Cayuga/Dean’s 4/1 + Keuka/Branchport 4/2


This hot weather has really given people the “fishing fever” – and I consider myself “typhoid John” – here to spread the flu! Here’s the rundown:

4/1 Cayuga/Dean’s: No April Fools here – I did a 1/2-day trip with Bob and his kids – Andrew and Chris. There was a good chop on Cayuga and things looked a little tricky to start. I marked good numbers of lakers from around 135′ on out. This deep jigging was a little tricky to get a feel for, but I was optimistic given the weather conditions and the fish we were marking. We fished hard and the guys each managed to land a good fish – lakers around 25″ to 27″. We were all impressed by how damn hard these fish can pull. These deep fish emerging from “hibernation” have a lot of energy! Lots of bait was in around 120′ to 140′.

After the trip the winds died down and the bite really got hot! I got out into upwards of 200′ of water to test my new Mike Canavan “deep jigging special” rod. I loaded my reel with 10lb Spiderwire XXX mono and went to work. In 5 drops I think I landed 4 fish. The bite was excellent. No huge fish, but the lakers were fighting great. It’s funny, but I love fly-fishing for landlocked salmon, but landing large lakers in deep water early season is nearly as much fun – you can lean into these fish more than you can a salmon! I was loving it. My braid set ups also worked well for the deep fish, but the mono (despite not having the longevity) certainly handles better. The stretch required that I point my rod at the jig while setting the hook.

I checked some northern flats for carp. Found a ton of them murking up the water. These fish are fishable, but I was hoping to find some fish to sight cast to. The wind and lack thereof in some areas prevented me from doing this. Perch guys were out in numbers. Cayuga ALWAYS provides excellent perch fishing this time of year! Just be prepared to do a lot of filleting! For every 11″ to 12″ fish you’ll catch 15 to 20 eight to nine inchers! After carping I tried the late evening laker bite and managed to hook a few more! They were really grabbing.

4/2 Keuka out of Branchport: I saw a lot of perch guys out this AM on the Penn Yan arm as I drove to Branchport. The parking lot was nearly full of trailers at 8:30 am when we got things loaded up. I met Coleen and Kevin at the ramp and off we went. Fishing was excellent! They managed to hook a double or two. We had great action and they filled their limit in around an hour and 45 minutes. This for two people who’d never jigged before! Coleen is a sharp woman and she figured out what worked best. Before I knew it, she was nearly hooking a fish on every drop or two for a little while. Just “in the zone.” We had fun and did some catch and release for a bit.

My PM trip was another 1/2 day with Bob and the boys. Fishing was very good in deep water again – 145′ to 175′ or so. Bob had a limit before too long. I think he got his first fish on his second or third drop of the jig. The boys had a lot of action and dropped a lot of fish. It was fun – just “fish on” or “I got one” – throughout the afternoon. After some coaching and going over techniques – plus a little bit of luck from the “Fish Gods” the guys starting boating fish. We managed a couple more. Bob wrapped things up with a nice one around 26″.

Keuka fish can be hard to hook at times since they run smaller than many of the other FL lake trout. However, they are beautiful, tasty, wild and abundant – which is why we LOVE this lake!