Oneida Lake Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Oneida Josh TurnerFor bronzeback anglers in the northeastern United States, one of the lakes that has got to be on your bucket list is Oneida Lake.

I’m sure that many of you have heard of or even fished this awesome lake and have had a blast hunting 2-4 lb smallmouth bass as well as some great largemouth bass. Oneida is known for its numbers, not necessarily the size of the bass when comparing to some other lakes such as Erie.

The primary forage, according to Mike Iaconelli, for smallmouth bass on Oneida is juvenile yellow perch. Wherever these young perch go, you’ll find a pack of smallmouth bass terrorizing them (source).  In addition, crayfish, insects and other baitfish make up a large percentage of the smallmouth bass’s diet in Oneida Lake.

Oneida Lake is very close to Cornell University and biologists from the University help monitor and manage the lake.

“Oneida is loaded with weeds and rocks and they are a great combination for fish, and one of the good things for people with smaller boats is that you can stay right there on I-81 on the northern end of the lake and can catch lots of large or smallmouths. Topwater baits work well for largemouths and spinner baits will trigger the smallmouths, and if you want to use soft plastics, it’s hard to beat a tube or a Yamamoto Senko.”  Source

Oneida bass populations have exploded with the accidental introduction of invasive species such as the zebra mussel and the rusty crayfish. A variety of techniques are effective here, just as in many of the top smallmouth lakes around the country.

“Oneida Lake is a diverse fishery as far as techniques you can use to catch the fish. You can be drop-shotting in 20 feet for smallies, or flipping in the grass for largemouths — all within a couple of minutes of the Oneida Shores launch,” he said.  Source

Oneida Lake smallmouth bass are plentiful and if you get a chance to fish there, take advantage of the opportunity. You may not catch the biggest smallie of your life but you will most likely get into a good number of 2 to 3 pounders and maybe even a pig here and there.

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