Seneca Lake out of Watkins 11/14


Well I’m glad I didn’t pay attention to the weather forecasts today. It’s amazing how a slight variation in wind direction can make a HUGE difference in lake conditions. The south end of Seneca was very fishable today despite the dire wind predictions. I’ve been chomping at the bit to get out on this end of the lake to see what the pike fishing was like.

Pikin’ was pretty much par for the course on Seneca. Somewhat slow fishing for quality fish i.e. hard work on my part yielding a handful of fish. A handful of GOOD fish! Started around 11:30am and fished till dark. I managed some beautifully colored pike today: a 32″, 34″, 37″ and a dink. I dropped one fish and landed a smallmouth as well. The largest pike was probably around 12lbs. or better and a gorgeous lush, light green color. No photos today since I was on my own and none of the fish were exceptionally huge, but I do have a nice shot of a Seneca pike taken during a fishing class that was similar in color – I will post that shot soon.  (Update 9/2021 as I edit these after the website transfer – the “lush green” pike was a hybrid “pike/pickerel”!)

All fish were taken fly-fishing using a Temple Forks TiCR 8wt. rod with a RIO 8 weight full-sinking line Type 6. The flies were my own deceiver type patterns tied with synthetic hair and lots of flash.

This was pretty tough fishing; although I caught 3 nice fish I had to work very hard for them and they came from some very select areas. I basically caught fish at the rate of one good pike for every 1.75 to 2 hours of determined fishing! I worked a lot of water without seeing any sign of fish. The milfoil beds have died down considerably, which was nice. Some areas of the lake had some leaves and weeds floating around. Water temps were around 47 to 49 degrees. No sign of salmon. I did try a handful of casts for them.

As for guiding these fish, I really recommend Cayuga Lake for pike unless you’re a die-hard pike fanatic with lots of perseverence and patience. Seneca is not the lake to get kids interested in pike fishing for the most part. Cayuga provides much better overall action with chances at trophies every bit the size of Seneca fish. Cayuga also has other fishing options that are tougher to pull off on Seneca.