The Cayuga Fisher

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Fish and Tips

2008 Goal: postponed...

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Hot Knots

Never tie an improved clinch again.

The uni knot is versatile, easy to tie, and strong. Use it to tie on hooks or join two lines together with the double uni knot. Works great for tying dissimilar lines together or a leader to braid. For tying a braid backing to heavier mono or even a leader to braid the Red Phillips knot is faster and smaller.

Ithaca, Cayuga, and the Finger Lakes: Fishing Reports

Jigging for Lake Trout, trolling for salmon, fly-fishing for trout and carp, rough fishing for drum, I like to keep it interesting. Good luck and enjoy!

Happy Spring! 4/9/2017

Wow, what a winter! It's great to see above-freezing temps, plants starting to green up and the birds are coming back. The trout are in the streams, too, if you can get to them! Some warmer temps and a break in the rain should make for an excellent week for those able to get out. But you probably aren't here for a stream report, but are instead wondering about jigs.

Deepwater Lures Update:
In short, on hold but still here! I'll be back when I am able. My health is finally, finally improving (after eight years!) and real, sustained improvement is within reach. This is great news for me of course, but also the business, and I am set up and ready to paint lures again!

But those were very tough years in many ways and this winter I had to buy out my girlfriend's share of our house. So I am super busy, and super broke, with no time to put into this third job here. I will be back this year, and hopefully this spring before summer really gets rolling, but I can't make any promises. The store is still open and feel free to email me with requests if you have them- it may work!

For now, happy fishing, and I'll see you all out there soon!

7/19/16: Summer on the Lakes!

Well hello everyone! It's been a long time but I'm still here. Let's talk about what's new!

I have several new items in the store: the Shad Jigging Spoon is now available in three sizes, I have new Goby and Chartreuse Ice colors of Shaker, and new 4.5" Shakers!

Personally I have been learning how to walleye fish the last few years and have been having a tough go of it, finally starting to feel better about it this year and actually have a surplus in the freezer!
I've had a tremendous amount of help from Justin Okrepki at Otisco Lake Guide Service. I've had a lot of fun fishing with Justin over the last few years and learned an huge amount about walleye from him. If you're looking for help fishing Otisco Lake or just want a good time sightseeing, he's your man and will do an amazing job getting you into fish- walleye or tiger musky.

Cayuga Lake has been having a great year, with lots and lots of lakers being caught in the northern half, as well as high numbers of smaller salmon and some nice trout. From all reports it's been a banner year.

Have fun out there and happy fishing!

More Jigs in the Store 4/17

Hi all, as we stumble into warmer weather at last I've been out pouring some jigs. I'll be offering more variety than last year. Already I have Erie jigs back for the first time in several years, and have 3/4 oz minnow heads new this year, as well as 3/4 oz. round heads which I haven't offered since 2007 or so. I currently have three sizes of the minnow heads poured and ready- 3/4, 1, an 1 1/2 oz, and should have those and the 3/4 oz. round added to the store site today or tomorrow at the latest.

To everyone getting out fishing this weekend- have fun, good luck and stay safe! There is probably still a lot of debris in the water though the strong winds this week will have taken care of a lot of it. I just drove past the lake this morning and was very surprised to see absolutely nobody out there! I bet there will be a different story tomorrow. I also stopped at East Shore Park and visibility on the southern shelf is about 12", maybe 16" on the outside, so not great but certainly fishable. Up past the drop-off it looked much clearer as usual. Good luck all!

Spring is Finally Here! 4/8/15

Hi all, well it's been a brutal winter but we're slowly being dragged into spring. I for one am glad it's only raining and snow looks to be finally out of the forecast and off the ground.

A quick update on Deepwater Lures, unfortunately I wasn't able to secure the shop I had started moving into due to events beyond my control. That leaves me still at the mercy of the weather for pouring jigs. The good news is, that's looking up and I should be able to start pouring this coming weekend, 4/11 or so, and with luck I can start shipping on Monday 4/13. I will report back here and on the Deepwater Lures site later this week and start keeping you all updated more regularly.

Thanks for all your patience and I'm sure I'm not alone when I say thank goodness for spring! Hope to see you all out there and for a great season this year. My health is still improving and I should be able to fish a lot more, it's been quite a while and I'm VERY ready and can't wait! Well, the mind is ready but I've got some organizing and re-spooling to do coming up. Happy spring and happy fishing everyone!

Happy 4th!

Hey all, happy Fourth of July! It's a beautiful weekend and I hope you're all off fishing and not reading this. Just a quick update, things have been moving slowly here. I have been without a tow vehicle for a while now but just got a hitch put on a CR-V so I'm ready to fish again! Just in time, reports from Cayuga have been excellent recently.

Other news: Deepwater Lures- I am still unable to paint jig heads, and I apologize. I am doing custom jobs with about week to shipping. I had hoped my health would return much faster than it has. It's coming but I cannot yet put in the time and effort the business needs. Thanks to all for your support in the meantime! Your support shows me it could be a real business when I have the health, so thanks!

I have sent off the donations for the Myers Park Lift Project, thanks to all who purchased jigs this spring! It sounds like installation of the lift is going well and should be completed soon.

Finally a fishing report! My friend Al and his buddy Doug took me out for pike about two weeks ago out of Sampson Park on Seneca Lake. It was a bit breezy and overcast but a fine morning for my first trip in a month. We set up and Al quickly banged a beauty pike, a good 10 lbs I'm guessing, a very fat 34". This was 10 minutes in, and Doug hooked and lost one shortly after that. Unfortunately that was it for the morning with the waves pounding the shoreline and presumably driving the pike out deeper.

We also gave laker jigging a go but the bait and lakers weren't out front of Sampson or up at the next point. They're either there or not, and they weren't there!

All in all it was great to get out and fish, not to mention joking around and just generally having a good day fishing. It had been far too long, so thanks Al. Best day in a while! Now for some of my own reports... have a great weekend and happy fishing!

5/1 Jig Update

So at this point I'm going to avoid setting any dates, I'll have painted heads and other new fun stuff for the store as soon as possible. I don't know when that will be but I can say not in the next two weeks. My apologies, the timing is terrible, but what can you do. Thanks for stopping by and good luck out there!

April's Moving On 4/25

Hi all, a quick update as we're heading to the end of April. I'm going to give painting another go this weekend and hope to, but can't promise, painted heads in the store. In the meantime I'm doing some email painting requests but can't get ahead to have them consistently around. So, if you want some painted heads, email away!

I also have a white UV painted head I'll be introducing asap, so that's an option if you email as well.

Fishing... Only done a little rainbow fishing and one morning looking for bullhead a few weeks ago. It was too early for the bullhead and too much water for the rainbows at the time. Right now is probably very good trout fishing in the creeks. I'm getting ready and will be out a lot very soon, boat is basically ready to go! trying to fish as little as possible in April and really hammer this PT stuff. Got to get my health back, it's the #1 task.

A Quick Update 4/5

Hi, a quick update on the state of the spring. Creeks are high and flowing nicely with the rain and final snow melt last week, should be great trib fishing through April.

Deepwater Lures related- I tried taking advantage of the nice weather last week to do some pouring and painting. I didn't get far. Sparing you all the details, I have a shoulder injury that is taking forever to heal and I thought it was in better shape than it is. So, painted heads are still on an "as soon as possible" schedule but it may be a few weeks.

Certainly by May and by the time fishing really picks up. Disappointing to be sure, but this year I'm on track to finally get these injuries under control and return to more normal activity. Like fishing! Oh thank goodness spring is finally here!

Deepwater Lures Donating To Myers Park Lift Project 3/21

Deepwater Lures will be donating $1.00 for every dozen jigs sold through the end of May to the Myers Park Lift Project spearheaded by Roland Conner. Need jigs and want to help the project? Do both at the same time!

Stock: I am running low and will be pouring and painting ASAP. I am currently out of 1.25 oz. ball heads and the Erie 1 oz. heads. Given the current forecast I should be able to stock up on jigs in about a week, followed by painting. One of my main goals this year is to set up a real shop! Thanks everyone and I hope you're all catching lots of lake trout!

A Memory-Making Project at Myers Park Needs Your Help! 3/17/2014

In the pipeline at Myers Park is a lift to help disabled anglers get into and out of boats. Called a Hoyer lift, this project is being headed by Rollie Conners, a longtime Myers Park camper and fisherman. I imagine most of you reading this have heard about the project from LOU, but if you haven't, (or even if you have!) it's a great project with the goal of helping those with physical disabilities go fishing, or even just for a boat ride on Cayuga Lake!

At first glance fishing may not seem like a life necessity- it's a leisure activity and it often costs money- the type of thing that may be the first to go when the chips are down. However, it is exactly the type of activity that is the most important. As someone who has been struggling with many physical health problems myself, I can tell you that relief and happiness are two of the most powerful feelings out there when dealing with long-term illnesses and chronic pain. Getting out fishing for a few hours, even just being outdoors and on the water, has such an uplifting and energizing effect it's one of the best forms of therapy there is. For those in wheelchairs these opportunities are harder than average- let's make it as easy as possible for them. Time to make some memories!

The whole project will cost about eight thousand dollars and will hopefully go in late this summer. If you can, please donate! Checks payable to M.P.L.P. and send to Roland Conner, 145 Herrickville Rd., Wyalusing, PA 18853. I'm also taking PayPal donations at If you choose to donate electronically please also email Rollie at and let him know the details. Thank you very much for reading.

Spring Is Coming! 3/12/2014

Hi all! What a winter and I'm really looking forward to starting the spring season! I'm hopeful yet worried about Cayuga's spring fishing, it's looking like Seneca might be a better spring trout and salmon bet. As soon as I can get the boat out of the barn I will, but it looks like we'll have to wait out one final winter storm today and tomorrow.

Out of all the spring opportunities so far I'm itching to go carp fishing the most. There's just something about them... what is it... oh yeah, they're huge! Can't wait to hook into some more 30+ lbers! Over the winter I put together a carp rod, a 12' capable of launching several ounces of weight. This should help with late-spring summer fishing when getting out past the weeds is important. Frankly I've never caught a carp in Cayuga Lake past the first week of June. Whoo-hoo what fun, I can't wait!

I've also been thinking of a lot of last year's fun times this winter, you have to have something to dream about. Sometimes I have been dreaming of past fishing trips! The trip to the Oak with rustyrat (Capt. Scott Fletcher) was memorable even though we didn't catch much. Tough conditions with high muddy overflow but we got into a few, and had fun with some memorable characters around us. "Lunker Lou" cracked me up most of the day and was great to chat with in the early morning waiting period. Lots of big browns around that day but bites were hard to come by. Listening to them splash before dawn really made it hard to wait! Unfortunately the water came up a good foot about 20 minutes after fishing started and made it much tougher. Thanks for the ride Scott, always a blast getting up to the Ontario tribs with you.

Another good day was late summer, I headed up to a family friend's place near Sheldrake and Mike Canavan zipped across the lake and picked me up for some laker jigging. I don't often get out jigging with friends and man that was fun. A slightly slow day, the lakers weren't hammering the jigs but I haven't laughed that much while jigging ever! A great time and especially as I'd been taking a break from the lake over the summer, just fantastic to get out for a morning and into some lakers. Big thanks Mike, see you on the water!

Not all memories were good- the terrible fall trib season was a big bummer. We had water but no fish. This makes me nervous for this year, it'll be hard for mature browns and salmon to magically appear. Last spring was good following a tough trib year in 2012 but fishing fell off quickly into the summer. 2013 tribs were even worse- time will tell how it will be out there this year, and I'm praying for no floods or big storms in May. We do not need another high water event that lets lamprey into the Cayuga Inlet and prevents the DEC from treating it as planned. Even without that it'll still be a few years before we're rid of the lamprey already in the lake.

Whatever happens, there should be some species to fish for- one thing I love about this area is the huge variety of fish! We got a taste of spring yesterday... bring it on. Happy fishing everyone!

Trib Failure 11/20

Worst local tributary season since I've been fishing them, 10 years or so. I thought last year was bad but this has been terrible. A month ago I caught a brown around 20", a nice chubby guy, and other than a few energetic rainbows 18" or so there has been nothing of note. Lots and lots of 8-10 rainbows. I have yet to see an Atlantic salmon and I've only heard of a few browns, and those were on the small side too. October sucked, November has sucked so far, and without any appreciable rain in the forecast it will continue to suck.

Last year there were at least some decent browns around, and I managed one salmon, but this year even the browns have been absent. We haven't had any big blowout rains and the summer fishing was poor so it's probably a combination of lower fish numbers and not enough rain. Whatever the cause, it literally can't get any worse than this! I keep hoping the next rain will bring them in but time is running out for that. One friend had one good day with numerous 18-20" bows and a few decent browns but that was it. I really hope we get past this lamprey mess though it will be a few years before numbers increase even if the lampricide treatment in the spring works.

DEC Cayuga Lake Trout Netting Quick Stop

Stopped by Taughannock on Wednesday morning and the DEC was pulling their gill nets for the lake trout egg collection. I didn't spend much time there but was able to observe them pulling one net, and I talked very briefly with the gentleman remaining on shore.

He said that last year (2012) it took them the longest it has ever taken to get the eggs they needed, and that this year was on pace to match that. The day before I was there, Tuesday, they only got 22 ripe females from all the nets for a days work. That's pretty slow. They were pulling the net directly in front of the wall when I was there and most of the fish were on the small side. There was maybe a dozen fish in that net but most of them were probably not ripe females as the previous net pulled (I didn't see it) had only 5.

Here's hoping the current crop of lamprey are to blame and they'll work their way out of the lake as soon as possible! The Cayuga Inlet is scheduled for lampricide treatment next spring. What we don't need is another high water spring that allows the lamprey to get over the fishway yet again. We've currently got several bumper crops of lamprey from two separate high water events. As each lamprey can kill up to 40 lbs of fish during its lifetime this can add up quickly and we've all been seeing it on the lake the past few years.

Thank you to the DEC for collecting those eggs and maintaining our excellent Finger Lakes fisheries! There are always hiccups and tough years but overall these guys do a stellar job of keeping us in fish.

Cayuga 9/29

A beautiful morning out on Cayuga! I went out with my neighbor Dan and we had two goals in mind: lakers and perch. Launched at Taughannock and poked around there for maybe 45 minutes looking for lakers- some bait and very few marks. We moved a few miles up the lake to near Kingtown Beach and found more fish. It's possible they would have turned up near Taughannock as the morning went on but we didn't look again. This time of year the bite often picks up mid-morning, unlike the early summer where the first few hours of light are excellent.

We fished 75-90 fow and started getting bites around 8:00. We brought four to the boat in around 45 minutes before switching species. Three of them were caught just off the bottom with one following my jig up 60 feet or so, so they were at least semi-active. Not bad considering some tough reports I've heard and the general state of the lake, we were happy with the results.

The final hour and a half of the trip was spent looking for perch, we found a few but no schools. Took home five for dinner and put a few small bass back. Minnows caught all but one and a whole nightcrawler caught the last one. The perch were pretty deep, mostly 40-50. I did re-discover the fact that I need a bigger anchor! We tried deploying it but just dragged it a hundred yards without it ever catching. I don't use it much and each time it's hard to get in; this was the first time it never caught.

The wind came up and started blowing whitecaps around 8:30, it was ripping a good 15 mph by the time we returned to the park just after 10:30. Surface temp 62. Great to get out and no problems with the boat after it sitting for a few months, but there was a 10" cottonwood growing from where the floor meets the side of the boat! Definitely time for a new floor.

Fall is here! 9/24

The leaves are starting to turn and the frost is heavy this morning, fall is here! I've been out doing some small stream trout fishing in the past few weeks but haven't been out on the lake. That will hopefully change soon but things are still wacky at home and I'm not sure when. I am definitely looking forward to some fall salmon run fishing however!

This has been an exceptional year for rain in the Ithaca area and the creeks have been running higher than normal all summer. I'm hoping and praying it will help the fall run. It can't be worse than last year! That was the worst I've ever seen. Just keep raining please! I took the centerpin out for a warmup yesterday and did a little bass fishing for an hour, getting a couple nice smallmouth on small white jigs and a surprise 13" rainbow. Not sure what the trout was doing where I was but all the rain probably had something to do with it. Time to organize and repack my trib bag! It sure was nice to use the long rod again.

In trib news I poked around to see if the flooding caused any major stream changes- not really. A few spots are a little different and there are some trees in new spots but for the most part everything is the same. I'm not sure if they fixed the terminal falls of Enfield Creek, a large section of concrete and a huge tree fell in during the flood but I haven't checked it in several weeks. It did fill in about 1/3 of our little livestock pond out back, but that's okay. I'd love for that mud pit to get fully filled.

Deepwater Lures news- not much, health concerns have kept me from offering a full line of painted heads and other planned additions. This will hopefully change by next year. A big thank you to everyone who ordered this summer, support has been great, thank you all! Happy fall fishing everyone!

Cayuga Jigging 9/1

It's about time! Back on the water for a morning yesterday the 1st. Drove up to Sheldrake and a friend from across the lake came over and picked me up on a family friend's dock. We crossed back over and fished mid-lake on the East side at several spots starting around 6:30. There were fish everywhere, and we got a few, but the screen was full of lookers and chasers- not many biters.

We fished in the 75-85 fow range and had plenty of bait. whites, greens, we couldn't get any specific pattern going. Other than a beautiful morning, that was consistent! Mostly cloudy early, sunny by 10:00, and we knocked off a few minutes later.

The catch- a few very small lakers were in the mix but we got some decent ones later and I took home three for the smoker, I'll be firing that up tomorrow. Highlights, let's see- I missed a nice fish due to a bad set, twisted my wrist on a hard hit and lost it in a few seconds. Rod slipped. Also broke another good fish off on the set, it was a clean break above the jig knot so I'm not sure what happened there. Trying a new lighter leader material and it may not be as abrasion resistant, it's not fluoro like the P-line I've been using. I check it when fishing all the time but something went wrong anyway.

I got a couple in the boat, lost four paddles off paddletails, and had a bunch of other hits I couldn't convert. Total I think we landed six? Not really paying attention, my friend didn't have the personnel problems I did and nailed more of his strikes. Plenty of fish, and for a time they'd even rocket off the bottom, but finding lakers willing to commit was tough today.

It was, however, just plain awesome to get fishing again! Ahhh that felt good and was a great way to relax the soul a bit. One final thing- I was shocked at how few boats were out there. Flabbergasted even. We had two boats within several miles. On the way in saw a few guys in shallow for perch and I noticed maybe 2-3 other guys probably looking for bass. This was on a holiday weekend, wow. Anyway, it was super fantastic awesome sauce! Happy fishing everyone!

Happy August, All 8/23

Hi all, well summer is speeding by! It has been a hectic few weeks and I'm starting to miss fishing terribly. I had hoped to be on the water and fishing the Lighthouse Derby but we got absolutely hammered by the floods in Enfield two weeks ago. I spent that Saturday vacuuming and mopping out the basement instead!

We couldn't even get out of the driveway until late Friday so an early AM jaunt on the lake was out of the question. So the flood took a while to deal with and while there is still a lot to do the immediate work is done. Unfortunately since then I have been taking care of a very sick girlfriend so who knows when I'll make it back out. Soon, I hope! I could use a few hours of fishing therapy and talking to a friend this morning really lit the fire. I'm really jonesing now. Arrggg!! Hope everyone has been having a great summer!

Lure Info / On Break 8/7

Still haven't made it out on the lake. In other news, some Deepwater Lures info- it seems there is something funny with the shopping cart software and not all shipping emails are making it to the customer. I don't know about you all but I like tracking packages! Maybe too much, even. Regardless of the cause, they should be going out- I apologize if you placed an order and didn't receive the shipping info when it was mailed.

Also, jigging spoons are back in stock and I have some painted heads on hand, but not enough to activate the cart option- I do have a few dozen so if you're looking for painted 1 or 1.25 ball heads in white or glow chartreuse please email.

Improvements made so far this year- as of spring jigs have been shipping in extra-sturdy plastic bags and with hook protectors to keep those points sharp! The custom 1.25 oz. ball head mold is also a welcome addition.

As for fishing, I'm taking a break this summer. I'll be out some in August but I just can't focus on fishing the way I'd like to, have to put my health first or progress will stop. I'm not the best at juggling a lot of activities, so when I fish, I fish! Just going out twice a month is hard to do, I'm either out 2-4 times a week or not at all. Streaky, you could say. Same with everything I do, which is also why I don't drink alcohol any more. Actually it was about 10 years ago I quit drinking and picked up fishing to fill the time. I'm not sure which vice is more expensive but fishing sure is healthier! Hope everyone is having a great summer and I'll see you out there soon!

No report report 7/10

Hey all, stopping in with a no report report. I have not been able to get out for a little while now. Just when the laker fishing was picking up! Aarrrgg! It's been a rough year so far, health issues are keeping me off the water and also preventing me from improving Deepwater Lures. It's a double whammy, poor health leads to both big bills and loss of work and productive time. Well I'm sure you all don't want to hear about that stuff and I don't want to think about it, so let's move on to the fishing. Oh right, I haven't been out, not even for sunnies. I do hope to get a trip in soon, it's been too long!

If anyone has been living under a rock and hasn't heard the Salvation Army fishing derby is this coming weekend, July 13-14. Unfortunately I don't think I'll be entering this year. Hmmm well obviously there isn't much to report so that's about it- good luck to everyone in the derby and happy fishing!

Great Morning, Cayuga 6/24

Another gorgeous morning on Cayuga. The fish were mildly interested and that was good enough! A light southerly wind started dying around 9 and it was calm by the time I left at 11. As usual stayed out a little longer than I wanted to and I'm a little overheated from the sun. Should have left at 10. Don't do well in the sun even covered up and sunscreened. Put a bunch of nice fish in the boat and all but one were quality fish.

I mostly stayed in 70-90 fow on both sides of the lake between Taughannock and Sheldrake. Started off near the plant and had some decent action at daybreak, two 28" and a 29". Dropped two and missed a few strikes. After 7 it slowed up with just one fish until 8:30-ish. That one was the little guy, 3.5-4 lbs.

After this I started bouncing around looking for pods of fish and also checking a lot of spots to see what was up. It started off well, getting into three big boys in ten minutes around nine, pop pop pop! Didn't measure any of the later fish but they were all 26"+ I'm guessing. Also dropped two more- actually straightened out two hooks on big fish, I guess I'd been horsing them in. Got smart and dialed the drag back a little after this.

Then the bait started moving out and the fish started playing chase-the-lure. Between 9:30 and 11:15 stopped at over six spots and picked up another couple of fish, one each in several spots. One BIG fish followed the jig all the way up and hammered it six feet down! I would have seen it if I were looking! My leader knot was out of the water and a few guides down the rod. This fish went beserk, thrashed, tail-walked and threw the hook. I never really got a hookset with that one. I saw fish near Taughannock, Kidder's, Milliken/AES/Cayuga, and everywhere in between. It was great seeing a lot of suspended bait, perfect jigging conditions except for the moon. The next few weeks should be stellar! One area I fished had dozens, probably over a hundred, dead sawbellies floating around- the remnants of a feeding binge? Most of them were pretty trashed, torn up I guess- didn't look too closely. A few looked like they exploded or something. Okay that's it- 70-90 fow, chartreuse mostly, fish all over though not rocketing off the bottom. Just a beautiful morning!

Reports 6/22

Okay I said I'd update... looking at the report from yesterday it's pretty complete. Kept nodding off while writing but it's surprisingly coherent! I did want to say though, that I'm just one guy in a small boat. I can't be everywhere I'd like to be and not as often as I'd like, that's just how fishing goes for nearly everyone. The weather plays a big role in where and when I can fish. But it means to take all reports with a healthy dose of salt. I don't usually mention others' results here and only did so last week b/c I was so far off and there were actually fish in that area. Unless someone specifically says it's okay I don't give out other folks' info, be it a report or a tip or trick or whatever. Rarely I'll repeat some info that is also available elsewhere, this isn't meant to be a general report section like the DEC tipline or anything, it's just me. Also some days one technique may work better than another- if lakers aren't coming off the bottom jigging gets a little trickier and slow trolling right on bottom will probably catch more fish.

So I may have a rough day but it doesn't mean the fish weren't biting for someone else or at a different time or slightly difference location, or I may get lucky and get a few more than average, the point is a report is a starting point and today is a whole new day. I usually figure there are folks doing both better and worse than me every time I'm out. A report is old as soon as it's given, everything is always changing out there. Was there a good mid-day bite yesterday? I wish I knew but was home by noon... I almost always fish the mornings and afternoon patterns are different.

Anyway, it does appear that summer fishing is setting up. We'll have to see how the fishing goes. It may be a tough year due to the lamprey. Maybe not, if one this is certain this is an unpredictable pasttime. Ha! Isn't that the truth. So with that big old disclaimer out of the way, here's to a great summer for everyone! Happy fishing!

Cayuga 6/21

Took a chance on mid-lake again, trying to keep driving to a minimum this month. It paid off better than last Sunday. Very hard to compare as weather-wise the days were very different but there are definitely lakers around. A lot of them were short-striking today but they are starting to move into their summer haunts.

Not-so-bright and early at the park. Picked up a few sawbellies and launched the boat at 5. Was checking out fishing spots on the west side just before 5:30. Light tap, nobody home in 80 fow. Not much around, move a bit, drop one. Try the east side. Drop another. Dang it's short-strike city! Population: lake trout. These are seemingly solid hookups that evaporate half way to the surface. Lip hooked or something, finally I get a few to stay pegged all the way to the net. It's now around 7 and things start picking up.

Pockets of fish and they are starting to chase. I have a few come up from 80 almost to the boat before turning around. Pop a couple and release them- I was thinking of smoking a batch this weekend but left the ice in the freezer at home this morning. Poking around I try another spot. There is a big fat mark on the sonar at 40'over 100'. Bombs away! The fish doesnt appear to move but as my jig approaches I stop it and give it a twitch. Then anotheWHAM! A hard hitting fish slams the jig! Wow, I'm hoping it's a brown, I can tell it's probably not a salmon by the way it's moving. As it comes up I see it's a fatty lake trout, I'm guessing ~9 lbs. Big fish of the day!

Pick up a few more and then the action dies at 8:30. Had another two grab-and-gos by about 9:15 but no hookups. Packed it in at 9:45 to re-check some spots I'd looked at earlier. This is always worth doing as sometimes the fish don't move in until later in the morning. Not today though.

For a final hour I ran the slip bobber and cast lures for browns/salmon in an area near Taughannock. Nothing happening here. Okay- time out needed- I'm falling asleep right now writing this. Will update later today (Friday) but the upshot is, some fish, not really aggressive, and no particular depth. I caught fish from 55-100.

Cayuga Jigging 6/16

Monday edit: sounds like there were fish mid-lake, they were just still deep. I heard from someone who did better jigging deeper and from LOU Captain Bill on the Billy V did well deeper too- so I just wanted to correct the report- they are probably shallower up north but there are fish mid-lake, unlike what I reported below... we weren't looking deep enough. Oh well got the kinks out and will bang them next time! Original post follows.

Did some jigging on Cayuga for the first time this year. This is the latest I've ever dropped a jig in but I've been pretty preoccupied with carp! It went okay but conditions weren't great, couldn't fish where I wanted, and we didn't get into a lot of fish.

Started the day around 4:30 when I got to Taughannock and caught a few sawbellies to put out on a slip bobber. Ran this for a while during the day with no takes at 20 and 30 feet down. Met up with a friend just before dawn and got out on the water. We spent a few unproductive minutes casting with fly rods for bass on top, but no luck. Too early. I'm pretty sure a lot of them are still in spawn mode.

Jigging: launching at Dean's Cove would have been my preferred choice but with the early wind and forecast we played it safe and stayed closer to the south end. Started fishing near Kingtown Beach and we each had a hit but didn't connect. Gave this a go for a while before crossing over to Milliken, this was a pretty damp trip. Should have put on my rain gear.

Tucked in behind the plant we were out of the big waves and found some fish but not what I'd like to see- a few weeks early for this location to really be on fire. I got one around 4 lbs. Did most of our jigging here and around 9 packed up and blasted our way back to the park. Pretty good waves out in the middle! Just about to where it gets uncomfortable, but at least going straight into the wind was drier than crossing over. Tried a few spots close to the park with little success, a possible hit or two. Ended up pulling the boat at 10.

That's about it- slow fishing mid-lake, which wasn't a big surprise, but I was hoping it was starting to turn on. Soon enough! I hope to get up to Dean's with a better forecast next time but it's not up to me. Happy fishing all!

Recent Fishing 6/11

It's been a relatively fishless few weeks for me. Had to take a week or so off to recover from the derby (it aggravated knee problems) and then ran into time, weather, and cash problems, so I've been pretty limited this month. I have done some carp fishing however!

Carp reports: Slower. Three trips in the past 10 days or so- day 1, a quick 2 hour session with a few light nibbles. This wasn't a surprise as I was fishing during the middle of the day. Day 2 (last Sunday), fished a good chunk of morning and got into a few fish, nothing special. One break off on a large fish that looked like the leader had gotten wrapped around the sinker, it was all kinked up right before the line break.

Day 3, yesterday morning, started with a bang as I land a good 20 lber ten minutes after I arrived. Yes! Good fishing today! Four hours later: Not another single nibble. Dang. Not very good fishing after all. The cotton from the aspens/cottonwoods has been an issue when the wind comes up in the morning. Oh well, I think it's time to change spots- this is a good early season spot but once the main lake warms up the fish disperse and there isn't a lot of food around. I have seen a lot fewer fish recently than during the peak (in this spot) a few weeks ago. This also jibes with past years.

In related news, I realized too late that the Carp Derby was on Sunday! This is headquartered up at the canal but you can fish any Finger Lakes / canal waters. I had planned on entering but it snuck up on me. Oh well next year. Hope to be taking the boat out for lakers and maybe salmon later this week if the weather ever cooperates. Happy fishing all!

National Lake Trout Derby Final Report 5/27

Great weather, tough fishing. Too bad the lakers didn't turn on with the nicer weather. Schooled and humbled by nature and Seneca Lake, I'm glad to be home with my feet up. Not much to report- we only caught two fish today and I resumed my Saturday slump by catching nothing. Had one fish on for three seconds and one, maybe two other taps. That's it- so a grand total of one laker in roughly 18 hours of fishing. Brutal! I don't think I've ever done so poorly on three trips in a row. Bloody wind! Oh well, that's fishing as they say.

We were fishing in the right spots and with the right gear but it wasn't in the cards. It would have been a long weekend if I were fishing alone so a great big THANK YOU to Al for bringing me along with his regular fishing buddy. It was a good time because of good people. All that wind made it a special kind of fun.

Final results: Jarrod Hughes with a 14.01 lake trout for the grand prize and five grand. Heck of a fish! First place lake trout was 13.18. Second and third place lakers were both 12 point something. The bottom of the Men's Adult category was over ten pounds! The final standings are on the official website. This was my first time in this derby and I have to say I've never seen so many big browns, salmon, and lakers all together like they had them in the cooler at the tent in Geneva. Just great looking fish all around. Okay time to unpack and unwind, can't think of much to say at the moment, pretty beat up from the conditions. Congratulations to the winners!

Derby Day 2 5/26

More wind. More slow fishing. I did catch infinitely more fish than yesterday, hauling in one around five pounds. Our boat caught two fish today. We were drifting waaaaay too fast to really keep contact with the bottom and the jigs were not spending much time in the zone or under our control. The sonar screen was also pretty empty with not many fish seen let alone caught. I have to say though that it's been fun anyway, a nice change of pace from my regular obsessive derby mode. Hopefully Monday will be less windy, it's supposed to be but the lakes often don't quite agree with the inland forecasts. We did not see nearly as many boats out on Sunday. More of a write up when the whole shebang is over. Good luck all!


Correction: 12.14 laker on top. No idea where that discrepancy came from, was pretty sure about that but then again I was pretty darn tired when I stopped by. Or else someone wrote something wrong... whatever, the official website says 12.14!

Derby Day 1 5/25

Wind. Wind. Wind. That's the report. Tough fishing for us but somebody lucked into a 12.52 lb laker, the first place fish at 1:30 on Saturday. Bottom of the laker board was around 10 lbs but they didn't have placards up- it was too windy and they kept blowing off. This also didn't include any fish weighed in at Watkins Glen.

Got moving around 6 AM and headed out looking for fish. The wind steadily increased through the morning and was blowing a good 20-25 mph. We had to stick pretty close to Geneva due to the wind (sense a theme today?) and couldn't explore much. Boats started clearing out around 10 and by the time we left at 12:30 there were very few in sight, but both the State Park and Lakeside Park had a lot of trailers- no idea where the boats were.

Fish were hard to come by for us and we only landed three fish, including the lunker by me which weighed an incredible zero lbs! I had one hit and lost it immediately, never got the hook in. One guy in our party caught two and the other caught one. What fish we saw on the FF were not very active and weren't coming off the bottom much if at all. That's about it- I'm beat and beat up, back at it in the morning!

Late Carp Report / Seneca Derby Time! 5/23

Hey everyone been a super busy week, here's a late carp fishing report and some thoughts on the upcoming National Lake Trout Derby on Seneca. This will be my first time fishing it, it's going to be fun!

Carp fishing: Snuck a few hours in on Monday 5/20. Very good fishing continues! Eight nice fish landed. No big ones, even slightly smaller than last week. This could be due to several factors- the bait I'm using, the big fish getting smarter, or spawning related activity. I may be wearing out my welcome at this one hole. This spot features a 5-6 foot deep hole in a 2-3 foot deep area and it attracts fish like crazy. Also, maybe the big berthas are getting ready to spawn. I'm a bit surprised I haven't seen any spawning activity yet but with this recent heat wave I they may be going at it right now. The goldfish were spawning several weeks ago and on Monday I saw one lone carp doing the shallow wiggle.

The hair rig tied with braid has been on fire. Zing! It sure gets your blood moving when a rod starts zipping line, and I've noticed the smaller (~10 lb) fish put up almost as good a fight as a 20 lber. The big ones must get tired faster, though they are harder to stop on the initial run. Anyway, not much else to report as I've been getting ready for the Seneca Derby!

National Lake Trout Derby: Wow what a change in the weather. After some brutal heat mid-week we are getting hammered with a big cold front. Personally I'd rather fish all day in 60 degree temps than the upper 80s but it's likely to make fishing a bit tough! Hey as long as it's not too windy it'll be fun no matter what. Fishing this derby with a friend and his friend, I'm looking forward to it for sure. We'll be joining the traffic jam at the North end launches and dropping jigs on some lakers.

I haven't been jigging yet this year, spring just has too many fishing opportunities and I'll be jigging most of the summer, but the rod is set, jigs are set, the only thing left is looking for lunkers! If anyone needs jigs or plastics please contact me, I'll have extras on hand all weekend. My phone number is at the top of the store page, feel free to text or call any time. I will definitely be fishing Saturday and Sunday with a good chance of Monday but I'm not sure about Monday yet.

Happy fishing and good luck to all!

1 1/4 Ounce Ball Heads Are In! And A Sale! 5/17

One and one quarter (1 1/4) ounce ball heads are in! Poured with an exclusive custom mold, these are on the same light wire hooks as the regular 1 ounce ball heads. I haven't added them to the store yet but will by tomorrow morning, 5/18, at the latest. These will ship on Monday for orders taken over the weekend.

DERBY SALE! Free shipping on orders over $60 and $3 shipping on orders between $20 and $60. Sale begins Saturday 5/18 and ends at midnight on Monday 5/20. All orders placed by Monday night (shipping Tues) have guaranteed delivery by Friday 5/24. Orders shipped Monday will arrive Thursday at the latest and often much sooner for local delivery.

I am working on updating the store with the new ball heads. I'll have a pic or two and more information.

Happy fishing everyone!

Non-Stop Carp! 5/16

Holy carp city! 12 carp landed today, fast action and I landed a double!

So I'd been reading about how important pre-baiting is to get them comfortable with your bait and the spot you're fishing. Yesterday I went and chucked out quite a bit of bait and didn't fish. It paid off for sure today! The first couple of fish came quickly on the hair rig, both 10-12 pounds or so. The fish were on average smaller today but much more numerous. I did have a few over 20 pounds with most being in the mid teens. One may have been as small as 8 lbs. This is all on Cayuga Lake I should mention.

After last week's double snafu my game plan was to reel in the other line when I had one on to prevent doubling up. That was a bit of excitement for sure, but today topped it easily. I hooked up on the centerpin and immediately started reeling in the spinning rod. Bam! A carp hit it as soon as I started moving it. Oh no, I'm thinking, this is no good! Two fresh carp!

The first one is headed downstream peeling line and it's not near anything troublesome so I hang on and let it go while turning my attention to the spinning rod in my left hand. This fish is bulldogging it toward a tree and I manage to turn it just before it gets there. I'm trying to reel in some line while holding the pin in my right hand when that fish turns and starts heading back toward me. Now both the fish are in the same area and cross and uncross a few times, I'm standing there with my arms spread and two rods doubled over! Man that was something else and I'm just glad they didn't manage to tangle. Finally the spinning rod fish is getting close and I set the pin in a holder with the clicker on, that fish heads back downstream while I unhook the landed fish. Get it (mid teens) back in the water asap and grab the pin. This was pretty hectic! Land this one and it's in the upper teens, maybe 20 lbs. A little shaky from adrenaline so I take a break for 20 minutes and let myself and the spot calm down some. That was crazy!

After that I just fished with the pin and kept up a steady bite, one hookup every 15-20 minutes. It slowed a little as the day went on but I left right after landing the 12th fish. Wow.

Useful details if you've read this far: Hair rig baby! I'm tying mine with 15 lb braid, a size 6 Gamakatsu Octopus and a snap at the other end, all told about 18" long. As far as bait goes, I've got two that seem to work fine but I'd have to say that's less important than other stuff, such as pre-baiting. You can really use almost anything and Google has plenty to offer in this department. Boilies or doughballs, cooked beans or corn, Wonder Bread, Shredded Wheat balls, leftover pizza dough, flavored anything, the list seems nearly endless. Everything I've tried has worked.

One thing that took me a while to figure out was keeping a tight line- other running sinker rigs I've used are set up so the fish takes the bait and runs with as little resistance as possible. That's not what you want to do with carp, they inhale and exhale food to taste it, so it's best to keep a tight line and they end up hooking themselves. I only had 1 dropped fish and it was right after I tightened up. A few other takes with nobody home as well over the course of the morning, but mostly my rod just starts zipping line out because the fish is mostly hooked already. I did miss one good grab because I almost fell in! By the time I got my footing back the carp was gone.

Anyway, have a great weekend everyone and good luck in Barney and Bear's Spring Derby to those entered!

Best Carp Fishing Yet! 5/10

Finally getting dialed in with the traditional English methods. A few of them anyway, there is quite a lot to learn here. It was the best carp day yet! I had one close in early April but those were also much smaller fish. Ended up 3/5. There were some pretty exciting moments including one double!

First hookup is about 45 minutes after I arrive at my spot. Bam big fish running! I fought this fish for about 3-4 minutes before it manages to get into a distant tree and hang me up. Hope the fish busted loose as I gave it a while in case it unwrapped itself but finally had to break it off.

A while later I see line creeping from one of my rods, grab it, bam another fish on! I land this one without too much trouble, about 16-18 lbs as a guess. An hour later hook up again on the same rod, this one heads in the wrong direction and gets tangled with my other rod, luckily this doesn't cause too many problems fighting the fish. I get it beached, unhooked, and away before dealing with an unholy mess. Cut everything loose from the fish rod and just retied. The carp had to be over 20 lbs.

Last carp, I'm fighting it for about ten minutes and have it close to shore when my other rod starts zipping off. Oh no! A carp double! This was pretty exciting for sure, I let it take a hundred yards of line while I frantically beach the first fish. Another one around 20 lbs. Get it up and grab the other rod. Get all the slack reeled in and as soon as I'm fighting the fish for real it pops loose. Wow! I think next time I'll try to grab it, set the hook, and open the bail again to let it run, I never got a good hookset.

And that's about it. I'm still using the hair rig but making some adjustments. I did not catch any other species today although from other peoples' catches the bullhead were out in force. This is a good sign but I think sometimes the goldfish are managing to steal the bait without me knowing. Okay gotta run but it's improving out there! Or maybe I'm improving. Either way the carp are biting!

Pic Test 5/9

Trying out adding pics to the reports, haven't done it before. Here we go.

Picked up this carp Weds morning. 35" x 25".

Test two, goldfish:

Goldfish, same day.

I'll be messing around with the site this week so don't be surprised by anything you see, things may change or stop working temporarily.

Edit: Looks like the pics worked okay, may tweak it a bit but there we go, new pics finally! Also important: I have come to realize that while I caught a few redhorse suckers in the beginning, mostly what I've been catching recently have been goldfish that have lost a lot of color from being in the wild. They don't have the downturned mouth of a sucker and are a taller/rounder fish as opposed to the suckers longer skinny shape. Around here they have a very similar color scheme with a silvery body and red fins. Locals here call them "redfin carp" which is accurate enough I guess but they're actually goldfish. Some are much more orange like the one above.

More Carp 5/8

More carp. Yes, the trout and salmon are on deck but I've got the big orange bug. Yet to have a banner day but I'm plugging away. They are wary creatures for sure! Let's see- made some changes to rigging, if I ever nail down a good rig I'll post what I'm up to but hard to say yet as I'm trying new things. The past few days I've been fishing with bait as opposed to the fly rod.

Tally today: 1 carp about 25 lbs, 1 lost carp maybe about 35 lbs, some more goldfish, redhorse, and a sunfish. Also pretty sure I had another carp on but only for five to ten seconds. The redhorse were less of a problem but it could either be the rigging or just the day, they seemed to be in spawning mode so maybe that was it.

Mildy interesting story time: hooked the second carp, the bigger one, and it took off. Just as it's peeling drag a pair of geese do a flyby and one of them gets hung up in my line for a few seconds! I was starting to think I'd be hauling in a goose and a carp together but it got free and flew off with no problems. I fought the carp for about ten minutes and got it near the bank when it turned and popped free. Nothing I could have done about that, and I think it's the first time I've ever lost a carp that solidly hooked up, or at least it seemed to be. Also had a beaver cruise past me back and forth for about five minutes- it was quite curious but eventually spooked with the tail slap. Okay that's all for now, happy fishing!

Cayuga Carping 5/6

What a week it's been! The fantastic weather continues. The carp fishing continues. I actually had to stay inside all weekend due to a nasty burn I got on Thursday. Cancelled a lake trip I had planned. It's been a good 15 years or so since I had a sunburn this bad! No blisters or pain that prevents sleep but I'm still red four days later. Wore a hoodie this morning with hood up and arms covered. Still pretty toasty. Anyway, the fishing!

Not too bad, not great. Came up with a few sunnies, a lot more redhorse, and one more big carp, this one probably just over 20 lbs. I was fishing with the pin today, using a hair rig and the lift method. Getting into carp fishing is a different world, especially as it's a lot more popular in England and Europe so a lot of the terms are different. I'm trying to learn! A hair rig is sort of like an egg loop for an egg sac, the idea is to keep the bait away from the hook in order to not spook the fish. In this case though the bait is below the hook and the hook gets sucked in when a carp sucks in the bait.

So no bass today but sunfish. (Bluegills.) I also had a swipe from a gar, there were three cruising around and I took a few casts with the fly rod and a large streamer. The gar took a halfhearted whack but didn't really commit. Too bad they weren't feeding as they're definitely on my to-catch list.

The carp was fun, first one on the pin! I was surprised that I didn't see as many carp around. Also surprising was the turbidity, the area I was fishing (frog water of a trib) was muddier than it was Thursday and it didn't rain. It may have been due to some geese stirring things up. I saw a LOT of water snakes today. Several were quite curious and I had to shoo them away with my rod. Tried the fly rod and only came up with a goldfish and a redhorse. Not as many fish around today and the action died around 11 though I stuck it out until 1. Happy fishing everyone!


Carp Month! 5/2

Okay, May is actually "any fish month" as fishing for most species is excellent in May, but I've been looking forward to carp season. It's on!

Carp and everything else are in your favorite hole. Today I caught two great smallies, one over three pounds, the other probably just under, one mid-teens carp and a small fortune in redhorse. Tough carp day but other fish were biting. Probably saw fifty carp or more but they were just cruising, not really feeding. They are in, however! I'll probably spend more time than I should admit chasing the beasts. The one I landed was an easy 16-18 pounds and got me 50 feet into my backing without trouble.

The redhorse were very aggressive and may have caused carp problems. Even hooking one of those and quickly getting it to shore spooked the carp for a good 15-20 minutes each time, and I caught a lot of redhorse! Great day though, with a lot of species in the mix, I also saw a bullhead caught by someone else.

The bigger smallmouth put up a great fight complete with two jumps. I may have also caught a goldfish, or just a really bright redhorse, it was hard to tell but the body was orange/red too. Most goldfish are pretty obvious, perhaps it was a koi or a hybrid something. Battery was dead on camera or I'd have a few pics. Oh all this was on nymphs, even the bass. Tried a little baitfishing but got bored and went walkabout with the fly rod.

Cayuga Trolling 4/26

What a morning! Took guff out for some salmon fishing and they were everywhere! More boats today than earlier this week and it looked like everyone was hooking up. We started off with a big fat pickerel in 12 fow and after that it was atlantic salmon after atlantic salmon. Best day of the year so far!

Some details: most lure caught fish. A firetiger Rapala caught quite a few including the big fish of the day, a 22.99" fattie guff reeled in. (It was 23" if I squeezed the tail a bit.) By a small margin the big fish of the week as well. Most of the fish were just under 18" down to 13" or so, didn't really measure the small ones. We started losing track after six fish but it must have been close to 20, or even 20. Doesn't matter! It was a great day of fishing. Ah, a blue backed Rapala also caught a few fish but most everything did.

I can tell this report is a bit scattered, I'm pretty fried after getting up at 4:30 three times this week, been a hectic week without much sleep. I'll try to get most of the important bits down.

So we worked the south end and east side up to Bolton Point, near shore the water remained in the upper 40's until Bolton Point where it got down to 46 or so. Out over the deeper water it was a little colder. One spoon with nothing but the weight of the snaps caught its fair share but overall it was a stick bite for us. I just find sticks easy to work with and productive. Tried out a torpedo diver for the first time and liked what I saw. As most of the fish were relatively shallow the torpedo didn't spend much time in the water but I'll be using it for sure in the future. Nearly all our fish came from about 5 feet down with a few deeper later in the morning but we still got a few off the top even then, picked up the last one just before we hit the white lighthouse on the way back in.

What else... dunno, just a great morning with light fog to start and sunny to party sunny at times. A light northerly picked up later in the morning and put a very light chop on the water. Heck of a day, one to remember! Oh right a fair number of small lamprey. One fish yesterday had FOUR lamprey, all up near the head- a dang aquatic Medusa!

Spring Reports! 4/25/13

Hey all, happy spring! I've been remiss in my reports so here is an update.

Salmon: fishing for landlockeds has been very good this week. Tuesday 4/23 I went out solo and ran two inline planers and one other top line, never going below 10 feet or so. I picked up 1 brown 17", 2 rainbows 20" and under, and 8 salmon from 16-22". Mostly on sticks (2/3 rods) and pretty much anything I put out there got hit. No real favorites. Bomber Long As, Jr. Thundersticks, Rapalas, and small spoons all caught fish. Got one of the salmon casting a stick. A great morning and better than the previous trip 4/8. Water was still cold then and I got one 1 small Atlantic and a decent laker.

Thurs 4/25: more trolling and casting. Got a new fishing buddy out and we did okay, 4 salmon before 8:15 when I had to run him in for work. Two shorts plus two nicer fish one 19" and one 21". The two larger ones were on a double, first of the year. I then spent an hour and a half casting getting two 16-17" salmon in the area we picked up the others. Fish were more concentrated today. I was just glad we got into them as it was blowing pretty good all night and a strong front came through late yesterday.

Creeks: Didn't do much rainbow fishing this spring and didn't catch any the two brief trips I made. Oops, not true, I did catch one around 15-16".

Carp: They are starting to show up but it's still pretty weather dependent. I got some nearly two weeks ago during a warm spell but then it got colder and a cold rain drove them back into the lake. Last week I didn't get a bite and nobody else around did either, except for the guy who caught a nice 4-5 lb salmon. They (carp) are definitely available in the lake on rushes and cattails right now and will be in the creeks in force very soon. I think that's about it for now... good luck out there.

1 oz. Minnow Heads Back In Stock 3/31

Hi folks I know this isn't the best place for store updates but I am working on that. The store will be getting its own update page very soon. For now this one does double duty.

Anyway- it was a beautiful day and I got to spend a few hours outside pouring jigs. 1 oz. minnow heads are back in stock as a result. Nice to have a relatively warm sunny day for a change! Waiting for spring has been tough but the payoff is here and April is just over a day away.

Inventory Updated 3/18/13

I have updated the inventory in the store as promised. As soon as the weather breaks I can get back to pouring and painting again.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by on Saturday! I had a great time talking to everyone.

This paragraph edited just because :-)

Fishing Day Fun 3/16/13

A quick update: The Ithaca Fishing Day was a lot of fun. Learned a few things, sold a few jigs, and told a few fishing stories. Heard some good ones too! I have to say it didn't help with fishing withdrawal, it made it worse. At least we're on the tail end of winter and spring browns and salmon are just around the corner.

Anyway, I just wanted to say I'm now low on a few items for Deepwater Lures. I'll update the store inventory tomorrow (Sunday) but am pretty beat up after a long day and just don't have it in me right now. This probably won't affect anyone but there it is. Thanks to everyone who came by!

Fishing Day Info 3/13

Pricing update:

Edit #3: Spoons will be $5.00 for 4.

Edit #2: Fixed minnow head info. I have lots of 1.5 oz, low on 1 oz. minnow heads.

Edit #1: Prices on Saturday will be a little different. All soft plastics $4.00 / bag. Jigs sold in packs of 5 for $5.00. Save on cash sales, tax included. Tax added to credit card sales as usual.

Some information about the Ithaca Fishing Day. I'll be there selling jigs and Lunker City plastics. I'll have round head jigs, Erie jigs, jigging spoons, and the minnow head jigs. I'm a little low on 1 oz minnow heads. I'll have all the soft plastics. Pretty much everything on the website I'll have some of, except the stuff I'm already out of- painted jig heads mostly.

I will be accepting credit cards. Pricing will be almost the same but rounded out for cash sales- if you pay cash on a 10 dollar purchase, it'll be $10 even, tax included. If you pay with a credit card the tax will be added like normal, totaling 10.80.

This will be fun, but I should say there is a chance I'll have to leave the event a few hours early. As some of you may know I have a lot of joint and muscle problems. I don't want to get into it too much but when it affects my ability to run Deepwater Lures I feel I should let people know. It's also hard to predict how things will flare up so I may be there all day or might have to leave in the early afternoon. Also due to this and the weather (my work area is unheated) I was not able to fill out inventory and paint jigs, but I do have hundreds of jigs ready to go.

Finally, if anyone wants to pre-order for Saturday pickup, place an order on the website and send me an email. I'll refund the shipping charge and bring the order with me on Saturday.

I think that's all for now, see you Saturday!

Happy February! 2/9

On the upside of winter and itching for spring. How is everyone?

An item of note, I will be at the Ithaca Fishing Day, Saturday March 16th at Boynton Middle School in Ithaca. I'll have both jigs and Lunker City soft plastics for sale. More information coming soon.

Site updates: haven't changed much as I'm working on redoing the whole thing from the bottom up. That's getting done before adding more content. Should be some good stuff coming this year!

Slow Fall 12/9

It's been a slow fall in the tribs. Water levels have been mostly very low and fish have been hard to come by. A bit different from last year when there were big salmon and browns everywhere! That said there have been some and I thought I'd post a report of sorts. Yeah, too late for useful information but it's pretty straightforward- if there is water, there will be fish. If not, then not. Most of the fall it's been "not". I've come up with quite a few brown and rainbows 18" and under but not many that take line.

I thought the hardest thing about fishing with a centerpin would be casting but I've found it's been keeping fish hooked. The casting came pretty naturally and I'll occasionally get a small mess but it's all loops- keep opening it up and it'll take care of itself. Also, getting the mess off the reel helps a lot.

My landing rate is way down though and it's been hard to figure out why. Possible factors: not being used to the longer and softer rod, wrong hook choice, and possibly just plain bad luck. Some bad luck for sure, I broke my Aventa in half setting the hook on a pretty good sized brown (didn't land it either without a good set) and just some bad timing on a day or two. I did switch from mostly octopus hooks to egg hooks and it may have made a difference. Also I seem to drop the smaller fish, I'm guessing because of their tendency to really spin and flop.

Here's a good story about the broken rod. It was one of the fishier days and I was pretty upset that it broke. Tried fishing with just the bottom third but it only had one guide on it and casting was next to impossible. I didn't want to leave the fresh fish so I took ten minutes and lashed the middle section back together with mono. It looked pretty sketchy but only made the rod about a foot shorter. This paid off as I nailed an absolutely beautiful male brown shortly after. One of the best looking fish I've seen in a while, about 7 lbs and with some of the brightest colors I've ever seen. Vivid red spots, a golden yellow belly, good shoulders, no lamprey marks, just great! That made me feel a whole heck of a lot better about the broken rod. I did not take a pic, it would have been yet another fish on the rocks shot. If someone was nearby I'd have asked but instead got him back in asap. I did take a pic of the rod though!

In other news, I really want to work on the site but am still having computer problems. Dang repair place can't seem to get it right. (To be fair it's an intermittent problem so I'm not surprised they think they fix it, but as soon as I get home it's busted again.) This little laptop is not good enough to do web development on. Maybe next time it'll work. Okay that's all for now, brain is a little fuzzy so I hope it mostly makes sense!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Keuka 10/24

A great day on the water. Conditions were just right with little wind and fish feeding all day long. Met up with guff at Keuka Lake State Park and we started fishing around 9:30 near the bluff. Over the course of the day we checked out three spots and two of them were loaded with fish, marks everywhere and bait too. Fish were anywhere from 85-130+ but we mostly fished roughly in the 100-120 range or so.

We didn't do anything special except be there at the right time, we were using the same standard jigging gear as always, the fish just had their feed bag on. Mid day there were a lot of suspended fish but later in the afternoon they were closer to the bottom but still perfectly willing to chase. Or not! On 6-8 fish I dropped the jig down to the bottom, lifted the rod to start jigging and there was a laker on the hook! Very cool to get into fish like that, after struggling the last part of the summer on Cayuga getting into heavy feeders was a lot of fun.

What else could be useful information... feeding fish, 100+ fow, calm, overcast, white/chartreuse lures, all the regular stuff just a lot of biters. Oh guff was an absolute pleasure to fish with and great host, we had a good time and laughed a lot. I even managed to put down the rod at times and eat most of my lunch, something I often neglect to do. Time passed quickly and the brief downpour did nothing to dampen the day. Thank you guff! I haven't had that much fun in quite some time. Great timing on the invitation, you picked the right day that's for sure.

We fished for 7.5 hours and averaged one fish every 7.03 minutes, just a mind-boggling catch rate. At least it boggles my mind! Okay that's a weird word when you type it a few times... boggle boggle boggle. But it does describe the day. The bite was pretty steady- if there were fish on the screen they were going to hit. The grand total was 64 fish with some lost and plenty of missed hits too. It was great to be back on the water after an unintended month off. Thanks again guff, it was a day to remember.

Whew! 10/20

Wow, what a month. Thought I'd be out there fishing up a storm this fall but it doesn't look that way right now, that's for sure. My poor boat is full of pine needles. Would have put it in the barn if I'd known this was coming but at least pine needles are pretty easy to clean up.

Let's see, anything doing fish wise? I did an hour's worth of casting from shore at Taughannock. Saw a smallmouth follow, and got completely ignored by a laker and two other trout, I think they were browns but I'm not positive. Other than that, NO FISHING! That pretty much sucks. Been pretty windy too, there was a heck of a current heading south at the park yesterday.

Oh I did test out the float rod one day, spent a few hours playing with it in water for the first time. We'll see how it goes when there are actual fish around! Hard to beat swinging streamers for the Atlantics though, those can be ferocious hits on the tight line. It's pretty cool seeing a float drop too but it's different, getting hit on a streamer is an instant whack and rush versus the anticipatory feeling of seeing the float drop and setting the hook before you even know for sure if you'll feel a fish there. Both exciting feelings but different. Shoot I'd settle for any feeling of a fish on the line right now!

That's all, hope you all are out fishing. I'm still here just been unable to fish. Oh the site got re-hacked briefly but it's safe now and should be fixed for good, finally got the server account this site runs on cleaned up too. I'm keeping a close eye on this but only time will tell. Pretty sure of smooth sailing ahead. Happy fishing everyone!

Hack Update 10/4

Couple notes about the hacking: turns out it's the server this site is based on, so a bunch of sites got zapped. I cleaned this one but might experience issues until the main server is cleaned.

Deepwater Lures customers are 100% safe, both now and in the future. Your CC transactions are handled entirely by the very safe Paypal software. I'll be keeping a very close eye on this site in the next few days and will be actively working toward keeping this sort of random attack at bay. Also, 1.5 oz minnow heads are back. Finally a pic coming tomorrow too.

Thanks, Alec

Hacked 10/4

Wow, the site got hacked! It's clean now but I'll have to figure out how they got in. I wanted to write an update anyway but got an unpleasant surprise, which is gone now. Anyway, a few unexpected things have kept me from fishing these past few weeks and I'm ready to get back out there before fall really sets in. Not much of a note for now, I planned on writing more but have to deal with this hacking. If you're reading this all is well. More later I hope.

Barney and Bear Day 2 And Results

6:50 am  

What a great day. Best fishing in the past two weekends, light winds, and a good time. (Derby results after report.) Bounced around trying to find fish for the first three to four hours before settling and fishing a few locations. I started at Taughannock and headed north, figuring if the wind was going to be from the north I wanted to get up the lake early. I much prefer going with the waves than against them, it's too jarring to pound into big waves. Tried a few spots before ending up a few miles from Sheldrake.

Nothing much so I headed to the east side. This was a little bumpier with a west wind, picked up a few small lakers but wanted some bigger ones. Headed back west, got a few in the 6-7 lb range near Rocky Dock. By now it's sunny and I'm seeing a few more fish. Ended up fishing two spots for the rest of the day between Rocky Dock and the park. Marked a good number of fish in a few areas on the west side. Not stacked but little groups of three and four, then an empty spot, then a few more. Had a hot hour beteween 11 and noon, bringing up a handful of 5-7 lb fish. Brought two to the weigh in but they were both just short of yesterday's 7 lb 13 oz fish.

By noonish the lake lay down and the fishing slowed up, I had a few chasers but couldn't connect. A glow head worked early in the day and the plain lead later. Found fish 75-90 but the highest concentration was 82-83 feet. A lot of fish right in that zone in multiple locations. Just could not crack 8 lbs today.

I wonder what the reason is, the winning fish this summer seemed on the low side. I've been out of the action for a few years but I remember five years ago when I had a fish over 10 lbs that didn't even make 10th place! I don't know about weights the past few years.

I hope it's not the lamprey, I did see a lot this summer and several fish this weekend had gaping holes in them where lamprey dropped off on the way up. There seems to be plenty of bait. Maybe just odd patterns, I know the big ones are in there, I caught a lot of really nice fish earlier in the year but it's been on the slow side since August. Anyway, I promised results and here they are:

Place Name Weight
1st Trout and Lunker  Jared Marion 8 lb 1 oz
2nd Alec Johnston 7 lb 13 oz
3rd Frank Bosek 7 lb 12 oz
4th Don Hinkley 7 lb 9 oz
5th Dan Gorden 7 lbs 8 oz
6th Scott Bennett 7 lb 5 oz
7th Tom Fitzgibbons 7 lb 1 oz
8th Ted Lingle 6 lb 15 oz
9th Rollie Connors 6 lb 9 oz
10th Bruce Wolfe 6 lb 7 oz
1st Bass Anthony Muro 5 lb 3 oz
2nd Ron Lacy 4 lb 12 oz
3rd Mike Dagatia 4 lb 9 oz
1st Youth Kaden Chamberlain 8 lb 13 oz Laker
(The Real Lunker!)

Those are some nice bass, last week too. Makes me want to learn how to bass fish. I do like catching bass, smallmouth especially, but am not very good at it. I hear fall is a good time but there's so much other stuff too. Pike fishing will turn on soon, and I'd like to do that, not to mention the brown and salmon runs this fall. Fall and spring, the best times to fish!

Barney and Bear Day 1

6:51 pm  Cayuga Evening

Back at the park around 3:30. On the water shortly after. Still very bumpy! If it's going to be windy I prefer a South wind. Thought about hauling to Dean's but didn't want to bother with only a few hours to fish. Saw some friends at the park which was cool, first in the truck then in the boat.

Fishing was... well I was fishing, which is always good, and it wasn't cold and raining, which was also good, but the fishing still left a lot to be desired. I got tricked this morning into thinking it would be a decent day of fishing but that was a very short-lived burst.

This evening was "firsts". First jig I dropped I caught a fish. Then nothing for an hour. Put on a spoon and the first drop, caught another fish. Nothing for 1/2 hour. Having learned my lesson I tried a third lure, hooked a fish but dropped it. Then nothing until I called it a day just after six. Got beat up pretty good again by the wind and waves, both today and last Saturday are not days I would ordinarily fish. Sounds like the weather will be better tomorrow, I hope the catching is too!

11:22 am  

Nice and calm at the ramp.

10:14 am  

Definately 3 footers out here!

9:37 am  

Got a lot slower.

9:00 am  

Better fishing than last weekend but pretty breezy!

7:47 am  

Got 1 not many marks yet.

Gearing up! 5:17 AM

It's a little breezy here at the house but it shouldn't be too bad at the lake. I'll try and update some this morning. Good luck everyone.

B & B Derby and Floatfishing

5:39 pm  Think This Will Be Fun

Spent a half hour playing with the pin, practicing the Wallis. Figured I'd go right for it and not mess around with the side cast as I don't like the idea of twist. No major SNAFUs, no backlashes just a few loops falling off the reel at times. 20-30 foot casts seem to be my limit but I'm pretty happy for the first day of trying this. That's probably it until next week, it's Derby Time. Happy fishing everyone!

Earlier Post:

Last Derby on Cayuga! Barney and Bear's Fall Derby starts tonight at midnight, if that's your thing. The weather certainly looks better than last weekend though a cold front coming through tonight might slow things down on Saturday. Not as big a system by any means so hopefully the fishing will be better. Good luck all!

On another note, I bought a float rod about two weeks ago and had a few minutes to check it out yesterday. Already had a reel so I was half way there on cost. Actually I bought two, the Okuma Aventa 13' 6" and the Raven Matrix 12' 6", with the intention of returning one. I spooled up the reel this morning and am heading out to the yard this evening once the wind dies a bit. I haven't even tried casting yet but I can say it feel pretty powerful to hold a long rod! That sounds wrong somehow but you know what I mean.

From last year and previously I remember how frustrating it can be to get a good drift with a fly, and rarely a vertical one- even using a right angle leader it can be tough. Not to mention the fly is in the zone maybe half the time you're drifting. I know that's a bit of generalization, but the point is getting a good drift will be a heck of a lot easier once I figure out how to cast this thing.

Been doing a lot of reading and watched a few videos on youtube but nothing beats hands-on experience. Also the reading has got me a bit confused about lines, shot, floats, and everything else. A lot of opinions out there! If anyone out there has any tips I'd be glad to hear them. We'll just see how this goes...

Salvation Army Derby Results

Just in from Ron Seacord, the list of Derby winners. Unfortunately no weights attached so I have to go on memory, really wish I'd taken the pic like I'd planned. Thanks for sending that Ron. Anyway, here they are:

Place Name Weight
Grand Prize  Jared Abbott 10 lb 5 oz Laker
1st Laker Alec Johnston 8 lb 1 oz
2nd Dave Barry 8 lb 0 oz
3rd Scott Bennett 7 lb ? oz
4th Shaw Fitzgibbons  7 lb ? oz
5th Shawn Owens 6 lbs 10 oz
1st Other + Lunker  Willie Durbin 9 lb 15 oz Rainbow 
2nd Chuck Heath 5 lb 5? oz Brown?
3rd Rich Stevens 2 lb 3? oz LL
4th Kylee Lansdow 2 lb 0 oz LL
5th Vacant
1st Bass Brooks Hendrix 5 lb ? oz LM
2nd Chris Laverack 3 lb ? oz SM
3rd Anthony Muro
4th Rick French
5th Shane O'Brien

Hope I got everyone's name right, the list was handwritten. Congratulations to everyone on a tough weekend, hope the fishing is a little easier for Barney and Bear's (coming right up!)

Site Updates 9/11

Worked on the site a few hours today. Got the 2007/2008 reports page back up, also the photo gallery. I have a bunch more pics to add but for now the old ones are back! Lots more to fix up but it's a start.

Salvation Army Final Day 9/9

What a weekend. I'm pretty beat up after all that. Yesterday was tough weather wise, except for the beautiful evening, and today was extremely tough fishing. I managed one fish shortly before calling it a day at 2:00 PM. One fish in 8 hours, definitely the slowest laker day for me this year. I have to say finally landing that fish made my weekend! I had resigned myself to the skunk when a quick flurry of short strikes came around. Put on a spoon and still couldn't connect, even with the treble hook! Went back to the jig and got a nice fish just as the flurry died. Whew! What a relief. All in all 1 for 12-15 or so, I just could not get the hook to stick- a lot of rod benders and two fish dropped halfway up.

As for the derby it sounded like everyone had it rough. The storm system and big blow really made conditions hard this weekend. The best time period for me was the Saturday evening bite, good fishing and just a really nice time on the lake.

I made a major mistake by not weighing in that salmon I caught last night, it was 2 lbs 10 ounces and would have been third place in the B division. Before going to the weigh in I looked in the cooler and thought nope too small. Whoops! I did hear someone else tossed a few back which makes me feel a little better. That fish was barely legal, I figured no way would it place given the number of boats I saw today. Oh well, kicking myself a little for sure, that's going to be one expensive dinner.

On the other hand, the first fish I caught yesterday at roughly 7:30 AM turned out to be my biggest. And I was very surprised it ended up in first place in the laker division at 8 lbs 1 oz. Second was 8 - 0, third and fourth in the 7 lb range and 6 - 10 was 5th. A big fat 10 lb 5 oz (90% sure of the exact weight) laker took the grand prize and a phenomenal 9 lb 15 oz rainbow was tops in the other trout division. They had a pic up of it and it was just beautiful! There were some nice bass caught too, the winner was over five lbs.

Thanks to the Salvation Army for sponsoring the event and I had a great time at the weigh in talking with folks, met some new guys and traded stories. Meant to take a pic of the leaderboard but totally forgot, even had the camera in my pocket the whole time. Brain is kind of fried! Later all, and happy fishing (as always).

Fizzle Storm 9/8

1:45 pm  Finally

Holy smokes finally got one in the boat!

11:07 am  Beyond slow 9/9 AM

Wow slowest day of the year for me. 0/6 none in the boat!

8:14 pm  Evening Fishing:

Went back out, on the water by 4:10. Five minutes in I landed two lakers on two consecutive drops, thought I hit the motherlode... nope. Maybe that was the tail end of a good bite or I just got lucky. At least it was flat calm! Quite a difference from this morning. Two short hits between 4:30 and 6:15, when the slip bobber went down- fish on! I didn't run this rig in the morning due to the conditions. A nice little salmon hit the net, looks like it was starting to color up for fall already, or else it just had a lot of spots? Don't know enough to know for sure.

Then at 6:30 I doubled up with a laker and another salmon, this one a little smaller. Shortly after the bobber went down again but the hook didn't catch and I lost it. Total for the evening- 3 more lakers, 6-7 lbs, and 2 salmon, one maybe 3 lbs the other 2 or so. Much more relaxing and very nice out compared to the morning. Good luck tomorrow everyone!

AM Report:

A bit of a fizzle what with the lack of severe thunderstorms, which is a good thing as they can cause a lot of damage. Did not live up to the hype. Still very windy this morning but if the rain clears I may have to go back out for the last few hours today.

This may have been the first time I've been on the water and seen 3-4 footers, there were some HUGE waves as I was heading in. Bow goes waaaayy up and slam, down into the next one, big honking waves. Could have been because they were reflecting off the wall and causing some crazy action just in front of the launch. Still big elsewhere too.

Boat control was tough and the fishing was slow, went 3/4 and kept the first one. 80-100 fow. I lasted until 10 when I got a call saying the rain was headed my way. Hope it's better tomorrow, the wind almost has to be better as it couldn't get much worse! Who knows what the fishing will be like though. Thought I was going to do a liveblog but there was just too much going on, maybe tomorrow.

Tough Timing / Be Careful! 9/7

Wow, the forecast for Saturday, day 1 of the Salvation Army Derby, is rough and tough! High winds and strong storms are expected. From the NWS, edited to remove geeky weather terms:




It's looking like a windy morning with very strong afternoon thunderstorms, hail and damaging winds are likely, and even a slight tornado risk. Be safe while fishing! I know I'm preparing to go but fully expect to be blown off early, if I make it out at all. Could be one of those days I get to the launch only to turn around and head home. Sunday looks better but it'll be an interesting weekend for sure, big boats will definitely have the advantage.

Whatever happens I'm psyched to get out there this weekend, might have to shore fish but it always beats working. Been a busy week with a lot of Deepwater Lures work, a crew putting siding on the house and installing some windows, an overabundance of vegetables to put up, some other work work, man it's nice to relax a bit this evening even though fishing prep is keeping me busy too. Well good luck all, stay dry and out of the wind!

New Products! (Final Ad) 9/6

Hey folks, so this will be the final ad and this space will go back to fishing reports. I've been adding a lot of new items so I just wanted to get the word out. Lunker City soft plastics are now in stock, as are the Ear Ball heads and Minnow heads. Thanks for checking it out and good luck to everyone in the Salvation Army Derby, the weather looks to be a factor for sure!

Minnow Heads Available 9/5

Minnow jig heads will be available starting Thurs 9/6. These will be on heavy wire Mustad 32786BLN hooks, 1 oz. jigs on 3/0, 1 1/2 oz. jigs on 4/0 hooks. Also available will be several sizes of ear ball jigs. I'll try and get the Deepwater site updated by noon tomorrow with the new products. If anyone wants either of these before the Salvation Army Derby I'll do what I can to get them to you before that.

Also I'll be liveblogging the derby here, if you can't fish it check in for updates!

Shop Update 9/1

Deepwater Lures updates: I now have round and Erie heads in white and green glow chartreuse. Coming after Labor Day: 1 oz. and 1 1/2 oz. minnow heads on Mustad Ultrapoint 32786BLN black nickel hooks. These jigs are heavy wire for those who prefer extra sturdy hooks. Also new next week are Lunker City Shakers, Swimfish, and Fin-S-Fish. Thanks everyone and happy fishing this weekend!

Cayuga 8/30

A fun morning and reminder that summer is drawing to a close. The fishing was slow for us but I had fun with my friend T, who has made a few trips with me this year. We landed 4 lakers in 90-110 feet of water but saw fish in as shallow as 80. Fished 6-11. The cool morning (upper 40's!) made for a good breeze up the lake and we stayed near Taughannock most of the day. Tried one spot up past the Boy Scout camp but the breeze was picking up and I knew it would be bumpy for a few hours.

We also tried drifting nightcrawlers and crayfish for bass outside the weedline but came up empty. This was maybe an hour and a half mid-morning. Dropped anchor and had a bit of trouble getting it back, T had to hold on tight while I goosed the motor opposite the direction we'd been drifting. Must've been stuck under a big rock or something.

Went back out for lakers after this and picked up two more, the last fish of the day was a solid 9 lbs, a real fatty. A lot of lookers and not many biters again. The action has been slowly tapering off recently but I hope it improves. I did hear a while back the evening bite was better. According the moon cycle, if one believes such things (I'm on the fence) fishing should be good by the end of next week. Did I mention this recently in another post? It's been a long day and my mind is kind of fried.

Fun things of the day were a hot air balloon that came down close to the lake before lifting away and a few deer we saw playing along the lake shore. Also found out a good friend may be moving back to town but that has absolutely nothing to do with fishing, so I guess that's a wrap! Probably won't be out over the weekend but have a great holiday everyone.

Tuesday Randomness 8/28

A couple of things today. First is about the last fishing trip. I don't get out with others too often and it was a lot of fun. I got a real kick out of watching the FF and saying "reel reel reel!" when a fish came up for J's falling jig. Then a few seconds later- fish on! That was fun, I just wish it happened more often than it did. The late August slump is in full effect. It's been a few years since I've been out but I remember this slow-down period. It should pick up again as spawning approaches, it's time to get off the flats and start fishing points and drop offs as the spawning fish are looking for rocky bottoms. Or at least check all types of structure, spawning hasn't started yet.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet but it's been breezy and the fish are getting deeper so one thing I've been doing to help with that is using a 1/2 oz rubber core sinker 2-3 feet up from the jig. It helps the jig drop quickly and it's easier to stay near the bottom, as the fish aren't really coming up like they did earlier in the year. The heavier that rubber core is the less you will feel the jig itself but the 1/2 oz size seems to be a decent compromise.

Finally, it's been very busy around here and I haven't had time to build the painting hood yet or finish expanding the new mold. (Got another 1 oz mold and I'm using a dremel to make the cavities larger.) All I can say is both painted jigs and larger ones are coming soon, I also have been testing a heavier hook for those that want a more heavy-duty jig. Thanks for being patient and thanks so much to those who have already placed orders! I should have time soon to work on both the jig business and the site, I know it needs work too. Thanks for stopping by and happy fishing.

Cayuga 8/24

Out today with a guy new to jigging. We had a lot of fun and got into fish, the bite continues to be slower than last month but still respectable. Perhaps the evening bite I've been hearing about is still on. All I know is that it was a beautiful morning.
Tried the West shore first north of the Boy Scout camp and didn't see much except bait. pushed through the early morning waves to AES and got pretty wet- my 15 horse does pretty well with two people but it definitely rides lower and hits the big waves harder. Set up and we're immediately on fish, unfortunately they were not aggressive today. Still landed a 9 or 10 between the two of us and had a great time while doing it. I missed a hit before J hooked up with a laker! That got the skunk out.

The most excitement for me was hooking into a chunk salmon, 4-5 lbs. Hooked it down about 50 and with the high-velocity head shakes knew it wasn't a laker. Get it up to the surface to find it was a beautiful silver salmon. I didn't move quickly enough for the net, actually I never went for it at all, must've been too busy gawking at the fish. Should have asked for help but didn't think about it and soon enough it spit the hook after a jump and some tailwalking. I was happy enough, just getting it up boatside was awesome! More later I need to go. (2:15 PM)

Stewart Park 8/21

Took the leftover bait down to Stewart Park for two hours this morning. First spot I tried was dead for 45 minutes so I moved, finally got into a few fish- bullhead. Got two nice sized bullhead and a small perch. The bullhead took crayfish, the perch a worm, all fished on slip sinker rigs. Had two other takes that came up empty but it was pretty slow. A few more hours could've resulted in a nice bucket of bullhead but I didn't have time and didn't want to keep them out of the warm water. I hear they aren't as good from the warm muddy water but never tried them, I used to do pretty well on them in similar areas in April and those were good but the water just didn't look appetizing today. Still have a little bait left, might try something else but I'm itching to get back on the lake!

Mays Point 8/20

A lot of fun with a couple of friends but not a lot of catching going on. We did well on sub-10" catfish and drum but nothing else. Did see a pair of guys catch one decent carp apiece but not a lot of action today. Sure was a lot of evidence of fishermen, line everywhere tripping you up, discarded bait packs and lure packaging- too bad some guys are slobs.

We didn't have a lot of bank fishing experience between the three of us but I don't think that was the issue today, the big ones just weren't around. I get the feeling it's a better spot in May and June, maybe later in the fall too. We were hoping for drum or catfish, brought catfish bait, crayfish, and nightcrawlers. Two 6-8" sheephead were caught and the baby cats were lighting up the nightcrawlers but that was it.

I did have a moment of excitement when my line took off, paused, and started peeling off pretty good. Unfortunately it was the fisherman up the way, we both were excited for a few seconds there but ended up being hooked into each other. Oh well! We ended up talking to them and they were pretty cool. A handful of others were around but other than those two carp nothing of any size was caught. Fished 5:30-8:30. I'm beat! Later all, I'll have to drown the rest of the bait down by Stewart Park this week.

Cayuga 8/16

Very nice morning and the lakers were in a cooperative mood, at least early on. Landed seven nice fish in the first hour and a half or so, and another five over the next few hours. Kept getting slower and slower. Forgot my phone so I'm not really sure of the breakdown.

Caught fish at Kingtown Beach and over by AES. Tried by Taughannock but didn't see much. 90-110 fow. Tried drifting a sawbelly down 50 and 65 with no takers, same rig as last weekend, slip bobber and a 1/2 oz weight 5' above the alewife. I'm using a slip sinker above a size 1 welded ring coastlock snap swivel, braid mainline to a fluoro leader below. Don't know if it's the best setup though.

I did hook a suspended fish which got off after 10 seconds or so, kind of wish I'd seen that one, could have been a brown. Released one big lamprey that was attached right on the top of the poor fish's head! There was a fresh wound by a pectoral fish which seemed like one dropped off during the fight.

Fish were all sizes today, a couple three pounders, most in the 5-8 lb range and one big fatty that was in the 10 lb park. As it got slow I rigged up a stinger hook and that helped me land the last two fish, they might otherwise have been short strikers. I'll add pics soon, but can describe the basic idea. In the past I've used a stinger treble/double tied to the bend of the jig hook but I've come up with a better way. I've tried Gamakatsu Octopus hooks in a size 4 or 6, which I like for many applications, but recently have been using their B10S stinger hook. I originally bough these for bass poppers and crayfish flies but they work well here too. Size 4 is good. I find the shank is easier to grab with pliers when it's in a fish's mouth.

Using braid, tie on to the stinger hook. A uni-knot is a good choice. Next, tie it to the jig eye, not the hook bend. This is tricky to gauge with a uni-knot and another might be a better choice. But it's fine if it's a little long. You want it to end up the same length as your jig/soft plastic combo. If it comes out long, wrap a few times around the jig head before the barb, and tie a cinch when you've reached the right length. This won't slip past the barb.

Now you're ready to rig the soft plastic. Put it on as usual. Next up is a little sewing! Work your way down the body using the hook as a needle, going 1/2" into the body and 1/2" out, or whatever works best for you. Don't go too deep as it'll rip free when a fish hits it and if you keep your sewing shallow you can do it multiple times. I'll do a how-to, easier to show than describe! Anyway, done right you now have a stinger hook facing upwards (to keep mussels off) and threaded through the soft plastic. If done correctly it won't impede the motion of the tail through the water.

Great morning and very few boats out until 10 or so. Oh yeah there were a lot of bass boats buzzing around in preparation for the tourney this weekend but they didn't come near me at all, they were either in shallow or blasting down the middle of the lake at 50 mph. Happy fishing all!

Lighthouse Derby 8/11/2012

12:08 am  

Relatively tough fishing as a weather system has been pushing through this weekend. First, thank you rain! We got some much needed rain Thursday and Friday but luckily that all pushed out by derby time on Saturday. The clouds and light southerly lasted until 10:00 AM when the sky cleared and the wind shifted to the SW and started gusting pretty good. Pretty cool to watch that shift happen so fast, I'll miss the AES steam plume when they shut down- it's a great weathervane.

Second, thank you to the Lansing Harbor Festival, the Town of Lansing, and everyone who organized the Lighthouse Derby, great shindig. My only issue was the weigh in was right near the bandstand and I have ear problems from a ruptured eardrum, so my ear is aching. Too loud for sensitive ears. Also thanks to A Great Choice Lawn Care for sponsoring the $25,000 pot! Nobody won but that sure amped up the excitement level at the ceremony. I had a lot of fun talking to folks there, too many to list. Great bunch of guys. I don't get to talk fishing too much so that was a nice change and a really good time.

Congratulations to Lavarock64 for taking lunker with an absolutely beautiful 11 lb 11 oz brown! What a fantastic fish! I consider myself very lucky to land a 9 lb 12 oz laker which ended up in first for lakers. First time I've ever won any contest of any sort. Whoohoo! Good luck on a tough day where the fish didn't come easy. I knew it wasn't a monster but since I was hearing about others having a hard time too I figured there might be a shot at the top five, I was blown away to hear it was number one. Other LOU members also did well, fish-on's crew had a few on the board, Copperliner's son took 2nd in lakers, and Lavarock64 with the grand prize. I might be missing some guys too.

Anyway, on to the fishing report. What with the front coming through it was not surprising the fishing was pretty tough. I brought some sawbellies along in hopes of netting an "other" trout. I finally did, a 3 lb salmon took a dead sawbelly around 9:15 and that was the last fish of the day. That was great, I'd been keeping a close eye on that rod all morning but with no action I stopped looking. Heard a little thump as the weight I had holding down the line was flipped off and I looked down to see line peeling off the spinning reel. Fish on! A few seconds after picking up the rod the salmon blasts two feet out of the water. Great fight on a light rod, I miss catching those atlantics! That was fun and provided some late morning excitement. And dinner.

I fished the sawbelly 45' down with a slip bobber, a 1/2 oz weight 5' up and a 3/0 circle hook, which isn't as big as it sounds. The great thing about circle hooks are they set themselves, perfect for fishing bait no-handed. Tried everything I could to keep the bellies alive from the night before but they were all dead by morning. Ice in the bucket, two bubblers, changed the water several times, nothing helped. Dead ones still catch fish though. The winds started gusting pretty strong right after that and I messed around until 11:00 before calling it quits.

As for the lakers, they were not very interested today! One of those days where they slowly rise off the bottom to check out the falling jig, then swim away when you start reeling. Not much chasing going on, most would only come up 5-10 feet. It was slow to start and just got tougher. Caught 6 lakers, five of them before 7:30 and all by 8:30 with a few hits after that I couldn't connect on. Also broke one off when setting the hook.

Kingtown Beach was empty early, but did produce the salmon later in the morning. AES had fish and there were a lot of boats working the area, both trollers and jiggers. That's where I picked up the big laker. I spent a lot of time zipping (at 20 mph, hah) around looking for better action. That may not be a good strategy, I find myself doing that a lot more during derbies whereas on a regular day I'm often content to stay in an area and pick at them. A lot of moving means a lot of time not fishing. East side, west side, lots of fish but not aggressive, at least not for me. Tried a few down 110 but had the most luck in 90-95. That deeper stuff is tougher with the breeze. The SW breeze made for tough drifts, either blowing you out deeper or into shallow water, I much prefer the more normal straight N or S wind that keeps you parallel to the shoreline and in the same depth.

Great talking to the guys at Myers, also thanks to Scott Bennett for being a major organizer, Barney for running the scales, and the rest of the Harbor Fest crew. Looked like a very successful event and a beautiful day. Happy fishing everybody!

JIgs Update / Opening 8/6

10:05 am  Store Open!

The jig store is OPEN! Deepwater Lures is back. Thanks for visiting.

I am going to try opening the store later today. Any orders placed today will go out tomorrow morning and will arrive in plenty of time for the Lighthouse Derby this weekend. Orders placed Tuesday will go out Weds morning and will probably arrive Thurs or Friday, still in time. Everything is shipped USPS Priority mail, local delivery is almost always the next day or two days but it's not guaranteed. Thanks for your patience and happy fishing!

Cayuga 8/3

11:24 pm  

Yesterday and today were like night and day. Except yesterday was bright and today was cloudy, so much for that analogy. Great laker fishing! Tough drum fishing. Not that I know what I'm doing in that department anyway. I've targeted drum (sheephead) before mostly with no luck. The first one I caught was a complete surprise, I reeled it in and was freaked out by this crazy looking fish I'd never seen before. That was down by Stewart Park in the lower stretch of Fall Creek one spring. The second one I caught on purpose but thought it was a carp due to the size and orange coloring, that one was hanging out in a hole in the weeds by AES (then Milliken Station.)

Anyway, got some crayfish and went on the hunt. Tried very shallow, out deeper 25-40 fow, and in the weeds. Nothing at all, not even a smallmouth. But then I was trying to avoid areas I know smallies hang out- perhaps a mistake. I was seeing marks out deeper but they could have been anything. Tried fishing drum at first light, then again a little later. I was switching off between that and laker jigging this morning.

The lakers were one fire today, making up for yesterday's slowness. From 7:00-8:15 on the West side north of Taughannock I caught 10 lakers, dropped two, and had plenty of other hits. 74-80 fow, most of them on the shallower side. Good sized fish, two pushing 10 lbs, most in the 5-7 range. Only one under 4 or so.

Then tried drum until 10:00 at AES. From 10:00-11:00 back on the lakers near the plant. Still pretty good fishing though slower than earlier, no surprise there. Picked up another 5 with a breakoff and dropped another. Still nice size fish. 78-82 fow or so. Total of 15, excellent fishing. Started packing up at 11:00 and finished off my lunch.

The plan was to try drum again back by Taughannock but I pulled up, dropped a crayfish overboard, and then realized I really did not want to sit there baking in the sun. Fished for two minutes and called it a day, too bad it didn't stay cloudy. I was backing the truck down the ramp at 11:45. Awesome morning, a little bummed I failed at the drum but hey that's the norm! Good luck everyone, hope the bite holds up!

Cayuga 8/2

Very tough fishing this morning. Lakers were not in a good mood! Fished 5:30-10:30 with three fish boated, two under three pounds and one nice one around eight. Lost the first fish of the day, another 8+ and the bad luck followed me the rest of the morning. Bluebird sun, full moon, post-cold front, I've got a list of excuses a mile long but the bottom line is I didn't do well. Been spoiled with the great fishing this summer.

Tried all the usual mid-lake spots, AES, north, south, west shore, near Taughannock, very slow. Had a lot of lookers and short-strikers but they were not hitting hard at all. Seemed like it picked up around 9:30 but they still weren't fully taking the bait, lots of tail grabs and rod benders but they weren't getting hooked. Not much to say... tough day!

JIgs Update 7/30

Everything is ready to go except some paperwork with NYS, might get it going later today or tomorrow, it's not up to me at this point. Updates as I get info.

Jig Sale Update 7/27

I am in the process of getting the Deepwater page ready for selling jigs so it's currently offline. Shopping cart is installed so this time around you can pay with any credit card. On Monday 7/30 I'll be ready to start selling jigs and will re-activate the page. The first week or two only unpainted 1 oz. ball and Erie jigs will be available, after that I should have several paint colors and a 1 1/2 oz. jig too. $1 each or $11.00 a dozen. All on top-quality Mustad Black Nickel 32746 hooks. Thanks!

Cayuga 7/25 Liveblog

10:24 am  

Im out. 14 in and dropped a few. Great day!

10:01 am  

13. Back east had to keep the last one. Mmmmm fish fry.

9:34 am  

Weed wacking going on time to move.

9:17 am  

Trick today is getting just outside the bait.

8:59 am  

Now we're talking. 11 plus a break off. Picking up again!

8:42 am  


8:40 am  

9. Shoulder is feeling that fall.

8:23 am  

Beautiful day but dang that sun is bright.

8:08 am  

There's one!

8:05 am  

Lots of lookers not many takers.

7:51 am  

1 more so far but now too much bait to see.

7:29 am  

Up to 6 but slow. Off to west side

7:03 am  

Time to look elsewhere

6:56 am  

Wow where did everything go?

6:35 am  

Hot bite in 90. 4 so far

5:54 am  


5:37 am  

By AES lets see whats happening.

5:17 am  

Blastoff! What a morning.

5:04 am  At park.

Took bad tumble over trailer hitch. Ok.

Up and getting ready, I'll keep updating this as the morning goes on. Can't wait to get back out! Launching from Taughannock as usual. Chilly out there but it feels good.

Double Oops 7/23

7:54 pm  Also erased the trip with ERABBIT

I erased a bit more than I thought. Could have been worse. Out with Ed for a morning trip a few weeks ago, we met at Taughannock and had a lot of fun though the fishing was slow. A laker right off the bat by AES made me think we were in good shape but we never got the salmon going like we wanted. Ended up 6/7 on lakers, one small salmon and one small rainbow, and one lost fish we never saw. Trolled N of AES, over to west side near Sheldrake and all the way south back to the park. It got hot and sunny but at least the breeze was there most of the day except for an hour or so. Thanks Ed for the trip!

12:56 pm  And double test

Testing the double update for spacing

12:55 pm  Combining 2

Yes it does work, testing for better spacing.

Ah I see I did erase a report after all, from the 11th I think. Well in a nutshell, landed 10 fish I think but had a tough go of it with bait everywhere, couldn't see what was going on. Finally a cloudy morning, I thought the bite would last longer than usual but instead the bait stuck around in shallow and made seeing anything tough. At times it was 60' thick all the way to the bottom.

Thankfully the email I referenced below was the only one, got one a few years ago the last time this site was up but they are far outnumbered by the folks who find it helpful.


12:51 pm  Combining

Thought I'd combine the regular reports with the new email / text message report module... does it work?

While messing around with this section I accidentally erased a few posts, but thankfully no reports. Oh well.

Unhappy Camper 7/7

Well this is disappointing. I received an email calling me a 'know it all bragger' among other things. I have a couple of responses to that. First, this site is here to help others catch fish. It took a lot of time to put it all together and it's for you guys. I suppose posting fishing pics is a form of 'bragging' or even reports, but it could also be called 'sharing'. Nobody I know in real life is much of a fisherman so I guess that's one reason I post reports, but I usually try to include useful information to help others, and who doesn't like to share pics of nice fish? I don't get to share IRL so I do it virtually.

Second, I love fishing. Love thinking about it, talking about it, and I also love helping others catch more fish. At least half of my extended family are teachers so I guess it runs in the genes. It sucks to not be catching fish while people around you are, and believe me, I've been there. Still happens even when jigging but I'm not good at many other types of fishing and I get outfished a lot. On the flip side I also feel bad when I'm getting into them and others aren't. Not fun either way.

Third, I've always been a bit confused by the secrecy around fishing. I look at it as us vs. the fish, not me vs. you vs. him. Before I had health problems I had to stop fishing because of this, I had a hard time dealing with some super-competitive folks and small stream snaggers. Anyway, I do think keeping certain spots quiet is a good idea, but only if they're small, like go to X rock on X trib and catch salmon. Most of the time there are fish in general areas such as right around Dean's Cove, both North and South, near Long Point, the drop off from the Northern shelf, and on the shelf by AES. All good areas that can take a fair amount of pressure. Besides, finding your own little honey hole is part of the fun. It's also a big lake and the fish are always moving so you've got to take some time to look for them. As far as tackle and technique I think it should be a communal sport with a lot of helping each other going on.

This email was obviously written by a drunk or crazy person so it's not bothering me but I thought it worth responding to anyway, to get my philosophy out there. This will be my only response to such emails other than deleting them so don't bother sending them in the first place. It's not my problem, I'm trying to help. Go fish!

Cayuga 7/3 and 7/4

Fishing is settling into summer excellence mode. Best two days of the year so far with 38 fish landed, 17 lakers and a small salmon on Tuesday and 20 lakers on Wednesday. All in various areas around and North of AES. Gotta keep moving to find the active fish, even if it means leaving fish that are looking but not biting. Both days some of the best action was a mid-morning bite, Weds I had excellent fishing after everyone else cleared the area and I motored around slowly just looking for bait and hooks, ended up fishing somewhere I've never tried and put five fish in the boat in fifteen minutes, talk about furious action! They weren't in the usual spots so I went looking and it paid off. Both days I fished from 5:15 or so (leaving ramp at 5:00) until 10:30. Can't stand that sun beating down, I'd like some cloudy days. I'll be away for a few days but will hopefully have time to work on the website. Happy fishing everyone!

More Updates 7/1

Second draft of "techniques" section. First draft rewrite of most of the "behavior" section.

Another Update 6/28

Did a first draft rewrite on the 'technique' section of the jigging tutorial. That's probably it for this week other than little tweaks. The last section isn't nearly as important though it does/will deal with actually finding the fish in the first place. It's interesting to see how I changed as a jigger, most of the original tutorial was written when I still used my plastic jon boat and had no-to-poor electronics. I eventually outfitted the jon with a portable FF that was better but it wasn't until I got a real boat with a better FF before I started using the FF to track jigs. This is all to say it can be done with nearly anything that floats so if you are limited it's still worth trying. Posted 6/28 at 1:15 PM.

2nd Update 6/28

Did a second draft of 'tackle' section. Could use a bit more work but next step is updating another section. Posted 6/28/12 at 9:00 AM.

Updated Jigging Tackle

I gave the "tackle" section of the jigging tutorial an overhaul. Still a first draft but it was the section most in need of updating. I've got a few more lakers under my belt now and my thinking changed a bit. I'll post here when major changes are made but I expect small changes regularly, I usually update this site on the fly rather than in big chunks. It's pretty modular so it's easy to change just a few lines here and there. Posted 6/27/12 at 6:00 pm.

Testing / Hello

Let's see if the update software still works. I forgot a lot about how this site runs so bear with me while I get things going again.

Second, hello to all new readers and welcome back to those who have visited in the past. I would like to say a few things but will keep it brief, this site is for fishing, not TMI. I'll put it this way- the last couple of years have really sucked. My physical health has been terrible and I had to step away as it really affected my mental well being as well. I'd like to gloss over that bit except to apologize for some erratic behavior. My health is returning slowly but one thing is for sure, a health crisis can really give you a new perspective and outlook on life. I see I have some email that is now several years old and unread, it may be too late to reply but thanks for the support.

Back to the fishing! I was able to fish the tribs a bit in the fall of 2011 and have been out on the lake since May 2012. It's just fantastic to be back out there. I haven't decided if I'll be posting reports here or keeping them on LOU, or what- we'll just see how it goes. For now I'm just happy to be walking and fishing again. I would like to note that a lot of this site needs updating, I see a few errors, some info needs proper documentation, and the jigging section needs help too.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck out there.


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