Mohawk River Fishing

Mohawk River is a great place to visit if you enjoy sport fishing. Here, you can catch bass, perch, walleye, crappie, muskellunge, and pike. The best fishing is in the river’s 9.5-mile stretch between Crescent Dam and Lock 7 where several fishermen have caught monster-sized Northern pike. The average pike in this area ranges from 25 to 35 inches, but they can grow to more than 40 inches. The two most abundant fish species in Mohawk River are freshwater drum and northern pike, but there are also good amounts of smallmouth bass and walleye. If you come here to fish for the bass or walleye, try jigging with 1/8 to 1/2 oz jigs along with imitation crayfish or plastic swimbaits. You can also try casting into a deep hole and retrieving your bait against the current as it touches the bottom now and then.

driving directions

Best Spots to fish the Mohawk River

Generally, fishing is best east of Schenectady downstream to the Hundson. The water along this stretch of the Mohawk River is deeper and fish life is more abundant. You’ll begin to find both largemouth bass and pike east of Schenectady.

  • Upstream from St Johnsville near Barge Canals provides good fishing for smallmouth bass. Largemouths are less prevelant here.
  • From St Johnsville south to Schenectady expect to catch smallmouth bass, walleye and a few northern pike. As you get closer to Schenectady largemouth bass become more prevelant. Around Schenectady, fish the creek mouths to catch smallmouth bass.
  • For smallmouths, fish the sections between Locks 8 and 11. You’ll typically find good smallmouth fishing around the islands (Swart Island especially channel side) and around buoy marker R194.
  • East and west of Rexfordge Bridge you’ll find descent fishing for smallmouth bass. You can cross the bridge to fish both sides of the river from shore.
  • For giant northern pike and tiger muskellunge fish the 9.5 miles between Crescent Dam and Lock 7 (Cresent Pool). This section of the river also has abundant populations of largemouth bass, crappies and bluegills.
  • Below Crescent dam, smallmouth bass tend to be the most abundant game fish in the Mohawk river, along with carp and a few other species.
  • Mohawk River from St Johnsville to Canajoharie provides excellent bass fishing. Fish around creek mouths and island points.
  • For kayak or canoe fishing, I recommend Mohawk Landing Nature Preserve. It offers great fishing for bass, walleye, and panfish, and several convenient launch points.
  • For anglers without a boat, there is plenty of shore fishing. The Barge Canal locks along the Mohawk provide good access for shore fishing. Crescent Park and Vischer Ferry Lock 7 provide easy access for shore fishing.

Anglers who fish from shore should be careful when entering the river. There are hidden currents around many of the locks. When fishing the Mohawk by boat obey all signs and remain in the marked channel. Once out of the channel the water can get shallow quickly.

Boaters must pay a toll to pass through the locks, but the fee isn’t much. If you plan going through any locks, you’ll need to call ahead to make sure there is an attendant on hand to let you back through on your return trip. Make sure to plan ahead.

Best baits for fishing the Mohawk?

Your bait selection is going to depend on your target game fish. Some the locals’ favorite lures for targeting bass and other predatory fishing in the Mohawk River include stickbaits, soft jerkbaits, spinner baits, jigs and swimbaits. And if all else fails use some wacky worms. These always seem to get a bite.

Mohawk River Fish:

Mohawk River boat ramps:

The following boat ramps provide access to Mohawk River.

Van Schaick Island Marina Boat Ramp
2 South Delaware Avenue Cohoes, NY 5182372681

Capital District Marina Boat Ramp
17 Jackson Avenue Cohoes, NY 518-237-3442

Van Schaick Island Marina Boat Ramp
398 Railroad Dr Cohoes, NY

Lock 7 Boat Launch
One Niskayuna Circle, Niskayuna, NY 12309
(518) 386-4504

Freemans Bridge Boat Launch
Schenectady, NY 12302

Mohawk River Canoe/Kayak Access
219 Towpath Rd, Clifton Park, NY 12065

Clamsteam Road Boat Launch
Clifton Park, NY 12065

Town of Colonie Park Boat Launch
22 N Schermerhorn Rd, Cohoes, NY 12047

Flightlock Rd Boat Launch
Flightlock Rd, Waterford, NY 12188
(302) 747-0403

Waterford Boat Launch
Front & First St, Waterford NY 12188
(518) 209-1063