ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) – Harvest season for largemouth and smallmouth in New York State opens Saturday, June 19.

The two species, also known collectively as black bass, are the state’s most popular freshwater fish among anglers.

Freshwater sportfishing generates nearly $2 billion in annual economic output for the state. In 2020, 1.28 million fishing licenses were purchased in New York, an increase of nearly 10% compared to 2019.

Four of the Empire State’s lakes were listed in Bassmaster Magazine’s 2020 list of the “Best Bass Lakes of the Decade”; locally, Cayuga Lake made the list.

"Whether you are a beginning angler looking to catch your first fish or a die-hard bass fishing enthusiast, exceptional opportunities can be found throughout New York State,” said Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Some of the most challenging fish to land, large bass can be caught anywhere from neighborhood ponds to the Great Lakes. I encourage all New Yorkers to try for their own trophy bass this year."

New York State’s traditional bass season opens on the third Sunday in June every year and runs until November 30. A catch-and-release season exists for most of the state from December 1 to the Friday before the third Saturday in June every year as well. Anglers are recommended to check current fishing regulations before heading out. New for this year, black bass regulations with a minimum size limit of 10” or any-size have been changed to the 12” statewide minimum size limit.