Cayuga Lake out of Cayuga State Park 5/25


Got up on the N. end of the lake with my buddy Mike at around noon and we set out to explore. We found plenty of gar, bluegills/sunfish, rockbass, perch, largemouth bass and carp on the lake’s north end. Mike threw a spinnerbait for a bit and caught some very sizeable bass to nearly 4lbs. Plenty of gar were around, though I didn’t bring gar gear, the fish were chasing white lures. Water temps on the N. end of the lake range from around 66 to over 70!

Word is a few crappies have been around over the past few weeks, but we checked some very nice looking areas and never encountered a single one. Maybe in ten years they’ll be back in numbers worth fishing for – either way, we keep trying on occasion for them….

But we wanted to catch pickerel today and that’s what we did. A lot of stuff worked OK – hollowbodied swim baits, Superflukes, tubes, spinnerbaits etc… but Mike found a great set-up that really hammered them. And they were very, very nice pickerel – many between 23″ and 26″ – about the same size as many northern pike you might encounter on Seneca Lake or Irondequoit Bay. Good fish! They hit very hard and fought very well. Mike used a 1/2 oz swim bait with a steady retrieve and occasional pauses. We fished around 10 to 12′ of water. They weren’t the skinny post-spawn fish we often encounter in May – these fish are rebounding and feeding well.

We kept a limit of solid fish today. Many had good sized perch in their stomachs along with occasional sunfish and crayfish. Mike’s been perfecting fish patties using pickerel and they’ve been fantastic. So our pickerel will mostly be processed into tasty patties. Once I get a really great recipe itemized, I’ll post it on this site. Mike’s recipe is fantastic – gleaned from the Outdoor (sort of like Time-Life) series – basically food processed pickerel, milk and egg combined with some cooked potato, breadcrumbs, salt and cayenne. Dredge the burger sized patties with flour, breadcrumbs (panko) or cracker crumbs and fry till done. They are great alone or served on a roll with a pickle and whatever other toppings you like – e.g., lettuce, tomato, onion etc…