Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 5/4 + Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/5


My schedule is rapidly filling up, so please email or call now for the best selection of dates in May and June. July and onwards are wide-open with most dates available at this point in time.

Seneca Lake 5/4: Guided Dean and Scott for what has become an annual trip for them. It’s always a lot of fun on the boat when they show up and last year we had some great mixed bag salmonid fishing, plus Dean got to pull a cold canoeist out of Cayuga Lake. It’s always nice to do a good deed!

I had high hopes for some good mixed bag fishing Saturday with pike season opening and salmon/lake trout still around Seneca’s south end. But the fish seemed a bit “off,” regardless of what we tried. Sometimes cold weather in the spring will cool off the fishing a bit. Rich Zaleski of Fishing Facts and “IN-Fisherman” fame feels that spring fishing is best when the weather warms up like it’s supposed to, and that fall fishing is best when it cools as it’s supposed to. I agree 100%. Cold days in the spring oftentimes put a damper on the bite.

I had the guys do a quick pass or two for pike and we didn’t see anything. So we tried some salmon. A hit or two was had and after a couple passes Dean picked up a 16″er that we let go. A few follows/hits were had but the fish seemed tentative, despite fairly good water temps and conditions.

Laker jigging was poor. Some fish were around, but my guess is that many are moving north. We had a few fish moving for the jigs, but nothing to “write home about.” Tried pike again and Scott had a big one follow, but not hit. Back to salmon and more follows and half-hearted hits. You get the idea! It was tough. A move up the lake resulted in finding a nice school or two of salmon – including some bigger fish, but again – tentative follows and hits. The lack of wind didn’t help. The guys almost had a double going, but both fish got off. We spotted a few perch schools in around 20′ to 30′ FOW. Kind of a fun fishing day, but poor catching.

I was disappointed to see a lot of hook scars visible on the schooling salmon we saw. Most of them had clearly been stung before. It’s good that people release many of these fish, but they really get torn up. I wasn’t a big fan of the maximum number of rods anglers can use going up to 3 per person. Enough of these fish get hammered as it is with trollers using two rods a piece. Nothing against trolling, because all forms of fishing (including fly-fishing) do damage to these salmon, but the stickbaits with multiple trebles really do a number on the young fish. The only people fishermen are hurting with this maximum harvest/hookup approach are themselves and their future fishing. I heartily recommend that more anglers cast for these fish.

Cayuga Lake 5/5 AM: Back out with Dean and Scott for a half day AM trip. After yesterday’s slow day – just the one 16″ salmon made it onboard, it was time for some laker jigging. I’ve done fewer laker trips thus far this year than ever before at this point in time, so I’ve been a bit out of touch with the lakers up north. I was really happy to get out after them. AM fishing was fair at best. We worked a bit between 90′ and 140’sinceI was marking fish and the guys had some success. Bait was also moving up. The guys landed 4 solid lakers and lost/missed one or two.

PM Trip: Guided Donna and Andy starting around noon. Fishing was slow in the same areas we’d worked earlier. A move deep proved to be the ticket. 145′ to 160′ was the best depth we found all day with some active fish. They landed 3 including Donna’s 28″+ laker. We finished the trip early and headed in. No doubt we could’ve landed more fish out there – it was loaded pretty well! White and smelt colored Lunker City Swim Fishes fished on 1.5 oz. jigheads did the trick.