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Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 2/14 PM

With cold conditions this AM and winds varying in speed and direction, shorefishing wound up being the best option for me today. It would've been tempting to drive over to Seneca Lake, but I didn't trust the wind forecasts, so Cayuga it was.

I opted to leave the fly-fishing gear at home with the temps right around freezing.  I checked out three different areas and wound up fishing two of them.  My first area proved best with two nice salmon landed both around 20".  One was a fresh (as opposed to drop-back) silver fish that hit a homemade spinner.  I kept this one for dinner.  5 minutes later I nabbed a one-eyed (although healthy looking otherwise) dropback that hit a jig.  That was it for action. I let go the second fish.  Lake level is low.  


Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 2/10 PM

Did a 1/2 day trip out of Taughannock with Rob and Chloe starting around 11:45 am.  The highs today were forecast to be around 29 to 34 degrees, depending on which weather service you clicked on. In a nutshell it was cold!  

I used to not do guided trips unless highs were supposed to be in the upper 30s or low 40s.  In the 2000s and early 2010s, before large numbers of lake trout were moving in shallow, we had to fish deep water flats for them - which usually meant launching out of Long Point.  Long Point Marina is one of the first to freeze up. That is the widest part of the lake and a wide open area of Cayuga Lake in terms of shelter from north winds - there is none!  A good wind can pound you over there!  Now we have good numbers of lakers ringing Cayuga Lake.  It's great!  There are plenty of good places to fish out of the wind.

Salmon and pike fishing usually meant dealing with wind.  Wind at 30 degrees makes for very uncomfortable casting.  With plenty of fish now in the shallows, it is possible to go out of Taughannock and catch fish even with light to non-existent winds, though a little breeze usually seems to help.  Cold weather plays havoc with fishing line.  Fly-fishing is a chore when 9 guides are freezing up constantly.  So I still prefer temps above freezing and the more wind, the warmer I like it to be.  

Cold conditions i.e. less that freezing temperatures play havoc with a lot of stuff.  I've had my boat frozen to my boat trailer bunks.  It's weird watching your trailer float with your boat.  Today the opposite happened.  My trailer bunks were like sheets of ice.  My boat glided off the trailer as if it was a roller trailer.  Fortunately I didn't unhook my chains until the boat was in the water.  But it shot off!  Managing fishing line was another cold-related issue today.  We had a lot of line misbehaving in the cold.  Bring a bunch of outfits with you when fishing in air below 40 degrees!

Fishing was tough today with muddy water in a lot of areas and zero wind for most of the day.  Rob wound up with the hot hand today and he landed two lakers in the 23" range and one very solid pike at 34".  We kept the lakers - one was filled with gobies.  Chloe had a salmon (I think) after her first or second cast that chased in his jig.  They had a couple other hits but overall we didn't have a whole lot of action.  It felt like 20 degrees out once the sun got clouded over and the wind kicked up.  It did manage to hit around 32 today. A lot of people were out shore fishing.  I have never seen more shore anglers on Cayuga during the winter as I have this year and last, due largely to the fun laker action.  The lakers fought very well for us today as did the pike.  Fun day, but cold!

Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 2/7

Met Mark I. at the launch at around 9:30 am.  The weather was foggy and winds were forecast to be calm turning to south in the afternoon.  Instead we had around a 4 mph north wind that turned calm and stayed calm right through sunset.  The forecast rain held off.

We started with some fly-fishing for pike and Mark managed to nab a hefty, well-fed 33" northern that hammered his streamer.  Great start to the trip.  Another pike - maybe in the 30" range was dropped shortly thereafter.  Flyfishing for lakers produced one nice laker that grabbed Mark's fly at the surface but didn't get hooked.  With continued calm conditions and not much activity Mark switched to gear.  In short order he had a 22" laker nab a bladebait.  Hair jigs wound up producing a couple salmon - a 21" dropback and a 19" two year old.  Best fish of the afternoon was a 24" brown that also hit a hair jig and jumped 4 to 5 times.  We released everything but the two lakers.  One of those was stuffed with gobies. Both had nice looking orange flesh.  

Around 1/2 dozen boats were out trolling and casting.  Water temps were up - they were at 38/39.  Water level also came up a little but the lake is still very low.  Shorefishing remains productive mainly for lakers but also for occasional salmon and browns. It was nice to finally get the boat out for the first time in 2019.  I have been busy with my fly-fishing classes at Cornell, which are on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.  All too often I have to teach on prime fishing days!  

Cayuga Lake shorefishing 1/29 PM

Got out for about an hour and braved the wind and cold along the east shore.  I did not have any hits.  The area I fished was muddy and windswept.   It was a good chance to get rid of some cabin fever and field-test a few homemade jigs and spinners.

I will be at the Rochester Boat Show Friday PM and most of Saturday with Silver Lake Marine/Crestliner.  Feel free to stop by, say hi and check out the great boat deals.

Update 1/9/2019

l want to wish everyone a great new year!   I have been on a long overdue vacation and have been unable to check emails and phone messages. I will be back soon and will respond to any inquiries or questions.   Thanks for understanding!

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