Skaneateles Lake 4/19 + Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 4/20

Reports

Spring fishing is in full-swing! Time is also flying. Hard to believe we are less than two weeks away from May.

Skaneateles Lake 4/19: Guided Rick and Gary for a full day starting around 8:30 am. The lake temps were warmer than I would’ve expected with surface temps near 40 at the lake’s north end, and 37/38 further south. Early season angling generally isn’t super easy on this lake, but perseverance can pay off with nice mixed bag catches. The guys had to work for their fish, but managed to get some nice ones.

At the north end, a few smallmouths had moved up. Gary landed an 18 3/4″ beauty on a hair jig. He also got one around 14″. Other hits were had. A trip down the lake resulted in two solid 18″ rainbows for Gary. Both appeared to be hatchery fish and weren’t spawners. We didn’t catch the usual drop-back rainbows, likely because of the late spring thaw. Most are probably still spawning or haven’t quite recovered from the spawn. A few large perch were also landed and a rainbow or two lost. All in all, it wasn’t easy fishing, but working a lot of water from shallow to deeper paid off.

As a side note, a lot of docks were damaged during the winter freeze. There’s some new cover for smallmouth bass in the lake now! Water level was full-pool. Fishing pressure fairly light with most anglers targeting perch.

Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 4/20: I was amazed at how few boats were out on Seneca today. It was great! The Easter Holiday kept most people at home. Ron wanted some salmon and he had some great action on large fish – mostly in the 23″ to nearly 25″ range. He landed 5 solid fish and lost a half dozen. These large fish were fighting spectacularly with numerous jumps and quick runs. They are in very good condition for the most part. We kept one fish that was hooked and damaged. It was 24.5″ and weighed almost 6lbs! That’s a well fed fish. We had one come up with a small lamprey attached and a few had scars, but most of the fish seemed to have survived the eels. I’m giving credit to the harsh winter and lack of fishing pressure over the past winter. These fish are available throughout the southern portions of the lake.

Ron brought me some moose pepperoni and sausage that was great. He has had some great timing with his trips which are booked quite a ways in advance. The water level remains very high, but should start to recede. BTW: The Bar and Grill is finally open. The Short-Rib sandwich is fantastic and recommended as is the Reuben, though the kitchen was closed when I got done with the trip.

Water temps ranged from 38 or so to 48 in the canal. Fish came on stickbaits and spoons.

Sebago strain salmon were stocked recently at Severne Point. It is hoped these fish will return better (survive) than the Little Clear Strain fish. It is also thought that they will spread out more and provide better runs into the tribs in the fall. The quality of the fish that was stocked was superb. They were larger than usual and should have a better chance of surviving to adulthood.

I didn’t see a single boat out perch fishing. It’s safe to say that the good perch fishing is done with for now for many anglers. Cayuga is usually the hot lake after Seneca slows.