While many anglers are content to test their skills during the warmer months, for some winter doesn’t signal an end to their fishing adventures but instead offers a unique experience that can’t be passed up. Until you’ve tried it yourself, it’s hard to explain what it’s like to step out onto that frozen surface, to sit directly above your adversary with nothing separating you but a thick layer of ice. For those who have tried it, you know what a compelling and serene experience ice fishing can be.
At over 20 miles in length and 187 feet at its deepest, Keuka Lake doesn’t typically freeze entirely, though the tips of this unusual Y-shaped lake do, which makes them popular spots for ice fishing for Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Pickerel, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Sunfish, and Yellow Perch. Finger Lakes regulations apply when ice fishing on Keuka Lake and there are several access points around the lake.
The DEC provides a contour map of Keuka Lake, but note the map is not intended for navigation.
Loon Lake is another Steuben County lake popular for ice fishing. You’ll find Yellow Perch, Sunfish, Black Crappie, Pickerel and Statewide regulations apply. Click here, for the DEC’s contour map, but note the map is not intended for navigation.
Please Note: Loon Lake does not have public access. In the past, access has been granted by Laf-A-Lot Restaurant in Wayland, but you will want to inquire (100 Laf A Lot Rd., 585-728-3722).
Ice fishing is also allowed at Almond Reservoir (statewide regulations apply). Black crappie, brown bullhead, common carp, golden shiner, pumpkinseed, spottail shiner, white sucker, yellow perch, and largemouth bass are found at Almond Reservoir. Click here for information (link to https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/88045.html).
Although nearby Waneta Lake and Lamoka Lake tend to freeze and are home to Yellow Perch, Sunfish, Black Crappie, Pickerel, they only offer private access so unless you know someone with a cottage or home on the lake who will grant permission, you’ll want to keep your eye on Keuka Lake for prime ice fishing opportunities.
For other Region 8 fishing locations in other seasons, visit the DEC's site.