Keuka Lake 7/13 + Cayuga 7/14 Taughannock Report
I’m not superstitious. I’ve actually had good luck on Friday the 13ths. But yesterday was looking like a bad luck day. Jim and Ron have fished Keuka Lake a lot before, but nearly always with live sawbellies. New VHS regulations have made finding live alewives (aka sawbellies or “mooneyes”) very difficult. So they’ve gotten skunked on their last 3 trips out. The goal today was to learn how to jig these fish. Things started out difficult. We got out around 6:10 am and worked the Branchport area – didn’t see much. So it was off to the Bluff. No hits there either, though we marked a few. So we went down to Hammondsport (southwinds were also kicking up.) Hammondsport nearly always has some baitfish around. By 11 am the guys felt they were probably going to get skunked. I asked Jim if he’d felt anything whatsoever – since I’d been seeing marks near his jig. As he was about to say “no” he raised his rod and had one on. I’d watched Ron raise his jig minutes before and saw the line drop 1/2 way – he’d missed one and would have never known it. Over the next couple hours we were in business, with 3 fish landed (one nice one) and 2 BIG fish lost along with chasers and other missed hits. The lost lakers’ battles werereminiscent of some of the 27″ to 29″ Cayuga fish we’ve been catching recently.
Interesting side note: “Context is everything”. On the run back to the dock Jim regretted to inform me that the lifejacket he’d been leaning against (on his chair) was no longer around. It blew out. Oh well, stuff happens. On the drive back I decided to go to Walmart in Geneva and pick up a new one before I stopped over to Barrett Marine. I pulled into the parking lot just in time to notice that my bearings on my passenger side of my trailer had failed and there was grease all over! Luckily I always keep a few spare hubs in my truck with bearings already greased and packed in. A quick lift with the jack and I was back in business. I called Jim and thanked him for losing the jacket. Had he not lost it, I would have kept driving back to Trumansburg (via Watkins) and my tire probably would have come flying off or the spindle may have wound up with a “heat sealed” hub on it. Either way would have been serious problems and messed things up for the Red Cross Derby this weekend.
Kicked off Day 1 of the two day Red Cross Derby on Cayuga Lake today out of Taughannock Park. I fished with client Mark Dombroski who placed 7th in the laker division last year. My clients have only landed one 30″ plus fish over the past month on Cayuga near Dean’s Cove, so we decided to fish the south central portions of the lake today. We started at 4:45 am with slow fishing. There’s a ton of bait around but not a whole lot of active lakers. We caught fish on both shores and fished until just past noon and again from 4:45pm till dark. We landed 9 fish from 23″ to 29″. Our 29″ fish wouldn’t have made the board for long, so I didn’t bother weighing it in. 30″ and up is worth keeping. Slow, tough fishing today with most fish hitting very subtlely on the bottom. 55′ to 85′ produced our fish. We had one area where small (15″ salmon) were chasing up our jigs from 100′ to 110′, but nothing special size-wise. Tomorrow we’ll go out of Dean’s and hope for some big fish! Any rainbow, brown or salmon is likely to place. Many of my clients over the past month don’t fish a whole lot, so most fish landed have been “chasers” and not bottom hitting fish. The bottom hitters are harder to detect, and many of those can be bigger fish – so we are optimistic for tomorrow’s bite. One good one is all we need- but we’ll gladly take more! 😉 Word is a couple of my jigging buddies have fish on the board – Alec Johnston and Mike Canavan.