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12/30/2004
Seneca Lake Perch fishing out of Severne

I always post reports - both good and bad.   This one falls in the latter category!   I'm not a big perch expert - so take this report as a hint of what not to do.   I fished Lodi and South Kashong Points pretty hard today using 4lb. test, double dropper rigs and fathead minnows.  (This same rig/set-up caught me a limit of nice perch last year in a little over 2 hours but it was not to be today - far from it.) I worked each area for over 2 hours.   In hindsight this was too long.     I did a bit of anchoring - basically worked an area for around 15 minutes then moved further down the flat.    I think I might have been able to cover more water working one rod instead of two.  Maybe drifting would have been the key, but that can be tough in deep water, plus Seneca's flats in the central portion of the lake aren't incredibly massive for the most part, so anchoring usually works good.   The other advantage of anchoring is that when fish are encountered there's no need to move.   When drifting a marker is usually set out, then you must motor back to the area and set up - this can spook a school of fish if not done very quietly.

Next time I'll be hitting more general areas within a closer radius.   Most winter anglers that I see perch fish from Severne point up to around Long Point and then down somewhat from Severne.    This enables them to cover 6 or 7 areas within a short run.   My guess is that if hungry perch are around they'll make their presence known.  The other key is to systematically rule certain depth zones in or out.   Nothing like a tough day to get the brain working in overdrive.  

12/29/2004
Keuka Lake out of Branchport State Launch

Fly-fished Keuka Lake for around 3 hours today.   It was nice just to get the boat out and make sure things are running well.   Didn't have much time to scout potential pike areas.   I focused on the north end of the Branchport arm and managed a nice largemouth bass (around 2.7lbs) and a HUGE pickerel (27.5") on a large white streamer fished on a DC type 6 sinking flyline.   Pickerel were pretty active anywhere I could find nice green weeds.   This lake has turned from a stunted pickerel factory into a lake that produces some real quality fish.  Probably due to the ice fishermen weeding out a lot of the dinks.   I'm sure the Penn Yan arm is just loaded with pickerel.   Tough to access that branch in the winter without a long run as it usually freezes up quickly and even when it doesn't freeze it can be tough to navigate the shallow outlet(from the town launch)

Saw a lot of largemouth bass just cruising slowly around the shallows.    Water temp was 39 degrees with a few chunks of ice floating around.   No one else was out, except a few duck hunters.   Didn't see any pike, but I think with some searching I'll be able to locate some hotspots.  

12/28/2004
Seneca Lake/West Shore
With the temperatures finally getting above freezing over the next couple days I'll be heading out to check on a few things.   I want to fish Keuka Lake out of Branchport in search of some trophy northern pike on the fly.   Keuka has coughed up some 40"+ fish over the past summer.   I need to find a few of these fish!   I'll probably see if I can find a few perch too, maybe some lakers if I have time - though I probably won't be able to do all three things very well in a short day.   Thursday I'm heading to Seneca Lake to fish for perch.   Lake trout and pike will be a possibility too.    Fished a key (west) shore area with my buddy Eric today and we did pretty well.   Actually Eric did really well.   Three nice lake trout up to 29" all on flies!   I'll have some photos soon, and some of you might be able to identify the area fished.   Can't post some of these shore locations due to private property and so forth.   I caught one long but skinny pike as well.   Brutal cold out there!   Man do I need some good gloves;  I still haven't found anything I'm real happy with.  
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Lake Ontario Sodus Bay Cross Lake Skaneateles Lake Owasco Lake Cayuga Lake Seneca Lake Keuka Lake