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Skaneateles Lake 8/22

Skaneateles Lake 8/22:  Guided Leo and Ada for a full day. Over the past half dozen years or more we've been doing a Cayuga trip then a Skinny trip in late August.  Both seem to go very well - it's a great time of the year to fish both lakes.  Fishing didn't disappoint today.  Leo and Ada were running late, so I got a 1/2 hour to fish on my own before I picked them up at Mandana.  I managed to catch three or four nice smallmouths.  The trip went well - it was a "catch 'em and eat 'em" mission and they caught well over 100 rock bass.  We kept injured ones (i.e. those caught deep or ones that swallowed the hook) and fish over 9".  We probably wound up with over 40.  Around 20 smallmouths were landed including three that ran 17.5" each. A few perch were also landed.  Fish came dropshotting.  Nearly all came from 18' to maybe 45' of water, with most in the 20' to 30' range.  Light boat traffic was nice today.  There were no algae blooms out here this year.  Water temp was around 74 on top.

I must say I do have a great clientele!   I posted an opening that I had for Saturday (I was expecting a deposit for a trip that fell through on the customer's end without being notified about it) at around 4:30 am this morning.  I found out that the trip wasn't going to happen late last night.  By the time I arrived at the ramp at 8 am the day was booked.  Gotta love it!

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/19

Guided Leo and Ada for a full day trip on Cayuga Lake starting around 7:30 am.  Lake trout action was slow during the first couple hours of the trip.  Three fish were landed and a few good hits missed.  Fishing picked up quickly after that and was hot and heavy as the winds switched and the sun broke out. Action slowed down again in the PM.  We knocked off a half hour early once they'd caught the fish they wanted.  Top laker was around 29" to 30". We had a couple wild fish.  Had fish from 65' to 90'.  Same lures as reported before. Fish I cleaned are feeding heavily on the abundant alewives.  

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/18

Did a full day trip with Tony and his boys, Paul and Kyle.  They were last out with me back in 2012 for a good 1/2 day trip.  The boys were around 10 and 12 years old back then and now one will be finishing high school and one will be in college this fall.  Time really moves. We had a slow first hour or two of fishing but action picked up nicely and held out for most of the day. Nothing really hot and heavy but excellent fishing with one double and fairly steady action. Top laker was around 30"+ and wild.  We had a 27" rainbow too!  Total on lakers was around 17 plus the rainbow and one other laker that managed to slip off at the net.  We kept a couple lakers today.  A fair number of boats were out today but in general the boat traffic was pretty light for most of the day until maybe 1 pm.  Storms began popping up and we headed in a 1/2 hour early.  Everyone was very satisfied with the tremendous fishing.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 8/17

Did a morning 1/2 day starting just after 7am  then another (PM) half day that was truncated due to thunderstorms.  My AM trip was with Bill and his son Dave.  Bill has a cottage around King Ferry so that's where he wanted to try to start.  We found fair numbers of fish there but apart from two hits they weren't biting too good .  We tried areas across the lake and wound up having a very solid day with 8 nice lakers landed including two around 28" to 28.5".   White/chartreuse Shakers, Black Shakers and White/Chartreuse Money Minnows did the trick.  Due to the wind we did a bit of drifting incorporating a drift sock along with heavier jig heads (1+1/2 oz.)

My PM Trip was with Ryan, who'd seen some video on laker jigging Cayuga Lake and was looking forward to giving it a try.  We motored down to where we left off this AM and within a few drops he was into a fish, which wound up getting off.  But his next fish didn't!  It was a hard fighting gorgeous 31" wild lake trout that we released after a few quick photos.  A couple more fish were landed and then a large line of storms started moving through.  We were able to get off the lake just before the wind really kicked up.  It would be tempting to wait out or "tough out" storms but you can pay the price for "the right to be foolish."   As I type this, lines of severe storms are coming over the Finger Lakes.  

I see a lot of kayakers and paddleboarders on Cayuga Lake these days.  The lake is big water and it can get mean in a hurry.  Severe thunderstorms can be life-threatening conditions for kayakers.  If your kayak gets swamped in the middle of the lake, and you start getting hit with 2' to 4' waves, in warm water you're likely to be in trouble - in frigid water you are doomed.  People really need to pay close attention to the weather when out in any boat on Cayuga Lake, but certainly moreso on small crafts.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/15 + 16

August is turning out to be a very busy month for this guide.  Fishing is great and I don't have to drive much or motor too far - what more could I ask for?  Might as well do more trips now than try to drum up the hardcore anglers for the awesome nearshore winter fishing we have here running from December through February!

8/15 AM: Guided Will for his third trip this week.  He comes through the area from down south looking for good pike action, but he really enjoys the lakers.  After landing that trophy brown on the 14th, who could blame him for wanting to come right back out?  He nabbed some solid lakers to 31" and another brown around 10lbs.  A fair number of fish were missed and lost too as is usually the case with jigging.

8/16 AM:  Guided Greg for a 1/2 day starting around 6:45 am.  Greg nabbed a solid laker, nice salmon (that he didn't care about netting) and a smaller salmon as well as two browns - both solid fish up to around 10lbs.  Action wasn't hot and heavy but he fishes hard and it paid off.

8/16 PM:  Guided John who joined me with his dad last year around Labor Day.  He's been doing very well jigging but had been dropping more fish than he wanted.  His buddies had been losing a fair number too, so I looked over his technique and figured out a few things that should help. After 15 years of guiding probably well over 1000 lake trout trips I have noticed quite a few things people do or don't do that affect their outcomes.  I do a lot of two to three people trips and those can be telling. If one person isn't getting fish and the others are, I usually tell them "the fish doesn't know who is on the other end of the line."  So it's generally something they are doing or not.  

John's renting a place on the lake and we spent an hour and change going over some techniques I find effective on the lake for bass and pickerel.  He nabbed a few nice lakers on the day.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/14

Picked up Will at Taughannock and up the lake we went.  We worked a few different areas and then the lakers finally started hitting good.  Will also caught a nice bonus rainbow trout that was around 22" or 23".  Top fish of the day was a trophy brown that Will wanted to take home with him (usually we release most browns we catch.)  After a digging lake trout-like battle I slipped the net under a 31" bohemoth.  The fish weighed around 15lbs 12 ounces or so on my accurate Berkley TEC scale.  It was a big male. Great lamprey control combined with ample bait - both predominantly gobies in the colder months and alewives in the warmer months have come together to make Cayuga arguably the best inland brown trout fishery in the state and perhaps in the Northeast.  That's strictly my opinion, but I can't think of any better (apart from the Great Lakes - but that's not "inland.")  Add in the tremendous lake trout fishery and you have a powerhouse of a lake!  I have zero regrets moving down here after living around 10 miles from Lake Ontario for most of my early life.  

Word from the Lake Ontario Fisheries Unit is that alewife biomass in Lake Ontario is down 29% this year.  DEC has managed the fishery wisely.  Not one Charter Captain is complaining this year about the fishing after a few solid stocking cuts.  Not one.  Do you think any of these guys will utter the phrase "I WAS WRONG."  Don't hold your breath. It's like the old Happy Days Episode where Fonzi tried but couldn't utter the words "I AM SORRY" to Ritchie after clocking him with a door.  I would guess DEC will cut stocking again to try to stall the diminishing bait numbers.  Keuka Lake hung on quite a while with very low alewife numbers.  We'll see if the same happens on the big Lake.  But I think another cut would be a good idea if anglers want to prolong this great fishery.  Laker stocking was cut on Cayuga a few years back.  We are seeing more wild fish and the cut was unnoticeable.  So far standard gang gillnetting appears to show the population is still as abundant as it was 4 years ago.  More to come on that once I get the word.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/12

Guided Will for a full day of jigging.  He had solid action today landing lakers up to 31".  He also nabbed a solid brown and a nice landlocked salmon.   Around 1/2 dozen fish were landed on the day and a large laker was dropped before we got a look at it.  Not much new to report.  Boat traffic was light. The algae bloom is mostly over and water clarity is good.  Lakers are throughout the lake and many are in their usual August/September areas.  

My pal Mike hit Canandaigua Lake last Thursday and reports some good to excellent lake trout action over there lake wide.  It's a great time to be fishing the Fingers!

Cayuga Lake Reports 8/9 - 11

Had a little bit of a slowdown on Friday after the cold front passed through.  Started the AM with Greg who managed two nice browns.  One took the jig deep so we kept it.  It was a 27"er and weighed 10 1/2lbs.  Solid fish.  He also missed a couple and lost one. Wind and waves built up as the morning went on. After I dropped Greg off I picked up Kevin and Drew and we went after lakers.  Kevin was nice enough to throw together a meal for me on a last minute trip.  We had a lot of short hits and misses.  Finally after around 3 hours the bite picked up and the guys landed 5 solid lakers up to around 28" or 29".

Saturday was Mark I.  Strong north winds continued and we fished with what we were given.  Ended up being a great day with 4 solid lakers landed to around 28" and a couple beautiful browns up to 27".  Fun day with some great fighting fish - especially in the wind and waves.  

Today was a lot of fun. I had Jim, Glenn and Will for a morning 1/2 day starting at 6:30am. I wasn't sure how the laker bite would be after the nearly full-moon and bluebird morning.  No need to worry there - the fish hit very well.  The guys were first out with me around two years ago (except for Will - it was his first trip) and we had some fun mixed bag action with a nice rainbow and LL salmon.  Today was a good laker bite with 10 solid fish landed including three at the 28 1/2" mark. One of those was wild.  I filleted around 7 or 8 fish today. One laker had a small largemouth bass in its stomach!  You never know what these lakers will be eating.  Quite a few fish were lost today too as well as the usual missed hits.

The algae bloom finally appears to be over.  Wow, did that last a long time!  I first noticed it around 7/9 and by 7/12 it was going pretty well - so it lasted for nearly a month.  We had pretty good action during the bloom overall.  At times the fishing was excellent.  Blooms are not nearly as detrimental to the fishing as muddy water is. A few years back we had a lot of rain which really made action tough.  

As is to be expected we wound up trying a lot of different colored baits during the bloom.  For whatever reason we rarely got bit on Chartreuse Silk (Lunker City Color.)  That color is usually one of our best.  Funny enough though today I ran into my friend Mike Canavan who had done great on a chartreuse variation throughout the bloom, so I guess it really depends on what you drop down there and maybe a few slight color variations.  Black 3.75" Lunker City Shakers wound up being quite productive for us.  There were days it was the main color being bit.  With my gig, I get to outfit anglers with different colors and then switch them out amongst the anglers to see what's most productive.   Lunker City makes a nice 3.75" bait that they were nice enough to send me last time I ordered.  The usual whites and chartreuse tails are tough to beat.  Over the years we've worked a lot of colors including purples, blues and blacks with varying levels of success but this might be the first season that I've kept one on a rod just about at all times.

Another hot bait for us over the past month or two (and continuing through now) has been Yum's Money Minnow.  I've used them occasionally since Jarrod won the 49th Annual Memorial Weekend Lake Trout Derby on Seneca Lake with one back in 2011 or 2012, whenever that was.  They aren't nearly as durable as the Lunker City Shakers and are more expensive, but there are times that they really seem to be the best producer out there.  It's well worth having them aboard. The paddle is a little more intense and the wobble is wider than the shakers.  It's a bait that is very productive when worked slowly as well as fast. 

Lake level is normal full pool and the surface temperature is 75 degrees.  Plenty of bait abouds and fishing continues to be top-notch.  DEC is wrapping up two weeks worth of netting up here.  I am looking forward to hearing the results. Preliminary reports indicate the laker population is as abundant as it was during the last netting four years ago.  People need not worry about harvesting lake trout on Cayuga Lake.  There are plenty around and they live a long time.  Three weeks ago we had a 33" fish with a dorsal clip that Greg caught.  DEC hasn't used that clip for lakers stocked here in over 20 years!  That's an OLD FISH!

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/8

Guided a 1/2 day trip with Jeff and Dave.  Fishing was very good today with ten solid lakers landed, five of which were in the 8lb to 10lb range.  Dave does some great smoked fish with some real distinct flair and that's where the fish will be going.   Had a great time with the guys and it's nice to see the algae bloom starting to go away.  Very few anglers were out today.

After the trip I went out with my buddy Todd for a couple hours. He had some good follows from some solid salmon.  I nabbed a 27"+ laker that Todd's family will be enjoying on the grill tonight.  Weather conditions changed and we were able to make a quick run back in and beat a line of severe thunderstorms with minutes to spare!   Not a good day to be "sleeping at the wheel."


Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs 8/5

Fished with Terry from 8:30 am til about 2:15 pm.  I was chomping at the bit to get back out here and build on what we found last Thursday.  I have plenty of waypoints on this lake that have produced good bass in the past and we put some to good use.  We focused on the "tried and true" and tried to expand on our areas as well as work on some different patterns.  Had some very solid fishing today on bass and pickerel.  In short order we were into pickerel and I nabbed the first bass.  My next bass was a 20.5"er that was probably in the upper 4lb range.  It kept getting better after that with Terry catching some good fish as well.  On the day we encountered a couple groups of fish.  By the end of the day we'd landed around a dozen bass with around 3 fish in the 4lbs+ range.  We had a few 15" to 16" chunks and a handful of 13"ers.

Pickerel action was maybe too good today and we both had our share of bite-offs, losing some nice baits in the process.  Next time I'll be adding a little TyGer wire to the mix - largemouths don't seem to mind it and I can save some lures.  But we hooked around 20 or more pickerel today up to 23".  Hard hits and good fights. 

Water was fairly clear in the north end of the lake.  Hopefully the rest of the lake will clear soon. I expect it to with the cool nights in the forecast.  Crankbaits, swimbaits, creature baits and plastic worms (straight worms, not Senkos) did the trick for us today.  I LOVE Cayuga Lake bass fishing when it is on!  Tough to beat it. This steady weather makes for top-notch bass fishing.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/3 + 8/4 AM

Did half days on Saturday and Sunday out of Myers Park.  We got underway at around 7:30 am on Saturday and just after 6:30 am on Sunday.  A lot of boats were out Saturday with Barney/Bear's Hospice Benefit derby going on. Today was very quiet on the lake.

Saturday's trip was with Tatyana, her husband Yuri and their friend's son, Alan.  Fishing was slow to start during the first hour or two.  We had a hit or two and fish around us but they weren't "eager beavers."  We moved a few times and started getting into some fish.  We wound up with a nice catch of 7 solid lakers anchored by Yuri's 28" or 29"er.   Everyone caught fish and it was a fun and gorgeous day to be out on the water.  

Today's (Sunday's) trip was with Chris, his brother in-law Kevin and Chris's daughter Maya.  Today was a day of slow but steady fishing but nearly everytime we were going to move, someone would hook a fish.  Kevin ate a banana and I told him about the fishing boat superstition.  He then said "I'm going to prove it wrong!" and next drop he caught a nice laker!  Overall a fair number of fish were lost today - probably close to a 1/2 dozen.  It happens.  Maya had a gorgeous chrome silver plump rainbow just about to nab her jig right under the surface.  It had been hitting her on the retrieve. She set the hook but was perhaps a second too late - but what a fish!  Probably 7 or 8lbs, maybe more - it was hard to tell.  In the past we have taken rainbows on Cayuga Lake running 10 to 12lbs. Most of the ones we catch run 17" to maybe 24".  Chris nabbed a brown around 18".  We also had 5 or 6 lake trout, mostly in the 24" to 26" range today. We tried a lot of areas.  Funny how a lot of these fish are from the same year classes - we fished both sides of the lake down and up and wind up with the same class of fish (the same fin-clips.)   Overall it was a tougher bite today with fish in a neutral to negative mood.

DEC still could use Owasco Lake cooperators.  If you fish the lake - even just a handful of times, your catch data can be very helpful in the management of the lake.  Call Region 7 fisheries at (607)753-3095.   I'm looking forward to fishing Owasco Lake late this summer and into the fall.  The lake has some mambo brown trout and smallmouth bass swimming around in it. Very solid perch fishery too.


Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/2

Guided back to back 1/2 days today starting with Greg at 6:30 am. Greg had a very solid day with the browns after a slow start.  He dropped a few and then managed to land 4 solid fish running from 24" to 27"  in various areas.  He had me take a few drops with a jig and I managed a laker.   The bloom continues on Cayuga Lake although it isn't too bad.

At 11:15 I met Tom, Mac and Jack at the launch and we set out for lakers.  The bite was slow for the first hour but then action picked up markedly.  They wound up with a dozen solid fish anchored by Jack's massive 31.5"er that fought great.  Most ran 23" to 26".  Steady bite right until we called it a day.  People often ask me what's better, an AM or PM 1/2 day.  It varies, but in August both can be excellent and sometimes the PM is better.  Today was one of those days.  


Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs 8/1

Got out with my buddy Terry for some bass fishing.  It's the first time this summer we've hit the northern portions of the lake, which means we had to cover a lot of water to see what was going on with the bloom and with weedgrowth.  There are seasonal areas that bass seem to use year after year here but they do tend to vary depending on those previously mentioned factors. 

We had tough fishing for much of the day.  We landed a few pickerel and in an area we found last year Terry nabbed a nice largemouth around 2.5lbs on a Superfluke.  After a bit of running around and some unproductive casting we settled into a favorite area and started getting into some fish - mainly pickerel.  However Terry set into a good fish and after it surfaced we knew he had a whopper.  I slid the net under a pig of a largemouth - a 21" fat fish that had to be around the 6lb mark.  If it wasn't 6, it was darn close.  Despite the good conditions at that point in the day we wrapped things up - we each have busy work weekends.  

Cayuga tends to fish great in August for both salmonids and bass.  I'm sure we'll be back here fairly soon after Terry's memorable catch.  Surface temps were 80 to 81.  Weeds remain predominantly various pondweeds and some milfoil.  Not seeing any coontail beds yet.  

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/29

Guided Scott and his dad Dick for a 1/2 day then dropped off Dick and fished the remainder of the full day with Scott alone.  We started around 6:30 am.  Lake trout fishing was solid this morning. We had some 29" and 30" fish as well as nice numbers of mid-20s trout. Fish looked great and fought hard.  In the afternoon Scott nabbed a couple solid 25" to 26" browns and dropped one nice salmon.  Great day!  Algae is gradually clearing and we had 5' to 6' of visibility in some areas.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/28 AM

Back out of Myers today targeting lake trout - this time with Jim.  It was good seeing Jim as usual.  He booked his first trip with me on my first year, 2005.  Fishing was solid this morning for us, but not quite as hot as yesterday.  We found fish roughly in the same depths and a little deeper today.  As waters warm, the thermocline typically keeps moving deeper.  We had some solid fish today with lakers up to 31" and a couple 29"ers. Two wild fish were in the mix - one had really spectacular fins.  All fish released today for what it's worth.  Despite the cold, late spring, respectable numbers of fish seem to be in areas we'd usually be fishing late in August.  Plenty of bait abounds.  Late July through early September is generally beyond compare on Cayuga Lake!

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/27 AM

Had some smokin' hot laker action today with Frank and Josh.  The guys' first time out with me was last November. On that day we had some top-notch lake trout action in shallow along with bonus pike and salmon.  It was brutal out - i.e. cold and windy, so Frank called it a day early.  He was happy with the fishing.  Today we set up in an area and never really moved.  We had plenty of fish moving through all morning long.  The guys landed 15 solid fish to 30" in a little over 2 hours.  Frank was satiated and we called it an early day!  Can't beat that.  Fish fought very well.  We didn't have many under 24" - maybe one or two.

Water is still off-colored due to the bloom, but it's better than it was 10 days ago.  It isn't hurting the fishing. Sunday August 4th remains available.  August is the most consistent jigging month on Cayuga Lake for day-in day-out all day action.  Not saying it happens every day, but most days are very solid right through the second week of September.  May is a great month too, but the weather is much more inconsistent and that can screw up the bite.  Most of our activity has been in the 80'+ range.  

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/26 AM

Guided Greg today for a half day AM trip starting at 6:30 am.  Fishing was excellent to start with Greg nabbing a hard fighting thick bodied 33" laker on his third drop of the jig. We released the fish - it was likely at least 12lbs.  Another half dozen fish were landed in the first hour.  We tried some other areas hoping for a salmon or rainbow in addition to lakers.  A few hits were had along with momentary hookups from salmon.  He wound up with 9 solid lakers landed and a few others lost by the boat.  Water visibility remains low on Cayuga Lake but I think there's a good chance things will clear up shortly.  Either way, it doesn't appear to be affecting the trout bite.  Nice fish are scattered throughout the lake.  Cayuga Lake has been amazing!  Just a top-notch fishery firing on all cylinders.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/25

Guided Mark I. for a full day starting at 6:45 am.  We tried some non-laker salmonid fishing in the AM without any success apart from a light hit or two.  The laker zone was where it was at - we had a nice steady bite all afternoon.  Mark nabbed a couple hard fighting 29" lakers along with 4 or 5 other fish.  He also lost 3 or 4.   Fish looked great.  He had two wild fish in the bunch. Boat traffic on the lake today was very light until past noon.  The lake still is a bit milky in appearance.  

For some reason I forgot to post it, but I do have Sunday August 4th available for trips. August is nearly booked with the exception of the weekend of the 17th/18th and a couple days during the final week in August - the 26th - 29th.  PM 1/2 days can be excellent fishing in August.  Email me for any possible inquiries.  Thanks!

Skaneateles Lake 7/24

Guided Scott, who has a place on the lake for a full day starting at around 8:30 am. Bass fishing was very solid today with some top-notch action on topwater and subsurface baits.  Scott nabbed around 15 smallies mostly near the surface with another dozen to two dozen getting off.  Fish were the typical average Skaneateles smallmouths running from 11" to 15".  No big fish were raised today and we did some dropshotting going out to over 40' of water, so we probably just weren't in the right areas or the bigger fish were a bit "off" today. Scott dropped what was probably a laker in around 40' FOW today.  Plenty of rockbass were around in the 20' to 27' range.  We tried some pickerel casting on the south end with only a couple perch to show.  The lake is absolutely crystal clear and gorgeous with perfect swimming temperatures - around 75 on top.  

Seneca Lake out of Sampson State Park 7/23 PM

Got out on my own from around 1:30 pm til 6:30 pm.  I've been looking forward to checking out all the improvements at the boat launch and giving the fishing a whirl.  First of all, the new launch is fantastic!  The boat docks are much closer to the waterline.  The ramp is at a perfect pitch.  The concrete on the ramps was done in a way to keep the surface rough so you don't slip.  The old ramp was brutal - slick as ice once covered with algae.  There is a gas pump that should be up and running in a few weeks.  Sampson is offering pontoon boat rentals too.  They are still working on the parking lot.

I checked a few areas out for bass today.  I had good conditions to start and then the lake flattened out on me.  I haven't targeted bass here in years.  I managed a couple halfway decent largemouth and a couple smallmouths - one of which was a dink.  I had a hit or two that I missed and a follow or two from some bigger smallmouths.  No action on pike today and I did give them a try.  Usually they show up as bonus fish when bass fishing. Had I started first thing this AM, maybe my luck would have been better. Bass were caught both during the windy and the flat conditions.

I checked out one stretch for lakers that had been good a few weeks back.  I still found good numbers of fish and they were chasing my jigs to an extent.  I hooked and landed one 27" laker that had been beaten up a bit by lampreys.  The fish had an eel attached, which is no longer the case.  I probably gave the lakers 45 minutes.

Time flew by today and I had to cut my trip short before hitting a few favorite bass areas. I had my action with Rat-L-Traps, Flukes and Senkos today.  Missed a hit on a deep diving crankbait.  The lake looked great. Loads of milfoil, still some pondweed ("cabbage") and eelgrass.  No algae bloom - the water was nice and clear.  

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 7/21 midday

Wrapped up a four day run of trips with Steven and Gregg, who have a place on Seneca Lake. The guys couldn't make it in the early AM so we wound up starting at 10:30.  Angling Zone friend/past client Dave was on the water this AM and told me that the bite had been pretty slow (certainly compared to yesterday) so I felt that the fishing might pick up later. I was cautiously optimistic.  We wound up having a good midday trip with a slow start then a slow but steady pick with a few moments of good action.  4 or 5 fish were landed today up to 27" and we had three or four seemingly solid hookups come off near the boat. A few small salmon were also chasing the jigs up and down. Very few people were out today apart from a couple bass tournaments.  The guys grew up not far from where I did so it was nice catching up with what's been going on "back home."  

I am hoping to launch the new website next week.  We shall see. It will read much better than this one on tablets and smartphones.  I will also be able to add photos to reports.  For fans of this site, I have also added a "search" function to the reports - so if you're targeting pike and want to see some good times to go, or want to look up just about anything, it should be at your fingertips.  The graphics are much better and I am retaining just about everything from this site in terms of content.  Photos unfortunately will probably not transfer over, so I'll just have to take a lot more shots this season and from here on in.  The overall site change is still a bit surprising to me but after some time I think it'll become the new normal.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I've always been more into functionality than outward appearance.  I still have a flip-phone though I'm certainly not technology-shy, I just find smart phones distracting.  That being said, I'll buy a smart phone if it helps with posting photos on my site.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 7/20 AM

Had some very good to excellent action today with Onur and his wife Mary.  Mary wanted to start at 6 am to "beat the heat" so that's what we did.  The early start was a wise move with the full moon overhead.  The AM bite was hot with a good bunch of big fish (27"+) coming to the net including a double or two.  Best fish was a 32" laker.  Around 9 fish were landed in the AM with a few others dropped.  It was a fun morning.  Best bait was the 3.25" white Lunker City Shaker with a chartreuse tail.  The algae bloom continues but at least it doesn't appear to be getting worse.  Hopefully it'll clear this week with cooling air temperatures at night.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 7/19 AM

Did a last minute 1/2 day trip with Will again.  After rescheduling a trip I had booked for today to next week, Will asked me yesterday if I would guide him for a morning half day today.  He's had difficult fishing this week while on his own and with me at times on Cayuga Lake.  So sure, I can guide starting early and getting off the water before we get crazy from the heat.  We went out of Long Point for a change of location.  I have had good reports out of here and still have a summer trip or two scheduled to launch out of here.  Overall, I haven't been up here since my bearing failure on 7/2.  Fishing is still great in the upper lake. (Diary keepers for Region 7  reported good fishing throughout the summer up north in 2018.)  I start going out of Myers when good numbers of fish migrate downlake.  Myers is a much closer drive for me, but by no means does that mean the fishing isn't still great out of Long Point.  Long Point fishes great on a south wind too - you can just swing around Stoney Point.  

I don't think our change in location is what made the fishing better today, though it didn't hurt.  There are plenty of fish in midlake areas. I think the weather conditions were much more conducive to laker fishing and we didn't mess around with any other species today.  Will had a great AM with 11 solid fish landed including a few wild ones.  Three of the fish were 28"ers and another three or more were around 27".  Some of the lakers fought exceptionally well.  Great day and the breeze kept the conditions bearable, if not downright comfortable.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/18

Back out with Will today for another full day.  We spent a little time trying for pike/pickerel without any sign of them. This isn't a time I typically fish for them but we gave a couple areas a fair shot to see if we could raise any.   Plenty of lakers were around nearly everywhere we checked but the bites were tentative.  Will landed a nice 27"er and lost a good one that he had up to the leader.  High point of the day was a solid, gorgeous 27" brown that we kept that was just shy of 9lbs.  Great looking fish and great fight.  Lakers came from 65' to 70' out to 130'.  The bloom continues and water clarity is about 30". Fish have been active at times but bite windows are small.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/16

Guided Will for a full day starting at 7:30 am.  We spent the first half of the lake checking out some areas where he'd be able to catch pickerel/pike and then we tried some areas that tend to produce salmonids apart from lakers.  Will had a big brown follow him.  He also had one on for a few seconds.  A few follows and light hits from salmon were had as well. He landed three lakers up to 27" while working these areas.

During the second half of the day, I gave him the tour of laker areas (he's staying up here this week.)  The bite was slow until a storm started to brew.  He then picked up a couple lakers in short order.  The algae bloom continues, though oddly the water in Taughannock Marina is crystal clear.  The water fleas were really bad on Sunday - they were much better yesterday and today.  It was hot out today but fortunately we had a decent breeze blowing most of the time.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/15

Guided Ron and his daughter Rachel for a 6 hour trip today starting at 8 am. With the algae bloom I took a chance on the later start.  It paid off - we had good fishing from the get-go. Nine solid lakers were landed today up to 31"+.  Healthy looking fish - all of which were released over the past two days.  The algae bloom continues and the lake doesn't look good - it is murky looking on top.  Hopefully it will subside soon, but as long as the fish continue to bite I am somewhat happy.  Same depths as the last few trips although we didn't venture much over 90' this time.  

FWIW:  July is completely booked.  August 4th, 10th, 17th, 18th, 25th - 29th and 31st remain open.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/14

The algae bloom worsened on Cayuga Lake and has reduced surface visibility to just a foot or two at most.  Water underneath is likely clear.  Guided Ron and his daughter Rachel for a full day today.  We had one fish to show in the AM - a 26" laker caught in deep water.  A few others were lost.  Fishing picked up markedly as the day went on, likely due to the increased light penetration as the sun got up.  The pattern is the opposite of what usually happens in July - good early AM and late PM fishing. They hooked another dozen or more fish late in the morning including Ron's 20" rainbow and Rachel's two solid 28" lakers.  Other fish were landed and dropped as well.  Good PM fishing but very slow in the AM.  Gorgeous day on the water.  We'll see how things shape up tomorrow.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/13 AM

Guided Todd, Jen and Jr.(who is a big fan on this site)  for a 1/2 day of laker fishing.  I picked them up via boat at Taughannock Park.  The algae bloom is fairly heavy around Taughannock - I've never seen it quite like that before.  It wasn't as bad uplake.  It was a fun day with a slow but steady pick of nice fish throughout the midlake areas.  We landed fish everywhere we tried.  Jr. had the best luck ("hot hand") today using his own gear and intently working his tube jig as well as my paddletails (swimbaits.)  He landed lakers up to 31". Todd hasn't fished a whole lot recently but was happy to nab a couple solid fish and Jen was really amped reeling in her 29" solid fish. Ten good fish were landed on the AM.  Fishing wasn't easy - I felt we did well given how tough in some ways the bite seemed.  Various colors all worked.  Best action continues to be on the deep side for us - 80' on out, though we had a few fish shallower.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/12

Had a solid full day of laker jigging with Brad and Hanna today. We had good north winds to start and some sun which changed to clouds and somewhat lighter winds. We fished mid-lake areas and had a steady bite with 11 nice lakers landed and a fair number (as always) dropped.  Fish ran from 17" to 28" with most being 24" to 26".  Three wild fish were in the mix.  We had a few hits that were probably salmon.  Fun day and very few boats were out. The forecast heavy rains pretty much missed Cayuga Lake and cool overnight temperatures have kept the effects of the algae bloom to a minimum. Some vast areas were algae free.  We'll see what the high temps next week do, but we don't have rain in the forecast which is good.  Fish were deeper today than they had been  - 70' to 100' was best for us.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/9 + 10

It is starting to feel like mid-July weather out there and without wind it can get darn hot on the lake.

7/9:  Got out with my buddy Terry for the day - until it felt like 90 degrees out there.  I've wanted to try Cayuga Lake for smallmouths but haven't had the time.  Unfortunately with the lack of wind out there, it wasn't a good day to try but we gave it a shot.  We also tried some areas for trout/salmon that I haven't fished much lately.  In a nutshell, it was a slow day for us.  I had a couple small smallmouths follow in a fluke in an area that was hot smallmouth fishing when I first bought my first boat back in 2001/2002.  But overall all we encountered were lots and lots of perch.  Not even a rockbass, though I did land a darn good fighting bullhead that hit a tube jig.  I should've brought my dropshot gear but didn't even think of it. Smallmouths are gradually bouncing back on Cayuga Lake but it isn't Keuka Lake or Skaneateles by far.  Seneca has a better smallmouth population than Cayuga and for that matter so does Owasco Lake.

The lake was dead calm for awhile and we tried some trout jigging. We both missed some fish and had follows from salmon and rainbows, so that was a good sign. Had we stayed past 2 pm when the wind starting coming up again, I think we would've scored.  Overall it wasn't a great day to try what we tried, though I did mark an awful lot of trout. I did see signs of an algae bloom on the lake.  Hopefully it won't get any worse than it is, but there are a lot of green flecks of algae in the water.  Water fleas are also somewhat dense.

7/10 AM:  Guided Judy, Larry and Jake for a 1/2 day AM trip.  I was pretty confident in today's chances for a successful trip with all the fish I marked yesterday, but with the bloom going on you never quite know....  Fortunately we had a solid day today with around 7 lakers landed up to 28" long.  Most ran 23" to 24".  All fish were very clean.  A fair number of good hookups were lost, including a salmon that was at least 20" that Larry hooked. The fish honestly appeared to make a four foot jump near the boat!  Awesome fight.  Next to nobody was out today fishing.  Fish were fairly deep - 65' to 90'.  The fish I filleted had pretty well digested alewives in their stomachs.  Females are also developing eggs.


Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 7/4

I'll be launching out of both Myers and Long Point for the remainder of the season depending on the winds and water conditions.  Today was my first trip out of Myers in quite a while.  I had my back up Crestliner out today while I wait for my trailer repairs next week. I met Steven, Bob and Blake at the launch at around 6:20 am and we were underway shortly thereafter.  

The AM bite was very good for lakers and everyone caught fish. Fishing slowed but never quite died as the day went on. Just as things were heating up temperature-wise, a nice south breeze picked up from down the lake, so we remained comfortable on the lake despite the air temperatures hovering in the upper 80s.  We worked a lot of areas from AES up to past Sheldrake. We hooked fish everywhere.  Best one was a 29"er that "Big Fish Bob" got.  A dozen were landed on the day and another half dozen or more dropped.

It was a real treat talking to Steven, who was a friend of Buck Perry, the father of modern structure fishing.  When you hear anglers referring to cover, structure, migration routes and breaklines, it all goes back to Buck.  

The wait at the boat launch to pull out wasn't bad.  Nice hot day at the park and a great day for a picnic or BBQ.  The weekend remains open for trips as does Monday.  Best fishing today was 65' to 85'.  Lots of colors produced.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 7/2


Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 7/2:  I had just about finished up a long run of fishing trips - eleven in a row on four different lakes if you include my two outings with Terry on Seneca and Onondaga, and was ready for a day off.  Nothing like a day off right before the 4th.  Smooth sailing - good fishing and good weather along with a lot of great people.  Well, when life looks like easy street....

I pulled into the launch at 6:25 am to meet Dominiek and his son Herbert and whaddya know, my right side boat tire looks tilted.  Bearings!   For real???  I just gave the tires a good spin literally a week ago (as per my recommendations a couple weeks ago) and they were quiet.  How did they just fail so quickly?   Well there were a couple signs.  I did have a little light grinding when I spun them a month or so ago but I chalked it up to being the brakes.  Wrong!  But I didn't hear any noise last week when we spun them again.   Two days ago I pulled into my apartment driveway and noticed the bearing buddy had come off.  That was strange.  It was perfect for, oh seven years.  I didn't notice any heat coming off of the hub.  I replaced the buddy and figured I was good to go. Wrong!  

So now what do I do?  I have a full day trip ahead of me.  The July 4th holiday is two days away.  Long Point Marina will be crazy busy!   I can't leave the trailer here with the boat on it or  have the boat just tied off floating around in the marina.  Certainly not on July 4th.  I carry spare hubs packed with grease and good to go with bearings.  But I can't just swap out the hub because my newer trailer has brakes!  I would need special tools to do the work and it would be a pain in the butt.  So I need to get a flatbed truck that can haul an 18' boat with a pretty darn wide trailer to my trailer guy. I called around and either nobody had a flatbed truck and if they did it wasn't big enough; some places were too busy and one just didn't want to do the job.  Except for one place (thankfully!) - Fingerlakes Towing and Auto Recovery aka Fingerlakes Transport.  If you do any boating in the eastern Finger Lakes Region, put this number in your telephone:  (315) 253-7506.   Hopefully you'll never need it, but if you do you'll be glad you did.  Here is their website:  The truck bed had just enough width to handle my wide trailer.  David (the owner)  has a 21' flatbed.  He told me he treats every car or boat he tows as if it were his own.  After watching him carefully load and secure, transport and then unsecure and unload my boat, I would agree 100%.  He did a great job and I would use him again in a hearbeat.

So how was the fishing?  Action was slow but somewhat steady all day long. Four nice fish were landed and another four or five solid hookups dropped between around 7 am and 2pm.  There are fish all over Cayuga Lake from the power plant on north to Levanna, and we worked most of it today. The wind came up out of the west at around 2:30 and in the next 10 minutes the guys landed three additional fish, including the two best of the day - a couple around 27" to 28".  Yes - the conditions make a huge difference in fishing success no matter what species you're after.  Not just the day's conditions, but the hourly and sometimes even smaller increments.  

So a crappy start to the day ended up great.  And now I know exactly who to call if I ever need a flatbed to tow my boat!  

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 7/1 AM

Hard to believe we are already into July!  Wow - where does the time go?  Had a good morning of fishing with Kevin and his kids Emma and Alex.  The goal was to get them into some fish.  Emma caught her first lake trout with me last year.  She just finished 3rd grade and did a great job today landing 3 fish, the 1st with a little help reeling in from Dad and the last two all on her own. The first one was a stocky hard fighting 26"er that was probably 7lbs.   Alex, who is even younger than Emma managed his first laker and also missed one or two.  Kevin caught one or two as well.   Gorgeous morning to be out with blue skies, light winds and some beautiful clouds surrounding the lake.  

Fishing remains top-notch on Cayuga Lake.  I still have some early July dates available including this weekend (the 6th and 7th), Monday the 8th and Friday and Saturday July 12th and 13th.   Towards the end of the month I have July 25th (a thursday) and the 27th and 28th - another weekend.  

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/30 AM

Guided Scott and his wife Trish for a 1/2 day starting at around 6:45 am.  Scott was out with me around a year and a half ago with his son, when he wound up catching a large brown on a stickbait.  We did a little laker jigging on that late winter trip, but didn't land much if I remember right.  He'd been doing some jigging lately and not had much luck so he contacted me.   

His wedding band slipped off his finger and bounced off the dock at Long Point and went into the water.  He figured he'd wade in and get it after the trip but I saw it on a flat rock and was able to hook it with a Hopkins spoon.  So we were able to get off on a good start after a potentially disastrous or at least sullen morning.

Wind was a factor today as was the cold front that came through.  We had fairly respondent fish in the morning but no hookups.  Some small salmon were chasing too. After an hour and a half Scott finally nabbed a laker, then another one.  After that, Trish got a good one.  A couple other fish were missed/dropped but that was it for the morning.  A slower day than what I've seen lately but still ok.  Water conditions remain good.  

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/29 AM

Guided Fred Sr., Fred Jr. and Matt for a 1/2 day.  We have done this trip annually over the past 5 or 6 years or more.  We were underway by around 7:30 and fished until noon.  Fred Sr. used to charter out of Sandy Pond back in the 1980s and beyond.  We had a slow pick in the early AM which then got a little better as the morning progressed.  The guys wound up with 10 solid lakers.  One did have a live lamprey attached which was the first I'd seen in quite a long time - probably since the winter, so that's a good sign.  A lot of 26" cookie cutter lakers from various year classes were in the mix. Fred Jr. also had a hold of a salmon that hit him a couple times then thankfully came off (it was around 14" to 16".)   Fishing remains excellent on Cayuga Lake for lakers.  Guys are also catching perch shallow.  

Keuka Lake out of Penn Yan 6/28

Guided the Hermans for a 1/2 day here starting just after 7 am.  I am available to do occasional guide trips on this lake depending on the circumstances.  The Hermans live about 45 minutes away from here to the west, so it was a good compromise on the driving.  I do impose a surcharge for trips here. It takes me a good hour and 20 minutes to drive here, plus there's a $10 launch fee at the Village Park.

The plan was to target some lakers and smallmouth bass.  I made a good run towards the bluff area and we worked back.  This run and some searching on the electronics pushed our actual fishing start time to around 7:45 am.  Eleonore hooked up a laker on her first drop of the jig.  After that, it was a slow go despite marking decent numbers of fish. Both John and Eleonore hooked fish and/or had hits.  She nabbed our only laker of the AM, a 19"er.  Fish were not moving much for the jigs.  A month ago, the majority of these fish were moving and striking our presentations.  At times the fish would turn on a little.  Had we kept laker fishing we probably could have caught a few more, but it didn't appear that we were going to have any notable action.  Being on the water at 6 am would likely have resulted in much better laker action. Fish are known to feed at night on this lake, just like they do on Canandaigua.

We did some bass fishing with both flukes and Ned rigs.  Some good sized smallmouths were missed on flukes.  The Ned rig resulted in a few halfway decent smallmouths and one was landed on the fluke along with some rockbass on the Neds.  No sign of pickerel, though the lake did get flat and sunny, which usually turns them off.  Fluke fishing wasn't as good as it was back 5 to 10 years ago or longer when plenty of alewives were around, but it wasn't bad.  I would call the bass action good to very good.  We also saw some nice sized largemouths in close to shore.  We didn't cover a whole lot of water.  Surface temps were around 72 degrees.  The cottonwood wasn't too bad either.

Onondaga Lake 6/27

Met Terry out here just after 9:30 am. Originally I was going to take the long drive out to Oak Orchard Creek and try the lake for salmonids and the lower creek (basically a river) for gar.  I figured salmonids might be deep and on top of that I have a fairly full schedule of guiding ahead of me, so a 2.5 hour + trip each way didn't seem too appealing, so off to Onondaga we went.  It's been "gar hot" lately and I figured we'd have some good action there, plus the hot weather should have bass moving into a pre-summer pattern, as opposed to "post-spawn." I'm a big fan of the In-Fisherman calendar periods as formulated by Al and Ron Lindner back in the 1960s/70s, so that's where that terminology comes from.

I told Terry he was going to have the hot hand in advance and I was right.  I was pretty darn tired but it's not an excuse.  He's a damn good bass fisherman.  He was a Rochester Bassmaster back in the late 1970s and early 1980s and has smallmouth bass as his favorite fish.  (He is also a very creative angler and always tries different stuff. We rarely ever throw the same thing unless we are convinced it is the thing to do.) My favorite fish is the Landlocked Atlantic Salmon.  I also have a soft spot for bowfins, though I haven't caught many in my life and I don't target them much at all.  I did target them for a few years back in the early 1990s and had some good luck.  But they are in many ways the opposite of salmon - they aren't pretty, the like warm, weedy marginal water, they are more primitive - the list goes on,  but they are still an incredibly cool fish. 

Given that we were fishing Onondaga Lake and we had one of the first weeks of hot steady weather, we were both thinking bowfin.  Bowfin are likely one of the only fish to thrive here back in the super polluted days. With regards to "finning,"   I realize that fishing live or dead bait is much more productive than artificials in general for them.  Night fishing is also a good way to catch them.  But we were fishing a good area for them and Terry had a good spoon setup.  I started things off with a nice bass on a Fluke.  Terry nabbed the next two, then set into a big fish near a weed clump.  It took to the air and it was no Tiger musky, it was a big 'fin!  We both knew it.  So we were psyched.  After some strong surges I netted it and we got some good photos. It was a 28"er and probably 8lbs - a very solid fin.  Terry nabbed a few more bass and I eventually caught another one on topwater.  We set up for some gar and he wound up landing three solid ones and I got one and lost one (both via fly-fishing) next to the boat.  We saw one Tiger today.  We cut the trip short at around 3:30 pm so I could get back home and rest a bit before the next slew of guide trips.  Lake temps were around 74 to 75.  Weeds look tremendous.  It's a good time to fish the lake.

Skaneateles Lake 6/26 AM

Guided Doug and his grandson Wesley for a 1/2 day starting at around 6:50 am.  Action was the attraction today.  They had been out with me around 5 years ago when Wes was 8 years old.  We had a very tough AM that day with neutral lakers during an algae bloom. Wes was a bit young to laker jig back then.  It can be hard to work the jigs properly and we wound up getting skunked apart from a laker I had hooked. That rod was handed off to a young Wes.  But it still didn't count as a laker of his own accord. Anyways,  Doug and his son had booked a smallmouth trip with me here years ago - probably back around 2008 or 2009, and he wanted to give it a shot again, knowing that the action here can be nice and steady.

My buddy Mike had a great day out here over the past weekend, so I was able to get a fresh report from him.  Mike had used Ned rigs and jerkbaits.  I investing in some "Ned" stuff last year and was looking forward to giving it a try.  Wesley loves fishing and fishes as much as he can these days at the ripe age of 13.  He had never lure fished before.  By the end of the AM he'd caught a bunch of rockbass along with some nice smallmouths to over 16" on Ned rigs, jerkbaits and tube jigs.  He did a great job with the techniques.  He even redeemed himself on the lakers.  We set up for jigging for about an hour and Wes nabbed a 21" laker in around 90' FOW.  Doug dropped one and Wes actually had a couple others on for a few seconds.  

It was a productive day all the way around.  Boat traffic was light with the big holiday weekend just over a week away.  The water here is high. It is also cloudier than I have ever seen it.  Water temps were still cold - I think I had 58 or 59 to maybe 60 degrees.  

Seneca Lake out of Geneva 6/25

Went out of Seneca Lake State Park with my buddy Terry today.  We met at the launch at 6:30 am, after a barrage of heavy rain storms came through.  Heavy downpours throughout the night left creek mouth areas with large swaths of muddy water.  With all the rain we've had lately, the ground is saturated and rainwater runs right into the lake. 

Water temps are all over the place.  We had 66 degree water up north and as we motored south the temps declined gradually.  At Dresden we had 59 degrees.  Weed beds are high in some places and very low in others.  We brought tackle for pike and lake trout.  I haven't had any time to pike fish this spring apart from a couple casts when clients have been taking lunch breaks.  Our AM pike conditions weren't great but weren't bad.  I managed two northerns running 24" to 25".  I also had a 14" largemouth hammer my spoon.  This was in our first area.  Another two places we tried didn't produce.  You can catch pike all summer on this lake but it takes patience.  My guiding tends to focus on hot bites and I try to get people into top-notch fishing when I can.  I don't see myself doing any pike guiding here until temps cool down again in late September, though I can see doing occasional pike forays when targeting lakers.

Laker conditions were good today. How was the laker fishing?  My fingers haven't typed the words "Seneca Lake" and "excellent" for lake trout in the same paragraph in a long time!  But I'd rate the fishing today for lakers as good to excellent.  It's the best I've seen it on Seneca in at least 5 years.  We landed 5 or 6 fish today and Terry lost a beast.  80% were hatchery fish.  We had active fish and good numbers of marks all day long.  Had we not targeted pike, I think we would've had a double digit lake trout day.  We had fish up north in Geneva south to Dresden/Sampson.  They were very aggressive despite good numbers of bait being around.  

So when guiding lakers here, I'd have no trouble doing a little pike targeting.  But the good news is the laker action. Fish looked healthy and we had good numbers of them on the screen throughout the lake.  Nobody was out fishing!  It's probably not quite as good as Cayuga but it is still darn good.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/24

Did a full day trip with Robert, his son Thomas and Robert's son in-law Wyatt.  The guys hail from Kansas near Lincoln Nebraska but have roots in Syracuse.  It was a top-notch day of fishing and catching.  We wound up with 19 fish landed - 18 lakers and one solid brown around 21".  Two of the lakers were 29" to 31" fish.  One was wild.  The thermocline is well formed now.  Debris seems to be gone for the most part although there are occasional big logs bobbing around to watch out for.  Water clarity is good and I think cooler lake temps are preventing algae blooms for now.  Fish are feeding heavily and plenty of bait is around.  We had follows from other non-lakers including likely rainbows and salmon.  Fun day with perfect air temperatures out there.  Surface temps range from 61 to 63 degrees.  Fish came from around 65' out to maybe 90'.  No word on lower lake conditions but I would expect much more debris down there.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/23 AM

Much slower day today with Dismal Dan and Dapper Dan on my boat and Dave along with Steve on Dave's rig.  Dismal Dan brought his banana for good luck.   Each boat wound up with 4 lakers during the morning half day. Boat traffic was heavy today with abundant trollers around.  They were doing well for the most part.  We had great laker temps in relatively shallow yesterday - say 65' to 75'.  Today it was 115' and out, though we caught a few lakers around 85'.  Water temps inside of 100' in towards maybe 50' or 60' were warmer than what lakers usually like, but weren't lethal by any means so some fish were up a bit likely feeding on shallow bait.  But overall a massive difference in water temperature after the south winds blew back the warm water from the rainfall and the season's warming thus far.  Both boats had a few solid fish dropped today. Best color was white and white/chartreuse.  A few salmon have been around during the past week.   

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/22

Guided Dave and "Dapper" Dan for a full day. Dismal Dan and Steve fished near us for the later part of the day after having to purchase a new battery over at Bass Pro Shops.  I didn't know how things would shake out after the deluge of rain we received on Wednesday night and Thursday.  The lower lake is still likely a muddy mess.  We did not go south of Long Point today.  The northern portions of the lake are in reasonable shape.  There was a lot of debris around Stoney Point today but north winds over the past couple days have kept the debris and mud to the south.  

I was wondering what the fishing would be like - fortunately it wasn't just good, it was downright excellent for us today, even in the murky water.  Dave and Steve landed close to 30 solid lake trout today, including 5 fish that were over 30".  Top fish was a wild 31 1/2"er that went 12.2lbs on my accurate TEC scale.  Fish fought great for the most part.  We took all of ours in less than 100' FOW.  The thermocline was pretty much destroyed by the wind of the past couple days so laker friendly water temperatures were available in very shallow water (again.)  Now hopefully we won't see a big algae bloom after all the rain.  

Onondaga Lake 6/17

Got out on Onondaga Lake for the first time this season with my buddy Terry.  We started fishing at around 11:30 am and fished until around 6:30 pm.  Water temperatures over there ran from 68 to 71 degrees on the course of the day. 

Our bass fishing was pretty slow today.  Fish are still guarding nests and fry.  They are in a neutral to negative mood.  We did land one smallmouth (Terry) and a handful of largemouths.  I took a couple good largemouths on senkos and Terry took his with spinnerbaits and squarebills. 

We found gar but they were not very active with the relatively cold water.  70 degrees is the minimum for good gar activity and we were right around 69 to 70.  A week of hot weather will turn them on big time.  Terry caught one on a rope lure (weighted rope-fly.)  Funny thing is he had a large Tiger Musky follow in his rope fly!  People spend $20 or more on musky lures at times and this big stout tiger came in after some nylon rope.  That being said, the rope flies do have a great action and I've had bass hit them too.  Terry wound up landing a nice Tiger around 30" give or take on a spinnerbait late in the day.  We saw one or two other muskies in various areas.

The lake is looking good with plenty of pondweed around.  Bass fishing should pick up in a week or two.  Right now I'd characterize the bass as being post-spawn.  We did see a lot of bass today on beds guarding fry.  As mentioned before, we are not into bed-fishing.  We also saw a lot of big carp on this lake including some real mambos - fish in the 30lb+ range.  We saw a few drum and quite a few panfish.  Great day to be out with the abundant sunshine.  Back to the clouds and rain for the forseeable future.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/15 AM

Back out today with Joe and William, this time for lakers.  The guys ran a little bit late today so by the time we were underway it was close to 7 am.  The winds were up and conditions cloudy to start.  A lot of boats were out including 6 or 7 large charter type setups. We worked various depths and had a fairly slow but steady bite.  We also gave the west shore a shot near Dean's Cove and had a fish there and another few hits.  Wound up with 5 solid lakers mostly in the 23" to 24" range.  Fish I cleaned had freshly eaten alewives in them. Surface temp was 58. Laker friendly temps ran from around 45' or 50' down and beyond.

Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs 6/14 AM

Guided Joe and his son William for a 1/2 day trip starting around 7:30 am.  We had forecasts for west winds building then gusting to 40 mph today!  That's nasty.  These guys don't fish too much so action was the attraction. We set up for pickerel and had excellent action with bigger fish than previous trips here this spring.  Some were 25" fish and they are all putting on the feedbag.  I filleted 5 pickerel today and they all contained alewives.  Expect pike to be doing the same - eating a lot of alewives throughout the Finger Lakes and Great Lake bays.  Around a dozen solid fish or more were landed along with a solid bonus largemouth and a perch.  A few bass boats were out. There's a small tournament going out of here tomorrow.  

Pickerel on Cayuga Lake are tough to beat for some good to great "catching."  They will hit virtually any lure a bass will hit, so for folks that don't or haven't worked a lot of lures or don't have confidence in lures,  they are a great confidence building fish.  You'll get immediate feedback on how to work lures and what to expect with regards to hits.  When I was a Boy Scout I spent 2 weeks a year for four years fishing up in the Adirondacks at Camp Massawepie.  The lake was full of rock bass and smallmouths.  Those 8 weeks as a kid turned me into a very confident jig fisherman and it wasn't hard to feel the subtle hits of walleyes in the weeds on Conesus or Chautauqua Lake after being trained on detecting light hits from small rock bass.  

Water temp was 62 on Cayuga.  The west winds can beat the heck out your boat on the metal bolts/nuts jutting out on the northerly dock at Union Springs.  Just a warning!  My boat got beat up a bit today.  Use your bumpers if you have them when that wind is up out of the west,

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/13 AM

Met Jamie and his son Brody at the launch just after 6:30 am.  Conditions were a lot different than they were for our Monday trip!  We had honking south winds around 12 to 16 mph gusting to 23.  A couple guys were heading out in a small boat with a 15 hp outboard on it.  Fortunately they turned around and headed back in.  We had slow but steady fishing on the morning.  Overcast skies and rough water made for a tougher bite but Brody managed to land three solid fish including a 10lb 31"er and a 9+1/2lb 29"er (that was considerably fatter than the 31".)  Jamie is going to have a replica mount made of the 31. Jamie managed one laker as well.  A few hits were missed but no fished dropped.  A lot of fish were suspended over 100' to 120' down maybe 55' to 60'.  The thermocline is set up. Nobody else went out of Long Point this AM.  If the lake had been any rougher, we would not have launched but it wasn't too bad when we went out and the forecast was for south winds from around 7 or 8 mph up to 16 mph.  Some days you see more of the low-end, unfortunately today it was the higher end of the predicted range and up a bit more!  

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/12

Guided Kevin and his son Hunter today starting just after 6:30 am.  Lake trout action was very good to start in the morning and gradually slowed down for us, though it never got too slow - hits were had throughout the day.  Ten lakers were landed. We had a couple lakers that were dinks - a 14"er and a 16"er, which are both rare catches while jigging Cayuga Lake. Most fish ran 24" to 28".  We checked some mid-lake areas without much action, though cold inshore water may have a lot of lakers in less than 30' of water.  Expect the thermocline to set up within the next week.  We had 58 to 60 degrees on top.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/10 AM

Met Jamie and his son Brody at the launch today at 6:30 am. They are up here visiting all week long and had a trip scheduled for tomorrow.  I had the day off and we switched days so they could enjoy the pre-frontal fishing and not have to deal with the high north winds tomorrow.  Fishing was top-notch!  The guys landed 17 lake trout in 4 hours.  Fish ran up to 31" and we had a 29" that was very fat and probably inching close to 10lbs.  A couple wild lakers were in the mix.  The thermocline was not very intense with plenty of 50 to 53 degree water from roughly 30' down to past 55', so you could have lakers in a lot of depths and fairly shallow, though we did best from around 65' out to maybe 85'.  White/chartreuse swimbaits did the work for us.  The half dozen fish I cleaned did not have much bait in them.

6/8 + 6/9 Owasco/Cayuga

6/8 Owasco at Emerson Park/Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs

Had a mixed up start to the weekend.  About a month ago I received a call from Will, who told me he was heading to Lake Champlain for pike and wanted to try different pike fisheries across the state on his way over from Florida.  He did some research and settled on Silver Lake and a couple Finger Lakes.  I told him which lakes were good and what conditions we would need.  Then I never heard back from him.  He'd mentioned the week he was going to be here and roughly what dates he wanted.  I had a trip booked for Saturday and then a delayed cancellation.  So I was ready to enjoy a weekend off and visit a winery that a buddy worked at Friday night.  Lo and behold my phone rings and Will left a message reminding me of our trips that he thought he had booked.  He never booked them. Thankfully I had the full weekend open (it's the only weekend I had a Saturday and Sunday open in June.)   

Will had a rough trip up.  He had an axle fail on his boat (which he drove up) and that delayed his trip a bit.  It isn't fun losing a tire on the expressway when doing 70 mph!  He also drew a complete blank on Silver Lake.  A local who was pike fishing also reported zippo there.  So fortunately we were able to do the dates, which wound up being full days.

Our conditions for pike fishing were not good at all.  I've rarely if ever had truly great or even good pike fishing here in the Finger Lakes during the summer on windless, sunny, bluebird days.  I'm talking really top-notch  - getting a half dozen to a dozen or more solid fish with glassy conditions out there (i.e. zero wind), not a few bonus pike while bass fishing.  Sometimes early AM and late PM can be good.  But to do 8 hours plus can be tough.  Pike are ambush/lie-in-wait predators.  They are also crepuscular (low-light) predators.  In addition, the bite can get tough once water temps shoot up into the 60s and alewives start moving in.  Some pike will even feed at night on alewife driven fisheries (any avid nighttime walleye caster can usually tell tales of catching nice pike on Conesus or Owasco Lake at night.) It's a different ball game on Champlain, Sodus Bay, Black Lake and even the St. Lawrence River, but these have been my observations on the Fingers.  Champlain and Black Lake have a tannen stain and are murkier.  Pike feed well all summer on Lake Champlain and double digit days are the norm up on the north end.  

I figured a 5:30 am start would be best on Owasco.  Will was tired and went with 6 am. By the time he arrived (his GPS didn't help him much) we were underway and where we needed to be by 7 am.  After about 10 minutes of casting he connected with a nicely proportioned 29" northern.  But that was it. Once the sun got up and wind died so did our bite.  We tried some finesse stuff and bass fishing. He nabbed one 13" or 14" smallmouth on a fluke.  We tried laker jigging and marked fish but didn't get any.  With DEC cutting back laker stocking here a few times and virtually no natural reproduction (plus a huge surplus of bait,) lakers here are pretty well fed and aren't as aggressive as they are on Cayuga or Keuka.  Why they hit so well on Cayuga despite great bait fish numbers I believe is more related to how concentrated the fish are - similar to what we used to see on Seneca at Geneva and Sampson during the 2000s and early 2010s.

So after knowing about Will's struggles with this trip we decided to pull up and head to Cayuga for pickerel.  Will wanted action on this trip. He gets plenty of nice pike on Champlain, so he was eager to try pickerel.  We had solid fishing during the calm, sunny midday conditions.  A little wind came up and he nabbed about 8 or 9 pickerel and had plenty others on.  I worked my favorite spoon while he had a cigar and nabbed a 21" largemouth that unfortunately had some weird slime issues and didn't fight that well.  

Will had been around lakers before but never caught any.  He was thrilled knowing we could catch them.  Fortunately they were hitting good and he nabbed three in short order. Solid fish.  I thought Seneca might be a good call for today but he wanted to go back to Cayuga for pickerel.  There has been some good pike action on Seneca on the right days in the right areas but most avid anglers I have guided, when pressed would rather tangle with 30 to 40 pickerel than 8 or 9 pike.  Not all anglers, but many.

6/9 Cayuga out of Union Springs:  So we met at the launch at 6:30 am and headed for a good pickerel area.  Bass are spawning all over Cayuga Lake and it isn't hard to spot the beds and it certainly isn't hard to spot the bass boats targeting them.  I do not enjoy bed fishing. I don't mind working a fluke or senko around the beds but I've never been a big bed fisher.  I came of age fishing New York State when bass seasons were closed during the spawn so it has never felt right.  Anyways the pickerel action was superb!  He had consecutive casts with fish hitting.  These aren't the 17" Keuka or Skaneateles pickerel, these are fish averaging 19" to 21" (oftentimes hitting 23" or more though we didn't find any that big this time.)   They hit very hard, fight good, jump, hit by the boat and are a pain in the butt and at times downright scary or dangerous to dehook. They have the evil look of a barracuda in their eyes.  That's more or less what they are - pike, pickerel and muskies are the freshwater versions of "Cuda."   Overall it was a great pickerel day with around 10 landed and another 15 to 20 that got off at the boat.  

Laker fishing was slower than yesterday.  The thermocline is forming.  Will was thrilled with his 29" fish that probably was over 9lbs.  He had a few others hit but that was the only hookup.

Over the past three days I've seen a lot of mechanical boat issues at area launches - Yes, it's that time of the year, but it doesn't have to be.  I saw guys with motors that wouldn't start, broken springs that required a flatbed tow and bearings that failed.  You can avoid bearing failure by buying a nice jack (Sears has a great one) and cranking up your trailer and giving the tires a spin.  If they sound smooth and quiet, you should be good to go. I give mine a spin every month or so. The great guys at Barrett Marine taught me that.   If you hear grinding, better get that trailer into the shop ASAP.  Trailers with brakes will make a whooshing sound when you spin the tires.  The trailer spring issue can be prevented by regular inspections.  Mechanical motor issues are best taken care of by going to a reputable service center.  I think it's a great idea to support a good local mechanic but I do hear a lot of horror stories about some places that can't ever seem to fix things right the first, second or third time.  That's why I go to Silver Lake Marine. 

Congrats go out to all around nice guy and Angling Zone alum Jimmy Castle for his 1st place in the laker division award during this weekend's Canandaigua Lake Trout Derby.  Jigging produces big, award winning lake trout year after year!  Don't believe it?  Just see who won the Seneca Memorial Derby this year.  Over the past SEVEN years of that derby THREE Grand Prize Winners have been caught on jigs!   The vast majority of people fishing that derby are trolling with downriggers, pulling copper or fishing live bait. Jiggers are a small percentage of the derby participants.  I could name another dozen or two jiggers that placed high in divisions ranging from lakers to browns over that same seven year time-frame.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/7 AM

Guided a half day starting at 7:30 am with Don.  He has a place on the north end of Cayuga Lake and wanted to learn the jigging.  Fishing was top-notch today with nine mostly big lakers landed including a few 29 inch fish, a 30" and a 31".  Three wild lakers were in the mix today.  Fish ran from 45' to 85' for us, though lakers are certainly shallower and deeper.  We fished areas I hadn't worked since my days of living in Trumansburg and launching out of Dean's Cove.

A lot of boats went out of Long Point today - I saw around 25 to 30 rigs in the parking lot before we launched.  Great fishing on Cayuga combined with floodwaters on Lake Ontario and tougher action on Seneca and Owasco Lake are likely the reasons. That's as many rigs as I've seen there on a non-tournament/non-derby day.

The fishing was great and the weather was spectacular!  Syracuse News reports that we haven't had three rain/snow free days in a row since September 28th of 2018.  That's brutal!  

Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 6/5 + 6/6

Guided a PM 1/2 day yesterday and a full day today on Seneca Lake.  Water levels are good - perhaps a little high.  Surface temps are in the upper 50s.  There is some pollen and cottonwood seed on the surface.  Weed growth remains minimal.

6/5 PM:  Met Tom and Nick at the launch at 3:15.  The guys had some GPS issues on the way over and we missed our scheduled starting time.  We had a couple other delays and were finally underway.  I ran into a my buddy Shahab and he keyed me into some salmon action he'd been having recently.  The guys wanted to target pike originally but conditions weren't great for them.  We didn't have much pike luck - a couple hits and follows. Salmon were following our lures in various areas - mostly undersized fish.  Nick managed to nab a 14" to 15" largemouth bass on the jerkbait.  The weather was pretty unsettled and thunderstorms were in the forecast as being possible but never did materialize.  In my buddy's area we found a decent number of salmon and had some follows.  Nick wound up nabbing his first Landlocked Atlantic Salmon and he was incredibly stoked after some terrific jumps. We kept the 18 1/2" fish for his dinner.  We had one pike hit before we called it quits at dark. It was pouring rain for the last two hours or so of our trip.

6/6:  Guided Mark I. for the full day starting at around 7:30 am.  It was a foggy morning. He is mainly a fly-fisherman and enjoys musky fishing but after a tough tarpon trip in Florida and a tough day with me on Owasco Lake last month, he decided to go with the more forgiving northerns at Seneca rather than heading over to Waneta.  Seneca out of Watkins still hasn't been providing very good pike fishing as far as I can tell.  It certainly hasn't been good for me when I've been out guiding.  The lake is fishing as if it were May 15th, not early June.  We are around 3 weeks behind.  Pike are still recovering from the spawn.  I did tell him about our salmon fishing so we had a couple options.

It was a fairly miserable morning with moderate fog and a lot of mist.  It was cool and the wind was blowing up to around 12 mph out of the north by my estimation.  Mark did hook up with a 25" pike in short order on a "squirmel" streamer he tied up.  A half hour later and he got crushed near the boat by a well-fed gorgeous 29"er.   I took a cast with a spoon in a shallow area while he was tying on a new fly and caught a thin 23"er.  Apart from that, he had one other follow.  The wind died and our pikin' went south.  We tried some salmon fishing up the lake in a few different areas with no luck.  Funny how that goes - we pike fished yesterday and got a salmon and saw a bunch, today the pike were hitting and salmon weren't around. They have fins and like to use them!  Gorgeous day on the water today.  We saw a few bass around as well.

Keuka Lake out of Penn Yan 6/4

Fished Keuka Lake out of Penn Yan with my buddy Terry starting at around 10:30 am. I hadn't open water fished this lake since last spring when I jigged a few lakers out of Branchport.  With Lake Ontario being at floodstage we've been setting our sights on some lakes we haven't fished in a while.  I plan on fishing Canandaigua, Otisco and Conesus sometimes this season if I get time.  Eventually we'll hit Lake Champlain again too.

I brought a lot of tackle mainly geared towards bass fishing.  We hadn't warmwater fished this lake in a few years so I was looking forward to seeing how and if things had changed. We started with laker jigging.  Over the past 15 years, laker fishing has usually been a challenge on this lake in early June.  Things are a few weeks behind - water temps at the surface were 60 degrees and fortunately there wasn't much cottonwood seed on the surface here.  Laker action was fantastic.  We didn't make it quite down to the bluff but we did a drift in deep water and I marked a lot of fish.  Most of them moved for the jigs.  In 15 minutes we had three nice lakers.  Within an hour and 15 minutes we had landed eight!  It was tempting to just laker fish but we were anxious to give our bass fishing gear a try. The lakers are hungry here.  There was a few perch fry in one or two of the six we kept but most had empty stomachs.  People need to harvest more lake trout on this lake.

My bass gear is always in disarray early in the season and today was no exception.  I have a lot of reels to respool and combos to re-evaluate over the next week.  But we had a lot of fun today trying different things out.  I'm not a big bed fisherman so we tried to focus on pre-spawn bass.  We didn't have a lot of luck today - we caught a few smallmouths and a few largemouths.  No great numbers though my best smallie was just under 18".  We crushed the pickerel - I don't think I've ever seen more pickerel on this lake.  The cool water temps are probably helping.  Terry landed the first pike/pickerel hybrid I've seen on this lake - a solid 25"er. I also had a solid 11" crappie nail a Super Fluke, which was a first for me.  We dropped a lot of good fish too - mostly pickerel but some bass as well.  

DEC Region 8 is doing a lot of work on the lake and it will be interesting to see what their findings are.  I had no sign of ciscoes in any laker stomachs today.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/1 AM

Had a fun 1/2 day trip starting around 7:30 am with Robert.  He has a place on Cayuga Lake and has had some good jigging action but was looking to get more consistent with it. He knows what he needs to do now.  He landed a couple nice fish.  We went over a good perch technique and he caught a few perch, a goby, a solid smallmouth and a 30" laker that nailed some tiny plastics set up for perch!  He also lost what was probably a nice trout of some kind.  With warmer water in close gobies are moving back in.  Some lakers are taking advantage of the goby bounty by working the shallows despite slightly warmer than "preferred" laker temps.  Of course a big laker may be able to handle slightly warmer water if it prefers to eat protein rich gobies!  The forecast storms and rain stayed away and we enjoyed a nice relaxing summer kind of day on the water. The amount of baitfish on Cayuga Lake remains staggering.  

Lake Ontario has risen to new recent highs.  Most launches are closed and/or under water! That may be part of the reason I've seen a lot more boats than usual on Cayuga Lake recently.

A handful of dates remain open for June.  I usually guide a set amount of trips. Once I have a few more bookings I will close the month off.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/31

Guided back to back 1/2 day trips today starting just after 7 am.  My AM trip was with Glady and Donna and we had an excellent morning of jigging mostly large fish. 11 fish made it to the net with another 7 or 8 lost.  The first fish was around 19" but the rest all pretty much ran 27" to 29" - some real pigs!  Loads of baitfish were in shallow.

My PM trip with the Hermans was slower.  We wound up with 4 lakers total, a couple of which were very solid 27" to 28" fish.  Bait had moved out.  The AM bite was much hotter. I often get asked "What's better - morning or afternoon?"  It all depends on the given day, but usually the AM is a safer bet.  But I have had many a day over the years when the fish just didn't start hitting well until later.  It depends on the time of year and the hourly as well as nightly conditions with wind, sunlight and cloud cover.  H20 temps on top are in the upper 50s.  That usually spells the end for most shoreline casting, though occasionally conditions get good off creek mouths or points especially after winds move some water plateaus around and the colder (upper 40s/low 50s) water gets exposed up on top.

Lake Ontario out of Oswego 5/29 + Cayuga Lake out of Dean's Cove 5/30 AM

5/29 Lake Ontario out of Oswego:

Met my buddy Terry out here at 11 am. As most of your are probably well aware, the water level at Lake Ontario is very high.  Knee high boots are helpful here for launching and retrieving boats.  The City has actually placed another dock on top of the normal one. The normal one (on the western part of the boat launch) that is underneath the newer one is completely covered in very slippery weeds and that original dock juts out a bit from beneath the newer one.  So it can be easy to launch without getting wet, but coming back in is another story.  If you pull your boat up to the dock, it is still maybe 2' away from the newer one if that makes sense, since the boat abuts to the older, wider one. So I gingerly stepped on the older one with my boots on and was able to not slip.  Either way - be prepared for high water.

We tried some casting for browns and jigging for lakers/salmon without any luck.  Terry had one hit on the lakers.  Warm murky water was high in the water column going down from maybe 56 at the surface gradually getting cooler as you got away from the harbor down to the low 40s at around 30'.  That being said, we did mark some scattered piles of bait on bottom in deeper water later in the day (I didn't take a down temp later, but am pretty sure things stayed the same.)  No sign of spring browns despite pretty favorable conditions, though covering water was a slow-go with the light winds.  We did manage to salvage the day with some good to very good bass fishing in the harbor area.  We landed some solid fish with Terry landing the lion's share, but we both lost our best smallies.  

Quite a few charters were out deep when we started.  Overall Lake Ontario water is still very cold.  A boat or two were trolling slow for walleyes in the harbor and river when we left around 8:15 pm. 

5/30 Cayuga Lake out of Dean's Cove:  Met Michael and Dan here for an AM half day. They drove over from Penn Yan so we started a little later than usual - it was probabaly 8:30 am by the time we got underway.  The late start didn't hinder us due to the fog that had just lifted.  Fishing was solid with around 7 solid lakers landed to around 28".  Most ran 24".  Kept fish had alewives in them but one fish notably had two gobies in its stomach. I believe that those were the first gobies I'd seen in a lake trout in at least a month.  Surface temps were around 53 and I had temps in the low 50s down to over 15' or 20'.  

I had a text from a client/friend of mine who let me know that Stone's Candies in Oswego is still going but just relocated in another part of Oswego.  I deleted my paragraph in my Oswego report just above but I was lamenting that it appeared that the longtime fixture and great candy/ice-cream store in Oswego had closed. 


Cayuga Lake out of Long Point State Park 5/26 AM

Guided Bennett and Colleen for a 1/2 day starting just after 7 am.  We had a fun day of steady laker action with a half dozen solid fish landed - mostly in the 26" range and a couple good fish dropped.  Surface temps are in the low 50s.  We had activity from 30' FOW out to 140' FOW.  Beautiful day and plenty of baitfish are moving up.  We had one or maybe two wild fish in the mix.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/25 AM

Had a truncated, but productive morning out of Long Point with Curt and his daughters Jenna and Tennessee.  We started at around 8:15 am.  We found fish to be a little deeper than on Thursday - around 65' to 85' seemed really good.  Bait has moved in big time in the shallow to mid-depth zones.  The gals did great today with each one landing solid 28" to 29.5" fish as well as a few others.  A storm blew through around 11 am and we decided to head in early.  We were able to avoid some good rain and there was some lightning around too.  It's always a tough call since sometimes what appear to be strong storms on the radar dissipate before they reach your location, but better safe than sorry.  All it takes in one lightning strike to ruin your day or life.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/23 AM

Guided Trevor and Jim for a 1/2 day starting at just after 7 am.  The AM bite was a lot slower for us than yesterday. We tried shallow, deep and in-between.  Eventually a move uplake and an old favorite area really turned things around.  Trevor nabbed three lakers in three drops of his jig. He had the hot hand but Jim hooked a fish that fought like a beast!  Thankfully he didn't lost the fish, although it wouldn't have been hard for it to happen - the hook dropped right out of the fish's mouth as soon as I netted the fish.  It was a solid 10lb+ laker that was around 31".  The runs it took were impressive!  We wound up with 9 lakers caught and released.  Two appeared to be wild fish.  No signs of fresh lamprey wounds though we had one or two fish with well-healed wounds - basically old scars.

The original plan was do to a full day today but we decided to play it safe on the weather.  Of course, as if often the case we had a few drops of rain and the skies cleared up.  But either way, it was a satisfying morning of fishing out there.  Surface temps are around 50 degrees.  At 50, you can have lakers anywhere from 10' or less of water out to on bottom in 200' or down 65' over 400' and everywhere in between.  Take your pick with regards to how you like to catch them.


Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/22

Guided a full day with Steve and his daughter Emily.  We got underway early.  Fish are spread out from shallow out to 150' or more.  Angling Zone past client Dave and a friend of his did well shallow this AM.  We had a great screen and a lot of fish out deeper moving for the jigs so we stayed out there and wound up with two big (27" to 29") lakers to show before moving up shallower.  Another 7 mostly smaller lakers came from around 50' to 70'.

Steve and Emily had plenty of fish for the table and were looking to do some casting and see what else the lake had to offer.  Neither had caught pickerel before so we headed north around noontime.  Pickerel action was very good on spoons and tubejigs.  We encountered around 15 or 16 solid fish running 21" to 23"+.  We landed about half to two-thirds of the hookups.  I don't mind pickerel getting off the line next to the boat - it tends to save my hands!  Obviously if folks want the fish, it's a different story.   The lake looked very good up north.  A few big carp were rolling around. The number of cormorants on Frontenac Island was pretty impressive - I hope some controls are put on them. They are massive fish eaters and are killing the trees on the island with their excrement.  

Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 5/18

Guided a full day of mostly fly-fishing with Gordon starting around 10:30 am.  Seneca is in pretty good shape with water levels and debris.  The canal has been very muddy due to dredging.  Action for us today was very slow.  Maybe some of it was the full blue moon - I don't know.  He had one hit on flies that was probably a salmon.  He landed one 26" pike on a spoon.  We covered a lot of water (with gear at times too) and conditions were good with a nice north wind and great water temperatures for trout/salmon.  I just don't feel that there are a lot of salmon out there and I've mentioned that before.  A few are showing up here and there, but large areas of the lake do not seem to be holding active fish in the shallows as would normally be the case with the conditions we had.  We did mark a decent amount of bait and Gordon did a little laker jigging too without any hits.  I usually like the opening week or two of pike season but in many years' past we had warmer than usual March/April weather. With the exceptionally cold spring I think a lot of pike are sitting on the bottom in a fairly negative to neutral mood.  I did spot a fish or two doing just that.  Expect fishing to improve markedly this week and thereafter. Water temps ran from 47 to 52 degrees.  A few other boats were out fishing.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 5/17 midday

Guided Todd for 1/2 day starting just after 9 am.  We had a slow, difficult day of fishing.  Cayuga Lake is very muddy from the south end northwards to up past Myers.  There is also a lot of debris in the lake - mostly small to medium sized stuff.  There is a ton of small stuff out there.  The mud is just that - mud; there's lots of water out there with very little visibility/transperency.  Some of it has the greyish "glacial looking" stain to it.  There are large areas of warm water too.  Plenty of water is out there in the 47 to 51 degree range.  This water will move up large amounts of baitifsh.  It also will scatter trout and salmon far and wide.  In terms of consistent casting/fly casting for trout and salmon, that window is pretty much closed - not that we had any consistent fly-fishing anytime at all through the winter.  The last great casting I experienced here was around mid-March.  Once the nearshore laker bite dissipated, the fishing in general got tougher, even though we were taking browns and salmon fairly consistently along with the lakers.

We tried pike/pickerel casting to start with no action.  We did see a large pickerel cruise by, but it had no interest in our presentation.  We did a good amount of casting for trout/salmon.  That is where the lack of wind hurt us moreso than the muddy water.  I also ran all the way up to Sheldrake (yes - we covered a lot of water in a half day!) in an effort to jig some lakers.  Laker jigging was also very slow.  Todd had two instances where he might have had a hit on bottom.   I would bet that laker jigging is still good north of Long Point but further south it has been tough.  We did mark fair numbers of fish in places but for the most part the screen was pretty sparse.  While casting, Todd has one light hit from what was likely a stockie trout or salmon.  That was it on the day.  Hopefully tomorrow's trip will show some improvement.  Stay tuned...

Owasco Lake out of Emerson Park 5/16

Fished a full day trip here with Mark I. starting at 9 am.  I was groggy this AM and wound up showing up at the launch thinking we had an 8 am start!  Fortunately Mark was running early and came down around 8:35.  He rigged his fly-rods and we were underway around 9. 

Mark hadn't fished here before and I was hoping to show him the lake's good pike fishing.  We started by checking out some laker jigging.  I didn't mark much in less than 100 FOW.  Out deeper we found some fish but they weren't hitting much.  So off to try for pike we went - unfortunately conditions were very tough today for the pike too.  We had no wind and very muddy water with some debris in it from the south end up around 3 miles north.  Working muddy water with various gear set ups (e.g. spoons and stickbaits) did not even generate a follow.  

We tried various areas.  We saw plenty of perch, a few smallmouths and even a few lethargic walleyes.  We went back to more laker jigging and Mark had some good follows but still no grabs - it was very similar to my last time out here (which also resulted in no fish on April 25th.)  Some wind finally came up and we set up for pike again.  Things were looking good with a hit and two follows on the flies, but no hookups  Very tough day. Mark wound up with a couple perch, that was it.  

My guess is that fish are still lethargic with the cold and oftentimes muddy water.  There are a lot of pike in this lake and I know we had to be around some.   A solid week of warming temperatures should get this bite going again.  I plan on hitting Watkins Glen soon and hope to have a better pike report, even though I know it will be cold and muddy down there too.   

Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 5/14 midday

Had a late booking with Tony and Pete for a casting trip targeting salmon/trout and pike/pickerel.  I give these guys credit - I had two postponements due to the weather and the guys decided to fish despite air temps in the 40s, rain and much more wind that we expected.  These guys fish hard, enjoy themselves out there and understand fishing. We've had some great fishing days together (e.g. pike on Seneca last fall) and a few tougher ones.

Conditions were difficult.  Most of the water from Taughannock south is murky, debris filled and cold.  Water temps that ranged upwards of 45/46 degrees last Wednesday are now hanging down at 42/43.  We got lucky and on his second or third cast Peter hooked up with a decent brown on a tube jig.  It was probably 16" to 17" long, though the guys thought it was smaller - we just don't catch many browns under 16" in Cayuga Lake, at least I haven't while guiding and I'm pretty good at judging the size of fish that are hooked from afar.  Either way, it got off about halfway to the boat.  Within a 1/2 hour, Tony hooked up with a fish on a Flat Rap.  I slipped the net under a solid 18" rainbow that was a dropback. It was a clipped fish, showing that stocking rainbows pays dividends in Cayuga Lake.  

The areas we wanted to fish pike in were chocolate mud.  A lot of the lake is a bit muddier than what I like for casting.  We didn't do any pike fishing, though Tony had a follow from a nice pickerel in one area.  We had no other discernable hits or follows.  Tough day and the wind really picked up near the end of our half-day trip.  I can't remember the last time I saw widespread surface temps of 43 degrees during the middle of May.  


Skaneateles Lake 5/12

The miserable weather we've had thus far this spring has had me reshuffling trips.  The upside of this, is that with all my cancellations, I get more fishing time.  Unfortunately the fishing is usually all done in crappy weather, as was the case today.  I have great raingear and footwear.  When I offer clients the option of rescheduling their trips, it's partially because a lot of people do not have the gear and frankly would prefer to fish on a nice day. When you have good rain gear, not wanting to fish on a rainy cold day is mostly a psychological issue.  

I wanted to try for walleyes today on Skaneateles Lake.  My big fear with the walleyes in this lake is that the idiotic illegal stocking will result in just enough walleyes to crash the rainbow trout and landlocked salmon population, but not enough to result in a top-notch walleye fishery. Give me one or the other!  Talking with friends and thinking it over - it's very unlikely that this lake will ever be a great walleye fishery.  You have crystal clear water and not a lot of nutrients.  You aren't going to grow walleyes very fast in here.  People are likely going to have to target them at night too for the most part.  But I felt with today's conditions and pre-spawn fish, I'd have a good shot.  Of course I'm not Mr. Walleye either - I've caught a decent amount in my life, but I don't fish for them often.  

With rain, clouds and wind I felt conditions would be pretty favorable for a walleye bite.  DEC has been doing some netting here and they've been picking up some males mostly in deep water.  Fish here are still pre-spawn!  That's how cold the water is in this lake.  I had 43 degree water in most areas with the exception of the south end, which was up to 48.   The lake level is high - very much so and is rising.  I fished both ends of the lake and places in between.  In my first hour I landed 5 solid smallmouths and dropped a fish that felt different.  It MIGHT have been a walleye, but I wouldn't bet on it.  I fished areas down south and landed a couple pickerel.  I also landed a laker on the day and 8 really solid 10" to 13"+ perch.  I threw back quite a few perch too.  No signs of rainbows, salmon or walleye today.  I fished from just past noon until 7:30 pm.  It's pretty safe to say I was the only boat that launched out of the State Launch today.  On the whole day I saw two other boats out.  It rained and air temps dropped to 41 degrees while I was fishing, but with my Bass Pro Shops 100 MPH rainsuit, I was very comfortable for most of the day.  I certainly stayed dry but after a while I was ready to call it a day.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/11 AM

Guided a 1/2 day trip with Oliver and Louize.  Neither had caught lake trout before and Louize had never been fishing before.  The trip starting promising with Louize nabbing a solid 27" lake trout within the first few drops of her jig.  Then our activity slowed.  We had an area of murky water, which is actually where she caught that fish, but I moved us into some clearer water.  We tried the shallows and did not find many fish there.  A move back out to 120' and beyond paid off.  The bite got going once the sun came out and wind picked up a bit.  Oliver nailed two 28"ers and a 24"er.  Both dropped a fish or two.  Absolutely perfect weather out there and we capped the day spotting an interesting weather phenomenon - circumhorizontal arcs in the sky!  (That's what they are called - I had to look it up!)   Multi colored cloud-like formations due to moisture in the sky.  It was awesome, especially when viewed with polarized sunglasses.  Looks like more rain this week. It hasn't been a very kind spring weather-wise - rain, cold, wind and clouds.  Oh well, such is life in Central NY.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 5/8 PM

Finally got my newer Crestliner (my 2013 FishHawk) out on the water for its shakedown trip.  Everything is looking and running great!  Cayuga Lake had a good chop today, sunny conditions and a steady north wind - just what I like for casting for salmon.  Much of the lower lake (south of Taughannock) is showing water temperatures of around 45/46 degrees. 

Fishing remains slow for browns and salmon. I fished around 4+1/2 hours today in a variety of areas and had a few follows from what were likely freshly stocked dinks.  In one area I caught one with a Countdown Rapala in a discontinued flourescent orange/yellow glow color.  A few casts later I was solid into a big fish.  I thought it was a brown, but it wound up being a beautiful 10lb. 29" laker that walloped my stickbait in around 8 FOW.  I kept the fish for the smoker hence the weight.  The stomach was filled with gobies of various sizes.  I talked to two other boaters that pulled out when I did.  One blanked and the other landed around a 3lb brown.  Fish were scattered and somewhat inactive today.

This website is in the midst of a nice new facelift.  It will read much better and easier on smartphones and tablets.  The format will be the same with the lakes, species, reports and other headers/content but it is much more modern.  I'm not sure when it'll be online but hopefully within a couple months at the latest.  I will have an easier time posting photos and will be able to add them to the reports.  It's long overdue!  I gave up for the most part on adding massive numbers photos to this site because it was a major hassle.  It was a pain for the viewer to click through and a pain on my end, so  I only add special shots, like the sturgeon from last year or something of that nature. 

Lake Ontario out of Oswego 5/6

Got back out to Oswego again today for another solo trip.  Hit my pizza place again (it's the one in Cato - not Weedsport fwiw.)   Had completely different conditions today on the lake - this time winds were calm, the lake was flat and the sun was shining brightly.  No fog.  Water was cold - pretty much 40 degrees all the way down, though my surface temp reading was in the low to mid 50s.  Harbor temp reached 56/57 today.

I worked a bunch of different depths right out to 140'+ today.  Had a few marks here and there that were most likely lake trout.  I marked very little bait.  Had zero fish moving for my jigs.  I worked back in towards the harbor and marked some fish in around 65' to 75'.  Dropped my jig and reeled it up and felt the rod load up!  Wound up reeling in a nice 25" brown.  It was in fair condition and had a lamprey scar.  I let it go after a quick photo. First brown I've ever jigged up there in flat glassy conditions during the middle of the day.  I do believe the fish in Lake Ontario are very hungry now.  Usually when I've jigged browns on the lake it's been early AM and there's some chop and maybe some cloud cover.  That was a first for me.

I worked a favorite harbor area for smallmouths and landed three - two of which were real pigs.  The bass bite in the harbor wasn't nearly as good this time around as it was last week.  Maybe someone stung a bunch before me, or more likely the fished moved - possibly into the warm river water.   I checked back out on the lake before I called it quits.  Marked a fair amount of bait (compared to what I'd seen previously) but no fish.  Overall I was happy with my brown and a few bass, all of which were taken between 12:30 and 5:30 pm.  It's probably the first time I've hit paydirt on trout and salmon on three consecutive casting/jigging trips up there ever.  We'll see if it keeps up.  Next on the docket will likely be Cayuga for some salmon/brown fly-casting, Skaneateles for a crack at some walleyes/perch or perhaps Owasco or Seneca for northerns (and salmon on Seneca.)  We have a lot of options here in Central NY!  I wouldn't mind hitting some old haunts like Irondequoit Bay or Conesus Lake either for drum/gar or walleyes respectively.   Time will tell.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/4 + 5/5 AM

Lake trout fishing continues to be good out of Long Point on Cayuga Lake.  We have been taking all our fish from around 135' or so out to 160'.  Fish are deeper and shallower as well - as is nearly always the case this time of year.  Numbers of fish I'm marking out deep are trending downwards which usually means that fish are moving shallower.  Some good action has been had from 120' out as well.  Weather is usually the #1 factor in fishing success and the overcast, foggy days hampered the bite a bit.  Sunny weather really helps the deep jigging!   

5/4:  Guided Drew, Drew and John today for a 1/2 day, then the Drews went into Drew's boat and I just had John onboard for the second half of the day.  The guys were out yesterday (Friday) on Drew's boat and caught over 20 lakers in around 3 hours.  The fishing was superb.  It slowed down a bit this weekend.  We had 4 fish or so during the AM trip then John nabbed another two in the afternoon.  One fish came up with a lamprey attached, but the parasitic eel like creatures still remain uncommon thus far this season. We did see the first few jet skiis of the year out.  One of my favorite parts of winter and early spring fishing is the lack of pleasure boat traffic - it has been QUIET out there!  It won't be for much longer, though things rarely ever get crazy on the eastern Finger Lakes.

5/5:  Had a lot of fun today during the AM with Jeff (who was celebrating his 50th birthday) and his buddies, Carl and Bill. The guys had a very solid day with around a half dozen fish landed and some lost.  Fish ran to 30".  Lakers are still eating a lot of alewives and multiple year-classes are in their stomachs.  It was a typical solid early May day on Cayuga Lake.  Best color was chartreuse/limetreuse.  Whites are also good as usual.  All on 1+1/2 oz Arrowhead jigs.

Lake Ontario out of Oswego 5/2

Had a terrific day of fishing solo out of Oswego today.  At 11 am I was in Cato enjoying a couple slices of great pizza from the New York Pizzeria just as they opened.  It's one of my favorite pizza places for a slice and has been that way for close to two decades. From there it just got better.  After some fruitless casting with a stickbait I switched to a tube jig and nabbed a 21" smallmouth that was at least 5lbs on my 1st cast.  Another 8 smallmouths followed over the next hour and 15 minutes.  

After that, I had a choice - flyfish or spin fish for browns or take a ride and see what the kings were up to.  I chose the latter and am glad I did.  I got away from the few boats working outside the harbor and set up for kings/lake trout.  I was marking fish right from the start and had groups of what were likely kings under me on a few occasions.  They were chasing.  The next group that came by resulted in a hookup!  It was incredibly exciting to have a hold of a chrome spring king on my laker set up.  After a great battle I netted (using my usual laker net) the solid fish - a 34" 12+3/4lb chromer.   What I saw afterwards over the next couple hours was pretty wild.  I actually saw a chinook chase a baitfish right under the surface of the lake - moving through the water like a torpedo!  Fish were surfacing for bait all around me (though not often) - try as I may,  I couldn't get them on my gear.  Overall  I didn't have any other luck (the conditions started to change for the worse.)

Reports all along the south shore of Lake Ontario have been great - from the piers/shoreline to trollers, the fishing appears to be the best in recent memory - and this is after last year's great fishing.  Nobody is talking about the baitfish situation. To me it's pretty obvious that baitfish numbers are very low.  My fish appeared healthy but only had one huge (aka old) alewife in it.  It is odd for this many salmon to be caught throughout the shallows of the lake this time of year.  Spring brown trout fishing doesn't usually result in good numbers of spring Kings.  I think this is going to be the start of the "Lake Ontario Roller Coaster" in terms of baitfish numbers and fishing success.  Like Lake Michigan, I think our days of steady great year after year fishing are done.  I did mark some bait today but not much despite plenty of warm water in and around Oswego Harbor.  

What an incredible day!  To go from trophy sized smallmouths to a gorgeous King on a jig all within less than 3 hours is a testament to the tremendous fishing we have in NY State in general and in Lake Ontario in particular.

Skaneateles Lake 4/30 PM

Got out on my own for around 4 1/2 hours starting fairly late - by the time I was fishing it was 3:15 pm.  Only two other trailers were in the state lot at Skinny today when I arrived.  I tried a bunch of different areas - some that I hadn't fished in a while, just to see what was going on.  My main target was perch but I was fishing a method that is deadly on this lake's rainbows and other species - hair jigs, tube jigs and also some perch rigs.

I caught perch in a bunch of areas.  Mostly quality fish but no slobs.  I wasn't looking to load the boat today (I wasn't in the mood to spend a lot of time filleting - I just wanted enough fish for a few meals) and that's what happened,  I only nabbed around 10 perch. I gladly would've taken a few more, but didn't get into any great concentrations.   I spent a lot of the day casting hair jigs in hopes of some rainbows.  Despite very favorable conditions I never contacted any rainbows or salmon today.  I landed two nice 20" to 21" lakers and lost one.  I also caught a nice smallmouth bass and had another follow.  No sign of any walleyes. Water temps ran from 39 to 43 or so.  The lake is still very cold.  I could see bottom in around 28 FOW today!  That's damn clear!  A little more wind would've helped the fishing but overall it wasn't bad.   


Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 4/29

I had a full day trip with Jeremy scheduled for this past Saturday, but the downright brutal conditions (wind/cold/rain/snow) necessitated us to postpone the trip until today.  Today was my last day of teaching fly-fishing over at Cornell for the spring semester so we had to make the trip a 6 hour one instead of eight.  We started just after 7 am and fortunately the bite was good from the get-go.  We had a great day overall with 12 lakers landed, including three wild fish. A bunch were dropped as well - probably another 10 to 12.  Baitfish are moving up gradually.  The water level was great, temps were in the low 40s and we had the lake to ourselves the entire time until we came in at 1 pm.  Fantastic day and it was good to catch up with Jeremy, whom I hadn't seen in around 5 years. 

Owasco Lake out of Emerson Park 4/25 PM

Guided Wayne (who joined me on Monday on Cayuga) for a 1/2 day trip starting at noon. He has a place on Owasco Lake and has had good luck trolling.  The goal today was to show him around areas of the lake he hadn't fished and go over seasonal patterns plus areas for different species.  He didn't care whether he caught fish today -otherwise we'd have gone to Cayuga again for some big lakers.

I talked to anglers on two boats set up for trolling as they pulled out.  Neither had any action today. Even perch seemed lockjawed for some folks (and there are loads of perch in the outlet!)  It didn't take us long to locate lakers and they were moving upwards of 60' for the jigs but they were not hitting well.  We gave it over an hour with no bumps.  We worked other areas around the lake with no action.  I showed Wayne a favorite "rock seam" of mine and we saw numerous walleyes sitting around shallow.  Region 7 Biologists aren't kidding - there still are a lot of walleyes in this lake.  Wayne was psyched about targeting them later on once the season opens.  We went back to our lakers and Wayne had a good hookup for a little while before the hook pulled out.  That was it on the day.  Beautiful day to be out but the lakers are still fairly deep and dormant.  Cayuga Lake continues to offer the best lake trout fishing in the Finger Lakes at this point in time.


Cayuga Lake 4/22 - 23

Guided Wayne out of Long Point on Monday the 22nd for a 1/2 day starting around 8 am.  Fishing was good with 4 solid lakers landed and another 1/2 dozen or more dropped. It was Wayne's first time doing the style of jigging I like and it can take some practice.  Fish are looking good.  Around 1/2 dozen boats were out.  Our action was had out deep - 120' to 150'.  Plenty of nice fish are out there.

Today was a 1/2 day midday trip with Andy and John.  I picked them up via boat from Taughannock - they were last out with me on March 29th when they caught a couple lakers and Andy nabbed a big brown and nice salmon.  The weather looked good on paper for casting with light south winds increasing as the day went on. Unfortunately we didn't have any wind to start and the entire eastern shore from the south end of the lake up past Portland Point was a very muddy debris filled mess.  It may be good for trolling in a day or two or three but was an impediment for our style of casting. We never raised a fish casting despite some good conditions elsewhere.  We resorted to some laker jigging near AES and Andy landed one decent laker and lost another.  John lost one as well.  Tough day and we did some casting late but again, had no activity.  The mud zone had water as warm as 50 degrees.  Most of the lake is around 40 to 44.

Seneca Lake out of Geneva 4/21

Had the day (Easter) off today and conditions looked good for checking on the laker jigging on Seneca.  I've found the lake trout fishing on this lake to be fairly poor over the past three years - at least compared to how we did here in the 2000s and up through around 2013 or 2014.  And it's certainly poor compared to Cayuga.  The fishing here is gradually improving but we are likely a year or two away from a major uptick.  DEC nettings have found a good class of mostly stocked lakers here that will be catchable next year.  As I've often said, and my archived reports will attest - I love fishing this lake and am happiest when all the Finger Lakes are fishing well.  It gives us more options, more variety and takes pressure off of the current "hot lakes."

I checked out the northern portions of the lake, midway down towards Sampson and the area off of Sampson State Park.  I marked fair to good numbers of fish everywhere I went. Most were deep - 120' to 150' .   Fish were moving for the jigs but not hitting well.  This has been the case here for years - it's what I hear from my fellow jiggers.  My friend Mike's theory is that these are likely small, undersized (sub-legal) fish.  He may be right.  Because fish should be hungry enough to grab a jig now - they are just coming out of their winter dormancy.  As far as I could see, baitfish haven't moved in yet to any major extent. That being said, I landed a very healthy, completely clean laker a few miles south of Belhurst.  I kept the 22" fat fish and it weighed around 4lbs 14 oz.  It was stuffed with alewives. On the day I had one or two other hits. I dropped my jig over dozens of fish.  

I certainly wouldn't hesitate to fish lakers here this year, especially if I were already on the lake doing other stuff.  There are enough fish around (if they are catchable-sized) to provide some good fishing.  But until I see otherwise, it doesn't appear to be worth a special trip given how good Canandaigua and Cayuga are.  But time will tell.  The beauty of the wild fish this lake is capable of churning out is impressive.  They are the nicest looking wild fish in the region - bar none.  I'll be trying the jigging here again - likely after pike season opens and I'm on the lake fishing northerns.  I gave the perch fishing about 2 hours today and didn't find any.  Only three other boats were on the lake on the day that I saw - two were perch fishing and one looked to be setting up for lakers.  Water level was excellent.  Surface temps are 40 to 44.  


Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 4/20

Earlier in the week I was telling Ron that we would probably have to cancel our trip or go from a full day down to a half.  The forecast was calling for south winds around 14 - 18 mph gusting up to 30 along with one or more inches of rain.  The 10 day forecast has its moments but is often very inaccurate more than 3 days out.   I like NOAA but that will not give out wind forecasts more than a couple days in advance (probably because there isn't much of a point in throwing out an inaccurate forecast.)   

The weather wound up being great.  The lake was like glass for most of the day (good for laker jigging in deep water, but not good for much else in the Fingers.)   We had a terrific day.  Ron would be the first to admit that his execution left a bit to be desired today. He literally lost at least 10 solid hookups, but fortunately the fish bit great and he landed a dozen solid fish up to 31".  A 30" wild laker was the highpoint of the trip - a gorgeous laker!  

We had a bit of rain last night but it wasn't enough to mess up our deep water fishing.  I'm not sure what conditions are like on the lakes mid-south portions but we had plenty of gin-clear water.  Various Lunker City Shakers did the job in 130 to 150 FOW.  I did mark some bait. All fish went back into the drink today.

Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 4/18

Got out for a full day of fishing with my buddy Terry.  We started just after 11 am and wrapped up around 6:30 pm.  I chose Watkins because of the wind forecast - strong south winds gusting to over 30 mph.  Ithaca actually had gusts close to 40 mph today!  Those winds are brutal any which way you look at it.  We were limited to areas right on the south end of the lake.  The canal was a muddy mess for the most part.  Terry picked up some nice perch minnows at Roy's on the way down.  We never had a hit on either perch or salmon today.  While casting for salmon, Terry had a couple follows from small fish that he wasn't able to identify. 

It was a nice day to be out with air temps up over 70 degrees but the fishing left a lot to be desired.  Two large boats (one charter) were out trolling.  Winds died down somewhat in the afternoon by around 4 pm and we were able to fish some areas we couldn't earlier.  Still no sign of fish.  The areas that produced salmon on my last two prior trips out here did not yield any activity.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 4/16

Guided a full day trip with Mike and his son Joseph, who had a week off for spring break from high school.  The guys were looking to learn about fishing Cayuga Lake with regards to casting for trout/salmon and jigging.  After an uncertain forecast early in the week for today, the most recent forecast looked pretty reasonable so off we went. We launched at 9:30 am.  

Fishing was tough today.  Some of it is likely the lack of warm water.  Despite warm rain on Sunday night, the cold temps on Monday and Monday night really cooled the influxes of water back down.  We didn't find much water warmer than 41 degrees today.  We did not encounter any shallow lakers despite working a bunch of areas.  Mike did nab a beautiful 17"+ rainbow on a tube jig.  We sporadically encounter rainbows casting and jigging but not many and we saw very few last year.  He had a follow from what sounded like a nice salmon (he described the fish - which I did not see, to me.)  Jigging was slow out of Myers too.  It is better up north overall.  The guys had a couple hookups but not many.  Mike did manage to land a solid fish around 24".  Joe lost one that appeared to be a pretty good fish after around 20 or 30 seconds.  

Launching at Myers did not pose any problems for my 18' boat.  The lake should be rising fairly quickly now.  It appears to be up another foot or more from last week.  Now we just need a gradual warming trend and the inshore trout/salmon fishery should get back on track.

Skaneateles Lake 4/13 + Cayuga Lake 4/14 AM

Skaneateles Lake 4/13:  Guided Scott for a full day of fly-fishing.  We'd been trying to find a good day to fly-fish for over a year now.  Scott wanted to "live or die by the fly" so I did not bring any back up spinning tackle.  Conditions were fair for fly-fishing during most of the day.  Winds were not steady and often shifted direction.  No wind in the ultra-clear water of Skaneateles Lake makes for spooky fish and tricky fishing. 

Scott nabbed a perch after maybe two hours of fishing but for a lot of the day it looked bleak. Solid areas for landlocked salmon with good conditions resulted in no hits or even follows.  Good rainbow areas also were devoid of fish. Towards the end of the day Scott got a couple grabs in an area and wound up with two lakers on the fly - one around 17" and one just over 20".  He'd never caught a laker before so these fish made the day.

On the way back we assisted a boat of three anglers with some engine issues.  I always bring an extra battery, but if the boat is starting great throughout the day and just dies with no sign of a weak battery or turning over, it could be the kill-switch and that's what it was.  Lake temps are around 37 degrees.  

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 4/14 AM:  Met Gary and his son Zach, along with Zach's friend George at the launch at around 7:30 am.  Gary wanted to be on the road early to get back home and the guys ran a little late, so we weren't able to start at 7 am, our scheduled start time.  I'm not a big fan of starting early for laker jigging this time of year.  The bite is often better later.  And that's what happened.  

We had zero action for the first two hours of the trip.  There isn't much worse for a guide than not seeing anything early in a trip.  It's easy for clients to get discouraged, lose interest and not pay attention, but fortunately the guys kept at it.  Gary hooked up a big heavy laker and after a good strong battle I slipped the net under a 31" chunker.  It was probably 10 to 11lbs.  It was his biggest freshwater fish to date.  Zach hooked one and lost it, then hooked another that we got to the net - a 29"er.   It was Gary's turn but his hands weren't working too well in the cold.  He had a good hookup but it got off due to those issues.  The guys were pretty cold and Gary needed to get on the road, so we knocked off a bit early. Tough fishing but plenty of fish were around and they were starting to hit better during the middle of the AM.  Thankfully the guys caught a couple and we were able to get off of the lake before the cold rains started!   I did mark some alewives moving up.  Fish came from 120' to 150'.

Lake Ontario out of Oswego 4/11

Met my buddy Terry up at Wright's Landing at 10:45 am.  Launching is available but the facilities aren't open yet - so no payment required but also no bathrooms/cleaning station/ice available.   I don't mind that trade-off.   Around 4 to 5 boats had launched out of there and they were mainly trolling around the harbor area for browns.  Only two charter boats were in slips at the marina thus far.  I didn't run across any definite charters out trolling.

It was pretty darn cold outside.  At times we got pelted by a little freezing rain or snow pellets.  Surface temps on the lake were around 38/39, though we had 42/43 in the harbor and in a few areas elsewhere.  We worked a bunch of different shoreline areas and the harbor by casting stickbaits, bladebaits, spoons and jigs.  A lot of spring brown trout fishing is a troller's game with large areas of downright muddy, dingy gray and fishy green water.  Terry had a couple follows in one area we worked on a silver bladebait.  We tried a bunch of nice windblown shores.  Finally I connected with a chunky 18" to 19" brown on a Flat-Rap.  We worked a few more areas and finally started getting some hits and follows.  My next fish hit hard and fought great - it was a 27" brown.  Then I nabbed a jumping 17"er that I thought was a coho from the fight, but was just an acrobatic brown.  By the end of the day, nobody but us was on the lake.  That's been a rare occasion for us at Oswego, but I'll take it!  Fun day but we also got lucky. 

Cayuga Lake 4/6 - 4/8

Did three days in a row of guiding on Cayuga Lake.  The  "wild card" goby forage dynamic continues to mystify.  Alewives are making a strong showing up north.  It is very intriguing.

4/6:  Did a full day out of Long Point with Paul, Keith and Keith's son Noah. Last time I guided these guys was back around 2006 when Noah was maybe 8 or 9 years old. Now he's in college and a heck of a bass fisherman - the passage of time is just astonishing. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago....  Lake trout jigging was fantastic with a terrific deep bite.  The guys landed around 23 to 24 solid fish with numerous trout in the 27" to 30" range.  We only had a couple wild fish. Paul wanted to harvest a lot of lakers.  I cleaned 12 fish and although I didn't throroughly check all the stomach contents, nearly all of them were packed with alewives of varying sizes.  I had one fish with a goby.  That was it. Over the last couple years most lakers we caught this time of year had around 50% or more gobies in them.  Weird. 

4/7: Guided Mark I. and his friend Dick out of Taughannock for a full day starting at 9 am. The predicted south winds that we wanted for inshore fly-fishing and casting never materialized.  A couple of my friends were out on the lake. Most people reported a slow to very slow day out there.  We had slow fishing. Jigging started out slow near the power plant but Dick managed one laker.  Casting was tough as well with Dick nabbing one 22" really beautiful salmon.  We went back to jigging and Mark caught a good laker and the guys dropped a couple.  Nice day to be out but pretty darn tough action.

4/8:  Today was a late booking with Eric and his wife Molly.  They had never caught lakers so we gave the jigging a go where I'd left off with Mark the day before. We had a solid bite with 5 fish landed and 3 dropped. Casting resulted in some follows from solid salmon but no grabs.  The weather was fantastic and the predicted strong southerlies and westerlies didn't materialize until we were off the water at 1 pm.  

Cayuga Lake remains low. The lack of rain has made for cold conditions throughout the lake and in front of stream mouths, including the south end.  The usual warm water spring trolling/casting hot areas are cold.  In addition, the low lake levels result in a lot of the south end areas being two to three feet shallower than normal, so fish in those areas would be very skittish or somewhat scarce. April has shaped up to be a tougher than usual month on Cayuga Lake so far for salmon and browns.  Deep laker fishing up north is great though.

Skaneateles Lake 4/4 midday

Got out with my old pal Craig (who now lives across the country) from around 11:15 am til about 4:45 pm.  We fished out of his dad's Skeeter. He wanted to check on the electronics he'd just installed to see whether all was working well, so we took his boat instead of mine.  Winds were honking pretty good out of the north and our tip top guides were freezing up during the first few hours of our day.  We picked up a few perch in various areas.  We hit an old favorite area and each caught solid rainbows on jigs - I had a 23" male and he got a 19" female.  Likely a pair - both were spawned out and didn't have a lot of zip to them.  Both were wild fish.  I also managed a beautiful 19" laker.  My buddy Mike was out here a week or so ago a couple of times and did very well on perch on one occasion and fair on another.  He also nabbed a good rainbow.  The trend of fewer but larger rainbow trout continues on this lake, likely due to walleye predation of newly hatched and stocked rainbows.  I will try to get back here soon when the weather is a little more conducive to putting in a long day, hitting a lot of areas and doing some fly-fishing.  H2O temps were cold - 36 degrees.  Water level is ok - maybe slightly low.

Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 4/2

Got back out to Watkins Glen, this time with my friend Mike.  We brought fly-gear but with the forecast high winds we wound up using spinning tackle all day long. We fished from 11:30 am til around 7 pm.  Salmon fishing continues to be good.  We found fish in the same areas as last week.  We had more follows from better fish than last time.  Mike dropped a dime silver salmon around 20" when it started going wild near the boat.  I managed to land two fish - a lamprey ravaged 16+1/2"er and a clean 17"er.  I lost one "octopus" salmon that appeared to have 2 to 3 attached lampreys.  I wound up snagging one of the lampreys as my hook pulled out of the fish.  They were small lampreys - basically this year's class.  Stickbaits and swimbaits raised the fish.

Lake temps remain cold - the warmest water we found was around 40 degrees.  Lake level is very good.  Virtually nobody is fishing this lake.  A local sheriff stopped by and asked us how the fishing was.  We were the first boat he'd seen out in quite some time!   We finished off the day with some perch fishing and did well.   

Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/29 midday

Guided Andy and John for 1/2 day starting at 10 am. We had airtemps around 40 degrees and light rain to start with a light N wind.  Fishing was slow for the first 2+1/2 hours.  No hits. We tried a bunch of areas that had been productive over the past few weeks/months. We arrived in one stretch and Andy got bit on a tube jig and set the hook into a good fish. It wasn't fighting quite like a laker, which have been dominating the nearshore catch.  It wound up being a fat 25" brown.  Likely 7lbs+.  He had another hit or two then managed to land a 19" salmon.  John got into a couple solid lakers in a different area.  We kept one laker on the day. 

If we'd had the forecast sun and warmer airtemps I think we would've done better. I also thought deep jigging lakers out of Long Point would've been a more sure-fire call, but the guys wanted to cast and fortunately everything worked out.  All our fish came on tube jigs today - no hits on stickbaits or bladebaits.  Very few boats were out.  Water level remains low and water remains cold with 37/38 lakewide and 39 on the south end.

Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 3/28

I've been chomping at the bit to get out here and check on salmon action.  Lampreys are finally getting under control and DEC rightly feels that the fishery is on its way back. I would have to agree.  I fished with Terry from around 9:15 am till about 3:15. Salmon fishing was good. It's the first time I've been able to say that on this lake in a couple years.  I realize that some anglers have done well here on salmon but it hasn't been the case for me and judging from the fact that there have been very few boats targeting salmon, I'm guessing action has been pretty slow overall for most anglers.  

We fished a bunch of areas and I wound up landing (on spinning gear) a 19.5"er, a 17.5"er and a 24"er.  I kept the 24" and 19.5".  They were in good condition - the 24" weighed 4lbs 10 oz and the smaller one was around 2lbs 8 oz.  Both had survived lamprey attacks.  The smaller albeit legal fish I released was clean.  We also had follows from some smaller 14" to 15" range fish. Overall we encountered 4 different year classes of salmon on the lake. Terry also landed a bonus perch.

I felt lucky today. I didn't miss any hits.  The fish were in very particular areas.  I wouldn't say the action was better than good at best.  But it was a lot better than what I've experienced here in 5 or 6 trips over the past two years with similar conditions. 

DEC Diary Cooperator data shows that there was a spike in salmon fishing success here last year. It should only get better.  If you fish this lake a few times a year or more for trout/salmon, you should become a cooperator. It's not much of a hassle at all. The catch information (or "no catch information") you relay back to DEC is very important.  If laker fishing remains slow, we may see a stocking increase, which would probably be a good idea.  DEC needs to see whether people are catching browns and rainbows as well and if the rainbows have fin clips.  You will get a say in management action and you'll also receive a cool report at the end of the season detailing catch rates.  You do not have to give up any hotspots either! 

Contact Region 8 at (518)226-5343.  Poor diary cooperator catches of salmon and browns on Keuka Lake resulted in those stocking policies being terminated at least temporarily, so your input is important!

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 3/27

Fished with Terry for most of the day starting around 11 am.  We did a mix of casting and jigging and caught fish throughout the mid-lake areas from around 10' of water out to 150'. We had one sublegal (16 1/2") salmon shallow.  Lakers ran from 23" to 29".  Around 4 fish over 28" were taken deep.  Fish came on tube jigs, blade baits and swimbaits.  Terry managed to nab 3 solid bonus pickerel as well.  Water temps were 37 degrees.  Fishing out deep was excellent, the shallow bite was tougher mainly due to the lack of wind and calm sunny conditions. 

Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/21

Guided Charlie and his son Bill for a half day starting at around 10:15 am.  We had no action casting for salmon and browns apart from a couple lake trout.  We fished some areas that held concentrations of lakers and had some very good to excellent action with a few fish in the 28" to 29" range.  Fish look well fed and clean with very few, if any signs of lampreys.  Fish came on tube jigs, stickbaits and bladebaits (one.) 

Word is that the dam at the outlet is closed off and the lake is being raised to full pool.  Right now it's still very low - maybe a few inches up from last week.  Nobody else launched out of Taughannock while we were out.

Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/14

Guided Mark I. for the full day starting around 10:30 am.  We were off the water by 7 pm.  With Mark the goal is usually to fly-fish. We set up for salmon and browns that would be looking up, as opposed to groveling the bottom for gobies.  Winds were fairly steady out of the south east to start.  Our first area didn't produce.  The second area we tried found a big brown taking a swirl and quick shot (and miss) at Mark's blue and white half and half.  About 5 minutes later, a smaller albeit still very nice brown gobbled his fly.  It was a 22.5" fish - probably 4lbs +.  It wasn't a massive tank or football but was in excellent condition nonetheless.  We released it.  No other hits were had (that were definite) working some salmon areas.

A trip a couple weeks ago showed lakers in shallow water, so I thought Mark would have a good shot with a fly-rod, floating line and clouser type fly.  We tried it but had no action.  I didn't bring any LC-13 leadcore fly-line heads on count of the wind so we went with tube jigs on a spinning rod - which is a fun and very productive was to fish.  Mark nabbed a 27" laker that he kept for dinner.  Also landed was a 22"er and a gorgeous, perfect 29" wild fish - both of which we released.  We hit a few other areas for salmon/browns during the course of the day but didn't have any activity.  So we wound up with the spinning gear and tube jigs and Mark was able to land a few more nice fish.  

So overall the fly-fishing could have been better, although the brown would be a solid for any fly-fisherman and it fought great.  Falling back on the tremendous inshore lake trout fishing made for a very good day with the 29" fish being a very memorable bit of "icing on the cake."   Lake levels are low and I bottomed out on my way back to the ramp. Funny, I'll often use trolling motor power to get out of the lagoon at Taughannock but my the end of the day I'll be too tired and not even think about doing it on the way back in.  Lake should be coming up a little but it's too early to tell whether the dam at the outlet outlet will be set to allow the lake to rise to full pool.  There is very little snowpack left in the area, so unless we get colossal rainfalls/snow, we should be out of the woods for spring flooding.  So hopefully we'll see the lake level come up to full pool, which will allow launching lake wide. Water temps are around 36/37, but there was some 38/39 degree water at the southend.  That would be more of a troller's game, since the swath of warmer muddy water was getting fairly formidable in size.  But if I'm a flat liner, I'd start thinking about that area after the next couple warm days.

I have pretty good availability over the next few weeks.  I will start posting open dates shortly to make it easy to schedule trips and give me a sense of how things are shaping up with my schedule. The website overhaul is underway so we'll see how that goes!

Shorefishing Report:  My buddy Mike shorefished Seneca Lake on Wednesday.  He reported good conditions but zero action on gear and flies.  He caught a very nice 22" salmon on a fly in Cayuga Lake from shore.

I received my Region 8 Diary summaries in the mail yesterday.  Canandaigua continues to be the hottest Western Finger Lake in terms of lake trout action.  Rainbow fishing there was also very good.  Keuka Lake catch rates went up, but that would still indicate an imbalanced fishery.  Hopefully the ciscoes will take to that lake.  Seneca Lake continues to provide slow fishing for the third year in a row.  Let's hope we see an uptick this year.  DEC predicts next year will be a significantly better lake trout year on Seneca Lake due to a fairly strong year class of young fish that will be catchable (size wise) in 2020.  

If you have no lake trout fishery in a lake with sea lampreys present, you have no cold water trout/salmon fishery.  In an effort to have a "balanced fishery" the lake trout stocking numbers on Seneca Lake were reduced a few times.  Now we have better balance but no fishery that anyone can get excited about.  People that clamor for more rainbows, browns and salmon need to understand this.  On Cayuga Lake there are people shorefishing all over the lake, up and down for lake trout.  Most fisherman just want to catch something nice or at least something.  People are happy with lake trout in the Finger Lakes region for the most part and they don't realize how much they love them on the end of their line until they're gone.  Without the great nearshore lake trout activity in Cayuga Lake now, we'd be having a fairly slow year for salmon and browns.



Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/9 PM

Got out with my friend Todd at around noontime.  We spent our day targeting trout and salmon with gear, though we did bring fly-rods incase conditions improved.  Two days of calm, nearly windless weather doesn't do much to activate salmon and browns.  We had a slow go of things for the first two hours with zero hits.  We tried an area that had produced well for me on my last guide trip and hit paydirt with over three hours of solid lake trout action.  We managed to land 8 nice lakers from 23" to 26"+ and Todd also nabbed a fat 17" salmon. We missed and dropped some solid fish too.  All came on tube jigs. We kept 7 lakers between the two of us for my smoker and Todd's grill.  The fish looked great - no lamprey marks and in great condition (nice and plump.)  Fish I cleaned each had an average of two fresh large gobies in them - including one goby that was still alive!   Cold water inshore lake trout fishing on Cayuga Lake is about as fun as any fishing opportunity I've experienced in NY State!   It was a blast.  Water temps dropped down to around 36 degrees.  There is some ice on the south end of the lake.  Winter ain't done yet!

Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 3/1 PM

Got out for around an hour and a half of shore casting today.  I did a lot of walking before I made a cast.  My efforts were rewarded with a rock solid hit and a great ensuing battle with a beast of a lake trout.  I wound up landing and releasing a 31"+ fish.  It made a great run and fought hard the entire time.  It blasted a blade bait.  Lake level remains low.  Looks like another cold blast is on the way.  Hopefully we'll see some good boating conditions after next week.

Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 2/23

Guided Robert for a full day starting around 9 am. He does a lot of fishing for lakers and browns on the NYC reservoir system and was looking to see how we jig lakers here as well as check out the Finger Lakes fishing.  The water level on Cayuga Lake is currently at the lowest level I've seen all year.  Water temps are at 37/38.  A 1/2 dozen or more boat went out today from Taughannock.

It was around 27 degrees when we launched today and we had south winds around 8 mph. Our first area didn't produce any definite hits, but the second one yielded a solid 26" brown that was likely at least 8lbs and maybe more.  After that Robert caught a nice laker and we were in business.  The next two hours provided superb lake trout action with 9 or 10 fish landed and many more hits coming.  Another brown was landed and he also caught lakers in another area.  All in all an excellent day of winter fishing with 12 to 13 lakers and 2 nice browns landed.  I kept two of the lakers for my smoker.  Robert's arm was worn out so I got a chance to fish for 10 minutes and managed to land a nice brown around 22".  The big brown came on a stickbait but all the other fish came on tube jigs.  We also tried some deep water and found a few lakers out there. Robert dropped one on a shaker.  

In the 20+ years I've been fishing the Finger Lakes for salmon, March has been the best landlocked salmon month for us on Cayuga (and Seneca when it is fishing well.)  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.  I have plenty of availabilty in March and April.  I expect good to excellent nearshore laker fishing (with bonus browns) to hold up into early May depending on how hot April is.  I do plan on checking Seneca Lake soon, perhaps from shore.

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!

Lake Ontario Sodus Bay Cross Lake Skaneateles Lake Owasco Lake Cayuga Lake Seneca Lake Keuka Lake