Cayuga Lake 11/26 – 11/28


I just spent 3 half-days out on Cayuga Lake doing a bit of relaxed fishing and “research”. On Sunday 11/26 I went out of Taughannock and spent a few hours fly-casting for landlocked salmon. No luck at all there. Water temps were good, the wind wasn’t what I needed, but it wasn’t bad. The positive side of the fishing was the pike. I had an hour of very good pike action in the southern portions of the lake. Fish were up shallower than I expected and a Clouser minnow fished on a Clouser line did the trick. Nice fish – 27″ to 32″. I landed a couple and lost/missed a couple.

On Monday I launched out of Dean’s hoping for lakers. I also worked around Sheldrake with my flyrod for salmon – no luck there. I marked some deep lakers but they weren’t active. The low hanging clouds didn’t help. I went north and did some fly-fishing for pickerel. The pleasant surprise was the largemouth bass. Big bucketmouths were inhaling my fly! It was fun and I landed 3 nice fish – all around 17 to 18″. Pickerel were hitting well too. They fought as good as the bass in the 46-degree water. Conditions up there were beautiful – clear water with plenty of nice weeds. Last year when I fished up at the north end the water was very murky and full of uprooted vegetation. Not this year!

Yesterday was Taughannock again for pike. Sure enough my shallow fish were nowhere to be found! I worked deeper too – zippo. I had to work other areas and the pike were scarce. I finally found a few along a steeper ledge and an area I like, but usually don’t pike fish much. I landed a couple nice pike – 29″ and 25″. They hit on conventional tackle. They wanted a jerkbait fished in one way. Work it differently and you wouldn’t get hit. Shore fishing is slow at Taughannock. A few perch are hitting.

As a guide it’s nice to be able to find fish easily and take people to where they are. But things do change a lot day to day. The conditions on Wed. were almost identical to Sunday. Overcast, light south winds, same H2O temps, yet the fish had moved or were inactive. Seneca is still the best bet for northerns overall. I know Cayuga has some monsters. The numbers of 35″ to 40″ fish there last year were impressive. I expect them to start showing up in the next couple weeks. Water temps have stayed constant over the past couple days. Fish are transitioning from fall to winter patterns.