Happy Holidays and Season Update


I want to thank everybody who joined me onboard in 2022, as well as the fans of this website – it was a great season!  The overall conditions were much better this year than last year, when we got deluged by rain and dealt with quite a bit of murky water and the commensurate poor (primarily lake trout) fishing.   Lake trout action on Cayuga Lake was downright excellent throughout the season, from beginning to end.

Updates on this website have been done for the most part.  I’ve edited the species pages and lakes pages with what I gleaned off of the water and from DEC over the past year.   Some new photos have been added as well.  I have a HUGE backlog of some amazing photos that I need to get up on this website at some point in time.

Unfortunately, during this past season I apparently had a seal go on my lower unit of my 2013 Mercury, and a lot of water got into the gearcase.   I had it tested and re-filled with lube at Silver Lake Marine in mid-November and everything appeared to be running fine, but during the end of my last trip on December 17th, the gears on the lower unit failed, we went into “limp mode” and I had to use my trolling motor to get us back in.  (Over the past years, I got lazy as far as checking that oil on my own.)  Fortunately, it happened towards the end of my trip and we weren’t far from Myers, where we were able to get in and get a ride back to Taughannock from my friend Todd.   Keep that in mind, if you do a lot of boating – things can happen.

I have a lot of hours on that motor and it wouldn’t make sense for me to get a new lower unit, so I have a new motor on order and Skyler at Silver Lake Marine tells me he should be able to have it for me within 4 to 5 weeks.

I enjoy winter fishing out on my boat. That being said, it can be tough on gear.  Road “grunt” and salt, low lake levels and icy boat launches really can play havoc with equipment.  Just getting the cover off of the boat can be a challenge when it’s been cold and icy.  Over the 18 years I’ve been guiding, my winter guiding has never really taken off.  I don’t market it a whole lot, but January and February have always been very slow months for me guiding-wise, for obvious reasons.  Winter fishing has been fair to good so far this year.  We’re seeing some nearshore lakers and browns on Cayuga Lake and some salmon and browns on Seneca.

In years past, we had supreme winter salmon fishing on Cayuga Lake.  I couldn’t believe how great it was in the early 2000s when smelt were around.   You’d see guys bundled up in 20-degree weather out of Taughannock flatlining!  I had a lot of memorable days on salmon just casting streamers with a floating line.  Nearshore lake trout action was spectacular only 5 or 6 years ago, for probably 3 years.  Yet with all that great fishing, most anglers really don’t want to go out in the winter!  I understand it completely.  That being said, I will enjoy my winter-break and I should be up and running by early February.  Stay tuned!

I will likely do a little bit of shorefishing in the near future and will post reports if I do.  I also spent some time with biologists from both regions (both on the phone and in-person) and Finger Lakes fisheries management is heading into a new direction which should be interesting.  The State has been re-evaluating a lot of procedures and programs and are tweaking things when necessary.  It’s long overdue.  Don’t forget to sign up to be an angler diary cooperator if you haven’t already.  Region 8 (Keuka, Seneca and Canandaigua) in particular are very low on cooperators.  Owasco can use some more as well.  Even if you only fish a few days a year, your contributions are valuable.