Skaneateles Lake 9/8, 10 + Cayuga Lake 9/9


The busiest September start I’ve ever had continues. There’s nothing like post-Labor Day fishing in the area. The weather is still nice but the crowds are pretty much gone, especially during the weekdays. Fishing remains excellent on Cayuga Lake and good on Skaneateles Lake.

9/8 Skaneateles Lake: Both 1/2 day trips today were with people just getting into, or back into fishing. So it was a lot of learning new tactics and species information. Sue had never cast a spinning outfit before and did a very nice job with it. I started with Sue at 8 am and I had her dropshot for smallmouths and rock bass. She also did some casting with other lures for smallies then some laker jigging. I wanted to show her a bunch of stuff. The dropshotting was ok – pretty good but not great. She caught the usual rock bass and a few smallmouths. A better smallie came on a Superfluke. The laker jigging was good and she landed 2 nice 17″ to 19″ lakers (if I remember right) that will join a nice bass for dinner.

My PM trip was with John and we spent a bit of time on the lakers with a couple hits and one around 16″ to 17″ landed. Dropshotting was OK. Best pattern was throwing tube jigs, which I’ve gotten away from a little bit this season. The shallower bite was great and at times he was getting fish nearly every couple casts. John showed me a photo of a smallmouth he saw on the surface of the lake (they have a cottage there) earlier in the season. The smallmouth had a large bullhead (and its spines) lodged in its throat! He was able to pull the bullhead out and free the bass. Wow! Anyways we had a fun trip!

9/9 Cayuga Lake: What’s left to say about Cayuga this summer? It’s been fantastic. Just top-notch fishing for lake trout and the other salmonids are thriving too. DEC officials tell me that after a bad lamprey year or two, the lake usually has a strong comeback. They weren’t kidding! My AM trip was with the same guys I had on Seneca last Sunday – Dave, Dan and Steve. The bite was great with around 15 or more lakers landed and 1 nice salmon along with 2 dinks. Steady all AM long and it got better as the morning went on. They were happy to make the hour drive from just south of Geneva.

I never try to “bait and switch” lakes with clients, but once in a while it really pays off doing some driving. It’s amazing how many people would rather stay on a lake that’s fishing slow, rather than drive an hour to experience some top-notch fishing. Some folks do a lot of driving on a daily basis, so they just don’t want to drive once they settle in on vacation (after driving maybe 5 hours to get here – I understand!) but it can really pay off. The guys got a chance to see the falls.

If I book a trip a month or more in advance, I am hoping the lake we intend to fish fishes well. Sometimes it doesn’t. 3 to 4 weeks ago, Seneca Lake was hot. That wasn’t the case for us on Sunday. So again, I was glad the guys took the drive and I know they were too.

My PM trip was with Jeff and his wife of 9 years Judy, who were out celebrating their anniversary. I had them out last year and we had a good time chatting about a lot of stuff. We had some good fishing to start with Jeff landing 4 lakers. Judy was fishing but fairly nonchalantly. A strong T-Storm rolled in. I learned my lesson a few weeks back and we pulled into Taughannock just before the conditions got really nasty. But a half hour later the skies didn’t look so bad and we went back out with some great action. Jeff landed 9 lakers to commemorate his anniversary and then one more for good measure.

Skaneateles Lake 9/10 AM: Guided Roxanne and Leo for lakers. We were trying to procure some for a project of Roxanne’s. We were a little limited on time today and the bite wasn’t easy. Fish were hitting but not great, or at least not getting the jig well enough. Roxanne landed 2 nice lakers and missed one or two hits. Leo had some good hits but no fish hooked up for long. He had the hot hand (if two fish constitutes a “hot hand”) on Owasco Lake Monday. He also had a salmon or maybe a rainbow follow him up. I haven’t had any rainbows vertically jigging deep here before, but that’s mainly due to not having logged many days out here doing the deeper jigging. They are here to be caught.

BTW – Gobies have made it over to Seneca Lake (via the canal system.) This year was the first confirmation of that I’ve heard.