Keuka Lake out of Branchport 10/19


When Jim said he was up for doing this trip today that we’d scheduled earlier in the month I was cringing a little bit. It’s been a pleasant autumn and now we were looking at air temps around 35 degrees in the AM, rain and/or snow and if that wasn’t enough, winds from the North from around 11 to 17 mph! That isn’t necessarily my idea of fun, but then again this is work and I made sure I brought my trusty Sorels (that I’ve had since 1977!) and plenty of warm clothing. I’m probably getting a little bit soft (or is it smart?) in my advancing age. And of course, having freedom to pick my fishing days helps at times. (Though some of my best days in the past were days I’d have never fished when looking at the weather forecasts, but wound up spectacular.) But I still have memories of fishing perch on Seneca Lake with my buddy Terry on April 1st around 1986 or ’87, where we had highs of 40 degrees and cold rain on us all day long. That was miserable, and I think we only caught around 6 to 10 perch or so, if that. We could barely feel our hands on that memorable day.

My apprehensions subsided quickly as we got underway. Jim had an opening in his schedule and this was the best day to do the trip. With his friends Max and Paul along, we got started and the fishing didn’t disappoint. Within the first hour on the water I’d guess that a half dozen nice lakers made it to the cooler. We had a few lulls, but the fishing was very good and the guys managed to limit out. The weather didn’t wind up being quite a bad as forecast, which was a relief. The sun poked out at times and we never did get much rain or snow. The winds never gusted much over 12 mph or so – and if it did, we must have had enough shelter via the beautiful Keuka hills. Overall a solid day and a lot of fun. The lakers I’ve seen on this lake subsequent to the one day a month or so ago when we encountered large fish, have been average Keuka fish – running 17″ to 23″. So my theory of Keuka fish increasing in size recently has been wrong. But a lot of them are stuffed with baitfish (alewives) and one fish I cleaned had a small sunfish in its stomach. With the higher winds, we used 1 +1/2 oz jigheads and the drift sock. I find that can help a lot, even in shallow water. Best action was from around 85′ to 105′ though there are plenty of fish shallower and deeper.