Rates (Info):

Rates starting March 2023 are as follows:

1/2 day (4 hours) for one or two people is $325.

A full day (8 hours) for one or two people is $450. Due to high demand, I now offer lake trout jigging trips for 3 people. 1/2 day is $390 and a full day is $540.

I am trying to keep these rates as reasonable as possible. Prices have gone up for virtually everything in the past year, so I’ve had to increase rates slightly for 2023.

My main lakes for guiding are Cayuga, Seneca, Owasco and Skaneateles.  For lakes outside of my local “sphere” I may have to add a surcharge depending on the additional drivetime and fuel costs.  Please contact me for info.

Trips are custom tailored depending on what you want to catch and where you want to fish. I like to do “high percentage guiding”. People generally hire a guide to catch fish, learn a waterway and/or learn a technique. Over the years I’ve learned the “fishing rhythms” of many of the Finger Lakes. Each lake offers different opportunities depending on what you want to fish for, when and where. An open mind re: the species fished for and the lake fished is the best way to ensure success. I’m one person, so I can’t fish everywhere all the time (though I wish I could!) Slow days sometimes occur when someone wants to do a certain fish on a certain lake at a certain time without regard to the optimal opportunity. If you go to a restaurant known for steak, and order seafood you may be disappointed! Each lake fishes best at different times of the year for different species, and I’ll be glad to discuss our options. Reading my reports is a great way to see what’s happening and when. Check out previous years and you’ll see what to expect.

A $100 deposit is required to secure a date (except during the winter or on short notice). The balance of the payment (check or cash) is due at day’s end. There is a 7 day (one week) notice on any trip cancellations. Give me a week’s notice if you change your plans and you’ll receive your deposit back.




I will make the final call regarding weather conditions. If you have certain conditions you don’t want to fish in (e.g. rain,)  let me know in advance and we will figure something out.  If I call off the trip, you will have the option of rescheduling your trip or a refund on your deposit. Sometimes the weather forecasts are wrong, but over the past few years they’ve been pretty accurate. I don’t know about any of you, but I don’t enjoy fishing in 25 mph winds and pouring rain; I don’t expect anyone to enjoy fishing in those conditions no matter how they are dressed! If the weather looks to be that bad, I strongly suggest postponing the trip!

Here are items I recommend you bring on your trip:

  • Valid NYS Fishing License (Required!)
  • Full Raingear (regardless of weather conditions)
  • Polarized Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch/beverages
  • Fishing Gear (optional)
  • Cooler – esp. in the summertime if you plan on keeping any fish


I will have all the fishing tackle you will need on board, including quality rods/reels, lures and/or flies and so on. You are welcome to bring your own tackle if you choose. Please let me know in advance if you reel left or right-handed and I will have the appropriate outfits ready for you.

A few reminders:

COVID-19: Our number of cases in Tompkins County of Covid-19 remains low and we need to keep it that way.

If you get sick before your trip(s) you have the right to cancel your trip at any time and you will not lose your deposit. Do not show up for your fishing trip if you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms!

Furthermore if I get sick, I reserve the right to cancel a trip at any time and of course, you will not forfeit your deposit.

I have hand sanitizer available.  Please have a face covering like a mask or better yet, a Buff – which will help to protect your face from the sun.

Winter Fishing: I enjoy winter fishing. Some of the best and most consistent fishing for landlocked salmon and large pike is had in the winter. I rarely fish unless forecast highs will be above freezing.   If you choose to fish in the winter you need to dress accordingly with multiple layers. Full raingear is highly recommended due to any spray we may get from waves/chop. New York State requires lifejackets to be worn at all times in the winter. Feel free to contact me during any winter thaws if you would like to fish. Deposits are not required in the winter given the unpredictability of the weather.

“Catch and Release” vs. “Catch ’em and eat ’em” – please check “The Chef” under the “About John” heading.

See below for some tips on dressing for cold weather fishing.

Alcohol/Drugs: Alcohol is discouraged, however I don’t have a problem with a beer or two. Any inebriation or heavy drinking is unacceptable. I strongly prefer you keep the drinks for AFTER THE TRIP! Fly-fishing and alcohol on a boat don’t mix at all, especially in the winter. Illegal drugs are strictly forbidden. Cigarettes or cigars are OK.

Fish cleaning: I do get some requests to filet fish. Upon request I will gladly demonstrate how to filet pike/pickerel bonelessly. I can also show the proper trimming of lake trout and other fish. Let me know IN ADVANCE and I will bring a knife, cutting board and other accessories. If the catch involves a large number of fish, we will most likely head in a little early.

Tips for comfortable fall/winter fishing:

Don’t let the thought of cool or cold weather keep you off the water! You will miss some of the best and most unique fishing opportunities in the region! Northern Pike, Landlocked Salmon, Rainbow trout and Lake trout fishing can be tops in the fall. Big smallmouth bass and perch are available too.

I suggest the following:

Purchase some expedition weight long-underwear. Stores like Bass Pro Shops routinely sell tops and bottoms for $15 a piece! Cheap! A layer of this stuff is equal to a few layers of other materials like sweatshirts or sweaters. I wear the heavy weight stuff on days when highs will be under 50 degrees. Throw on a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt or two and a down jacket and you’ll be golden. A turtle for the neck can make a huge difference too. Take care of your feet, head and hands too and you should be good.

Down is a great material. Vests or jackets will keep you warm.

Full raingear is also great to wear.

You’ll be warm and comfortable and this will enable you to focus on the fishing rather than the weather. I hate being cold, and being prepared makes the late fall/winter/early spring seasons very enjoyable and productive!