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Jigging for Lakers on Cayuga Lake

5 replies to this topic


  • Joined:Jan 29, 2010
  • 203 posts
  • Location
    Greene New York

Posted March 28, 2013 - 9:03 PM

Was wondering how to get lakers jigging on Cayuga. What do you guys use and what water temp, depth, and time of year are best for catching them. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

Slamin Salmon

#2 OFFLINE   bulletbob

  • Joined:Apr 22, 2007
  • 172 posts
  • Location
    Candor NY

Posted March 29, 2013 - 8:08 AM

 This time of year they will be deep.. Probaby over 150 feet, but you might find them shallower in some areas.. In a few months they come  in shallower, and I have caught them in May in less than 40 feet.. Catching the lakers is easy.. Just use a heavy jigging spoon of at least an ounce, or a plastic bait of some sort on a 1 oz or better jig head...Flukes, minnow bodies, Gulp, tubes, even curly tails will all catch.. I like white, white and black,  white and chartreuse, chartreuse, white and silver,pearl, etc..  Light colors work best for me..


 You can drift or use an electric motor to hold the boat in "fishy areas"..

  Drop the lure to the bottom, jig it, reel in 20 feet up  and drop again...  It takes time to figure out the action they want on any given day.. In my opinion, the lakers are wising up, and I catch less just bouncing bottom than I did years ago.. These days, most of the fish I catch are on faster retrieves, racing the lure up from the bottom maybe 20-30 feet, and then dropping it down and repeating....
 Really, catching the fish isn't hard... I used to catch a ton of them on painted wheel weights off a car, with hooks attached.. The biggest challenge is finding the fish.. You NEED a good  fish finder that will read schools of bait and individual fish.. If you have cheap $69 unit on the boat, throw it away, and get something decent..

The best basic bottom line advice I can give you is this... Find schools of bait  with your fish finder, and  look for fish marks around them..  lets say you spot bait 70 feet down  in 100 feet of water,, If

 you see a few marks under that bait ball, its a good chance they are lakers,, fish  around those readings and hang on.. btw, lakers can be all over the bottom, and you won't read even one on the finder... They are often RIGHT on the bottom, and your ff can't even pick them up.. Watch for bait, suspended fish, and other  boats jigging.. Keep a wide berth, but its a good bet if you see  other guys jigging, you are in the zone...

 If you would like to go some time, I would be happy to show you the ropes...  ..
 Better yet, call this guy...

His name is John Gaulke He will put you on lakers better than anyone else, show you the tackle and techniques you need to be successful in all the Finger Lakes.  bob

#3 OFFLINE   hermit

  • Joined:Dec 07, 2006
  • 838 posts
  • Location
    Enfield, NY

Posted March 29, 2013 - 8:13 AM

You may get more of a response over in the Finger Lakes section.  Short answer is, a stiff rod to jig 1 oz plus jigs, soft plastics in white/green colors.   Jigging spoons are okay if you're on a soft bottom.  From now until end of May they are mostly deep (100+) but can be found at many depths.  Sometimes 40 fow or less.  Summer fishing is most predictable.  By June-ish they start hanging below the thermocline and finding them is easier.  Then 60 fow to start looking.  By August 90 fow to start.   Of course every day is a bit different.  Found them in 40 fow midsummer at times.   Lakers start the year mostly near the N + S ends.  By summer they're mid-lake. Any time of year they aren't shallow it's worth looking out to 150' though I try to fish the shallowest fish I can find as it's hard jigging down 150.  Easiest method and very productive when they're hitting is drop the jig to the bottom or close to it and reel it back in pretty quickly.  When it's tougher you have to do a little more finesse work.


A longer answer and more info is here: http://cayugafisher....ages/resdex.php


Oh hey Bob you beat me in there.... yeah what he says too esp about trolling motor and electronics.

Edited by hermit, March 29, 2013 - 8:15 AM.


Lake Trout jigging information: cayugafisher.net/
Lake Trout jig heads and tails: deepwater.cayugafisher.net/

#4 OFFLINE   Turfwrench

  • Joined:Jan 19, 2010
  • 56 posts
  • Location

Posted March 30, 2013 - 4:43 AM



What are they you ask?? Gabu is what they are know as using a technique called Bobbing, vertical jigging in the deep water. This is a mainstay tactic used especially in the western side of Michigan s Upper Peninsula.  They are coated wire line hand rigs used in Lk Superior for lake trout in deep water. We are talking water as deep as 225' +.
The setup: Motor out to area where there is a steep drop off or a good drop from a reef. Drop anchor. Attach a piece of belly fat, smelt, or herring to the jig and drop down to bottom. Determining bottom with the jig is the hardest part for beginners. When you snap the jig off the bottom you will feel a distinct thud of the jig slapping the bottom.  Usually a rapid vertical snap 2 -3 feet is preferred.
Now the fun begins. Usually the lakers will strike quite aggressively and it is just a matter of hand fighting them. When fish strikes, drop gabu to floor and using one hand like a rod and the other to bring the line in laying it in a pile on the boat floor. Big lake trout can give a great battle. Once landed be sure to keep the fish out of the pile of wire or you may be done for the day. Unhooked and in the box, just rebait, toss the jig back in the water and let the wire play back out. Repeat.
This sure is a lot of fun.
  This method would probably work well in any lake that has good trout populations and deep water.


  • Joined:Jan 29, 2010
  • 203 posts
  • Location
    Greene New York

Posted March 30, 2013 - 11:18 AM

Thanks for all the advice . I will try it out.
Slamin Salmon

#6 OFFLINE   pap

  • Joined:Apr 05, 2012
  • 3,664 posts
  • Location
    Kunkletown PA.
  • Home Port
    Black River Dexter NY>
  • Boat Name
    1 worm

Posted March 30, 2013 - 4:44 PM

We used a simular rig for fishing walleyes in the river, we used a huge salt water fly fishing reel with automatic retreve to take up the wire line, used 2oz jigs with a twister tail, just jigged it off the botton, you could feel the jig hit bottom, then when fish hit, hand line it in, when a pile of line was on the floor just hit the trigger on the fly reel and it spools up on it's own, we use a short peice of rod, just the handle and the reel clamp and maybe 8" of rod, this way you can reach the line to do the jigging, I use a batters glove, the wire hurts after a while of jigging, and when a fish hits it can be a battle, where the batters glove is thin and you can feel everything. This system works well and it should work for lakers also, oh I put a roller line guide on the tip, like what the guys use with copper rigs. We troll real slow .5mph so the line stays vertical at all times, if it doesn't go heavier with jig. I'm going to try it this year on LakeO for lakers.

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