Fall Fishing in Cayuga County Tributary Areas is Fantastic
By George Fiorille
The days are getting shorter, and the daily temps are dropping. Fall is here and while temps are falling off, quality fishing in Cayuga County is rising.
Fish that have invaded the cooler, deeper stretches of the lake water columns, are starting to come shallower to feed before spawning and the winter hibernation period. October and November are the months when fish members of the Char family will do their fall spawning rituals.
When brown trout and Atlantic salmon run area streams to spawn, they can be caught on a variety of offerings. Try drifting egg sacks, minnows, and worms through stream pools or holding areas. These fish can be caught on a variety of flies as well. If fly fishing is not your bag, these fish can be caught on hair jigs too. A white hair jig resembles a minnow, a black one looks like an aquatic insect, and a brown or green hair jig can be taken as a crawfish.
When the water is gin clear, try using fluorocarbon fishing line to not spook fish for added success. Try going down to lighter weight lines such as 6-8-pound test.
Lake Ontario streams are starting to get runs of Coho and Chinook Salmon. The patterns mentioned for members of the char family work for these fish also. This time of year, is one of your best shots at a true trophy fish in the 30–40-pound range. They can also be caught trolling or casting lures in lake areas near the spawning streams.
Many anglers fail to realize that area streams receive good runs of rainbow trout during late fall. These fish enter creeks in anticipation of spring spawning. Lake Ontario tributaries get good runs of steelhead during late fall and live in the streams until spring. Anglers back trolling crankbaits in drift boats score well on steelhead during late fall and winter.
Warm water fish such as walleye, northern pike, and largemouth bass may be found in stream areas during the fall. When the cooler fall rains come and dirty the water, the bait will enter area creeks to feed on washed out nutrients. The game fish mentioned will follow the bait into these areas. Try using brightly colored lures such as crankbaits, stickbaits , and spinnerbaits. If the areas have open gravel or sandy areas, lures such as bucktail and rubber jigs will work well. If the areas contain depths of over 15-20 feet, try using jigging spoons and sonar baits for walleye or others.
Many outdoorsmen and women have the misconception that the fall period in Cayuga County is only for hunting. Try fishing the patterns mentioned above to discover additional periods of quality angling.