Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 9/14 AM
Today was a day when my “when in doubt, go out” philosophy backfired on us a bit. I guided Steve and his son Tyler this AM. It was Steve’s birthday, so he wanted to do the trip today. I looked at a couple wind forecasts and one was for 7 to 14 mph out of the north and the other was in the same range but in the upper part. The lake was pretty flat when I rode over to Taughannock Park to pick the guys up. The sun was out and I thought we were going to get away with one. But the wind just came up and up. Before long it was honking out of the north at around 15 to 17 mph in my estimation. We had higher gusts.
We weren’t able to take advantage of the calmer conditions that we dealt with for the first hour. Steve has a lot of history on Seneca Lake so the chop was nothing new to him. We persevered with heavy jigs and a large driftsock out and he was able to land a nice 19″ salmon that we released and a solid 27″ laker that we kept. He had another fish on for awhile that wound up getting off when it got under the drift bag. Our ride back to the park was bumpy to say the least but not terrible – we stayed dry. The guys had fun and may make this an annual outing, so hopefully next time the weather will cooperate.
I’ve been eating a lot more lake trout than usual this season. I have been super impressed by how good these Cayuga fish have been on the table. Just superb! One of the most common questions I get asked is “how do you like to cook your trout?” On occasion I enjoy smoking trout. I have a 30″ Masterbuilt that is a terrific smoker. I am getting used to it and learning its idiosyncrasies. Most people like smoked fish but many fish are great smoked. I’ve heard even smoked carp is great. But in the past I’ve smoked bluefish, trout and salmon and they all turn out great.
My favorite way to cook lakers as of late has been by filleting the fish, skinning them, cutting out the ribcage and lateral line (the dark meat that resides under the fish skin) and then cutting the fillet into pieces. If I had the fillet laid out on a board horizontally, I would cut pieces vertically (from the top of the fillet down to the belly) that are around 3/4″ thick. Then I just dredge the pieces in plain flour, fry on each side in HOT oil, season with salt and serve with some lemon juice on top. They have been absolutely fantastic. A lot of guys like salmon, browns and rainbows better, but if you take time out and prepare the lakers properly, they can be every bit as good as just about any fish out there. I don’t pine for walleyes when I’ve savoring the lake trout. They are great. I love perch and walleyes too (along with plenty of other species) but if you haven’t cooked up a laker in a while, try this method out. As always, make sure to kill the fish immediately upon catching them (bleed them out) and get them right on ice. I will post some photos of the steps I do to prepare these fish sometimes soon.