When Is Salmon Fishing In New York

When is Salmon Fishing in New York?


In the state of New York, salmon fishing is a popular recreational activity for both locals and tourists alike. The region is renowned for its abundant salmon populations, providing ample opportunities for anglers to test their skills and enjoy the thrill of catching these prized fish. This article aims to provide an overview of the best times to go salmon fishing in New York, taking into account various factors that can influence the success of your fishing expedition. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner looking to engage in this exciting pursuit, the following information will guide you in planning your salmon fishing trips.

Factors Affecting Salmon Fishing Seasons

The best time to go salmon fishing in New York depends on several factors. These include the species of salmon, the location of the fishing grounds, and the prevailing weather conditions. Understanding these factors can significantly enhance your chances of success and make your fishing experience more enjoyable.

Species of Salmon

New York is home to several species of salmon, including Chinook (also known as King Salmon), Coho Salmon, and Atlantic Salmon. Each species has its own migration and spawning patterns, which determines the ideal time for fishing. Chinook Salmon, for instance, typically migrate and spawn during the fall months, while Coho Salmon can be found in abundance during late summer and early fall. Atlantic Salmon, on the other hand, have a different spawning season, usually occurring in the spring. By understanding the specific behaviors and seasonal patterns of these different salmon species, anglers can plan their fishing trips accordingly.

Location of Fishing Grounds

New York offers various fishing grounds that cater to different salmon species. For example, the Salmon River in upstate New York is renowned for its Chinook and Coho Salmon runs, particularly during the autumn months. Lake Ontario and its tributaries are also popular destinations for salmon fishing, with ample opportunities to catch both Atlantic Salmon and Chinook Salmon. Anglers should research and select the fishing grounds that align with their target salmon species and desired fishing experience.

Weather Conditions

The weather conditions play a crucial role in determining the success of salmon fishing in New York. Salmon tend to be more active and responsive during overcast days, as the low light conditions provide them with a sense of security. Additionally, temperature fluctuations, wind patterns, and water flow can also impact salmon behavior and feeding patterns. As a general rule, it is advisable to avoid fishing during extreme weather conditions, such as heatwaves or heavy rainstorms, as these can disrupt the fish’s activities and make them less likely to actively bite.

Peak Seasons for Salmon Fishing

Based on the aforementioned factors, the peak seasons for salmon fishing in New York can be summarized as follows:

  • Chinook Salmon: The best time to catch Chinook Salmon is typically during the fall months (September to November), when they migrate upstream to spawn. The Salmon River and Lake Ontario are prime locations for targeting Chinook Salmon during this period.
  • Coho Salmon: Coho Salmon runs occur from late summer to early fall (August to September) in New York. Anglers can expect to find these fish in abundance in Lake Ontario, as well as its tributaries.
  • Atlantic Salmon: Atlantic Salmon have a different spawning season, with the prime time for fishing being in the spring months (April to June). The Salmon River offers excellent opportunities for catching Atlantic Salmon when they return to their native waters.

Techniques and Tips for Salmon Fishing

Salmon fishing requires specific techniques and strategies to maximize your chances of success. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Use appropriate gear: Selecting the right fishing gear, such as medium to heavy-action rods, sturdy reels, and strong fishing lines, is essential for landing salmon successfully.
  • Vary your bait and lures: Experimenting with different bait and lure options, such as flies, spawn bags, or spoons, can help entice salmon to bite. Pay attention to the color, size, and scent of your bait, as these factors can make a significant difference in attracting salmon.
  • Practice proper casting techniques: Accurate casting is critical when targeting salmon. Mastering techniques like overhead casting, roll casting, or spey casting can greatly improve your chances of presenting the bait in a way that appeals to the fish.
  • Be patient and observant: Salmon fishing often requires patience and careful observation. Look for signs of fish activity on the water’s surface, such as jumping or splashing, and pay attention to any changes in water temperature or current. These can indicate the presence of salmon and help you adjust your fishing strategy accordingly.
  • Follow fishing regulations: It is crucial to familiarize yourself with New York’s fishing regulations and abide by them when salmon fishing. This includes knowing the fishing seasons, bag limits, and any special restrictions or permits that may apply to certain fishing grounds.


Salmon fishing in New York offers anglers a rewarding and exciting experience. By considering the species of salmon, the location of fishing grounds, and the prevailing weather conditions, you can plan your fishing trips during the peak seasons to maximize your chances of success. Remember to adhere to fishing regulations, practice patience, and employ the proper techniques to increase your chances of landing these prized fish. So grab your gear, head to the fishing grounds, and immerse yourself in the thrilling world of salmon fishing in the beautiful state of New York!

Frances Chiu

Frances S. Chiu is a passionate aquarist and biologist. She currently resides in the United Kingdom and has been writing about fish and aquariums for over five years. She is an expert on all things related to fish keeping and is always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to care for fish. She is a regular contributor to various online fish and aquarium magazines, websites and blogs. She also enjoys traveling and exploring different cultures, nature, and marine life.

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