Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 10/7 PM
Got out on my own for a little "catch 'em and eat 'em" mission. Lake trout jigging was pretty good and I managed to land 4 nice fish including a 28" wild one. I kept two around 24" for the smoker and they were in fine condition – both were full of alewives. I'll be on Keuka Lake later next week, so that will fill my smoker. Anyways, I had action from 80' out to around 110'. Fishing wasn't real easy – the fish were kind of negative. I spent a lot of time switching out colors and trying different stuff. Whether it made a difference or not is debatable.
It had been so long since I'd been out I really wanted to have some great action, so I motored up north for a crack at Cayuga's hefty pickerel population. The pickerel did not disappoint. I probably landed at least 10 in less than 2 hours. I also shook some dinks off and pulled my lure away from some. I kept my limit of 5 fish, all in the 21" to 22" range. One perch also found my spoon. The water temps ranged from 62 to 64 on top and the pickerel were very aggressive! It's a lot of fun watching these crazy cousins of northern pike chase lures and slam them recklessly.They hit hard.
Pickerel are bony – there's no getting around that, but they are superb tablefare and worth the extra effort spent filleting and trimming them. Tonight I'll be making up a massive batch of pickerel patties and freezing a bunch. The fishcakes are superb by themselves, on a roll (with a pickle and mayo) or as a wonderful accompanyment to eggs and bacon/sausage for breakfast. They are a vastly underutilized resource both on the Finger Lakes and on Oneida Lake.