also have great spots to catch smallmouth bass, muskies, yellow perch and more.
Fishing Near Buffalo and Erie County
The following rivers, creeks and lakes are close for anyone living in or visiting the Buffalo area, including Cheektowaga, Tonawanda, West Seneca, and other nearby communities.
This tributary, which joins with Cayuga Creek to form the Buffalo River, is planted with young steelhead in the West Seneca area.
The DEC notes that public access with the property owner’s permission is available from the mouth to Blossom Dam.
During the warmer months from spring into early fall, you are most likely to catch smallmouth bass, perch, bullhead catfish and rock bass, in addition to suckers and carp.
Juvenile steelhead are planted within the watershed to contribute to the Lake Erie fishery and may return as adults in the fall through early spring.
This other primary tributary that forms the Buffalo River is stocked with both keeper trout as well as juvenile steelhead.
The trout often include a couple thousand rainbow and/or brown trout planted near Lancaster in the early season. The majority of hatchery trout are 9-10 inches, but there often will be some larger brown trout from 12 to 15 inches among the smaller fish.
Como Lake Park offers public access in Lancaster.
This juvenile steelhead are planted near Cheektowaga and make their way down to Lake Erie. When they return as adults, they can be caught in the lower river up to below Como Park Lake Dam, which they can’t get past.
Little Buffalo Creek, a tributary of Cayuga Creek, is stocked with a mixture of brown and rainbow trout in the Elma, Lancaster and Marilla areas, likely around late March. Some of the browns may be larger.
This creek, the third major tributary of the Buffalo River, gets a run of migratory steelhead from fall through winter.
The Cazenovia Creek Fish & Wildlife Management Area near West Seneca offers stream access that can give anglers a decent shot at catching a steelhead.
On the East Branch, steelhead can’t get beyond the dam near Center Street in East Aurora. On the West Branch, steelhead can head upstream a ways until blocked by West Falls.
Upriver on the East Branch in the East Aurora area, above the split with the West Branch, is planted with one to two thousand trout. At last check, most of the stocked fish are brown trout around 10 inches long, with some larger fish also in the mix.
Clarence Park Pond
Not long ago, someone dumped a couple of unwanted pet alligators into this two-acre park pond. Authorities had to remove them.
But for the most part, the fishing excitement here revolves around the annual stocking of hatchery trout.
Look for a modest load of trout to be stocked in the April time frame.
Eighteen Mile Creek
This Erie County stream offers local anglers opportunities to catch both trout in the spring and steelhead from fall through the coldest months.
For trout, try the Evans area, which is typically stocked with large numbers of catchable rainbow trout. Or try your luck near Boston, which may be planted with larger brown trout in the early spring.
Access spots include Hobuck Flats.
Eighteen Mile Creek and its South Fork can be good for steelhead fishing starting around October and continuing well into spring.
You should be able to find some good steelhead fishing access in Eighteen Mile Creek County Park near Hamburg, which includes parts of the mainstem and South Branch. Also look for Public Fishing Rights areas on these streams, which you can find on this map.
Kromers Mill Falls stops steelhead above Church Road on the South Branch. Steelhead that don’t turn into the South Branch are blocked by falls below Hamburg.
Besides these coldwater trout and steelhead, this stream also has good smallmouth bass fishing in the spring and summer.
Lower Tonawanda and Ellicott Creeks
The lower sections of Tonawanda Creek, which meanders around and forms the boundary between Erie and Niagara counties before feeding into the Niagara River at the community of Tonawanda east of Grand Island.
The reaches closer to the metropolitan area are best known as a warmwater fishing stream. Largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye and a variety of panfish are among the many species that live here and may move in and out of the larger Niagara River.
Tonawanda Creek Road follows much of the stream’s course. Access points include a number of parks and a public fishing access east of the Rapids area.
Ellicott Creek is a major tributary that joins the lower end of Tonawanda Creek in Tonawanda.
That lower stream offers similar fishing for warmwater species as Tonawanda Creek.
Ellicott Creek also is modestly stocked in the spring, likely with 600-700 hatchery rainbow trout near Amherst. Several dozen larger brown trout may join those smaller ‘bows.
Amherst State Park offers a good bit of public access. Glen Park is also an access point.
Sprague Brook Park
This large county park in the Concord area has several ponds that tend to be stocked with trout each April. The waters likely to get hatchery trout are Foote Road, A and B, and Veteran’s ponds.
Recent plantings have included a larger number of smaller rainbow trout (8 inches), along with several dozen larger brown trout up to 15 inches.
See the Sprague Brook County Park website for more about amenities.
Westwood Park Pond
This small community park’s pond in Lancaster is likely to be stocked with a few hundred catchable rainbow trout. April is a good bet, according to recent stocking schedules.
The pond, which is about 3 acres, also offers fishing for warmwater species such as bass and panfish. Many of them will be modest in size in such a small body of water open to the public.
Fishing Near Niagara Falls and Niagara County
Niagara County holds the next largest human population in the counties we’re covering in this area, and sits at the intersection of both Great Lakes on New York’s border as well as the Niagara River between them.
In addition to the world-renowned fisheries we’ve already talked about, here are a few more local spots to wet your line near Niagara Falls.
This Eighteenmile Creek, as opposed to the one in Erie County, is a tributary of Lake Ontario.
This stream is stocked with literally tens of thousands of young salmon (Chinook and coho) and steelhead in the Newfane area, about four miles from the creek mouth at Olcott.
Hyde Park Lake
The pond in this large park in the City of Niagara Falls is often stocked with a couple thousand brown trout in the early spring.
While most of the trout you might catch are 8-10 inches, there’s typically some larger fish in the mix.
Hyde Park is located in the vicinity of Pine Avenue/Little Italy neighborhood and offers a wide variety of activities in addition to fishing, with some great Italian restaurants nearby.
Anglers also report a variety of bass and panfish species, including bass, crappie (calicos), bluegill and other species that can keep the action going after most of the trout have been caught and the water likely warms too much for any surviving trout.
Many of the easily caught bass are on the small side, but anglers have reported some hefty largemouths lurking in here as well.
Oppenheim Park Pond
This pond within the Oppenheim County Park in Wheatfield tends to be stocked with modest numbers of rainbow and brown trout in the spring.
The browns can be 12 inches and up.
When the water warms up, anglers report catching bass, bullhead catfish and some giant common carp.
See the county’s Oppenheim Park webpage for more information.
Fishing in Wyoming County
Wyoming County borders Erie County to the east and includes the headwaters and upper sections of Cattaraugus Creek, including much of the excellent trout fishing areas.
The county also borders a section of the Genesee River known primarily for warmwater fishing, including smallmouth bass. The spectacular Letchworth State Park is in this reach.
Here are some more spots to consider fishing in this fairly lightly populated area:
East Koy Creek
This is Wyoming County’s most heavily stocked trout fishing stream.
East Koy is stocked with thousands of trout every several weeks. Ninety percent of these will be smaller 9-10-inch brown trout, but one in 10 will be significantly larger browns measuring 12 to 15 inches.
The stocked part of this stream stretches from the Hermitage area east of Gainesville down to the county line. There are an impressive 13 miles of public fishing rights areas that anglers can access.
East Coy also has a healthy population of wild brown trout and the occasional wild brook trout.
This creek eventually flows into Wiscoy Creek and the Genesee River.
This old glacial scar covers more than 800 acres and is primarily fished for warmwater species such as bass, walleye and northern pike.
Largemouth bass (and some smallmouths) are favorite targets here, with some trophy largemouths. Aquatic weeds provide plenty of bass habitat here.
If you’re looking for even larger fish, northern pike can reach 30-plus inches, and walleye are fairly common as well.
Yellow perch, bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish are usually easy to catch here. Crappie can also offer good fishing, especially in the spring. Black crappie, bullhead catfish and common carp round out the usual catches.
Silver Lake State Park at the lake’s southern end provides plenty of access, including a boat launch.
Ice fishing is also available here, and anglers can walk out from the state park or a village park in Perry at the north end.
While the lower stream in Erie and Niagara counties caters more to warmwater fishing, the upper sections of this stream in Wyoming County offer some reliable springtime trout fishing, especially when stocked with trout near the traditional opener.
The stocking locations are likely to be stocked in the Orangeville area. Likely plantings include more than 1,000 rainbow trout and a smaller number of larger brown trout.
Little Tonawanda Creek, a tributary, is likely to be stocked with a similar mix of several hundred hatchery trout closer to Middlebury.
While East Coy Creek gets the nod for most stocked trout in this county, consider hopping over to nearby Wiscoy Creek to chase some best fishing for wild browns anywhere in Western New York.
Look for over 12 miles of publicly accessible areas along this stream in Wyoming County. There are angler parking areas along both Route 39 and Camp Road. There’s even an accessible fishing platform at the county fairgrounds in Pike.
The North Branch Wiscoy Creek and Trout Creek offer additional wild trout fishing within this watershed, which hasn’t been stocked for decades but offers great habitat for its wild trout.
While wild browns are the dominant trout, wild brook trout also can be found within the watershed.
The lowest reaches of Wiscoy Creek flow into Allegany County and join the Genesee River.
Fishing Near Jamestown and Chautauqua County
Chautauqua County is the other county that borders Lake Erie, sitting at the far-west corner of New York state.
It’s also the third-most populous county in far-western New York. Jamestown, the county seat, also is the largest city in this county.
Lucille Ball comes from this area, but we’re not sure whether she enjoyed fishing at any of the following lakes and streams.
This 100-plus-acre natural lake northeast of Chautauqua Lake is managed as a warmwater fishery for a variety of species.
Bass fishing can be very good here. Look for largemouth bass around weeds and brushy cover, while smallmouths prefer gravel bottom areas and drop-offs.
Muskies are planted here and have the potential to reach up to 40 inches but are notoriously difficult to catch everywhere.
Northern pike produce naturally, and larger pike can top the 30-inch mark.
Both species like a large meal, so try using larger lures or live minnows in the largest sizes you can find.
Walleye also are stocked in Bear Lake to add another opportunity to catch a great-eating fish.
Panfish fishing can be excellent here. Catches include bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie and yellow perch. Brown bullhead catfish will take baits fished on the bottom, especially early and late.
While the lake itself doesn’t offer trout fishing, its outflow is seasonally stocked with a modest number of legal-sized rainbow trout and a handful of larger brown trout.
The stream near Dunkirk and Fredonia is primarily known for its good run of Lake Erie steelhead, which start returning around the middle of October and may be available well into the spring.
Steelhead fishing is available on the lower six miles of stream, from the mouth near the Canadaway Creek Nature Sanctuary at Lake Erie up to Laona Falls, a bit over a mile upstream from Fredonia near Webster Road.
There is some publicly-owned access and near Route 5 at the mouth, and a small amount of additional public fishing rights.
Canadaway Creek also is stocked with a fairly modest number of keeper-sized rainbows and a few dozen brown trout farther upstream in the Canadaway Creek Wildlife Management Area near the tiny hamlet of Griswold. Brook trout may also be available.
Stocking likely will happen in early April.
You’ll find more than a mile and a half of public access in the trout-fishing area.
The upper areas of this stream are stocked each spring with roughly 1,000 trout, potentially including both brown and rainbow trout.
The area likely to be stocked is generally between Luce and Waterman roads, and there are several miles of public fishing rights in the area.
The stream is within the Conewango Creek drainage (see the separate listing below) and also harbors the warmwater species found in that system.
Smallmouth bass, northern pike and muskies are among the most popular warmwater species.
Mill Creek, a tributary, is modestly stocked with keeper rainbow trout and a few larger brown trout in the spring.
These three interconnected lakes at the headwaters of the aforementioned Cassadaga Creek are managed primarily as warmwater fisheries.
The lake is home to both largemouth and smallmouth bass, although its weedy, brushy and shallow habitats favor the more numerous largemouths.
Fishing also can be good for both naturally reproducing northern pike as well as muskellunge, which the DEC stocks periodically to anglers who fish live minnows (the largest you can find) or outsized lures that resemble prey fish species.
Walleye also are in the lakes, though not in high numbers you’ll find in Chautauqua Lake or Lake Erie in this same county.
The other popular fisheries here are for panfish, with potentially good fishing for bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish, black crappie, yellow perch and brown bullhead (catfish).
Many of these panfish species, as well as pike and potentially other larger fish, also are available to ice anglers when conditions allow safe wintertime fishing.
Many anglers, especially boaters, start their days at the north end of the middle lake, where there is a boat launch and shore access off Glasgow Road. Boaters can venture into all three lakes from there.
The lakes are located about a half-hour north of Jamestown or half that heading south from Fredonia.
This stream is primarily stocked with thousands of undersized rainbow trout and steelhead that migrate down to Lake Erie to mature.
There’s a Fishing Access with a small parking area along County Touring Route 21 a little more than a mile south of Westfield.
Steelhead generally return in late to mid-fall and may remain in the creek until the weather starts warming in the spring.
The mainstem of this sprawling stream starts in Cattaraugus County and then flows into Chautauqua County before eventually joining the Allegheny River in Pennsylvania.
Like the Allegheny, much of this creek is primarily inhabited by warmwater gamefish, although trout can tolerate the cooler tributaries.
Bass are the most numerous species of interest, with both smallmouths and largemouths to catch. Smallmouths are more common for much of its length.
A growing population of northern pike and a supplemented population of muskellunge offer opportunities to catch giants in Conewango Creek.
Walleye also are available (sometimes to good sizes), but their overall numbers are modest in the somewhat turbid waters of Conewango Creek.
Crappie and various other panfish species also are available, but not usually in large numbers.
The stream’s West Branch is stocked with modest numbers of hatchery rainbows and larger browns near Villenova in the early spring.
See the Little Conewango section in Cattaraugus County for additional trout opportunities.
This nearly 300-acre lake at the far-western edge of New York offers ample opportunities to catch warmwater gamefish, including some of the largest species found in the state.
The lake is regularly stocked with muskies, which can reach 40 inches under the right conditions. The northern pike that reproduce here aren’t far behind, and some nice walleyes are also possible.
Findley also has a healthy bass fishery, with both largemouth and smallmouth bass available. The largemouth bass tend to hold in aquatic weeds, often in fairly shallow water, while smallies are more apt to be deeper and around rocks.
Panfish are another excellent target here and easier to catch than most of those larger species.
Findley Lake has a mixed panfish fishery, with black crappie, yellow perch, and bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish all fairly common in catches here.
Findley Lake is just south of I-86 and roughly a mile from the state line, around 10 minutes west of Sherman.
Look for the best access on the northern end of the lake, off Main Street, in the community also called Findley Lake.
This tributary of Chautauqua Lake is stocked with roughly 3,000 trout in the spring.
There is more than five miles of public rights fishing access along the stream, which is stocked from Asheville upstream to the edge of the North Harmony State Forest.
At last check, stocked trout included roughly equal numbers of brown and rainbow trout, although brook trout also have been stocked in this stream at times. There are a modest number of wild browns in parts of the creek as well.
This is one of New York State’s Lake Erie smaller tributaries that get steelhead runs.
Steelhead fishing kicks off in the fall and can last (weather permitting) into the spring.
Steelhead enter the stream near the community of Silver Creek and can get upstream as far as the falls near the intersection of Hanover and King roads, almost five road miles inland.
Designated public access is hard to come by, but you can ask property owners for permission to fish.
Steelhead also turn up major tributary Walnut Creek right in the Silver Creek community. There’s bank access in the village’s park or potentially from generous landowners if you get permission.
Walnut Creek’s steelhead are blocked by falls below Route 39, which is Main Street in Forestville.
Fishing Near Olean and Cattaraugus County
Cattaraugus County sits on the Pennsylvania border and offers a great variety of lake and stream fishing for trout and various warmwater species.
Olean is the largest city in the county, also known for skiing.
Birch Run Ponds
These ponds in the Birch Run Ponds Wildlife Management Area just south of I-86 offer a mix of fishing options.
The area will be most popular with anglers when Pond #1 is stocked with a modest number of catchable hatchery trout. Recent stockings have occurred in April and included rainbow trout.
Other than that brief trout fishing window, anglers are most like to catch sunfish such as bluegill as well as carp and suckers.
There is an accessible fishing pier and parking just off Birch Run Road, 4-5 miles west of Alleghany.
This 71-acre lake near Franklinville is nicely stocked with hatchery trout in the spring.
Recent schedules indicate Case Lake might be stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout in a given year. While most of these will be 8-11 inches in size, there have been some really large hatchery trout trucked into Case Lake as well.
Besides stocked trout, anglers have a shot at catching largemouth bass and a good population of sunfish such as bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish and yellow perch. Crappie and brown bullhead may also show up on your hook.
Anglers can fish all along the lake’s 2-mile shoreline or launch a small watercraft such as a canoe.
Case Lake Park is off Lyndon Center Road, just two miles southeast of Franklinville.
This stream is stocked with more than 3,000 brown trout (including some larger ones) in the early spring.
Combined with wild-rearing brown and rainbow trout, this tributary of Cattaraugus Creek provides a nice fishery. It also has more than 5 miles of public fishing rights, so access is quite good.
Areas likely to be stocked include from the mouth at Cattaraugus Creek to Route 16 near Delevan. Another section to try is from Farmersville Station upstream to Route 98.
At times in the spring, this small lake bordering State Route 98 near the small community of Farmersville is definitely worth a stop for fishing.
The lake has been stocked with thousands of rainbow trout and/or brook trout most years, along with brown trout. When they have come in the past, often later in the fall, DEC also sometimes brought some very large trout.
The 34-acre lake also is home to several species of warmwater fish, including largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullhead and sunfish such as bluegill and pumpkinseed. Most of these year-round residents will be modest at best in size, but fun to catch.
From the Farmersville Town Office, take Lake Road to a small parking and boat launch area. Or take Peet Hill Road around to the back side for a municipal use area.
This Franklinville area stream is heavily stocked with thousands of trout in a long stretch that includes 17 miles of public fishing rights.
At last check, more than 6,800 rainbow trout were stocked, along with more modest numbers of brown and potentially brook trout.
There also is a fairly good population of wild brown trout in the creek in and upstream from Franklinville. Route 16 runs near a fair section of this stream.
Fishing should be good at the opener, when it’s typically already been stocked.
Part of this 225-acre artificial lake at the Countryside Sand & Gravel site is open to public fishing, but only from the shore in designated areas.
The lake is stocked with nice numbers of trout, likely including modest-sized rainbows and possibly other species of keeper-sized trout. Additionally, some larger brook, brown and rainbow trout have also been stocked here at times.
Besides trout, larger fish you might catch include northern pike and largemouth bass. Panfish here include crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, and pumpkinseed, along with common carp and brown bullhead catfish.
Fishing from boats or through the ice is not allowed here.
The lake is located near Route 62 south of Dayton.
This reservoir, built on top of several natural spring-fed ponds, offers nearly 160 acres of warmwater fishing near Machias.
This popular summertime lake is best known for its largemouth bass fishing. Some largemouths up to 20 inches are pulled from prolific weed beds and out from under docks along its mostly residential shorelines.
This lake has long been stocked with tiger muskies, a hybrid cross between northern pike and muskellunge that grow big and ferocious like its parent species. They’ll surprise you occasionally by latching onto a bass lure.
The DEC also plants walleye here every few years, although they aren’t typically caught in large numbers at this small lake.
Bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish are plentiful here. Other panfish you might catch include black crappie, yellow perch and rock bass. Brown bullheads and common carp round out the fish you’re most likely to hook.
Portable boats can be launched from a public access on the east side, off Potter Avenue. There is no ramp suitable for trailered boats. Bank access is very limited due to the residential properties that encircle this lake.
Little Conewango Creek
The local Randolph State Fish Hatchery keeps Little Conewango Creek stocked in the early spring with legal brown trout, including a modest number of bigger ones, planted each spring.
There are public fishing easements allowing access to about 8 miles of this creek, including about a half mile in Randolph Village Park.
Nearby Elm Creek, a tributary of the Little Conewango entering near Randolph, is not typically stocked but does have good fishing for wild brown trout and a modest bit of public access.
The Little Conewango, in turn, is a tributary of Conewango Creek in the Allegheny River drainage. (See Conewango Creek listed under Chautauqua County.)
New Albion Lake
This 45-acre reservoir on Conewango Creek in northwestern Cattaraugus County can offer excellent spring trout fishing followed by plenty of warmwater angling opportunities.
Look for spring plantings of thousands of hatchery-reared trout (about 5,000 is typical). Species usually include catchable rainbow and brown trout, but DEC also has planted larger brookies, browns and rainbows.
Few trout survive the summer months, but New Albion Lake also has good populations of chunky largemouth bass, which hold in extensive weed beds. Bring your topwater and weedless rigs for summertime bassing.
There are pretty decent numbers of white crappie and pumpkinseed sunfish, along with some yellow perch, bluegill, and brown bullhead catfish. Panfish can run on the small side here but are easy and fun to catch for kids.
There is ample parking off Mosher Hollow Road, less than 10 minutes southwest of the village of Cattaraugus.
Fishing access is available along the mile-plus shoreline, or you can hand-launch a kayak or other small watercraft.
Ice fishing is allowed when conditions allow.
Oil and Olean Creeks
The Oil and Ischua Creeks merge to form Olean Creek, which flows into the Allegheny River at Olean.
The lower-elevation portions of these streams support warmwater fisheries similar to what we discussed above for the Allegheny River.
They also have been stocked with hatchery-produced fingerling sauger, a cousin of the walleye, which grow in the stream to provide an additional fishery.
See Ischua Creek listed above in this county for some excellent trout fishing opportunities.
This good-sized reservoir (268 acres) in Allegany State Park should be on your radar for excellent spring trout fishing, big resident bass and pike, easy-to-catch panfish, and even ice fishing.
At last check, the lake was stocked with some 8,000 keeper trout over the course of the spring season, include large numbers of 9- and 10-inch fish and more moderate numbers of larger trout, potentially of either or both species.
We’ve also seen records of DEC planting some whoppers over 20 inches at Quaker Lake, likely surplus brood fish planted when the water cools down again in the fall.
While few spring-planted trout will survive until cooler water returns in the fall, plenty of other species will bite in warm weather as weeds begin to take over shallower parts of this lake.
This lake holds both smallmouth and largemouth bass. The smallmouths are more numerous, but the largemouths have more potential to reach lunker sizes, according to the DEC.
Speaking of lunkers, northern pike pushing 40 inches have been caught at Quaker Lake. They’ll sometimes grab your bass or trout lure, but gear up with larger lures and leaders to target these monsters.
Panfish not only do they feed the aforementioned apex predators, they also are fun to catch in their own right. That said, they can run a bit small here if you’re looking to catch enough for a fish fry.
Yellow perch and bluegill are likely catches and bite readily on a worm or other natural baits. Rock bass, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead are also present.
Panfish, pike, trout and potentially other gamefish provide some opportunities for hardy ice anglers when safe conditions occur.
You can fish from the nearly four-mile shoreline (except at the swimming area), or launch your trailered or hand-launch boat near the dam.
The tiny Science Lake (more of a pond), several miles east of Quaker Lake within the state park, is modestly stocked with trout in the spring.
Red House Lake
This 110-acre lake within Allegany State Park’s Red House Area is a great place to get in on some trout fishing in the spring, before the weather gets too hot.
Recent DEC stocking schedules show Red House Lake is likely to be stocked with more than 2,000 trout, most of which are likely to be rainbow trout in the 9-10-inch range. A few larger rainbows and brown trout also are typically planted here.
This lake usually gets its first new trout by April, with more likely to come in May.
Trout fishing is likely to drop off precipitously as the water warms into summer, although some very large hatchery trout may be planted in the fall.
Between those times, look to the lake’s population of largemouth bass, which provide good action for numerous but fairly modest-sized fish.
Panfish anglers also should find action here, with bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, crappie, rock bass and brown bullhead catfish in the mix.
You can bring your own boat to a launch at the northern end of the lake, or rent a boat in the park.
Shore fishing spots are abundant along the 1.8 miles of shoreline, as long as you avoid the designated swimming area.
Ice fishing is available as safe conditions allow.
Red House Lake is on the north side of Allegany State Park.
Fishing in Allegany County
This county has relatively few humans (under 50,000 at last check) but has a whole lot of fishing opportunities.
The cities here include Wellsville, Alfred, and county seat Belmont. The county is often grouped among Western New York counties (including by several state agencies) but also is typically included among the Southern Tier counties bordering Pennsylvania.
For anglers, Allegany County is home to the upper Genesee River (discussed under major fishing spots higher up in this article) as well as fishing spots in this section.
Note that while the number of fisheries listed separately here is fairly modest, there are quite a few smaller streams in Allegany County that are stocked with varying numbers of hatchery trout. Tributaries of the Allegheny and Genesee rivers are noted under those river listings above.
This small lake southwest of the community of Allen is typically stocked each spring with thousands of brook trout and rainbow trout in various sizes (the majority are catchable but not huge), as well as a smattering of larger brown trout.
The lake may also get a more modest number of larger trout in the fall.
The 58-acre lake also has a warmwater fishery, with largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish, among a few other species.
There’s a small boat launch and fishing dock at the southwest corner of the lake, and this would be a good bet for a canoe, kayak or small trailered boat.
The lake is open to fishing year-round, although weeds are likely to surround much of the shoreline farther into the warmer season. It can ice over in the winter.
The long dike across the southern shore allows better shore fishing access even after the weeds get thick in other spots, including around an accessible fishing pier near the boat ramp.
From the Houghton area along Route 19, the drive is only about 10 miles and under 20 minutes.
This small reservoir (86 acres) that covered an old beaver pond on the headwaters of Honeoye Creek is primarily fished for largemouth bass to 5 pounds, plus other warmwater species.
The shallow lake has plenty of old stumps but not as many weeds as some local lakes, in part due to being murkier.
Panfish species caught here include crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish and yellow perch. There also are bullhead catfish and suckers.
Some of the largest fish here are plenty of common carp and the occasional northern pike.
The impoundment is a few minutes driving east of the village of Alma, out 4 Mile Road (County Route 38).
DEC owns a good bit of the north shore open for bank fishing, and hand-launching small boats is also an option.
This creek is stocked with a moderate number of rainbow trout as well as some larger brown trout.
Look for these planting to occur in the spring, perhaps in April, in the sections around the communities of Almond and Alfred at the eastern edge of Allegany County.
Below Almond Lake, a reservoir near I-86, this stream flows into Canisteo River at Hornell in neighboring Steuben County. It’s part of the Tioga River drainage.
This 445-acre reservoir, near the village of the same name on the west side of this county, is primarily a warmwater fishery. It can be quite productive for tasty species, including walleye and yellow perch.
The walleye aren’t huge here (20 inches would be a large one), but they are found in good numbers.
Both smallmouth and largemouth bass are present but only average in size, with smallmouths making up a larger share of the catch here.
The biggest fish in the lake are northern pike, which can reach 35 inches.
Besides perch, panfish here include rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed and black crappie. Brown bullhead also inhabit the lake, along with some big and fun to catch common carp.
There’s a DEC boat launch off West Shore Drive for people with trailered boats, and another launch that would work for just kayaks and canoes.
This nearly 600-acre reservoir between Rushford and Caneadea has a good variety of angling opportunities.
Starting in the spring, the lake often is stocked with somewhere around 5,000 catchable trout, likely including both rainbows and browns.
The lake also has a nice fishery for smallmouth bass, walleye and various panfish species.
The bass, walleye and some of the other gamefish feed heavily on the lake’s emerald shiners, while smallies also frequently target crayfish. Lures or live baits along those lines is often effective.
Besides the main species listed above, there are modest populations of crappie, rock bass, bluegill, perch, bullhead catfish and more.
There’s a boat launch and good shore fishing access off Balcom Beach Road (off Rte. 243), on the northwest side of the lake.
Rushford Dam Park on the east side of the reservoir also offers bank fishing areas. Take Lake Road south from 243 to get there.