Cayuga Lake out of Myers Point 7/29


Got out with my buddy Eric for a relaxing day of “old school fishing” – I brought some nightcrawlers and some (hard shell) “crabs” and we headed out around 6:45 am. My goal for the trip (there’s always something…) was to see how abundant gobies are in Cayuga Lake. We were also hoping to find some drum and bass.

Eric landed the first goby just north of Myers Point. It took about 10 minutes to catch one, and it hit a part of a nightcrawler. Coloration appeared to be just like the Lake Ontario gobies. Surprisingly, that fish was the ONLY goby of the day. They may be common, but they haven’t yet turned into the nuisance we are expecting. That may take several years yet.

The panfishing was pretty darn good, and I really enjoyed it. Catching hand-sized pumpkinseeds one after another is more fun than I’d like to admit! I do get questions about panfishing on the Finger Lakes, and for Cayuga we had good action using 1/2 a crawler on a dropshot rig, just off of weedlines and around major points. 14′ to about 18′ FOW was best. I’m guessing the water temp down there is probably around 65. We encountered plenty of large sunfish (7″ to 8″,) bluegills (around 6″) and yellow perch (mostly around 7″ to 9″.) We landed a half dozen sublegal smallmouth bass. Never encountered one over 10″!

Surface temps have dropped considerably on Cayuga Lake and the forecast is for more pleasant days and cool nights. I didn’t see any drum today – at least none that I could confirm. We saw some carp. No sign of gar up by the Power Plant, which is discharging water around 76 degrees.

Smallmouth bass fishing remains slow on Cayuga Lake. When I first moved here in 1995 the smallmouth bass fishing was very good to downright excellent. You could catch them on all the major points and along a lot of shorelines. Apparently there was a die-off around 6 to 7 years ago, and fishing just hasn’t been the same. But these days for me, smallmouths on Cayuga are more of a seasonal opportunity, kind of like pike. There’s good fishing in May up north, and in October and November further south. Summer smallmouth fishing is limited. I’m sure there are some anglers who do ok with them in the summer, but they aren’t common and they aren’t easy. Other lakes offer much better fishing if that’s what you’re after.

Largemouth bass fishing just keeps getting better and better on Cayuga Lake. And today I dropshotted up a chunky 17.5″ largie near Frontenac Point. I’d only caught smallmouths in the past in the area I was fishing – so that does say a lot for the poor quality smallmouth fishing and improving largemouth fishing.