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Cayuga Browns


Reel Doc

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I posed this question last week when some monster Brown photos from Canandaigua lake came up. What is the brown trout population in Cayuga doing, and can you only target in the Spring? In my college days, late 1980's, we used to pull a number of nice browns from shore at the power station from January through May. Since we started boat fishing/learning from all of you in August, no one has mentioned the Browns. Has the fishery decreased, or are they only easier to access in the Spring? From shore, egg sacs or drifted smelt used to be the ticket, anyone have any ideas?

Greg

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The changing ecology of the lake w/ respect to declines in smelt and the growth of the alewife population must have something to do w/ changes in the way browns do business on Cayuga. Maybe someone can expand on this?

All I know is that Cayuga Browns during the summer seem to flaunt indifference to the conventional wisdom used to locate & take these fish on other bodies of water(i.e. where the thermocline hits structured bottom). In the spring on Cayuga it also seems to depend on some elusive variables whether you get into some good Browns or not (Ontario is much more predictable). I like to run super stealthy long flat lines off planers and slide divers and long leads off shallow riggers w/ a mix of spoons / stix. After the early fishing (April/May) I get most of mine by running high stuff over deep water. It will help if you follow Rusty Rat's Islander around! :D Best time to get these guys is in the winter, but again weather/ temps are a fickle mistress. Also shore fishing in the S.end in the spring can be as productive or more productive than any other technique b/c no boat=maximum stealth, plus you fish the really shallow water they are in early, I like week days for the planer bite b/c after a few boats have trolled the shallows the fish get spooked.

Greg, the planer rods I use for flatlining are inexpensive Eagle Claw Starfire 8' Light Action (rated for 6-8lb), but I run 10lb. You can get them for $29 on the net. I like the Daiwa 17 or 27 Accudepth reels. Check your line after landing a fish for nicks by pulling aggresively on the bait and up about 16"- don't just feel the line, especially if you pop a pickerel or god forbid a pike - these guys like stick baits too!

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Other than T-Falls and Salmon creek, where else is there fast water coming into Cayuga? Anyone know if there is a substantial current that still flows out of the power station? Used to be in winter the current there would run South along the shoreline, then as water level went up in Spring it would turn staight out. Can that area be trolled fairly close to shore in early Spring?

Greg

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Tough to troll close to the power plant, very shallow. Last year i pounded the browns all spring and summer, big healthy fish. This year not so much. I just think they weren't in my spots this year. It was a cold biginning of the summer and it really affected the fishing and where the fish hang out. I feel i just never found them this year. But I never really looked either as the Lakers were outstanding this year. Big and mean. I got 2 over 14lbs this year and I was on those, so i didn't bother searching.

On the south flat in the spring can be excellent, running boards and long leads.

RR

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Are these all hatchery fish, or some natural reproduction happening? Rusty, where do you mean by the south flats, close to Ithaca and the inlet, or is Chowder right in that I need to put a tracking device on your boat to find where the fish are. :D

Of course with me, your answer adds a new question which is, where are the Lakers in the Spring, (used to be creeping into shallow water in the old days), and how to target? As 2010 will be our first Spring boat trolling, I'm trying to plan ahead, (ie. give the family a Xmas shopping list).

Greg

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Lakers in the spring will be both deep and shallow. If there is any signifgant smelt run, there will be lakers off Salmon creek and some of the others. however I don't target the shallow lakers. I target the LL and browns in shallow and occasionally get a laker.

If i'm going to fish lakers in the spring its DEEP! They will be all around the deep bait.

Yes to the south end all around the shallows will hold LL and browns.

Not a whole lot of natural repro going on at all except for lakers.

If I do decide to laker fish in the spring in the shallows its with bait.

RR

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Tslsnz9.jpg

Last year caught Browns from Spring thu summer, usiing long leads off the ball in very shallow water. This monster was the best caught July 8th around noon hotter than any day this summer?

This year even using planner bds caught only a few browns but the rainbows were numerous. I attribute the different weather patterns but sum it up as "thats fishing" as I have no idea why?

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That's a beautiful fish. :yes: Of course, I have to ask, when you say long lead off the ball are you talking 30-40 feet, or way back? One old salt, maybe more, mentioned to me that I should always have 100-110 feet of line out, ie 20 feet down, 80 feet back, 80 feet down 20 feet back. Correct? Opinions?

Also, what about Spring trolling speed....a litter faster than for Lakers, or no difference. As I read on this site, the Ontario boys turn it up a notch compared to Cayuga.

One last thing...it sounds like if Rusty Rat would send a copy of his autopilot tracing I would learn alot in a short time. :) Think about it Rat, it's for my kids!! :yes:

Greg

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Greg, I have R.R.'s route on my GPS but I don't have the key's to the fish cages he keeps suspended out there and don't bother trying to follow Split, he has some sort of cloaking device on his new boat that makes it impossible to track! ;)

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We did ok on browns this year, my findings for browns is always a stealthy program. If I am targeting only browns, my program was, pull in the dipseys and fish only riggers and lead core/copper. I try to keep my rigger balls w/ in 10 feet of the bottom and often closer. I do this from Taughannock up through rocky dock. I always remove the shark weights and go w/ the cheapest balls and bounce them on occasion (not on purpose). I have taken most of my browns on spoons run clean, the occasional stick bait on core or copper. Browns definetely pile up on structure. This past summer I experimented w/ mini divers of the riggers and the SWR which improved hook ups.

The problem w/ this program is your constantly checking your lines being that close to bottom and your diver has to know the shoreline and PAY ATTENTION. A good gps helps, we use way points for fish but also bottom contours that don't show up well on our gps. My hot color on browns this year was green , pink and orange spoons w/ glow backs. I had most success w/ smaller spoons 2.5 inches. That my 2 cents hope it helps.

I'm pulling out of the water this weekend for the season, I will be trailering the 15 footer around now in between time in the tree stand. If anybody is looking to jump on a boat for some cool weather fishing give me a call, my fiance is out till spring till I put the big boat back in. I'd be willing to chip in for gas on anothers boat - even trailer it for you. Just trying to keep lines in the water.

John AKA Mower

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