There’s something special about angling in Upstate New York at this time of year.
That mystical “in-between” period—when summer travelers have packed their bags, but that autumn chill is still a few weeks away—makes for some serious fun on the water. Whether you’re cruising past the Adirondacks, or you’re catching sun by the Catskills, a sense of serenity pervades the charming lakefront destinations you’ll pass along the way.
It’s the kind of atmosphere you fall in love with—and with fall on the way, there’s no time like the present to soak in the region’s pristine freshwater paradise.
Read on as we share a few of our favorite places to fish, explore and enjoy the view in Upstate New York!
One of the most beloved gems of the Adirondack region is Lake Placid. A gorgeous lake year-round—whether you come for summer splashin’ or a glimpse at fall and winter colors—its name comes from the Latin word “placidus,” meaning pleasing and gentle. We’d say that about sums up this one-of-a-kind hideaway. Calm, clear waters play host to a number of relaxing on-the-water activities, including angling, of course. Key species here are trout (brook, lake, brown or rainbow—take your pick, they all thrive here!), rock, small or largemouth bass, bullhead, salmon, pumpkinseed and many more. Gorgeous creeks and brooks in the area offer a chance to enjoy some kayak fishing, too, or simply meander along and enjoy the view.
Big Tupper Lake
Another Adirondack gem, Big Tupper Lake has two rivers flowing into it—and, naturally, lots of fish! 28 miles of lush green shoreline provides the backdrop to your angling adventure, where you’ll try your hand at catches like walleye, for which Big Tupper holds the New York state record!
Of course, when you’re done fishing for the day (if you ever really can be), you can explore charming local vistas on the water. One popular spot is the babbling Bog River Falls, a unique aquatic feature against the quiet charm of a creek environment—key for your back-to-nature getaway or simply exploring the sights.
It wouldn’t be a fair look at Upstate angling without a visit to one of the most well-known lakes in New York—Lake Champlain! Located on the New York-Vermont border, this beautiful lake is spacious—a prized expanse of rich blue water and cozy cabins all along the shore. It is also a thriving home to species such as northern pike, chain pickerel, small and largemouth bass, yellow perch and landlocked Atlantic salmon. When you sink your line, just be on the lookout for a catch that’s slightly bigger than expected—such as Champy, the lake’s folkloric 20-foot monster!
Due to its immense size, and breadth of local character, there is a lot to enjoy on Lake Champlain. Families can spend half the day fishing and another (or another week or two, even…) having fun with water sports or even a leisurely cruise around shore.
There are 11 Finger Lakes in all, carved out from glaciers and named for their long, digit-like shapes. Fishing fun abounds on all of them, though the largest lake—Seneca—is perhaps one of the most beloved, noted for its sheer size and the prized wine trail that surrounds it (perfect for a seasonal vacation). With a near-endless horizon, one reminiscent of those famous Great Lakes vistas, there is a lot to do on the lake—but one of our favorites is, of course, fishing. Search for species such as alewife, smelt, northern pike and bluegill (to name just a few).
Seneca Lake may be seen, fondly, as a sort of sibling or younger cousin to the Great Lakes—but head due north and you’ll get the real thing! Lake Ontario is perhaps the most famous angling and boating spot Upstate New York has to offer. Its reputation is well-deserved, of course, though out-of-the-way gems located just off the main lake are just as worthy of a visit. The Salmon River, for example, is home to record-setting Coho and Chinook salmon, as well as ample steelhead, brown trout and other prized catches. Whether you’re looking for thrills big and open, or small and untouched, Lake Ontario’s got just thing for you.
We can’t forget about Onondaga Lake! Another Finger Lakes-region lake, Onondaga casts the city of Syracuse in its alluring aquatic character. Next to views that range from natural, grassy shores to the stunning Syracuse skyline, you can fish the day away for species such as crappie, walleye, bluegill, channel catfish and more.
Overlooking Onondaga, Syracuse is a center for boaters and anglers—so it comes as no surprise that the city will be hosting the Central New York Fall Boat Show, starting September 7th! The show offers you a chance to explore the latest models and immerse yourself in the Upstate experience before fall’s officially in town.
While you’re at the show, don’t forget to visit your Robalo connection, Krenzer Marine. Anchored at Sodus Point, Lake Ontario, this is your go-to destination for getting to know the waters of Upstate New York… or simply checking out the new models and industry updates.
Wherever you roam on your New York adventures, you’re sure to be treated to beautiful views… and, perhaps, even better fishing. From your Robalo, it’s all yours to enjoy!