If there’s a harder hitting fish in our region I haven’t found it yet! These fish are native to the region and are never stocked. Big pike love soft-finned forage fish and cold water. They find plenty of each here in the Finger Lakes. Pike are neglected in this area due to the fact that most anglers target trout, salmon, bass and perch!
Seneca Lake is really the "King Finger Lake" when it comes to pike habitat and potential. The lake's pike fishery has gone through some real boom and bust cycles over the past 40 years. During the fall of 2017 I witnessed some of the best pike fishing I'd ever seen in the region in my lifetime here. 2018 was also solid. Large fish are uncommon on Seneca Lake, likely due to lamprey predation.
Cayuga Lake has fished well for pike this year (2018 - 2019.) They can be challenging to pinpoint on Cayuga. Weed growth continually changes on this lake and some areas are hot one year and void of fish the next year. I caught and released a 41"er here on December 31st of 2018. We've had some other solid fish as well this fall. I think we'll see Cayuga Lake provided some good to very good action over the next few years.
Owasco is coming on strong as a top-notch pike fishery. The fish appear healthy and well-fed and there are very solid numbers of young fish here.
Keuka Lake offers an occasional bonus fish. Pike love just about any lure, especially flashy, gaudy colored ones. Fly-fishing is deadly for pike of all sizes and I consider fly-fishing for pike one of my specialties.
Giant pike aren't common in the Finger Lakes, but all the Finger Lakes with good pike populations - i.e. Cayuga, Seneca, Owasco, Conesus and even Keuka Lake have produced 20lb+ fish over the years.
Fishing during the winter is one of the most productive times to chase pike in the Finger Lakes region. Fish are often quite active and the weed growth is limited - concentrating the fish.
The photo is of Jonathon holding a nice 37"er that he caught on a jerkbait in 2014 on Cayuga Lake.