Seneca Lake 10/3 + Keuka Lake 10/4
10/3 Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen: I dumped out of WG at around 11 am armed with some pike rods and a pail of perch minnows. Water temps (58 -59) and weather conditions looked encouraging for pike, but in 3 hours of fishing some of the best areas I know, I never raised a fish or had a hit. There were tough days like this for pike even during the lake’s most recent “pike heyday”, but the weather today looked right. The amount of pike habitat in this lake is staggering and it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. No sign of dinks either. It may be another 5 years before we have a pike renaissance in this lake. I think a bacterial virus wiped out most of the fish. A few healthy pike are reportedly being caught, but it’s poor fishing at best. But when one species goes down, another picks up the slack. Expect bassin’ and pickerel/perch fishing to keep improving on Seneca. Don’t moan about pike when there are so many other great opportunities around!
After the pikin’ fiasco I set up my jig/fathead combo and my double hook perch rig and went looking for ringbacks. I used a lot of electronics and worked a few areas w/o much luck. On one shelf I had a couple quick hits and set the hook, watching my rod double over. What could it be? A pike or bass? It wound up being a small rainbow trout, foul-hooked! In 20′ to 30′ of water. In another area I caught a small smallmouth. Then I caught a double of a bass and a nice perch. I found a school of perch along a ledge from 20′ to 45′ of water. I nailed another 4 perch to 12″ and maybe 5 more (small) smallmouths. I know that pike numbers are low when I’m catching dinky smallies off the weededges! The perch quit when the wind died and the sun started setting, but I know where they are! And I’ll be back.
10/4 Keuka Lake AM: My AM trip was with Dave and his wife Deb. We had good action on lakers, mostly around the bluff. They landed 4 nice fish to 24″ and lost a couple. It was their first time fishing in a long time and their first time laker jigging, so that was cool. 85′ to 110′ was best. There are plenty of baitfish swarming the bluff area! Expect this lake to rebound on browns, salmon and rainbows if this keeps up. Lakers may actually get bigger too – which they seem to be doing already.
My PM trip was with Jack and his 9 and 13 year old grandkids, Sam and Emma. Sam was worn out from some full-out hockey and he managed to sleep a bit while onboard, but he did reel in a laker (that Grandpa kindly hooked!)and hook another momentarily. Emma persevered through slow fishing and landed one. Jack hooked a few good ones and landed a 25″ fish. The PM bite was pretty slow until around 3 pm when the winds picked up. We started marking 8 or more fish AT A TIME! And they were hitting! Expect some hot laker fishing here over the next few weeks. Smelt colored Lunker City Shakers were the hot lure. No spoon bite for us today. Colors are starting to look good and boat traffic was pretty non-existent. That’s tough to beat!