Seneca Lake out of Sampson State Park 9/30 PM
I hadn't been out on Seneca Lake in awhile, so I figured I'd check it out. My trolling motor issues and boat issues are taken care of for now. I wasn't able to fish much at all in September on my own. The dog show was going on at Sampson. That's probably the busiest the park gets these days. I never saw another boat out on the water. The lake looked very good with lush weed growth and clear water.
Conditions were not good for what I wanted to do – check on lakers. I tried a few areas and marked some fish but had zero hits. A lot of bait was also around. I have some pike/pickerel trips coming up so I brought my tackle for those and fished various rods just to make sure everything was in tip-top shape. I feel that the best fall pike fishing in the Finger Lakes starts when surface temps get around 62 and continue downwards. Water temps from the mid-40s through the 50s make for fun pike fishing with aggressive fish. Temps from the low thirties into the 40s are also prime for fly-fishing – large pike are active and the weeds are down or downright gone for the most part. I had 66 on Seneca. Weeds are still up a bit. Seneca Lake has enough northerns in it to make pike fishing a good bet even when water temps aren't optimal. I had some good pike action with spoons today. I went 3 for 5 in around 2 hours – my fish all came within the first hour. The three fish I landed were all from different age groups – I had a 29", 27" and 23.5". I missed a hard hit and momentary hookup and another one that hit closer to the boat. Fish were a little thin – most likey due to summer stress and the warm water "slowdown." They did not appear to be diseased. These fish will (or at least should) gain weight once alewives start moving in. The 27" fish had some lamprey scars as well.