Cayuga Lake N. end (Cayuga State Park) 4/2


Decisions, decisions, decisions! After 3 days of teaching and some inclement weather what’s a fisherman to do? I talked to my buddy Jarrod three times on Wednesday trying to come up with something. Do we go to Skaneateles Lake for some rainbows, perch and salmon? How about Owasco for the first time this year for some big smallies and maybe some laker jigging and a whack at a few rainbows/browns? Better yet, Cayuga Lake has been fantastic for trout and salmon – so we could go there. Or Seneca. Or Fairhaven on Lake Ontario and cast for spring browns. It was an angler’s dilemma. A Central NY angler’s dilemma that is.

After careful consideration of the conditions and weather/wind forecast we settled on some good old panfishing on the N. end of Cayuga. Jarrod whacked around 90 perch there with his father in-law on Tuesday. They found some nice schools of 10″ to 13″ fish on Cayuga, which has been the ‘hot perch lake’ according to anglers Jarrod talked to while working at BPS last weekend. We decided on 1/2 day of perch, then we’d do my ‘once every 2 years’ attempt at seeing whether Cayuga Lake still holds much of a crappie population.

Perch fishing was very good to downright superb. We found our own areas, away from the pack of 23 boats huddled together S. of Frontenac Island. There was probably upwards of 40 to 45 boats out on Cayuga perch fishing. We were able to mark fish in 16′ to 19′ of water and just have at them with various rigs incl. a buckshot spoon with a dropper, double hook rigs with plastics and so on. We used bits of night crawlers and they worked great. We started around 9 am and by noon we had landed 80 to 100 fish, keeping 47 perch. We had a ton of doubles. I’d be lying if I said they were all 9″ or better – we had a fair number of 8″ fish, but they are filletable and that’s what I’ll be doing for the next hour and a half. Great fun and great eating – that’s what pans are about. If you want guaranteed perch Cayuga is the place to be. We saw a few bass, some good carp (not an oxymoron!)and a few pickerel around here and there. The high point of the day was what looked to be a 2′ sturgeon (he’s 80% sure) that Jarrod saw on the Cayuga/Seneca Canal. It may have been a pike, but Jarrod handles plenty of pike on the St. Lawrence River for ESF Fisheries and it didn’t look or move like a pike/pickerel. Crappie fishing didn’t pan out. We tried a bunch of areas from Mud Locks on south and never saw or hooked any. The one area we tried that looked most promising is still more or less permanently off limits to fishing (we found out.) Water temps ranged from the low 40s to nearly 50 degrees on the N. end below the RR. tracks. Water levels are LOW. There’s also a lot of muddy water around.