How To Improve Your Fishing/ Lake Reports

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Honeoye Lake and Finger Lakes Fishing

Today I am going to give some instruction that will increase your catch ratio when you go angling alone or with a fishing guide. As a guide, I work very hard to find fish that customers can catch, and it bothers me when a day of fishing does not meet the expectations that I wanted. Here are some things that you, as a client, can do to help make the day a huge success.

When you fish out of my boat, it will be with artificial baits made of plastic. You will be using a wacky rig, a Texas rig or possibly a dropshot. None of these methods require a PHD to use properly and effectively, but some practice on your part will pay huge dividends.

A trip to your local sporting goods store is the first step. Purchase a practice plug and tie it to your fishing pole. Spend about 15 minutes per day out in the back yard practicing your casting, flipping, and pitching. You will generally not have to cast over 30 feet, but accuracy is the game changer. By doing this, on the appointed day, when I say cast to that weed edge, or flip in that pocket, or pitch to that clump of weeds, you will have developed a fair amount of ability and your catch ratio will be higher.

This is the computer age, and if you do not know what flipping and pitching methods are, spend the time to copy instructions from the internet. If you have practiced at home, we can refine and polish the presentation of your bait while fishing. I find it almost impossible to teach two to three people even the basics of these methods in a five hour fishing trip. Fishing is similar to anything else in life, the more you work at it the better you get.

Now for the fishing report. Canandaigua Lake produced some nice largemouth bass at the south end on recent guide trips. We used wacky rigged Zoom Trick worms with a weighted hook. Bass were caught from 8 to 20 feet of water.

Conesus Lake has been producing some nice bags of largemouth bass using wacky rigs, Texas rigs and tubes. The wacky and Texas rigs had Zoom plastics and the tubes were Bass Pro Tender Tubes. We used trick worms, shaky head worms and baby brush hogs.

Honeoye Lake has been good to the folks fishing with me. As usual some days are better than others and the skill level of the anglers has a definite relationship to their success. There are days when an afternoon trip is better than a day trip. High bluebird skies seem to slow the fishing, but if you can fish the heavier weeds, you can expect more bites. Several trips the past two weeks have produced 12 to 30 bass per trip. Wacky rigs have worked in the cleaner water and when we have to dig in the weeds, I switch to Texas rigged baby brush hogs. The baits used were all manufactured by Zoom. Again, no, I am not sponsored by Zoom!

Good fishing, wear your life vest, and maintain a proper lookout.

Bass Fishing Honeoye Lake and the Finger Lakes

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

We have been very busy for the past month on several of the Finger Lakes and especially Honeoye Lake. July 24th we took a couple on Seneca Lake and caught a nice mix of smallmouth and largemouth bass. The smallmouth were caught on tubes and the largemouth on wacky rigged trick worms. The next day, a trip to Skaneateles Lake gave up 20+ smallmouth bass, but most were smaller buck bass. A fun time using a spinnerbait and mixing in a Texas rigged green pumpkin baby brush hog.

Early July we spent time on Honeoye Lake and Canandaigua Lake. The little lake produced great numbers of medium sized bass on Zoom trick and finesse worms. When the bass buried up in the weeds, the green pumpkin baby brush hog worked. Mixed in with the plastic baits was a double willow leaf spinnerbait that worked. The first two trips on Canandaigua were a test at best, but now that the water has warmed, it is producing some good numbers using plastic baits. The same Zoom worms being used on Honeoye.

Honeoye Lake has been the producer and the best place to teach people what the “bite” feels like. Very seldom do you feel an actual bite, but more of a pressure, so set the hook. Sometimes it is weeds and sometimes those weeds swim, so do not question whether it is a bass or weeds; snap your wrist and set the hook.

We have had variable conditions on the little lake (Honeoye)  this year, with water temperatures rising then falling several degrees. Water levels are down due to the lack of rain, and we have a slight algae bloom with the weeds growing. Through all of this, I have found the evening bite usually better than a daytime bite. Overcast days and low light conditions seem to position bass so they are easier to locate and catch.

Tennity’s Guide Service is not sponsored by Zoom baits, but I will tell you that they make some of the highest quality baits in the marketplace. Their color selection is second to none, and the price is very affordable. When you can purchase 20 quality worms for less than $4 versus 10 baits for $7, it is a no brainer.

DO NOT TAKE A KID FISHING, TAKE A KID CATCHING. Kids can get bored or lose interest very easy. If you do not know how to fish, the folks at the big box store are not your best source of rods, reels and terminal tackle. Bite the bullet and do an evening fishing trip with your daughter or son so they learn  some basics about fishing. Start them on the right path and make it a family project to expand your angling knowledge and skills.

Good fishing, wear your life vest, and maintain a proper lookout.




Updated Info on Honeoye and Conesus Lakes

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

It is opening day of the NYS 2016 bass season and a quick update will clue you into what has happened in the past two weeks. The water temperatures have been going up and down like a yoyo for the past few weeks making bass activity hard to predict. Saturday evening, June 11, the water had warmed and the bass were active late in the day. Sunday, the wind blew and the air temperature dropped. Honeoye Lake water temperature dropped 9 degrees in just a few days, which had a dramatic effect on the bass. The bite became slow, but as the water warmed this week, the bass became more active.

To catch more fish, use a slow presentation, flip weeds, and as the water warms during the day, fish edges with a wacky rig. Both Tuesday and Friday produced good results, but it was important to fish slow. Zoom finesse worms and Zoom Baby Brush Hogs were the proven baits.

Conesus Lake was in the same general condition as Honeoye Lake, the exception being Conesus is deeper and it may take longer for the water to warm back to the temperatures that make bass active. Even though the lake was in a slump, we managed to boat several largemouth and smallmouth bass in the 3 to 4 pound class. Zoom finesse worms were the most productive baits there, too.

Honeoye and Conesus Lake June 2016

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

This past week has been very busy with our clients from Ohio. On Tuesday evening we had dinner and hit Honey Lake for three hours of bass fishing. John and Susan hadn’t lost their touch, managing to put 31 bass into the Ranger. All bass came on Zoom finesse worms.

On Wednesday we spent the day fishing for bass and huge panfish. The count for total fish caught was 125 with at least 50 to 60 being bass. They used the same Zoom worms for bass and some homemade jig spinners that had a 1/32 ounce jig. We put a 1 1/2 inch Bass  Assassin, a fake type minnow, on the jig as a trailer. The panfish baits were fished on ultralight poles with 4 lb. test Bass Pro mono line.

Thursday, the Ohio folks took a break from fishing. This allowed another couple vacationing from PA to fish. The weather was marginal in the morning, but overall it played into a great day. Pennsylvania can be proud of Dean and Jennifer as they caught approximately 40 bass. The weather was overcast and the bite slower than I had anticipated. They were using the same worms that had worked previously, but I made a color change to a darker worm and the bass seemed to be able to see the worm better. The number of bites came faster and the size of the bass increased.

Susan and John wanted to try a different lake, so I checked the weather forecast and Friday was going to be perfect to fish Conesus Lake. We started fishing at the north end and worked our way south. As we drifted along with a slight breeze, we changed from worms to Bass Pro Stikos, and the bass were more inclined to bite the green pumpkin. At days end, the bass count was 30 and the panfish about the same. The biggest largemouth was a 5.49 and the largest smallmouth was 4.44. There were several largemouth in the 3-4 pound weight range and some of the smallmouths in the 2.5 to3 pound class.

Saturday was a surprise day for me. I took Susan and John to the southern part of Honeoye Lake and the bite was slow. We moved several times, always catching bass, but not in the numbers I expected. After a break for lunch, we fished the northern section of the lake, and when we quit for the day, the bass count was at 30 and panfish just about the same. Zoom finesse worms and Bass Pro Stikos both worked.

In all, the week was successful for all four of our clients.

Good fishing,


Mid May 2016 Honey Lake

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Bass fishing started off a little on the slow side May 18th. The water temperature had dropped again and the bass were in a negative mood. We managed a mix of bass and pickerel, but it was a day when you earned every bite.

By Sunday May 22nd, the water had climbed several degrees and the bass were active. We managed 42 bass in a five hour trip with a gentleman from California. Monday was a carbon copy and 39 bass were fooled by a group of three repeat clients.

On May 27th, a lady from Rochester along with her mom and dad from the Keystone State, put 47 bass in the boat during a five hour trip.
The following day a family from Mt. Morris took home a nice mess of panfish.
Sunday, I had a trip to help a new resident and his long time friends get acquainted with Honey Lake. We used his party barge, but his depth finder was not working. This made it difficult to find the proper depth and structure, but they had a good morning and learned several new methods for catching Honeoye bass.
Various baits worked with Zoom trick and finesse worms the top producers.

Honeoye and Conesus Lakes

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Weather at times has made the spring of 2015 a test to catch fish, but the good news is they have to eat and summer is coming soon. Honeoye has been like a yoyo with the catch rate going up and down as the conditions change. Warming trends have turned the bass on and cool nights have slowed the bite. It has been our experience that the afternoon bite has been superior to the early morning catch ratio. Many different colored worms have been working, so just experiment until the right selection results in getting bit. Presentation seems to be more important than color, with dead sticking and then just a slight movement of the bait triggering most of the action. Fish very, very slow, but pay attention to what the bass want. If they strike the bait on the fall or grab the worm and swim off, they are active and you can fish faster.

Conesus has been much like Honeoye with the same weather patterns keeping the water cold and choppy. Tuesday we managed a few largemouth and smallmouth but you had to work for them. Saturday was cold and windy, but the fish were more active. We managed to catch two tiger muskies, 1 pike, lost a pike, had 3 follows from pike and boated several nice largemouth and smallmouth bass. Spinnerbaits worked the best, taking several of the pike, bass and tiger musky. Retrieve speed was medium with a slight pause now and then.

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Finger Lakes and Honeoye Lake Bass Fishing

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Finger Lakes Bass Fishing

 What started as a sprinkle of rain on July 27th, it turned to a downpour by July 28th. Several of the western Finger Lakes experienced massive amounts of water, raising their levels, bringing huge amounts of flotsam and making the water quite roiled with sediment. A trip to Conesus the next day found the water very stained/muddy and the bass turned off. Meanwhile, Honeoye was closed to boating for several days because the water was flooding the hamlet. As lake residents, we were fortunate when the water level reached our docks that there was very little wind during the following week. This minimized damage to boats, docks, hoists and shorelines. Canandaigua Lake was  issued an advisory for boating, so a trip to the south end at Woodville proved to be a challenge. The normally clear water was turbid and the bass were in a negative mood. Keuka Lake is still recovering from the earlier flooding this year. Water that is usually very clear is slightly colored and there is an algae bloom. When traveling to these lakes, you can put the chance of catching fish in your favor by making  some basic adjustments. Look for the cleanest water, use lures or baits that create vibration or noise, and work your bait slower to give fish a chance to locate your presented offering. The next step is to fish slow and then slow down more. When the clarity of the water is reduced, fish have restricted ability to see your bait. Sight feeding only happens when you put the bait within a couple of feet or inches from them.

Honeoye Lake

 Honeoye Lake has been a test this year. The bass are biting and they change from aggressive to turned off in the blink of an eye. We have not experienced the big bite that normally has taken place each year. With amount of fishing and guiding that I do on Honeoye it bothers me that I am not seeing more big fish. I have several opinions on why this decline has happened but no hard facts to back them up. I can not stress the importance of catch and release of big fish. These are older bass with the genetics you want passed on to the future.

 The weeds have changed dramatically from last year. Winter did a number on the weed beds and some are just stating to grow. Many areas look like a desert and when you find weeds there are plenty of bass in them. The weeds have a coating of dirt on them from the heavy rains and when waves or heavy boat traffic stirs up the water, things get dirty. Bass in Honeoye have a hard time sight feeding under the current conditions. Use baits that make some vibration or noise and your catch rate should increase.

 As an example, Saturday evening I rigged three lines with baby brush hogs and all customers started catching bass. As we drifted north from our starting point, the bite slowed so we changed locations. Going to an area that I knew held good fish produced nothing, so we moved to another area that has been quite good, but it was too rough from the east wind. We motored over to the other side of the lake where conditions would allow my clients to feel the bite. NADA, so I told them that we may be fishing below the bass. I picked up a wacky rigged trick worm and on the first cast caught a decent fish. Immediately, I switched all rods to a wacky rigged trick worm and everyone caught bass for the next hour and a half until quitting time.  This is just an example of how quick things change and how you have to adapt to those changes. Give baits and presentations time to work, but if you don’t catch fish, change color, presentations and last locations. Remember, just because you caught fish here last month, they will not wait for you to come back and catch them again. Some areas have structure that will always hold fish. As fish are taken from the area, more will move in and replenish the location.

 Once again as a guide for catching bass, in clear water, go with your green colors and if you are fishing stained or dirty water use darker colors like green pumpkin, black, or junebug. Be safe, wear your life vest, maintain a proper lookout and use a speed reasonable for the conditions.


Finger Lakes and Honeoye Lake Reports

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Finger Lakes

It has been a busy and challenging week in the Finger Lakes area. Monday, heavy rains hit Livingston, Ontario, and Yates counties, causing much damage to property. Honeoye Lake has been off limits to motor boats with an advisory on Canandaigua, Conesus. Keuka suffered the lowest damage this time. Be careful and remember that you are responsible for any damage that your boat wake may do. NYS law has a 100 foot no wake zone and many communities that surround the lakes have passed laws making the no wake zone 200 feet from shore. The region is experiencing unusually high water levels so please act accordingly. Be a responsible boater and if a bass angler, project a good image.

Honeoye has been off limits. The water rose to the bottom of my docks, and with it came sticks, logs and a plethora of other junk. Water conditions are bad at best, and the water is very colored from the silt washing into the lake. The fish will have a hard time sight feeding, so use a bait that creates noise, vibration, or both.

Conesus had a large amount of flotsam and was turbid at the south end. Fishing was off on Tuesday morning, but should pick up as the water clears. The water was much cleaner toward the mid lake area.

Keuka had some color and the wind was a slight  problem for my younger clients in feeling the bite. When the lake calmed, a drift on the east side, north of the state park, produced several smallmouth bass, rockies, pickerel and largemouth bass.

The tournament on Canandaigua, Saturday, was a test. This is another lake with very clear water, but the recent rains created additional color. As boat traffic increased, so did the turbidity. Baits had to be put right in front of the bass and the bite was slow and very light. Only two of my fish bit hard, with the rest of the bites just a different feel to the bait. If you didn’t set the hook, the fish was gone. Tubes, baby brush hogs, and drop shot all produced fish.

Once again, be aware of the high water conditions, wear your life vest, and maintain a proper lookout.


Honeoye and Conesus Lake Fishing

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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Some folks having fun on Honeoye and Conesus Lakes

Honeoye has been good as we head into summer. Many bass are still in the 6 – 7 foot depths and will bite with the correct presentation. Wacky rigged trick worms and stikos will constantly put fish in the boat. If the bite slows or stops, switch to a Texas rigged worm or baby brush hog. An algae bloom is in progress and is moving around the lake, pushed by the current wind. Look for cleaner water and use baits that have a green hue, and when you get to water with abundant algae, use something with a darker color. Shaking the bait helps the bass locate your offering, so shake it, but don’t move the bait.

Conesus Lake is giving up some nice bass in the Tuesday night tournaments. I, along with my clients, have been able to boat some quality largemouths. Choose your location and fish slow. The weeds at the south end of the lake are much cleaner than those at the north end of the lake. This makes it much easier to fish, because you don’t have to clean the slime off  your bait every cast. Try to fish during the week if possible as Conesus is very busy on the weekend.


Frank (more…)

New Fishing Buddy Marina on Honeoye Lake

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

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Moved a trip today because of weather, but it is not too bad yet. Thunder and rain at six, then sunshine, now clouding up. Lots of other jobs waiting to be done so I will keep busy.
Bass fishing has been great. Some mornings have been good and some evenings. Everything is weather related. My newest fishing buddy was Marina @ three years old. She loved reeling in the bass and driving the bass boat. She gave every bass a little sugar (kiss) and released them
A mix of baits have been working, but the wacky rig has been the best. Color of the bait has been important to our catch rate. The bass are becoming conditioned to baits from all of the pressure and I noticed several folks keeping fish. This will also influence your number of strikes, so make sure to keep your fishing rod in position to administer a hook set.
Wear your life vest and maintain a proper lookout.

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