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.

Finger Lakes and Honeoye Fishing

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

We are down here in central Florida fishing and enjoying the nice weather. That does not mean that we do not keep up with the conditions in New York. There has been some ice, but be cautious and do not venture out too early. There are multiple areas on Honeoye lake where gas bubbles keep the ice from forming. A slight wind will blow snow across these holes, hiding them, and they are a trap just waiting for an angler not paying attention.

If you are on a lake with open water remember to wear your life vest. It is the law.

If you are coming to central Florida, consider a guided bass fishing trip. The bass are in their transition with the water cooling and as soon as warming trends start,they will start migrating to the shallows to spawn. This is the perfect time to try for the fish of a lifetime.


Monday, October 28th, 2013

We are at the end of October and have made the trip to Florida for the winter season. Honeoye was cooling fast and the bass were in their fall patterns. Basically scattered and unpredictable. Any depth from 1 to 20 feet and the one pounders are all over the lake. At our last outing a mix of baits and methods worked. Try small crank baits, wacky rigs, drop shot and Texas rigs until you find what the bass prefer on the day you are fishing.

Thank you to all our customers this year and we hope you had a great time. If you come to Florida over the winter, consider a bass fishing trip to try for a trophy.

Honeoye Lake

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Peter and Barbra, from Deleware, booked a week of bass fishing on Honeoye lake for the week of 9/22-9-27. The weather was cool and some days were a little windy, but overall for September, you would be hard pressed to get a week this perfect. Every day they caught a good creel of bass with some nice quality fish mixed into the group. The wind was from the north all week but the water temperature crept up slightly during the week. For the angler out on the water, the temps needs to cool a little more to put the bass into their full fall patterns, so move in and out until you locate fish. Baby brush hogs worked, wacky trick worms, and small, shallow diving crank baits all caught fish. Colors for the plastic baits were green pumpkin and black. The crankbait that worked best was a Timber Tiger, made by Wordens in a chartreuse green color. It’s hard to beat Honeoye lake bass fishing for numbers, and it’s a place to find active fish when most lakes are turned off.

Honeoye Lake Lunker Bass

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

photoAugust 20th, my friend, Roger Graham and I decided to bass fish on Honeoye Lake while our wives made a trip for lunch and to the mall. We started in late morning, just north of my cottage. The fishing was rather slow. We tried several baits and depths with mixed results, and I told Roger it was time to move to a new location. Bingo! We started catching some nice bass, and the action was steady. Roger likes to fish a jig & pig, so he made a pitch to a small group of weeds. A thump signaled that something ate the jig, so he put a lip ripping hook set onto the flippin stick and all heck broke loose. A couple of trips around the back of the Ranger and a couple of dives under the boat and this toad showed herself. What a way to cap off a fun afternoon.

A few hours later we set up to fish the Tuesday night tournament on Conesus. We have been doing well each week, but just seem to miss out on the big bite. Last night was no different, needing one big bite or two mediums to move up in the standings. It has been fun fishing these tournaments each week, but Roger is heading back to Florida next week, so we will see the Tuesday night group in 2014.

Jig and pig is working, so try different color combos until you find the bass’s preference, also creature baits in various colors.


Honeoye Lake Bass Fishing

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

The recent reports of an algae bloom on Honeoye are correct, and the media hype is not good. All waters are fragile and subject to human transgressions, so it is our duty to protect the environment.  That being said, the fishing is still top notch, and it just takes some adjustment to help those bass find our bait. I have switched to darker baits and shake the bait to create a vibration, so the bass can locate my offering. When shaking the bait, be careful not to move it, just shake the bait in place.

Greenpumpkin, black, and redbug have been the top producers recently. The algae bloom has also let frogs and toads (artificial), work quite well in creating a disturbance as a topwater bait, and the bass are hitting this offering.

The lake level had dropped as a result from the break in the rain, but is up a few inches this week from recent showers. These depth changes can relocate bass, so watch your depth finder. You may also want to look for cleaner water where the algae is not as bad. That way, the bass can use sight feeding to help your catch rate.

Fun Bass Fishing On Honeoye Lake

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Guide, Frank Tennity, holding Lizzies, Honeoye Lake lunker bass.  A very enjoyable day with Lizzie and her dad Scott.  Bass were hitting a multitude of baits, but the top one was a baby brush hog made by Zoom baits.


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