Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 9/18 and Cayuga Lake 9/19


Seneca Lake 9/18: Despite being pretty “fried” from my crazy schedule this season, I pushed myself and got out on my own for around 5 hours, starting just before 1 pm to do some scouting. I didn’t fish particularly intensely. I hadn’t fished on my own in months (unbelievably) and just wanted to get out for a day to see what was happening. No big surprises. The water levels have dropped a little but the lake levels look good. The water temps were 69 to 72. I tested out a couple new dropshot rods I bought – ABU Verocities and caught around 1/2 dozen or more smallmouth bass. They weren’t much to get excited about – 11″ to 13″ fish. The rods are great. No sign of gobies where I was fishing. They are clearly just starting to show up and will probably be common in a year or two. It will be interesting to see how many the perch anglers encounter.

I checked on some lake trout areas and found what I expected – inactive fish. I had a few hits and landed one that I didn’t bother measuring – a clipped fish around 18″ or so. Some large schools of alewives were cruising around the surface in various areas. There’s no shortage of bait on this lake!

Anglers need to remember that alewives are major predators of perch fry and eggs. Part of the reason the perch numbers in this lake have declined over the past decade is likely due to the high alewife numbers. With alewives way down on Keuka Lake, we’ll probably see some strong year classes of perch and bass over there.

It’s still too warm for prime pike action though on the right day an angler should be able to score. I saw a good largemouth bass around the marina and I’d guess that with all the weed growth and warmer temps of the past decade the largemouth population is expanding here, just as it is on Oneida and Cayuga Lakes. Just a hunch.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 9/19: Guided Keith and his wife Laurie for a full day starting at 7 am. I’ve never seen so many boats on the lake this time of year (apart from maybe derby time) both jigging and trolling. And why not? In all likelihood Cayuga Lake is fishing better than any of the other Finger Lakes at this point in time and probably overall this year. Keith and Laurie fish Seneca a bit but haven’t had a lot of success and wanted to learn the jigging. We had tough conditions with a lot of south winds (up over 20 mph at times) and overcast conditions for most of the day. They still managed to land a half dozen solid lakers including three wild fish. A few others were lost. The bite is still very good on Cayuga Lake, though not on the level it was just a couple weeks ago and certainly not close to where it was in late June and July, but it’s still very good. We fished from around 65′ to 90′. White and chartreuse plastics did the trick. The fish were in excellent condition – no fresh lamprey scars (if any at all) and plump. Just beautiful looking lake trout.