Seneca Lake out of Sampson 6/1


Well, no two ways about it – Seneca Lake’s pike population is really starting to “explode”. Around 5 years ago or more, the milfoil (weeds) on Seneca Lake started to take over the lake. There were weeds everywhere but not that many fish. The fish have finally started to “fill the niche”. We predicted this last year – it didn’t take Nostradamus to be able to foresee this coming on! I can’t wait till these fish get BIG. We’ll be in for one heck of a joyride – as long as we don’t have VHS problems or something weird happening.

Had a full day trip with Chris and Bill. We spent around an hour searching for lakers. We had a hit or two and there was some bait around, but the best call seemed to be to try for some pike and give the lakers another hour or two. We started pike fishing and never looked back. There appears to be 3 classes of pike active right now. 19″ to 20″ fish made up around 10% or less of the catch. The rest was about half and half 22″ to 23″ fish and 25″ to 26″ fish. The guys landed over 50 fish – which is a ridiculous amount. We could have kept going but decided to fish lakers after a while. Some pike were maiming themselves pretty badly and we didn’t want to injure too many fish. (We wound up keeping 4 fish, and stomach checks revealed alewives and occasional panfish.) We tried swim baits with single hooks and fish still took them deep. The best lure was a Rapala X-Rap. We rigged these on braided line with around 15″ of 25lb. test Maxima as a bite leader. We never had one bite-off! But we did have to check and re-tie the leader every hour or so. One pickerel and bass were also in the mix. Don’t even attempt this fishing without a jaw spreader and a hook-out device (like a Baker). The best thing to do might be to remove the rear treble on the X-rap – it was the one that caused problems. I’d guess that over half of the pike had lamprey scars on them! Unreal. The eels seem to take a bigger toll on many of the pike than one might think. I often wonder if they are the primary cause of mortality of big pike in this lake. Yet the amount of healed scars show that the pike often survive the attacks.

We did some lake trout jigging on the north end of the lake and Bill nailed his first laker – a nice 27″ unclipped fish. Other fish were actively chasing. Bait is everywhere up north. All in all this day was the best pike fishing “number wise” that any of us had ever seen – certainly in this area. H2O was around 62 degrees on average. The weeds still haven’t come up much.