Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 5/23


Went out to check out lower Seneca Lake with my buddy Terry. I saw winds forecast to be south 3 to 6 mph. Unfortunately we had dead calm conditions for most of our day (which started around 10:45 am.) That made for good fish watching but tough catching. Water temps ran the gamut from 49 to 55 on the surface in a lot of areas.

The lake looks great (much better than last year at this time for obvious reasons – we don’t have the drought and have had ample cool weather and rain. ) It’s crystal clear and the weed growth hasn’t really gotten too far underway yet. We saw a few nice pike, perch, bass, carp, bullheads and even lake trout cruising by in various areas. The lake has got solid numbers of salmon and browns in it this year, though lamprey numbers are high. I had a few reports throughout the winter of fair to good salmon/brown trout fishing. It doesn’t come close to what Cayuga Lake was putting out this past winter. But the analogy is more like Charles Barkley playing great basketball – he was just unfortunately overshadowed by Michael Jordan. Seneca has been decent on salmonids apart from lake trout.

Fishing was tough. In one area we saw an aggregation of probably 20+ brown trout and salmon. But it was crystal clear and even fly-casting tended to spook the fish. We came back a little later with light winds and I managed a gorgeous 21″ brown (I kept it – 4lbs) on a gray winged bionic smelt fly. Terry was casting a jig and got hammered. He set into a large fish (I am guessing brown trout) that ran out a lot of line and dug deep. Then he lost the fish for no apparent reason. His jig came back with a huge half-digested alewife on it! He probably never had a hook in the trout – he’d just snagged a baitfish hanging out of the trout’s throat/mouth! We had never seen that happen in our combined 90 years of fishing experience!