Cayuga Lake 7/28 – 30


Guiding has kept me super-busy in July, and August will be more of the same. I've had to work extra-hard to make up for lost time due to the poor weather and slow fishing in May, along with the harsh winter. So needless to say, I was looking forward to spending a few days fishing with my pal Mike. Originally we planned on a Lake Champlain trip, but the places I called were booked solid, so we decided to stay closer to home. I was hoping to hit Cayuga for a day targeting browns, Lake Ontario for either gar/bass or browns and giant smallmouths, then Cayuga for largemouths. We wound up spending all three days on Cayuga, which provided some terrific fishing and some relief for my wallet. Here's how things went:

7/28 AM: We went out of Myers Point targeting browns. I got to our area and within short order we started catching lakers. The laker fishing was really good, though no pigs. Mike wound up getting a nice brown around 20". We each had a lot of opportunities, but no cigars. Storms blew us off the lake around noontime. Eventually I will likely do some guiding for browns, but areas are limited and success rates vary greatly. They aren't nearly as widely distributed as lakers and I really am not interested in whacking a bunch of these fish. Laker areas are vast and there's plenty of room to get away from other anglers. There's never an excuse for laker jiggers to be right on top of each other. Never – the lakers are all over the place. But browns are also tough to handle and will easily beat themselves up flopping around on the bottom of a boat.

7/29: We launched at Union Springs around 9:30 am if I remember correctly. Maybe it was a little later. We were very excited to get out and see for ourselves what the bass fishing was like. We spent our time targeting 3 main areas. There were bass in all of them, but one of them was tremendous. As has been the case over the past few years, Mike has really been on top of his bass fishing. This was my first time largemouth fishing this season! When I started this business, I was doing some tournaments and really into bassin, but most of my calls are for lakers and other species. I love fishing bass, but the stuff we do on Cayuga isn't real easy and requires the ability to cast baitcasters and fish hard with intensity.

We wound up the day with 20 solid largemouths (including one smallmouth) landed before we quit around 8 pm. The smallmouth was 13" long and largies averaged 15" to 18" and ran to 20". It was some of the best bass fishing I've ever had on Cayuga. We also caught a boatload of pickerel. Fish came on crankbaits, plastic worms and tubes.

The cool part of the day for me catching the first crappie I've caught in this lake since the late 1980s or early 1990s! The fish was a beautiful 13"er. I lost another one and also landed a 14" white perch! Later on I landed a 13" to 14" yellow perch.

7/30: We went back to Union Springs starting around 10:30 or 11 am. The wind was up but we were able to get on the bass again in short order. Mike landed one within around 2 or 3 casts. My first fish came quickly as well but was a 26" pike. I caught yet another crappie (11") on a big crankbait. This crappie was in a completely different area than the two I hooked yesterday. So that was a good sign. Mike hammered the bass – he landed 7 or 8 before I even got one! But that's the way fishing goes. I'm always happy for my buddies, but it's nice to get a few myself. If your fishing buddy enjoys catching fish when you aren't getting anything – find a new buddy! I finally landed a good one as well. We scouted some other areas and didn't find much. And again, thunderstorms chased us off the lake by 4 pm.

What a great fishery Cayuga is! Hard to believe, but in 2 days of bass fishing we caught largemouths, smallmouths, crappies, perch, pickerel, pike, sunfish, bluegills and even white perch. Add in the cold water day and we caught lakers and a brown trout. There's really no absolute need to go elsewhere, though I do enjoy a lot of the great fishing we have around the state. And I kept one crappie, a rockbass and the white perch and did a taste test. Results we be up in the article section shortly.