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Cayuga/Keuka Shorefishing

12/18:  Did around an hour of shorecasting on Cayuga Lake for lake trout.  I was fishing with some homemade spinners and spoons I'd put together 20 to 25 years ago.  I managed a nice 23" to 24" lake trout on a spinner.  My buddy Mike was fishing another area (miles away) with a friend and they also got into some lakers with swimbaits.

12/19:  Took a ride over to Keuka Lake State Park just to enjoy the nice sunny day.  I cast various spoons, spinners and jigs off the shoreline for a good hour and a half without any definite hits, though I had two instances where I might have had something.  But I wouldn't bank on it.  It was very windy (brutal) out and it was tough fishing even with gear.

Cayuga Lake 12/3 + 4

Got out for some fishing on Cayuga Lake out of Myers yesterday with my buddy Mike and solo today out of Taughannock.  Unless we get some serious rain, I will be launching either out of Taughannock or Long Point from now until the lake level is raised in the spring. Myers is launchable but barely - you're motoring out through a foot of water and plenty of debris. Forget about Union Springs too!

12/3:  Met Mike at Myers at 10:00 am and we headed out with casting gear and fly-gear in tow.  Conditions the whole day wound up being glassy and flat.  Tough conditions in my book for fly-fishing, though there was around a half dozen guys fly-casting from shore at Taughannock, so not all were discouraged.  We had very good action with our gear casting various jigs - both hair and plastics.  We wound up with 9 solid fish landed.  Mike anchored the catch with a really solid brown that was 24" and likely 6 to 7lbs.  Incredible battle!   We had salmon to 20" and a few lakers up to around 24" as well.  I wanted to explore a few areas that produced for us late last season but that proved to be a bust.

12/4:  My plan was to try Seneca Lake out of Watkins Glen today for salmon and pike, but the NWS was predicting winds in the upper teens by the afternoon gusting into the 20s.  No thanks.  So I launched over at Taughannock.  Launching is good here but you have to watch for the bubbler hose, which is near the surface in places.  You also want to stay on the south side of the channel to avoid bottoming out when going out or coming in, especially in choppy conditions.

I tried some pike fishing on the day and only drew follows from two pickerel - one which struck and wound up being a very nice 25" chunky fish.  Weed growth is intermittent likely due to the muddy water we experienced from March - July.  You may find some good pike but it will likely take a bit of searching.  Cayuga's pike fishing is a shadow of what is was back in the late 1990s up through at least 2008.  During that time frame, it was amongst the best in the region for size and not bad for numbers.  Hopefully we'll see a good class of fish produced after this year's high spring water level.  I much prefer Owasco Lake this year for pike size and Seneca Lake for numbers in terms of guiding.

Fly-fishing was a lot of fun.  I nabbed a fat brown that went 22".  He engulfed my fly and bled all over the place so into the livewell it went.  I didn't weigh it but it had to go over 5lbs. I thought I hooked a big drum - I didn't know what to think.  Tremendous battle!  Also got a 24" wild laker on the fly along with a salmon around 15".  Water temp was 46 on top.  All fish hit bionic smelt flies fished on Intermediate lines.


Seneca Lake out of Geneva 12/1

I was hoping to do a bit of fishing this week but high winds kept me off of the water.  I don't enjoy being out on the larger Finger Lakes when winds are forecast to gust over 30 mph. It just isn't fun.   

Sean and Joanna were in the area and looking to get into some pike action.  He has a place on Keuka Lake, so I decided Geneva would be the best meeting place.  We also had north winds forecast, so it would likely be a bit calmer than launching out of Sampson.  The recent docks installed at Seneca Lake State Park are the removable types like those found at Skaneateles Lake and sure enough they were out.  So it was a little bit of a hassle launching, but water levels weren't too bad.

Conditions were very good for pike and we had a great half-day of fishing with around 20 to 25 fish landed ranging from around 23" to 26".  A few of the larger fish had multiple lamprey wounds on them.  Spoons did the damage for us.  Great fishing!

After the trip I did a little fishing on my own and nabbed a pike on a spoon along with a pickerel on a double-bunny fly.  The pickerel was the first I'd seen on Seneca Lake this year.  One other boater was out perch fishing and he reported just 4 perch and one bass fishing in less than 25' FOW.  Water temps were around 46 on top.  Lakes are still warm for the time of year.


Cayuga/Seneca Reports 11/24 + 25

11/24 PM:  Got my older Crestliner out for its maiden fall 2017 trip out of Myers.  The first thing I noticed was how low the water level was.  It is LOW!  I wound up using trolling motor power to get out onto the lake. I had about 1' of water heading out of the marina (think Waneta/Lamoka channel.)  Launching is probably better at Taughannock.  

I brought spinning gear and fly-fishing gear and it looks to be another terrific season on Cayuga for salmon and trout fishing.  I found a few groups of smaller (16" to 17") salmon along with some nicer fish.  I landed a couple browns and salmon on my spinning gear and a couple on flygear.  Had a follow from a big lake trout shallow on my flyrod as well as some good salmon/brown on both spinning and flygear.  Lost a solid salmon that jumped 3X on my fly-rod.  Great 3+ hours on the water.  I even nabbed a smallmouth bass around 13" or 14".  Nice to see a few of those around. Smallmouth fishing seems to slowly be improving on Cayuga Lake.  We encountered some nice ones this past spring.

11/25 Sampson:  Guided Jeff for the full day mainly targeting pike on the fly.  Conditions were windy to start.  Action was more or less slow and steady on the flies.  Jeff managed 4 solid pike in the 24" to 26" range on both intermediate lines and type 6 sinking lines (fished on 8 wt. rods.)  Later on he cast some gear and landed another 3 fish up to 27.5".  We gave the laker jigging a shot for around 45 minutes and he had one grab.  A lot of fish were around mid-lake areas but were fairly inactive.  Overall a good day.  Water temps were 48 on the west side and 45 on the east.  


Seneca Lake out of Sampson 11/14 + 15

Guided two full day trips out here.  Conditions really changed over the days from overcast skies and zero to light north winds on Tuesday to partly sunny conditions and strong south winds on Wednesday.

11/14:  Guided Mike for the full day. It's always fun to catch up with him since he is a fishing fanatic and finds ways to fish all over the country and catch some cool species.  The main target was pike today but the pike did not cooperate very well with the lack of wind. He did manage four nice fish on the day - two early and two late.  All hit spoons.  I had him try some laker jigging during the middle of the day off of Sampson and he managed four nice lakers (all stocked fish) and had quite a few short hits too.  All in all a good day but not the spectacular pike fishing I was hoping for given what we'd experienced over the past two weeks.

11/15:  Guided Ryan - whom I have taken out several times in the past both on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes, and his friend Neil, whom I hadn't met before.  Ryan had yet to catch a northern pike.  He came close a couple years ago out of Watkins Glen when his fishing partner Dave caught a couple mid-30 inch beauties and Ryan nabbed a fat large pickerel, but a pickerel isn't a pike. The wind had the pike eating well - much moreso that yesterday and the guys' first two hours of fishing provided some hot action.  They landed 14 fish in fairly short order - all cookie cutter 24" to 26", maybe 27"ers.  The wind really cranked up around noontime and the fishing got tougher. A few more were hooked by each of the guys but they managed to get off before they were landed.  We wrapped up a couple hours early so the guys could make their 5 hour drive home. It was clear that the bite had subsided.  Water temp is right around 49 degrees.  It is time to dust off the Landlocked salmon tackle and start seeing how things are shaping up this year on Cayuga and Seneca.  Can't wait!

Waneta Lake 11/12

Guided Mark I. for close to a full day on Waneta Lake starting around 9:30 am.  It was very cold this AM so we met a little later than usual to give the air a chance to get above the freezing mark.  I don't as a rule guide Waneta Lake or muskies for that matter, but it is a small lake and Mark loves the chance to fly-fish for muskies, so around once a year we head over there.  Last year he hit the jackpot with 3 great fish on the fly in one day - a 47"er, a 44" and one around 35".  We weren't expecting that kind of a day today by any means but we were hoping for one musky on a fly, which in itself is a great accomplishment.  

Overall conditions were fair to good as far as I could tell,  though at times our wind died.  We had light winds, mostly cloudy skies and cooling (fall) water conditions. Water temp was 46.  One factor that I think played against us big-time was the water clarity which was fairly poor for Waneta.  There was a lot of algae around and we had less than 2' of visibility.  Not terrible gear fishing conditions but not great for our flies.  No hits or follows today.  Funny but I did see a (most likely) stocked fish from this year around 10" long with an alewife in its mouth. Water level was low and it was a slight pain getting out and coming back in.  My skeg dinged a few things from time to time.  Next time maybe we'll have a few flies tied with some rattles.  Mark had some gaudy flies and they did push a lot of water.  

Skaneateles Lake 11/9

Got out with my buddy Terry for some mixed bag casting. Had a great day today with some solid smallmouth bass, plenty of large yellow perch, a few lake trout and a couple rainbows landed. One other boat launched out of the State Launch today.  We had water tempertures around 53 and it would've been a good day to fly-cast for rainbow trout. We used hairjigs and plastics.  At times we tipped the hairjigs with fathead minnows.  Most fish came shallower than 25'.

Seneca Lake out of Sampson 11/3 + Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 11/4

Pike action continues to impress on Seneca Lake, albeit for mostly cookie-cutter 23" to 27" fish.  Perch action is good throughout the region by all accounts. Lake trout fishing is still very good at times on Cayuga Lake.  The lakes are super quiet and there are still some nice colors around.  Air temperatures have been cold to cool.  Overall it's fall fishing at its best!

11/4:  Seneca Lake out of Sampson - The original plan was to fish pickerel/bass out of Union Springs but Kevin and Drew decided to hit Seneca after seeing my report of top-notch pike action over there.  I'm happiest as a Finger Lakes guide when the pike fishing is good on Seneca and the landlocked salmon fishing is good on Cayuga. That's when there's no place else I'd rather be.  

We fished some different areas than I'd hit with Terry on Wednesday.  Fishing wasn't hot and heavy to start but it had its moments.  After moving around and making a few runs the fishing picked up with a vengeance and the guys were expecting hits on every cast.  Their expectations weren't out of line!  We quit an hour early after the guys had caught their share of northerns. We didn't keep count but they caught a lot of fish.  From what I've seen so far, hot pike action is available just about lakewide.  I haven't fished the lower third of the lake yet, so sooner or later we'll see what's happening down there.  

11/5: Cayuga Lake out of Long Point - Guided David in the AM starting just after 8.  He bought a nice boat and will be retiring soon and is looking to get serious about doing more fishing. He wanted to learn the laker jigging today.  Loons were everywhere this morning, which was nice to see. The fishing didn't start out too fast but he had a hit here and there.  The first fish landed was a chunky gorgeous 20" male rainbow. It was a fin-clipped fish.  Stocking really helps Cayuga's rainbow trout population (unlike the stocking on Keuka Lake, which mainly feeds lake trout.)  Next fish was an undersized salmon.  After a little lull, the lakers came alive and he landed 4 nice lake trout. Fun morning!

My PM trip was with Oleg and Yuri, who joined me back a few years ago for some good laker jigging.  As is often the case in the late fall, the PM bite (actually mid-AM to mid-PM) was hot.  The guys got into some really nice fish for the first 2 hours of the trip before the bite slowed back down again.  Two 28" to 29" lakers were the highlight of the fishing.  Another four smaller (but not small) fish were landed. 

Seneca Lake out of Sampson State Park 11/1

Got out with my buddy Terry for most of the day today starting around 8:30 am.  It was colder than I thought it was going to be, but I hadn't really given it too much thought if that makes sense.  I checked the forecast and just looked at the winds.  We wound up with temps not getting much above 41 or 42 degrees today.  Add in some wind and rain and it looked to be a cold one.  We were prepared.  We never saw another boat at the ramp today.  

The air may have been cold, but the fishing was hot!  Pike fishing today was outstanding for fish running 23" to 27".  I figured if we landed a dozen fish between the two of us on the day, maybe with a few bonus perch, bass and whatever else thrown in, I'd consider it a successful day.  Terry and I landed about 40 pike. We missed a bunch as well and lost a few by the boat. It was some of the best action I'd seen on the lake for pike since 2007, although we've had moments of hot pike action here since then. Jerkbaits, spoons and swimbaits worked the best for us.

Fish were in good condition. I kept two fish that were deeply hooked.  One had been feasting on alewives.  Barring any diseases, next year and the year after that should provide some very good fishing for northerns on this lake. I've had periodic reports of fair to good pike action here over the past year. We did not do well out of Watkins Glen last year, but didn't fish it too much.  These pike seem to go in 10 year cycles on this lake.  Anyways I am always happy when Seneca Lake is fishing well.  Things are looking up there for lake trout and northern pike. On the downside, cormorant numbers are a big concern.  We saw around 50 fly by us at Dresden.  The south end of the lake has also been plagued by these fish-eating birds that have been chased off of the other lakes.  We may see some bigger pike move up as it gets colder.  Perhaps downlake will be better.  Maybe we weren't in the best zone, but I'm sure some brutes are around.  Stay tuned...

Skaneateles Lake 10/27

Guided Gordon for a full day of fly-casting for smallmouth bass. Conditions were sunny and windy with 10 to 16 mph + winds during our entire day.  Gordon had fairly steady action today on an olive woolly bugger. He landed a half dozen decent smallmouth bass mainly running 13" to 16" long. A few rockbass and some nice perch (along with fair numbers of small perch) also found Gordon's fly.

A few perch fishermen have been out but I haven't heard much.  A few small walleyes are showing up in perch angler's catches as well as on the ends of trollers' lines.  Surface temp was 59 degrees and very few boats were out today.

Seneca Lake out of Sampson State Park 10/26

It's been a long time, but I decided to check out Seneca Lake today out of Sampson State Park.  Hard to believe, but I've only fished Seneca Lake three times this year. I brought lake trout, pike and perch gear.  My goal was to check on pike fishing but when I arrived around noon I found pretty high winds and choppy conditions.  I checked the flats for lake trout and was very pleasantly surprised to see good numbers of fish throughout the area.  I did not mark any bait in the places I checked.  Lakers were fairly active and I had good numbers of chasing fish.  I landed two and missed another 4 to 5 hits within 2 hours.  One of the fish was a wild 25"er and the other a stocked 20"er.  

Conditions didn't seem great for pike but I gave one area a shot for 1/2 hour without action. A run up to Geneva showed tons of baitfish.  I'll be back out here soon to check on the pike. Water temps were 60 degrees.  One other boat was fishing (trolling) near Roy's.  That was it.  I was very encouraged by what I saw for lakers - it looked like what I would've marked back in the mid-2000s i.e. good numbers of fish that were fairly positive in mood. Stay tuned!

Cayuga Lake 10/24 AM + 10/25 PM

10/24 AM:  Guided Dean and his brother Scott for an AM 1/2 day on Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs targeting pickerel.  These guys are always great fun to have onboard and they were with me when we helped (aka rescued) the canoers from the Girl Scout Camp on Cayuga Lake maybe 6 years ago (not to be confused with the kayaker we pulled out of Keuka Lake maybe 4 years ago.)  

We had overnight winds close to 50 mph out of the south as well as a decent amount of rain.  Fortunately skies cleared and winds diminished and we wound up with a beautiful day on the water. The water on Cayuga was muddy in a few areas and murky lakewide. Fishing started slow but a few pickerel showed interest in our spoons.  Bass were active with the guys landing 4 largemouths.  Pickerel action picked up as the day went on. It never got outrageously good but I was very happy with how we did given the conditions.  We had the 4 bass and then another 6 pickerel landed and a few others dropped.

10/25 PM:  I booked a last minute trip with Dave (from Sunday's trip on Owasco) after he texted me telling me that he was in near agony at their rental;  he was staring at a beautiful Owasco Lake and wasn't able to get out and fish.   I value my days off but can also relate to a fellow passionate angler's pain, so I had him meet me over at Cayuga Lake's Long Point launch at 1 pm.  We got underway and fishing appeared to be tough.  Water (aka down) temps were pretty crazy.  We had very cold water in around 85' after Sunday night's insane winds.  I brought pickerel gear just incase we had tough laker action but I never needed to get it out.  The winds shifted and the lakers turned on heavily!  He had stellar fishing, landing 14 solid fish including a 30"er and a few in the upper 27" to 28" range.  Fish were gorging on alewives.  We used a smelt colored Lunker City Swim Fish in the 3.75" size.  Usually most of our fish come on whites and chartreuses but today the darker color did the trick.  Great day!

Owasco Lake 10/22

Guided a full day trip with Dave and his son Steve starting at 8:30 am. We focused on lake trout and also did a little bit of casting for bass and pike.  We marked pretty good numbers of lakers throughout the lake but the bite was a bit tentative.  The guys landed 4 fish up to around 28".  No bass (though we only worked one area for around a half hour.)  There was a tournament taking place.   Pike fishing resulted in two pike landed on spoons and jerkbaits - one was a solid 32"er. I expect pike fishing to pick up by the week.  Surface temps were 61 degrees.

Reports Cayuga Lake 10/19 - 10/21

10/19:  Got out on Cayuga Lake with my buddy Terry out of Union Springs.  We brought minnows for perch and crayfish in hopes of some drum.  Only one other boat trailer was in the launch as we launched around 8 am.  The wind was really blowing good out of the south.  We checked out my drum area from last week and didn't have any action. We then did a bunch of exploring for perch using deep water techniques with some action. Terry dropped a huge perch by the boat that hit a Silver Buddy.  It was likely over 14" long - maybe 15" or better.  I popped a few perch and one bullhead on a jigging spoon.

Eventually we settled for some fishing with our fatheads and had topnotch perch action. As is always the case on Cayuga, we had to sort through a lot of small fish but we managed a nice catch of around 30 keeper fish running 8" to over 12".  We had a lot of doubles.  A few nice (22"+) pickerel were caught on the day (on the Silver Buddy and a tube) and I also picked up a bluegill on a crayfish tail.  Good day and very few boats were out.  Water temps were around 62 degrees.

10/20:  Did back to back 1/2 day trips out of Long Point.  The first was with Jessica and Gennaro, neither whom had jigged lake trout before.  It was windy and cold (as has been the case in the AMs.)  Jessica hooked up with a nice 19"+ rainbow early in the trip.  It was great to see!  It came off bottom in fairly deep water (we have had 60 degree water down to over 80' lately.)  She then landed a nice laker.  Gennaro dropped a few lakers and then landed one.  The bite was steady but slow - basically "fair" fishing.  It was a fun day and gorgeous out on the lake with very little boat traffic. All fish released this AM.

My PM trip was with Roger and Dino.  Roger had joined me a couple months ago for a jigging trip.  He keeps his boat at Myers Marina. The bite was a bit better than the AM bite but still not great by any means.  We wound up with 3 nice fish and at least that many dropped.  Beautiful weather!

10/21:  Today was a 1/2 day trip starting at 8 am out of Myers.  David and his wife Peggy stayed in Watkins Glen last night so I figured fishing the lower lake would be a good call after yesterday's fair fishing.  We had better action today and they landed around 8 solid lakers up to around 28" or more if my memory serves me correctly.  It wasn't easy fishing and boat control was the key to our fishing success.  We were working 120' to 140' of water while dealing with winds in the teens out of the south.  

Fish I've cleaned over the past week have been stuffed with alewives from multiple year classes.  There is still a ton of bait in shallow due to the warm 60 degree water and the fish are feeding heavily.  That being said, it still isn't easy fishing - they aren't biting recklessly.   

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 10/18 midday


Guided Mark I. for a 1/2 day trip starting around 11 am today.  Mark's 95 year old father Joe just celebrated his birthday and it was a beautiful day to get out to try for some lakers. Joe holds the Fingerlakes Angling Zone record for being the oldest client I've had and the oldest to nab a laker (he caught two back around 4 years ago when we was 91) so we figured he could solidify the record by catching one at 95!   

The fishing was very good today (especially for mid to late October around Taughannock/AES) and Mark wound up landing 5 solid lakers up to over 28" long.  The fish were in very good condition - maybe one or two mature spawned out fish and a couple more immature fish (but not dinks - fish running around 20" to 23".)  Joe struggled for awhile but eventually hit paydirt with a nice 20" fish.  I don't know what percentage of the population in the United States reach 95, but usually when they do they don't know what planet they are on and who is who and what is what.  Joe is blessed and has his faculties. Maybe I'll get to see him onboard next year, you never know!

My temperature probe showed a very wide swath of homothermal water at around the 60 degree mark all the way down to 70' or more water.  The remainder of the thermocline is still intact down around 80 or 85'.  Our best luck came by using 1+1/2 ounce jig heads with white Shakers down from around 110' to 125' or so.  During the lake trout netting fish were taken down to 200' on bottom, so they are widely spread out over deep water.  



Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs 10/14

Guided Steve and his wife Val today for a 1/2 day AM trip starting around 8 am.  Action was the attraction today and the pickerel didn't disappoint. They nabbed around 12 to 14 fish on spoons and senkos.  One bass and perch were also landed.  Water temps were around 62 to 63.  All the pickerel ran 17" to 19".  As water temps decrease, we should see better action on larger fish as well as perch.

After the trip I did some exploring of deeper water with a jigging spoon and managed to find a school of drum!  I landed a couple fish up to 26".  Great fights!  My smaller (18" to 20") drum was one of the prettiest fish I've seen come out of freshwater.  Most drum have a duller whitish look to them or bronze color.  This fish was a gorgeous silver.  Just beautiful.  


Owasco Lake 10/12

Guided the Hermans for 1/2 day AM today targeting bass and pike.  We didn't have much success.  Pike fishing was tough for us.  I chalk some of it up to water temperatures which are high for this time of the year and high for what I consider to be the best pike temps. That being said, I felt we could score on some northerns. Surface temps were around 65.   A couple hits were had from smallmouth bass.  John landed one 13"er.  We started at 8 am.  A 7 am start might have helped us on pike and a later start probably would helped on the bass.  We tried an hour or so of laker jigging with no luck either.

After the trip, I went out and managed to find some perch schooled up in deep water.  I had a lot of fun with a jigging spoon and managed to land around 2 dozen keepers and another couple dozen "shorts."  The keepers ran 8" to 10.5".  Another week of cold temperatures after next week should really help the pike bite.

Owasco Lake 10/7, 8 + 10

Fishing ran the gamut on Owasco Lake this past weekend in terms of lake trout action. Saturday was outstanding, Sunday was tougher and Tuesday (today) was very solid.  Next to nobody has been out on the lake, which made it nice.

10/7:  Did a PM 6 hour trip here with Ron and his son Matt, both of whom have been doing trips with me since 2008.  I hadn't been out on Owasco fishing lakers in a while and I brought gear for bass and pike too.  In a nutshell, we checked out the north end for lakers and never looked back.  Ron landed a nice lake trout on his first drop with the jig and the fishing stayed superb and steady right until we quit around 6 pm.  Ron and Matt landed a total of 43 lake trout!!!  Just outrageous fishing.  These aren't the overstocked skinny fish from this lake that we saw around 2005;  these were nice fish from various classes running from 16" to 29" long.  They were gorging on young of year alewives, which were heavily schooled up on the lake's flats.

10/8 AM:  After yesterday's action, it would have been silly to go anywhere else, so we started right where we left off.  The only problem (and main difference) was the howling wind out of the south west, gusting to around 18 mph!   Fishing was tougher and the guys only managed 4 lake trout total on the half day if I remember right. We did an hour of bass fishing and Ron landed a pike around 25" and both Ron and Matt missed/lost some nice bass.  Still a pretty decent half day but nothing like yesterday.

PM Trip:  Guided Todd for the afternoon starting just after noon. He wanted to learn the jigging technique so we fished some different areas.  Fishing was better than the AM (as the sun got up and the winds gradually diminished.)  He managed to land around 5 fish if I remember right. The fish hit pretty well just before we called it a day around 4:30 pm. By then the wind had died down almost completely.

10/10:  Guided Matt and his wife (just married on Saturday) Rachel for a full day starting around 7:30 am. Fishing was very good throughout the day today, peaking by the afternoon.  They landed 14 solid lakers up to 30" long.  Rachel hadn't done the technique before and dropped a half dozen to a dozen fish.  Matt had been out with Greg earlier this year in June and hammered the lakers out of Long Point on Cayuga, so he knew the deal. Gorgeous day with very few boats out and some solid fishing.

Cayuga Lake out of Long Point 10/6 AM


Guided Kevin, Joe and Josh for a 1/2 day starting just after 8 am.  The laker bite started out promising with everybody having some hits.  Kevin wound up landing three nice 26" to 27" fish in fairly short order.  Joe also nabbed a nice fish around 23".  A few silver fish had chased in the jigs as well.  The bite really slowed down for us after the second hour of the trip. We tried some different areas and baits but fish clearly were a bit "off."   I expect reasonably good laker action out of Myers/Taughannock now too.  Water temp was 65 on top.  Fish came from 90' to 120'.


Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 10/3 AM

Guided Jim for a 1/2 day AM trip.  It was good to see him - he's been booking trips since I started my guide service back in 2005!  Despite the forecasts for sun and southwinds 5 to 10 mph, we spent the entire AM with south winds around 13 mph gusting up to 18 mph!  The bite was tough.  Jim was happy to nab a solid 27.5" laker.  He had a few other hits and some chases but that was it.  I chalk it up to a combination of the weather/winds/front and fish also starting to spawn.  We fished up north and south of Taughannock a bit in order to avoid the spawners as best we could. 

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 9/30 AM

Tough day today. I saw wind forecasts on of north from 6 to 10 mph with some sun and thought we'd be in good shape for our trip.  It was windy at 7 am with northerly gusts to 16 mph, so we postponed until 8 am.  Things didn't change much.  Mike, his son Mike and son's friend Caleb gave it a great go despite the 2'+ whitecaps.  Eventually Mike Jr. managed a small laker, so at least we weren't totally skunked, but the bite was very tough. The second day of a cold front, combined with heavy cloud cover and high winds really put the bite down.  Winds eased up a bit before we called it quits at 1pm.  Had we started the trip at noon, perhaps we would've done better but who knows?  Boat control was difficult and there were certain areas we couldn't really fish properly.  A few hits were had but nothing solid.

Lake Ontario/Henderson Harbor 9/27 + Cayuga Lake 9/29 AM

Lake Ontario/Henderson Harbor out of Westcott Beach State Park:  My plan with Terry was to fish the St. Lawrence/Thousand Islands Region for bass for a couple days but with the weather forecast and other issues (mainly work) we decided to spend just one day fishing out of Henderson.  I hadn't fished out here in at least 3 or 4 years - the last time was with my buddy Mike (who had been catching some good bass here lately) so I was psyched to give it a shot.  

We started at 7:30 am with some good south winds.  In shallow water off of a shoal Terry had a 20" walleye crush a spinnerbait next to the boat.  We struggled trying to find bass on the shoals.  We eventually found a few but caught more in a community hole and in the harbor itself around sand and grass.  Not a stellar day by any means but we landed around 9 smallmouths and each dropped a few good ones in the upper 3 to 4lb range.  Most were in the 14" to 16" range.  We did not catch the 4 and 5lbers we were hoping for.  There was an plankton bloom going on.  The bay looked more like Oneida Lake than typical Lake Ontario  Fish hit tube jigs, dropshot rigs and jerkbaits. 

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 9/29 AM:  Guided Bernie and his father, also named Bernie for lakers.  Cayuga Lake continues to fish very well - I've been pleasantly surprised, since usually I am fishing out of Long Point by now.  But the lakers keep hitting. We had a very solid half day with Bernie (the IIIrd) starting things off with a mature salmon that was nearly 27" long!  He then landed a 30" laker.  Both guys wound up landing 4 fish each - mostly solid lake trout in the 26" to 27" range with a couple around 22" to 23".   Some fish are ready to spawn and a couple have actually looked spawned out.  Netting starts on Monday.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 9/23 + 24


Lake trout jigging hasn't been real easy on Cayuga Lake over the past couple days. We've had some tough fishing at times along with some good fishing but many lulls throughout each day.  Overall fishing remains good and a slow day on Cayuga is still every bit as good as a good day on most of the other Finger Lakes.

9/23:  Guided Dave and his wife Beth for a 1/2 day starting at 8 am.  The fog wasn't nearly as bad as it had been earlier in the week.  I was worried that our "late start" might cost us some fish.  Fishing was pretty good with Beth having the hot hand for awhile.  She managed to land a couple lakers and a 21" or 22" male salmon before Dave got in on the action.  But Dave was not to be denied and he managed to land a couple nice fish including the big fish of the day - around 28" or 29" if I remember right.  Around 85' to 95' was productive for us.  Fish were in a neutral mood for the most part.

9/24 AM:  Guided Lee and Ted during the AM starting at 7.  Fishing was pretty slow for us today.  The guys had some hits but were not able to convert those into solid hookups for the most part.  The guys each landed a nice lake trout and overall around 4 were dropped. The bite was definitely on the tough side but we had a good time and it was a gorgeous day.

9/24 PM:  Guided Jim and his son Glen for the PM 1/2 day starting around 11:45 am. We fished different areas than the AM trip and Glen managed a lake trout on his first drop of the jig. That was a relief after the slow AM trip.  The wind picked up a little bit out of the north and that seemed to help the bite. Fishing was pretty good in the PM with the guys even hooking a double.  Around 8 fish were landed including a nice 21" rainbow and 20" landlocked salmon. 

Lake trout propagation netting is scheduled to begin on Monday October 2nd. Laker jigging can still be decent around the Taughannock/Myers areas around that time but I tend to like to fish out of Long Point for non-spawners.  I usually also enjoy working Owasco Lake more in October.  We'll see how things pan out.  What a tremendous year on Cayuga Lake so far!  Lampreys have been nearly non-existent since the spring. I don't ever remember a year with so few of the parasites around.  The number of rainbow trout around has also been unprecedented in my 15 or 16 years on the lake.  I know it was hot in the 1970s and 80s, but it's been encouraging to see.

Cayuga Lake 9/21 + Owasco Lake 9/22 AM

9/21 Cayuga Lake:  Guided Mark I. and Greg today for a full day of lake trout fishing.  I picked the guys up via boat at Taughannock at 7 am.  Fishing was slow but steady to start with around a 1/2 dozen fish coming to the net by 10 am and another 1/2 dozen or so by the day's end.  Most of Greg's prior fishing had been stuff like pond fishing for bass, so it took some practice to get the feel for playing a fish to the net.  He dropped a few good ones early on.  The bite picked up a bit when the fog burned off then slowed.  The last fish of the day was taken just before we called it a day.  Lakers ran from around 23" to 28".  We had three at 28".  A couple wild fish in the mix.  Zero lampreys and barely any sign of lampreys.  This year might feature the cleanest looking fish I've ever seen out of Cayuga Lake.  One small salmon was landed and another nice salmon and rainbow followed jigs to the boat.  Good day - around 85' and out was best.

9/22 AM Owasco Lake:  Guided the Hermans for a 1/2 day of smallmouth bass fishing.  We tried a few different things in the AM -e.g.  trying for some offshore fish but wound up only encountering loads of mostly small perch and a possible rainbow that hit Eleonore's jig.  Conventional fishing with flukes produced a nice 18 1/2" smallmouth for Eleonore and a 17.5" for John as well as a couple smaller bass, a few rockbass, perch and a couple good smallies that got off. Very little boat traffic on the lake.  Beautiful day to be out!

Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs 9/20

Got out with my buddy Terry for largemouths.  We fished a combination of areas we'd previously worked as well as some "newer" areas.  We were on the water just after 7 am and enjoyed around 2 hours of lowlight fishing before the fog lifted.  Fishing was good to start with me having the hot hand for the first time in a while.  Swimbaits, Superflukes and Senkos helped me land my "limit" in less than 2 hours.  Fish were all solid, mostly running 17" to 18". I caught one other largie later on that was undersized. Terry nabbed a couple nice bass as well in different areas and dropped one in our first area. Pickerel were active and are looking in better condition than previously - they clearly are starting to put on the feedbag.  A few boats were out perch fishing but it appears premature. Water temps shot back up into the lower 70s. Water levels are average.  The clarity still is good. 

Cayuga Lake 9/15 + 16

Did back to back morning half days on Cayuga Lake.  Bite windows were somewhat tight but the fishing was very good.  AM fog was a factor on both days and I started trips at 8 am.  Steady weather should make for more good fishing this week.  Cold fronts in September and onwards through the fall tend to play havoc with the bite.

9/15 AM: Guided John and Sheila starting just after 8 am.  The fog was thick and we motored slowly up the east shore with navigational lights on.  John - a self proclaimed "geezer" has fished Cayuga and Seneca Lake for years, starting back in the 1960s (and maybe before)  He did some fisheries work/classes with Cornell back in the early 1970s and can remember when lake trout fishing was poor and alewives numbers were very low in Cayuga Lake.  And back then there was no natural production of lake trout.  Some people tend to think fishing was much better back in the 1960s and 1970s, and it might be true for some species, but not trout and salmon in Cayuga Lake.

We had a very solid window of hot fishing for about an hour and a half or two just when the fog cleared.  John and Sheila had two doubles going - one in which we landed both fish. Eleven nice lakers were landed and another 4 or 5 solid hookups were lost.  Fish ran to 28". Fishing slowed down markedly towards the end of the morning for us.

9/16:  Guided Sion and his dad Gwyndaf - both from Wales, today starting at 8 am.  I picked them up at Taughannock and we motored north.  Sion (name pronounced Sean/Shawn) and his father hadn't fished Cayuga Lake before, apart from some shore fishing.  The bite was somewhat slow today for lakers.  The guys landed some nice fish up to around 27".  What made today amazing was the two rainbows Sion managed to land - he nabbed a fat 30"er and a 27"er!  The 30"er was wild and the 27" was stocked.  Both fish were unreleasable due to injuries so it will be rainbow trout tonight and for the next couple nights.  We try to release most rainbows out of Cayuga Lake, but this year their numbers are the highest I've seen since I've owned my boat (going back to the fall of 2001.)  So I don't have any qualms about harvesting a few bows.  The 30"er weighed 11lbs 8oz!  That's an incredibly fat fish and not atypical for what I've been seeing this year on Cayuga.  The guys finished our trip with a double on lakers  Great day and tremendous weather out there - high of around 80 with a light breeze.

I've got another week or so of laker oriented trips on Cayuga Lake then we'll be mixing things up a bit with some dates on Skaneateles, Owasco and possibly Seneca.  I'm looking forward to seeing how things are doing on the other lakes.  


Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 9/13 AM

Guided Bill and his son Bill for 1/2 day starting around 6:45 am.  I hadn't seen Bill since we did a guided trip for pike back in the late 2000s Seneca pike "heyday."  We had a good time today with a solid day jigging.  The guys landed 1/2 dozen fish including a couple salmon.  One salmon was a dink and the other was a long, albeit thin fish (due to a lamprey hit.)  Lakers ran to over 28".  Bill Jr. dropped a big laker and another nice one near the boat.  Fishing remains solid on Cayuga Lake for nice lake trout, but day to day and hour to hour conditions are definitely having major effects on the bite.  Plenty of bait remains around.  The trees are starting to change color which is always nice.  We reportedly had the coolest last two weeks of August and first week of September on record.  I'll take it anyday over the unusual heatwave happening out in California.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 9/9 + 9/10

Did back to back full days this weekend. Barney's/Bear's Derby was in full swing. Lakers on the board topped out around 12lbs, non-lakers I believe were in the high single digits (6 or 7lbs) and bass topped out just over 4lbs.  Dates are starting to go quickly for the remainder of September and October.  With continued cooling temperatures we may see some good pike action shortly.  With luck we'll be fly-fishing the lake for salmon by the end of October or first week in November.  We'll see - anything can happen between now and then.

9/9:  Met Greg at 7 am and we proceeded to search for brown trout and occasional lakers. Our day was very slow with what fish we could find in a negative mood. He landed one small lakers.  He had a follow and a few short hits (the follow was a brown) but did not connect.  Quite a different day from what we had last week.  I get asked about non-lakers on occasion and I suggest targeting lakers and accepting the occasional bonus fish. Lakers in the Finger Lakes are numerous and provide great sport.

9/10:  Stablizing weather is now upon us and Tom and his brother John could not have picked a better day to go jigging!  I didn't realize that Tom and his brother had won the Memorial Weekend Derby on Seneca Lake the year after Jarrod and myself won it (we won the 49th and Tom/John won the 50th with a giant brown.)  That was awesome to find out - not just because I got to hear the story behind the fish firsthand, but because I had known Tom since my days as front-end manager at the Lighthouse Restaurant (now the Busy Bee) at Kidder's Landing just south of Sheldrake.  Tom was around 16 years old back then and ran the fryer.  These guys are very passionate, excellent fishermen/hunters and the day just flew by.

The main reason the day flew by was the bite - it was exceptional throughout the day. The guys landed 30 lakers and one nice 22" rainbow.  All fish were released unharmed and the rainbow went 22".  We had at least 5 wild lakers in the mix. Great bite!  Lakers ran to 29". The guys had me do some fishing too and I had a nice brown follow in a jig. John had a big salmon follow in one of his which was cool to see.

Fall fishing can be somewhat complex for lakers on Cayuga Lake. There are days of hot fishing and other days when fish are lock-jawed. We get more cold fronts and they are more intense. Fish seem to be affected more by the fronts come September.  Light penetration and moon phase also tend to play a larger role than in the summer.  Fish are moving into spawning mode and the thermocline is gradually dissapating as well i.e. there are lots of factors to consider.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 9/4 am

Guided Elias and his dad Yuri (I hope I spelled that right) today for a 1/2 day starting around 7 am.  The laker bite was a little slow to start but Yuri managed to hook a good fish in short order that eventually came unbuttoned.  The bite gradually picked up but never really caught fire.  Overall the guys did well on the day with 8 nice fish landed including a couple real solids - a 28" and 30".  Elias has his own brand of plastic shads and they worked very well for him.  He has a popular YouTube channel and got some good footage today.  I will put up a link to it once he gets it uploaded.  Around 85' to 100' was best for us.Beautiful day to be out!

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 9/1 + 2

Did back to back full days with excellent fishing on both days.

9/1:  Guided Craig and his son Andrew starting at 7 am.  Despite the cold front fishing was excellent for lake trout. The guys landed upwards of 22 to 24 fish on the day up to around 30". We have had good numbers of wild lake trout in the mix over the past two weeks.  I'm not sure why we didn't encounter them earlier in the year, but they are around.  Lamprey activity was very low.  Great day and the bite kept up even as the wind really amped up by midday.  We knocked off around 90 minutes early so the guys could take care of some business back home around Albany.

9/2: Guided regular Greg for the full day starting at 6:45.  Fishing was excellent for brown trout and a few lakers.  Fish ran to 25".  There are loads of alewives in Cayuga and the browns were around the bait.

The last two mornings have been very cold and boating traffic has been light.  Water temps are creeping back down towards 69 degrees on the surface.  

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/29 + 30th

8/29:  Guided Tony, Roger and Scott for a full day of laker jigging starting around 6:45 am. We made a long run north to start things off and worked back down the lake.  Fishing was pretty good to start, with the guys catching 3 or 4 solid lakers and Tony nabbing a 28" nice hard-fighting rainbow trout (hatchery clipped fish.)  Fish were tentative and not hitting great. The guys all dropped several fish.  Action slowed down as the day went on, with Roger having a great finish to the trip with a few lakers taken consecutively.  The guys all caught fish - winding up with 7 large lakers and the rainbow. Boat traffic was minimal.  

8/30:  Guided Jack and his pal Kevin for 1/2 day AM trip starting around 6:45.  Jack had been out with me around 5 or 6 years ago.  He keeps his boat at Myers.  Fishing was just superb today - no doubt about it!  Around 24 to 25 fish were landed including a nice (also stocked) 22" rainbow.  A lot of beautifully colored wild lake trout were in the mix today. Great time and a great day out there.  The bite slowed around 10:30 or so.  Very few people were out on the water.

Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs 8/28

Guided the Hermans in the AM starting around 7:15 for bass.  Bass action was slow for us. The Hermans had fun with some steady action on pickerel up to around 21".  Areas we'd found bass in early in the week (or more accurately last week) were devoid of bass and full of aggressive but thin pickerel.  We tried a few different areas and Eleonore and John each landed legal largemouths.  John lost what was likely a very solid bass in one area. The morning really went by quickly.

After the trip I did some bass fishing.  I am still dialing in various rod/reel combos and figuring out what I like.  I landed 3 bass in around two hours, though 2 of them were shorts. I also nabbed a couple pickerel.  The lake has not been fishing as well for bass as it had in prior years.  I feel the fish are out there but the weedgrowth has changed a bit. As usual there's also been tremendous tournament pressure, which doesn't help anything for the casual bass angler.  Water temp was 73 on top.  

Cayuga Lake out of Union Springs 8/24

Got out for more bass fishing with my buddy Terry starting just after 7 am. We continue to work "new" areas each time we go out. We started today in a place I used to fish with Terry back before I even owned a boat - going back to the mid-1980s.  I chose the area and hadn't remembered fishing it back then, but he did.  I started things off with a couple pickerel hooked (toothy critters just love me) and Terry then proceded to land 4 nice largemouths in a row.  All of this was within the first half-hour of fishing.

We worked some more areas and found some interesting stuff. Eventually I landed a bass or two (we caught a fair number of pickerel) and Terry managed a couple more bass. I stung and unfortunately dropped what was likely the best bass of the day on a swimjig.  I thought I had a good hook into it; there's nothing I would've done differently, but it came unbuttoned.  Bass today ran from 11" to 17".  The one I lost was over 18" without a doubt. The lake looks good and is fishing pretty well. We will continue to fish our way around the lake.  The fun part has been avoiding the community holes and trying different stuff. 

Skaneateles Lake 8/23

Guided Leo and Ada for a full day starting at 8 am.  We usually do a "catch 'em and eat 'em" mission here in late August loading up on large rockbass and a few smallmouths. Drop-shotting was the ticket today for the most part.  Leo's first drop resulted in a fine 19" smallmouth.  The size went down from there.  They landed around 15 smallies, with roughly 70% being legal fish, though most were on the smaller end of legal (12" to 14".) Rock bass really turned on around 10 am and we were able to land plenty of solid 9" to 10"+ rockos along with a ton of throwbacks.  One decent perch was also caught.  Boat traffic was light here. About 20' to 35' FOW was best for us.  We tried shallow and found a few smallies and rock bass as well. The cold front likely had a lot of the larger smallmouths in a negative "mood" today. Usually we catch a lot more quality (15"+) bass here.  Surface temp was 73 degrees.  It was windy with north winds funneling down the lake gusting into the upper teens and low 20s at times.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/21

Guided Norbert and his buddy Steven for a 1/2 day AM trip starting just before 7 am. Fishing was very slow for the first 2 hours or so.  Once the clouds cleared and the sun poked through the bite picked up rapidly. The guys wound up landing 6 nice lakers to 31" and one brown trout at 21".  Solid fishing.

After the trip ended I picked up my buddy Terry at the boat launch at Taughannock and we jigged lake trout for a couple hours.  We landed 5 nice fish that will be getting the smokehouse treatment tomorrow.  I came close to hooking a nice salmon around 20" to 22".  

We then checked out a few areas for largemouth bass. These are places we hadn't fished yet this season. Terry landed two 13" largies in one area and I landed a 17" chunk in another.  We'll be back out again shortly.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/19 + 20

8/19:  Guided a long 1/2 day with Francisco, Gustavo and Jeff.  Jeff had never fished before and Gustavo hadn't fished a whole lot apart from his last time out with me a couple years ago (his first time fishing ever) and a charter or two over the past year on Lake Ontario. The guys were running around 1/2 hour late today.  I'm not sure if that hurt our fishing much or not but we were underway by 7 am.  

Fishing was slower than it had been over the past week.  8/11 comes to mind.  Overcast conditions and an "off-bite."  Jeff starting things off with his very first fish - a 21" landlocked salmon.  He also nabbed a very big laker around 30" or 31" if I remember correctly. The guys caught a few more fish for a total of maybe 5 or 6.  Definitely a tougher day.  Other hits/fish were also dropped/missed.  Action was never really slow but fish weren't super aggressive.

8/20:  Guided Mark I. for the full day jigging lakers.  Fishing was better today with Mark landing around a dozen solid fish including a 31", 30" and 29" laker.  The appearance and condition of these fish has been the best I have ever seen on Cayuga Lake!  Very few lamprey scars, if any.  I have seen very few live attached lampreys this summer at all.  The fish are also nicely colored and FAT.  It's just been an amazing year on Cayuga Lake. There's no shortage of bait anywhere.  We had our best luck from around 80' to 95' FOW.

The boat traffic was the highest I've seen all summer.  Everyone and their brothers seemed to be out today. The launch at Myers when I got back was a mess.  I will miss this summer but I can't say I'll be sad when Labor Day rolls by!


Cayuga Lake 8/18

Jigging continues to be superb here.  Guided Leo and Ada for a full day (actually we wound up over an hour early) and they landed around 15 or 16 lakers to 31" (over 11lbs) and one rainbow around 25" (that was released.)  Fish are moving around a lot and a hotspot one day can be slow the next so it pays to keep trying different areas.  Boat traffic is minimal. We did well with white Shakers with a chartreuse tail, all white Shakers and limetreuse Shakers too.  The weather was much better than forecast - we never had a drop of rain.

For those of you that bookmark these reports and skip navigating through my homepage, please let it be known that my contact form has been working intermittently. If you email me and do not receive an answer within 24 hours, please re-email me through my regular email:    Thanks!

Cayuga Lake 8/15 + 16

Lake trout jigging remains superb here on Cayuga Lake. Nice browns and salmon are also around the same areas.  Fish continue to feed heavily.  I've been getting back into largemouth bass fishing on Cayuga Lake (really for the first time seriously since around 2005/2006) and am gradually getting back into the swing of it.

8/15 Cayuga Lake out of Long Point:  Got out with my buddy Terry starting around 6:45 am.  Days are rapidly getting shorter and it's getting light around 5:50 to 6 o'clock.  It's nice not to have to get up as early as in June/July.  In our younger days of bass fishing together I'd often meet Terry at Sodus Bay at 5 am.  It would pay off to do that now, but I am not into getting up at 3:30 am like I used to.

We are slowly getting our tackle into order - i.e. figuring out what rod/reel/line combinations we want to use;  trying to keep our presentations to a minimum and seeing how the lake's been fishing.

Today we worked completely different areas than last week. Terry nabbed a chunky 18" fish in fairly short order in our first area.  He pretty much had the hot hand (as has been the case lately) and finished the day with 5 legal fish.  I landed a couple pickerel and one bass. Not the day I was hoping for but I found what wasn't working. The lake is really a different ballgame than year's past with weedgrowth way behind normal.  This is due to the cold spring and months of muddy water and subsequent poor light penetration.

8/16 Cayuga Lake out of Myers:  I made a long run out of Myers to pick up Nic and his daughter Juliet from their house near Sheldrake.  Fishing was outstanding with them landing 15 lakers and one brown. They dropped another brown and lost a few other good lakers too. That was all during a 4 hour half day trip.  These are the good old days on Cayuga Lake!!! No question about it!  I cleaned two lakers and they were full of fresh bait.

I brought my bass gear along so I could get some much needed redemption after the trout trip. I played around with some different lures and hit a pickerel in short order.  Then I nabbed a 15" chunky largemouth.  In another area I had a good bass follow. My last area produced three more nice bass including an 18" chunker.  So I finally felt myself getting into a groove with my bassin'.  We'll be hitting completely different areas next time out and refining our presentations.  I would also like to spend a morning hammering lakers.  We have too many options here in Central New York!

Cayuga Lake 8/14 AM

Guided Bill and his sons Bill Jr. and Tim for a half day starting at 6:30 am.  The laker bite was hot and heavy to start and didn't let up for the first hour or two.  Then we had a steady pick over the next couple hours.  The guys landed 16 solid fish - all lakers.  We didn't see a boat on the lake over the first couple hours. Late August fishing on Cayuga Lake is tough to beat. Most people take their vacations from late June through early August. It's like post-Labor Day out there.  Whites, white with a chartreuse tail and limetreuse have all been productive.  

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/12 + 8/13 AM

Fishing continues to be excellent on Cayuga Lake.  I expect top notch fishing for large lakers, bonus browns, salmon and rainbows for another month.  By mid-September we are usually looking at the heavy laker feeding binge slowing down a bit.  Younger fish tend to stay pretty active and fishing up around Long Point can be very productive in September and October.  Often times I like fishing on Owasco Lake come September.  It's fun to do a mixed lake trout/pike trip then, and smallmouth bass fishing can be very good.

My schedule remains wide-open for fall fishing.  I expect good northern pike fishing on Owasco and possibly Seneca Lakes.  Fall pickerel/bass fishing is always good on Cayuga Lake and mixed bag fishing reigns supreme on Skaneateles Lake. By mid-November depending on water temperatures I am usually focusing on Landlocked salmon, pike and some lake trout fishing.  Fly-fishing is very good at that time.

8/12:  Guided Greg for a full day.  The Barney Memorial (one day) Derby was going on but we didn't enter it. I asked Greg if he wanted to enter it and he didn't.  Greg had some halfway decent action on lake trout and brown trout today.  He landed three solid browns in the 17.5" to 20" range - basically running around 3 to 4lbs.  He also caught a big laker that measured at 29.5" - probably in the upper 9lb range.  His laker would've likely made the board.  Hard to say if we had entered the derby how our approach might have changed. Anyways fishing was good and boat traffic relatively light.

8/13 AM:  Got to guide my friend/swimming buddy Jeff and his nephew Logan for a half day starting at 6:30 am. Jeff hadn't fished since he was a kid but Logan fishes a lot in his home state of Michigan. What can I say?  The bite was superb today.  We targeted lakers and the guys landed around 16 solid fish up to nearly 30".  A few appeared to be wild.  Lamprey wounding is very low as well.  Great day and very few boats on the water!

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/11

Guided Mark I. for a full day starting around 6:30 am.  The fish were in a bit of an "off-mood" today for us.  We tried a bunch of areas and Mark wound up catching 4 fish, including a 21" salmon and a 31+1/2" lake trout.  He also caught a couple other lakers.  A lot of hits were had, many that were short. Good day but not nearly as hot a bite as the past week. It was likely just today's weather conditions, plus we worked some more offbeat areas in hopes of connecting with some non-lakers.

Cayuga Lake 8/9 +10

Lake trout jigging is fantastic on Cayuga Lake at this time. I am not doing many "doubles" anymore these days but I did one yesterday.  Both trips went very well.  I finally got out for some bass fishing with my buddy Terry and we had a lot of fun too.

8/9 AM Trip:  Went out with Matt and his brother in law Mike for a morning 1/2 day. I hadn't seen the guys in over 5 years so it was a lot of fun catching up.  The guys had some solid fishing for lake trout with 12 fish landed in around 4 1/2 hours.  

8/9 PM:  Met the Hermans at the Taughannock launch and headed out for my PM trip. We started at noon.  Fishing was absolutely fantastic with John and Eleonore landing 19 lake trout and 2 nice salmon, including a 25"er.  We kept the smaller (21") salmon.  Fish are feeding heavily and the water looks great.  Nice and clear with no sign of algae.  The water is cooler for this time of year but fish are still working deeper. The Hermans landed some big hard fighting fish to 30".  We also had a few 28"s and 29"s.

8/10:  Met my buddy Terry over at Long Point for some bass fishing.  Although I felt a little crazy targeting bass instead of lakers given how fantastic the laker fishing has been, I was itching to do something different.  I also want a batch of lakers for my smoker and won't have time to smoke them until next week, so I'll likely go then.  I expect top-notch laker fishing for the next three weeks.  Hopefully it will hold up!

I have way too much bass gear (as does Terry) and the first bass trip of the season is always a bit of a shakedown i.e. "what did I forget to bring today?" and "where are the fish?"  Bass fishing has been great on Cayuga Lake over the past few years but you still have to find them.  Weed growth/types and fish distribution are affected by factors like the cold spring we had along with the muddy high water.  Neither Terry nor I had been largemouth bass fishing in at least a year!  That's a long time away.

We tried a bunch of different areas - basically "prefishing" as if we were preparing for a tournament.  We found a couple productive areas and techniques and had fun landing over 1/2 dozen largies up to around 3.5 or 4lbs.  We also caught some nice pickerel including one around 25" that hit my swimjig.  So no great numbers of bass but some steady action. I'll be getting out more frequently for bass throughout the rest of August and into September before I start targeting pike.  Fun day and we will be better prepared next time - we both had tackle issues to work through.  Terry dropped a nice fish or two.  He did well though, catching the majority of the bass.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/7

Guided Alain and his son Alex for a full day starting just after 6:30 am.  The wind forecast for light winds was wrong and we dealt with fairly stiff southerlies at times.  The fishing was very good throughout the day with every area we fished producing some hits and most areas producing fish. The guys landed around 16 lake trout with their catch anchored by Alain's 30"er and a couple around 28" - 29".  Quite a few of the fish fought great -very strong. It was a fun day.  This is probably the best time of year to be able to catch lakers throughout the length of Cayuga Lake.  

Cayuga Lake out of Myers 8/5 + 8/6

Fishing remains very good on Cayuga Lake. The bite is typical August Cayuga fishing with good AM fishing, momentary lulls then action picking back up again and so on.  Fish are feeding heavily in anticipation of spawning which takes place in mid-October.

8/5:  Guided Greg for a full day.  Fishing was good with one laker and three solid browns up to around 8 or 9lbs landed. Everything released today.  One brown was dropped as well.

8/6:  Guided my old friend (going back to 3rd grade) Chris and his son Brian for close to a full day targeting lake trout.  We started around 7:30 am.  Nine solid fish were landed. We kept four.  I filleted them and found plenty of freshly eaten alewives.  We had one fish come up with a lamprey that managed to detach before I could get it onboard. Two of the lakers appeared to be wild fish.  We also almost had a nice brown or two.  The guys cut out an hour and a half early.  Good day.  The water looks great. Fish are coming from 65' or so out to over 90'.  Whites have been productive for us lately.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 8/3

Did a full day trip with Sam and his dad Brad starting at 6:30 am. We ran north to start and worked our way down the lake back to Myers. Fish are throughout Cayuga Lake. Every area from Kidders south to Myers held fish and I'm sure there are plenty of fish north of Kidders and south of Myers as well.  The bite was very good throughout the day with 14 legal lake trout landed up to 28". Sam lost what was likely a nice salmon, rainbow or brown in one area.  Fish ranged from around 65' to 95'.  Plenty of bait is around. Lamprey wounding is low to non-existent.  Great day with some great weather!  Boat traffic was minimal.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 8/2

Guided Mark and his son Grant and daughter Sabrina for a full day that we wound up a bit early.  We launched just after 6:35 AM and were fishing by around 7.  Fish are well-distributed now on Cayuga Lake and the action is top-notch.  It was one of the best days we've had this year - certainly the best since prior to the crazy rain we received throughout most of July. Lake trout action was a little slow for the first hour or so but then picked up. Highlights of the day included Mark's nice 21" salmon and some nice lakers caught by all. But Sabrina really caught a beauty - a gorgeous 27" brown that fought great.  A few of the lakers were the best fighting fish of the day which is always great to see.  Over 15 fish were landed.  

Cayuga remains the top lake in the region for mixed bag salmonid fishing.  These ARE the good old days!

Lake Ontario out of Oswego Harbor 8/1

Gave the big lake a shot today for a little while from around 9:30 am till 3 pm.  The drive has been a bit of a hassle with the construction along Rt. 104.  I would've liked to have motivated earlier but that wasn't going to happen. 

Not much to report.  A lot of trailers were at Wright's Landing, so a lot of boats were out. As I launched a guy was coming in who had a good AM with a steelhead, mature King or two and some juvenile Kings.  He told me he got them to the west around 500' FOW.

Cold water i.e. the thermocline remains fairly shallow.  I worked my way out and eventually wound up out deep.  I had a few (what appeared to be good fish) investigate my lure for a little bit but never had a hit.  Trollers appeared to really be having a great day - I had two boats go by me in fairly close proximity and both nailed fish and one got two.  All the fish I saw caught were immature - they looked small from my vantage point (they were dragged across the surface on the way in) but they were fish nonetheless.

Bait was fairly common out deep but I didn't see much in closer.  Don't be surprised if the vast quantity of Kings out there decimates the bait this year.  I don't believe Lake Ontario is "out of the woods" by any means in terms of baitfish.  And the King fishing is concentrated. The pros are doing well - obviously having contacts out on the water makes a huge difference, because some areas have vast areas of nothingness. My biggest issue in trying to jig these fish has been finding them.  If I find them, I feel I can get them to hit. At least sometimes ;-)

Skaneateles Lake 7/31 AM

Guided Dave and his daughter Bethany for 1/2 day starting at 8 am.  Bethany just finished 8th grade and is thinking about rekindling her zest for fishing.  Dropshotting provided some steady action on 10" to 14" smallmouths, rock bass and perch.  Some fish were also caught on a Superfluke and Ned rig (that Dave brought.)

We did some laker jigging and Dave managed two small ones.  One was around 16", the other a little smaller.  We marked a lot of lakers and a few fish were dropped - natural production continues to be good here.  The boat launch was sparse at 8 am but by 1 pm it was filled up.   Boat traffic overall was light.  The lake was as beautiful as ever with surface temps around 72 and water a little high.  Clarity was excellent and debris non-existent.

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 7/30

Guided Ron and his daughter Rachel for a full day. Jigging was very tough for us for the first two hours with a few short hits and not much else.  Our second area was much more productive and the fishing was top-notch for much of the AM.  It tapered off a bit by around 11 am but the bite remained fairly steady.  At least 20+ fish were hooked today and ten landed.  A nice brown was almost hooked as well. Lakers ran up to 28" and were in good condition. The usual whites did the best for us today. Fish ran from 65' or so out to 90'.  If this weather remains stable or at least typical for August we should have a banner month. 

Cayuga Lake out of Myers Park 7/28 AM

Guided Tom and Joe for a 1/2 day starting around 7 am.  Very few boats were out today and we were the only boat trailer in the parking lot at Myers all morning.  We made a good run north and the guys had some good fishing and fair catching for lake trout.  Joe got things started with two solid fish.  A trip to the west shore resulted in Tom nabbing a couple nice lakers then Joe wound things up with another fish.  A lot of hits were had and a few other hookups had as well. Most of our luck came from 80' to 100' FOW.  

Overall plenty of fish and bait were around today and I expect fishing to get better by the day this week.  Looks like we are finally going to dry out a bit.  I'll believe it when I see it!

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.... 

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.

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.  

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!

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.

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.

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.  

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!   

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.   

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.

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.  

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.  

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.)

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.  

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.


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.  

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!

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.

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.

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. 

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.  


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.

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.  

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!   

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.

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....





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.  

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.

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!

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 " 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!




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. 

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.

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.  

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!

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.  

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.  

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.   

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.  

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.  


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!

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.

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.

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.  

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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