Fishing in the NY Finger Lakes: Seneca and Cayuga Lakes

For some, there is no bigger thrill than to reel in that prize catch – or even just enough to have for dinner!

Here in the Finger Lakes, fishing is not only a time-honored tradition, but it was the way of the natives, and continues to be a major source of local food today.  Because the Inn at Gothic Eves is located between the two largest Finger Lakes, ours is an ideal destination for any angler who wants to try their hand at fishing here in Upstate New York!

Cayuga Lake
What you can catch here:  Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Pickerel, Large-mouth Bass, Small-mouth Bass, Northern Pike, Longnose Gar, Bluegill, Sunfish, Yellow Perch, White Perch, Channel Catfish, and even Atlantic Salmon and others.

During summer, Trout can be found near bait pods in around 70-90 feet of water; it will be necessary to have a boat, canoe, or kayak to fish in this location.  Another place to fish by boat is near Frontenac Island, which is a habitat for a large variety of fish.  Bass are frequently found in weed beds around the lake.  Don’t want to rent a boat?  Head to the Mud Lock fishing area on River Road north of Cayuga.   For trout, try fishing near the streams in October and November when this species starts heading upriver to spawn.

Other shoreline fishing is available just up the road at Taughannock Falls State Park, and further away at Cayuga Lake State Park, Cass Park in Ithaca, Myers Park at Lansing, and Stewart Park in Ithaca.

Seneca Lake
What you can catch here:  Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Yellow Perch, Pike, Small-mouth Bass,
Large-mouth Bass, Atlantic Salmon, and Freshwater Drum.

This lake is overpopulated with Trout, so fish away!!!  They like colder waters though, so if you want to catch them in summer, you’d need to fish from a boat into the deeper waters.  Charters are available for boat fishing if you don’t want to rent.

Look for Bass and Perch in shallower waters during the summer months, which can be accessed from land.  Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva, Sampson State Park in Romulus, Lodi Point State Park in Lodi, Smith Memorial Park in Hector, and Lakeside Park in Watkins Glen all offer fishing from the shore.

Anyone ages 16 and older does need a Fishing License to fish in the state of New York.  But there are options available for those who are just visiting!  Licenses can be obtained right here in town from (of all places) The Town of Ulysses at 10 Elm Street, less than 1/2 mile from our front porch.  OR you can head down to Camo-Hut at 4287 Swamp College Road (just 3 miles away from the Inn).

If you are visiting from another state:

  • Annual Fishing License:  $70 (if you think you will be visiting often)
  • 7-Day Fishing License:  $35
  • 1-Day Fishing License:  $15

If you live within New York and are coming to the Finger Lakes for a relaxing getaway:

  • Annual Fishing License:  $29
  • 7-Day Fishing License:  $15
  • 1-Day Fishing License:  $5
  • Senior (70+ years of age):  $5

Please note that a license “year” is October 1 through September 30.

The only exception to the above costs occurs during the last full weekend in June (this year on June 29-30, 2012) when it is FREE for anyone to fish anywhere in the state.  So you might consider a visit to the Inn at Gothic Eves during this free fishing weekend!  We look forward to your visit.

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