I haven’t fished here over the past five years. I’ll leave this lake profile up for those interested.
Smallmouth bass fishing has reportedly been tough here since a major fish kill a few years ago. Numbers of young smallmouths are very encouraging here now. Rainbow trout and lake trout fishing has been good to excellent. Brown trout fishing has been decent too from what I’ve heard anecdotally.
Canandaigua Lake offers some good to excellent fishing for lake trout, smallmouth bass and yellow perch. The lake has a lot of nice largemouth bass in it, as well as some decent rainbow trout. I enjoy visiting this lake during the “off season” – basically before July 4th weekend and after Labor Day. It’s location is close to Rochester and some other heavily populated areas, so this lake receives heavier boat traffic than any of the other large Finger Lakes.
The State boat launch at the north end of the lake can get extremely busy on a hot weekend day during the summer or even on a nice weeknight. That being said, the southern end of the lake generally features lighter boat traffic. If you fish this lake in the summer, it’s best to start early in the morning. The same can be said for the other Western Finger Lakes – especially Honeoye and Conesus Lakes. They have wall-to-wall cottages and plenty of jetskiis and other pleasure boaters.
The lake trout in this lake average around 18″ to 20″. There are decent numbers of bigger fish around and a 30″+ laker isn’t out of the question. Most lake trout in this lake are hatchery fish – approximately 85%.
The water quality of this lake is kept top-notch and it shows in the taste of the fish. The lake trout here are just superb eating – as good as they get. There is a very proactive lake association and the water quality here is amongst the best in the Finger Lakes.
Many area bass fishermen had considered this lake to be their favorite or at least in their top 2 or 3 for smallmouths. I’ve seen some big smallies cruising around the shallows in the summertime. Smallmouths relate to typical smallmouth habitat here, as well as largemouth habitat. Some of the big smallmouths suspend out in open water, chasing bait fish. In the fall, the jerkbait bite can be a lot of fun here. Again – we’ll see what happens in light of the fish kill from a couple years ago here.
People fish here for
I think fishermen take carp for granted. They are so abundant in the area (and throughout the country) that many people don't value them.
Channel Catfish are found in pockets throughout the region. To the best of my knowledge, none of the Fingerlakes have large populations of them.
Walleyes are common in Conesus and and uncommon in Owasco Lake. Other Finger Lakes having populations of them include Honeoye and Otisco Lakes.
The ubiquitous lowly rockbass. Is there any fish that anglers catch in freshwater that gets less respect? I shall think not.
These fish are fairly enigmatic in most of the Finger Lakes. They are abundant in Skaneateles Lake. Numbers have gone up over the past couple years.
Lake trout are abundant in the Finger Lakes region with Seneca Lake being the most famous for its lake trout fishing.
Yellow Perch are popular North American freshwater pan-fish, available year-round albeit small and easy to catch.
Northern Pike are aggressive, predatory fish and some of the largest freshwater game available to target in North America.
I consider brown trout somewhat of a bonus fish for us on Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. They don’t chase flies quite as actively as landlocked salmon.
The Largemouth Bass is by far the most popular freshwater game fish in the US and the state fish of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.