Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 2/10 PM
Did a 1/2 day trip out of Taughannock with Rob and Chloe starting around 11:45 am. The highs today were forecast to be around 29 to 34 degrees, depending on which weather service you clicked on. In a nutshell it was cold!
I used to not do guided trips unless highs were supposed to be in the upper 30s or low 40s. In the 2000s and early 2010s, before large numbers of lake trout were moving in shallow, we had to fish deep water flats for them – which usually meant launching out of Long Point. Long Point Marina is one of the first to freeze up. That is the widest part of the lake and a wide open area of Cayuga Lake in terms of shelter from north winds – there is none! A good wind can pound you over there! Now we have good numbers of lakers ringing Cayuga Lake. It's great! There are plenty of good places to fish out of the wind.
Salmon and pike fishing usually meant dealing with wind. Wind at 30 degrees makes for very uncomfortable casting. With plenty of fish now in the shallows, it is possible to go out of Taughannock and catch fish even with light to non-existent winds, though a little breeze usually seems to help. Cold weather plays havoc with fishing line. Fly-fishing is a chore when 9 guides are freezing up constantly. So I still prefer temps above freezing and the more wind, the warmer I like it to be.
Cold conditions i.e. less that freezing temperatures play havoc with a lot of stuff. I've had my boat frozen to my boat trailer bunks. It's weird watching your trailer float with your boat. Today the opposite happened. My trailer bunks were like sheets of ice. My boat glided off the trailer as if it was a roller trailer. Fortunately I didn't unhook my chains until the boat was in the water. But it shot off! Managing fishing line was another cold-related issue today. We had a lot of line misbehaving in the cold. Bring a bunch of outfits with you when fishing in air below 40 degrees!
Fishing was tough today with muddy water in a lot of areas and zero wind for most of the day. Rob wound up with the hot hand today and he landed two lakers in the 23" range and one very solid pike at 34". We kept the lakers – one was filled with gobies. Chloe had a salmon (I think) after her first or second cast that chased in his jig. They had a couple other hits but overall we didn't have a whole lot of action. It felt like 20 degrees out once the sun got clouded over and the wind kicked up. It did manage to hit around 32 today. A lot of people were out shore fishing. I have never seen more shore anglers on Cayuga during the winter as I have this year and last, due largely to the fun laker action. The lakers fought very well for us today as did the pike. Fun day, but cold!