Skaneateles Lake 9/28 PM
I went out here on my own from around 1 pm to 6:30. The winds were strong out of the south and I watched one boater decide not to launch after seeing the whitecaps. I'd say it was around 14 – 15 mph. Today was a "catch 'em and eat 'em" mission for me. I love eating fish but I don't eat nearly as many as I'd like to. Cooking and cleaning fish is too much of a bother for me during the summer when my schedule is pretty much non-stop guiding. But I try to make up for it from the fall through the spring.
I brought a bunch of rods but primarily ran the dropshot rig. I also had some fish come on tubes and superflukes. The smallmouth bass bite was off a bit, likely due to the front/winds. I caught over a dozen, but the size wasn't much to write home about. I kept a few up to 15". The action today came from rockbass. The bite was slow to start but after a couple hours they really turned on and I was catching one on virtually every cast. A lot of them were solid 10" fish – probably weighing 3/4 of a pound to a pound a piece. I also nabbed some bonus perch.
Rock bass are great eating. The key to cleaning them is using an electric knife – the electric makes quick work of the thick rib cage. I was shocked at how little time in took to clean at least 20 rockies along with a few bass and perch. It was awesome – it took about an hour, which included trimming out the ribcages.
Rockbass in Skaneateles Lake are super-abundant. They compete directly with the trout/salmon and smallmouth bass. And given their size, they are doing very well! They are right up there with sunfish and crappies on the table. It was a lot of fun and reminded me a lot of crappie fishing.
The lake level is very low. Years ago Syracuse would draw the lake way down due to demands for drinking water. So I believe the launch was built with that in mind. It's easy launching but the lake is the lowest I've seen it since I started fishing it regularly around 14 years ago. Water temps were around 68/69.