Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 11/8
What a day on Cayuga! Not the fishing, but the ride back. Wow. I did a half day with Tony (who joined me yesterday as well) targeting pike and/or bass. We went with pike given the weather conditions. The forecast called for sunny conditions with N. winds from 10 – 15 mph gusting to 25, whichare pretty strong winds, but not too harsh on Cayuga out of Taughannock most of the time. I informed Tony that the lake is more of a quality rather than quantity fishery for pike and he went to work. He had a hit and separate quick hook-up in the first two hours, but nothing solid. Clouds rolled in and the weather looked ominous, but pike seemed active. The first pike of the day landed was a 30.5″ fish that came on a Sworming Hornet/Lunker City Shaker combo. The winds were pretty brutal (white caps) and after a couple more drifts Tony hooked and landed a solid, hefty pike – a 36″er. Very nice healthy looking robust fish. Fishing was tough due to the wind, chopped up weeds and loads of leaves on the surface, but Tony managed a nice walleye midday on Conesus Lake earlier in the year after a very tough day, so I don’t worry about him – he doesn’t give up!
We tried another area and he had a hit. By then we decided it was time to go. The winds were really picking up! The ride back was in the roughest conditions I’ve ever dealt with on the Finger Lakes (or maybe anywhere else for that matter.) We had strong waves for much of the journey back, but the wind wasn’t just a northerly, it was a northeasterly and the section of lake around Taughannock and just south was brutal. Winds weren’t just gusting into the 30s, it was a continuous strong wind – likely at least 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts (there were wind advisories issue around much of the Northeast, though that wasn’t the case in the AM when I listened to the weather forecast.) It felt like more. The boat felt airbourne, though it wasn’t. I had to power over waves it order to keep from spearing the next ones – and I’ve done that before, but this was another “step up” from what I’d dealt with. Unreal. I felt like the Skipper and Gilligan combined!
I wear a survival suit oftentimes this time of year, so I had that onand Tony had his lifejacket on. My advice to anyone out on the water this time of year is to either purchase a survival suit or at least get a hold of some of the US Coast Guard Approved Type I PFDs. The usual Type 3s everyonewearsare pretty worthless in heavy chop. Type 1 life jackets are big and reflectiveand will turn the wearer face up in the water. My other advice is – when in iffy conditions is to PUT ON THE TYPE 1 LIFEJACKETS BEFORE YOU START MOTORING!!! Don’t just wear type 3s thinking that “if it gets bad, we’ll put on the type 1s” – it doesn’t work that way. By the time things get bad, you won’t be able to put them on – you won’t have time or the “serenity of the lake” to do it!
As we rolled back into Taughannock Tony’s wife Barb pulled in and gave us the spinning finger near the headsign i.e. the youguys are crazy sign and she was right – but we wouldn’t have gone out had we known what the conditions wound up being. But a good day fishing and tricky ride back still beats a lot of other activities (I can’t say work…) Water temps are around 52. I’d give it another week before salmon fishing. We want 48 or 49 – no more than 50 at least. Water level is good but down a little – we bottomed out slightly coming back into Taughannock (due to the wave dispersion.)