Keuka 8/15, Skaneateles 8/16, Cayuga 8/17
Keuka 8/15: Guided Drew and Andre on Keuka Lake out of Branchport. The morning started out promising as I was rigging a few rods on my boat at the dock. I made a cast off the ramp and caught a chunky 15″ largemouth. There was another bigger one right behind it! We started working bass around the north end of the arm and nothing great was happening. Basically small fish were hitting – largemouths and rockbass. We saw one very nice fish but it got spooked on the cast. The wind started to pick up.
The lake trout bite was difficult as well. The relatively strong winds didn’t help. I think some hardcore jiggers would do alright, but I wouldn’t consider the fishing great – certainly not worth a special trip given how good Cayuga and Owasco are fishing. The majority of fish seem to have migrated out of the northern Branchport arm. Temps were in the 60s down 40′ or more. Best luck was south at Hammondsport and near the Bluff Area. North of the Bluff on the Penn Yan arm we had 47 degrees down 40′! The only halfway decent bait we’ve seen has been around Hammondsport and there isn’t much. We worked a few intermediate areas as well and marked a few fish, but they wouldn’t grab. Andre nailed one 18″ laker and a small one. Drew lost 2 fish he’d had on for awhile and dropped one other one. Fish are around and were neutral to negative for us. I don’t think they are feeding much and I would wait at least 2 to 3 weeks on fishing these lakers again. We worked a lot of areas and marks and had very slow results. I invited the guys onto Cayuga for 1/2 day to see some better fishing.
Skaneateles Lake 8/16: Another slow day. I was due I guess 😉 Doug was hoping for some smallmouth bass fly-fishingso we went to Skinny rather than Cayuga. It wasn’t a whole lot better. Doug worked surface poppers for a couple hours in the morning. We couldn’t even raise dinks! We fished hard and hit a lot of different areas. The poor fishing was in part probably due in part to the cold fronts we’ve had moving through the last couple days. We had one nice 16 to 17″ smallie come up, and take a quick look at the fly and head back down! After a while I had him set up with some tube jigs and also a laker jigging set up. The laker bite was tough too – though I usually don’t do real well on this lake in the summer. He lost 2 decent lakers on plastics. We were able to catch some smallmouths (and rockbass) but the active fish were pretty deep – 12′ to 23′ or so. So there are fish around but I believe many are deep. This warm weather pattern may bring them back up top. Met a couple bait fishermen at the launch and they had done pretty well on perch and bass – but all were in around 25′ of water.
Cayuga Lake 8/17: Drew and Andre came back up for a 1/2 day make-up trip. Fishing on Cayuga was very good! They started at 8 am with some decent lake trout action – not great, but not bad at all. Fish were chasing and aggressive. They landed 4 nice fish – all around 26″ to 27″. The mid-portions of the lake are SWARMING with baitfish. Just HUGE SCHOOLS! Bait and lakers were all over, though the bite was slow after the wind died down. We went bass fishing and the guys caught a few nice smallmouths up to 18.5″! Beautiful day and some very good fishing. I think this warm weather/south wind pattern helped a lot, and my guess is that Skaneateles probably fished better today as well.