Reports June 26th – July 4th Cayuga Lake
It’s been a busy past nine days. I’ve run 11 trips, which wasn’t the original plan. I usually like to run trips alternating between 4 and 5 days a week if I can. With the Covid-19 issues from March – May, I booked a bit heavier at times since then than I normally would. It was fun doing a lot of fishing then, now I’m happy to guide. With the new website I like to post photos and do justice to the write-ups. With the older site, when I was tired I’d usually just put up a quick report. No pics to worry about.
Fishing has generally been good to very good on Cayuga Lake for us. I am still running trips out of both Long Point and Myers, depending on where clients are driving in from and the wind direction. Algae flecks have been showing up over the past 3 days on Cayuga Lake. We’ll see where that goes, but so far the beaches have remained open. We haven’t had much rain, but we are getting some very hot (“gar hot”) weather thus far in July. The long term forecasts are also for more heat.
Fish have really been moving around a lot. A spot that’s hot one day, runs cold the next day and so on. Temperature plateaus are also moving a lot. We’ve had southerly thermals in the mornings followed by calm conditions from around 8 am until maybe 11, then northerlies that have run into the teens and above. Submarine currents have been very noticeable.
Depths have basically been running from around 60′ or 65′ out to 85′. Sometimes deeper. Lure colors that have been hot for us are Chartreuse Silk, White, White/chartreuse tail and black. Depths vary by day and location, so even if I put the depths up in my reports, it’s old news the next day. But to be safe fish 50′ out to 100′ and you’ll find fish.
In terms of the bite, we’ve had one really slow day (7/2). AM bites have been a little hotter for the most part lately. People often ask me about start times. Sometimes I start trips around 6:30 am, other times around 7:30 or 8 am. Today on July 4th we wanted to avoid the crowds and boat traffic and we started at 5:30 am. And it really paid off. But that doesn’t always happen. I’ve seen plenty of days where the fishing gets better later, but there’s nearly always a good early bite and that can be well worth getting up for. A lot of my start times depend on the weather and also the clients. Tourists who just want to fish for a day before going to the wineries can be a big part of my summer business. Some of them just want to catch a couple fish if they can and are on vacation and not interested in getting up at 4 am. Other people don’t care when they wake up. I try to schedule as well as I can.
As days get shorter I move up the start times. July is a good month to start trips early – like 5:30 am. We were around a full moon today and fish tend to feed more at night, so a very early start can pay big dividends. I try to hedge my bets overall with start times, so if there’s an AM bite we’ll hit it and if it starts up later my AM trip will get a piece of that too. Sometimes it bites us in the butt, other times (most times) it works out with very consistent day to day fishing success. Maybe we don’t hammer them daily but we also aren’t getting skunked.
6/26 AM: Guided the Hermans today for a 1/2 day starting at 7:45 am. Fishing was decent with Eleonore leading the way with a 30+1/2″ solid laker. Another 3 nice fish were landed between 19″ and 25″.
6/27 Cayuga Lake out of Long Point: Guided Dapper Dan and Keith for a full day. Had a rainy overcast morning with a great bite. We were on the water just after 7:30 am. Our original start time was going to be 7 am, but we had a big area of heavy rain roll through so I delayed the trip by a half hour. The guys wound up with 13 solid fish landed up to 30″ long. Three wild fish were in the mix, a 24″ a 27″ and a 28″.
Dapper Dan #1 Pic
Dapper Dan #2 Pic
31"+ Wild Laker for Keith on 6/28
6/28 AM Cayuga Lake out of Long Point: Back out with Dapper Dan and Keith. Fishing was hot today to start for our half day trip then slowed down just as we were getting ready to wrap things up. Dan had the hot hand yesterday, but today it was Keith. We had 10 solid lakers landed today including a 31+1/2″ wild beauty that we released (all fish were let go today.) Fish ran from 24″ on up.
6/29 Cayuga Lake out of Long Point: Guided Will today for a full day. Fishing was solid. Will ran a bit late this AM so we weren’t underway until around 8:45 am. We had 11 fish landed between 24″ and 33″(!) long. Good solid day of fishing. We found fish in a lot of different areas.
Will's 33" Slob!
6/30 AM out of Myers: Guided Kevin, his wife Christa and their daughter Emma today for a half day trip celebrating Kevin’s birthday. I have guided Kevin a bunch of times but it was my first time meeting Christa, who was a lot of fun to have onboard. She did a great job with the fishing too. We wound up with eight solid lakers up to 28″ and Kevin caught and released his birthday present from Cayuga Lake – a 28″ gorgeous wild rainbow! This fish fought with fury, jumping hard and high twice! Incredible fight and great fish.
Kevin's birthday Rainbow!
Closer pic of bow
A lot of people aren’t aware of Kevin’s juggling skills. I’m not sure even he was, but he did a great job juggling and not hurting this laker!
Kevin the Juggler!
6/30 PM: Picked up Riley and Steven for my PM 1/2 day today. We ran to the same areas I took Kevin to and we had some solid fishing and a lot of fun joking around. The guys landed 5 solid lakers, a 23″, 25″, 27″, 28″ and 29″. (I have my DEC diary with me as I write this, so I can get the exact sizes and numbers of fish we landed.) The 27″ was a wild fish that we released.
7/1 Cayuga Lake out of Long Point: Guided Will again for a full day. We wound up with around 8 lakers landed and one brown that was 19″ long but weighed a whopping 3lbs and 11 oz! That’s a heck of a big 19″er! We had a couple dink lakers in the mix – a 13″ and a 16″; both sizes are rare on Cayuga Lake in terms of what we typically jig up. Other fish ran 23″ to 25″ for the most part with a 28″er being the best. Two wild lakers were in the mix today.
7/2 Cayuga Lake out of Myers: Picked up George along with his sons George Jr. and Andrew for a half day trip out of Taughannock. The guys drove in from quite a ways away so we started around 7:30 am. Fishing wasn’t easy today. We had a fairly tough bite. Young Andrew managed the first fish of the day, a solid 27″ laker. George has a place on Keuka Lake but loves coming over to Cayuga to fish. Three other solid lakers were landed anchored by George’s 29″er caught just before we headed in.
7/2 PM: Picked up Johan (who caught a great 28″ rainbow out with me back on June 12th) and his wife Leen at around 12:30 pm – both originate from Belgium. Johan has been coming out with me since the mid-2000s back when Seneca Lake was rivaling and sometimes topping Cayuga Lake for prime lake trout action. Today was a relaxed day – the goal was to get Leen into a fish. I’d left my AM trip with the fish getting active, though it didn’t go for long. But Leen was fortunate and nabbed her first laker in pretty short order. After that we struggled, but Johan managed to jig up one nice fish before we left – a 28″er. The bite overall today was the toughest I’d seen in a while on Cayuga. Some of it was probably our conditions. That being said, a friend of mine did well up north this AM. Someone usually finds some active fish.
Leen enjoying herself on Cayuga Lake
Her 25" laker
7/3 AM Cayuga Lake out of Long Point: Got back out with Will today for a half day trip. We had some solid fishing. Will managed to land 5 lakers but he probably missed a good dozen hits/bumps and dropped a fair number as well. Sometimes it happens. We had one wild fish at 26″.
7/4 Cayuga Lake out of Long Point: Brad and Hanna joined me for a full day today starting just after 5:30 am. With the 4th of July upon us and hot weather in the forecast we went with an early start. I would’ve been happy not guiding over the 4th weekend – at least not for a full day, but it was Brad’s birthday today and he was amped to do the trip. I had some trepidation on doing the trip with the tough bite we had Thursday and a similar forecast today, but the trip with Will yesterday showed a lot of fish on one area, so I was optimistic.
We had a fantastic morning bite starting right from the get-go. I think we had 17 fish in the boat over the first two hours! We wound up with 21 fish total – 20 lakers and one 22″ salmon that Hanna landed. She lost another salmon that was a bit bigger. Fish ran from 18″ to 29 1/2″ today. Brad has a new smoker and we kept a batch of lakers for it. Fun day.
Hanna with her salmon
Everything went super smoothly today. Long Point park was packed with people enjoying the 4th of July. The park staff told me that they might have to close the park because it was reaching capacity (probably a Covid/social distancing issue.) This was the most crowded they had seen the park before!