Fishing Reports 5/28 – 5/31


Guiding has been busy as ever – actually more so. Here’s what transpired over the holiday weekend:

Cayuga Lake 5/28 Dean’s Cove AM: Guided Matt C. and his dad Dave for a 1/2 day on bass/pickerel on the lake’s N. end. I picked them up at Matt’s cottage and off we went. Last year we had some great action on nice pickerel (which we are all fans of) and some chunky largemouth bass. On the boat ride up I was surprised by the numbers of dead bullheads on the N. end of Cayuga Lake. It seems like every year there’s a die-off of something up here. According to Dave, it was channel catfish (!) a couple years ago, sunfish/bluegills last year and carp on another year. The northern portion of Cayuga is shallow and subject to extreme temperature variations. These may contribute to viruses – I don’t know.

The first area we tried near Frontenac Island featured some clear water and nice weeds. A few good pickerel were dropped. We fished a bunch of areas near the Cayuga State Park incl. Canoga Marsh. Carp really had a lot of water roiled up and not looking good. Weed growth varied a lot. Fishing was generally tough with a few perch hitting and a pickerel here or there. Eventually we tried a favorite area of mine and we were all impressed by the great topwater bass fishing. Matt landed a beauty over 4lbs and hooked and/or landed a few other 2lb fish. Topwater action was great until we quit around 11:30 am.

Cayuga Lake 5/28 PM: After dropping the guys off I picked up Todd and Ken at noon, both of whom work together in Rochester. We had a fun full day trip with some halfway decent lake trout jigging. I figured the evening bite would pick up and after some slow PM fishing it finally did. Todd had the hot jigging hand and landed his limit and had another up to the boat. Ken hooked and landed a good fish on a reaper and missed a few as well. Fishing never really got as hot as I hoped, but the guys worked hard and really enjoyed the jigging technique.

I need to put in a plug for the Aurora Market – which is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm. You can tie your boat right up to their dock. They have great sandwiches and coffee too. The chocolate cookies are the best I’ve ever had. Highly recommended! It’s directly across the lake from Dean’s Cove.

Keuka Lake 5/29 AM out of Branchport: Did a morning 1/2 day with Stan and Mike who joined me last year for some good jigging. Long story short – it was a tough AM bite. We started at 7 am marking fish deep and shallow. We had some activity on the fish finder but no great shakes. We had loads of fish in 165′ of water, but just one short hit. Shallow fish came through for us around 10:30 am. The guys limited out using white shakers. I am really impressed with the color of some of the Keuka laker’s flesh. They are bright orange – I think they eat a fair number of aquatic insects. BTW – Our fish were LOADED with bait.

Cayuga Lake 5/30 AM out of Dean’s Cove: Did a long 1/2-day trip with Matt, Zack and Frank. Matt and Zack first fished with me during my first season guiding and came back on my second in 2006. They now have a boat and are looking forward to doing a lot of fishing on their own. We had a tough AM fishing. We had to move a lot and work hard for our bites. The guys each landed a fish with Matt coming through on the best one of the day. Tough fishing but the guys fished hard and came through.

Cayuga Lake 5/30 PM Dean’s: Finished the day with 1/2 day (another long, tough one) with Tim aka “The lamprey eater” and Michele. Michele first booked with me in 2005 and has been coming back nearly twice a year ever since. Tim joined us two years ago and the two of them got married on 5/29. We had tough fishing but the evening bite came through with them each landing a couple good fish. Tim’s a special Ed teacher and has a great, twisted, infantile sense of humor – which is just like mine 😉 So after a busy week guiding we tend to get pretty sick and crazy with the jokes. Michele is a good sport. Needless to say, it was a fun trip and I wish them the best with their future together. Fishing was best from 70′ to 105′.

Cayuga Lake 5/31 Dean’s: Did a full day with Jim – who joined me in April for some fun landlocked salmon fishing. He also joined me on Skaneateles Lake for some lakers, bass and perch last fall. He spends half his year working in Alaska and he’s a fly-fishing expert and aficionado – so that’s what we did. We spent half the day trying to catch salmon and lakers on baitfish patterns. Sinking lines and electronics were used. Jim had a few follows from small salmon on the flies but nothing solid. I had him do a few drops with a jig and he nailed a nice laker and two small salmon. We were both amazed at the properties of the jig and how it attracts fish. We did some brainstorming and have some ideas re: fly-fishing lakers and deeper salmon. Stay tuned!

He wanted to try some warmwater stuff – so we set up at the N. end of the lake for gar. We spotted a few, but fishing was hard – they weren’t interested. It was fun having a giant 4 to 5lb largemouth go after the hookless rope-fly. Pesky bass. We did a little carp fly-fishing without luck. We went back to the gar and found that the gar had activated. After seeing a few follow Jim’s rope-fly I knew he’d be in business. And sure enough he landed his first gar. He had quite a few follows afterwards, some from nicer fish but no monsters. We called it a day when T-storms started rumbling a few miles away. Water temps were up to over 80 on the N. end!