Cayuga out of Taughannock 8/26
Did a full day trip with Pat, John and DJ today. We had a lot of fun from the get-go! Despite our late (8:30 am) start, the fish cooperated all day long. The fishing started with calm conditions and occasional chasers and fish on the bottom. As the wind came up, fish began to chase more often. The fishing never got “hot n’ heavy” but it stayed steady enough to keep us all focused. All lakers landed today and the guys wound up landing around 15 or 16 nice fish. We released a 30″+ wild laker along with a few of the dinks. Most fish ran 22″ to 27″. One of the high points of the trip was getting John going on these lakers. I specialize in working with people that struggle at times with their fishing and he started out struggling but then came through with some very nice fish! Fish are still feeding heavily and the stomachs were fairly full of alewives. Best depths were around 75′ to 85′ with one fish taken in around 56′. One nice brown followed up John’s jig, but didn’t hit it. It’s safe to assume that browns are well distributed along the west shore from Sheldrake south to Ithaca!
Lunker City Shakers produced nearly all the fish, though a white Reaper (available at Wal-Marts) did entice one or two. These days the Shakers have become our “bread and butter jig” thanks to a suggestion from Mike Canavan. On some days the broader profile (but less action) of a white reaper (www.arkiejigs.com/) can produce as well or better, though the long tail with result in some short strikes. Zoom flukes and Lunker City fin-s fish are also steady producers of nice fish. There’s always a place for spoons like a 3/4 or 1 oz. Kastmaster or a Hopkins/Strata type of spoon. I have seen days when the spoons outproduce the plastics, but it doesn’t happen often during the summer bite. Plus the treble hooks on the spoons tend to maim more fish than the single hook plastics (yes I realize I could change out the spoon hooks 😉
I get asked on occasion about our jigging gear. I prefer 7′ rods in Medium or Medium Heavy for jigging. Baitcasters get the nod due to their superior line control on the descent,great ergonomicsand the ability to easily let out more line or reel some in. Flipping switches are great when you can get them. I look for reels with smooth retrieves and drags. Garcia/ABU, Bass Pro Shops(Rick Clunn Reels) and Quantum/Shimano make some fantastic reels. The Rick Clunns get a special mention. I’ve used the same LH Rick Clunns for 4 years of guiding and the drags and reels in general still perform great! The ABUs are also solid as heck! Great rods include Fenwick HMX and HMGsand Bass Pro Shops Extreme or Johnny Morris Rods. My line for guiding lakers is 14lb Smoke Fireline (8lb diameter) with a leader of Spiderwire XXX mono testing 12lbs. The leader is around 14′ long and double uni-knotted to the braid. I check knots thoroughly and have yet to have a double-uni fail (after I’ve made sure it was strong from the get-go.) My favorite rods are the ones that Mike Canavan makes for me. They are designed for jigging lakers and are super comfortable and light to fish with. Jig heads are custom poured 1 oz round and Erie heads. Lighter weights also work fine, but I like the one ouncers since they are easier for beginners to feel and they produce more “bang” on the bottom of the lake! Jigs are tied on with Trilene knots (Palomars are also great) and the line is checked (I try to break the knot) after every fish and every few missed hits.