Keuka Lake 9/24 + Otisco Lake 9/25


Keuka Lake out of Keuka (Branchport) State Park 9/24: I got out around 11:30 am for my 1 pm trip. I wanted to give the smallmouth bass fishing a try. It was very good. Working Superflukes provided around a dozen “encounters” with bass ranging from around 12″ to 17″. I only landed a couple before I had to run to the launch to pick up Bob and Ray.

We set up on the flat in Branchport. There’s no need to run anywhere right now on Keuka Lake for lakers. Plenty of fish AND BAIT (the key) are milling around Branchport. The vast majority of fish were in 95′ or so and further out. But there were some and some impressive bait schools shallower. The guys did well on the day, starting with Bob’s laker. Then we got into the bait and bass, with two big 4+1/2lb to 4+3/4lb (21 1/2″) smallmouths hitting the swimbaits. The smallmouths I caught and saw shallower weren’t 4 to 5lbers! This is the time of year to target big pelagic smallmouths! The guys kept fishing and the bite picked up as the afternoon went by. A total of 7 legal lakers were landed up to 24″+. All came on Shakers but one, which came on a Kastmaster.

Otisco Lake 9/25: I had a great time today (as always) out with Craig and Jimmy. The goal was to get a Tiger musky today. I showed the guys how to do the “figure 8″ and we were off and fishing. We started near the Causeway and Jimmy rose one on a spoon he had set up. Fishing further north brought a follow on Craig’s swimbait setup. A school of big smallies followed in a swimbait. Then Jimmy hooked and landed a huge largemouth – nearly 22″! The head and mouth were huge, but the fish was thinner. Unfortunately, the bass had been mortally hooked around a gill. Jim tried desperately to revive the fish but it was clear it wasn’t going to make it. Tomorrow night the bass will be swimming in an eggwash and then thrashing around in some Bisquick. It should have weighed 6lbs, had it been proportionally fat, but it only went 4lb 10oz. I checked the stomach but there wasn’t much.

But while we were busy with the bass, Craig had a nice musky follow! He did a couple figure eights and the musky hammered his swimbait! It was awesome! After a short, spirited battle I netted the fish and we took a few quick shots and released it unharmed. The lure came out in the net, so that was nice. A 33″ solid Tiger! I believe Tigers are caught on Otisco at a rate around one per twenty hours fishing on average, and for legal ones it’s probably half of that! So it was a great first outing. The guys raised a couple more muskies, though nothing substantial – Jimmy hooked one on an 8, but it was pretty small – maybe 24”.

Water temps were around 73 today. Light boat traffic. Just a great day to be out!