Onondaga Lake 6/20

Reports

Made in back down to Onondaga Lake today with Terry. We started around 10:30 am. I brought a couple musky rods for the heck of it (I had some homemade bucktails I wanted to field test) plus my gar lures, but overall we set out to target bass for most of the day.

We spent most of our time fishing areas of the lake that we didn't fish the past time. Once in a while people ask me how I am able to learn large lakes from end to end. I know my way fairly well from top to bottom of all the Finger Lakes that I guide. The best way to do it is simple – keep fishing and exploring new areas EVERYTIME you go out. Over the past two trips we've fished and explored (via sight and electronics) probably 60% of the lake. Within two more visits we'll have covered the whole thing – at least shoreline-wise enough to know what's what. I scout areas in a multi-dimensional way. I take lots of mental notes and put in GPS waypoint on the water then transfer that information (not the waypoints) to paper when I get home. I may look at one shoreline and see how panfish, carp, pike/muskies and bass all would use it. Of course it can take years or a lifetime to really get a body of water fairly mastered, but getting the overall sketch of the lake – which should be enough for a great start, shouldn't take too long.

Bass fishing started out slowly in part due to some of the areas we fished. Me and Terry put together a couple good patterns after a few hours and we were in business. We had a friendly competition going (i.e. Terry was keeping track of what we caught) and with some literal last minute heroics Terry beat me 11 bass to 10. I had the biggest fish – an 18" largemouth as well as the only smallmouths. We only counted legal bass. The bass fishing is just terrific nearly everywhere in the lake. It's tough to go wrong. Our best fishing came with Superflukes, topwater and spinnerbaits. Fish seem to be high in the weeds and pitching lures and working senkos hasn't been helpful to us thus far this season.

We saw 2 tiger muskies cruising along today. Also at least one bowfin, a bunch of carp, some nice drum and plenty of panfish. No sign of gar today, but we didn't check out our area during the key times. A decent number of bass boats were out during the evening – perhaps a working man tournament or just some anglers hitting the lake after work. We had 72 degrees in most of the lake and 75 on the south end.