Oneida Lake 7/9 PM


Got out here for some fishing with my buddy Todd.  He had never caught a walleye before, so that was one of today’s goals.   A few wrapped bass boat rigs were at the launch today, so a few pros were enjoying the Oneida Lake bass fishing.  I’m betting that they were largemouth bass fishing for the most part.

Conditions weren’t what we would have liked for today, but Todd has a pretty crazy schedule so we made due.  It was HOT out!  At least we mostly had cloudy skies but winds were super-light out of the northeast to start, then it calmed down for a few hours and then came up out of the west late in the day.  We fished from around noon until 7 pm.

Fishing was good and the lake looked very good.  We stayed around the shoals for the most part but did try some deeper water adjacent to them.  We wound up landing 8 walleyes, 6 of which were legal – mostly 17.5″ to 18.5″ with one at 15.5″ and Todd’s first one at 20″.   We each landed chunky smallmouths.  Todd took some shots at the many drum that surrounded us at times and had a few looks and one gobble his jig, but he missed it.  Rounding out the catch was the only fish I caught on a bladebait – a big pumpkinseed and a solid perch for Todd.

My big question here – which I would ask the biologists, is given that there are around 22,000 gobies per acre or something like that on the bottom of this lake, is why aren’t the walleyes bigger?  They are all in average condition at best, maybe slightly below average.  They are a little thin, in other words.  Plenty of mayflies also still seem to be around.  Todd thought they were dead fish-fry of some sort, but a closer look showed that they were mayfly exoskeletons (I think that’s the term…)

Smallmouth bass numbers definitely seem down on Oneida, which confirms what DEC is seeing and most avid smallmouth anglers.  We should have encountered more than two today, given how and where we were fishing.  Years ago, we might have caught or at least hooked a good half-dozen.

On another note, one of my clients or someone I was talking to – and I can’t remember who, recently mentioned seeing mayflies around the south end of Cayuga Lake (maybe Mark A at the boat launch?)   Anyways, my buddy Todd had some photos of them.  I’d never seen or heard of them on the lake before, other than seeing an oddball caddis or something like that flying by on rare occasion, but there was definitely some kind of hatch on the south end of Cayuga Lake.  On Oneida Lake they came back big-time after being gone for decades.  It kind of correlated with the timing of the round goby invasion.  Maybe just coincidence, I don’t know.

Todd's first walleye - a 20"er out of Oneida!

Todd with a nice hard-fighting Oneida Lake smallmouth - unfortunately we're seeing fewer and fewer here, likely due to the gobies

Cayuga Lake mayflies??? What the heck is up with that?

Another shot...