Cayuga Lake 4/27 + 28, Seneca Lake 4/29


Guided a half-day out of Long Point on Thursday 4/27, then a split full-day (two different groups of people from the same party) on 4/28 and then a full day out of Watkins Glen today.

4/27 AM:  I met Andrew and his wife Laura just before 9 am at Long Point State Park.  (Bathrooms are still closed here for what it’s worth.)  Andrew has a boat and is getting into the fishing in the Finger Lakes.  We had a very solid day of lake trout fishing with double-digit numbers of fish going up to 30″ if I remember correctly.

1st one for Laura

Laura with another

And another...

Andrew with a big fish

Our trip was a lot of fun.  They are WNY natives, just like I am.  It was a perfect day to be on the water.

4/28 Cayuga Lake out of Dean’s Cove:  Guided a two-boat split full day with Pat and Joe in the AM and then we took a short break and I had Greg and Dan in the PM.  I was working on behalf of, and with clients of Kurt Hoefig, a young, top-notch multi-species guide in the Finger Lakes Region.  Kurt and I go way back together to 2014 when he was in college and I guided him and his dad for a laker jigging trip on Keuka Lake out of Hammondsport.   Since that time, I can safely say that Kurt fishes more than anyone I know and he’s caught a heck of a lot of incredible fish – he had the passion and ability back then, but since that time he has channeled it wisely and puts in the requisite time. He has come up with his own patterns and systems for fishing the lakes.  But I digress…

We had trying conditions on the day.  Moderate to high wind gusts and overcast conditions made for a tough bite and a lot of work for both Kurt and I throughout the day.  We both persevered and our clients wound up having a productive day.  Each boat wound up with double-digit catches for the full day, although it wasn’t easy.

Here's a shot of Dan hooked up late on Friday as the winds subsided. I had a great time with both crews despite the winds and tough angling.

4/29:  Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen – Today I guided Tony, whom I hadn’t seen in probably almost 10 years, along with his son Jon, (who has been out a few times with me over the past couple of years with his now fiancée, Stephanie.)  We fished just shy of a full day.  Tony really wanted to fish landlocked salmon today, so that’s what we did.  Given the weather forecast, I felt that it was a good call.  Forecasts originally called for winds gusting into the mid-30 mph range, along with cloud cover and rain, so we were all prepared for the worst.  The weather actually cooperated for the most part and the day was a pleasant one.  The fishing wasn’t easy.  Cold nights, rain and cool days have scattered salmon and made the bite tentative.  I took advantage of the light winds and we worked some uplake areas that have produced some nice fish for me and my clients (but not with any consistency unfortunately.)  Fishing was tough and slow on the day.  Eventually Tony hooked and landed one salmon around 16.5″.  He had a few other chases and hits on the day but no more solid grabs.  Jon had one grab for certain – that was it.  We didn’t get skunked but it was a very tough day.

We are potentially looking at a LOT of rain tonight and tomorrow and tomorrow night.  We could see two to three inches!  If this happens, our lakes could really get high, debris-filled and muddy.  We’ll see what happens.  If Cayuga Lake goes way up, we would also be looking at lampreys swimming over the low-head dam on Cayuga Inlet.  If this happens and fair number of these parasites go up the creek, DEC would most likely have to do a treatment over the next 3 or 4 years.  Stay tuned!

I spoke with and communicated with DEC fisheries biologists regarding Dave Sinor’s giant Skaneateles Lake brown trout.  I was told that 10 to 20 years ago, nearly every time that Skaneateles Lake was gill-netted (for the every-3-year cold water fishery assessments) that one and sometimes up to three wild browns often running 6lbs or better, would show up in the nets.  The biggest that DEC has handled to my knowledge is a 12lber, so these big lake browns are not unheard of, although I believe it’s been a while since one showed up.  I received a bunch of texts and emails regarding this fish.  What a beauty!

Lastly, kudos go out to Steve Featherstone for writing a superb article on the fish and doing his homework.  He took his time to email me and talk over the phone and he got it RIGHT.  Over the years, a lot of journalists have done articles on fishing in the region and I have been interviewed, along with a friend of mine on a few occasions.  I’ve been misquoted (as have friends of mine) many times.  Steve did his due diligence and really made it an interesting piece.  The world could use a lot more “true journalists” like Steve!