Cayuga Lake 8/26 + Lake Ontario out of Oswego 8/27
Cayuga 8/26 AM: Guided Jack and his grandson Sam for 1/2 day laker jigging. The bite was a little slow for much of the AM. Jack had a few good hits and opportunities but only a 13″ dink laker to show for it. Sam fished hard for awhile but was very tired (he’s 11) and got some shut-eye later on. Shades of our last trip together on 10/4/09! Some nice lakers cooperated on the west shore and Jack got the couple keepers he wanted for the grill. We tried some dropshotting for perch (Sam’s favorite fish to eat) but I wasn’t able to locate much during our last 45 minutes or so. We found some panfish (pumpkinseeds) in around 15′ of water.
PM: Met the Hermans around noon and we headed out. Fishing was pretty good with a few lakers landed and Eleonore landing her first and second brown trout. We kept a 19″er for dinner and released a beautiful 25″er. It’s certainly been the “year of the browns” on Cayuga Lake. Tributary fishermen have a lot to look forward to with browns running from 4 to over 12lbs available on the lake! The usual white and smelt colored shakers did the trick.
August is often my busiest month and after a long run of trips, some recreational fishing and a move I was ready to settle in for a 3 day weekend and get my stereo hooked up, some boxes unpacked and straighten my new apartment out. Phones were turned off and I slept in – but around 11 am I got a call from my buddy Jarrod, who happened to be mating for our former Bass Pro Shops Marine/Camping manager Jerry (Catch 22 Charters) out of Oswego. The Kings were on bottom in around 110′ fow. The lake was flat and the fish were hitting. So I re-hooked up my boat and drove to Oswego…
Lake Ontario out of Oswego Harbor 8/27 PM: I was thrilled to see that Oswego was only 70 miles away from my new apartment and the roads were a straight shot – just Rt. 34 N. to Rt. 104 east. Not as short a drive as when I lived in Rochester, but much nicer than T-Burg. I arrived just after 1 pm and got underway. Trollers had mixed success that AM. Overall, the boats that stayed around 105′ to 120′ did well from what I heard and some that went out deeper didn’t. I kept in touch with Jarrod all day via phone and he kept me informed re: what was going on fishing-wise.
I could easily mark the thermocline with my Lowrance HDS-5. (Actually you don’t mark the temp change, but the micro-organisms that frequent it.) It ran from 95′ to 105′ or so. Jarrod informed me that the wind had picked up a bit. I had North winds around 5 mph to start and waves less than 1′. The Kings aren’t like lake trout – they generally don’t sit still and wait for you to drop jigs on them. They are likely swimming around and chasing schools of bait around. But Jarrod informed me that they were seeing a lot of activity around 128′, so that’s where I went.
It was a zoo out there on some levels boat traffic wise. Trollers all over the place with lots of lines and line out. I rigged up and worked some different jigs. The currents out there were heavy. The north wind was likely stacking warmwater inshore and the thermocline may have been moving out. Lake Ontario is a very dynamic environment! The trolling bite was slow according to Jarrod. I saw one fish hooked and Jerry’s group landed two on their PM/Evening Charter- so it wasn’t a great bite during the PM. I did manage to have a fish or two move up and then down for my jigs. That was all I needed to see. I worked out to 150′ and then all the way back into less than 100′. By then the waves were 1′ to 3′ and if it got rougher, I’d have to leave. I was reeling up a large smelt colored Fin-S Fish when I saw a beautiful brown around 8 to 9lbs behind it! The brown circled for the jig a few times then disappeared. Just can’t keep the browns away this year! I gave things around 5 hours or more then left at 7 pm. I’ll be back. At my rate of one attempt per year, I likely won’t nail a King on a jig for a few more years, so I need to step it up. Regarding jigging browns on Lake Ontario, that, I’m fully confident in, and don’t be surprised if we do very well with it! I saw all I needed to see yesterday. We will get it done – that, and the Kings too. Fun day and worth the drive.