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ac holmes

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Posts posted by ac holmes

  1. Thanks, Chowder, for explaining what a school of perch looks like on the screen (pictures would be great).  In the old days, the big challenge was finding the perch first, and the rest was easy.   It seems that sonar can be a way of seeing and staying with a school. 

  2. Is anybody Perch fishing on Seneca?  I heard gossip about the Lodi Pt. area.  I have a great view of a lot of Seneca and seldom see anybody fishing in summer or winter.  Does anyone have ideas on how a school of alewives can be distinguished from a school of perch on the sonar screen? 

  3. I have moved, and had moved, several boats around the East Coast.  My guess is around $2500 to $3000 for a professional boat hauler.  Most of those folks have their own adjustable trailer, and you might find a hauler who is dead heading back from the West Coast (unlikely) so in your case all you need is a one way 3000 mile ride in a vehicle with a trailer hitch.  I would sell the boat in AZ.

  4. The DEC folks told me on the phone that they have been stocking for several years.  In the past (50-60 years  ago) The Seneca spawning Lakers were stripped of their eggs and sperm after gill netting to use as spawn for the other lakes.  Seneca Lake is now in the center of a huge new industry of wine making and the political/economic/tourist money is the main interest.  The DEC folks say what they are told to say by Albany.

    There is all kinds of stuff going on with the water quality and there is no way to get at the actual truth...follow the money.  My late wife was the daughter of a high level USA State Department diplomat (pay grade equal to a 3 star general) and he told me not to ever think that the public can know what is actually going on in government...we are kept in the dark and fed BS like mushrooms.

  5. There is a mystery regarding Seneca Lake that is not being talked about to the public.  I live above the Lake in the Hector area and hardly ever see a fishing boat anymore.  The "no fish" in Seneca has to be connected to "no fishermen" also, but I have been out a few times myself and can't catch anything.  I know the Lake well and have fished it for more than 60 years and I am strongly leaning toward the idea of something drastic has happened and not made public.  I go 15 miles to Cayuga and catch Lakers easily.  What is happening on Seneca? 

  6. Some thoughts:

    Like I mentioned, we learned to pull copper when we were kids.  There was a hardware store in Watkins Glen that sold the copper wire, Pflueger #4 "record" spoons, the traditional swap out of #5 hooks and also the black twin minnows we used mid summer.  Most of the copper wire was wound on two pie plates, back to back, with a spindle and turning handle.  The older guys had wooden frames with two handles or the famous Victrola set up which a few locals used to make for friends or for sale. The Pflueger was a heavy spoon meant to bounce the bottom.  This was a popular thing at the South end of Seneca and it was easy to catch Lake Trout.  Another technique was the "5 leader rig" with bead chain swivels and a heavy sinker (maybe 10 to 12 oz).  Typically, this rig was fished slow with "flutter spoons" such as Sutton 88s or other brands of very thin, mostly locally made spoons.  I still have some made in Naples, and some made in Geneva NY.  Before sonar, this rig helped to find the thermocline and the fish.  Also easy to catch Lakers but required finesse and petite motor skills, especially when you had two fish on at once.  Often this rig was used with the Victrola setup and the spoons and leaders were kept in a small wooden box with separate  compartments. Finally, there was night fishing with gas lights (homemade) extended over the edge of a small boat which attracted the Alewives bait fish.  The intrepid fishermen would use a dynamite cap  to gather some bait and fish for the Trout which came to the light on the water, for the bait. In the AM there would be lots of kitchen sinks with big Lake Trout.  There was an event that was always discussed and remembered where two locals guys sank their own boat with a misplaced dynamite cap.  This was always thought of as the competition of the tiny brain of a Lake Trout with the drunk brain of the intrepid fisherman involved. 


    I have a theory, unproven, but tenable.  Big Lake Trout don't chase around trying to catch saw bellys.  They are too fat and and it takes too much energy to chase bait the way a Salmon or Rainbow might.  Low and slow on the bottom with copper wire  or heavy rig sinkers and flutter spoons is the way to fish for big Lake Trout.  Navy Divers have told me (30 years ago) that there are big fish in Seneca that lay on the bottom and wait for food to come to them.  Lake trout live a long time (several decades) and maybe they are still there.  I guess downriggers are an option but always a danger of snagging the 10 pound ball on the bottom and pulling your boat apart.

  7. I agree Pappy,

    Just for clarity there are two things:  a bacteria and a virus.  But I suspect there is more that remains unspoken and hidden from the public.  Certainly politics are involved and the burgeoning wine and tourist industry on Seneca.  No one wants to spoil the steep ascent of property values and the development that is rampant. My house has doubled in value in 12 years.


    I talked to the DEC guys recently for an hour on the phone and they blame the eels and overpopulation of Alewives...it is what they are told to say if they want their retirement.  I also know from people who check the streams that flow into Seneca and there is lots of grape farming stuff, pig, chicken and beef manure along with all the crap and antibiotocs those creatures are fed and given.


    The salinity of the lake has also increased...why? 

  8. I have been around Seneca and fished it most of my life, on and off for 80 years.  The "sawbellys" (what we kids called the Alewives) used to die from time to time and I do remember them piled up on the Lakeside Park Beach so us kids could not swim.  I think it has been a regular event for a long time but I don't know why, or if it is a cycle.  I have fished Seneca a couple of time this year (no fish) and there are huge schools of Alewives.  The rumor was years ago that they stocked northern Pike in the 50s and 60s to reduce the Alewives.  I don't know if it was true but I caught several scary big Pike during that time and saw huge fish in the swamp spawning. I am going to fish out of Lodi next week and troll north.  I may resort to pulling copper just to see if the Lakers are still there.


  9. On 7/10/2023 at 9:11 AM, Lake George Copper Puller said:

    Wow thats so cool. I really wish today’s kids could experience that kind of fishing. I’m trying to do it with my boys. I especially like the fact that you could pile up that much line and even get 30 feet out there without it kinking. I can barely do it from the rod and reel without it kinking. I too, would fish alone as a kid out of our boat with a trolling plate over the prop to go slow enough. I just had another trolling plate put on a newer boat we use to ski with the kids. I imagine all the little details that I’m o sure you are aware of with having that line on or near bottom and the skill of knowing when you’re touching bottom or weeds, and those tiny sensations in your fingertips that differentiate normal from something other than normal.. I can’t tell you how many now quite pricey, Miller lures and lake clear wabblers are on the bottom of the lake that I lost. I would do anything to get them back now. The only real technology I use today is the depth gauge on the boat, no fishfinder, sonar, etc. I know where they are from years of being up there. 100 to 115 FOW in the summer.  Glad you have those memories to share. Probably worthy of a book someday. “Copper pullers of Seneca”. Be well

    We used solid cooper wire (not braided or stranded) and the tension of pulling a fish in left the wire a bit stiff and tended to pile up in a loose heap.  It always surprised me how easy it was to let the mess of wire back out without tangles or kinks.  Of course, with solid wire, the first lesson was to avoid kinks and when you got one the best thing to do was splice the wire were the kink was. 

  10. I grew up on the shore of Seneca Lake 80 years ago (once considered the "Lake Trout Capitol of the World.") We learned to pull copper as young boys from the old guys who usually sold fresh Lake Trout after dark at the back door of the two hotels in Watkins Glen. I had a 14-foot Old Town rowboat, lapstrake cedar planked with a high bow (I wish I still had it), and no motor. A friend and I would take turns rowing while the other pulled copper. although I eventually bought a used 12 hp motor to fish alone. We used solid copper wire, no leader, and a Plugear #4 spoon with a bigger #5 hook, swapped out for the original. We caught lots of Lake Trout (big ones sometimes, 10-12 lbs. was common), never more than 3 or 4 miles from Watkins Glen, by bouncing that big spoon off the bottom and working it with a rhythmic pulling action. By July 1st, we switched to a black "twin minnow"  (manufactured locally and looked like a flat fish lure) and would use 15 feet of heavy mono leader to keep the plastic plug slightly off the bottom.  less or kinksWhen we had a fish hooked, we did not reel in the copper.  we just piled it up behind us in a big loose heap, and if you were careful the rig would go back out with no tangles or kinks.  I once hooked a fish I could not handle and the wire snapped...always thought it was a sturgeon.  I suspect we fished in 80 to 120 FOW but don't really know except it was bottom fishing for sure.

    All true in the late 50 and early 60s...

    Andrew Holmes

    • Like 3
  11. Hi Mikey

    Yes, true, You are very observant. I snatched the image from a website for the post.  They are 6600C4s, and additionally, I have four (4) brand new ones and some very lovely "Carbonite" matching rods for each (all new).  I did not list all initially because it appeared a bit odd and I don't know how to ship the rods.  Let me explain a little.  I had a charter business for a few years (mainly on Seneca Lake) with a 32 foot Eastern Inboard Boat.  So, typically, I had a party of four (4) for a day's charter, so I usually bought four of everything.  Seneca Lake has some of the biggest "elephant" Perch anywhere and I was planning to extend the fishing season into late fall and very early spring for Perch charters.  So I bought bait casting rigs for the Perch. It is a hoot if you know how to find and catch the perch and they are the very best to eat, by far. But, I got sick with blood poisoning and survived, (narrowly) but was left with a disabled foot and leg and gave up the Chartering and was left with a lot of gear to sell.   I am fishing alone again now, (will be 80 next month) in my 16 foot aluminum boat and have leftover high-quality stuff that I will never use. Tolling gear like lead core rigs and diver rigs if you need anything.

    Also, have 70 years of experience fishing the lakes and happy to share stories. 


    best regards


    Andrew Holmes

  12. EZ-Glide stick steering with 23 foot cable and Adventure Marine heavy duty swim platform motor mount.  I used this system for one season as follows:

    my charter boat had auto pilot but it did not work so well with a Honda 9.9 kicker.  I discovered that the prop wash from the 350 V8 was needed to push against the rudder for auto pilot to work most effectively.  My solution was to steer the 9.9 independently with stick steering to help the auto pilot, especially into the wind and the 350 was not running. 


    $500 for the whole setup (plus shipping).  The EZ-Glide includes an extra long and adjustable steering handle. $500 is is just about half of current retail and PayPal is preferred.  AdventureMarine.com and EZ-glide both have web sites.


  13. Two brand new 6600 C4 ABU Garcia Ambassador bait casting reels.  They have never been used but have been in dry storage for a few years.  $200 for the pair plus shipping...(click on link to view)


    lost the boxes and manuals but they are unused...never been in the boat or near the water


    shown on Amazon currently at $149 eachABUGarciaAmbassasor.thumb.jpg.e1ead8def60f2abfe4989c5c424558e3.jpg...https://www.amazon.com/Abu-Garcia-Ambassadeur-Baitcast-Fishing/dp/B00F5KAI9I/ref=sr_1_4?adgrpid=1334807681143860&hvadid=83425551216833&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=59471&hvnetw=o&hvqmt=e&hvtargid=kwd-83425827925590%3Aloc-190&hydadcr=9382_10654734&keywords=abu+garcia+sx+6600&qid=1687091051&sr=8-4


    I used to charter fish but am now too old and have recently discovered some really nice stuff in storage and will be offering it piece by piece on this site...


    regards to all and enjoy the bounty of youth and good health...


    Andrew Holmes


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