Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/11


Got the 2012 guiding season to a start with longtime clients Ed and Stan. I got the boat launched at 7:45 am and was ready to roll. The guys got in and everytime I put the motor in reverse, it died. Long story short – I managed to wrap one of the aerator hoses around my prop!

Lesson #1: When water is low at launch, do not trim big motor down. Use trolling motor power to get into the lake, then fire up big motor.

Lesson #2: Thankfully the prop was an older beat-up one. Never a good idea to use a pristine prop for winter fishing around low water launches. I will put a new prop on once water levels reach full pool.

After a quick prop swap, I was ready to roll. Stan had to be on the road by noon, so we didn’t have too much time to check anything out. We tried landlocked salmon fishing with our fly-rods and Stan had one hit, but nothing else. After an hour and a half at two different areas, we decided lakers would be a quicker and surer bet, so we ran up past the power plant.

The laker fishing was excellent – especially for this time of year. The guys managed a couple double hookups and landed 7 nice fish to 29″ and missed another 10 to 20 hits or more. Some of the fish had some real “game” and fought well. Before we knew it, it was time to go. We kept a few and one was starting to feed on alewives.

At 1 pm I picked up my buddy Mike at the launch and we headed back north. We also managed to land 7 nice lakers and I was happy that the fish were hitting well. We tried an hour and a half of salmon fishing with our fly-rods to end the day. I managed a 20.5″ fish S. of Taughannock. Some guys we’d met at the ramp have had a couple great days for salmon over the past week, landing some real beauties! It was good to see.

Water temps are the highest I’ve seen for this time of year – 40 degrees on the surface. Fishermen are reporting quite a few lamprey sightings on their salmon. Our lakers were clean. We had 3 lampreys come up on the total of 14 lakers I handled today, and two of the eels were on one fish. Most were very nice, healthy looking lakers, so overall I don’t think things are as bad as some anglers think. My salmon had an older scar, but we’ve heard that large percentages of salmon have attached small lampreys on them. Some fish have had upwards of 4 eels on them. Maybe the eels are gravitating towards the salmon, but either way, the salmon have been in good to excellent condition length vs. weight-wise. I weighed a legit 9lb Landlock for a fisherman today (the biggest I’d ever seen in person) – and it was fat, probably at least 28″ long. This warm-up will show us what we have in terms of salmon on Seneca and Cayuga Lakes!