Onondaga Lake 5/13


I got out onto Onondaga Lake near Syracuse with my buddy Jarrod. I hadn’t fished Onondaga since 7/22/2000, so I was looking forward to hitting it. The lake is one of the most researched fisheries around, due to its history of heavy pollution. It’s much cleaner than it once was and the fishing has been excellent for the past decade at the very least. A 48″ tiger musky (A State Record Class Fish!) was electrofished here last week, along with 4 others (incl. a couple around 20lbs.) These fish drop down into Nine Mile Creek (Otisco Lake’s outlet) and wind up in Onondaga Lake. There’s a ton of stuff for gamefish to eat in Onondaga Lake – so there’s some serious big-fish potential here! We were hoping to encounter a musky today, though we didn’t throw musky lures. I used TyGer wire leaders on most of my presentations today just in case.

A cold night made the shallow bass pretty lethargic when we started around 9 am. I landed the first largemouth on a Senko – and it didn’t hit hard. We fished hard and Jarrod lost a nice pike (or possible musky) near the lake’s north end. It took a few hours before we got our second fish, a nice smallmouth around 2.5lbs. We spotted a nice pike and a hefty bowfin in one cove, along with some good bass. Jarrod then had a slashing hit from what appeared to be a good musky. The fish was big and it missed his swimbait. That was it on the esocids. We headed down the lake to a couple of bass areas my buddy Terry and I had found on our previous trip on this lake back in July of 2000. Jarrod found a neat pattern and hammered 3 nice fish in a row on a lipless crankbait. He then lost a slob largemouth, probably around 5 lbs. I landed a couple bass as well – all were shallow, in less than 7′ of water. We worked N. to the launch and caught some more bass. Our total on bass was around 12 to 14 mostly keeper sized fish today, primarily largemouths, but 2 chunky smallies. Lipless cranks, a spinnerbait, a stickbait and a Senko produced our bass. Water temps rose from 57 to over 61 degrees today. We also landed a couple perch. Carp and bluegills were everywhere and we did see plenty of bass too, incl. some big ones. It was a fun day and we’ll be back.