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

Nice fish

Joe on

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.