Chill out and enjoy: Ice fishing on Finger Lakes
Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake both have record fish
Big Finger Lex fan, Jim Moore,
The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York offers a peaceful and picturesque setting for outdoor enthusiasts year-round. But when winter arrives and covers the landscape in a glistening layer of ice and snow, a unique opportunity presents itself: ice fishing on Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake.
The ice fishing season typically begins around mid-December and extends into late February, although it’s important to check local regulations and ice thickness before heading out. Safety should be your top priority. Make sure the ice is thick enough to support your weight, usually at least four inches per person.
Both Keuka and Seneca Lakes have a variety of fish species waiting to be lured from their icy depths. At Keuka Lake, you will have the opportunity to catch lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, and yellow perch. Meanwhile, Seneca Lake offers a similarly attractive array of species, including lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and Atlantic salmon.
These pristine Finger lakes have seen their fair share of record-breaking catches. Keuka Lake holds the record for the largest lake trout ever caught in New York State, weighing up to 41 pounds, 8 ounces. The lake also gave up the state record for rainbow trout, an impressive 23 pounds, 4 ounces.
At Seneca Lake, anglers caught a large lake trout weighing more than 30 pounds. While these records are difficult to beat, both lakes continue to produce sizeable fish for those willing to brave the winter cold.
Prime locations for ice fishing
Lake Keuka offers excellent ice fishing opportunities near the Penn Yan and Branchport areas. In particular, Penn Yan Outlet, Indian Pines Park, and Branchport State Forest are popular locations for setting up ice fishing gear.
Seneca Lake offers excellent ice fishing opportunities around the towns of Geneva and Watkins Glen. Seneca State Park, Clute Park, and the Dresden area are popular for ice fishing.
So, if you’re an angler who doesn’t mind cold weather, gear up and head to Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake. These Finger Lakes gems offer an opportunity to connect with nature, enjoy impressive fishing, and maybe even break some records while surrounded by the stunning winter beauty of upstate New York.