Reports 5/5 – 5/8
Fishing in the region remains good to very good for a number of different species. May weather can be volatile but it's a great month to be on the water with very few annoyances. Boat launches are uncrowded, there are next to no jetskiis or "performance boats" around (not that we ever see many, apart from the once a year Rochester Power Boaters "poker run.") Anyways, Loons abound and the fishing is often excellent.
5/5 AM: Met Mark, his son David and David's father in-law Ganu at Dean's Cove just after 8 am. David hadn't fished in a long, long time and Ganu had never fished before, so it was a good chance to introduce them to the joys of catching big lake trout in deep water. The trip didn't disappoint. In a nutshell, 10 solid lake trout were landed anchored by David's monstrous 31" to 32" fish! We release the big brutes at FLAZ guide service most of the time and today was no exception. It was likely 11lbs or better. Ganu managed his first and 2nd fish and hopefully he'll be hooked for life. 110' to 150' was productive for us.
5/6 AM: Met the Hermans at Taughannock Park for some casting for trout/salmon. We had good north winds and decent conditions for some good action. John started things out with a 17" salmon. He then lost another fish. Eleonore had a follow from a decent brown in the 20"+ range and then landed an 18" laker. She also caught a 20" laker. Both fish came from less than 10' of water on stickbaits. John and Eleonore landed 2 more salmon that were undersized but not dinks. We removed a lamprey from one salmon but apart from that, every fish was clean. Good day!
5/6 PM: Met Josh and his friend Mike at Dean's Cove launch at 1:30 pm. Fortunately for once the weathermen were wrong and the conditions turned out to be better than expected! Yes, instead on the high winds, rain and thunderstorms, we had high winds, rain and then low winds, clear skies and a beautiful rainbow in the sky! Can't beat that. And the fishing didn't disappoint. The guys did a great job landing at least a half dozen nice fish to around 29" long if my memory serves me correctly. Cayuga is back to great form with regards to large lakers being around. Nearly every trip is producing 27" to 29" fish!
5/7: Guided Earl out of Dean's Cove for a full day. I like the Long Point ramp, but for people coming from the southern tier or during stronger north winds it makes more sense for me to launch out of Dean's. The launch is easier for one person, I do less running and it's more convenient for my clients not to have to drive through Ithaca. Earl had a good day with some decent action to start, a slowdown then some good fishing at the end of the day. I think he landed 5 fish and lost a few too. 110' to 150' again.
5/8: Guided Mike out of Emerson Park on Owasco Lake – Be forewarned that the Emerson Park personnel are getting more adament about paying the gate fee, whether or not you beat the gatekeeper in through the door! I don't mind, because the park has excellent facilities with the exception of the "too shallowly sloping" ramp. I bought a season pass because I expect to be here a bit this year.
Mike is one of the best anglers I guide and one of the nicest people I know to spend a day on the water with. He's fished all over the country and world and loves to angle. But he also fishes his local rivers, streams, lakes and ponds and understands what's involved. I would have felt fine postponing or cancelling today's trip given the forecast with northwest winds gusting to 28 mph, rain and highs in the low 50s but he wanted to give it a shot and see how things went. They went very well!
His last three trips with me resulted in some good lakers but only a dink pike or two on Seneca. He really wanted to get some pike this time. We tried a couple different areas and despite the cranking winds I felt at the top of my game today with strategies and Mike was at the top of his game with his angling attitude, skills and perseverence. We were the only boat at the launch at 7 am and the only boat we saw all day til we got up north around 1 pm. Mike managed to land 7 pike – all 24" to 26 or 27" I believe with the exception of one 21"er. He nabbed a 19.5" walleye and a 12" perch. He also landed a 13" and 20" giant smallmouth bass. Great catching on a very difficult day fishing! By the end of the day my trolling motor had pretty much given up the ghost. Fish came on stickbaits, spoons and we had a hit or two on tubes.
FWIW: The first pike he caught had a beautiful brand new Yozuri stickbait on the side of his mouth. Pike fishing without some form of bite leader is silly. It's kind of like unprotected sex in a foreign country, mouthing off to a bunch of outlaw bikers, skydiving without a parachute or any other form of recklessness – nothing good can come of it! Our Tyger wire leader resulted in no bite-offs plus the bass, walleye and perch all hit. Yes, even a "finicky walleye" couldn't resist the Rapala Shadow Rap, wire and all!