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Keuka 8/7 to 8/14

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It’s hard to imagine that I have been coming to Keuka lake for family  vacation for 37 years. This was the 4th bringing my fishing boat. 


Last year 5 color and brown towns and NK watermelon UV  were on fire boating the majority of our fish. 25 and 35 were go to depths and runny cowbells on the bottom. 


 This year 7 color and the can’t afford it and lances 2 face has been the go to.  Best depths on riggers have been 50 feet down. 3 color has taken a handful of lakers at our best average weight.  I think the bigger lakers may have learned that the baits up high even though the water temp at 15 feet is 62 degrees. 5 color took no laker hits this year.  


Our go to spread was 3 and 7 colors on the right and 2x 7 colors on the left. Riggers at 55 with cheaters pinned to 45 


50 feet is 54 degrees and 35 feet is about 60.  


Sunday it was already 75 degrees at 5am. We fished the bluff and didn’t mark any bait. Picked up a few on the riggers nothing on 5 color and 1 on the 3 color.  


Fished Hammondsport on Monday on the east side  we started about  2 miles from the end.  Best depth was 100 fow boating a handful of lakers. We then headed over by the boat launch and marked a ton of fish in front of the creek but non were interested in what we had.  Boated a beautiful rainbow that didn’t make it so we had it for breakfast. 


Wednesday fished shallow to start at 5:45am in 60 feet with planers out at 3,5,7 colors and riggers at 45.  Went on the east bluff side fished the points down to camp Iroquois. Got 2 big hits on 7 color and some jumps probably bass that never made it to the boat.   Slid out to 80 feet and started marking what looked more like lakers.  Slid out to 100 feet and marked bait and took a few on the riggers at 50 and more on the 7 color.  Turnaround at Iroquois and went across lake to camp aery and noticed a scum line coming right from the runoff from eggelston Glenn and immediately marked bait and took fish north of the point.  I buzzed the point and then turned around and buzzed it again with no luck until again I was north of the point in the scum line and took a handful more.   Home by 9am. 


Thursday we tried to hit north of aery again and it was a ghost town.  As soon as we got south ithe point it was game on boating a bunch of lakers and a nice smally. Lakers were on 7 color smally was on a 5 color.  Had another laker on a 3 color as well In 62 degree water. Home by 830am. 











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Did you get anything over 24 inches?  We have not for a long time, but we only jig.  Glad you had fun that is what it is all about.  Sure does get hot out there......jk

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9 hours ago, sawbelliesam said:

Thanks for a nice report. Do you have any thoughts on the bait fish situation? Reading much bait? Any sawbellies or ciscos in their bellies?

I spotted the DEC Wednesday pulling up some nets close to shore and went over and found out they were doing a perch survey.  Just looking at the nets and the dec’s initial reaction the perch are doing great.  

I did mark a few bait pods this year by the bluff but nothing like last year.  

The lakers remain small which leads me to

believe that bait is still a problem until the DEC starts stocking baitfish.  




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Congrats on that bow and to a successful trip! Sounds like fun. I spent quite a bit of my time fishing down there when I went to KC. 


John Gaulke recently posted some info regarding Keuka on his website...thought it would be of interest...



Here’s what I’ve heard from DEC (any mistakes or inaccuracies below are mine):

Ciscoes:  Cornell and DEC have been working hard trying to determine the success of this program.  Evidence from implanted transmitters (in some of the ciscoes) suggests that many of them are dying when first stocked.  Whether this is because of predation or something else is unclear, but most are not living past 90 days.  A few yearlings have managed to survive past a year.  Ciscoes will still be stocked in the near future.  There has been some talk about raising them to a larger size and then releasing them (e.g., as yearlings) but no determination has been made yet.  One cisco was found in laker nets this summer.  That fish survived over 90 days in the lake.

Alewives:  Thus far zero alewives have been encountered either in lake trout stomachs or in nets.  Forage netting will be conducted in September.  I would guess that some will turn up then.  My friends catching trout in Keuka Lake have not seen any alewives in trout stomachs either.

Yellow Perch:  Some anglers have complained about poorer perch fishing on this lake.  DEC is doing some netting for perch this coming week.  Perch are now the main forage species in this lake for lake trout.

Lake trout:  Numbers of lake trout appear to be 4 to 5 fish per net lower than in prior years, although I don’t think all the numbers have been calculated yet.  This is a bit of a mystery, since numbers were high just a few years ago.  Some cannibalism is likely taking place here amongst the lake trout population.  In Skaneateles Lake forage is scarce and once a lake trout gets big enough to be able to eat larger forage, they can get to be trophy sized.  We may see something like this happen here (those are my thoughts) -numerous small 15″ to 18″ lake trout, a few slightly larger specimens and then every so often somebody catches a 15lber or better.  Another reason lake trout numbers might be down is that they could be feeding a bit out-of-temperature, due to the lack of food in the colder parts of the lake.  Fish may be suspended higher in the water column and avoiding the nets.

Lake trout are surviving on eating mysis shrimp, occasional sculpins and perch fry.  Mysis numbers are good in Keuka Lake.  The condition (aka “plumpness”) of smaller lake trout is surprisingly good here.  Larger 4 to 5lb specimens appear to be skinny.

Bass:  Spring electro-fishing data suggests that Keuka Lake is amongst the top 90% of bass fisheries in NYS.  DEC found some big largemouths here as well.

Walleye:  As many of you know, this species has turned up in this lake (likely as a result of an illegal introduction) at times over the past decade.  No walleyes were found in lake trout nets this summer.  DEC is receiving more and more angler reports of walleyes showing up in Keuka Lake. As a comparison, walleye numbers were relatively low in Skaneateles Lake for decades before finally increasing exponentially.   A large walleye population in this lake would really put a lot of pressure on the forage base here.  What would they eat?  Probably panfish, perch fry, young bass and whatever else they could eat.  Stocked and wild rainbow trout would certainly suffer even more than they already do here.  Stay tuned!

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