Skaneateles Lake 5/12
The miserable weather we've had thus far this spring has had me reshuffling trips. The upside of this, is that with all my cancellations, I get more fishing time. Unfortunately the fishing is usually all done in crappy weather, as was the case today. I have great raingear and footwear. When I offer clients the option of rescheduling their trips, it's partially because a lot of people do not have the gear and frankly would prefer to fish on a nice day. When you have good rain gear, not wanting to fish on a rainy cold day is mostly a psychological issue.
I wanted to try for walleyes today on Skaneateles Lake. My big fear with the walleyes in this lake is that the idiotic illegal stocking will result in just enough walleyes to crash the rainbow trout and landlocked salmon population, but not enough to result in a top-notch walleye fishery. Give me one or the other! Talking with friends and thinking it over – it's very unlikely that this lake will ever be a great walleye fishery. You have crystal clear water and not a lot of nutrients. You aren't going to grow walleyes very fast in here. People are likely going to have to target them at night too for the most part. But I felt with today's conditions and pre-spawn fish, I'd have a good shot. Of course I'm not Mr. Walleye either – I've caught a decent amount in my life, but I don't fish for them often.
With rain, clouds and wind I felt conditions would be pretty favorable for a walleye bite. DEC has been doing some netting here and they've been picking up some males mostly in deep water. Fish here are still pre-spawn! That's how cold the water is in this lake. I had 43 degree water in most areas with the exception of the south end, which was up to 48. The lake level is high – very much so and is rising. I fished both ends of the lake and places in between. In my first hour I landed 5 solid smallmouths and dropped a fish that felt different. It MIGHT have been a walleye, but I wouldn't bet on it. I fished areas down south and landed a couple pickerel. I also landed a laker on the day and 8 really solid 10" to 13"+ perch. I threw back quite a few perch too. No signs of rainbows, salmon or walleye today. I fished from just past noon until 7:30 pm. It's pretty safe to say I was the only boat that launched out of the State Launch today. On the whole day I saw two other boats out. It rained and air temps dropped to 41 degrees while I was fishing, but with my Bass Pro Shops 100 MPH rainsuit, I was very comfortable for most of the day. I certainly stayed dry but after a while I was ready to call it a day.