Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 1/2/24
It felt great to kick off the New Year and month of January with a guide trip. Joe and Bruce did a half-day trip with me getting underway just after 10 AM. At the boat ramp, we were prepping at the same time as client/friend Jim was. Apart from our two boats, I saw two other boats out jigging lake trout; both likely launched out of Dean’s Cove.
Water temps are still at 43 degrees. Water level is fairly low, but launching and motoring out wasn’t an issue. We had a reasonably good bite to start with Bruce having the hot hand. He wanted a few fish to keep for friends, so the guys obliged me when I asked them about keeping 4 fish for myself if they caught them. I have plenty of time to smoke a batch of lake trout and like to do that a couple times a year. I had decent numbers of fish on the screen but they didn’t cooperate too well for us. Jim had a different story and him and his buddy Gene managed to limit out in around 2 to 2.5 hours, which was great. We moved around a bit and nabbed a fish here and one there.
The bite really got going good for us around 1:30 pm. We were able to get all the fish we wanted and caught and released some for a solid double-digit day. We had two fish over 28″. I believe Jim had fish running to 30″. The fish I filleted were eating very large alewives. They weren’t stuffed for the most part, but were finding enough food to help them fatten up a bit after the spawn. I did mark what appeared to be a bait school or two. We had our best fishing on white/chartreuse swim baits. We did have a few hits on black and a couple fish came on Arkansas Shiner. Our best depths ran from 115′ out to 130′.
A large flock of seagulls (I think) that Joe noticed as we headed out
The way I like to start! Bruce is hooked up
Holding one before the measurement and fin-clip inspection, then into the livewell
The Winter Sky!
All in all, it was a great trip to kick off the 2024 season. Winter lake trout fishing is often top-notch out of Long Point. Finding good days to get out is the challenge. Too many sub-freezing temperature days will result in ice in the harbor, but it does take prolonged cold to do it. There’s a lot of wave action that helps to keep the Long Point launch ramps fairly ice-free.
If you’re going fishing soon in a boat, don’t forget your trailer registration sticker. Now is also a great time to contact DEC and join the diary program, especially if you fish Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua and/or Owasco Lakes. More cooperators certainly wouldn’t hurt on Skaneateles or Cayuga Lakes either.