Catch You Next Time: Fishing in the Finger Lakes

It’s no shocker here that the Finger Lakes is a prime destination for planning your next fishing trip or spot to see your children cast for the first time. Fishing has always been a favorite past time and hobby for many, and in 2020 it became a popular activity perfect for peace, quiet and social distancing.

Photo by Upstate New York Love

Where are the best spots?

The opportunities that the Finger Lakes region has to offer for aspiring or experienced anglers are endless. It may be the beautiful scenic waterway of the Keuka Outlet that runs between Keuka and Seneca Lakes, from Penn Yan to Dresden. This waterway offers a bounty of spring run trout from Seneca Lake in April and fall run trout usually starting in October. The outlet is also home of many stocked trout species, large and small mouth bass, and pan fish species.

If the open air and water are your pleasure, try casting a lure or live bait for the variety of trout the lakes have to offer. Pan fish, perch, crappie, bass, landlocked salmon and pike species are prevalent in the area, and can be caught year-round. Seneca Lake is known as the “Lake Trout Capital of the World” and Keuka Lake also has plenty of them.

Photo by May Fly Musings

When is the best time to fish?

What’s great about fishing is that you can do it year-round. Many find pure enjoyment during the warmer months setting out on a boat for the day, moving around the lakes at their leisure. During the colder months of the year, ice fishing may be another fishing opportunity for you. A bounty of pan fish, perch, pickerel, pike, crappie and bass are there for catching. Most of the lakes will freeze over near the shoreline in the winter, but Seneca Lake does not freeze due to its size and depth.

Be sure to plan ahead.

Please visit the Department for Environmental Conservation for fishing regulations that may apply, license information and more in depth details on fishing in the Finger Lakes.

For more on how you can get out on the water while in the Finger Lakes, visit our Explore section.