July 15th, two clients and I, went to Seneca Lake for a five hour trip. Seneca has been in a state of transition for some time now, and I often wonder if the bass have left the lake or is it that the angler needs to find new locations where the fish are hiding. Long time residents that have fished with live bait for years have been challenged and with artificial baits an anglerís day can be quite slow. We managed to boat some small bass and missed a few, but it was not the Seneca Lake of past trips. Spring and fall bass fishing is much better.
July 16th, I fished a small tournament on Keuka Lake with mixed results. Many of the areas where a quick limit can be boated were not even producing so much as a follow. Several excellent anglers had either 1 or 2 fish and some had none. Using a mix of baits I managed to boat a five fish limit. The bass came on top water, Stikos and trick worms. I did catch some short smallmouths on tubes.
July 21 and 22, Kristy and Tracy from WV, came to fish Honeoye Lake. Tracy had fished with me in October of 2010 and decided to bring his wife for some fun time on the water. Between the Thursday evening and Friday morning trips, they boated well over 100 bass. No giant fish, but the majority were in the 13 to 16 inch range.
July 24th, the Vanders from NJ, did a morning trip on Honeoye. When Karen e-mailed me about a fishing charter, I asked if she wanted to go catching or for a boat ride. When she responded, catching, I told her Honeoye is the place to spend your time on the water. Karen, her husband and I ran south to an area that has been very good the past three weeks and on the first cast they boated a nice bass. Over the next 4 plus hours the action was nonstop. By 11:30 the sun was high and the breeze had dropped, pulling the fish tighter into the weeds. We continued using wacky rigged Stikos, but the bite was slower. Most fish were 13 to 15 inches, with a couple in the 3 lb. class. A fun day with a fun couple.
July 25th, J. Michael Kelly made his annual trip to gather information about Honeoye. The past two days had produced a mix of weather and apparently, it finally had an effect on the bass. The fish were just turned off. We fished several areas that had been holding good bass and using a mix of baits managed to boat 14 before the weather turned marginal and sent us to the cottage for coffee and a tasty lunch. We went back to fishing and, either, we got smarter or the bass were hungry. We caught at least 40 bass in the afternoon, until quitting time. No big fish, but most were keeper size in the 12 to 15 inch range. Bass Pro Stikos in, both, watermelonseed and green pumpkin rigged wacky, fooled a large segment of our catch. When we were fishing thicker weeds, the Zoom baby brush hog, rigged Texas style was the bait they couldnít resist.
In all, the season so far has been very productive.
Be safe, wear your life vest and maintain a proper lookout.