Welcome to our Chautauqua Lake Fishing Home Page

Chautauqua Lake is a popular lake for recreation such as boating, sailing, fishing and more.  It is a narrow lake that runs 17 miles long.  You have several marinas and restaurants in the area.  This lake gets quite a bit of boat traffic during the summer.


Primary Species of Fish


Largemouth Bass, Muskie & Walleye

Chautauqua Lake is known as a quality muskie lake with good numbers of them and some big fish up to and above 50 inches long.  If you’re looking to just catch some fish though, it will be much easier to put some largemouth bass in the boat as they are abundant throughout the lake around the weeds and docks.  Walleye are here too in good enough numbers to target and many anglers pursue them throughout the fishing season.  They are easier to catch for most anglers in the spring and fall, but you can target them down deep in the summer too.


Secondary Species of Fish


Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Crappie & Bluegill

Smallmouth bass are here in lower numbers than largemouth bass, but anglers do target them here with success.  Fish the deeper drop-offs anywhere from 15 to 30 feet deep and you’ll have a better chance to catch smallmouth bass.  Perch, crappie and bluegill are here too and anglers target them year round here.


Northern Section of the Lake


The northern section of the lake is where the deeper water is located.  This is the part of the lake where you will find plenty of anglers that like to troll for walleye and muskie.  Some of the biggest smallmouth bass are found in the deeper water here in the summer and fall as well.  Along the shorelines, you will also find more distinct points, bigger bays, weeds and plenty of docks to fish.


Southern Section of the Lake


The southern section of the lake is smaller and much shallower compared to the northern section.  However, there is still plenty of water to fish in this part of the lake and plenty of depth to hold a lot of fish during the summer months as well.  You will find some points, several smaller bays, lots of feeder creeks, weeds and lots of docks.  The fishing is usually good for largemouth bass in this part of the lake from spring through fall, while the smallmouth bass, muskie and walleye are usually better in the spring or fall.


Fish the Creek Mouths


This lake has a lot of feeder creeks and the creek mouths will usually hold some fish throughout the fishing season.  With bigger rains, there will be more current, which attracts more baitfish, which then helps bring predator fish into the area.  The amount of rain plus the current lake levels will dictate how productive these areas are to fish.


Fish the Deeper Water


There is plenty of deep water on the northern section of the lake.  Once the summer patterns set in, you can often find good walleye, smallmouth bass and muskie fishing in the deeper waters all summer long.  Learn how to fish for these deep water fish and you’ll catch bigger fish on average through the summer months.


Fish the Docks


The docks will hold fish all season long, however, the spring is the best time to come here and fish the dock pattern.  Early in the year, you can usually find more fish and bigger fish with many different species of fish being found around the docks.  As summer progresses, you will usually find mostly largemouth bass, bluegill and other sunfish.  The deeper docks hold some quality bass during the summer and fall months.

(Look at the map below in satellite view.  You can zoom in and see all the docks on this lake.)


Fish the Points


This lake has plenty of points to fish.  From the northern section of the lake to the southern section of the lake, you will find several big points and plenty of smaller points too.  You can find just about any species of fish in the lake around the points throughout the fishing season.


Fish the Chadakoin River


The Chadakoin River is located on the south end of the lake.  The river is fairly shallow as it runs out of the lake and right through the town of Jamestown, New York.  The areas with little current will usually hold some largemouth bass from spring through fall.  Smallmouth bass can be found in the areas with some current.


Fish the Weeds


The entire lake is loaded with weeds, so plan on fishing plenty of weedy areas when fishing here.  Early in the area, the new green weeds bring a lot of different fish species into the shallows.  The submerged weeds will hold a lot of fish as they grow towards the surface.  Once mid-summer rolls around, you should have plenty of deeper weed lines to fish for a variety of different fish.


Chautauqua Lake Fishing Regulations


Chautauqua Lake DEC Page