Cayuga Lake 7/19 + Skaneateles Lake 7/20 AM
The algae bloom on Cayuga Lake continues pretty much lake wide as far as I can tell. Fishing is spotty. On any given summer weekend I’ll get reports from 3 to 6 of my clients and friends out on the lake. I’ll also talk to anglers at the launch or on the water at times. Bottom line is that if you’re in the right area at the right time doing the right thing, you can have a good day despite the bloom (e.g., We had that 2-hour flurry last Wednesday just after 2 pm.) If you’re fishing for 8 hours, the other 6 to 7 hours might wind up being a grind. Weather factors including the wind also play a large role – maybe larger than normally.
7/19 Cayuga Lake: My trip yesterday was with Jack who rented a place on Seneca Lake. I guided two parties of 3 people – basically splitting up a full day with Jack’s son-in-laws and grandkids. Seneca would seem to be a no-brainer, but our bite was somewhat spotty on Saturday and forecasts were calling for some strong west winds. I was hoping the winds might clear some of the algae on Cayuga Lake. Other factors played into my decision but I decided to go with Cayuga.
I picked up Jeff, Dan and Jeff’s 13-year-old daughter Leighton just after 6:30 am via boat from Dean’s Cove. Our first area produced a short hook-up for Dan and some hits for everyone else. We worked a bunch of areas and then I decided to make a run after 2 hours. Dan wound up landing a nice fish. We tried more areas with quick hits or nothing at all and finally fished one last area with Dan landing another. Leighton had one for a few seconds too if I remember right. Fish are chasing hard but stopping short of hitting. If these fish were hitting (if the bloom wasn’t happening) the fishing on Cayuga Lake right now would be second to none, however they aren’t committing, so it is tough.
Dan with the first lake trout of the trip
At around 11:45 am we switched out parties and I had Mike and his kids, Parker and Carly. Carly really likes to fish and this whole crew gave a great effort despite the tough bite. (My AM crew also really fished hard, so my hat’s off to all of them.) Carly nabbed a 26″er in short order and was as “cool as a cucumber” (as the saying goes) getting the fish to the net. In another area, Parker landed a nice fish. We had some wild follows to the surface from a very nice rainbow that unfortunately didn’t gobble. In our last area, Mike nabbed two nice fish. So all-in-all, on the split full-day we wound up with 6 solid lakers.
My clients from my Saturday trip on Seneca Lake reported tougher fishing there Sunday but had a great morning today (7/19.) Seneca continues to offer a good alternative to Cayuga Lake during the bloom. I really love the lake and guiding it, but it does pose its own challenges. The normal morning “thermal” on Cayuga Lake that develops into a light chop can give you four-footers on the north end of Seneca Lake. It’s very big water and running from place to place can take up a lot of time. It’s also not a place for kayakers and small craft unless using the utmost in caution.
Carly with the fish that started off our second trip
Parker's lake trout
7/20 Skaneateles Lake: Guided Scott, who has a place on the lake for a half day. He is a regular of mine and one of my favorite people to guide and talk fishing with. We originally were going to do a full day, but the forecasted high temps reaching heat indexes of 100 didn’t sound like too much fun. I swung by his place just after 6:30 am. He wanted to give the lake trout a try. We’ve done a little jigging here in the past with some luck, but he hadn’t tried any in a few years, so we thought it’d be cool to spend the morning scouting and fishing a bunch of different areas not too far from his place.
We marked good numbers of fish including some real nice shoals (aka small schools of fish.) They were fairly inactive for most of the morning. Scott did have a nice salmon chase his jig up but didn’t hit it. We fished a bunch of areas and he wound up landing three typical Skaneateles Lake Trout. A few were dropped as well. Best action was fairly deep – 90′ to 105′, although we marked some fish shallower (as can be seen in the photo below.) Boat traffic wasn’t too bad here during the morning but I’m guessing as I write this at 2 pm, that it’s getting busy out there.