Seneca Lake Memorial Day Lake Trout Derby 5/28 – 5/30


Managed to get out and fish the derby for 3 hours on Saturday, a full day Sunday and today until closing time at noon. My Cornell boss Phil fished with me, and his 8 year old son Casey spent Sat/Sun with us. The jigging bite on this lake is still pretty slow. We landed fish each day and lost/missed a fair amount, but the fish were in a very negative mood.

Started out Saturday at 5 pm and we checked out a few different areas including Kashong and Dresden on the west side of the lake. Sampson State Park had the warmest water, most bait and best marks we could find on the depthfinder. Nailed a nice 28″ laker that probably topped off at 8lbs. The weigh-in station closed at 7 pm and we knew the fish probably wouldn’t make the board – or at least stay on it for long, so we kept fishing. I missed a few and lost a few fish, but nothing special.

Sunday morning we got out early and were impressed by HUGE schools of alewives just off the marina walls. Casey hammered a nice 7lb. plus 27″ laker early. I got a smaller one as well and we missed a few, but we just weren’t seeing aggressive fish. Tried for a shallow bite as well. The winds were south for a while, then calm, then came whipping out of the north. I fished solo during the afternoon/evening and landed one more fish and lost one. Nothing that would make the board.

Today was just me and Phil. Again, tons of bait and nice marks around but hits were light not coming very frequently. Nailed another average laker and lost another. Winds were screwy again – south to start and then calm. I guess they are out of the north as I write this. Most of my fish came on the retrieve. We marked fish everywhere – from 25′ to 180′. They just weren’t feeding aggressively. Most anglers we talked to reported the same thing. The best bite I had during the derby was Saturday evening. It makes me wonder what the fishing was like Saturday when most of the board fish were caught! My advice is to make sure you get all the derby days off of work, rather than do what I did and work one day! Expect the fishing on Seneca to improve markedly over the next few weeks. The fish are here, they just need to activate! If not, there’s always Cayuga! 😉