Reports 8/23 – 8/25


Area lakes still remain at or close to flood stage.  It’s always a good idea to exercise caution when motoring around.  Steady north winds over the past several days (until this morning) have kept most debris near the south end of area lakes.

8/23 Cayuga Lake out of Myers:  Guided Josh and his 7 year old son Ari for an abbreviated “tutorial trip.”   I usually don’t take kids out that are younger than 11 or 12 years old, unless the parents insist that they’ll be alright with the kind of fishing I guide for.  Being able to handle the gear, along with having patience and focus can be tough for youngsters.  Usually it’s better at that age to fish with a worm and bobber for panfish.

I had checked out Myers Park and Taughannock Park over the past few days and could see that the lake level was still at the borderline flood stage.  We took our time motoring north as we got underway just after 8:30 am.  I was happy to find some clear, debris-free water and it didn’t take long before Ari (with some help from dad) was hooked up.  He lost his first laker at the leader, but did land his second.  I was impressed with how quickly young Ari came along with the gear and he actually landed an 18″ laker all on his own!  That was nice.  Josh also managed to land a couple fish.  The bite was very good and I was pleased to see that the coming week on Cayuga Lake wasn’t going to be a grind.

Ari hooked up and struggling!

Ari and Josh - I believe this was Ari's fish

Josh with one

8/24:  Skaneateles Lake – Guided Mark I. for a full day.  The lake here is flooding.  At least the south dock was in.  It wasn’t too busy here in the morning, but by the afternoon the State Launch was at capacity – no surprise there.

Flooded Launch

View just south of the Launch

This lake will probably take some time to lower.  I can’t imagine the condition of Owasco and Otisco Lakes.  I know the towns on the north and south shores of Owasco (Auburn and Moravia respectively) both got hit with over 7″ of rain.

Mark prefers to fly-fish but isn’t averse to using gear.  I had him try some inshore areas fly-fishing with topwater without much luck.  The attendant at the launch said fishing had been tough here lately.  A renter onshore told me that today was the clearest that the lake had been since the rain.  That was encouraging but the water clarity was certainly nowhere near what we expect on this lake this time of year.

Fishing was slow to start then got increasingly better as the day went on.  Mark wound up having an OK day with around 1/2 dozen smallmouths landed.  Mark had a lot of other hookups and hits as well.  The fishing was better than our tally would indicate.  He caught a lot of rockbass and actually had 3 bite offs.  At least two were definitely from solid fish.  The third could have been a combination of frayed line and a fish that may not have been a toothy.  But the pickerel population certainly seems to be increasing here.  As much as I enjoy fishing for, catching and eating pickerel, I’m not a big fan of having a bunch of them in this lake.  It’s another species that bites off bass lures.

Fish came on Superflukes (soft jerkbaits), Shadow Raps (hard jerkbaits), Keitech style swimbaits, tube jigs and dropshot rigs. We gave the lake trout fishing around 20 minutes to a half hour without any luck.

8/25:  Cayuga Lake – Guided Mac and Jack for a full day starting at around 7:45 am.  I picked them up from their rental that was just north of Frontenac Point.  I had a few gremlins onboard bugging me today – my Minn Kota 3 bank charger apparently isn’t working too well, or one of my trolling motor batteries is shot.  Unfortunately it’s all new stuff, so I don’t know what the deal is, but trolling motor power was a concern.  My electronics also weren’t turning on very well.  After a while that glitch was taken care of.  This stuff was all on my newer boat, which I’ve been running this week, after giving the boat a rest over the past month.  As a full time guide with two complete rigs it’s rare that something doesn’t need attention.  Mid-way through the season I usually have a list of items that need attention on both boats for the guys over at Silver Lake Marine.

Mac and Jack were good sports about it.  It was also helpful that they landed three nice lake trout in our first 1/2 hour or so on the water.  Fishing was fairly slow for us during the AM.  It picked up during the mid-morning and we had spurts of good action afterwards throughout the day.  The guys wound up landing 15 solid lakers today up to 30″ long.

By the end of the day at around 3:45 pm I could barely think straight.  The heat index was around 106 degrees.  4 quarts of water, full coverings from head to toe and repeated hat dunkings in the lake all helped to keep me sane, but I think it’s safe to say that we were all ready to get off the water right at the 8 hour mark!   It was brutal.

Fish came on black and white plastics.  Depths ran 80′ to 110′ or so.  Plenty of bait remains around and boat traffic was very light on Cayuga Lake today.  Debris remains better than expected north of Myers/Taughannock, but keep in mind that strong south winds could push a lot of stuff up lake.

Mac with a beauty!