Seneca Lake

This lake traditionally provides fair to very good year-round open water fishing as it virtually never freezes over due to its intense depths. Trout and salmon fishing from 2016 through 2021 had been slow and tough here due to a variety of factors, most notably lamprey infestation.  Baitfish numbers exploded here after lampreys wiped out many of the salmonids that would typically keep their population under control.  DEC has worked hard to get the lamprey population knocked down and it appears as though they’ve had some success.  Lake trout fishing during the 2022 season was the best I’ve seen here since prior to 2016.   Fish are looking well-fed, clean and healthy.

Seneca Lake in the Fall - View from Glenora!

Mark with a nice Seneca Salmon

Lake trout fishing should be good to very good here in 2023.  Landlocked salmon fishing has remained reasonably good despite the lamprey issues of the past few years.  For some reason, they tend to do better than brown trout in avoiding getting killed by the eel-like creatures.  Brown trout numbers have been very low here in recent years, but are showing an uptick in 2022.  Rainbows are doing ok here as well, but not great.

Northern pike fishing lake-wide has been good here over at least the past five years. I was able to get out here a few times in 2022 and found pike size and condition getting better.  Smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing has been decent here from what I’ve seen and heard.  Yellow perch numbers are low.  Alewives do a good job in suppressing yellow perch populations by feeding on their young.

There’s been no sign of gobies yet in Seneca Lake – although they are in the canal that connects Cayuga and Seneca Lake, so they could be a factor soon.

This lake has a virtually straight north to south basin with very few major points and very little curvature; high winds can produce huge waves here.  Anglers in smaller crafts and especially kayak fishermen need to exercise extreme caution when venturing out on this lake.

Tim with a 35" pike caught in June 2018

Mark with a 10lb + Seneca Lake lake trout

Species Index

White Perch

White Perch

White Perch are common in Otisco Lake and uncommon in Cayuga Lake. They can be a lot of fun to catch and are good to eat.

Freshwater Drum

Freshwater Drum

Freshwater Drum are the most underrated gamefish in freshwater. They check all of the boxes any gamefish would.

Black Crappie

Black Crappie

Black Crappie are the most common crappie species in the Finger Lakes. A few white crappie can be found in Otisco Lake. They are most often targeted in the spring and through the ice.

Hybrid Pike/Pickerel

Hybrid Pike/Pickerel

Is it a pike or is it a pickerel? It's both! Hybrid pike/pickerel show up on occasion in Seneca, Cayuga and Keuka Lakes. They are a gorgeous fish.

Longnose Gar

Longnose Gar

Longnose Gar are one of my favorite fish to chase on a fly-rod. The have been around for millions of years!

Chain Pickerel

Chain Pickerel

Chain pickerel are common in Cayuga, Canandaigua, Honeoye, and Keuka Lakes.  They are also found in Seneca, Canadice, Hemlock and Skaneateles Lake.

Tiger Musky

Tiger Musky

Tiger Muskies are the sterile hybrid of a pure-strain musky and a northern pike.  Occasionally they are called "norlunge" as well. 

Carp

Carp

I think fishermen take carp for granted. They are so abundant in the area (and throughout the country) that many people don't value them.

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish are found in pockets throughout the region. To the best of my knowledge, none of the Fingerlakes have large populations of them.

Walleye

Walleye

Walleyes are common in Conesus and and uncommon in Owasco Lake. Other Finger Lakes having populations of them include Honeoye and Otisco Lakes.