Landlocked Salmon

One question I get asked a lot is “what’s your favorite fish to catch?” At the top of my list is Landlocked Atlantic Salmon! They hit hard, fight insanely well, jump, look cool and taste great. What more could anyone want?!

These fish were reportedly once native to Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. They grow quickly in the Finger Lakes and are considered one of the top freshwater gamefish in the world. They typically run from 15” to 22” with fish occasionally reaching 26” or more. They are surface oriented in cold water (unless there are abundant numbers of round goby around,) which makes them a terrific fish to chase on the fly. There is very little or no natural reproduction of these fish in Seneca or Cayuga Lakes, thus keeping a few for the table does no harm to the fishery. Streamers tied on #2 to #4 hooks work great, and baitfish colors are usually the best.

As I update this in late January of 2022, it’s hard to say which lake – whether Cayuga or Seneca, will offer the best salmon fishing prospects going into this year.   Seneca Lake offered some terrific fishing last year.  Cayuga Lake was spotty, although some nice salmon were taken.  Inshore goby numbers appear to have diminished on Cayuga Lake during the cold weather months.  Seneca was slow for salmon going into this winter, despite some favorable conditions.  Stay tuned…

Skaneateles Lake offered terrific salmon fishing (including fly-fishing) back in 2020.  That was mainly due to the stocking of some exceptionally large salmon that were able to avoid predation by walleyes and other gamefish in this lake.  Salmon fishing has been very slow here for us in 2021 heading into 2022.

NY State is now stocking “Sebago Strain” salmon.  It is hoped and expected that they will provide better fishing than the previous “Little Clear” strain – so far it seems to be the case.


They don't get much nicer looking than this one!

Bonus Salmon caught jigging

Nice Cayuga Salmon