Cayuga Lake 4/28 + 29

Reports

I am hoping to get out on some different lakes shortly. It's been hard to want to fish anywhere else but Cayuga with the terrific lake trout action and solid salmon/brown trout fishing. Skaneateles Lake is one of my favorite lakes to fish in May and I intend to get out on Seneca and Owasco Lakes in the near future. Lake Ontario is another one I want to fish but I have a lot of bookings on Cayuga over the next couple weeks, so we'll see what happens.

4/28 AM out of Long Point: I met Leighton and his brother Nick at the ramp just after 8:15 am and we headed out for some laker jigging. The fishing was very good with Leighton catching a fish just shy of 31"! This slob was spitting up young alewives one after another! A couple 28" or 29"ers were also caught and released. The guys kept a couple 24" range fish for the grill. Those fish were eating alewives plus an occasional goby. Best action was deep – 140'+ range. Great half day with 7 solid fish landed if I remember correctly. We saw one other boat out on the day, that was it!

4/29 PM out of Myers: Guided Sergio and his son Francisco, both from Argentina. Fran has been getting into fly-fishing and taught himself some casting. I was pretty impressed with his casting and with some coaching he was making some very good casts as the day went on. Sergio had never fished before, so I got him casting a spinning rod and working stickbaits. We had overcast conditions (with a little rain late in the day) and a north wind around 4 to 5 mph at best. Within an hour Sergio had landed two nice lake trout in shallow water. One was around 18" and one was 22". Our second area produced two hits for Fran, the second hit resulting in an 18" landlocked salmon that he landed and we released.

Sergio had two good hits and then lost another 18" range salmon on a jump in the next area we fished and that was it. Given the "calm wind forecast" I was happy to see the winds up out of the north and the guys catching some nice fish.

I get asked about the winds on occasion and recently had a local angler email me with a report of some good trout and salmon fishing during glassy, sunny conditions. I've never said that you can't catch fish when it's like glass out. I just find that day-in and day-out, calm conditions in a clear lake tend to make for spooky fish. What I like about the wind is that it forms currents which move plankton. This typically will activate baitfish, which move in to feed on the plankton. And that sets up gamefish in predictable areas. The wind and wave action diffracts the sun, which helps to camouflage the bottom and enables predators to move shallow with less likelihood of getting preyed upon by birds and other predators. When I have no wind, I need to step on my trolling motor to move the boat. That tends to spook fish. Fish will often follow lures but not commit to them. That can be fun to watch but also frustrating.

I like to go with the highest percentage fishing available. When it's calm out the best bet is often making long casts with spinning rods. Hair jigs and stickbaits can be very effective. And deeper water or working along edges or cliff areas can be good. Any murky water (like around creek mouths) is also worth checking out. (Doing some laker jigging or bass/crappie fishing can be a better bet when it's calm and sunny out – it's a much higher percentage proposition – so that's why I do it and recommend it.) But there are exceptions to the rule and salmon often like basking in the sun. I'll even see them move up creek mouths on occasion in the springtime just to get into some warmer water. It also makes for great cigar smoking. Bottom line: Even if it's calm and sunny out and the bite might be tough, it's still worth going fishing!