Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 4/7
It was very windy out yesterday but as the winds died I needed some relief for my "stir-craziness," so off I went. It's pretty darn depressing at times in the northeastern part of this country, when we get three weeks of sunshine and beautiful spring conditions and then suddenly have it all taken away from us as we get hit with air temperatures in the 12 degree range and walloped with a foot of wet snow. It's been good weather for doing things indoors.
I was able to get some fly-fishing in as the winds diminished and was quickly rewarded with a solid 21" Landlocked salmon. The fish had some bad hook scars and was fairly thin, so I was inclined to keep it. A stomach/intestinal check revealed some leftover salmon eggs and around 4 to 5 gobies in its stomach, including one so fresh it must have been alive earlier in the day! So the fish was likely a dropback salmon that had resumed feeding. I thought it was thin due to the bad hookscars (the maxillary was dislodged and ran across the fish's mouth) but it may have just been the rigors of spawning.
Dropback salmon and browns are rare in Cayuga and Seneca Lake. I've always blamed the thiamine issues (along with the non-stop catch, release, catch, release then catch again and release again fishing that happens in the tribs that wears out already worn out fish that need every bit of energy they can get.) One fish doesn't mean much but it won't surprise me a bit if we start seeing more fish surviving the spawn, given that their thiamine levels should be on the rise. We may also start seeing a few wild spawned salmon in Cayuga Lake in the future.
I had a couple other hits on one cast, but that was it. I have a busy week of guiding ahead and should have plenty of reports going up. My buddy Mike just finished work on the Oneida Lake walleye egg-take and they reached their quota. He was able to talk to one of the guys from the Adirondack hatchery (hatchery workers from around the State help out with the massive eggtake) who confirmed that the Finger Lakes just received their salmon stockings. The fish reportedly were in excellent condition, so with a little luck we should be in good shape over the next few years.