Oneida Lake Ice Fishing
Continued mild winter weather has made ice conditions on Oneida Lake subpar throughout January and the beginning of February. That changed this past Thursday night and into Saturday. Three days of good subfreezing temperatures allowed the ice to harden and build. No matter the conditions, extreme caution is and should always be used venturing onto frozen lakes and ponds, but we now (finally) have quality ice to fish on.
This past weekend, we were sitting on ice 8”-14” thick. With only one day this week (Tuesday) forecast to see temperatures above freezing, I expect the ice to continue to grow a bit more and stay solid through the weekend. With warmer temperatures and rain in the forecast next week, now is the time to get out and chase those walleye and perch.
Speaking of walleye and perch, the bite has been fair. We’ve been able to find fish consistently, but fishing is fishing and they don’t always cooperate. There is an extreme abundance of baitfish in the lake. While the amount of bait allows the fishery to stay strong and continue to grow, that amount of bait makes the fishing challenging at times. That said, it has been a matter of figuring out what they want to eat, waiting them out, and picking at fish a little bit at a time until they fire up to eat. This was the case this weekend. We picked up a few fish here and there between short windows of feeding activity when we iced (and lost some too) several walleye and even more perch in a very short period of time. In that short period of time, fish ate as fast as we could re-bait jigs and hooks and get them back down the hole. Then, the switch flipped and the fish quit eating as fast as they started. They stopped eating, stopped chasing, and stopped looking altogether. We had gorgeous weather to be on the lake nonetheless.
With little to no snow on the lake, walking is relatively easy. Please note, if you are interested in a guided trip, we will be walking to the location(s). It is shaping up to be a pretty nice next 7-10 days of ice fishing on Oneida Lake. If you haven’t been out, now is the time. As I said previously, please use caution and go with someone who knows the area. There are still a few areas to watch for and avoid, as there are regardless of how much ice there is and how cold it is (gas pockets, springs, and pressure cracks). Bring an ice spud with you and don’t be afraid to use it.
If you’re interested in a guided trip, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you have. I’m happy to answer all inquiries. I do have dates available, though they are starting to book. Half and full day trips are open to those new to the sport and to experienced anglers alike.
I hope to see you on the ice and thanks for reading.