Guide to Fishing in Buffalo, NY

Guide to Fishing in Buffalo, NY

With at least four times a year, it's one of America's most popular outdoor activities. From stress-relieving benefits to time spent in nature, fishing has many attractive qualities. People travel from all over the country to find their next best fishing spot.

One excellent fishing destination is in Buffalo, New York. Near two Great Lakes, the area is full of beautiful lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of water. It’s known for its abundant fish and gorgeous landscapes. With so many fishing options in Buffalo, it might seem overwhelming to pick a trip schedule.

Read on for a beginner's guide to fishing in Buffalo, NY, and how to plan your trip!

Best Fishing Spots in Buffalo, NY

The first step to a great fishing trip in Buffalo is finding that perfect fishing spot. Buffalo has many notable fishing destinations, making it tricky to pick just one or two. Luckily, you’re sure to have an enjoyable experience no matter what area you choose.

These are some of the most popular fishing spots in Buffalo, NY:

The Buffalo Harbor

Buffalo Harbor State Park is the first state park in the city and an excellent choice for fishing. The area is perfect for fishing and other water-related activities, with features like:

  • A 1,100-slip marina
  • Various boat launches
  • A fish cleaning station
  • A nautical-themed playground
  • A nearby beach

The Buffalo Harbor is known for these types of fish:

  • Walleyes
  • Perch
  • Carp
  • Sunfish
  • Bass

There are also shallow areas available for new fishers or families with younger children that want to try fishing. You're sure to have a memorable experience no matter what time of year you visit.

Sturgeon Point

Sturgeon Point is another popular fishing destination for Buffalo. Known for its salmon and trout, Sturgeon Point is especially popular in the warmer months when fish are even more abundant. The marina has dry docks available for boat storage, as well as 24-hour launching services.

Cassadaga Lake

Cassadaga Lake is also a strong option for your Buffalo fishing trip. Three interconnected lakes — Lower Cassadaga, Middle Cassadaga and Upper Cassadaga — make up this beautiful and massive body of water. With a shoreline of over five miles, you have many options for the perfect fishing spot.

Cassadaga Lake has public boat launching and regular fishing access for the public. Ice fishing is also available. These fish types are commonly found:

  • Largemouth and smallmouth bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Panfish
  • Bluegill
  • Yellow perch

Chautauqua Lake

Chautauqua Lake is another lake option near Buffalo. In addition to fishing, many visitors use the lake for paddle sports and sailing. It has many public boat launches located along the river, so you can get started wherever suits you best. Chautauqua Lake has many fishing competitions each year and offers guided fishing trips.

You can find these types of fish in Chautauqua Lake:

  • Walleye
  • Muskellunge
  • Largemouth and smallmouth bass
  • Bass
  • Brown and yellow bullhead

The Lower Niagara River

The Lower Niagara River is also an excellent fishing destination in Buffalo. At 14 miles long, the river flows from the northern Whirlpool to Lake Ontario's mouth. It has options for shore fishing and boat fishing. It's especially known for its lake trout, steelhead trout and king salmon.

You can fish the Lower Niagara River at any time of year and find:

  • Rainbow trout
  • Walleyes
  • Chinook salmon
  • Smelt

DIY Fishing Spots and Charter Options

As you explore fishing destinations, plan for the fishing style that suits you best. Whether you prefer shoreline fishing, fishing from your boat or any other method, Buffalo has options.

If you already own a boat or plan to rent one, you can use one of Buffalo's public boat launching pads to get started. If you want to try shoreline fishing instead, set up your rods in a public-friendly area, such as a lakeshore.

Charter fishing in Buffalo provides an additional way to fish. You can schedule these boats to take you on the water, whether you want a full day, half day or just a few hours. The boat's captain can advise you on the best spots to sink your line and what fish are abundant at that time of year. Charters can suit fishers of all experience levels, but you typically need a valid fishing license before you can board.

You usually have to book a fishing charter well in advance, so it's best to research your ideal charter before setting off. Some fishing charters in Buffalo include:

  • Niagara River Guide Service: This family-friendly service takes you out on the Niagara River to fish. It features a live bait well and many different styles of fishing.
  • Mark Lorenc Charters LLC: This charter drives out to Lake Erie and provides all of the necessary fishing tools.

Where to Stay During Your Fishing Trip

If you're traveling to Buffalo from a different state or location, you might also consider planning for lodgings. After a long day on the water, there is nothing better than a comfortable place to rest.

Camping is a popular option for fishers, and Buffalo has many opportunities. For instance, the Niagara Falls Kampgrounds of America Campground is just a short drive away from Buffalo and offers many amenities and clean, level sites with a cozy fire. 

Niagara Falls/Grand Island KOA is also a great place to stay if you are fishing with little ones for the first time or are looking for a more laidback fishing experience, thanks to the campground's catch and release fishing ponds. These ponds are on-site and only a short walk from your site, and you don't need a fishing license to participate. The campground even has live nightcrawlers available at the General Store.

Other recreational activities include: 

  • Boat rentals
  • Banana bike rentals
  • The Pocket Park
  • A Jump Pad and Jumping Pillow
  • A heated pool
  • Horseshoes
  • Special campground events, like ice cream socials and crafts
  • KampK9® for your four-legged friend

Plan Your Trip With KOA Campgrounds Today

A fishing trip to Buffalo is sure to be an unforgettable experience. From the beautiful views to the endless types of fish, you can easily plan an amazing getaway. Heading to a campsite afterward lets you immerse yourself in nature even longer.

The Niagara Falls/Grand Island KOA is the perfect campsite for exploring Buffalo, NY. We offer RV hookups, spacious tent sites and beautiful cabins. And you can continue the fun while you stay with amenities like high-speed Wi-Fi, playgrounds and more!

Make KOA a part of your Buffalo, New York, fishing adventure and book with us today!

Share This: