Cayuga Lake 4/6 – 4/8


Did three days in a row of guiding on Cayuga Lake. The “wild card” goby forage dynamic continues to mystify. Alewives are making a strong showing up north. It is very intriguing.

4/6: Did a full day out of Long Point with Paul, Keith and Keith’s son Noah. Last time I guided these guys was back around 2006 when Noah was maybe 8 or 9 years old. Now he’s in college and a heck of a bass fisherman – the passage of time is just astonishing. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago…. Lake trout jigging was fantastic with a terrific deep bite. The guys landed around 23 to 24 solid fish with numerous trout in the 27″ to 30″ range. We only had a couple wild fish. Paul wanted to harvest a lot of lakers. I cleaned 12 fish and although I didn’t throroughly check all the stomach contents, nearly all of them were packed with alewives of varying sizes. I had one fish with a goby. That was it. Over the last couple years most lakers we caught this time of year had around 50% or more gobies in them. Weird.

4/7: Guided Mark I. and his friend Dick out of Taughannock for a full day starting at 9 am. The predicted south winds that we wanted for inshore fly-fishing and casting never materialized. A couple of my friends were out on the lake. Most people reported a slow to very slow day out there. We had slow fishing. Jigging started out slow near the power plant but Dick managed one laker. Casting was tough as well with Dick nabbing one 22″ really beautiful salmon. We went back to jigging and Mark caught a good laker and the guys dropped a couple. Nice day to be out but pretty darn tough action.

4/8: Today was a late booking with Eric and his wife Molly. They had never caught lakers so we gave the jigging a go where I’d left off with Mark the day before. We had a solid bite with 5 fish landed and 3 dropped. Casting resulted in some follows from solid salmon but no grabs. The weather was fantastic and the predicted strong southerlies and westerlies didn’t materialize until we were off the water at 1 pm.

Cayuga Lake remains low. The lack of rain has made for cold conditions throughout the lake and in front of stream mouths, including the south end. The usual warm water spring trolling/casting hot areas are cold. In addition, the low lake levels result in a lot of the south end areas being two to three feet shallower than normal, so fish in those areas would be very skittish or somewhat scarce. April has shaped up to be a tougher than usual month on Cayuga Lake so far for salmon and browns. Deep laker fishing up north is great though.