Seneca Lake 7/9 AM + Owasco Lake 7/10


I had the day off and decided to fish Seneca Lake for lake trout.  I’m not a huge fan of weekend fishing – I’d rather guide on the weekends and then fish during the week when fewer people are out.  That isn’t a problem on Seneca Lake circa 2022.  On the course of my day, I saw three trolling charters out (around Sampson and north), a few bass boats and zero other fishermen out.  It was better than weekday fishing – it was Seneca Lake 2022.

The lake trout fishery here is back.  I started fishing around 8:15 am and had no luck for the first hour or so apart from a nice laker around 23″ that I lost at the net.  It was pretty much the exact scenario I had the last time I was out here – I had the fish a third of the way into the net, it shook its head and the jig flew out.  Shortly thereafter, the fish turned on and I wound up having a great day – not a great day for Seneca, but a great day for anywhere in the Finger Lakes.  I landed double-digit numbers of fish.  My best three were a 31″ beauty (hatchery), a 29″ wild and a 28″ wild fish.  The others ran the gamut from 19″ up to 27″.   Nearly every fish was clean with zero or at most one lamprey scar.  All the fish were well fed and I didn’t see a single hook scar.  These fish have been untouched for the most part, unlike a lot of Cayuga Lake fish which have been caught and released many times.  Half the fish I caught were wild, but the majority of the younger (smaller) fish were stocked.

Seneca 2022

31" Clean Beauty! Fin-clip visible!

I realize some trollers and “copper-pullers” have had good fishing on this lake over the past few years, but for this jigger and many others (friends/clients), the bite has not been consistent or generally good in years.  Obviously these fish were out there.  I think the bait numbers have been reduced enough to generate more consistent action.  Anyways it’s a theory at least.   As mentioned above, the great thing was that most fish were clean – I had zero lampreys come up with fish and only two fish had somewhat recent lamprey scars.  The water here was crystal clear and I encountered zero signs of water fleas.

Owasco Lake 7/10:   I had a lot of fun with Kyle and his father in-law John today.  They wanted to get better at jigging.  They usually fish Cayuga Lake but in light of the tough fishing my clients experienced out there on Friday, we opted to give Owasco the nod.  It was a great call.

We had an excellent bite starting right off the bat at 6:30 am.  We wound up having a great double-digit lake trout day with John’s 30″ laker being the best fish landed.  Kyle nabbed a nice 22″ wild rainbow and the guys kept that along with 4 or 5 lakers that ran 22″ to 24″ long.  We caught fish in numerous locations around the lake in depths ranging from 55′ to 85′.  We encountered some water fleas but not many.  The lake clarity is excellent and fishing pressure fairly light.  Emerson Park did crowd up quite a bit, which is to be expected given that it was a weekend in mid-July with plenty of sunshine.

John with a nice fish

Kyle with one

Kyle with a rainbow

Kyle again

Longest lake trout of the day

Reports from friends on Cayuga varied over the past weekend.  Mid-lake and lower lake fishing for lake trout was fairly slow for the most part.  Better action was had up north on Saturday.  I didn’t have any reports from the northern portions (north of Long Point) for Sunday.  We are close to a full moon and that may have impacted the bite.  The algae was visible on Cayuga Lake from a long way away (like from Route 89) but as of Saturday when I drove by, swimming was still going on at Taughannock Park, so it isn’t a blue-green bloom (H.A.B.) to the best of my knowledge.  Some strong wind should dissipate this bloom.  Stay tuned!