Last weekend I made what I call a suicide trip to New York to prefish Cayuga Lake. I call them suicide trips because back in the day I used to leave on Friday night, drive until Saturday morning, fish until Sunday evening and then drive back home. (OK, maybe I slept a couple of hours in the truck, but that was about all.)
Now, of course, I leave on Saturday morning and sleep Saturday night before I come home on Sunday afternoon. Time takes its toll, you know.
Nevertheless, I still like to do those trips, especially when I’m headed to New York. It doesn’t matter where so long as it’s in the natural lakes region where I can experience the culture as well as the fishing. They both rate A+.
One of the things I most like about the culture is the fact that there’s a real summer and a real boating season. It seems like everyone comes out of hibernation in May or June. It’s not like down South, or even in Ohio, where you can boat and fish most of the year.
The boating culture is especially interesting. You’ll never go anywhere where you can see as many wooden boats as you will on the New York natural lakes. I mean, when’s the last time you saw a Chris Craft with a rumble seat actually on the water operating like a real boat? I can’t remember, either, unless it was last week on Cayuga.
These classic wooden boats come in all sorts of styles, designs and configurations. They’re gorgeous. As a fishing addict, I can appreciate the dedication and work that goes into restoring one of them, and actually using it as your pleasure boat. There’s no doubt in my mind that some of them represent a lifetime of work.
Anyway, this is supposed to be a fishing column so we’ll talk about the fishing up there, too. It’s great. I like to think of the New York natural lakes as great recreational lakes. They have plenty of deep water as well as shallow water. And, the grass holds smallmouth and largemouth.
Overall, New York is one of my favorite places to visit in the summertime. In fact, it’s so great that I’ll be spending a four-day weekend with Tracey up there come this Friday. It’ll be a kind of second, or third, or fourth honeymoon for us.
She likes to fish for, and catch, bass but she also likes to be somewhere that we can do something besides fish. The Cayuga Lake area of New York is exactly that place. We’ll be able to check out some of the local wineries and historical sites when we’re not out prefishing.
As far as the upcoming Elite event is concerned, I think it’ll be vintage New York. Cayuga is big but it’ll shrink quickly when over 100 Elite Series boats target the areas that are holding the bigger largemouth. That’s when I think smallmouth might come into play.
Make sure you check out the ICAST coverage this week. There’s no better way to know what you need, but didn’t know you needed until you saw it. Ha!