Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 12/26 PM
Got out here for 4 hours. I was hoping to pike fish a bit today as well as try to find out how the inshore bite was on trout/salmon/bass. First off, launching is still possible over at Myers with smaller, lighter boats. I bottomed out slightly on the way back in, but since the park personnel dredged the channel out a bit a year or two ago, it’s been much easier motoring out. The lake level is good for this time of year with plenty of clear water still running into the lake from numerous tributaries. Water temperature on the surface is 43 degrees. Water clarity is very good with the exception of the south end, where there is some color to the water, but more of a greenish color than brown.
Fishing was tough today. Pike fishing has really cratered in the southern portions of this lake over the past 5 years. I didn’t fish all the likely pike areas I’m familiar with, but many places I checked had next to no weedgrowth. This lack of habitat isn’t good for pike. They need weeds for spawning, to ambush prey and for nursery areas. Some of it could be from the algae blooms – cutting off the sunlight really retards weed growth. There could be other reasons as well, but either way, many formerly productive areas for pike/pickerel are barren now. I did fish some of them anyways and didn’t see any signs of fish. Pike seem to be doing alright on the north end of Cayuga Lake, but it’s still 95%+ pickerel up there.
I did a lot of casting in the 8′ to 30’+ zone for lake trout that might have moved up shallow for gobies. In one area I landed a 25″ laker on a tube jig that I kept. I had a couple other hits in that same basic spot, but didn’t hook up. My plan was to cover water today, so I didn’t double-back on any good areas.
Casting stickbaits and jigs for shallow browns and salmon was also very slow. On one point I had two sublegal browns on nearly consecutive casts follow in my stickbait, but the fish were probably around 13″ long at best. I’d rather not even hook them. In another area I had another small, sublegal trout follow in a lure. I had a few hits on a bladebait in an area that’s generally pretty good for smallmouths, but no hook-ups. I’m not sure if the fish were small or just negative/neutral, but I felt like I should have hooked up something given the hits I was getting.
I filleted up my lake trout and it had what appeared to be a pretty well-digested goby in its stomach. Today was one person fishing a half a day and there’s only so much water I can cover. In a week, it could be a completely different story, but overall I wasn’t too encouraged by what I saw today. Last year, a lot more lake trout were in shallow during the month of December. If food is around, they will be there. Whatever food source they were keying in on last year probably isn’t around in good number this year thus far. I did check the deeper water out with laker jigs and didn’t have any action. I marked a few fish out from 80′ to 160′ but not many. The bite may just have been “off” with the full moon and rain events we’ve been having. Some fish also could have pulled into the south end flat, which is more of a troller’s game. We’ll see eventually.