Cayuga Lake 9/10 – 12


Cayuga Lake fishing for lake trout is settling into a usual September pattern.  Strong winds and fronts have been pushing through seemingly every other day.  Lake trout are getting closer to the spawn – eggs and milt sacks are well-developed.  Fish are tending to push deeper.  The bite is hot and cold and becoming more sporadic, though fishing is still good to very good for the most part.  As surface temperatures cool we now have large swaths of water in the 68 to 70 degree range that are moving around.

9/8:  Guided Rich and his son Steffan for a full day.   Rich wanted to take home “big fish and lots of them” which I found kind of funny when he first contacted me.  It is called “fishing and not catching” but after talking to him we were on the same page.  They’d had a tough Lake Ontario Charter with some good hookups but no fish landed.

Fortunately we had a great day on Cayuga and Rich and his son wound up landing a great bunch of trout.  We finished with around a dozen solid lakers.   Fishing was solid throughout the day.


9/10:  Guided Mark I. for a full day.  We had a slow morning with ample fish around us but nothing to show for it apart from some missed hits and momentary hook ups.  As the day went on, the bite improved.  Mark wound up landing a half dozen solid fish.  He had four lakers between 28″ and 30″.   He had one salmon.

One rainbow went after his jig four times but never grabbed it.  This has to be the best year that I’ve ever seen for rainbows on this lake. (I have had my own boat here since 2002, so I can’t speak to the 1970s/80s/90s which were some banner years on Cayuga, but certainly over the past 20 years.)   They appear to be the most common salmonid next to the lakers!   You can’t have it all and I’m sure someone will complain about the lower numbers of browns, but the rainbow numbers have been superb.  Size and condition have also been great.

9/8 Rich with a nice fish

9/8 Steffan with a good one

9/10 Mark with a beauty!

9/10 I'm holding a nice one Mark caught

9/11:  Guided Greg for a 1/2 day starting around 7:30 am.  We had a tough bite today.  The cloud cover and strong winds didn’t help us.  We had huge swaths of warm water in a lot of areas we fished that necessitated for a deeper presentation.  Greg did manage a very nice 31″ laker and a smaller one around 25″ or 26″ if I remember right.  The AM bite certainly seemed off for us.

9/12:  Guided Van and his son Hunter for a full day.  The Bears/Barneys fall derby was going on today.  For what it’s worth, when I wrapped up my day today I took a look at the leaderboard – an 11lb lake trout was leading the laker category.  The non-laker category was dominated by rainbows – a 6lb 8oz and then two 6lb 6oz fish.   That just amazes me – how darn good the rainbow fishing has been on Cayuga Lake this year.

We had very solid fishing with somewhat slow action in the morning and slower fishing in the afternoon.  From mid-AM to early PM, we had some very steady action on nice fish ranging from 24″ to 27″ for the most part.  We had a 24″ rainbow and also a salmon around 20″ that literally jumped out of my net.  It’s the first time I’ve had that happen!  It was all catch and release today, apart from a mortally wounded lake trout that I wound up taking home for dinner.  Best action was on the whites today.  We had most of our action from 70′ to 110′, with fish marked out to 140′.  They are gradually moving deeper, which always happens this time of year as waters start cooling and adding to the top layer above the thermocline.

Remaining dates:  I don’t have much over the next couple months but it never hurts to ask!   Weather is always a factor this time of year with continual fronts moving in, so for example a date that may not work for a 3 person trip for lakers on Cayuga Lake might be alright for a 2 person trip on Owasco.  Some people can reschedule easily – others are just up here for a set period of time and want to fish no matter what.

September is completely booked up.

October:  3rd, 10th, 18th and 31st remain open.

November:  All of November except 11/6 and 11/7 is available for trips.  It’s a great month for pike, salmon, lake trout -both deep and shallow as well as mixed bag casting.