Hey bobojackson - There are a number of good bass waters within about 1 hour from Syracuse. Oneida lake, The Seneca River, The Erie Canal, and the Finger lakes to name a few. I have been catching a few bass off my dock at Honeoye Lake in the Western Finger Lakes using a 2 inch plastic minnow on a small jighead and rigged with a slip bobber. This also works well on the panfish. I would be careful at using anything larger in your area, such as big spinner baits, plastic worms etc. The Bass season is currently closed statewide. In the western Finger Lakes there is a Catch and Release season from March 15 - the 3rd Saturday in June (when the regular season opens). In your area, they don't have that and the game cops have been known to ticket guys that were clearly targeting bass. It's stupid I know, but they have some backwards thinking fisheries management people out that way.