Reports 11/12 – 11/14


Guided the past three days on different bodies of water.  Water temperatures are currently around 50 on the big lakes and likely dipping down into the upper 40s on the smaller bodies of water.  Water levels vary by water body.

Waneta Lake 11/12:  Guided Mark I. here for a full day targeting muskies primarily on the fly.   We had good conditions and with wind pushing water into the channel, the ride out wasn’t bad.  Within 20 minutes Mark had a great fighting 32″ stocky musky grab his streamer.   What a great start to the day!   After that, anything else was a bonus.  We went for awhile without contacting any fish.  Mark switched to gear for an hour or so to give his arm a break.  After about 20 minutes he hooked up with a solid musky.   After another great fight I slipped my net under the 40″ +/- fish.   Unfortunately, earlier when I wanted to net the fish Mark wasn’t able to get the fish up to the bow, where I had a clear shot at netting it, so I had to go to the stern where we had some gear stashed.  I did a long reach and was able to get the fish in the net, but I wasn’t able to get enough leverage to lift the net and KEEP the fish in the net!  So he swam back out, unfortunately with the lure still in the net.  Oh well.  That’s the way it went and next time we’ll minimize the amount of gear we have onboard.  But overall a great day.  Mark had two more hits on the lure that we’d guess were muskies, although a bass or pickerel is always possible.

Mark's 32" chunky fly-caught musky!

Owasco Lake 11/14 AM:  Guided Wayne and his son Josh for a half day targeting pike.  The winds were pretty brutal for the first couple hours of our trip and that limited the areas we could fish.  The guys had 3 or 4 follows/hits in short order.  Wayne nabbed a 26″ northern on a spoon.  We worked the stretch again with just a follow.  As the winds diminished we were able to fish some other areas.  Eventually Josh also caught a 26″ pike on a stickbait.  We gave the lakers an hour or so and Wayne landed a nice one then we called it a day.  We were the only boat out on the lake fishing.

Seneca Lake 11/14:  Today we tried Seneca Lake out of Sampson State Park for northerns.  We zeroed here on northerns last time we fished it back in June when Josh was so hungover he basically slept in the boat!   (We did manage a laker and they were hitting very welll.)  Back then we had calm sunny conditions and the water temps were getting warm.  Today we had clouds and sun and a fairly stiff west wind.   Josh had his mojo working; he figured out a cool presentation and got us off to a good start.  By the end of the morning the guys had landed 16 pike.  The best two were 29″ and 30″ long.  Most were around 23″ give or take an inch or two (kind of like large pickerel.)  The larger fish each had a lamprey scar on them.  The reason we don’t see more large pike in this like is most likely the lampreys.  A couple years ago this lake was full of 25″ to 30″ pike – now they are in the minority size-wise of northerns.  Blame the lampreys.

Open Dates:  We are getting into the colder, unpredictable months now.  Long term forecasts are calling for warmer than usual temperatures right through January.  Time will tell!   For now, I have the 21st – 24th open and then Thanksgiving through basically the end of December (with the exception of 12/11.)

Pike are available on Seneca and Owasco Lakes.  Pickerel and occasional pike on Cayuga.  Lake trout on Cayuga and Owasco Lakes – including good to excellent shallow lakers on Cayuga.  If Skaneateles remains launchable we have a shot at salmon, lakers, rainbows, bass and large perch for now.  There’s always a chance at a bonus walleye over there too.,