Reports: 7/20 – 7/24, Owasco, Seneca, Keuka Lakes


Guided Owasco Lake last Thursday and Friday, then Seneca Lake on Saturday and Sunday and lastly Keuka Lake today.  Before I go on with the reports, I know that a lot of anglers are wondering what conditions are like on Cayuga Lake.  The lake conditions are better than they’ve been in quite some time.  Visibility was good on the ends of the lake and up by the power plant last weekend.  Swimming is now permitted at Taughannock Park.  I drove by the lake on Sunday and it was still pretty green in areas.  It looks like some kind of crazy drink with green swirls in it.  The lake trout fishing was pretty good over the weekend in many areas.  The wind will move around the algae, and strong south winds cleared out some areas last week.  We have another week of thunderstorms and 90-degree plus weather, so it’s anyone’s guess what shape the bloom will take.  Hopefully it’s winding down!  Bass fishermen that fished the tournament this past weekend reported decent fishing for the most part.  A couple guys I talked to said that the bassin’ had been tough until about a week ago.

As of this writing, my next scheduled trip on Cayuga Lake is on August 16th!  I am fairly sure that I’ll be on the lake before then, perhaps doing some bass fishing on my own or maybe a guide trip or two, but I am enjoying working the other lakes.  I’m often asked, “which Finger Lake is my favorite to fish?”  My answer is always Cayuga Lake, but with that being said, I will go where my clients have what I feel are the best opportunities for a successful day.  Of course, I’d rather save on gas and time and drive 3 miles (to Myers) or 17 miles to Long Point, but I will do what I have to do in order to be able to guide people with confidence.  If you’re an angler that loves to fish Cayuga Lake, I think that the toughest fishing is over with for this season.  Fish are well-distributed throughout the lake and finding clear water should not pose too many issues.

Owasco Lake 7/20:  Guided Joe and his friend John for a morning 1/2 day here starting at 6 am.  The fishing on this lake in July (as well as on other lakes) has been fairly predictable – average days alternate with great days and so on.  Out of 14 trips here over the past four weeks or so, I’ve seen perhaps 6 very good to excellent double-digit days, and 8 days that ran the gamut from a few fish to maybe 7 or 8.  That’s fishing!  I’d say it’s been solid over here.  The water looks great and the fish have also looked very healthy.

Today was a more average day.  The guys managed 7 nice lake trout.  I think we had a few other fish missed.  High point of the morning was seeing a flock of maybe 8 bald eagles go flying by!  That’s something I’d never seen before.

Owasco Lake 7/21:  Guided Anthony, Luigi and Joey for a full-day starting at 6 am. I’ve guided this crew over the past couple of years and they always seem to pick great days for their trips.  This year was no exception.  We had a fine double-digit day today with lakers landed up to around 29″ or 30″ if I remember right.  Joey hooked a beautiful smallmouth bass just off of the bottom in maybe 70′ of water!  The fish bit fairly well throughout most of the day.  I think we even had a double or two.

Luigi On on Owasco!

Seneca Lake out of Geneva 7/22:  Guided yesterday’s crew again, this time on Seneca Lake for another full day starting at 6:30 am. The fishing today started out good and later on wound up as superb!  The last time I remember lake trout fishing being this good on Seneca Lake was around 2015.  2016 was when Seneca Lake’s lake trout fishing really took a dump.  Anyhow, we had a great double-digit day with the best fish being Joey’s 33″ wild laker.  Some of these fish fought absolutely great!  The guys even hooked and landed a triple.   Most of the smaller lakers that I’m seeing on this lake are hatchery fish.  There are decent numbers of wild fish in the 22″ class and also the 29″ class and up.  Lamprey scarring is minimal and the condition of these fish ranges from good to excellent.  They are well-fed and plump.

Myself and Anthony

Me and Luigi with a nice wild fish

Joe with one

Joe with another

Joey's 33" beast!!! What a battle!

Seneca Lake out of Sampson State Park 7/23 AM:  Guided Tyson and his brother Omar for a half-day getting underway at around 6:45 am.  You might think we’d have another stellar day on Seneca Lake after yesterday’s terrific double-digit day, but nope, we struggled out here today.  South winds moved a lot of water around and the fish moved along with it.  We found reasonable numbers of fish, but they weren’t hitting with much gusto.  Tyson wound up landing a 29″ beauty, but apart from that, both guys lost fish that I was getting close to being able to net.  A couple of other hits were had that didn’t wind up being hookups.  Beautiful day to be out, but a tough bite for us.  I have some scouting that I’ll be doing here shortly which I need to do.  Fish in Seneca Lake are widely distributed now from Geneva down to Sampson, if not further.  We had fish today from around 55′ of water all the way out to over 120′.  There are huge swaths of warm water blowing around on this lake.  Water clarity is very good to excellent.  Fishing pressure is light, although today we saw more boats out here fishing than I’ve seen in a long time – both bass and trout anglers.

Tyson with his 29" trout

Keuka Lake out of Keuka Lake State Park 7/24:  Guided Mike, his son Jake and Jake’s buddy Thorton for just under a full-day today.  I’m not a huge fan of jigging lake trout on Keuka Lake in July, but the guys were staying here and wanted to do it.  We met at 6 am and worked areas on the day around Branchport, the Bluff and Hammondsport.  Fishing was very slow for us over the first couple of hours.  The guys did have some good hits, but no solid hookups.  It isn’t easy hooking these fish when many of them run 16″ to 19″ long.  Eventually Mike started us out with a 16″er.  Fish actually bit pretty good around 11 am till 1 pm.  We wound up with 7 nice lakers, mostly running 18″ to 20″ long.  The guys procured a good meal for their families and friends who were staying at a rental on the lake.  They told me that the bass fishing has been very good to excellent here over the past day or two since they arrived.  That’s great to hear!

Perch Fry is what supports the lake trout population on Keuka Lake - that and freshwater shrimp along with occasional sculpins and other lake trout.

Availability:  I have some dates left in August.  September is a great lake trout month on Cayuga and Owasco Lakes and I have plenty of open dates.  October and November are prime for northern pike and smallmouth bass among other species on Seneca and Owasco Lakes.  Lake trout are solid on Cayuga Lake then too!  Scroll down my reports page for my “availability”post for more information.