While Mother Nature has been mostly uncooperative this season when it comes to accommodating local snowmobilers, there are many ways to find fun in a Central New York winter.

An angler from Oneonta had quite a blast reeling in the biggest fish she's ever caught. And, while she released the smallmouth bass without an official weight or length, Kayla Eramo has pictures to prove it.

Eramo, her boyfriend and friends were ice fishing on the north side of Oneida Lake last Sunday when it happened. As she explained to Syracuse.com: “When I saw the head I remember thinking this is the biggest fish I’ve ever caught."

They estimate it weighed approximately 6-pounds and was about 22-inches in length. An equally large smile is seen on Eramo's face as she posed for this photo with the glowingly-golden-colored fish.

photo submitted by Kayla Eramo
photo submitted by Kayla Eramo
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In case you were wondering, black bass (smallmouth and largemouth) are a frequent find in Oneida Lake along with other varieties like crappie, walleye, sunfish, perch, pike, and muskie.

Sturgeon are considered a threatened species by NYS but are among the lake's largest inhabitants. In fact, two enormous sturgeon were found in Oneida Lake in recent years.

photo of sturgeon weighing 139lbs caught on Oneida Lake in 2019, via New York State DEC.
photo of sturgeon weighing 139lbs caught on Oneida Lake in 2019, via New York State DEC.
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Heads turned in 2019 at photos of a 72.5-inch, 139-pound sturgeon - making it one of the largest in the lake's history (photo above). But the top spot goes to a pair of Cornell University biologists in 2021, who located a sturgeon measuring 73.6-inches and a hefty 159-pounds, the record for a fish found in Oneida Lake.

The 10 Commandments Of Ice Fishing In Minnesota & Wisconsin

While these aren't the only rules to abide by (see your local Minnesota or Wisconsin DNR regulations, for example), these 10 guidelines go a long way toward making sure you and other ice anglers have an enjoyable hardwater experience.

Giant Springs Trout Fish Hatchery

Giant Springs Trout Fish Hatchery

 

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