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DEC announces opening of 2024 black bass season


Fri, Jun 7th 2024 12:15 pm

Quality bass fishing opportunities available throughout state

Submitted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar announced the open (harvest) season for largemouth and smallmouth bass, collectively known as black bass, begins June 15 and runs through Nov. 30. For most of the state, a catch-and-release season exists from Dec. 1 through June 14. Special fishing regulations exist for some waters, so anglers should check the current fishing regulations before heading out to fish.

“From neighborhood ponds and smaller streams to the Great Lakes, New York is fortunate to have some of the most outstanding bass fishing opportunities in the country,” Mahar said. “I encourage all anglers to find the time to enjoy, and share with others, the fun and excitement that comes with casting a line and landing a bass in New York.”

Black bass are New York’s most popular sportfish for good reason. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found throughout the state, thriving in waters of all sizes, and are among the most exciting fish to catch.

In 2023, New York state landed six lakes on Bassmaster Magazine’s top 100 best bass lakes in the country. Among the New York waters included are the St. Lawrence River (Thousand Islands), ranked as the second-best bass lake in the nation, and Lake Erie/Upper Niagara River, ranked as ninth-best lake. Lake Champlain, Cayuga Lake, Oneida Lake and Chautauqua Lake made the list, as well, and are in Bassmaster Magazine’s top 25 Northeastern Best Bass Lakes 2023.

New York’s warmwater rivers also provide outstanding bass fishing opportunities. The Chenango River, Tioughnioga River, Unadilla River, Chemung River, Wallkill and Seneca River are just a few of the many warmwater rivers worth checking out to find great river bass fishing experiences. Be sure to check out DEC’s “Places to Fish” and “Warmwater Fishing” webpages for more information on where to go bass fishing, as well as the “Tackle Box” feature in the HuntFishNY mobile app.

For tips on how to catch bass, see “Fishing For Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass.” Those new to fishing can check out the “I FISH NY Beginners' Guide to Freshwater Fishing,” which has all the information needed to get started. There’s also a “how-to” video series on DEC’s YouTube channel.

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) provides advice to anglers about what fish are safe to eat and how often. Visit DOH’s website to search by waterbody location.

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