Skaneateles Lake 5/10 + Owasco Lake 5/11


Skaneateles Lake 5/10 PM:  Got out on my own for an afternoon on Skaneateles Lake on Monday.  I was tired and would have enjoyed some rest after guiding the past four days, but after a look at the windy, cold weather forecast I decided it was best to suck it up and go fishing while I could.   I fished a few areas without any action.  At my third stop I started things off with a 20″ pickerel.  I then dropped an average lake trout and lost some sort of silver fish (either a rainbow or more likely a salmon.)  My day was pretty typical for this time of year (April to May are similar to November through December on this lake.)  I wound up with some nice smallmouth bass ranging from 12″ to 16″, a small salmon, another lake trout and some perch, including a real mambo that I released – it was a hair shy of 15″ long and as fat as they get.  It may have been a 2lber.  I wanted to let it go, so I didn’t want to stick a scale up its gills.  I later realized I could have just placed it in a plastic grocery bag and weighed it bag and all.  Either way, it was the biggest perch I’d ever caught.  All my fish came on hair jigs.

"Jumbo Big" and yes, I need practice with "selfies"

The lake level has risen a bit and is probably a foot under normal summer pool.  DEC operations finally filled a few of the potholes around the parking lot.  Only a couple boats were out today.  Most anglers are fishing elsewhere and/or turkey hunting.

5/11 Owasco Lake:  Today was a trip with Dean, who usually comes out with his brother Scott.  They’ve been joining me since the crazy double stocked lake trout days on this lake back in the mid to late 2000s.  With the Covid-19 international border issues Scott hasn’t been able to join us from his home in Ontario Canada.  Back in 2012 Dean was the guy that pulled the girl scout leader or “Mom” out of the frigid water off the Girl Scout Camp back on Cayuga Lake.  Those of you who’ve followed this website for awhile will remember that event (that was a couple years before we saved the young kayaker on Keuka Lake.)

The issue today was going to be wind gusts.  Forecasts were for West to Northwest winds around 11 to 15 mph gusting into the low 20s.  We had insane weather today with clouds, sun, varying wind speeds and directions and even some rain and sleet.  It was cold out there and the kind of day when you want to crank the heat on the way home, grab a hot shower and make a scalding hot pot of coffee once you arrive!

I had my trepidations about the fishing.  I brought tackle for lake trout, pike, bass and casting tackle for browns/rainbows.   The lake trout bite was very good from around 80′ to 120′ FOW.   Dean landed around a half dozen nice lakers running 21″ to 27.5″.  Most were in the 24″ range.  He dropped a fair amount (that his brother Scott surely would’ve landed 😉

I set him up for smallmouth bass and with a deep running jerkbait (Rapala Scatter Rap) Dean nabbed his personal best smallmouth – a solid 18″er!   I regret that we weren’t able to cast bass for more than maybe 90 minutes to two hours but the winds just got brutal and our best bet was to go with lakers, which Dean really enjoys.   We only saw two other boats out on the entire (full) day.  The water level is high and there’s quite a bit of current running out of the outlet of the lake.  Water temp was around 46 to 49 degrees.  It will only get colder tonight!  Dean brought awesome sandwiches, jerky and cigars (and companionship), so today was a great day on the water regardless of the crazy weather!

Hooked up!

Laker in Net

Me, laker and cigar!

biggest laker on the day

Yet Another laker

Dean's Personal Best Smallmouth -a solid 18"er!

small laker ready to be released