Onondaga Lake is located along the edge of the City of Syracuse. The lake covers 4.6 square miles, has an average depth of 35 feet, and a maximum depth of 63 feet. It is approximately one mile wide and 4.6 miles long. The lake receives water from a 285-square mile watershed located mostly in Onondaga County (the southern tip of the watershed extends into northern Cortland County).
Onondaga Lake has a surprising number of fish species present, and you never know what species you may end up catching next. Some of the gamefish found in the lake are channel catfish, tiger musky, northern pike, walleye, common carp, largemouth and smallmouth bass. The most popular gamefish are the largemouth and smallmouth bass and common carp. Largemouth bass grow large in the lake and can be found around the abundant shallow vegetation. One thing to keep in mind when fishing this lake is that largemouth bass can be found very shallow throughout much of the year. Smallmouth bass prefer the deeper water, and often congregate around the mouth of Nine Mile and Onondaga Creeks when gizzard shad schools form there in mid-summer. Fishing the lake outlet in late summer can often produce good catches of both largemouth and smallmouth bass. Common carp are numerous, grow large, and can be found throughout the lake. Good baits are corn, dough balls, and worms.
For more information about the state of Onondaga Lake, it's tributaries and it's eco-system. Click here for the Onondaga County Water Environment Protection website.
For more information, visit the NYS Department of Conservation website.