The eleven Finger Lakes, flanked by any number of adjacent smaller lakes, cover such an expanse across mid-state that all New York ice fishing anglers are within reach. Of course I hope by the time you are reading this our season is going better than the past two turned out to be in the eyes of hard-water fanatics.
One thing the past two winters have brought front and center is the importance of knowing ice conditions. Nothing ruins winter ice fishing faster than horrible accidents on unsafe ice. There is a free nationwide website all ice fishermen should be aware of: iceshanty.com. Here you can keep tabs on any New York hard-water large enough to elicit chatter. Besides ice conditions fishermen gab about how they fared, sometimes revealing baits and techniques, and they are always quick to share certain idiosyncrasies pertinent to individual lakes — parking, access, bait shops, overnight accommodations, restaurants, and whatnot. Conversations through personal messaging can sometimes advance all the way to meeting in person and sharing some ice. Using this site to help conduct research I wound up eager to begin exploring some of my own terrific findings.