4/15 -16 Seneca + 4/17 Skaneateles
It’s been a wild 3 days of serious angling here at the Angling Zone! Friday was Seneca for around 4 hours with Shahab, my good friend and co-teacher of “Intro to Flyfishing” at Cornell. We jigged lakers out of Sampson State Park and had a decent time of it. Landed 5 fish total and dropped 1. Things were starting to get hot, but I had to go. Fish were down around 105′ to 145′. Nice eating sized fish and that’s where they wound up – in the livewell. No slobs. Stomach contents ranged from nothing to sculpins. Amazing how these lakers find everything they need from alewives to sculpins out on those flats….
Saturday was a “spur of the moment” guiding trip. Had 2 really nice guys from Maine looking to get out for at least a bit. We fished around 6 hours (yes, I am flexible regarding hours fished ;-). Fishing presentation conditions for jigging lakers were quite tough to start; we had 1′ to 2′ waves and a fairly stiff south wind – until it was about time to leave of course 😉 Anyways, my anglers perservered and each managed to catch and lose a fish.
One reality of the trip for me was how vertical jig fishing for lakers in 130′ of water isn’t exactly kid’s stuff. This is very advanced angling and requires expert concentration and reflexes. You really need to “play” with and tease these lakers in order to see what they want. Fish were chasing jigs but not hitting them very well for these guys. The only good hits came after making the jigs do some radical stuff. I give the guys, Lee and Jeff a lot of credit for perservering and catching fish deeper than 99% of the angling public has ever caught them!
Sunday was another guide trip with Willy and his dad from the New England region. Skaneateles Lake is still mostly very cold with skim ice forming after last night at the southend. Fished all around both ends of the lake and found a couple smallmouths already sniffing warm water around the pier at the northend. H2O was around 37 to 40 up there. At the southend of the lake we “encountered” around a half dozen salmon but they seemed lethargic and weren’t chasing too aggressively. One or two good grabs and boils but no great shakes. The best hookup was a 190lb. human aka Willy’s dad – snagged near the eye! Always wear protective eyewear as flycasting and casting in general can be hazardous! Thank God a quick barb “press down” and the hook was easily removed. Scary moment there. After we dropped off Willy’s dad, me and Willy fished the north end a bit more trying some different areas. Within a couple casts Willy got hammered by a beautiful salmon pushing 23″ or more! Nice fish and GREAT fight with a nice jump. I got into some fish as well with some hits and a follow and I landed one nice fish around 21″ – again, great fight with some cool moves. Great way to end the day and I think it was a good learning experience for all of us. We fished HARD from 7 am to 6 pm. Not a problem when you love what you do…. 😉