Skaneateles Lake 11/14


I’ve spent the better part of the last week or two slowing down from another busy season. I often wonder if my slowdown is similar to a musician getting off the road, or an athlete’s offseason; it always takes me a few weeks to adjust. Daylight savings time doesn’t help either – I can’t stand losing that afternoon hour. Nothing’s worse than having to get up an hour earlier during the cold season to catch first light! It does feel good catching up on sleep, but after a while the urge to fish gets the best of me. Today I shot out to Skinny at around 11:45.

Arrived at the launch around 12:40. Docks were gone. I wish the State would keep the docks in longer like they did last year. Bring boots or waders and have a long bowline. And a good sense of balance, or tightrope walking skills definitely helps. About 4 to 5 rigs were out. Water temp today was around 50/51, though I had 49 on occasion.

Things didn’t go well from the get-go. I still am having some trouble with a good knot with Berkley Nanofill. A 12 turn Albright is a pain in the butt to tie – and nearly impossible in the field with cold hands. I love the line, but need to find a better way to secure it to the leader. The knot I thought I tied well the night before in my warm apartment failed. So after a few casts, my leader and hair jig went sailing. I had some other tackle malfunctions as well – basically twisted line and other similar issues. About 4 outfits wound up out of commission. I’d also left my Skaneateles fly-box in my truck. So I had two fly outfits but no olive buggers, which are my go-to over here.

The wind was blowing out of the north, but below 5 Mile Point it was variable and swirling. Not good. I was getting hits from perch and lake trout. I can tell the difference, but they weren’t committing. I actually foul-hooked a perch in one area. Weird bite. I saw a nice laker follow in my tube on one point.

My life as it’s been on Skaneateles changed as I worked down the lake. I was heading to a good area with my trolling motor and decided to munch on a carrot as I took a cast. I had a good hit and set into a twisting fish. “Nice laker!” was all I could think. Then I saw the stripe! The fish peeled out a bunch of line and for the first time in a while I did some serious backreeling. After another good run and some chasing with the trolling motor- basically a spirited battle, I slipped the net under the rainbow. Just a drop-dead gorgeous male. I was on a “catch ’em and eat ’em” mission, but there was no chance I was going to kill or even take a chance of injuring this fish for a picture. I kept the fish in the net in the water and took a few shots. The fish measured over 27″!!! Just a beast and a beaut! Not a super heavy fish – I’d guess it weighed 6lbs or so. In Lake Ontario it’d have been 7 or 8. I let the fish go and hopefully it’ll make someone else’s day. Found my carrot on the bottom of the boat – I don’t remember chucking it or spitting it out! After that I spent the next couple hours fishing different water and working some perch gear; it was time to play with some house money! Missed a few more lakers, landed one and landed some perch.

Weird day – I felt completely off-kilter, but all ended well! The bow was in 15′ to 25′ of water. In the next few weeks they’ll be right up in the shallows. Needless to say I felt completely rejuvenated and my “daylight savings blahs” were cast away for another day.