Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 3/5 PM


I’ve had some clients patiently waiting for me to check on the fishing over on Seneca Lake.  I kept my expectations in check as I drove over to Seneca Lake today. Unfortunately, it appears as though what I was seeing here back in November is pretty much what the deal is.  I started out fly-fishing and did have a hit within a 1/2 hour.  I also had a follow from a very small salmon on a streamer.  After those two incidents, I was expecting good things, but unfortunately I’ve felt a bit like Charlie Brown on this lake this past season – Lucy keeps teeing up the football and then swiping it away just as I’m about to kick it.  I would have bet money that I would’ve at least landed a fish today.

After maybe two hours of fly-casting I went with the gear.  I worked a bunch of areas and different depths with no sign of fish.  There were hundreds of nice salmon around last winter – most of those were 16″ to 17″ fish.  They have basically disappeared!  The only explanation I can think of is that they were killed by lampreys. Given how beaten up the pike have been here, that is the most plausible explanation.   Fishing pressure is light here, so it’s very doubtful that they were harvested.  I’ll be interested in hearing how the electrofishing goes this month on Catherines Creek for rainbows.

The other question is: Where are the smaller landlocks throughout the Finger Lakes?  We haven’t seen many on Cayuga Lake.  I also didn’t see many on Skaneateles Lake.  Either the quality of fish stocked was poor or the conditions that the stocked fish encountered on lakes was poor, or perhaps a combination of the two.  The massive flocks of cormorants hanging around the south end of Cayuga and Seneca Lakes in the spring certainly are taking their toll on stocked fish.  But we don’t see those birds on Skaneateles Lake.  Maybe it’s predation by walleyes and lake trout over there.  I’m not sure.  But it seems like every so often we get a bad salmon year.  It just usually doesn’t happen on all three lakes at the same time!

Looks like we’re finally seeing some better days ahead weather-wise.  After tomorrow and Monday’s rain and warm temperatures, launching should be possible over at Long Point and maybe Dean’s Cove.  We should see some good lake trout action in the northern portions of Cayuga Lake.  For now, my recommendations for guided fishing are Cayuga Lake;  1.) the northern portions for big lake trout in deep water and 2.) the southern portions for casting trips (with jigging as an option) for lakers and a good shot at bonus rainbows, salmon and browns.   I will be checking on other lakes later this month.  My schedule is wide-open.