Oneida Lake 6/25 PM


My buddy Mike was raving about the carp action he had here last weekend on the fly.  Not just the fly, but dry flies!  And not just any old carp but big tackle busting fish running up to around 20lbs!  If that doesn’t get your heart pumping, you may as well check into the ICU.  There aren’t too many freshwater fish that you can flycast to in the summer that will get you into your fly line backing in 10 seconds.

So I took a drive up there.  I don’t fish this lake very often and haven’t in the past few years, so I didn’t remember the best way to get up here.  (And I found out later I didn’t know the best way to get up here!)  My Garmin GPS turned an 80 minute trip into a two hour drive up.  So I didn’t launch until around 1 pm.  Former local bass pro heavyweight Jamie Hartman’s rig was in the parking lot as were a bunch of other boats.  I didn’t have any luck finding any carp feeding on the surface although I found plenty of old mayfly “shucks.”  I did some casting with jerkbaits and superflukes while I looked around.  The biologists estimate one million adult walleyes roam this lake.  I believe it.  I had a follow from a good one shallow on my first cast.   A little later I picked up a smallmouth on a Superfluke.

Later on I got out and worked some deep water with bladebaits.  I nabbed a keeper walleye in short order then hooked a hard fighting fish.  It didn’t feel like a drum – felt like a catfish or maybe even a sturgeon.  It wound up being a 26″ channel catfish.  I then called my buddy Mike and he confirmed a few of my hunches I had on where to look and he gave me a couple tips.  He lives about a 10 minute drive from the lake.  I went into the deeper water he suggested and within 5 casts nabbed another 2 walleyes and a solid drum.   Then my wind changed direction with a storm coming through and all I could muster for the next hour was another good drum.

All in all I had a fun day and hope to get back here soon.  If I lived closer it’d be a fun lake to figure out and then guide.  It can get really tough out there to catch fish – I’ve experienced that quite a few times out there.  Wind, waves, algae blooms and and overabundance of baitfish at times can make the fishing here very challenging.  But overall it’s another testament to the tremendous angling opportunities we have here in New York State!

Regarding the Seneca Lake Diary Program:  I talked to DEC over at Region 8 and they had someone leave a message looking to get on the Diary Program but it was hard to hear who it was and how to contact them.  So if you did leave a message, please get back to them!  The guys are doing a lot of field work now and everything was a bit in disarray over the past two months due to Covid-19 – people weren’t working in the offices, they were working at home.  I will keep readers of my reports abreast on what they are seeing on Seneca Lake as they survey it (both warm and cold water) this year.

Here’s a link to some info, including contact info about the Diary Programs available throughout the West Central Region of NY State: