Skaneateles Lake 2/25 PM
Got out with my buddy Mike on Skaneateles Lake starting around 12:45 pm by the time we had launched. The new docks at Mandana are nice but the gradient is still very shallow and launching isn’t necessarily easy. Neither is retrieving the boat for that matter, but a lot of that depends on your trailer and the conditions of the lake.
I had a couple areas in mind I wanted to check and we gave them a thorough shot. After 40 minutes of fishing I hooked a nice smallmouth on a bladebait. It got off. It might have been fouled. Not long afterwards, Mike hooked up and landed a nice 18″ smallmouth. It even tried to jump in the 37 degree water! Nice fight for a cold water winter bass.
18" Skaneateles Winter Smallmouth
We went with jigs and I dropped a couple momentary hookups but then set into a nice silver fish. It wound up being a solid 22″ landlocked salmon.
22" Skaneateles salmon
Another nice salmon
The salmon kept coming. Within the next few hours we managed to land 14 solid landlockeds from around 17.5″ up to 22″. Most were 18″ to 19″ and healthy looking fish. One had a messed up jaw and appeared to have been attacked by a loon or cormorant. Mike also nabbed a solid lake trout that went 23″.
23" lake trout
Needless to say we were both very impressed with the salmon fishing. I’ve fished this lake in my boat since around the fall of 2001 or so and it’s the best salmon action I’ve seen on solid fish here ever. That isn’t to imply that the lake is loaded. It isn’t, but at least the salmon seem to be faring well for now. DEC feels that some of it may be due to the large yearlings that were stocked in 2019 that came from Vermont after the disaster at NY’s Adirondack hatchery last winter. That may be the case, but some of these fish are clearly older than that. The fact that some fish are escaping the “walleye gauntlet” is encouraging. Time will tell how things shake out. I expect good to very good fly-fishing here for salmon and some rainbows throughout April in this lake. It’s great to see Cayuga, Seneca and Skaneateles Lake fishing reasonably well for Landlocked Atlantic Salmon this winter.