Reports June 11th – 15th
I spent the last five days guiding Cayuga Lake mainly for lake trout out of Long Point Park. Fishing was good on Friday then slowed down on Saturday afternoon and remained slow for us into Sunday. Action picked up today. As is typically the case in mid-June, the thermocline has set up.
6/11: Guided Leo and Ada for a full day of pickerel fishing out of Long Point. I thought they might want to mix things up today and do some lake trout fishing in addition to casting for pickerel, but they wanted to go with pickerel all day long, so I should have launched at Union Springs. We had a somewhat bumpy, but very wet ride from Long Point up to the lake’s north end. The west/south west winds and resultant waves did little to keep us dry!
Pickerel fishing was fair. Weedgrowth has come up a bit since Memorial Day when I was last up here. We had a slow, steady pick of fish today with 9 pickerel landed, 8 of which we kept. Our action came on spoons. Fish ran 19″ to 22″ long.
6/12 AM: Guided Johan for a 1/2 day AM trip. He’s very passionate about lake trout fishing and it’s always nice to have him onboard. Some of you might remember the time we rescued the kayaker from Keuka Lake back around 2015 or so. Johan was part of that crew on that student’s lucky day. We had a somewhat slow AM but Johan managed a few nice lakers. The fish that made the day was the 29.5″ wild rainbow trout he caught and released on a Lunker City Shaker! Beautiful fish! A post-spawn but well recovered female!
Notice how I have Johan holding the fish low to the floor of the boat. Rainbows and browns can be especially hard to hold. Now if you are keeping the fish, it makes little difference how you hold it – you can go right up the gills, but for a successful quick release, it’s good to keep them low. That way, if the fish is dropped or gets free of your hold, it doesn’t damage itself banging on the deck or other items in the boat. I always have clients grip the base of the tail first, then just support under the belly. By grabbing the tail first, you keep them from thrashing around. You get them under control. Releasing a banged up brown or rainbow is like hitting it on the head with a club and tossing it into the water. You’re better off just keeping a bloody fish. Lake trout are a lot tougher and can handle a little more roughness, though obviously you don’t want to harm any fish that you choose to release.
Another Pic of the Rainbow
6/12 PM: My PM trip was with Ron and Matt. Despite the blowing north west winds (gusting to 26 mph) we were able to find a place to fish safely and comfortably. The guys had a great afternoon landing around 14 or 15 nice lake trout, including a couple doubles! The bite was much better for us than my AM bite with Johan, though Johan landed a trophy rainbow that would be a fish of a lifetime for many anglers. A 9 to 10 pound inland (as opposed to Great Lakes) rainbow is a heck of a catch!
6/13: Guided a full day, again with Ron and Matt. Fishing was slow and steady this AM then really slowed down for us during the final three hours of the day. Matt had the hot hand today landing 8 of our 9 fish landed. Ron dropped a couple good ones and landed one solid.
Matt with a solid fish!
6/14: Today I got to guide my old friend Art, formerly known as Mark. We go back to the 6th grade! We used to fish Irondequoit Creek, Mendon Ponds, the Barge Canal and Lake Ontario up at Pultneyville, amongst other places together. We also went skydiving together after we graduated our respective colleges and our other friends bailed on the adventure (which they – meaning our other friends had conceived!) So needless to say, it was a great day on the water. We’ll be doing more fishing together when we get time.
He fishes Seneca Lake a bit and wanted to get a better handle on the jigging. His wife Linda came along as well. Fishing was slow to fair throughout the day for us. It never got going hot and heavy. I went with an 8 am start time after the previous two days featured slow AM bites. But Art managed 3 nice fish in the morning. He almost had another great rainbow and a salmon! They just didn’t quite grab the jigs but they chased them up. Linda had a few hits and lost a good hookup. After we dropped Linda off at the park so she could go to work, Art nabbed another fish or two. Solid day. Tougher days are better in terms of really learning this technique and what’s involved with locating and enticing fish. Easy days – when we catch fish right from the get-go tend not to develop anglers as well. Because everything appears too easy. So when they go out on their own and perhaps don’t hook up in the first 20 minutes, people often will start second guessing themselves!
Art with a nice fish
Old Friends going back over 40 years!
6/15 AM: Today I guided John and his son Hunter. I’ve been taking these fellows out for quite some time now – probably a good 7 to 9 years. We had one good fish right after we started (at 8:15 am) with John landing a 28″er. After a bit of a lull, the bite picked up and the guys nabbed another 4 lakers and lost another 4. All nice fish from 25″ to 28″ on the day. Fun day and it’s always good seeing the guys. The thermocline was pretty evident yesterday and today.