Seneca Lake Reports 3/11, 13 + 14
Seneca Lake 3/11 AM Shorefishing: Met my buddy Mike at one of our favorite shorefishing haunts. The lake was flat calm and sunny, which in wintertime is pretty much the "kiss of death" for shore activity. So we fired up cigars and waited for the wind to come up. We fished for 2 hours or so with no action. I had to teach classes, so I hit one other area also without any action. Mike stuck things out and managed to lose a fish in the first area he fished. In another area he caught a couple dink salmon as well as two legal fish – one around 16" and one over 20".
Seneca Lake 3/13 out of Severne Point: Drove the boat down with my buddy Eric and we checked out the launch at Schamels. Some guys broke the ice this AM and around 4 boats launched, but by the time we arrived at 11 am the marina area was frozen solid again! So up to Severne we went. Wind conditions were pretty darn brutal and perch anglers were coming off the lake in fairly rapid succession. I'd guess the winds were around 18 mph out of the south with 3' and some 4' waves. It was nasty. Some perch anglers did well in the AM, but fishing had reportedly slowed.
We launched and made a slow, rough, cold, nasty, wet run, checking out some nearby areas. It was the kind of run most people wouldn't do and I rarely ever do with a client onboard, but it was my pal Eric and he's used to it (ha ha.) It was a bit too windy for enjoyable fly-fishing, so the spinning gear came out. I landed a pike around 29" or 30" in short order on a tube jig. It was not a very healthy looking fish with some weird slime (shades of 2008) and lamprey hits. But it fought pretty well. Eric had a hit from a salmon and I had a follow from one around 18". I then hooked and lost a decent salmon. We fished a bit more without any action.
We hit a few more areas. I hooked a very solid fish on a white bionic smelt and type 4 sinking line. After a few strong runs and some dogging Eric slipped the net under a chunky 25.5" brown. Eric had another follow, but that was it for us. Water temps were around 36/37. The canal was up around 38/39 and 40 in places. Tough fishing with the windy conditions.
Seneca Lake 3/14 out of Severne Point: Kicked off the 2015 guiding season with longtime clients Ron and Matt. They nearly always pick stellar days to go out (way in advance!) and today was no exception. The forecast didn't look great with rain called for but we barely felt a drop. Anyways they had ice-fished Keuka in the AM and met me at 12:30 at Schamels, and of course it was frozen so we drove up to Severne.
I thought conditions were perfect for targeting pike with only one more day til the season closes, so that's what we went for. The first area we fished is an inconspicuous area that I like a lot. Matt nailed a healthy looking fish around 30" on a swimbait. Nice start. In our next area he caught another good fish on a spoon. Then Ron hooked up on his X-Rap. But this fish jumped! After a few runs I netted a 25.5" brown! A beauty and Ron's first on the Finger Lakes. Success on the trip within 2 hours! I was stoked.
We worked some other areas for pike and trout/salmon and Ron and Matt both hooked up simultaneously on salmon. We landed both fish – a 23.5" and a 24" Landlocked salmon. The last area we fished was a pike area and it was lights out pike fishing. The guys hammered them with fish following at times on nearly every cast. Another dozen or more solid fish were landed to 36".
Most pike are looking reasonably well. There are quite a few lamprey scars but no sign of the nasty slime (apart from our first fish) on any of the others. I think a fair number have already spawned.
All fish went back in the lake today. I'm not seeing any real concentrations of salmon, but they appear to be very well dispersed throughout the lake. That's what was expected of these Sebago strain fish and perhaps that's what we'll get. I'm looking forward to when the water starts warming up and these fish start to get more concentrated and aggressive.