Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 1/28
Got out with my friend Eric today for around 5 hours of casting and fly-fishing. According to yesterday's forecast we were supposed to have NW winds at around 5 mph and sun but today the forecast was changed to light and variable i.e. oftentimes non-existent winds. That can make the fishing a bit trickier.
Using hairjigs resulted in three lake trout hookups for me – one that I didn't bring to the net (maybe a 25" or 26"er.) The fish are fighting with a lot of vigor. I landed on nice salmon on an intermediate fly-line – it was over 21". Apart from that, we had a few other possible hits.
Eric landed the fish of the day (maybe one of the season) on his spinning gear. We thought he had a lake trout. When I netted the fish I thought "hybrid pike/pickerel," but nope – it was the most massive pickerel I'd ever seen! It wasn't a state record fish but it was in that ball park. 28 1/2" long and incredibly fat! This pickerel had to be at least 7lbs – at least by my estimation. It was very thick bodied and again, it had some serious length. I will get a photo up of the fish once Eric sends me the pics. Best pickerel I've ever seen by a long shot – I've caught a couple 27"s and seen a skinny 28" but this one was proportioned more like a walleye. Eric also had a couple other hits and got one other pickerel.
Overall the lake trout and brown trout bites have been good to very good this winter. I'd call the inshore lake trout fishing good to excellent. I have never seen it better. Landlocked salmon action has not been as good as last year so far. Thus far I'd call it "fair" fishing. A few areas have good numbers of young sublegal and barely legal fish. In general, I am not sure what's going on. I know from the overall fishing in 2017 that there are good numbers of salmon around. We are unlikely to repeat what we saw last year. It's rare that we have two banner years in a row. Seeing dropbacks is a great sign. Some salmon are clearly feeding on gobies along bottom while others are up higher. I kept my salmon today and it had a couple alewives in its stomach. It also had a lamprey scar. Water level is still good for the winter and the temp is 38/39.