Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock
Pike, pike and more pike! Started out targeting salmon today but the salmon fishing was slow. Westerly tinged winds tend to push landlockeds away from shore. The wind today was strong out of the WNW/NW. The east shore was a bit too rough to fly-fish today with waves breaking in pretty good.
It didn’t take much to convince me that pike fishing was the way to go today. The pike fishing in Cayuga and Seneca Lakes is pretty much beyond compare these days and I’m getting to the point where I almost prefer pikin’ to salmon fishing – almost, but not quite. I caught pike in at least 3 different areas today, each with different bottom cover and structure. The fish were very active today and running between 27″ and 31″ for the most part, though I managed one very respectable 34″ fish near some deep water close to a point. Caught 1 pickerel and my first largemouth of the new year as well – all on streamers.
The smaller to medium sized pike tend to relate to the weedy flats while larger fish will be more point oriented and almost pelagic in nature. There’s a great article on this phenomenon in a recent “In-Fisherman” magazine. Fish today were taking the flies very deep, often in their gill-rakes. I was able to release all these fish unharmed by cutting my line and carefully pulling the fly back through the gills. It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to extract a hook from around a gill rake by going through the fish’s mouth. Pike will invariably start thrashing around and you will damage the fish. The gill-extraction method works amazingly well and I fully recommend it. Sooner or later I’ll try to get a camera out and photograph this procedure. Wait for an “onshore” wind and the salmon/trout fishing should pick up immediately.