Seneca Lake out of Sampson State Park 5/21


Did an abbreviated full day trip with Michael. I had him try pike fishing for the first hour and a half and no pike. He did get lucky, which is always nice, and had a chunky brown around 22″ to 23″ and probably around 5 3/4lbs hammer a Rapala Husky Jerk! Funny how so many people cast and troll light line for these fish. This one gobbled the stickbait with about 8″ of 30lb TyGer Wire leader on it. Great fight! One small lamprey was attached.

Jigging lakers resulted in 2 nice fish in around 80′ to 115′ FOW. Fish remain shallow, deep and in-between. Thunderstorms started rolling in around noon, so we called it a day. Bait was scattered.

The Memorial Day Lake Trout Derby should be very interesting. The weather will feature a full moon on Saturday. Does that mean a lot of lakers will feed at night and be lock-jawed during the day? We’ll see. I think the Derby timing is perfect every year. It’s always before the thermocline sets up, so anglers can fish however and wherever they want depth-wise. It’s rarely ever a “slaughter fest” since the fish aren’t concentrated at the thermocline. Strategy is important, because bite windows can be short and sweet. Will the shallow fish hit better early or the deep ones? Will there be an evening bite? Is it worth grinding it out all day? (We probably won’t!) Lots of decisions need to be made. How long to stay in one area? There are plenty of nice browns around this year for some reason. Also some huge salmon and likely rainbows. Maybe it’s worth targeting those instead. (We won’t.) Will it take a 13 to 14lb laker to win? I haven’t seen a lot of big lakers yet this season on Seneca or Cayuga, so it won’t surprise me if 11 to 12lbs wins it. Don’t even think about fishing Seneca Lake for trout/salmon this weekend unless you’re in the derby! Not being entered is a sure way to guarantee you catch a big one. And you will kick yourself for years to come.