Cayuga 4/18 + 4/19
I was out on Cayuga quite a bit over the past 48 hours. Here’s what happened:
4/18: I did a 1/2 day trip with Ed and John (both from the area) targeting lakers out of Dean’s Cove. We got out around 7:30 am and started finding some fish within around an hour. By 10 am the fishing was pretty hot ‘n heavy. Lakers were deep- mainly around 165′ to 175’. The light winds helped us cover water. The guys had some terrific action, boating around 14 solid lakers! We experienced three doubles. Ed has a lot of Cayuga Lake fishing experience – especially with landlocked salmon, and it was nice to see that he was very impressed with the great lake trout fishing. I was also impressed. Cayuga is just a fantastic lake! It was nice meeting a couple local anglers and we had some mutual friends/acquaintances.
After the trip I went out for an hour or two and managed to miss a couple fish and land one nice laker. The guys clearly had hit the hot bite earlier in the day. So I trailered my boat home, grabbed my fly fishing gear and met my buddy Mike – who picked me up in his boat at Taughannock; he ‘d been fly-fishing all AM, starting at the Treman launch.
Mike was stoked to have landed a beautiful 25.5″ brown earlier in the day on the lake’s south end. He reported plenty of alewives in around lower Cayuga Inlet. Where there’s bait, there’s fish! We tried a few areas near Taughannock and wound up on the east shore. I had a follow from a very nice salmon – maybe 24″ to 26″, but didn’t connect. Mike hooked up with a beauty shortly thereafter (down the lake a bit) and after a strong, long battle landed a 25″ Landlocked Salmon! To land two nice fish like that in a day’s fly-fishing says a lot about Cayuga. Mike was expecting more action this AM, but he couldn’t help but be pleased with the quality of the fish he’d caught. We were both pretty tired, so we quit around 6:00 pm.
4/19: Guided another 1/2 day starting at 9 am with Len and his wife Colleen. The late start was fine with me (I was really tired)- and they preferred it since they were on vacation and did the wine trail the day or two before. We went over the technique and then set up deep. Len had done some trolling before for lakers on the Finger Lakes and wasn’t real thrilled with the fights of the lakers, but he was willing to give the jigging a chance. After landing three nice lakers, he was impressed with their battles. Jigging with medium to med. heavy baitcasting set ups really helps highlight the sporting qualities of lakers. Colleen managed to land a laker around 20″ that we kept for their dinner. This laker spit up 2 nice smelt! These were the first smelt I’d seen in any lakers since we started jigging Cayuga Lake (at least that’s my memory)! It was refreshing to see. I forgot to mention on my last report (4/17) that we had a laker with a mudpuppy in its stomach! These fish clearly eat just about anything they can find.
BTW – Smelt are showing up at Taughannock and dip netters have been out in force. The action has reportedly been fairly decent, with drives producing most of the fish.
After having a fun 1/2 day with Len and Colleen, I trailered the boat down to Taughannock Park in hopes of connecting with some salmon/browns. I ran into my friend and client Jesse (and Jason), who’d been fly-fishing from shore. He showed me a photo of one of the most impressive brown trout I’d ever seen taken in the lake on a fly – it was a fish he’d caught earlier in the season – just a silver, fat blimp of a brown! By 4 pm I was launching my boat.
No great shakes to report in the two plus hours I spent fishing. The water along the E. shore was pretty cold. I had a follow from another tremendous salmon, but couldn’t get the grab. It was at least 25″ long! I headed south looking for warmer water but as I got within range of Ithaca, the fatigue from the last few days started to hit me, and I turned around and headed home. Water levels are high and temps are cold. Expect good fishing for the rest of the week from S. end shore areas.