Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 12/26 + 12/28


Monday Dec. 26th was a brutal day out on Cayuga! Strong North winds gusting close to 30 mph. I worked the southern portions of the lake on the west side for salmon and pike. I had one BIG pike follow in a fly but that was it. Boat control was very difficult and I did a bit of anchoring.

Today was a full day. Started with a 1/2 day guide trip in the morning with Mike and his kids. Over the past year I’ve made 2 exceptions to my “2 person” rule for guide trips. For lake trout jigging things worked OK. In general it is a compromise. The more people on board the less attention I can give any one person. If you’re looking to learn a new technique, it’s best one on one, or one on two. Anyways, this was Mike’s 3rd. trip with me this year which is great to see! Like I mentioned before, the return trips this year have been great. It was tough going from the start as the south winds were much stronger than forecast. We worked various areas for pike without any hits. Duck hunters were out in droves and I wasn’t able to fish some good pike areas. After working both shores of the south end of the lake we motored north to the Millican area to try some lake trout jigging. We jigged for around 1/2 hour or so without any hits. The lake got pretty rough and Mike and the kids had their fill so we called it a day. We did mark some fish from 70′ to 100′ of water.

After the trip was over I went back out and tried some salmon fishing around Willow/Crowbar. No luck at all. Worked a lot of areas for pike without any action. Finally the wind subsided and the duck hunters cleared and I was able to work some other pike areas. I was able to locate a bunch of fish and I landed around 5 pike along with a couple pickerel. One pike was around 33″ give or take, but most were smaller 25″ to 30″ fish. They were in concentrated in cold muddy water, which was a surprise to me. As usual, all fish were released. I can’t stress how important catch and release is for bigger pike. The reason Cayuga is so good for pike is that a.) there’s next to no ice-fishing and b.) very few people fish them. Fishing pressure can quickly decimate pike populations.