Reports 5/17 – 5/20


I’ve had a very busy week, between picking up my new boat (and dropping off the old one for some maintenance, CPR recertification at Cornell and guiding – a lot of guiding. A few years ago I vowed to myself to space trips out a bit more, but I’ve fallen back into my old ways (not quite, but close) and have booked some fairly heavy weeks. I’ll have some info up re: my new boat and all the nice amenities, but for now, here are the reports.

Fishing has been all over the map, from tough to darn good lately. Sometimes during the same trip!

5/17: Skaneateles Lake: Guided Mark for the full day. He loves to fly-fish and it was nice to “break in” the new boat with him. The fishing here sometimes get really predictable with the way the species move up and others move out. Fishing the northend wasn’t too productive for us first thing. Mark picked up a rockbass and a smallmouth on a woolly bugger. A run down the lake produced a decent 18″ landlocked salmon on the fly for Mark. I had him work some gear, and jigs landed him some more bass, perch (small ones) and a very nice 23″ lake trout. Water here remains COLD with mid-40s in much of the lake on the surface. Nice trip and we saw a bald eagle (probably the same one as on 5/6.) Very cool!!!

5/18: Cayuga Lake out of Long Point: I arrived at 6:45 am to a parking lot with quite a few boats in it. Barney’s Derby! The trollers were out in droves this AM. Henry wanted to learn the laker technique, so that’s what we did. I gave him the full tutorial circa 2013 (which is a lot different from how I taught it in the “early years.”) Fish were scattered from shallow to deep, which is nearly always the case this time of year. The bite wasn’t real easy for us, but Henry managed to land a really old fish around 27″ long (a black laker!) He had a few other hits as well. He really grasped all the reasoning behind what we did and I was impressed.

5/19: Seneca Lake out of Sampson:

AM: Guided longtime copper puller Tom and his buddy Rob for the morning starting at 7. We stayed right around the park and action was good – from very shallow (less than 30′) out to around 60′. Tom’s experience from the day before was dead on – prime temps (confirmed with my FishHawk) were right around the 35′ to 50′ mark. Tom got a fish right away and really got the knack for things. Rob was a bit cold and I think it distracted him. But the guys (aka Tom) wound up landing 7 solid lakers up to 29″ and around 9lbs+. We released the big one. Maybe she’ll help us during the derby.

PM: My PM trip was with Todd and his son Connery. Just as I picked them up at the dock, the wind started coming up and the waves really built up to make jigging a hassle. Whitecaps around 2.5 to 3′. We made a run to the west shore, but didn’t find much happening. Connery even tried some pike casting for an hour or so, with just one follow from a small northern or pickerel. The winds died down slightly and we ran back to Sampson. Todd managed a solid 27″ laker and that was about it. He’d had one other possible hit earlier. So it was very good AM fishing and slow for the PM.

5/20 AM: Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs: Guided Todd again for 1/2 day starting around 7. The strong blow from the south really muddied up the northern end of Cayuga, basically from Canoga up north. A lot of weeds and junk were floating around. I felt that those areas probably held a lot of largemouth, but didn’t have the confidence to really work them for long. So I had Todd work some water further south. The bite was very tough. Not even a pickerel to show. Eventually Todd nailed a solid smallmouth around 17 1/2″ on a Superfluke, but that was it.

After the trip I had to fish to see what was up. I did nail a solid pickerel around 24.5″. I searched the shallows for bass and saw quite a few spawning smallmouths. Largemouths are still pre-spawn for the most part, as far as I can tell. But I’d guess it’s “late pre-spawn” without the rampant hardcore feeding that goes on in late-April/early May. That’s my take on it, and I may be wrong. As I’ve said many-a-time on here, I just don’t get to bass fish enough on Cayuga to know what’s going on nearly as well as I should. I will be back out here later this week and with the warming weather and the upcoming full-moon, we should see the largemouths move up in droves shortly. Water temps were in the upper 50s when I was there.