Seneca Lake 12/13 + Cayuga Lake 12/14
Fishing has not been easy for us/me lately. This is usually one of my favorite times to fish and I enjoy guiding throughout the winter. Unseasonably warm weather is likely part of the culprit.
12/14 Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen: I fished here solo today from around 11:15 am until maybe 4:15 pm. Before I guide a seasonal pattern (like winter landlocked salmon) I get out fishing and make sure that everything is set up and the fish are around. I had reasonably good conditions today with weather, water conditions and water temp. I focused on my favorite type of salmon fishing which is fly-casting for them. It’s generally pretty effective. Today I never had a hit or saw a fish (with the exception of one dink that followed in a stickbait late in the day in an area I rarely fish.) With streamers I’m not fishing deep and I obviously can’t cover a whole lot of water, but I know the salmon areas pretty well. I’ll oftentimes see them even if they aren’t hitting. A client/friend was out earlier trolling in the AM and landed one dink. One resident told me he had seen some salmon around yesterday (12/13). So that was good to know.
With the warmer water temperatures we’ve had throughout much of the fall, it’s likely that fish are still in more of a fall pattern in deeper water. We also had some super high west winds over the weekend which probably rocked the lake pretty well. Overall it’s hard to say what’s going on when next to nobody is out fishing the lake! But that’s my guess. Lampreys have been pretty bad on this lake over the past couple years (at the least) but salmon generally do a fairly good job of surviving attacks – they certainly do better than browns. Hopefully the weather will settle into more of a winter pattern and we’ll see the salmon fishing set up somewhat consistently. Anything can happen (and pretty much has) in 2021.
12/14 Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park: Today I guided a full day trip with Mark I. I brought along a lot of tackle for deep and shallow lake trout, flyfishing, pike and more. I had Mark try some inshore casting for lake trout with bladebaits, tube jigs and hair jigs without any success. We set up for lake trout jigging and we had some very good “fishing” but slow “catching.” Fish were hitting but not well enough to sting them effectively. Mark did land a post-spawn 27″ laker. He probably missed another 10 to 12 and dropped 6 or 7. We had action in water from 70′ out to 130′. I’m not a big trailer-hook guy or rear hook guy on jigs. We did downsize a bit but that still didn’t work. The Cayuga Lake fish are generally very nice sized and I expect them to be able to gobble an alewife sized jig. I don’t think that’s too much to ask of them!
Mark fly-fished for around an hour towards the end of the day with no hits or follows that we could see. He did miss a late grab with a blade bait in fairly shallow – and we both wondered how you could miss a fish with those two sets of treble hooks, but it happened! While out jigging lake trout in around 90 feet of water we did have a small school of fish swim by that chased his jig up and down. They were likely salmon or rainbows, so that’s more evidence that fish may still be out in deeper water. Alewives are likely still around a bit. Another factor is these Sebago strain landlocked salmon which really tend to roam all over the place. I had one follow me around 10 days ago when I was out laker jigging. That fish was out in no man’s land over deep water. Go figure. Stay tuned – I expect things to pick up soon.