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7/23/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 7/23 AM

Guided Dan, Jim and Bill for what wound up being a fairly long 1/2 day.  Long because the fishing was slow.  We got off to an encouraging start with Dan picking up two lakers in short order.  Only thing is that they were in the 13" range - dinks.  Glad to see the little guys doing well, but it's not what we are out after!

We fished in some of my favorite later-season areas and had a few opportunities.  "Dan the Man" eventually hooked and landed a nice 26"er.  A few fish were dropped by Jim.  So it wasn't completely poor/slow fishing, but pretty darn tough when compared to how Cayuga usually fishes heading into August.  It is possible that the high water events i.e. all the debris/murk/algae pushed some fish out deeper into a more stable zone. Clearly a lot of fish have moved away from the usual nearshore areas.  A lot will depend on the next round of rain and air temperatures.  This bloom could disappear shortly or plague us for the rest of the summer season.  Stay tuned!  I will probably check on Owasco and possibly even Seneca Lake shortly to see how the fishing is over there.  DEC is over at Seneca doing some netting. We'll have answers soon in regards to the lake trout population as well as baitfish numbers.

BTW - Weedmats and debris "plumes" remain issues for trollers.  At least the fleas aren't bad.... 

7/22/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 7/22

Back out again for day 2 with Anthony ("Antknee"), Dom and Tom.  Fishing started out promising with Dominic nabbing a couple lakers in short order.  Then Tom hooked a very nice fish.  He'd bring it up near the boat - it'd run out a bunch of drag, he'd bring it up again and it'd run back out. A big laker is a very capable fighting fish!  I slipped the net under a 32" beauty that we quickly released after a couple pics.  Another fish was landed but that was about it. Fishing remains fairly slow for Cayuga Lake in July.  

Some encouraging news is that I am not seeing a whole lot of lampreys or lamprey wounding thus far this season on the lake trout.  Once the August "pre-spawn bite" picks up, I'll have a better idea as to what's going on.  But I am cautiously optimistic.  Water clarity remains an issue on Cayuga Lake though we fortunately missed the massive wave of showers that came through both north and south of us today.  A bullet was dodged! Hopefully we won't see too much of the predicted possible heavy rains tomorrow night. Cooler temperatures may help the bloom to subside - it really didn't seem too bad today. Weed mats and "debris fields" are still issues as well.  Some strong winds would help remedy this.  Fleas didn't seem to be too much of an issue though they are around. Best action was fairly deep today - 85' to 95' or so, though we did have some cooler temps in closer.

7/21/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 7/21

Guided Anthony and his friends Dominic and Tom for a full day today.  It was one of the first days that really felt like July out there.  Despite forecasts for N and WNW winds 7 to 14 mph, the winds stayed down around 3 to 5 mph out of the west.  It was hot.  We fished a lot of areas and found the bite to be tough to start. Anthony had been out with me for two days per year over the past two years and fished with confidence.  He landed two fish in fairly short order.  The other guys missed some hits/fish.  We worked various areas north and south of Long Point and on both shores.  By 12:30 pm the fishing showed some signs of life with Anthony nabbing two more nice lakers to 29".  Dom nabbed a 25"er and Tom landed a 22" salmon.  All fish were released today.

Swimming has been curtailed at Long Point until this algae bloom is over with.  All the rain run-off along with hot temps has likely triggered the bloom. Hopefully it won't last long but with conditions we've had thus far this year, who knows?  Not the hot fishing we've experienced in past years in July on Cayuga Lake but still acceptable.  

7/19/2017
Lake Ontario out of Oswego Harbor 7/18, Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 7/19 AM

Lake Ontario out of Oswego Harbor 7/18:  Got out to Oswego at around 10:30 am and fished about 6 hours targeting salmonids.  I purposely left the bass gear at home.  I wound up hooking what was probably a decent King for a little while. It was hard to get a good hookset.  I also had a fairly broad silver fish follow a jig to the surface, so that was cool. On the way in, I fished some shallower water and landed a solid 29" lake trout that was probably over 9lbs.  

Overall I had fun and it was going to be a make or break day for me out there with regards to continuing my efforts to jig Kings.  I've caught a couple over the years and it's a long trek as well as pricey to keep going up there.  I don't have a lot of "downtime" and I've been sacrificing time I could spend bass fishing or doing other things.  So I will probably give the "big lake" another shot or two this year. If I lived in Rochester or Oswego, I'd be out there a few times a week trying to dial this stuff in.  I enjoy figuring stuff out and I have learned a lot, especially this year in terms of fish movements and what I can and can't do out there.

Cayuga Lake 7/19:  Guided Russ for a half day of laker jigging today.  I had a trip with him scheduled for yesterday but we bumped it up a day in hopes the lake would clear a bit. Friday's rain was brutal but I figured 3 to 4 days would certainly be enough time. Unfortunately we had some rain on Monday and that may have messed things up.  We had around 4' of visibility today and fish were moving for the jigs.  Russ had decent numbers of chasers but very few hits.  He had 3 decent grabs but no hookups. So unfortunately we got skunked today. We tried all over the place and found decent pods of fish almost everywhere we tried, but they were fairly fickle.  He gave a good effort and it was a beautiful day to be out. I just wish one or two (or more) of those fish would've connected. Fishing should improve markedly by the day.  I expect top-notch fishing this weekend.  We'll see!

7/12/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/12 AM

Guided the Hermans for a half day today.  I picked them up via boat at Taughannock around 6:30 am and we headed north. Fishing had its moments for the first hour or two.  Eleonore had a flurry in which she was hooking a fish with every drop of the jig.  Overall, 6 fish were landed.  They all ran smaller than what we had been catching for most of the season.

Weather radar indicated a large band of heavy rain and possible storms moving towards our location so we made a run south back towards Taughannock. Most of the heavy stuff dissapated, so we wound up fishing closer to port.  Given that the half day trip was nearly over, it didn't make sense to run back north.  Another bite or two were had and we saw some follows on the sonar but that was it for the day.  There was plenty of bait nearly everywhere we tried today.  Most migratory schools of lakers remain roughly from the power plant north to Levanna/Deans.  Over the next three weeks we should start seeing decent numbers of fish south of Rocky Dock.  For now it's most likely non-migratory lakers and the usual salmon/rainbows/browns south of there.

7/10/2017
Owasco Lake 7/10

Got out with Scott and his father Dick for a full day here targeting lake trout in the AM and then bass for the second half of the trip.  Dick joined us for the first half of the day's laker fishing then it was just Scott in the PM.  The laker fishing was slow for us.  I didn't mark many fish. If you follow my reports, you'll know I haven't been on this lake much this season so I have not been able to really scout the lake thoroughly.  That being said, it's a relatively small lake and a lot of the same areas produce every year (just like all the Finger Lakes).   

We had our best luck on the north end flat with Scott landing a well fed 24" laker and a chunky brown that went 17".  Dick had one good chance for a laker but wasn't able to connect solidly.  We checked three different areas of the lake - all in the northern 1/2.

Bass fishing wasn't nearly as productive for us as it had been 3 weeks ago.  Fish are starting to suspend out over deeper water.  The post-spawn shallow fishing is done with. Scott did manage to lose a beauty of a fish that hammered a fluke hard and then proceeded to jump and dive and then dive some more.  It had two big buddies around it too! Other than that we had one or two more hits.  Scott also managed a couple perch on some small jigs.

Baitfish numbers looked great. Water temps on top were in the mid 70s.  Beautiful day to be on the water, but for now for lakers I'd stick with Cayuga.  I'll likely be back here soon for bass.

7/9/2017
Cayuga Lake 7/8 + 7/9 AM Trips

Guided out of Long Point yesterday and Myers Point today. Lake trout are well-distributed throughout Cayuga Lake. Water conditions are good.  Lake level is pretty much at full pool - it doesn't seem high.

7/8:  Met Paul at the launch at 6:30 am.  He's done well with his own jigging and wanted to see if there were any tricks/tips I could give him. We settled into an area that featured a very good steady bite all morning, right up to when we left at around 11 am.  Around 50' to 85' FOW produced for him.  Fish ran to 28" but the hardest fighting was a feisty 23"er!  You just never know.  Limetruese Shakers in the new 3.75" size have really been the ticket for us so far this year.  You can get them from Lunker City.  We had a good time and the weather was great.  

7/9:  Had another great time today with Emmet and his friend Gary.  They were up from Virginia. The bite started great first thing around 6:45 am when we started fishing with Emmet momentarily hooking a couple solid fish for a few seconds.  Then things really slowed up for awhile.  Eventually the winds died down and some clouds rolled in and that seemed to get the bite going. Emmet landed one decent trout early that got the ball rolling. Then Gary had the hot hand and brought at least 4 solids to the boat.  We almost had a salmon or two as well.  

7/5/2017
Lake Ontario out of Oswego Harbor 7/5

Got out with my buddy Terry for a fairly long day starting at 6 am.  The lake is as high as it was last time I was out here.  The Sheriff (or perhaps Coast Guard) was patrolling the harbor and lake as well, likely enforcing the current 600' no wake zone.

We tried jigging for salmon during the first part of the day.  I was very encouraged by what we saw, but no hookups.  We came very close.

After that, it was time to check on the smallmouth bass. Terry nabbed a couple very nice fish on Powerbait - he had one over 18" and another at 17".  I caught a smaller one as well as some gobies.  A fair number of bass were very shallow.  The biggest came deep out of around 35' to 40'.  

Lots of charters and rec boats were out targeting salmon.  Word is that the salmon bite has been good over the past 2 weeks or so.  They have fins and they use them, so no telling where they'll show up!   

7/3/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers 7/2 + 7/3

Guided Greg for the full day on Sunday.  We tried various areas in hopes of connecting with browns/salmon.  We had a fair number of follows and light hits but no committments. Greg nabbed a nice 27" laker that fought well.  We worked areas for lakers and found fish but the bite was fairly slow.  He landed a couple more fish.  The water was very muddy in areas and murky/cloudy in others - not typically good conditions for lakers.

Today was Rick and his family.  We split a full day into two 4 hours stretches with Rick joining me all day and Ryan and Sam in the AM, then young Jack and Scott in the PM. The fishing was slow but we found some relatively clear water (actually I found it with Greg yesterday) and that produced a few fish for us mostly in the morning.  Rick dropped a good fish in the AM and Sam landed two.  Ryan nabbed one nice one.  Rick came through in the PM portion of the trip with a hard fighting 31" solid laker that we released.  Great fish!  Jack and Scott were the victims of a very tough bite in the PM.  They fished hard and did a great job but the fish just wouldn't cooperate.  

Boat traffic overall was very light for the 4th of July weekend.  The debris certainly doesn't make for fun tubing and muddy water doesn't make for fun swimming.  Just another week of the weird weather year that has been 2017.

July is completely booked up this year.  Everything fish-wise on Cayuga Lake (relating to trout/salmon but also likely other species) is a bit behind.  Around 8 or 9 openings remain in August, so if you're planning a trip this summer, now's the time to reserve a date.   

6/30/2017
Skaneateles Lake 6/29 + Cayuga Lake 6/30 AM

6/29:  Got out on Skaneateles Lake for the first time in quite a while.  I fished with my buddy Craig, whom I hadn't seen in years.  We fished out of his Dad's Skeeter Bass Boat. Craig used to guide Oneida Lake and some of the other waterways around the area and I would use him on occasion to help me out with larger parties and overflow bookings.  We had some decent action on smallmouth bass;  we also landed tons of rockbass and also caught some really nice perch. I managed to dropshot a bonus lake trout that was in shallow (30') water.  Clearly the lake temps are still cold. It was a lot of fun and we had fish hit topwater, sub-walk Rapalas, jerkbaits, dropshot, flukes and tubes.

6/30 AM:  Launched out of Dean's Cove and met Jim at the ramp.  He has a long history on Cayuga Lake dating back to the late 1950s and 1960s.  He has a place on the lake and will be getting back into fishing Cayuga Lake.  He had some great action jigging with nearly a hit every drop at times.  He landed around 8 fish and dropped quite a few.  The weather was quite threatening at times but stayed nice.  Most fish came from 65' on out.  Fun day.

6/27/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/26 - 27

6/26:  Guided Dave and his son Dan for a full day on Monday and a half day today.  The threat of storms loomed over us on both days.  The other Dan - "Dismal Dan" didn't make it out this year, so that was another factor we had to deal with ;-)    Fishing was good at times on Monday but overall was fairly slow in comparison to what we've been experiencing thus far for most of the late spring and summer.  The guys landed 8 solid fish and lost some good ones as well.  It was a "catch 'em eat 'em" trip and we boxed all 8.  No sign of gobies in the stomachs I checked.  It's all alewives.  We had to run back into the launch to wait out one storm but after we went back out the fishing never really picked up, whereas with Greg yesterday, after the storm the fishing got hot.  Go figure - it's hard to predict at times.

6/27:  Today was some hot fishing. We had some shower activity in the morning that gave way to sunshine by around 8 am.   I wasn't sure what to expect with the storms looming in the forecast but today we had a bit of the "pre-storm bite" with terrific action for most of the morning.  The guys landed 20 solid fish today.  We kept 5 or 6 and again, they were chowing on alewives.   We were lucky to finish up when we did around 11 am.  The storms that rolled in were brutal.

Fish on Cayuga have been averaging 25" to 27" with a few 28 and 29s.  Top-notch size and condition!  Boat traffic has been very light.  

6/25/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/24 + 25

Did back to back full days here on Friday and today (Saturday) starting at 6:30 am. Friday was with Andy and his dad Randy.  They wound up having a great day with a bunch of solid lake trout landed and a nice salmon lost.  Most lakers were clean and fat.  They averaged 25" to 27".  One lamprey came up.  The dropped salmon was a very solid fish - likely around 24".  Great jumps. Boat traffic was fairly light.  Fishing started out slow but picked up and basically cycled on and off through the day.  I don't recall the numbers but I think the guys landed around 20 fish. We kept two fish that were maimed and/or unreleasable.  One fish was very fat and just wouldn't go down.  It rarely happens for us. I burped it out a few times and after a while we just kept this bloated fish.  It turns out that the laker was full of mature, ripe eggs!  I have never seen that before - a ripe laker (probably was ready last fall but didn't spawn) this time of year.  

Today was a full day with Greg.  We were able to get most of the trip in without getting too wet from isolated showers/storms.  The bite (again) started out slow and then really ramped up around 8 am.  Then it slowed again and get very hot (a fish nearly every drop) after the first storm passed through.  Fish ran to 29".  Greg landed and released one salmon around 20" today.  We had two live lampreys show up on lakers today.  Greg landed around 23 or 24 fish today.  Simply excellent numbers and good size too!  It's as good as I've seen Cayuga for lakers in terms of sizes, numbers and "the bite."  The year 2005 comes to mind as being similar.  

Wild fish have been more of a component in our catch this past week.  Numbers are still low - maybe 10 to 11%.  DEC has accurate data on wild fish rates with coldwater assessments done every 3 years plus the annual egg take.  

6/21/2017
Owasco Lake 6/21

Got out here with my buddy Terry to check in on the fishing starting just after 6:30 am.  I've been wanting to get out here for awhile and was glad to hear that the improvements to the launch area were finally complete.

I've had a very "Cayuga-centric" year and I am enjoying it immensely.  Driving all over the region fishing different Finger Lakes and other water bodies adds variety and can be a lot of fun, but after doing it for over 12 years as a full time guide it gets tiring.  This year I am putting a lot less miles on my truck and boat.  There's also a lot less wear and tear on me. There are plenty of capable guides/charters in the region specializing in different species and lakes.  When I started, there weren't as many - at least that I knew of, so I was glad to offer trips on lakes that were a bit out of the way for me.  So thus far this year it's been mainly Cayuga and a little bit on Skaneateles for me.  I still plan on doing a lot of guiding on Seneca Lake in the future, but with lake trout numbers/fishing still slow there, that's a place that will have to wait. The DEC is constructing a public (State) launch on Otisco Lake.  Once that's complete, I will likely fish there a bit more often - mainly on my own recreationally - it is still a bit far for me to drive routinely to guide.  Owasco is nearby and is a great lake and I plan on guiding here a lot more in the future.

We tried a couple hours of lake trout fishing in the AM on the north end of the lake. Fishing was alright.  It's not on a level with Cayuga by any means, but the fish are nice.  We hooked and landed 3 trout this AM.  All were clipped fish running 25" to 26".  

We checked on smallmouth bass fishing and had some decent action. We missed/dropped some nice fish.  We landed a few up to over 18".  Many smaller males were still on beds and we left them alone.  I'd call it "good fishing" but only "fair catching." Terry had a break-off from a northern pike on a fluke.  I did some casting for pike and caught and released a 26"er on a spoon.  We also caught some rockbass on tubes. Loads of perch were nearly everywhere in the shallows and even over deep water.  We saw one nice perch go after an alewife a bunch of times before finally nailing it.  A lot of the perch that are shallow are nice fish - 8" to 11" or better, so if you're looking for a lot of fun and some great eating, this would be a great place to take your boat.  Cayuga's downlake perch fishing is usually hot now, but has been slow thus far this June.  H2O was up to nearly 70 degrees today.  Water level is high.  Boat traffic was pretty much minimal (nearly non-existent today.)

6/18/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/18

Guided Greg for the full day starting at 5:30 am (ouch!)  I am not a big fan of getting up super early for lake trout fishing but we were originally forecast to have storms moving in by 2 pm and we wanted to get an uninterrupted full day in.  The early start didn't help us too much.  The bite was slow today.  Greg picked up one fish within about 45 minutes and then it was a slow pick.  He wound up with 5 lakers on the day - one was a 27"er and the rest were around 20" to 22" - all were nice clean, plump fish.  Boat traffic was light today.

I usually start my summertime laker trips around 6 or 6:30 am.  That ensures that if there's a morning bite, my clients will hit it.  But if there isn't a morning bite, which is often the case when we have a lot of cloud cover or certain other factors, the fish may start hitting later and we'll be able to capitalize on that late bite, instead of heading in if doing a half day.  Early is usually best with sunny, stable weather.   

We worked around Aurora and then made the trek down towards the Power Plant.  Fish are distributing fairly well throughout the lake now.  Surface temps are scratching the low 60s. Greg released all fish today but if you're keeping fish you'll need a cooler with ice onboard.  Lake trout spoil quickly in 60 degree water.   All our fish came from inside 90' today. A few weedmats are starting to show up but not enough to hamper trollers too much.  

6/17/2017
Cayuga Lake 6/16 + 17

6/16:  Guided longtime client Mark I. out of Dean's Cove for the full day.  We got underway around 7 am.  After finding some lakers very shallow during the last time I was out, I thought he'd have a crack at them on the flyrod but it was not to be.  Sure enough, the thermocline just formed here.  The laker bite was also tentative to start and we were met with some winds gusting into the high teens.  Mark switched to jigging and the fishing was still slow.  He managed a couple solid 25" range fish for the grill and missed/lost a couple others.

We headed north and tried for some pickerel/pike on the fly.  Gear produced a couple pickerel in short order but the bite was also tentative on them.  Mark nabbed one small one on the fly and had another follower but that was it.  Water temp on the north end was 70. Lots of bass boats were out pre-fishing for opening weekend tournaments.

6/17 AM:  Guided Nello and his wife Jean for a 1/2 day starting right at 6:30 am.  The laker bite started out slow with Nello catching one nice fish after maybe a 1/2 hour.  Jean caught the next couple fish including a 27"er.  The bite picked up and another 4 fish or so were brought to the net.  Not as hot and heavy a bite by any means compared to the past 3 weeks or so, but still very good jigging.  The launch was a real bottleneck at around 11:15 am.  Summertime is here.  Our best action was from around 90' and then in a bit.

6/15/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/15

Guided Dan, his brother Dave and Dave's son Jay for close to a full day today. We started at 6:30 am and were blown off by rain/thunderstorms around 1 pm.  Dan has an extensive background in fisheries/fishing and it was a great day spent learning about his (now) home waters around the Adirondacks as well as about some area history pertaining to fishing/fisheries.  He was one of the researchers that determined stocking Sebago strain salmon (inlet spawners) would be better than the outlet spawners we previously had, so I feel partially indebted to him.

Fishing was pretty much top-notch today - as has been the case on Cayuga Lake over the past few weeks since the high water settled out.  The guys landed around 25 solid lakers and lost a bunch more.  One nice salmon almost made it to the net. Most of our fish came pretty shallow today.  Top fish was around 27.5".  One live lamprey came up. One wild fish. I have not seen a whole lot of wild fish this year for what it's worth. 

6/5/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Dean's Cove/Long Point 6/3, 6/4 + 6/5

Fishing has been top-notch - just downright superb on Cayuga Lake for us over the past few days.  Lake levels are back to normal and the lake clarity is good.  Surface temperatures are in the mid-upper 50s in mid-lake areas.  

6/3: Guided Dayton and Rich for the full day starting at 6:30 am. Rich was up from Minnesota for a few days. We had some great action on lake trout (and I think a salmon - though my mind is hazy after the past three days.)  The guys caught 3 very solid lakers over 30" long - up to around 32" if I remember right.  Another 15 lakers or so were landed fishing both shores of the lake. We had a lot of fun out on the lake today.  BTW - At least 3 Seneca Lake Guides have been working Cayuga this year (and last year as well.)  

6/4:  Guided Greg and Matt for the full day starting just after 6:30 am.  Low pressure and rain kept the bite pretty darn hot throughout the whole AM.  Things tapered a bit by noon. The guys knocked off a couple hours early due to the relentless rain (by that point.) Fishing was superb with pretty much non-stop action - the guys landed upwards of 35+ fish.  After a while it didn't matter.  Fish ran to 30" to 31" and probably 10lbs +.  At least one salmon was hooked.  One laker came up with a lamprey - that was it on the parasites.  Great day.

6/5:  Guided Mark and his son John for the full day.  Our last trip out was right after the flooding and we had a very tough time jigging in murky/muddy water.  Today made up for that bigtime.  The bite started slower today during the first hour (6:30 am) but then picked up. Mid-AM was excellent. A lot of salmon were around today. Vertical jigging rarely does them justice fight-wise but John managed to land 4 fish, all legal but 3 were 23" to 24" clean thick bodied beauties.  We let go the two nicest ones.  We had follows all day long from nice salmon.  The lake is loaded with bait right now and fish were taking advantage of it. The laker action was top notch with fish up to 31" again.  At least 20 lakers were landed.

As an added note, John does a bit of shorefishing around Ithaca.  He told me that the biggest goby he's caught from Taughannock has been 14" long!  That's news to me. I had no idea that they could get that big.  In Lake Ontario I'd never seen them that large before. 

6/2/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 6/1 AM

Guided Todd, Ken and Tim for a 1/2 day starting at 6:30 am.  It was time to bring out the new(er) boat for the season.  Usually I try to run it on my own first and make sure there aren't any "bugs" to be taken care of but I felt pretty confident.  Silver Lake Marine had charged my batteries and tested my outboard.  

First thing I noticed when we went to fish was that my beloved Minn-Kota Terrova motor wouldn't deploy!  I then remembered it getting tougher to deploy towards the end of last season.  Somehow I'd conveniently forgotten about it when I brought out the old boat.  So no trolling motor for the day.  

Fishing was excellent - so we dodged the proverbial bullet.  Todd has been out with me a bunch of times and had his best day laker jigging on the lake. The guys landed 18 solid lakers - a lot of 27" to 28"ers with fish to 29".   Typical June pre-thermocline pattern with periodic shallow bites and then deeper bites and vice-versa.

The wind came up around 10 am and I had to deploy the drift bag.  I love my big drift bag; it has a short line and opens up quickly and easily.  Unfortunately I was tired and/or lazy and thought I could control the drift a little bit easier by periodically firing up the big motor without pulling out the bag in order to make minor adjustments.  It worked great until I lost track of the bag and it wrapped around my prop (while running) and killed the motor.  So now I have a driftbag securely wrapped around my prop. The bag is super tight to my boat cleat and I have no trolling motor! Yowsa. Not the situation I wanted to be in. Fortunately I was able to get the clip free of the cleat (no need to cut the bag off,) unravel the bag and my motor was no worse for the wear.  We called it a day after that.  Then it was a long drive out to Boats Unlimited in Utica to drop off the Terrova and order a spare.  I'll be running my older boat for the next week or two.

5/30/2017
Lake Ontario out of Oswego 5/30

Met my buddy Terry at Wright's Landing at Oswego around 6:45 am.  We both brought gear for jigging lakers/salmon, casting for browns and casting for bass.  The lake level as most of you know is about 3' high!  The docks at Wrights are walkable without getting wet. Weather was a big issue today and unfortunately we had to cut our trip short due to heavy rain/thunderstorms that hit us around 2 pm.  

We fished around the harbor, the shoreline and out from the harbor into the deeps. The only real action we had was that Terry had a big (double-digit) brown follow in his lure up to the boat near the harbor.  This year there's a ton of bait around Oswego, which was good to see. Plenty of fish were also around it and on bottom in places but we couldn't get them to move for our jigs.  

Another 3 to 4 boats launched out of Wrights and there was a charter or two out.  All of them were trolling the shoreline clearly targeting brown trout.  Surface temps in the harbor hit 62. Most of the lake was around 49 to 52 on top.  The lake level isn't going down any time soon - it poured today.

5/28/2017
Cayuga Lake 5/26 + 27

It's been the first year in a long time that I've sat on the sidelines for the Seneca Lake Memorial Weekend Derby.  I fished it hard over the past 6 or 7 years (at the very least.) My buddy Mike and other friends are fishing it this year and action has been the slowest I've ever heard it being.  Trailering up to Geneva three days in a row was something I wasn't up for this season and I didn't feel like camping or getting a motel/hotel.  Add in the very slow fishing and I'm happy to watch from the sidelines.  I don't mind a tough bite (it comes with guiding at times) but was not up for it this year. 

Cayuga Lake remains the best (and it's not even remotely close) fishing option for lake trout and landlocked salmon this year in the eastern/mid Finger Lakes.  Canandaigua has been hot from what I've heard over the past few years.  I don't expect Seneca Lake to bounce back for lake trout for another 3 to 4 years.  DEC will conduct coldwater gillnetting this summer on Seneca Lake.  If they find lake trout numbers low (which I would have to bet on,) stocking numbers will likely be boosted.  Natural production on the lake appears to have slowed down markedly over the past 8 to 10 years.  There are wild fish around (most fish caught appear to be wild) but they aren't available in numbers high enough to provide a quality fishery. So if stocking numbers are increased, it's still going to take those yearlings a few years - like 4 or 5 to recruit into quality fish.  So Seneca anglers may have a long wait ahead of them. 

Here's the breakdown on Cayuga the last two days:

5/26:  Met Jack and Ben over at Dean's Cove.  I motored across to pick them up via boat. Jack was a longtime Lake Ontario Charter Captain.  He was there in the late 1960s right up through the heyday of the 1980s.  It's always great talking to someone with that kind of perspective and experience.  He fishes Keuka a bit and wanted to learn the jigging.  Ben has had a place at Rocky Dock for nearly 30 years.

We really couldn't have asked for a better day.  The guys landed 6 or 7 quality lake trout in the 25" to 27" range.  Ben nabbed a 26" salmon well offshore over 120'+  of water.  That was a first for me.  In all the years of deep water jigging I've been around I have never seen a salmon come out that far offshore in Cayuga Lake.  I know it happens all the time in Lake Ontario - we've caught big browns in the middle of nowhere out there, but FWIW I'd never seen it before on Cayuga or even Seneca this time of year.  The guys also got some lakers shallow near Dean's Cove.  Very good day!

5/27:  Guided my friend Mark for 1/2 day out of Long Point.  The shallows were loaded with fish.  We found that out later in the trip but we started deep (a fair number of boats were in shallow, so we went out.)  Mark nabbed a 21" salmon over deep water!  So these Sebagos are really spreading out.  Not a fluke by any means.  Mark also caught some solid lakers deep.  We finished the day shallow with both of us fishing and catching some nice lakers along the drop off.  Plenty of bait was moving in everywhere and there were plenty of nice fish on the screen!  It reminded me of how Seneca used to fish.

 

5/25/2017
Skaneateles Lake 5/24 PM

Got out for a few hours (3.5) for a quick "catch 'em and eat 'em" mission out on Skaneateles Lake.  Despite good fly-fishing water temps, I left the fly-gear at home and just grabbed a few perch setups as well as some hair jigs.  I had some halfway decent perch action - usually after the spawn there's a week or two of good fishing before fish scatter. I caught plenty of small males but managed to get a few nice females and enough fish to make it worth my while.  In one area the lakers just wouldn't leave my perch rigs alone and I had lakers hit for nearly 3 or 4 casts in a row and they pretty much destroyed my perch rigs. I thought maybe they were keying in on perch eggs but in the one laker I kept there was a nice 6" perch in its stomach!  A few of the lakers were the oftentimes emaciated Skaneateles fish - they would make Keuka anglers feel good about the plumpness of their fish!  The one I kept was in reasonable condition.

I had a hit and felt some good weight and figured I hooked a good laker or rainbow, but nope - it was a sucker!  The sucker hit my perch jig.  I was pleasantly surprised at the good battle.  While stream fishing I never thought a whole lot of the fight of suckers - compared to steelhead they don't do much.  (Redhorse have always been another story. They are a strong fish!)  So that was interesting.  Water temps remain around 52.  I even saw a guy paddleboarding today.  No wetsuit but at least he had a lifejacket on.  Yahoo season will soon be in full swing.  

5/24/2017
Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 5/23

Went out to check out lower Seneca Lake with my buddy Terry.  I saw winds forecast to be south 3 to 6 mph.  Unfortunately we had dead calm conditions for most of our day (which started around 10:45 am.)  That made for good fish watching but tough catching. Water temps ran the gamut from 49 to 55 on the surface in a lot of areas.  

The lake looks great (much better than last year at this time for obvious reasons - we don't have the drought and have had ample cool weather and rain. )  It's crystal clear and the weed growth hasn't really gotten too far underway yet.  We saw a few nice pike, perch, bass, carp, bullheads and even lake trout cruising by in various areas. The lake has got solid numbers of salmon and browns in it this year, though lamprey numbers are high.  I had a few reports thoughout the winter of fair to good salmon/brown trout fishing.  It doesn't come close to what Cayuga Lake was putting out this past winter. But the analogy is more like Charles Barkley playing great basketball - he was just unfortunately overshadowed by Michael Jordan.  Seneca has been decent on salmonids apart from lake trout.

Fishing was tough. In one area we saw an aggragation of probably 20+ brown trout and salmon.  But it was crystal clear and even fly-casting tended to spook the fish.  We came back a little later with light winds and I managed a gorgeous 21" brown (I kept it - 4lbs) on a gray winged bionic smelt fly.  Terry was casting a jig and got hammered.  He set into a large fish (I am guessing brown trout) that ran out a lot of line and dug deep.  Then he lost the fish for no apparent reason.  His jig came back with a huge half-digested alewife on it! He probably never had a hook in the trout - he'd just snagged a baitfish hanging out of the trout's throat/mouth!  We had never seen that happen in our combined 90 years of fishing experience!

5/21/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/21

Guided Ryan and Jay for what wound up being a long 1/2 day.  Started at 8 am with Ryan nabbing a 27" laker on his first drop with the jig!  That was great, but then we didn't have another hit for hours later.  Eventually Jay picked up a nice wild fish around 23".  Bite was a lot tougher than yesterday - mix the slow bite in with 14 to 20 mph south winds and it was difficult fishing and boat control.  Same deal as yesterday with depths - we had that first fish around 80' and the second in around 120' to 130'.   Looks like most of the rain tonight will miss us.  We'll see.

5/20/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/20

Did a full day trip with John and Rob with Drew and Drew following us in another boat.  The guys have fished Otsego Lake and usually fish Cayuga.  They were in for a treat today with plenty of healthy fat lake trout making it to the net throughout the day.  Between both boats over 20 solid fish were landed and probably that many were missed/dropped too.  Rob was dead-tired and spent most of the day asleep so John did most of the fishing on my boat. Fish mostly ran 25" to 27".  I did some dropping while the guys took a break and managed a 29"er as well. They were strong fighting fish as well - many diving back down towards the bottom after being worked upwards.  50' to 130' was the range.  Water temps are creeping up on the surface.  I saw a salmon cruising the shoreline when we dropped Rob off to get a bite to eat by the Aurora Market.  Salmon truly are all over the place on Cayuga.

5/19/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 5/19

Guided Mark I. for a full day of fly-fishing.  Winds were weird with dead calmconditions to start at 9 am, then a hard northerly.  The forecast morning cloud cover never materialized.

Fishing was good to start with Mark nabbing a big chunky smallmouth (18"+) in short order.  Then he caught a nice 23" laker.  A brown around 17" and fat came a bit later as did a decent landlock.  Fishing got tougher for us as the wind kept getting stronger.  Eventually the breakers forced us to try some more sheltered areas.  We wound up further south and Mark picked up a solid salmon around 21".  That was pretty much it for the day - he had some follows and hits but the action was pretty sporadic.  Hard rain pushed more muddy water into the lake, but it wasn't too bad.  Water level is still high.  Surface temps range from 51 to 53, though I expect colder water up north in areas like Long Point. 

5/18/2017
Skaneateles Lake 5/17 PM + Cayuga Lake 5/18

Skaneateles 5/17:  Met Don (whose family has a place on the lake) at the launch at 2 pm.  New postings by the NYSDEC make it clear that the limited parking at the launch is just for users - not for people meeting up with boaters.  I'm not sure how much this is being enforced at present.  I would expect heavy enforcement during weekends and during weekdays around peak boating times, like the month of July. We'll see how it goes.  

Today was a fly-fishing trip.  I'd call the fishing really good (while the wind stayed up) but the catching ok.  Don had some good opportunities but some fish were a bit tentative.  We had one knot failure (that stuff rarely ever happens and is on me) where about a 20" rainbow or salmon hit twice and the line broke at the set.  I use 10lb thin diameter tippet and really check my knots well.  But sometimes this stuff just happens for whatever the reason.  Don had a nice laker follow him in - maybe a 23" to 24" fish.  He landed a 20" salmon that appeared to be a dropback.  This fish had an elongated head and it was clear that it was a male.  I'm guessing it had spawned last fall.  It was a little thin and survived the vigors of spawning not too worse for the wear.  He had hits/chases from a several other fish too - two nice rainbows/salmon and one small one.  

Beautiful day to be on the lake.  Water temps on the surface were 48/51. Boat traffic was very light.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 5/18:  Met my buddy Terry at the launch around 10:30 am. The forecast called for strong southerlies and we were anticipating having to hide behind various points today.  The wind was basically dead out there - nothing until the storms hit the area around 5 pm and we were both home or on the way home.  Go figure!

We had some mixed bag salmonid casting today.  I never broke out the fly-rod, but casting resulted in my losing a nice brown and a laker (that had some beautiful colors.)  I dropped what had to be a solid salmon and wound up landing a laker shallow.  Not quite the day I was hoping for!   Terry really had the hot hand - and he is an excellent angler;  he landed 4 nice salmon and dropped some good ones as well.  We had numerous hits and follows as well today.  Water temps ran from 49 to 53.

Expect quite a few boats on the water this weekend on Cayuga Lake for the Bears/Barneys Spring Derby.  I don't enter that contest but we will be out fishing lakers in all likelihood. I'm looking forward to seeing what the leaderboard looks like.  

 

5/16/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers 5/16

Guided longtime client Gordon for just under a full day today starting at 10:30 am.  Some parts of the lake are still producing top notch salmon action and I had Gordon working those areas today, both with conventional gear and his favorite method of fishing - fly-fishing.  Action was excellent for much of the day despite the calm, flat conditions.  He landed over a dozen mostly legal fish up to around 21.5".  Great fights all the way around with plenty of jumps.  Plenty of other fish showed themselves.  Water temps have stayed down around the 48 to 51 degree mark, which is making a big difference.  The next two days will spike temps a bit, but we should see decent casting and fly-casting for salmon over the next two weeks with a little luck.   All fish released today.  We had two live lampreys come up on fish.  Most had scars.

5/13/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 5/13

Guided Duane and his son Chris for a full day today.  Cayuga's level is still high and water temps are around 48 to 51 degrees on top.  Lake trout jigging was a bit slow to start and then really picked up.  The guys landed 5 solid fish with a couple 28 inchers.  Casting stickbaits shallow resulted in a 27" hard fighting beauty for Duane.

We made a run south and did some casting for salmon. Chris had a few follows and hooked what appeared to be a solid fish - it may have even been a smallmouth. One dink was landed.  As I mentioned before, salmon really seem to be scattering. Baitfish are also gradually moving in shallower.

Stable weather should really get the laker bite up to par.  One large fish was wild. No lamprey activity on any of the lakers - the parasites are probably finding enough fish further south to keep a lot of them down there.  

5/12/2017
Cayuga Lake 5/10 -12

Salmon fishing has been good to excellent here this past week, even in spite of the calm conditions.  Most debris has blown to shore or settled out, water temps on the surface are ranging from 48 to 50 degrees, which is perfect salmon/brown trout/lake trout temps.  The only drawback is that these temps are everywhere and the fish are all over the place - shallow and out from shore and up and down the lake.  Expect alewives to start moving in shortly.  They are already around some of the marinas.

5/10:  Guided my friend Silene and her father Dave for a half day.  It was calm and clear out - basically finesse time for salmon.  They did well landing 7 or 8 fish including a couple nice ones.  A lot of fish were following and hitting.  We did see some smallmouth bass and a few perch in shallow in one area.

5/11:  Got out with my buddy Mike for some salmon fly-fishing.  We started with some good action near shore in one area.  Mike really had the hot hand.  I was experimenting with a shorter leader (on my intermediate line) and my new "Bionic Bozo" fly.  I had a fish or two hookup but nothing special.

As the day went on, Mike kept landing fish while I kept missing them.  I don't think I was doing anything wrong - it was just one of those things.  I switched out flies and leaders and still missed fish.  I finally had a nice fish circle my fly and grab it.  It was game on and without a doubt the biggest salmon I'd seen all day, if not all season. I knew that from the start.  After a terrific fight with a great jump Mike netted a beauty - it measured 29" long and was probably in the 10lb range!  My 2nd best all-timer!   Mike almost had a 19"er break his flyrod today.  They really can fight!   Awesome day and we got great photos this time, unlike last year's 30.5"er when I was by myself.  It's swimming around Cayuga as we speak, ready to make someone else's day.

My webmaster wanted to do some serious upgrades to this site, but he got busy just before we were ready to roll, so I didn't put up any photos yet from last year.  Sooner or later they will go up.

5/12:  Guided Eric and Jim today for a half day.  They are both very good anglers - Eric does a lot of BASS tournaments.  They had terrific fishing today landing over 20 salmon and browns.  Many of the salmon were in the 17" range, but they had some good ones in the low 20s.  Eric landed his first solid brown - a fat 17"er.  All fish released today which is always nice.

My favorite way to catch salmon is with the fly-rod, so after our trip I headed back out for around 2 to 3 hours.  My favorite way to fly-fish is topwater.  And today I managed a nice 21" salmon that crushed a Gartside Gurgler.  I also missed 3 other hits.  Just awesome stuff!   

5/7/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers 5/7

Despite the ample rainfall, Cayuga Lake continues to provide good to excellent casting (and trolling) for Landlocked Atlantic Salmon, brown trout and occasional lake trout.  The weather forecasts have been a little bit daunting for this time of year with cold temperatures, rain and wind but those willing to dress up a bit have had enjoyable action.

Today I did a 6 hour day with Florian.  He was hoping for salmon and brown trout and the fishing wound up good. The weather wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be - the north winds over a 46 degree lake actually made the day feel warmer than it was temperature-wise.   We were underway around 9 am and within 45 minutes he connected with a 21" salmon.  Then came a 17"er.  Both fish were scarred up a bit. Fishing stayed good throughout most of the day apart from the last hour.  He wound up landing a 17" brown and a couple more good 20" to 21" salmon.  He also lost a nice salmon and had follows from quite a few salmon as well as some nice browns. Stickbaits did the trick today. Water temps ran around 45 - 46 degrees.  There's a lot of muddy water around. Debris was fairly minimal considering the rainfall we've had, but there are still some massive logs (some floating VERTICALLY) that could easily take out a lower unit if you're not careful with the boating.

Memorial Day Weekend remains open for trips. I am taking a break from the Seneca Derby this year.  I don't feel like camping or getting a motel and commuting daily is a lot more like work than fun, so I'll watch from the sidelines.  I expect a tough laker bite but pretty good browns, rainbows and salmon.  But if you're looking to get out, Memorial Weekend is a very low boater traffic weekend on most lakes around here.  Cottage/Homeowners are usually just opening up their houses for the season.  So only a few boats tend to be out for much of the weekend.

4/30/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers 4/28 - 4/30

Normally by this time of year I've made a few trips to Seneca, maybe one to Owasco or Keuka and a couple to Skaneateles and Lake Ontario, but Cayuga Lake has been fishing so well it's been tough to go anywhere else.  Another consideration is that I've really had to relearn the lake this year.  Fish have been in different areas, mostly due to the abundant goby population, so it's been a lot of fun "recalibrating" my view of the lake. Another factor has been all the high water. So on Friday instead of going to Skaneateles Lake (which I really wanted to do) I headed back to Cayuga Lake with my friend Silene to do some scouting/pre-fishing for a fly-fishing guide trip I had scheduled for Saturday.  The lake has been a muddy, debris-filled mess for the most part over the past 3 weeks, especially from Ithaca north past Taughannock.

4/28: Spent Friday afternoon doing some scouting and fishing with Silene.  I did a lot of motoring looking for clear, warm, relatively debris-free water. I finally found some and we started fishing.  She has had a lot of slow fishing on her own in the past and her comment to me after a 1/2 hour of no sign of fish was "I don't think there are fish here."  About 5 minutes later she landed a 24" salmon on a rebel minnow.  Needless to say, she got a bit of ribbing for that comment.  She landed another fish or two a little bit later and then a few more on the day.  I was scouting with some jigs.  We both caught some nice smallmouths - one being a 20" fat pig that had to be close to 5lbs.  (Keep in mind that we are dealing with goby-fed brutes now, not the typical 20" Fingerlakes smallmouth that might be 3.5 to 4lbs.)  I got out my flyrod and had some hits and landed a nice salmon as well around 19".  So I was in good shape for my trip on Saturday.

4/29:  Did a PM 1/2 day with Gordon and Barry, both originally from Toronto. These guys have fly-fished all over the globe and had some good stories of cool fish they'd caught. We pretty much found the fish right where we'd left them and Barry landed two or three within 45 minutes - all nice 19" range salmon/browns.  Gordon had a lot of follows and short hits and eventually nabbed one or two on the fly. The wind came up a bit and they guys wanted to give their arms a break so we switched over to gear.  They did great and even had a double.  We wound up with at least 7 salmon and 3 browns plus a bonus smallmouth. A couple really big browns and salmon followed in the guys flies and lures at times!  There are some very nice fish in Cayuga this year!

I keep the boat limit at two browns or salmon per angler, so they kept a total of four fish. When I cleaned the two salmon and two browns I found a mix of alewives, gobies and insects - mostly the latter two.  Some salmon were doing a little feeding up top.  Great day and the guys were both surprised and impressed with how good the Fingerlakes fishing was - actually "great" is probably the key word.  I did let them know that the lake is really fishing about as good as I've seen it over the past 20 years.  

4/30:  Got out for just over 4 hours on my own to get in some fly-fishing and do more scouting.  In a nutshell, I had great fishing but slow catching today.  I landed a couple chunky browns - one 14"er and one 17"er.  I probably should have gone early this AM but wanted to see how the weather shaped up.  I didn't throw any stickbaits which would surely have procured more fish for me - I mostly stuck with the flies, but it was great fun - I had a lot of short hits and plenty of follows from solid fish.  For some reason they were tentative.  Some of it may have been me, most of it likely the conditions.  

Looks like more rain this week.  Stay tuned....

 

 

 

 

4/27/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 4/26 + 27

Laker jigging is gradually returning to form here. Vast areas of cloudy/murky water are floating around the lake and debris is being blown around by the wind.  The lake is still at a flood level, though launchable/boatable.  

4/26:  Guided newlyweds Jon and Amber today for a 1/2 day.  Jon's a diehard fly-fisherman but wanted Amber to have a good chance of getting into some fish so we went with the lakers instead of salmon.  It was a good call. Despite my console electronics being disabled (due to either a faulty toggle or a bad fuse - though I couldn't find any bad fuses...) we made out alright.  Getting too hung up on electronics can sometimes work against an angler, especially this time of year when lakers are all over the lake from 10' to 200'.  

Fishing started out well with Jon having a quick hit or two, then it slowed for 2 hours before picking up again. Some nice fish were landed today by both Jon and Amber with 5 lakers caught up to 28".  We had a 27" as well as some fish in the 18" to 23" range.  Water clarity was good and the wind was non-existent.  Fish came from out to 135' or so.

4/27:  Guided Mike, whom I hadn't seen in probably 10 years.  He fishes Owasco Lake a lot and wanted to learn Cayuga.  Today was a very different ballgame with winds ranging from 10 to 20 mph (mostly around 13 gusting to 17) and some large areas of debris (in shallow) and murky water (mainly to the north - i.e. the cliffs and Levanna.)  

I was able to update Mike on the changes we've been doing regarding tackle and technique. We had slow but not bad (steady) fishing today.  He landed 4 nice fish up to 27" He also dropped another 3 and had a couple hits that didn't connect.  Tough conditions but not bad.  Fish came from around 60' out to nearly 150'.  Surface temps are hitting 46/48.  

4/23/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 4/23 - midday

Met Mark, John and John's girlfriend Julia at Long Point State Boat launch at 10:30 am for a 1/2 day laker trip.  The guys had hammered the lakers out with me last summer.  We were a bit concerned about the lake's high water and mud, but within about 20 minutes of fishing Mark nabbed a very solid laker around 26".  Unfortunately it was a slow go after that.  A few other hits and momentary hookups were had but the fishing was tough.  We ran south to AES, where the water is often clearer after heavy rains.  The water was clearer, but the numbers of fish we encountered we not great.  (We did have hits there.) Clearly the fish are there but our timing wasn't good.  Given how tough our fishing was, I kept the gang out for a bit longer than usual.  Fish appeared to turn on a little during the last hour of our trip but it wasn't enough to land anymore fish.  

Lake level is still very high.  There's a ton of small debris around but very little big stuff that I could see.  It was a gorgeous day to be out and we certainly enjoyed the weather.  Surface temps have risen into the mid to upper 40s in places.

4/21/2017
Cayuga Lake 4/20 + 21

4/20:  Launched out of Taughannock with regular Mark I, who usually fly-fishes.  I felt that we could have a good salmon day today.  The fog delayed our trip by an hour and a half and it never really did burn off.  Fishing was very slow to start. For four hours of fishing he had one hit.  We tried some different areas and tactics and eventually started picking up fish.  He wound up having a great day with 8 mostly nice salmon landed and one big 25.5" pickerel.  Fish came on intermediate fly-lines and a woolly bugger. Some came on gear as well.  It was a catch and release day today and we at least were able to take care of a couple lampreys.  

4/21 PM:  After last night's rain I was really wondering what conditions would be like today. We got pummelled with rain late yesterday PM (both while fishing and later on.)  The ground is obviously still saturated and all that muddy runoff went right into the lakes.  The idiotic "ditching" that the local highway departments seem to be so fond of doing does virtually nothing to help anything that I can see.  You get sheer muddy water running right into the lakes. The water still pools up along the roadside, because the system is imperfect. A ditch will just end for no reason.  There's still tons of erosion - much more that there would be if the grass were just left there.  It is a complete waste of time and money. But I digress....

We launched after a brief heavy rainstorm.  Inshore water was very muddy and full of debris, but we were lucky that the winds were mild and kept the mud and junk in shallow. We had a start when Michael landed two lakers from 18" to 23" within the first hour and a half. Fishing was slow afterwards for a couple hours then picked up notably.  Another 4 lakers were landed including LeAnn's 28"er and Norris's solids running 25" to 27".  We had one wild fish and Norris also managed a 19"er.  Fish were feeding on gobies and alewives.  It was a fun trip!

4/18/2017
Cayuga Lake 4/17 + 18

We had two very different days on Cayuga Lake.  Things are finally settling after the flood conditions.  There's some nice warm water around creek mouths and in the southern end of the lake, but north winds have also periodically been mixing and pushing water plateaus all over.  We also have salmon that are taking advantage of two very different food sources - alewives (which are moving into the marinas and likely elsewhere) and the ubiquitous gobies.   

4/17:  Guided Stan and his boys Andrew and John for a 1/2 day.  We were originally going to salmon fish for a full day on Sunday and switch the boys out (do 1/2 day with Stan and one of the kids..), which would've been good in hindsight - but there were forecasts for very high winds, so we went with Monday.  Lake trout didn't seem to be an option with the strong north winds forecast for Monday. (FYI-  I know these guys well and Stan knows the deal with my 3 person rule, but he wanted to give the casting a shot for salmon, so I made an exception to my usual policy.) 

Fishing was very tough for us.  I did the first cast to demo what we'd be doing and show a few things that I like to see regarding the tackle (e.g. closing the bail on the spinning reels by hand, not by cranking) and lo and behold I got a solid strike.  I figured we'd wind up having some good fishing but it was not to be.  Andrew probably had 3 hits/follows but nada.  11 year old John did a good job with the casting but never had any action and Stan had a hit or two then a follow from a solid salmon in the low 20s inch range but that was it. 

Water was high and quite a bit of debris was still around. (For what it's worth, my buddy Mike fished the PM and also struggled.)  But two tough salmon trips in a row!  Ouch...

4/18 AM:  Today wound up being the opposite case.  The water levels dropped a bit more and most of the debris washed up onshore - it's just about gone.  I had Bill and George work a lot of the same stuff we used yesterday in different areas but we never saw a fish.  We had to fish some different areas using different lures and hit paydirt.  Within 2 hours the guys wound up landing 9 salmon up to 26" and one solid spawned out rainbow at 23".  Two of the salmon were 12" dinks and it was good to see them around.  The rest were legal sized fish. My boat limit for anglers targeting salmon is 2 per person.  So the guys kept 4.  One was a bleeder that had no chance of making it and one of the others wound up with a messed up eye.  So that was two of them.   Fish fought great.  George is no spring chicken and he told me it was "...one of the best fishing days I've ever had."   After two skunkings in a row, it was quite a relief.   

I received my DEC Region 7 Diary Results/Reports in the mail last week.  Lots of interesting info is on the reports.  I was disappointed to only see around 25 cooperators on Cayuga Lake.  There used to be upwards of 70 to 80 or more!  That's not a lot of information for DEC to base (in part) their management decisions upon!  Whether you troll, cast, fly-cast or still-fish your assistance really helps DEC.  Even if you only get out a handful of times a year or just shore fish or kayak fish.  So if you've never done it, or used to - please consider keeping a book this year.  For example, DEC will be fin-clipping the two strains of rainbows stocked on Skaneateles Lake to see which one performs better. The diary results will probably be the main way this is assessed, so it isn't something to be taken lightly.  I wouldn't want DEC to have to go back to doing "Spring Brown Trout Assessments" and setting up lethal gillnets to check on how the trout are doing.  It's much easier and better for the fish if YOU do your part!

 

 

 

4/15/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 4/15 AM

Guided Jeff and his sons Kyle and Joe for a 1/2 day of laker jigging today.  The bite was slow to start but picked up after a couple hours.  The guys landed around 7 fish with a couple 27" to 28"ers in the mix.  Deeper water was what we fished today - around 120' to 150'.  The fish I cleaned had alewives in them - no gobies.  One fish had a good lamprey hit.  The others were clean apart from one healed up scar.

Water levels dropped a couple inches today - or so it seemed.  Water temps are still in the 41 to 43 degree range off of Long Point. The lake is warming nicely down south.  Past clients/Angling Zone friends had some top notch salmon fly-fishing today out of Myers.   Again - I expect around another 3 to 4 weeks of good salmon fishing. 

4/14/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers 4/14 PM

Got out with Ed and Linn for a 1/2 day trip starting at 2:30 pm. The lake is still as high as it has been over the past week - it hasn't dropped noticeably yet. There are large expanses of warmer water along the east shore going way out towards the middle of the lake. This definitely spreads fish out and makes it more of a troller's game until things subside. That being said, casting and fly-casting can still be productive and should be for another 3 to 4 weeks.  

We had a slow go this afternoon, especially when compared to the fishing of the past 4+1/2 months.  Ed fly-casted and Linn casted gear.  Linn had a hit and around ten minutes later connected with a solid salmon that jumped twice before throwing the hook. It was likely in the 20" to 21" range.  That was it on the day.

We hopped around a bit today and didn't work any areas very thoroughly - that may have hurt us, but it's tough to pinpoint fish when they can be in so many different areas. Salmon action is reportedly picking up further uplake, so our concentrations of winter fish have likely dispersed quite a bit.  Time will tell.

4/11/2017
Cayuga Lake 4/10 + 11

4/10 out of Long Point:  Guided Paul and Cindy for a 1/2 day starting around 8 am.  Lake trout fishing started a little slow but wound up being top-notch for this time of year with over a 1/2 dozen fish landed including three in the 27" to 28" range.  Paul and Cindy were both surprised and impressed with the quality of the fishing and catching.  Kept fish had gobies in their stomachs.  Lamprey wounding was very light.  Fish came from shallow out to around 140' FOW.  

4/11 out of Taughannock:  Well the lake sure came up a bit!  The ramp area was flooded at Taughannock and we cleared the bridge by about 8".  If your boat has a lot of height or a cabin, don't bother launching here.  You won't make it under the bridge.  Michael and his son Colin were staying with family on Seneca Lake and wanted to give the fishing a try. We started with some salmon casting and after trying a couple areas Colin had a solid hit from a fish in the low 20s" range that didn't stay on.  We did some laker jigging near AES and the guys each landed fish - Mike had a solid one at 26" and Colin a smaller on just over 16"

Unfortunately our trip got cut a bit short by an incoming storm.  It's hard to know what to do in these situations - safety has to come first.  Also there's the high water and getting back under the bridge, which could be very tough with wave displacement!   A one foot wave wound send the windshield and us into the bridge structure.  A two footer?  Forget it. So we headed in.  Overall I was hoping for more action but given the calm conditions, very high water and debris/murky areas, I felt pretty good about how things turned out. Water temps are running from 40 to 46.  

4/9/2017
Cayuga Lake 4/9 PM out of Myers

I have a pretty full slate of guiding trips this week, so I figured I may as well get down to Myers and launch the boat so I could see what the conditions were like after the rain. My friend Silene was up for a couple hours on the boat and she brought her friend Alyssa, so it was a good chance to get out, fish a little and kick back.  We were only out for about 2.5 hours.  

The lake level is very high.  You launch your boat and you have to step up to get onboard.  I expect the level to drop this week with the warm weather and mainly dry conditions in the forecast. Water is warming with all of the warm runoff and I saw temps up to 43 degrees out there.  Alyssa had never fished much at all except a little bit when she was a child, so I showed her how to cast and work lures.  As luck would have it, on her 4th or 5th cast she hooked and landed a nice jumping salmon around 23" to 24"!  Silene also caught one around 22".  I was happy given the high water and relatively calm conditions.  I cast gear as well for awhile but never had any hits.  

There was a huge debris (aka scum line) along the east shore of the lake south of Portland Point.  This is not a good time to zip around the lake fast. A submerged log can turn up just about anywhere.  I expect pretty good fishing this week with the warm relatively stable weather.  We'll see!

4/5/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 4/5

Got out with my buddy Terry from around 11 am till 5:30 pm.  We spent half of our day targeting lake trout and the rest chasing perch.  Lake trout fishing was excellent. Terry landed the first three fish in less than a half an hour.  Within an hour and a half we had the five fish I wanted for my smoker.  They were fighting great as well.  We wound up landing around 10 fish from shallow out to 150'.  Lamprey wounding was low, but this will likely change once the parasites infiltrate the rest of the lake (they have been coming(aka "transforming) from out of the inlet.)  They are gobbling gobies.  We had two fish in the 27" to 28" range.  Two were wild.  

We didn't really do justice to the perch fishing.  We landed around 12 or 15 with only 5 keepers.  A few pickerel also found our perch setups.  We stayed away from the pack for the most part.  Perch fishing pressure is high here but there is plenty of room to fish and the fish are widely distributed - you can catch a few just about anywhere on the lake's north end.  Mud was a factor.  Water temps hit 43 up here.  

4/3/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers 4/2 PM + 4/3 PM

I have been taking full advantage of the top-notch salmon/brown trout fishing we've had throughout this season.  This has been a great year for salmon action on Cayuga Lake. Large numbers of 17" to 22" fish are available.  A few smaller and larger fish are also around. Lamprey activity has been high with most fish having at least one wound on them.  

4/2:  Guided Don and his nephew Greg for a 1/2 day.  Greg is just about 12 years old and the guys joined me for a couple trips last year.  Fishing started out a little slow but before long Don landed a nice salmon on his Temple Forks 7 wt. flyrod.  Fishing wound up being solid with 5 nice fish landed on the afternoon.  Greg took two fish on stickbaits;  Don's came on white bionic smelt flies, both fished on a floating and intermediate line.  Other hits were had as well.

4/3:  Got out on my own today for around 4 1/2 hours.  Despite the calm conditions the fishing wound up being very good to downright excellent.  I did some exploring and a fair amount of gear fishing as well as fly-fishing.  I wound up landing 10 salmon and one brown - 8 of those fish came in areas I hadn't fished yet this year, so that was great. Water temps are hovering around 40 degrees though some east shore areas were pushing 43.

I've purchased some new equipment and am very happy with it. As usual, SAGE is making some amazing rods.  I've fished the SAGE X, Method and Motive.  All have been superb casting rods and the 6 weights are terrific salmon rods.  

3/31/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Myers 3/30 PM

Got out with my buddy Eric today and we mainly fly-fished until just about dark (7:15 pm or so.)  At times we worked some jigs.  Conditions didn't look great for salmon fishing, but with the great numbers of fish available this year as well as the changes in their habits, it didn't really matter much.  We landed a good number of fish up to around 22".  I got a chance to cast a couple of new fly-rods that I'd bought recently and they were both fantastic (a Sage X and a Sage Salt.)  Water temps got up around 39/40.  Water levels are at full pool.  I kept one fish today and it was stuffed with gobies. Fish were fairly scarred up and we had one live lamprey come onboard.

I have plenty of availability in April, so if you're looking to get out for some salmon or lake trout action, now's the time!   My SAGE RPL+ and Diamondback Diamondfly rods are still available if anybody is interested.  I may sell some other rods off later this year.   

3/21/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/21

I heard birds chirping for the first time this year a couple days ago. Photoperiods are getting noticeably longer.  We witnessed thousands of snow geese on Cayuga Lake today - it was an awe-inspiring sight!  Spring is definitely in the air but it may still take a few days before it actually feels like it.

Guided Mark I. for the full day today starting around 10 am. We started with some salmon fly-fishing but then quickly went to laker jigging.  The jigging was good with Mark landing three nice lakers in around 2 hours.  We then switched back to salmon flyfishing.  The bite has been off and on for us pretty much all season. The fish are around just about everywhere but the bites can be tentative.  Mark wound up doing very well with four solid Landlockeds landed - all in the 20" to 22" range.  The fish were in nice plump condition for the most part and fought great. We used intermediate and full sinking lines with flies in various colors - white, gray and chartruese/orange. 

I had Mark keep the lakers for me for my smoker or maybe chowder and we harvested two of the salmon that had some serious lamprey hits.  One very small live lamprey came up on a fish.  The parasitic eel like creatures are definitely a factor this year in Cayuga Lake, but there appears to be enough hosts around so that the lampreys are acting more "parasitic" than "predatory."  They are basically attaching to fish for awhile then moving onto another host rather than killing the fish and then moving on.  That's good.  With fewer hosts they will stick with a fish until they kill it.

The reason I started this report with comments on the coming of spring was that the salmon I cleaned had been gorging on alewives. Fish we've kept this winter for the most part had been feeding on a mix of alewives and gobies with gobies dominating in certain parts of the lake. When we've found alewives in fish, there weren't many in their stomachs. Alewives are likely gradually moving up due to the lengthening photoperiods. After all, the water temperatures really haven't warmed up that much.  

3/17/2017
Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 3/17

Got out on my own for some shorefishing today from around 1:30 pm till 6 or so.  I worked three different areas.  Fishing was very slow in my first two and very good in the third.  My fish came on flies today, though I did throw some gear for a bit.  Fish were biting in a peculiar manner at times, not really committing to the fly.  I lost a very solid salmon, then missed a couple hits, lost another that hit after a bad "dump cast" then landed and let go one around 18".   Had another couple hits and I finally hooked up with a great fish.  Some great runs (got me right on the reel,) a lot of turns, more runs, more dogging - just a classic nice salmon battle.  I kept this fish and it was 24" long and weighed 5lbs 3oz despite having a lamprey hit.   The fish appeared to be eating small gobies. It's my understanding that gobies don't have quite the level of thiaminase that alewives have, so perhaps that is contributing to the vigor that many of this year's salmon are showing.  I don't know.  They're also feeding a lot this winter, so that must help too.  

I did not take a water temperature but would expect the lake temp to have dropped a degree (at least) during the high winds and major snowstorm.

Lake Ontario's alewives still aren't "out of the woods" temperature-wise this winter.  A late winter with more cooling and uneven weather could create some issues there.  We'll see how things shape up.  Right now we're looking at some cold temps over the next week on most days. Cold but fishable!

3/6/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 3/6 AM

Guided a half day trip with Chris and Greg starting around 9 am. Fishing was good for Landlocked salmon with the guys landing three nice fish in the 20" to 22" range. The two 20" fish had fresh lamprey wounds on them. We kept one of the smaller fish and it had a fresh alewife in its stomach.  

A couple other fish were lost and we had some follows and hits as well.  Water temps were 39 degrees on top and the lake level had come up a little bit.  It may drop again (it likely WILL drop again since it's very unlikely that the DOT is raising the lake at this point in time.)   Greg remembered me from way back in my old Irondequoit Creek days (1977 onwards) so that was quite the blast from the past!  He was a friend of an old fishing buddy of mine.

2/28/2017
Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen 2/28

Decided to check out Seneca Lake today with my buddy Terry.  We brought tackle for salmon/trout, pike and lake trout jigging.  I had pike and trout/salmon fly-gear in tow but never broke it out.  This time of year there are usually a bunch of boats out targeting perch. I saw maybe one. A local told us that perch fishing wasn't worth it.  Trout and salmon action has been slow by some accounts though I know someone who has had fair to very good fishing from shore at times this winter.  There are decent numbers of landlocked salmon and brown trout available on Seneca Lake.  It doesn't come close to what Cayuga has been producing, but if you live around Watkins Glen or further west, it may be worth a try on occasion - especially if you don't like fishing around other anglers or the extra drivetime to Cayuga.

We spent most of the day (which started at 10:45 am and went till around 4:15 pm) targeting trout and salmon with spinning gear.  I had a few follows from some salmon including one nice one (over 20".)  Terry got clocked at least once on a hair jig.  I cast stickbaits.  I connected with some silver in one area and we netted a chunky brown over 16" that I kept.  It did have two lamprey scars on it - one fresh and one healed.  That was it. We did see some fish below our lures.  So the salmon numbers are fair.  A year or two ago we saw next to nothing!  So it's better than it was then (take this with a grain of salt given that this was our first time out in a boat there this season.)

We checked out a lake trout area and I marked a fair number of fish.  Fewer than past years, but it wasn't terrible.  No hits.  The conditions weren't great for laker jigging.  We tried a couple areas for pike kind of quickly as the day wound down and did not encounter any fish.  Water temp on top was around 39 to 41.  Lake level was low but still good for launching.  I can't argue with 62 degree air temps on the last day of February!

2/24/2017
Cayuga Lake 2/22 - 24

I never thought I'd see t-shirt weather here in the Finger Lakes Region on February 24th, but my car thermometer got up to 77 degrees today!  As long as we don't hit 115 degrees this summer, I'll take this warm weather on occasion.  After all, there's nothing I can do about it. 

Fly-fishing and gear-casting for landlocked salmon, brown trout and occasional lakers has been very good thus far this winter.  Action picked up for us over the past few days.  Water temps were around 39 on Wednesday (and on last Sunday) and hit over 41 degrees today. I'm sure we'll be in for more winter weather sooner or later - certainly in March.

2/22:  Got out with my friend Silene for around 5 hours of fishing.  I cast flies and she worked gear.  She hadn't had any luck last time we were out but her luck changed today. We had some very good fishing for a couple hours with us landing 7 decent fish - 2 browns (one around 16" and one at 18" - though very fat) and 5 salmon up to just under 22" (basically 21.5".)  We kept her nicer brown and two salmon that had lamprey hits on them. Great fun.  She caught most of the fish today, which was great to see.  My fish came on my Bionic Smelt fly and an intermediate line and hers came on a stickbait and a tube jig.

2/23:  Got out with my buddy Terry for around 5 hours of fishing.  I went with my fly-tackle most of the day and he went with spinning gear.  We had terrific action with us having a lot of follows but also landing some hard fighting fish.  I landed a 24" salmon and a couple smaller ones (nice to see some dinks around.)  Terry landed a 19" salmon plus a super hard fighting brown that went 24".  It was as fat as any I've ever seen.  I'd bet it weighed 7lbs.   Certainly over 6 for sure. We released everything today.  Had a lot of follows too.  One laker hookup shallow as well.

2/24:  I had an email from Tracee who was in the region looking for a fishing date for her and her husband Harry.  She read my reports and thought perhaps the fishing was slow, given that the past weekend's fly-fishing trips only resulted in a couple browns (though me and my friend Jeff did well on lakers.)  I let her know that we were fly-fishing for the most part and it does have its limitations.  I rarely expect to catch as many fish as a gear guy or a troller. So she was reassured and we booked the half day.

They were impressed with the fishing today.  We started with jigging lakers and two were brought to the net.  Casting stickbaits for salmon resulted in another laker and two salmon - one around 20" and one at 18".  We kept all the lakers and the bigger salmon (that also had a lamprey scar.)  Stomach checks revealed gobies.   Great day and you could never ask for better weather!  Rain was to the north of us this AM but Ithaca never received a drop!

2/20/2017
Cayuga Lake 2/18 + 19

Launched out of Taughannock on both days. The goal was to fly-fish salmon.  Fished with my friend Jeff on Saturday starting around 10:45 am.  I met him back in 2004 or '05 when I worked at Bass Pro Shops.  He's an avid fly-fisherman.  We had terrific fishing but slow catching over the first few hours.  We found plenty of fish and had follows but strikes were few and far in between.  The salmon were tentative.  I managed one brown just a hair shy of 15". We set up for lakers and had some great jigging action with 4 fish landed between us in around 2 hours.  We also missed other hits and dropped a fish or two.  The smoker will be running this week!

Yesterday was a full day guide trip with Mark I.  I gave him the option of Sunday with warm temps but poor winds and today (Monday) with cold temps but good winds.  He went with the nicer day.  Winds were dead calm after an hour of light southerlies.  We were able to see deep into the lake and spotted plenty of suckers along with a few salmon in a few different locations.  We even saw a lake trout.  

Just as I was debating setting up for laker jigging, the winds came up strong out of the north. Fish activated a bit but were still tough/tentative for us.  Gear fishing likely would've been productive but we stuck with fly-fishing.  It was hard to cover water effectively due to the strong winds pushing the boat along a bit too fast (even with drift bags.)  We found some more sheltered areas and Mark got railed by a nice thick brown trout.  It found superbly - with some deep runs and great jumps.  The fish went 20" and Mark caught all of the action - including the hookup on his Go-Pro.  After that Mark had another hit (likely a salmon) but that was it.  

Water temps ran around 39/40.   Launching wasn't a problem for us.

2/7/2017
Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 2/7

I gave the lake around 2 hours today and managed to lose a nice salmon around 19" that jumped twice and threw the hook on the second jump.  My buddy Mike worked another area and landed some good fish up to 24" on the day.   The water level is very low - about as low as it gets.  Water temps remain in the low 40s.  Shorefishing overall remains good with salmon, occasional browns and lake trout in the mix depending on where and how you are fishing.  

 

1/22/2017
Cayuga Lake 1/20 - 1/22

Got out for three days in a row in my boat. Water temp is around 41.  Here's the breakdown:

1/20:  Fished with my friend Silene for the day starting around 11 am. We had pretty strong south winds for most of the day and then it finally let up.  No rain, which was nice. Action was slow. I fly-fished and she casted gear.  I missed some hits and had some follows. She had one hookup momentarily but that was it.  

1/21:  Got out with my buddy Mike for the day, starting around 10 am.  A lot of boats were out today.  We brought gear for salmon, lakers and pike.  We like to hedge our bets! Salmon fishing was pretty good for a bit - I nailed a 17"er and a 22", Mike got a 21".  Mike had a nice lake trout take a few swipes at his streamer which was pretty cool.  We did some laker jigging and it was good. We landed 4 of them up to around 26".  I kept my large salmon and it was stuffed with gobies. The fish had a large lamprey scar on it.

1/22:  Did my first guided trip of the season and it went well. I met Gordon at the launch around 8 am and we were underway by 8:30.  Salmon fishing was good early, then slowed then picked up again.  He wound up landing 4 solid fish all on the fly.  Best was 24" and smallest was just under 18".  He also lost two good ones and missed another half dozen hits.  We saw a salmon around 6lbs or so jump clear out of the water in one area. It had a big lamprey attached to it and it appeared as though the fish was trying to "shake it."  The water level appears to have gone up a little bit due to all the runoff.  We finished our full day up around 4:30 pm. Really fun salmon fly-fishing!

1/17/2017
Seneca Lake shorefishing 1/16

Got out with my buddy Mike and we hit three different shore areas for trout/salmon using our fly-gear.  In our first area we each hooked up (possibly the same fish but I am not sure) and Mike wound up landing an 18" brown trout (with attached small lamprey.)  Apart from the attached lamprey, it was in good condition - nice and chunky.  He let it go.  That was only luck we had.  The conditions turned calm which usually makes for very tough fly-fishing.  

I think we'll see fair fishing for browns, salmon and rainbows on Seneca Lake this year. I am guessing the Memorial Derby will likely be won by a big brown trout again this year. With the low laker numbers and abundant forage we may start seeing more trophy fish come out of Seneca.  I will likely check on things with my boat here over the next couple weeks.  Again, I blame a lot of last year's poor fishing on low laker numbers, high baitfish abundance, high lamprey numbers and poor water clarity during most of the summer.  The lake's transperency has been declining in the summer months due to more blue-green algae.  On the flipside, the lake is clearer than ever in the early spring/late winter.

1/11/2017
Cayuga Lake out of Taughannock 1/11

Got out with my buddy Mike for some salmon fly-fishing.  We started around 10:30 am and surprisingly were the only boat out fishing. Can't beat that!  As predicted last year, fishing for salmon this season has been top-notch on Cayuga Lake.  There are good numbers of 17" to 19" fish and then also some in the 21" range.  We haven't seen many dinks - fish under 15" or any fish better than 21" thus far.  Clearly they are out there but we just haven't run into them.

We encountered a lot of fish today in a lot of areas and a lot of different depths.  We landed 7 salmon and one brown. The brown was a heavy 21" fish.  Best salmon was 21" as well. A couple salmon went 16" to 17" with the rest running 19" to 20".  Intermediate and Type 3/4 sinking fly-lines both produced grabs for us.  For every fish we landed, we probably had follows from another one or two. There were signs of lampreys on probably 50% or more of the fish.  Today was a "catch 'em and release 'em" day with all fish going back into the lake. The fish we have harvested thus far this winter have been feeding on equal numbers of alewives and gobies.  Water temp was 41 degrees on top.

1/3/2017
Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 1/3

Back to the shorefishing today.  Had the forecast not been for rainy, windy conditions I would have taken my boat out.  I was well equipped for shore casting today with my 6 wt. fly-rod with a type 3 sinking line, 5 mm neoprene chest waders (which are getting hard to find,) a stripping basket and waterproof wading jacket.  I fished a few different areas and in the first location I had five different encounters with what was likely two different salmon.  I landed one around 18".  

Location number two was the hotspot and within a half hour I'd landed three solid salmon from 19" to 21".  The fishing was reminiscent of the early 2000s or late 1990s with nice clean fish.  Great battles too with some superb jumps!  Putting in my time paid off. Time now to work on other things and wait for the next thaw.  Looks like it will be another topnotch year on Cayuga Lake.  

1/2/2017
Cayuga Lake Shorefishing 1/2 PM

After taking care of a few things I met my buddy Mike out at Taughannock for some shore fishing.  He had a good late AM with 4 nice salmon landed - two sublegals and two legals. He nabbed three of them with the fly-rod.  He pretty much just hung out and had a cigar while I tried to nab my first salmon of the winter season.  Later on he fished a little bit more.  Yours truly missed two.  I had a couple decent hits - one felt good but I couldn't connect.  Fishing has been good just about anywhere you can get shore access around the southern portions of Cayuga Lake.  Water temperatures are around 44.  I'm looking forward to my next time out.  I also missed one a couple days ago - so I need to connect with a zolid... 

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