Seneca Lake 52nd Annual Lake Trout Derby Report


5/28 – 5/30: Well the results are in and the fish that made it to the scales during the derby were some of the most impressive EVER! When the top brown trout is 18lbs and that knocks down a 15lber and a couple 14lbers, all one can say is “WOW!” An 11lb salmon? “WOW.” A bunch of lakers from 13.8lbs on down – “WOW.” You get the message. Seneca Lake is producing some tremendous fish. The 18lb brown was the largest fish taken in 52 years of this contest. And who says “the good old days” are over? They are right now.

And it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the top lake trout caught was jigged (on a boat by one of my former clients.) The top laker (over 10lbs) caught by a teenager (plus another one in the TA division) was also caught by one of my former clients. One or two other fish were also taken by boats with Angling Zone alums onboard.

Our derby was tough. I fished with my old time buddy Terry. We go back over 30 years fishing together and he’s the one that got me going on a lot of these lakes back when I was a non-boater for the most part.

We had a lot of fun though we didn’t catch much. We were on the water by around 6 am to 6:15 am every morning and off the water between noon and 1 pm. My 12 hour derby days are long gone. We still fish hard but I’d be lying if I said we fish as intensely as we used to – at least most of the time. Day 1 started out promising for us. Within about 1/2 hour or less I had a nice 27″ to 28″ laker onboard taken shallow. I dropped another one around the same size just before we were about to net it. Then things just shut down for us. As anyone who has chartered a trip with me knows, I do not enjoy fishing in crowds. A lot of key areas were jammed with anglers so we stayed out of the fray. The community holes are good areas for good reasons – the fish like them. So that did hurt us a bit.

Day 2 was very tough for us. We never had a hit that was for certain. On both days when the lake calmed down the midge activity was intense. At least the little bugs don’t bite.

Day 3 started out better with Terry dropping a good fish due to a tackle issue. He later landed a laker around 20″.

I’m not sure if I’ll be fishing any more of these derbies. This one I was on the fence about. My schedule is just too heavy these days and a 3 day derby with a lot of trailering feels more like work than fun at times. That being said, it’s a good time and nice to see all my friends out there. As to why the bite was so tough, that’s a good question and it’s things like this that keep angling challenging, even for someone that is out as often as I am.