Keuka Lake 12/4, Seneca Lake 12/5


We had a nice break in the weather over the past two days. With no trips scheduled, it was a perfect time to get together with my buddy Mike and do some serious, yet fun fishing. The weather was great and the fishing followed suit.

Keuka Lake out of Hammondsport: Tis the time of year for smoked fish and I usually bring them to a Christmas Party I attend in early December, so it was time to get some lakers. I can’t think of a more relaxing, enjoyable day fishing than one spent jigging lakers on Keuka Lake in the late-fall on a calm, sunny day. Maybe perch fishing, but jigging really fits the bill.

Mike and I launched the boat around 10:30 at the Hotel. One other boat had launched out from there and that was the only other boat we saw on the lake. We checked near shore around the south end and marked a few fish. We had some hits, but nothing great. The deep flats in around 110′ to 120′ produced a few fish for us. But the best fishing by far was on the points – pretty much any point! They were loaded with fish. I thought most of the spawning would have been completed by now, but nearly every fish we caught still had eggs or milt in their belly!

Fishing was hot and we had a few doubles. Within around 3 hours we’d landed around a dozen fish to 23″, most coming off the points within about 1 1/2 hours. We kept a limit for the smoker. Plastics and hardware (spoons) worked well, with plastics being tops. We then tried a few areas for perch and landed a couple. We also saw a few nice bass, but that was it. Water temps was 44/45. Lake level was down about 18″ to 2′. Launching was still easy.

Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen: We were fishing Seneca by 9 am. Conditions were cloudy with south winds around 10 to 20 mph on the day. It got pretty rough! We tried around 3hours of fly-fishing for pike without any grabs. It was tough – but hard to say whether a lot of that was due to our presentations being hampered in the wind and chop.

We tried a little perch fishing today and we also cast some lures. In one cove, my alewife tube jig got hammered and a decent brown took to the surface and jumped a few times. Great fight! Landed the partially spawned out fish – which was around 21″ to 22″. Its mouth and stomach (I kept it) were loaded with lake trout eggs! That was a surprise.

Some more casting (with conventional gear) for pike proved fruitless. Mike’s favorite fish by far are landlocked salmon, so we set up for those with the fly-rods. The fishing was very good and we both had hits in short order. I lost one quick grab but then hooked and landed a feisty salmon around 23 1/2″. It fought spectacularly – jumping at least 4 to 5 times. Mike nailed a 20″er that also jumped a bit. As it got later I started putting rods away while Mike casted. He had a hit a long ways out on his Type 3 full-sinking fly-line and tube fly. It was a fat brown! Another great battle and I slid the net under the 23.5″ brown. We released everything but that first brown today. Fish were all in very good condition. One lamprey wound, hook scar and possible “lure cut” was pretty much the only blatant thing we noticed on any of the fish. Water temp was 44. A few perch guys were out along with one salmon-troller.