Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock State Park 12/9 + Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 12/10
Take the weather report with a grain of salt!
12/9: Guided Derek for a full day starting just after 8:15 am. We’d been trying to find a good day to get out and that hadn’t been easy over the last month with November’s cold and December’s snow. The forecast was looking pretty iffy for yesterday but doable. The forecast called for highs around 44 with a 90 to 100% chance of rain and south winds around 15 mph gusting to 30 mph! I would not have done the trip but the hourly forecast was for the winds to be pretty reasonable until around 4 pm – plenty of time to get the trip in.
How was the weather? Well the winds were at their worst during the start of the trip. We had maybe 10 to 12 mph out of the south with some light showers. The rain ended within a half an hour and never started up again and the winds diminished quite a bit. During the entire day the winds stayed around 5 to 8 mph! Perfect.
We spent a fair amount of time trying for browns/salmon without anything apart from a couple hits on bottom that were probably lake trout. Derek is a good fly-fisherman and brought his fly-gear, but with the dearth of salmon/brown trout it wasn’t worth trying unless we were going to target lakers.
Casting gear proved to be very good to excellent for lakers. Derek was hoping to get a limit to take home to eat. We didn’t have any problem with that. Fish came on the usual tubes, bladebaits and stickbaits. He lost a large laker on a stickbait – the fish was probably 27″+ to 30″ long. On the day he landed 10 lakers in a lot of different areas. He was quick with grasping the techniques which helped a lot. Most fish ran from 23″ to 26″ and all but one were stocked fish. Stomach checks confirmed the lack of gobies. Out of the five fish I cleaned, only one had anything in its stomach and it was a very small goby.
One of Derek's solid fish
Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 12/10: The weather messed me up negatively today and the funny thing is that I’d seen this movie before a bunch of times and it usually winds up as it did today. Kind of like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football – Lucy never fails to pull it away at the last second. The forecast was for south winds in the morning changing to northwest in the afternoon. If I remember right, when a cold front comes in, the wind usually veers from south to west and then north – clockwise. When I arrived at Seneca the lake was calm. I wanted to try for salmon/trout but also brought one pike rod and one perch outfit just incase.
I had the lake to myself apart from one duck hunter up the lake. My trout/salmon casting proved fruitless. I wasn’t expecting much so I worked a few areas I rarely fish before trying some “tried and true.” I also spent some time looking for perch but didn’t get into anything. Conditions got good for a little bit for pike and I was glad I brought a pike set up with me. I managed to land two in fairly short order – a solid 33″er and a nice 29″. I also had another follow from a fish around 27″. Once I get the conditions I want, I’ll be back out here for trout/salmon and northerns as well as perch – those are the “big three” for me on Seneca and usually at least one of them comes through. Water temps were around 40 to 42. There was a lot of muddy water and some debris around, including some big stuff. Plenty of weeds are still rooted and green. The pike were super clean and looked great.