Skaneateles Lake 6/27 AM, 28 + Seneca Lake out of Sampson 6/29 AM


After a slow winter season (for obvious reasons) a busy April and a slow May, my schedule has been really busy lately and will likely continue into July and the rest of the season. I have been posting my month by month open dates on my homepage (just for the current month.) Keep in mind that I will limit the number of trips I do each month and once a certain number of dates are booked, I will "close off" that month.

I've been getting some calls for "tutorial trips" lately. These are trips where I basically combine a fishing trip with a lesson if you will, on either fishing that particular lake, species or various techniques. These trips are more about learning than catching per se, though I try to keep the catching as good as possible. If you're interested in one of these trips, please let me know. The rates are the same.

Here's how things went this past weekend:

Friday 6/27 AM: Guided Rick on Skaneateles Lake. He's a good example of a talented angler who has good equipment, a boat and the "angling drive" but could use a little coaching on knowing how long to stay in a particular area, what to try and when to move. And for most people, time on the water is a factor. The "time value of money" is high for a lot of busy people who don't have a lot of free time and they want to maximize their success while out. I'm no whiz on all these aforementioned things and even the top level bass pros out there sometimes stay in an area too long, or conversely move too quickly, but having some outside advice can certainly help.

We focused on smallmouth bass – working the soft jerkbaits, tubes and dropshotting. We didn't have much success or spend much time on the drop shot, but Rick got a lot of confidence on the tube and fluke-type baits. We had a fun morning with some nice bass landed – mostly shallow. Water temp on top was 69.

Saturday 6/28: Guided Chris and Anna out of Mandana. I knew the State Launch would be a mess so we went out of Mandana's Town Launch. The launch is a bear to go out of during the late fall and winter, due to low water, but is a reasonably decent launch when the lake's at full pool. There is a long walk to the parking area. They were on vacation and enjoying a kid-free day, so I ran them nearly all the way to the south end of the lake, where the beauty is amongst the absolute best in the entire region. 100' cliffs with water trickling over, forests and very little auto or boat traffic make for an unforgettable experience. And the fishing ain't half bad either. We worked right up the lake with the usual tubes and flukes and had some very good action (you'll see a lot more fish come up for the flukes than you'll catch.) Anna is a talented fisherwoman and landed a nice largemouth around 16" that yours truly mishandled at the boat – so no pic. Some decent smallmouths were also taken as well as the usual number of dinks. We saw a good laker cruise by as well as a few smallish salmon/trout that showed up for the lures.

We finished up the last hour with some laker jigging. Chris and Anna head to the Adirondacks on an annual basis and the lake they fish has lakers. Things went beautifully as I set us up and we had hits in short order (it doesn't always go like that!) Working the stretch north of Mandana resulted in three hookups for Chris and a solid 18" to 19"er landed in 65' to 80' FOW. Someday it'd be fun to spend some time trying to jig the "Skaneateles Monster Lakers" but for now I'll be doing most laker jigging on the other FLs. Water temp was 70 on top. Fun trip.

Sunday 6/29 AM Seneca out of Sampson: Guided Barry and Julie for a 1/2 day. We wound up with some tough fishing today for various reasons. I had the boat ready to roll at our 6 am start time but they were running late so we didn't get underway until 6:30. The lake was calm first thing in the AM but then got a bit choppy which seemed to put the bite off. We started with a try at pike for around 2 hours. Fishing was weird with Julie landing a chunky, but small smallmouth bass around 13" or so on a large Daredevle! Then Barry topped her but landing a bullhead on one! The bullhead actually hit a 1 oz spoon! Weird. No hits or follows on northerns as far as I could tell and we tried both sides of the lake in some high percentage areas.

We set up for lakers and found mid-lake fishing slow. The wave action was getting to Julie, who happens to be 5 months pregnant, so any run up to the "hot" Belhurst flats was out of the question. A few hits were had on the lakers around Sampson, but the bite was tough. Friends did do well at Geneva this AM. Either way, it was a fun day on the water and nice to see Julie and Barry, who've been fishing with me for at least 6 or 7 years and usually with better results than we had today.