Keuka Lake out of Hammondsport 12/22
After spending around 9 days in Arizona and having a couple days to recover I was ready to do some fishing. My buddy Mike and I shot down to Keuka Lake, arriving at around 9 am. We were launched by 9:30 and had to deal with steady but light rain.
We stopped at a Kwikfill to pick up some ice and an old geezer that saw my boat on my trailer warned me about how awful the fishing had been on Keuka Lake. I felt like the hapless kids in the old "Friday the 13th" movies after they'd encounter the old guy on the bicycle just before the carnage would begin. I warned him about his odds of winning the lottery as he was buying tickets. On top of that, I'm not superstitious, but for what it's worth my good pal Mike really loaded up on the bananas today. We had bananas in the truck and the boat. Uh oh.
I found out within an hour that my 38 year old Sorel Boots had finally given in and were no longer very waterproof – at least the left foot. What a great pair of boots – the old, original Canadian ones! This was back when they had a bunch of different lines of boots. Not just the Carabous or whatever they have now. I think they were "Buffalos."
Fishing started out very slow. We tried some of the points around Hammondsport and marked a few lakers but not much to show – I am pretty certain I had two light hits. We worked the Bluff area all the way up to the College and marked very, very few fish. We had a few follows on the sonar, but that was it. I was starting to wonder if the lottery ticket buying Nostradamus or better yet, Nostra-Geezer was onto something.
The rain finally ended around 1:30 or 2 pm and we did some casting for pickerel and perch on a stretch of lake I hadn't fished in probably over 12 years. I landed a nice pickerel on a spoon and Mike had a follow on a swimbait. Mike did some casting for perch and was getting bit, so I followed suit. We caught at least a half dozen keepers, but we had to throw back two dozen dinks, so it really wasn't worth it. We didn't have time to work enough areas to find any other fish. So back to lakers we went.
As we motored back towards Hammondsport (we were a LONG way up the lake) Mike remembered a point he hadn't fished since the early 2000s. We went over there and were finally in business. We hooked some doubles and landed 8 solid lakers, keeping 7. We dropped quite a few as well. Spoons and plastics worked well. Lakers ran from 17" to 25" long. Most wound up being males that were post spawn. One smaller male hadn't spawned yet and two fish appeared to be females – one post spawn and one that was a good sized fish, but had immature eggs. One fish had food in it – perch fry. Still no alewives to be marked or found in fish. I'm pretty sure most of the alewives here are gone. I'd venture to say that most fish are done spawning but fishing still is tough here. Branchport would be the best bet from what I can see. For all I know it could be hot fishing there. It's also very close to the full moon, so that could play a part in the slower bite. Overcast, rainy days in the late fall/winter can be tough for jigging too, so that's another consideration.