Reports 7/8 – 7/12


I am in the midst of my busiest July guiding thus far. In years past, I’d stay up late and write in a report, answer all my emails etc… And within a week I’d be a zombie. Now I’m more in a “survival mode” and need to get sleep and conserve energy. So the reports have to wait a few days at times and the emails might not get checked 2X a day.

The guiding focus has been lakers lately and that’s how I like it in July and August on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes. The fish and fishing are predictable, productive and a lot of fun. I’m on Keuka one day this week for lakers and bass and plan on fishing Owasco. I’ll be doing more fishing on my own a bit later this month and from August onwards, but now it’s guiding and making up for a slow winter, April and June.

Here’s the (quick) breakdown on the past week:

7/8 Skaneateles Lake: I guided Scott for the 2nd of our 3 full days booked this month. His dad has a place on the lake and we usually get in a trip on Cayuga and here. Then there’s a 3rd “mystery” trip for a new experience. We started with laker jigging with Scott and his dad Dick. Fishing started out promising with Scott nailing a nice Skaneateles Laker around 19″ or 20″ and then dropping another on his next drop. A few more hits were had, then we decided to go for bass. The front the previous day put a bit of a damper on the bite for larger bass, but the 11″ to 15″ (if I remember correctly) smallmouths cooperated, hitting Superflukes and tubes. We got our lakers in less than 100′ FOW (I think it was 60′ to 75′) and bass in shallow.

7/9 Cayuga Lake out of Long Point: I did two 1/2 day trips back to back today. The first was with Matt and a couple residents of a center he works for, Jeff and Mike. The trip was great and featured some of the hottest lake trout fishing thus far of the season. We had a few doubles and a great time. Matt’s an avid musky, walleye and catfisherman and I plan on getting out with him later this fall.

Between trips I spent around 20 minutes casting for bass near the launch. I didn’t have my tackle with me but had a fluke setup from Skaneateles. I managed a hook scarred 13″ smallmouth bass.

The second trip was with Alan and his son David. Al has a boat and wanted to learn Cayuga Lake better and the jigging technique. Dave bought him a gift certificate and we fished two 1/2 days back to back. Fishing was great, despite the heavy rain. Alan was very impressed with the lake trout fishing and the whole experience. It was just a great day guiding.

7/10 AM Seneca Lake out of Geneva: After a cancellation last week, I was able to get Ed booked for a morning trip with his wife Pam. I picked them up at “Geneva on the Lake” and we got rolling around 7:30 am. The bite was a bit slow after the front but it picked up a little. I’d call it “slow but steady.” It’d be a good winter bite, but a bit slow for this time of the year, if that makes sense. I think they landed 5 nice lakers and dropped two. It was decent.

I don’t lake-hop much these days, but I have to do it a couple times a year. So off to Long Point on Cayuga I went…

7/10 PM Cayuga Lake: Met Al and David again and we headed south towards Sheldrake. We worked a bunch of different areas. Fishing wound up good with 9 or 10 nice lakers landed. The guys really enjoyed themselves again. It’s great seeing adults get “hooked on fishing” just like kids do, (though the guys had fished before.) So maybe I’d call it “re-hooked on fishing.”

7/11 Cayuga out of Long Point: There’s good fishing, then there’s superb action (yes, isn’t the word “epic” tired and overused?) Anthony, Steve and Steve’s son Daniel hit things perfectly. The Salvation Army Derby is going on this weekend on Cayuga Lake, and we did not enter, but a lot of boats were out. In a nutshell, the guys landed 43 lakers todays for my official count. Another 6 or 7 were dropped boatside while waiting for a net. So the guys’ count was 50. My netting skills are good, but it wasn’t a big deal given that we kept what we wanted within the first 45 minutes of the day or so.

The numbers of wild fish are something I’ve never seen on Cayuga Lake. Although stocking has been cut back a lot over the years, you’d never know it. A huge class of beautiful 22″ to 24″ lakers are out there! Plus some older and younger wild fish. I’d put wild fish numbers at 20%. Over the past ten years it was more like 7%! No monsters today, but a fish or two around 29″ that likely would’ve made the derby board. As I write this, my regular fishing buddy Mike was leading the derby with an 11lb + laker. I think it was 11lb 4oz.

7/12 Cayuga Lake out of Long Point: Guided Al and his kids Mike and Zack today for 1/2 day starting at 6:30 am. The boys are 12 and 9 years old if I remember right. They did a darn good job today with 13 fish landed, including 3 around 27.5″. Cayuga Lake is really making up for the slow start to the season. Great fishing!