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Any one out there have any tips for catching browns on Cayuga as the season progresses. I catch them on here and there but can hardly say I have a pattern figure out for them. Not looking for any secret spots but more general patterns. And spoon/ plug / flasher fly options. I know boat shyness comes more in to play and I have all the toys to combat that. I also have the understanding of temps. I just never have been able to put together a productive brown program. Thanks alot and Tite lines

 

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 Consistent fishing for browns on the Finger Lakes can be quite different than on Lake O; and especially so trolling for them. Finger lakes browns appear to be quite nocturnal and "night feeders" that inhabit the shallows during darkness feeding on whatever they can find alive or dead and they have a varied diet so artificial lures aren't always high on their menu. They also seem to retreat to the deeper water (usually less than 100 ft) as the light becomes more intense  (e.g. during daylight)  near bottom or suspended close to it, and frequently near bait if available and near drop-offs.  Unlike rainbows or Atlantics they don't roam around as much so they are less prone to be caught while doing 'general" trolling out deep or in the extreme shallows during the day. Again, understanding their habits is crucial to targeting them and not fishing specifically for them may be responsible for the results. Browns also seem to be "home bodies" in the Fingers and are even often caught near where they were originally stocked. In the Fall they may be found spawning in or near marinas or places where they were initially stocked. There are ways of fishing for them with live or dead bait that can be highly successful and these methods seem to be better producers than artificials used trolling for them although they are caught sometimes on them. Browns also don't seem to like motor noise or boat turbulence which is suspected to be a reason for running lines way back away from it. It is often difficult fishing drop-offs consistently or effectively on some of the Fingers  because of the extreme underwater terrain (e.g. with riggers etc.) and this is where they frequently hang out so perhaps when you combine their other habits with this it presents them as less of a target trolling too. I know a lot of this resembles "circumstantial evidence" but it is based on previous night fishing experience (which most folks don't do anymore) and many years of specific fishing for browns on Seneca, Cayuga, Canandaigua,and Keuka. Hopefully the info gives you something to mull over in your quest:smile:

Edited by Sk8man
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Look for temp! 57-60° where it meets bottom is best. Work on and off the shelf. I enjoy using more natural colors for them. Don't be afraid to run mag spoons too.
2.0 to 2.7 works well at ball speed..

Not uncommon to find them in 65° water as well when they are feeding.

Nick

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Nick makes a great point regarding temps. that range is especially potent near the drop-offs and if trolling along them you may want to slow your speed slightly as the current will often increase at the edge of the drop

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Thanks guys I've caught a fair amount of them trolling during the day but it's always kind of a surprise. And I'm looking for a chalange or maybe a way to target them specificly. I understand the temps and also know fishing the fingers is a whole different ball game than fishing lake Ontario. Thanks Seth. I always look forward to your opinions on topics. And also thanks Nick with I respect you giving up info knowing it can effect your business publicly sharing your secrets. Tite line guys and all of the luck to you this season

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:lol: thanks for the nice words. Nick is always great about sharing info and he is the "go to guy" for chartering on Seneca especially.

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We seem to do well when fishing the finger lakes for browns riggers parked at 54 degrees and 60 degrees when possible with 40-60' leads , and then have slide divers set in that 60-65 degrees range , a lot of times where there is one there will be more since they are homebodies,  also doesn't hurt to bump your speeds up at times,  idk how many times running 2.8-3.2 we've hooked browns or had them follow the spoons back to the boat and hang in the prop wash clearing rods in the bath water in the summer 

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1st thing in the morning alewive / darker colored stick baits that dive 15-20 ft. seem to work good. In the kayak I'm pretty stealthy, keeping them back 100-150 ft.

 

I have been playing with some in line planers to spread things out a bit - not 100% confident with them yet, but getting better.

 

Also have had good luck jigging for them around bait balls with silver / minnow colored swim baits instead of the traditional "laker white".

 

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Thanks. I don't mind sharing info at all. We are all out there to target fish and have fun. No competitive drive here on my end. Just love fishing.

One thing I forgot to mention about browns, find them and you find smallies!


Thanks for the kind words Les.

Nick

Thanks guys I've caught a fair amount of them trolling during the day but it's always kind of a surprise. And I'm looking for a chalange or maybe a way to target them specificly. I understand the temps and also know fishing the fingers is a whole different ball game than fishing lake Ontario. Thanks Seth. I always look forward to your opinions on topics. And also thanks Nick with I respect you giving up info knowing it can effect your business publicly sharing your secrets. Tite line guys and all of the luck to you this season

Sent from my KYOCERA-E6920 using Lake Ontario United mobile app




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Posted (edited)

After looking at what i wrote previously I should add an additional qualifier. I was talking mainly about BIG browns as they aren't caught as frequently trolling. The ones that are just stocked are real stupid and end often end up as Gull, Cormorant, or Blue Heron bait and they will hit about anything thrown in the water as they are used to pellet feeding. As they age they become more selective in their habits and most of the ones caught trolling in the Fingers are small to medium size. The ones over 10 lbs didn't get to that size by being stupid and they can be highly selective and as I mentioned develop different feeding habits and routines that present them as "elusive" targets.

Edited by Sk8man
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Nick mentioned mags but don't be afraid to go small either. Stinger scorpions are great spoons for browns throughout the season. Also a good tactic while fishing where proper temp meets bottom is to "jig" your rigger ball 3-5ft occasionally. Raise it then wait 3 seconds then lower it back to where you had it ect. Browns often bite when the lure changes speed or course. Make "s" turns aswell. Driving in a straight line on auto pilot is rarely best

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