Welcome to www.fishfingerlakes.com your complete guide to fishing conditions on the Finger Lakes of New York.

This site was launched on June 13, 2006 and was last updated on May 8, 2015

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Early May 2015


Canandaigua and Keuka Lake - Once again, little information to report, if anyone would like to contribute please use the fwfish7 link below. Anglers are getting some yellow perch and lake trout on both lakes. A few brown trout were being taken on Canandaigua by anglers trolling in 70 to 80 foot of water.

Cayuga Lake - Trolling stickbaits or spoons, on the south end of the lake is starting to produce some brown trout and Atlantic salmon. Fishing has been slow but the warmer conditions should help improve the bite. Watch out for debris, as there are reports of a lot of it out there. Lake trout fishing continues to be slow for anglers trolling. Fish are being marked at a variety of depths from 70 to 180 foot of water but getting then to hit has been difficult. Yellow perch are being taken on the north end with small minnows.

Chenango, Tioughnioga and Susquehanna Rivers - Just a reminder that walleye season, tiger musky and muskellunge season starts Saturday, May 2nd for these waters. Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. A number of muskies were tagged in 2014 on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (looks like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please Do Not remove the tag if releasing the musky. Please, write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length to 607-753-3095; or use the fwfish7 email link below. If keeping the musky please report the same information.

Lake Ontario - Steelhead fishing is winding down in the tributaries. Trolling near shore in 5 to 20 foot of water with stickbaits or small spoons has been working very well for brown trout. Fishing with side planers has helped on the days with less wind, as has fishing early in the morning. Good colors have been black and silver, blue and silver, and lures with some orange on them (like fire tiger). There were reports from anglers that when cleaning some of the brown trout they have been finding round gobies in their stomach. So, it may pay to also try some goby colored baits. Anglers going slightly deeper, 30 to 50 feet, or also having some luck catching a few Chinook salmon on spoons. When the wind hasn't been too bad and anglers have been able to get out they are getting some nice brown trout. Trolling near shore with stickbaits or small spoons continues to work well. Fishing with side planers has helped on the days with less wind, as has fishing early in the morning. Good colors have been black and silver, blue and silver, and lures with some orange on them (like fire tiger). There were reports from anglers that when cleaning some of the brown they have been finding round gobies in their stomach. So, it may pay to also try some goby colored baits. There have been a few Atlantic salmon, lake trout, and Chinook salmon caught by anglers targeting the brown trout. For more information on trolling please view Trolling for Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon.


Oneida Lake - As mentioned above in the tip of the week, the walleye egg take was completed on Thursday, April 23rd at the Oneida Fish Hatchery. A good starting point for the walleye opener, which starts May 2nd, would be in shallow water around stream or river mouths, or around shallow shoals. Chain pickerel season also kicks off on May 2nd. Oneida Lake has an abundant pickerel population with many quality size fish, 20 inches or more. Look for pickerel in 5 to 10 foot of water, and just about any lure will work. Using lures with a single hook though, like spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, jigs or swimbaits makes unhooking them much easier. For anglers taking advantage of the catch and release bass season, try 5 to 10 foot of water with bass jigs, crankbaits or jerkbaits. Bullhead are being taken along the shore and in the bays, try worms or leeches. Black crappie fishing is often good this time of year in Toad Harbor, but no reports yet.

Oswego River - The river is down a lot from last week and is running at 3,980 cubic feet per second (cfs) as of 04/30. This flow should make fishing from shore much easier. There are still steelhead and brown trout being taken in the river. Walleye season kicks off this weekend, fishing with jigs or large stickbaits usually works well for the Oswego River walleye. Remember, the bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are mandatory personal flotation device (PFD) zones on the river. Visit Oswego County Tourism web site for more information on this and also for information on the life jacket loaner programs in the area.

Otisco Lake - Walleye and tiger musky season kicks off this weekend. Try trolling, or casting, with stickbaits, for both the walleye and tiger musky. Also try large swimbaits, spinnerbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for tigers. And worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the "clear side", north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative new comer to the lake, but we had fish up to 13 inches in our 2014 Fisheries survey on the lake.

Owasco Lake - Trout fishing has been slow for anglers trolling, a few lake trout are being taken in 170 foot of water though. Yellow perch are being taken on the north end on small minnows.

Salmon River - This flow is also down from last week and is at 500 cfs as of 4/30. Look for steelhead in the riffle areas or holding in the deeper pools. Though, there are still some steelhead spawning in the riffle areas, there are also many "drop-backs". Drop-backs are steelhead that have finished spawning and are now working their way back to the lake. These fish are often very hungry after the rigors of spawning. Good baits are egg sacs (blue or chartreuse mesh), streamers, pink Powerbait trout worms, or good old night crawlers.

Sandy Pond - No new information for the pond. Hopefully, with walleye and northern pike season kicking off this weekend there will be something to report next week. Try stickbaits, spoons or large minnows fished under bobbers for the northern pike. For walleye, also try stickbaits along with jigs, and crankbaits. Bullhead fishing should be starting from anglers fishing from shore with worms.

Seneca Lake - Lake trout fishing continues to be slow on this lake as well. A few lake trout are being caught in 70 to 100 foot of water. There are still a few rainbows being taken in Catherines Creek.

Skaneateles Lakes - The DEC launch is open. Anglers are still getting yellow perch on the south end of the lake with small minnows working. Some bullhead and black crappie are also being caught on the south end.

Sodus and Irondequoit Bays - Northern pike season starts on May 2nd, try stickbaits, spinnerbaits, spoons or large minnows under bobbers. Bullhead fishing has really picked up in the bays with the warmer weather, worms or leeches are both working well. This can also be a good time for black crappie and yellow perch fishing in the bays as well.

Whitney Point Reservoir - Just a reminder that walleye season starts on May 2nd. Good baits are usually jigs, worm harnesses and crankbaits. As the water has lowered and anglers can fish from from the bank again, they are starting to get bullhead and channel catfish from shore. No word on the crappie bite but this is generally a good time of year to start working the shoreline with small jigs or minnows.

Wayne County Fishing Report -

Wayne County Fishing Report - compliments of Chris Kenyon at Wayne County Tourism 

Weather Forecasts

Click for Canandaigua, New York Forecast Click for Penn Yan, New York Forecast Click for Geneva, New York Forecast Click for Ithaca, New York Forecast
  Canandaigua Lake Temperature - 45 || Keuka Lake Temperature - 51

Seneca Lake Temperature - 41 || Cayuga Lake Temperature - N/A

 Lake Ontario Temperature - 43

All temperatures are recorded at a depth of 10 feet below the surface as of March 8, 2015

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Thanks to Bill Hilts Jr. (Bill Hilts Fish Finder), Chris Kenyon (Wayne County Fishing Reports), Jud Peck and Iceshanty.com