Seneca Lake out of Sampson State Park 6/5 PM


Got out here for a few hours in the afternoon in order to make sure everything was running well and I had what I needed on board my 2020 Crestliner – it was basically my maiden voyage for the season.  I picked up a season pass for Seneca Lake State Park as well as Sampson State Park for the year.  I plan on running some trips here this season.

Seneca Lake is a much different “animal” than Cayuga Lake.  It’s bigger water and harder to decipher.  Currents here rival those up on Lake Ontario.  The lake is very volatile and 20 mph winds here can easily kick up four-footers and bigger waves.  Cayuga Lake is a “gentle-giant” when compared to its sister lake, Seneca.  If they were actually sisters, both would be very pretty.  Cayuga would be the one you could take home to mom, and the overall nicer of the two and more generous; Seneca is the hotter one, who’s wilder and batshit crazy, but for some reason you keep coming back.

I truly believe that Seneca Lake has the best lake trout structure in the Finger Lakes.  There is no big shallow water zone like there is on the north end of Cayuga Lake.  Seneca is deep cold-water habitat from end to end.  The amount of pike-habitat here is mind-boggling.  You can be 1/3 of a mile offshore here and be in 20′ of water with weedbeds underneath.  Perch here can get to massive sizes, as can the carp.  Bass fishing is getting better here by the year, especially for largemouths from what I’ve heard.  Still, this lake can leave you shaking your head swearing that there are next to no fish in it.

Strong, consistent north winds over the past few days have resulted in very cold temperatures and sterile-looking water up north.  I marked a few lake trout and plenty of bait but couldn’t get anything going shallow.  Given that there are thousands of acres of shallow water habitat here for trout, I couldn’t really cover much water.  A couple guys were pike fishing and one that I talked to told me he’d had some good luck last week.  June should be a good pike month here with the amenable water temperatures.  I picked up one laker in around 70′ of water on a jig.  It was a good-looking 24″er that I let go.  I had one hit that may have been a salmon in some shallow water up high.  I did some pike casting and had a follow from what appeared to be a small northern.  Surface temps here were in the low-50s.  Smallmouth bass fishing has reportedly been off and on here lately.  Yellow perch fishing is generally slow but some of the old-timers that really know the lake have been scoring on some.