Cuba Lake was created in 1858 as a source of water for the Genesee Valley Canal system. The 445 acre lake is located north of the Village of Cuba, in western Allegany County. The lake has a maximum depth of 46 feet, a mean depth of 20 feet and is drawn down 6 feet - 8 feet in winter. Cuba Lake provides angling for walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike and several species of panfish.
Public boating access is provided at the DEC boat launch site off West Shore Road, near the Rawson Creek inlet. A hand launch into the creek itself, can accommodate canoes and kayaks. Trailered boats can launch at the main launch, which is equipped with a concrete ramp and floating docs. Parking is available for 24 cars with trailers and 10 additional cars. Access for ice fishing anglers is provided at the south end of the dam on South Shore Road.
Fish habitat in Cuba lake is provided mainly by beds of aquatic vegetation. Anglers should note that the lake experiences oxygen depletion below depths of 15 feet - 20 feet from June-September, preventing fish from living below these depths.
Walleye and Northern Pike
Walleye are the dominate predator in Cuba Lake and provide good action for fish in the 15 inch -20 inch range. Because of slow growth rates, walleye over 20 inches are rare in the lake. The northern pike population is increasing, with fish up to 36 inches surprising anglers targeting bass or walleye.
Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass are found in good numbers in Cuba Lake and their growth rate is excellent. Largemouth bass are also found in the lake, but they are much less common than smallmouth. Bass anglers have success with spinner baits, surface plugs, plastic worm, crank baits as well as live crayfish and shiners.
Cuba Lake provides angling for several species of panfish including: yellow perch, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead and black crappie. Live baits such as worms and minnows produce well, as do jigs and small lures. Ice fishing is popular on Cuba Lake and a good way to catch both walleye and panfish. In the spring, try using an 8 foot fly rod with a 3-4 weight line and poppers or wet flies for some fast action with sunfish. Bullhead are most active after sunset and can be taken using nightcrawlers and scented baits. Cuba Lake is known as an excellent place to fish for common carp and anglers are encouraged to experience the fun of fighting these fish that can exceed 20 pounds. Kernel corn, worms and scented baits all attract carp which do most of their feeding using their sense of smell.