Cayuga Lake Reports 4/28 pm + 4/29 am


4/28 PM – Guided Florian and Alysa for a 1/2 day on Saturday starting at 2:30 pm. They’d been out with me last Labor Day weekend and seen the large carp around AES and wanted to catch some. I actually was their first “fishing instructor” on a Keuka trip a few years back. Anyways, I was psyched for the trip and purchased some corn, night crawlers and bread. Florian made a corn flour dough mixture known to be deadly on carp. Unfortunately the recent cold nights made for cold water on the north end of the lake. The low lake level also apparently kept carp away from some of their usual springtime haunts.

We found large areas of muddied water and set up – working a little bit deeper, but were unable to draw any definite strikes. Had we had the whole day, things might have turned out differently. High point of the day was seeing a couple bald eagles near Mudlocks. Low point was coming back into Union Springs and realizing I’d taken my waders out of my truck and wasn’t going to be able to load the boat back on without getting in over my knee-high boots! BRING WADERS if you launch at Cayuga Lake State Park or Union Springs!

4/29 AM – Met Florian and Alysa at 9 am at Taughannock. We were hoping for some salmon action. Forecast westerlies didn’t look good for salmon and winds were expected to crank up a bit later in the day. The NWS forecast changed to strong Northerlies, which to me is a much better “salmon wind” on Cayuga Lake. Originally I thought we might have to go with lake trout jigging. Florian and Alysa had done a bit of that with me in the past, but were eager for some new angling experiences.

Casting didn’t go well for salmon. We tried 3 or 4 high percentage areas without so much as a follow. We were close to 4 hours into the half day trip without any action. A double-skunking was not something I was looking forward to! But the northerlies cranked up hard and we worked a favorite area close to the park. Florian mentioned something about our “dinner plans being compromised” when I heard a loud splash and Alysa was fast onto a nice salmon. After a great fight I netted the fish. A solid 20 1/2″ fish with attached eel. Next pass through Alysa got another one around 19″. Then Florian landed a 17″+ fish. Then Alysa got a 23″. Then Florian topped it with a 25″ beauty. We released the big one (and obviously the sublegal one.) The second fish had the “octopus” thing going – 3 attached eels! I’m generally a big catch and release proponent of landlocked Salmon, but if they are getting beat up by eels I’d rather humans eat the fish than lampreys.

The biggest catch of them all happened when I was pulling our drift bag and Florian snagged my thumb with the stickbait! Fortunately the trebles didn’t go past the barb! We ended the trip, then I came back out on my own and landed one salmon and lost one. I didn’t bring my fly-rods, so I worked spinning gear. Water temps are still around 45/46. Very few boats were out today. Water levels are still low but most launches are doable.