Being that a big part of the Finger Lakes are the actual lakes themselves, fishing is a popular activity among residents and visitors. I personally am not a big fisher, but know many people who are, including my dad. I caught my first fish on Keuka Lake and was so excited for my dad to help me catch a fish because I was used to trying to fish and giving up after a few minutes of not catching anything and went back to playing fetch with the dog or jumping off the dock into the lake. When I caught the fish I got really nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to reel it in and that instead it was going to drag me into the lake with it. Luckily it didn’t and my dad was able to help me reel it in. Once we got it reeled in, my dad took it off the hook. He called for my mom to come take a picture because he knew she would want one. I was all for taking the picture, as long as he held the fish. I looked at its slimy, scaly, and sometimes squirmy body and was completely scared of holding it. He tried to get me to hold the fish, but I ran as far away from it as I could. I was all for standing there and catching the fish, as long as dad was going to do most of the work including touching the slimy bait, and taking the fish off the hook.

Check out the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website for information on when and where to fish and restrictions on fishing.

Now you aren’t going to catch fish like you see in the ocean because you will be fishing in relatively small freshwater lakes, but you still will run into some good sized fish.

You will find individuals fishing year round but you are most likely to actually spot the fishermen during ice fishing season, because they stick out against the white ice with their fishing huts. Every time I drive by ice fishermen I wonder to myself how they enjoy doing that, and if they are even catching anything.

If you are from out of town you can pick up a fishing license (as they are required) at a local Walmart. You can also buy bait from many local gas stations and stores or use lures that can be purchased at an outdoors store or at Walmart.

Fishing derbies occur quite often in the Finger Lakes on the various lakes. There are youth derbies as well as regular adult derbies. 


Bow fishing is also a popular hobby where fishermen use a bow and allow to catch fish instead of a fishing pole. Before I went out with my friends one night to watch them, I had never heard of it. I found it to be very cool, and more fun than regular fishing.

So, during your visit to the Finger Lakes, take a little time to relax and do a little fishing.


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