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Finger Lakes/Southern Tier Fishing Report – May 15th, 2015

Cayuga Lake: Trolling stick baits or spoons on the south end of the lake was starting to produce some brown trout and Atlantic salmon. Fishing has been slow but the warmer conditions should help improve the bite. Watch out for debris; there are reports of a lot of it out there. Lake trout fishing continued to be slow for anglers trolling. Fish were being marked at a variety of depths, from 70 to 180 feet of water, but getting then to hit has been difficult. Yellow perch were being taken on the north end with small minnows.

Seneca Lake: Lake trout fishing continued to be slow. A few lakers were being caught in 70 to 100 feet of water. There were still a few rainbows being taken in Catherine Creek.
Canandaigua and Keuka lakes: Not hearing much, but anglers were getting some yellow perch and lake trout on both lakes. A few brown trout were being taken on Canandaigua by anglers trolling in 70 to 80 feet of water.

Owasco Lake: Trout fishing has been slow for anglers trolling, but a few lake trout were being taken in 170 feet of water. Yellow perch were being taken on the north end on small minnows.

Otisco Lake: Walleye and tiger muskie season has attracted some anglers. Try trolling, or casting with stick baits, for both the walleye and tiger muskies. Also, try large swimbaits, spinnerbaits or minnows fished under a bobber for tigers, and worm harnesses, crankbaits and jigs for walleye. No word on the panfish bite, but crappie fishing can be good this time of year. The lake has both black and white crappie. Black crappie are found on the “clear side,” north of the causeway, while white crappie are found in the more turbid water south of the causeway. White crappie are a relative newcomer to the lake, but we DEC fisheries staff saw fish up to 13 inches in a survey last year.

Skaneateles Lake: The DEC launch is open. Anglers were still getting yellow perch on the south end of the lake on small minnows. Some bullhead and black crappie were also being caught on the south end.

Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers: Good baits for walleye are usually crankbaits or jigs tipped with a minnow or night crawlers. A number of muskies were tagged in 2014 on the Chenango and Susquehanna with gray Floy tags (they look like a piece of spaghetti) placed by the dorsal fin. If you catch one of these tagged fish, please do not remove the tag if releasing the muskie. Write down the tag number and report the tag number, date of catch, location, and length to 607-753-3095; or send the information via email to If keeping the muskie report the same information.

Whitney Point Reservoir: With walleye season now open, good baits are usually jigs, worm harnesses and crankbaits. As the water has lowered and anglers can fish from the shore again, they are starting to get bullhead and channel catfish. No word on the crappie bite but this is generally a good time of year to start working the shoreline with small jigs or minnows.

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