Owasco/Cayuga 6/6 + Seneca out of Sampson 6/7
I just wrapped up one of the busiest weeks I’ve had guiding. Needless to say, I feel “pasted” 😉 Fishing varied – we had some moments of very good action and some slow stuff – that’s fishing. Re: Lakers – it’s a tricky time for lakers. Lots of fish are just on bottom and not showing up on the fishfinder. There are schools of baitfish w/o lakers around. Lakers on Cayuga that we kept had very fresh alewives in them – and the fish were still not plump. I think things are just starting due to our much cooler than normal May.
Owasco Lake 6/6: Did a full day with Tom and Bruce. I love being hired to show angling approaches and that’s what we did. Tom told me up front that he wasn’t worried about catching fish – it was about learning how to approach the lake and some techniques to work on. We started at just after 6 am with laker jigging – which for my money is the best/most fun technique day-in and day-out. You can do it 12 months out of the year, catch big fish with relatively inexpensive equipment and do well amongst jet skiiers in the middle of the day. We didn’t mark many fish or bait, but Tom ended up hooking one laker on the lake’s northeast shore in around 85′ of water. We had laker-friendly water temps from around 65′ or 70′ on out. Later in the day we found good numbers of inactive lakers on the lake’s west shore – we didn’t mark them, just dropped down the jigs and they showed up! There will be some good jigging out here – timing is everything.
We did some bass fishing with tubes, jerkbaits and superflukes. Large perch were chasing the lures in. Bass weren’t on the usual points for the most part, though we saw a few big fish. I also spotted a walleye amongst some suckers. Bass are likely spawning and we didn’t look for them much. I showed the guys some good areas then we went pike fishing. I wasn’t expecting much with the lack of wind but the guys worked jerkbaits and swimbaits with focus. Near the south end of the lake Tom’s rogue got hammered and he landed a nice 27″ pike. The exciting moment was a little later when Tom hooked a huge fish on a swimbait. Judging from the run the fish made, it was likely a pike that was at least 10lbs or better!
We wound up back on the lakers and Tom had a brown colored fish in around 90′ of water hitting his lure below the boat – it was most likely a suspended smallmouth.
Cayuga Lake/Dean’s 6/6 PM: After the Owasco trip I trailered over to Cayuga where I picked up Matt, Andrew and Nate via boat at Long Point State Park. How vital is a good thermometer this time of year? Well, we had lethal laker temps down to around 70′ on the east shore and down to 45′ or so on the west! So that’s a world of difference. There’s no point in wasting your time jigging areas void of lakers. Life’s too short! We had a tough time. The wind kicked up from the N. and I took the guys to the Sheldrake area. There were fish around – Nate hooked one and lost it. But bait was scarce. The further north we went, the more bait we found. Eventually we found a huge concentration of bait. Time was running short and the sun was getting lower. But Nate hooked and landed a nice laker and just as we were admiring the fish, Andrew hooked up! So we nearly had a double. We had found the fish/bait and the guys had a decent number of hits over the next hour. Nate landed another nice laker, then Matt got one. All in all a successful trip, though things looked bleak for awhile. Like “Ike” says – “never give up!”
Seneca/Sampson 6/7 AM: Guided Joe and Tom from 6/5 for a 1/2 day. The guys were heading back home today and wanted to do something fairly close to where they were staying. I thought Sampson would turn on more for lakers, so that’s where we went, starting at 7 am. The cold water inshore we had on 6/5 was gone. So was much of the bait. We worked lakers for an hour w/o action. We headed over to the W. shore to check on pike. Again, Seneca pike is a fraction of what it was over the past 3 years from what I’m seeing. I haven’t put in a full day pike fishing yet – really searching and checking out areas, but I’m not thrilled with what I’m seeing. It’s back to reality on Seneca for pike. The lake is fishing more like it did in the early 1990s – you do a lot of searching and casting for a few fish. We saw one boat pick up one. We saw one fish as well – again – it was showing signs of fungus or some sort of infection. Not good. We went North looking for lakers and didn’t mark much bait or fish. Where were they? Right on bottom. We had good laker temps in 40′ and out up north. Tom picked up a nice 26″ fish. We had other chasers, but they were neutral/negative again. That was it for the day. Somewhat tough fishing.
The guys reported some great bass fishing yesterday on Keuka Lake with guide Jon Evans. Jon’s a great fisherman and really a bass master – he fishes competitively and wins/places in a lot of events. Check out www.fishingthefingerlakes.com to learn more about Jon and the fishing he does. We run into each other once in a while and I can attest that he’s a really good guy as well as an accomplished guide/angler.