Seneca Lake Shorefishing 12/14 + 12/15


Got out for around 3 1/2 hours of shorefishing on Sunday PM. Had some great perch action landing 17 beautiful perch (at least 5 were over a pound, and the best was a 15″ 1lb. 13.5 oz female – so I almost hit the legit 2lb mark.) Fish were deep – probably around 50′ of water. Good old fathead minnows did the trick. It was windy as heck on the lake and I was happy not to be in my boat.

Today I fished with my buddy Mike and we got out early and fished hard for perch again. The bite was much tougher with us landing only 9 fish. Mike got 8 of them! I just couldn’t hook up! Same deal as 12/14. Later on we switched gears and did some pike fishing. We landed 4 total – Mike got one on a bunny fly and I got the rest on gear. The best fish was a 30″er that hit a swimbait. The others were hammerhandle – 20″ to 22″ fish. It’s good to see some successful spawning on Seneca with the pike (not that it’s a surprise!) Another shore angler reported a small landlocked salmon – so it’s good to know of a few of those around. I plan on fishing Cayuga for salmon ASAP. They should be there.

So what do Seneca Lake yellow perch eat? We’ve kept around 50 fish over the past couple weeks. (I’ve got enough perch in the fridge and freezer to last me a couple weeks!) Many of our fish are coming from water so deep that they are regurgitating their stomach contents before we can examine them. But here’s what we’ve found – sculpins, mysis shrimp, lake trout eggs and crayfish – along with a few of our fatheads. So they are eating anything they can find – the fish we’re catching are not selective! The key to Seneca perch this time of year is to find active fish – fish that do what we call “eating stupid”. It’s no fun fishing for neutral to negative fish.