Owasco Lake 5/5 + Skaneateles Lake 5/6


Got out with my buddy Mike for a couple days of fishing with a midday start.

Owasco Lake 5/5:  We started here at around 12:30 pm.  The lake is still showing a good amount of muddy water and some large debris.  As the walleye population and lake trout population slowly diminish here, DEC and others are expecting to see a rebound in this lake’s trout fishing.   With good forage levels and no lampreys this lake should go back to producing some trophy browns, rainbows and lakers in the near future.  We tried a bunch of areas without much luck.  I landed a couple of decent smallmouth bass that had hit my stickbait.  In one area Mike had a silver fish (rainbow or brown) whack a spinner.  Given the vast areas of muddy warmer water, I don’t think we were able to do this lake justice with our half day of fishing.  Water temps were in the mid-40s.

In my early days of guiding in the early to mid-2000s it wasn’t uncommon for my clients to have nice rainbows following in their baits in various areas around the lake.  Last year or the year before we had a few browns following pike lures.  DEC will be surveying this lake later this summer.  I expect to see some good fish.  We’ll also see how the alewife and smelt populations are doing here.

Skaneateles Lake 5/6:  I knew today would be more of a “catching day” than “fishing day” and that’s how it turned out.  Mike and I had some terrific mixed bag action throughout the lake.  I knew it’d be a good day when I nabbed two walleyes in the first hour – an 18″ and a 21″er.  Mike landed a 25.5″ pickerel, which is a whopper for this lake (I know of bigger that have been caught through the ice here.)  I also landed a 19″ salmon and a 17″ lake trout.  Together we landed around a dozen nice smallmouths and maybe 25 perch.  No sign of rainbows today.

It appears as though I’ll be able to start guiding on May 16th.  We shall see!  As soon as I know for sure, I’ll post it here.  Our area (the “Southern Tier”) has seen no new Covid-19 cases in the past maybe 10 days to two weeks.  What a fiasco this whole thing has been.  I’ll leave it at that.

Cayuga Lake remains quite muddy.  The lower end from Ithaca north to Portland Point is still a mess.  There was virtually zero visibility around there a few days ago. Now we have maybe a foot.  I expect the same on Seneca’s south end and mid-lake areas.

What do expect fishing-wise once I can guide (again – hopefully May 16th)?   We are going to see widely scattered trout and salmon on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.  Pickerel/bass action should be good on the north end of Cayuga and lake trout action should remain good to excellent both deep, shallow and in-between.  Pike fishing should pick up on Seneca.

Skaneateles Lake should offer good to excellent smallmouth bass action and plenty of bonus lake trout and perch.  Some salmon should stay in the nearshore mix and I expect to keep seeing occasional walleyes, though I think I’m catching them mostly due to the cold water and the spawn having taken place recently.

BIG Skaneateles Lake Pickerel