Cayuga Lake 9/30, 10/2; Oneida Lake 10/1 PM
Guided Cayuga Lake out of Myers on September 30th and October 2nd. I kicked off October on my own on Oneida Lake for an afternoon/evening of fishing.
9/30 AM: Guided Curt, his daughter Jenna and Jenna’s boyfriend Matt for a 1/2 day trip starting at 7:45 am. First off, boat traffic remains light on Cayuga Lake with hunting seasons getting underway. We had a slow AM with Matt managing one laker. The bite got hot a couple hours into the trip with some non-stop action in one area. We had a double or two and everyone kept me busy with netting, dehooking and rigging. A dozen solid lakers were landed.
Matt with the first fish of the trip
Jenna hooked up
Curt and Jenna with a trout
Jenna on again
9/30 PM: Guided Dave and his old friends Rich and Jim for a 1/2 day starting just after 1 pm. The wind really kicked up once we got underway and we had a bumpy wet ride to the area I wanted to fish – which was the same place we left the fish hitting at during the morning trip. I was almost regretting the run, but we all knew that the winds weren’t supposed to be blowing as harshly as they were. Fortunately the winds did eventually diminish a bit during our trip. But it took a while.
It didn’t take long before Dave was into a nice laker. By the end of the day the guys had landed another dozen nice fish for a great outing. And again we left them hitting.
Dave with the first fish. Good chop on the lake!
10/1 Oneida Lake: Did my second trip of the year out to Oneida Lake. I have fished this lake sporadically since around 1986 or ’87. The first time I came out here (for open water fishing as opposed to ice fishing) was in the mid-1980s and I had a great day nabbing a 24″ walleye among other fish, which at the time was a very nice fish for this lake. I was in a buddy’s boat and he knew the lake pretty well. I’ve only done a handful of trips here on my own and I have struggled with the fishing here at times over the years. I always liked the lake but it hasn’t always been good to me. This has changed over the past couple years and I now look forward to fishing here. In the past I usually fished it out in someone else’s boat – whether my old buddy Craig, Mike or Terry. I recently found a good route to get here that keeps me out of Syracuse’s “can of worms” and have been enjoying the fishing here immensely.
My day couldn’t have gone much better to start. The conditions were good and I started by working an area I hadn’t fished before – just casting and relaxing. No luck there, so I went to an offshore shoal. Within around 10 minutes I hooked up my first fish – a chunky 17″ smallmouth. I wound up catching a couple more good bass including an 18 1/2″er. Walleyes were hitting well but catching 15″+ keepers was tough. I started with a 16 1/2″ fish and later landed a 19″er along with around 8 other smaller walleyes.
The wind was blowing pretty good and I went to the area I caught them in back in August. After a half an hour I had keeper #3. It was a solid 18″ fish. This is when things took a turn for the worse. I thought I’d keep casting so I could upgrade my 16 1/2″ fish. Why not? I was in a good area and I’d just caught a keeper. My fish were doing great swimming around my livewell, so no harm in culling one out. Sure enough, a couple casts later I had another walleye – a dink around 12″ or 13″. I grabbed the fish to dehook it but didn’t get a good grip on it when it shook (“juked”). Ouch!!! In went one of the trebles on my Shadow Rap! Right into the fleshy part of the base of my thumb. And of course the fish is still hooked up on the other end! Fortunately I was able to dehook the fish easily enough then cut the lure off the line. The hook was deep – right into the bend. Do I rip it back out or push it through to cut the barb? I’m trailering my boat so a visit to an ER is out of the question, plus it wasn’t embedded in a critical part of my body.
As I watched the blood streaming down my hand and saw the slightly swollen area by my thumb I realized that my needle nose pliers with wire cutter were both in my other boat! I had a few tools onboard but not the ones I needed. So let this be a warning to any anglers out there to make sure you have wire cutters on board as well as good pliers! Add in a first aid kit for good measure (which I do have on both boats.) The positive thing about the Shadow Rap is that the barbs are small. The hooks are sticky sharp but not very strong, so I was concerned about breaking off the hook when I yanked it out but not too worried about ripping up the base of my thumb. Fortunately I had my Baker Hook-out on me (I never thought of it as a dehooking tool for a human!) It did the trick. One good yank and it was out. I cleaned up the wound with paper towel and an alcohol pad, bandaged it up and was good to get off the lake. No photos but I don’t need to remember this episode. But very solid fishing on Oneida Lake and I may be back soon.
10/2: Guided Jaime, from last week and his friends Joe and (Joe’s son) Joey for a full day trip. Action was slow to start and then picked up for 3 or 4 hours then slowed down a bit again. We still had a good day with a dozen nice lakers caught. Depths ranged from around 85′ out to about 130′ for us. It was a beautiful day out on the water and leaves are just starting to change.
Open dates are as follows:
October: 11th (Columbus Day), 31st.
November: 7th, 11th – 14th, 20th – 21st, 25th – 30th.
December: This month is always weather dependent. I am happy to write in a tentative date but chances are it will get moved.
2022: I do have my calendar for next year in hand, so if you want the best selection of dates, now’s the time to book!