Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 11/25
It was cold this AM when I met Eric and Nate at the launch. We had an air temp just over 25 degrees. Only one other boat had launched out of Schamels. I couldn't have ordered better conditions for salmon if I had tried – we had sunny skies, south winds 5 to 10 (gusting into the teens) and perfect water temperatures hovering around 47 to 48 degrees. What's not to like? Well, apparently the salmon didn't get the message.
Fishing was very slow for us today. We worked a lot of areas, fishing from shallow out to fairly deep water with two hits to show on the entire day. I'm pretty sure the hits we got were from salmon, given where we were fishing and the lures we were using, but that isn't good. We did see a lake trout and brown in one area and another brown in another area, but the fish looked more like spawners than feeders.
We tried an hour of lake trout jigging and I did mark a lot of fish – some that were moving good for the jigs, but the lakers were pretty neutral to negative. We stayed focused on salmon for the majority of the day. The guys did a good job fishing hard and we managed to cover a lot of water, though there's only so much we can do as casters (as opposed to trollers.)
My buddy Mike was on Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock with his nephew. They managed some dinks including a 13" to 14" rainbow. Mike landed one very nice salmon around 24 1/2" but that was the only solid fish they had. Mike was out earlier in the week during some good conditions and didn't find any sizeable fish.
Cayuga Lake has a terrific numbers of young (sublegal – 11" to 13") salmon this year. I have yet to ever see great numbers of young fish that don't materialize into very good numbers of older legal fish. There are fair numbers of 24" to 25" salmon around too. We caught them and saw people and know people who caught them all summer long. There are also a few very large fish around. I'm going to keep after them. It may be too early to tell what's going on.
Seneca Lake is a different story. Mike's nephews caught a sublegal (13"ish) fish from shore a few days ago. I had a student hook a 17" to 19"er on the pier back in September. We had a couple hits today. Some giants were taken during the derby but fishing was slow this spring and summer for the most part. We didn't encounter many small fish either last year. It's a giant lake, so fish can be just about anywhere. I think we'll see some nice fish come out of this lake this winter/spring, but I am clueless on what the numbers will be like out there. I'll be back, because it's my favorite fish to target in the winter. So time will tell. As always, stay tuned!