Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 5/14 midday
Had a late booking with Tony and Pete for a casting trip targeting salmon/trout and pike/pickerel. I give these guys credit – I had two postponements due to the weather and the guys decided to fish despite air temps in the 40s, rain and much more wind that we expected. These guys fish hard, enjoy themselves out there and understand fishing. We've had some great fishing days together (e.g. pike on Seneca last fall) and a few tougher ones.
Conditions were difficult. Most of the water from Taughannock south is murky, debris filled and cold. Water temps that ranged upwards of 45/46 degrees last Wednesday are now hanging down at 42/43. We got lucky and on his second or third cast Peter hooked up with a decent brown on a tube jig. It was probably 16" to 17" long, though the guys thought it was smaller – we just don't catch many browns under 16" in Cayuga Lake, at least I haven't while guiding and I'm pretty good at judging the size of fish that are hooked from afar. Either way, it got off about halfway to the boat. Within a 1/2 hour, Tony hooked up with a fish on a Flat Rap. I slipped the net under a solid 18" rainbow that was a dropback. It was a clipped fish, showing that stocking rainbows pays dividends in Cayuga Lake.
The areas we wanted to fish pike in were chocolate mud. A lot of the lake is a bit muddier than what I like for casting. We didn't do any pike fishing, though Tony had a follow from a nice pickerel in one area. We had no other discernable hits or follows. Tough day and the wind really picked up near the end of our half-day trip. I can't remember the last time I saw widespread surface temps of 43 degrees during the middle of May.