By: Noel Good
Located in the heart of the Western Finger Lakes region, is a small lake nestled in the hills called Honeoye. This lake, at only 4 1/2 miles long and 3/4 of a mile wide, is known as a “bass factory”. Although the bigger fish have slowly declined over the past few years, numbers of average fish are not a problem. This is not to say the big fish are completely gone, I witnessed a largemouth just under 7 pounds taken last year during a tournament, but the 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 pound fish are abundant. On three separate occasions last year, I boated over 60 fish each day, and one day was close to 75. To say there are a lot of bass in this lake would be a big understatement!
At 1800 acres, this lake has a maximum depth of 31 feet, but on average, it is 16 feet deep. Plush weeds are very plentiful around the entire lake, and grow to a depth of 14 feet, but most outside weed edges occur in about 10-12 feet. The bottom is mainly soft, but beds of gravel can be found at different locations here and there.
Despite its small size, Honeoye Lake has vast habitat for largemouth bass and fair amount for smallmouth as well.
For largemouth, large weed beds can be found at either end of the lake as well as just north of the two predominant points, Log Cabin and California Points. Smaller beds can be found around the entire perimeter of the lake, and just about anywhere can produce a bass or two. Docks are another major largemouth haunt on Honeoye. Hundreds of docks can be found around the lake, and most of them can hold bass at one time or another.
The available habitat is less for smallmouth, but if you look, many areas can be found. Primary areas are the gravel beds off California and Log Cabin Points, as well as the point south of Willow Bay. There are also many secondary points that will produce well to. Try to key on the hard-bottomed areas, and smallmouth will be close by
The bass season on Honeoye Lake is from the third Saturday in June to March 15th. There is a 5 fish limit per day, and bass must measure 12 inches. Honeoye Lake is also included in the relatively new “early season” from the first Saturday in May until the regular opener. Bass caught during this time must be released immediately after catching.
The state maintains a two-lane launch at the south end of the lake on the east side. Other facilities include restrooms and picnic tables. There is parking for 40 rigs and there is a $5 park usage fee. At the north end on the east side, Trident Marine maintains a small gravel launch and a fee is also collected there.
Fishing reports and other information for the area can be found at my web site: www.wnybass.com