Owasco Lake 10/11, 12 + Keuka Lake 10/13, 14


In general, fishing continues to be good to excellent in the area. Of course some days are still much better than others and a few are downright tough, but flexibility makes a big difference overall.

Owasco Lake 10/11: Guided Ron and Matt for the full day. It’s always great to see these guys and without exception they always seem to pick a great day, even though they book well in advance. It does help that they let me make the call on the lake and launch as well as species, though they do have their preferences.

I thought pike fishing would be good first thing in the AM and then we would switch over to lake trout as the pike bite slowed down. Things worked very well! The pike in Owasco Lake can get as big as any in the Finger Lakes, but the overall average size of them runs from about 19″ to 26″. A few 29″/30″ fish are around, but most of the ones we’ve seen are smaller. The guys managed to land 8 northerns and 2 largemouths in the AM. The pike ran to around 27″ if I remember correctly. Matt raised one solid that was over 30″ but it didn’t grab. We worked quite a few different parts of the lake.

Lake trout action was slow to start then picked up in the afternoon. The guys nailed a few solid lakers including a couple around 7 to 8lbs. Spoons were hot as well as the usual plastics. We found lake trout lakewide.

Owasco Lake 10/12 PM: Guided Ben and his daughter Rachel with Ben’s wife Judy tagging along and doing a little fishing as well. Ben didn’t feel his daughter and wife would want to fish in the AM with temperatures hovering around 36 degrees! I’m sure he was right. The goal was to get Rachel into a pike on the fly. She hadn’t cast an 8 wt. rod before and that proved to be a bit of a challenge. I also informed Ben that the bluebird conditions with next to no wind can be very tough pike fishing, but I did think we’d have a good shot before dark. We never raised a pike on the fly though Ben had a follow on gear and Judy also had a hit. I had them do a little bit of laker jigging and Rachel ended up landing a nice one in fairly short order.

Overall, the 11th was the prime pike day and the 12th was the day to fish lakers. Every fall I see these cold nights with bluebird/sunny conditions without winds. They are inevitably tough days for pike. Even pickerel – which most anglers think are “easy” can be very tough on these days. Getting out early in the AM makes a big difference. Working smaller baits or plastics in the weeds can help, but either way, it can be very difficult fishing for Esocids. It was still a fun day on the water with foliage nearing peak colors.

Keuka Lake 10/13: Guided Harry and Tony for a full day. This was our 2nd annual Columbus Day trip and one we hope to keep making! Our start time was going to be around 7:15 am but they got wrapped up in some serious traffic, so we wound up starting over an hour later. The forecasted high winds were a concern to me, but we wound up doing well despite them. We didn’t do much around Hammondsport to start so we made the chilly run to the Bluff. Fishing improved and we did well. We eventually wound up back in Hammondsport and probably due to some atmospheric conditions, the fishing picked up. Bait and lakers moved in. The guys wound up with a nice limit of lakers. Fun day with next to nobody out on the lake.

Keuka Lake 10/14: Guided Jim and his wife Corinne for a full day. Again – wind was forecast to be a factor. The great screen on the fishfinder we experienced on 10/13 pm was still intact to start, so we stayed around Hammondsport. The AM fishing was great with one double and quite a few fish hooked and landed. The bite slowed midday and then picked up again in the early afternoon. We never went more than 2 or 3 miles from the Hotel launch and wound up landing around 14 fish. It was a fun day and the warm air made the high winds very tolerable, if not downright pleasant.