This lake offers some good fishing for a variety of species and it’s really improving as a fishery after some setbacks in the 2000s. (It’s a great place to fish on any occasion, but especially when the winds are too high for the larger lakes.) Anyways, the lake trout population really fluctuated a lot here back then. For awhile there were too many lakers here. Now the fishery is balanced again and the lakers are showing some real improvements in their growth rates. We’re even seeing a few wild lake trout. We had decent laker action here in 2018, though I didn’t target them here much.
Rainbow and brown trout are bouncing back quickly here. Fishing was decent here for them in 2018.
The smallmouth bass fishery here is good and there have been bass caught in this lake over 7lbs. A 20″ smallmouth bass weighing over 4lbs is not an uncommon catch on this lake! That being said, smallmouths aren’t necessarily easy to catch in this lake. The right weather and wind conditions make a big difference. Fall fishing for smallies here can be great.
During the summer, many smallmouths move “offshore” to feed on pelagic bait., though we still catch them conventionally. We also catch bass while targeting lakers out in open water! I can gear vertical trips towards smallies, but having lakers as the main target usually works out better.
Yellow Perch are also found in this lake. The lake is completely loaded with yellow perch. There are probably more perch here per acre than any other Finger Lake I know, but finding large ones can be tough. Keepers are abundant though!
The pike fishing here has been very good over the past few years and it’s well worth keeping an eye on. We had some good to very good pike fishing here in 2018. It’s a top early and late season pike fishery. It’s certainly in the conversation when discussing best pike fisheries in Central NY.
Largemouth bass fishing is also getting better and better on this lake. There are some big ones around and they can turn up just about anywhere on the shoreline.
I have a very high rate of success on this lake – mainly in May/June and October/November. This lake has yielded trophy northern pike, monster brown trout and lake trout in the past. Other species found here include a few crappies, rock bass and some bonus large, old walleyes. We had one walleye this past fall taken while vertically jigging. It was the first we’d ever caught while targeting lakers.
What I like about Owasco Lake is both its size and structure. This is the only Finger Lake that offers the potential for great smallmouth bass, lake trout and northern pike virtually year ’round all within a few miles of each other. The lake is only around 11 miles long! So it’s usually pretty easy to run around. This lake has classic Finger Lakes structure – flats on both ends and sharp drop-offs and nice points throughout it’s length. This lake can be fished comfortably in all but the strongest winds. We’ve seen a ton of bait on the lake this year and I expect to see trophy fish come out of this lake in the future.
People fish here for
I think fishermen take carp for granted. They are so abundant in the area (and throughout the country) that many people don't value them.
Channel Catfish are found in pockets throughout the region. To the best of my knowledge, none of the Fingerlakes have large populations of them.
Walleyes are common in Conesus and and uncommon in Owasco Lake. Other Finger Lakes having populations of them include Honeoye and Otisco Lakes.
The ubiquitous lowly rockbass. Is there any fish that anglers catch in freshwater that gets less respect? I shall think not.
These fish are fairly enigmatic in most of the Finger Lakes. They are abundant in Skaneateles Lake. Numbers have gone up over the past couple years.
Lake trout are abundant in the Finger Lakes region with Seneca Lake being the most famous for its lake trout fishing.
Yellow Perch are popular North American freshwater pan-fish, available year-round albeit small and easy to catch.
Northern Pike are aggressive, predatory fish and some of the largest freshwater game available to target in North America.
I consider brown trout somewhat of a bonus fish for us on Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. They don’t chase flies quite as actively as landlocked salmon.
The Largemouth Bass is by far the most popular freshwater game fish in the US and the state fish of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.