Fishing Reports 9/16 to 9/18


My heavy guiding schedule along with the start of my two Cornell fishing classes has been wearing me down a bit. This time of the year it tends to happen, with the annual cold weather slowdown in sight, I feel like slowing my pace down now, but I can’t. That’s the way it goes. Anyhow, I’m on the water a couple more days then I’ve got a few days off and I plan on doing a bit of fishing on my own next week after some relaxation Sunday through Tuesday.

Fishing is really picking up for the “toothy critters.” The laker action (as is usually the case) has slowed a bit on Cayuga and Seneca but is amping up quickly on Keuka Lake. I expect Owasco Lake to fish well for lakers too. Nice stable weather will put the Cayuga/Seneca fish back on the feed a bit, but on most days Keuka will be a far better choice for action throughout the day. I’ll be hitting Owasco Lake on my own shortly!

9/16 AM: Guided Pat and his wife Susan out of Union Springs on Cayuga Lake. He used to fish Seneca a bit and now has a place on Cayuga north of U. Springs. The weather looked ominous just before we started with showers in the area, but it wound up being a perfect fishing day. I brought a bunch of rods along and set Susan up with a spoon and had Pat work a lot of different stuff, from Chatterbaits to crankbaits to tubes and more. Pat caught a very small bass early on, but other than that it was pickerel, pickerel, pickerel and yet more pickerel. They hit hard, fought great, jumped and did everything you’d want a gamefish to do. Yes, I admit it. I am a pickerel fan. Fish ran to 26″ and there were times when they followed in lures on every cast. A few perch were around as well. We left as the sun was coming out and perhaps that would’ve gotten the bass active. We’ll never know since I had to teach classes later. Fun day!

9/17 Keuka Lake out of Keuka State Park: Guided Tom and Nick for a full day. We were going to mix it up with lakers and smallmouth bass, but the guys decided to stick with lakers. I showed them my approach to locating and catching fish and things went well. After an hour, Nick told me we surpassed their catch totals over the past couple years! So that was nice to hear. We even had a bonus 18″ smallmouth caught over 55′ FOW. Fishing was hot to start on the Branchport Arm then it slowed and we ran to the bluff. Action picked up later after a couple hour lull (it probably did the same at Branchport.) Good day with 13 lakers and one smallmouth landed. 55′ to 115′ was best for us, with fish shallower around the N. end of the Branchport Arm.

9/18 Skaneateles Lake: Guided Tom, who joined me last year on Keuka (a different Tom than yesterday) and his brother James for an AM 1/2 day for smallmouths. Fishing for the smallmouths was fair. The guys hooked and lost a couple decent ones to start. The rockies bit non-stop. We nearly had a “Skaneateles double” with a nice pickerel nearly hitting a hooked rock bass in the southern portion of the lake. James wound up landing a gorgeous rainbow that was maybe 10″ long on a tube jig. We found bass hitting better shallow as the sun came out, but overall it was great for rockies to 11″ and pretty slow for smallmouths with only around a half dozen hooked and fewer landed. Fun trip and the guys will be on the lake through the weekend giving it a go.