Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock State Park 2/22- 24
With some March/April-like weather in the forecast it was nice to book a few half day trips in a row in February. That for me is a rarity! The weather was great; the fishing varied.
2/22: Guided Bill and Jenna. They joined me last November for some good lake trout jigging. The hope today was to do some casting for trout/salmon. Fishing was generally good, though not easy by any means. The light, albeit swirling winds made it tough for me to figure out what our approach was going to be. Bill had the hot hand. He landed a salmon around 16″ to 17″ on a swimbait to start. The shallow laker bite was fair. Jenna dropped a couple fish. Bill nabbed a couple on a bladebait. We set up for some vertical jigging and Bill nabbed a couple more. Jenna had a few short hits and a tail bite-off. My buddy Mike caught a couple lakers from shore, but overall the fishing was slow.
Measuring a salmon for the DEC Diary program
Bill with a typical laker on the day
Fish in the net
2/23: Sunday was a trip with Bill’s dad Charlie and Bill’s nephew Rowan. Bill’s been telling me how much Rowan enjoys fishing. He’s getting pretty darn good at it too! He’s just 10 years old but had no problems dealing with the elements. Today featured the best fishing conditions of the past three days. We started with some lake trout jigging. The bite was slow for the first hour but then really picked up. Rowan landed the first one, then Grandpa caught the next 6. Fish ranged up to 27″+. The guys took one of the larger lakers home and it was stuffed with 9 alewives! Usually I don’t see lakers feeding a lot in mid-winter, but warmer water temps have probably kept more alewives than usual shallow.
The guys were up for some casting so we made a run. Conditions were great for salmon and I felt very good about our odds. Rowan came through again with a 19″er he nabbed on a stickbait. He also caught a sublegal around 16″. Charlie had a couple grabs. It was nice seeing fair numbers of salmon grouped up along the lake shore.
Last year NY State water received smaller stockings of salmon than usual due to a hatchery malfunction that killed off most of the landlockeds. NY got surplus fish from other hatcheries. Some of these salmon were larger than what is normally stocked. That may be contributing to some of the fish we’re seeing.
After the trip I picked up my friend Mike at the launch and we spent around 90 minutes casting for trout/salmon. The conditions worsened. Mike caught and released one brown just under 15″.
Rowan's first jigged lake trout
Rowan's first salmon!
Grandfather and Grandson after a great day spent together
Today was another half day – this time with Andy. Andy originally had Saturday booked but with the whole weekend open and salmon as the target, he was wondering whether Monday might be the better option. After looking at the weather forecast, I agreed. Of course forecasts change and by Sunday the Monday forecast for calm conditions after a morning wind didn’t look as promising. We started as early as Andy could. Fishing during the first part of our trip was great – we had plenty of salmon around us for the first hour. The “catching” could have been better. Andy had some short hits and managed to catch one sublegal salmon on a swimbait. We did some lake trout jigging too but fish didn’t seem to want to stay hooked. He had a few good grabs in a row, but they got off. It was a beautiful day to be out either way. After the trip I fired up a cigar and basically practiced my fly-casting for an hour. I had one good hit and then headed in. What a great weekend in February weather-wise!