Trout has to be in diet of Cayuga bass

Anglers have remarked all week how healthy the Cayuga Lake bass, both largemouth and smallmouth, appear.

Derek Hudnall caught an 8-pound, 1-ounce largemouth freak should most certainly take the Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the event. There have been other huge fish by northern strain largemouth standards, namely Koby Kreiger's 6-10 and Jamie Hartman's 6-7 on Day 3, among other 6-plus pounders. (The state record largemouth is an 11-4 caught on Buckhorn Lake in central New York in 1987.)

Top 10 angler Chris Zaldain has reported he looked into the lake's main baitfish, and said on Bassmaster LIVE he's been trying to mimic alewive. Goby have been in Cayuga for about a decade, but Bassmaster TV host Davy Hite said stocking of fish by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation might be of help as well.

"It's got to have something to do with it," Hite said after learning the extent of the stocking program.

There are 60,000 lake trout, 25,000 brown trout and 40,000 Atlantic salmon stocked in Cayuga annually, and 50,000 rainbow trout are placed into some of the 140 streams that flow in the lake. They imprint on that stream before living in the lake and returning upstream to spawn.

"A 6-pound bass can eat one of the 12-inch trout with no problem," Hite said.