Keuka Lake out of Keuka Lake State Park 6/15 AM


Guided Steve and Quinn for 1/2 day starting at 6:30 am. It felt good getting back into guiding mode after a week spent in hot Arizona visiting my mom. As was to be expected, with the rainy weather we’ve had lately, this first nice day in a while drew out the boaters. But launching was no problem and we were underway and fishing by 6:45.

My temp probe showed a thermocline setting up around 65′ FOW. Quinn did pick up one or two lakers in shallower – around 55′. The morning bite was good and the guys did well landing 4 solid lakers to 23″. It was their first time jigging lakers and a lot of hits were missed and fish dropped. The bite slowed down as the morning went on, but they lost a couple fish around 10:30 am and also had a few more hits, so the action kept us focused.

Impressive numbers of alewives (at least for Keuka) are around the lake this year, and have been around for the past couple years. Quite a few were in by the boat launch – some big ones I might add. I’d like to think we’ll see an uptick here in the non-laker salmonid populations soon. But then again, the lake’s massive laker population usually decimates the bait by mid-summer! So time will tell. I’m actually pretty happy with the terrific laker fishing on Keuka Lake and I like the lean, smaller fish a lot on the table. They’re the native salmonid here, so it’s good to see them where they should be.

I checked in on my rod building friend Mike Canavan and he reported similar fishing on Cayuga Lake this AM. Good early bite but then things shut off. Lamprey numbers appear to remain up and he even saw some 14″ salmon with attached eels swimming around. DEC has done a fantastic job managing Cayuga Lake over the past decades and lampreys have been under control since I moved to the area in 1995, so these things will happen from time to time due to environmental reasons – i.e. high lake and stream levels during the lamprey spawning run. Next year should show a big improvement in wounding and they’ll be treating the inlet. So we just need to ride this out. I’ll be back on Cayuga shortly and am looking forward to seeing how things are looking.