Keuka Lake out of Branchport 11/7


Guided Tony for the full day starting around 8 am. We were surprised to find a small bass tournament going on as we arrived with around a dozen boats in the parking lot. Then we met a guy casting from the dock who complained about the “browns” messing up his bass fishing. I guess I’ve heard it all, but apparently some nice browns were swarming around the State Park area (likely where they were stocked) looking for spawning areas. I’m guessing other similar areas have the same thing going on now. Anyways, we decided to take a semi-long shot and try for some pike in the AM around Branchport.

No luck to start. BTW – it was 25 degrees on the way over to the lake! We saw a decent largemouth cruise over some weeds and I had Tony work a Superfluke over them. He had an (apparently) nice fish come up on it but not grab it good. A pickerel or two was it for our pike/bass try first thing.

We then tried laker fishing in the Branchport Arm and found tremendous numbers of fish in around 80′ (probably 95′ – but we were on a dropoff and the depthfinder was ‘deceived’) out to 115′. Tony’s a good jigger and managed to land 8 or 9 nice fish in around 3 hours on Lunker City Shakers in white and purple. I don’t think color mattered much. The lakers were still hitting when we decided to set up again for bass.

We had tough bass fishing over the next three hours. A follow or two and one near miss from what was likely a smallmouth but it wasn’t easy around Branchport. We didn’t have the time to try elsewhere. Working a white X-Rap did result in some terrific pickerel action though and even a pike – which was ironic given that we tried for them in the AM. In my lifetime I’ve probably encountered less than a dozen pike on Keuka (since the mid 1980s.) I’ve seen 3 in the last two trips, so I think their numbers are on the rise. Tony just hammered the pickerel landing at least 15 fish on the day- and most were very nice sized! The best one was 26″ and pretty fat. They were going crazy and fly-fishing for them would be very productive. Water temps are mostly around 52, but we found some water as cool as 48.