Ice Fishing Oneida Lake, an Introduction

Ice Fishing Oneida Lake

Ice Fishing Oneida lake I started ice fishing Oneida Lake when I was 12 years old. I spent quite a few days out in the blustery cold and sunny days spudding holes with my uncle, who lived near the lake for many years. We never used a shack, electronics, power augers, machines to travel, heaters etc.…. As I grew older, I found myself, spending more and more time open water and ice fishing. I’ve enjoyed open water fishing the lake, but, found ice fishing to be more relaxing and there is less traffic to contend with. I will mention, I have all of the proper gear to fish with now, that I didn’t have when I fished with my uncle. He’d tell me.. “what do You need heat for? We’ll get warm when we return home”. Being an ex-Vietnam vet….he was tough!! Spending time with my family on the ice and, sharing my passion with them is important to me. My son goes most times, but, my wife and daughter get out once in a while as well. There have been some very productive fishing days, very slow fishing days and, well, Mother Oneida can deal her hand at any time she wants to. You could be set up in one direction for wind and, another minute she can change wind direction and wind speed like someone threw a switch. Sunny one minute and, whiteout blizzard the next minute, you can’t see 10’ in front of you. Personally, over the years, I have battled her more times than most people would like to. But, I still go back…

Oneida Lake is the largest inland lake in New York state located in Both Oneida and Oswego Counties. The lake is 21 miles long, east to west, and, with a width of 5 miles, north to south. Average depth of the lake is 25’ with the max depth of 55’.

Parking and access points are located around the lake. Godfrey Point State launch, Big Bay, Oneida Lake is the largest inland lake in New yorkCleveland docks; Apps Landing, Williams Beach, Constantia; Mill Street; North Bay, Lake Street; Sylvan Beach to name a few. Please use caution whenever you decide to access the lake at any of these accesses. The ice conditions aren’t always the same or safe as the other. They could change at any time. Get info from the local bait shops for ice conditions. Or read posts about those bodies of water Your thinking of fishing on forums. Some of the best info is from the ice anglers themselves.

Bait shops around the lake are as follows. Bartell road Bait and Tackle, located on Bartell Road, Brewerton, NY. App’s Bait and Tackle, Located on St. Rt. 49 in Cleveland, NY. East Shore Bait and Tackle, Sylvan Beach, NY. Mickey’s Bait and Tackle, North Syracuse, NY. Gander Mountain, Cicero, NY. They all carry tackle and bait needed for ice fishing Oneida Lake.

Many people use Jigging rods and reels, tip ups and, tip downs to fish through the ice on Oneida. Common baits that are used are as follows…Swedish pimple spoons, jigging raps, kastmaster spoons, larger demon jigs, silver, gold and copper colored spoons all work well. Some people tip the hooks with minnow head only, some use the whole minnow. I prefer jigging mostly and, always use a dead stick rig with a slip bobber float with a lively minnow hooked through the back for the times a spoon or jigging rap doesn’t seem to entice the fish into biting.

Species of fish that are caught through the ice are Walleye, Yellow Perch, Smallmouth bass, white perch, bluegills, crappies, sunfish, pickerel, catfish and burbout. Panfish and pickeral are caught in shallow bays, while walleye, perch, and the other mentioned fish are caught in deeper water. My personal best walleye caught is 25 ¾” and, a 13 ¾” yellow perch through the ice. There have been bigger of both species caught.

Enjoying a little serenity, ice fishing Oneida Lake,Early ice makes for some really good fishing. Makes travel for walkers easy to get to their fishing spots. Early ice can also be a dangerous ice to walk, if, you don’t know the ice. Always carry a spud and try to travel with a partner. The same goes for late ice. Travel with snowmobiles is good most of the winter. Be cautious when the lake receives a couple of feet of snow on the ice. The weight of the snow can produce water that soaks the ice from below, making a slushy mess underneath, Stopping and starting can be rough, even for a snowmobile. Quads are good to go until the snow stacks up. Travel with quads and, walking is nearly impossible at that point.

I hope this, will help some of the new Oneida Lake ice fisherman have some success, catching a few fish and have an enjoyable outing.  I also hope that you enjoy the lake as much as I do.

As I finish writing this, I know, not too long from now, I’ll be enjoying a little serenity, ice fishing  Oneida Lake, my favorite lake. Have a safe and fun hard water season!!

Oneida Lake, NY Ice Fishing Conditions and Reports

Oneida Lake, NY Chat

Oneida Lake (east) Contour Map

Oneida Lake (west) Contour Map