Seneca Lake out of Geneva 11/5


A couple days ago I got a phone call from Perry, who’d emailed me on occasion in the past. He’d put his boat away for the season, but was jonesing to get out on Seneca Lake for some pike fishing with his friend Dave. “Sure” I replied. He told me the only catch was that he wanted to use live golden shiners. He just loves watching the pike take the bobbers down. I don’t have a problem with live bait at all, I just don’t use it in my guiding for an assortment of reasons – mainly I haven’t seen a need for it; it’s hard to get in my area without a 40 mile round trip; it’s hard to keep alive; and it’s expensive. But he brought his own, so off we went. Last year he’d done great on minnow – ran out actually. He’s fished Seneca for pike for over 30 years too, having caught some monsters, but it wasn’t to be today.

We never had a hit on the minnows today. We fished them with slip bobbers in a lot of good areas. It was hard pinpointing exact spots to fish – I nearly always drift and cast baits, so that was a challenge. With swimbaits a couple fish were hooked and one landed. But they just weren’t gobbling the minnows for us today. By the time we went to swimbaits our breeze had died – we were lucky to get what we got. But the guys have caught hundreds if not thousands of pike before and they were happy to kick bait and still fish – enjoying the day. So that’s what we did. H2O crept up to 53 in places. It became pretty clear to me that a lot of the action we get on our artificials is due to reaction bites – aggravating fish, and not necessarily strikes out of hunger.