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Bob Banfelder

Bob is an award-winning crime-thriller novelist and outdoors writer. "The Fishing Smart Anywhere Handbook for Salt Water & Fresh Water" is endorsed by Lefty Kreh and Angelo Peluso~online at Amazon.

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April 01, 2017

Spectacular Outdoor Activities Await the Adventurous

by Bob Banfelder

Part I

As the headliner for my Nor'east Saltwater Magazine articles is titled "North Fork/South Fork Bays ... and Beyond," I'm going to transport you well beyond Long Island borders to a freshwater fishing mecca that once lie beneath a shallow saltwater sea, 350 million years ago. We'll be heading north to south-central New York; specifically, the surrounding areas of Ithaca and Newfield. Many bodies of water, both big and small, compose a picturesque canvas: lakes, inlets, tributaries, creeks, falls, ponds and pools. The region is but a five-hour drive from New York City. It is an outdoor haven for fledgling to fanatic anglers as well as hunters. Cayuga Lake, which we'll drop in on, is the longest (39.7 miles) and second largest of the Finger Lakes.


Cayuga Lake

The Newfield State Forest, encompassing 1,552 acres, is where outdoor opportunities also abound. The forest is connected with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ~ Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area, which covers more than 11,000 acres. Additionally, the NYSDEC has Deer Management Focus Areas (DMFA) to help alleviate deer overpopulation. One of these Focus Areas is located at Cornell University in Ithaca. The Cornell University Deer Management Program provides great hunting opportunities. Visit the Cornell University website for details.

For fishing fanatics, Cayuga Inlet, at the southern tip of Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, provides five ample parking areas, two boat ramps on the east side of the lake, and one on the west side. Too, Salmon Creek on the east side of Cayuga Lake has two parking areas.


Author with a fingerling rainbow trout

The DEC stocks approximately 12,500 6-inch fingerling rainbow trout annually, which can grow to 29-plus inches. Excerpted from the Department of Environmental Conservation's website is information referencing Public Fishing Rights Maps:

Public Fishing Rights (PFRs) are permanent easements purchased by the NYSDEC from willing landowners, giving anglers the right to fish and walk along the bank(s). For more PFR information and legally permissible activities on those easements, please see the New York State DEC Public Fishing Rights page.

Most PFR easements are on trout streams. While keeping and eating the fish you catch is part of the fishing experience, many people choose to release their catch. If you release the fish you catch, please review the Catching and Releasing Trout page for tips on reducing the mortality of released trout. Want to know how much that fish you caught weighed? The Use a Ruler to Weigh Your Fish page http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9222.html will help you estimate the weight of your catch. Please view Fishing for Stream Trout http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/62477.html for information on catching stream trout. Further area information is available at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/64153.html. There are many excellent fishing opportunities listed on the Department of Environmental Conservation's website. One of them is Fall Creek.

Fall Creek & Public Access

Fall Creek, located in Cayuga and Tompkins counties, is a major tributary to Cayuga Lake. The creek begins near Lake Como and meanders for approximately 33 miles to Ithaca, where it enters into Cayuga Lake. There are 10.9 miles of Public Fishing Rights (PFRs) along Fall Creek, four with official PFR parking areas; anglers may also use unofficial pull-offs along the stream.

Parking Areas

Old Stage Road. From State Highway 90 go south on Hinman Road to Groton City. Take Groton City Road south to Old Stage Road.
Hinman Road. From State Highway 90 go south on Hinman Road for approximately 1.3 miles. Parking area is just past the County Boundary.
State Highway 90. On State Highway 90 approximately five miles west of Homer.
•Lake Como Road. From State Highway 90 parking area go west on 90 about 300 yards to Lake Como Road. Two miles north on Lake Como Road.

Cayuga Lake Inlet Areas:

Cayuga Lake Inlet is a small- to medium-sized stream. Cayuga Inlet is a major spawning stream for Cayuga Lake rainbows. A vast majority (around 70%) of the rainbows in the inlet are wild fish. Enfield Creek, a tributary to Cayuga Inlet, is stocked annually with around 10,000 (Finger Lakes strain). Rainbow trout, brown trout, Atlantic salmon, and smallmouth bass can all be caught in the stream.

The NYSDEC Cayuga Inlet Fishway is located on the inlet and is an important rainbow trout egg collection and sea lamprey control point.


Author fishing Cayuga Inlet

For fishing and/or big game hunting at its finest, rethink then set aside the Catskills and the Adirondacks for another day. You'll find it quite interesting to note that area streams actually flow north and exit into Lake Ontario, so go with the flow and head northwest this April for some serious outdoor angling action.

You'll Fall For The Falls
Area Inlets, Tributaries, Creeks, Ponds, and Pools Provide Plenty of Angling Action


Although lakes and their tributaries offer spectacular fishing in the Finger Lakes region, area pools and small ponds should not be overlooked. Covering a large body of water can certainly wear a body down as we get older, but homing in on a pool for trout or small pond for smallmouth and largemouth bass can still be a blast.

Our friends, Tom Gahan and his wife Darla, found time for a bit of rest and relaxation at a nearby pond in Newfield. Asking and receiving permission of area residents to fish an owner's freshwater pond was amicably given. The only stipulation was that Tom and I catch and release any fish taken. Not a problem. Acquiring a property owner's permission to fish on their land is easier than one might imagine. Folks there are friendly.


Left to right: Tom Gahan, author, and Darla Gahan
The boys eyeing their imitations ~ light spinning outfits in the foreground, readying for action.



Tom sorting through his boxes of tricks

Although the pond had not produced a single bite for the first hour and a half, Tom's persistence finally paid off. He caught, landed, and released a decent size largemouth bass. Tom was a happy camper; more on camps and other area accommodations in a moment.


Tom's largemouth bass, caught and released


Tom with a plastic imitation to which a largemouth bass finally surrendered

Tom went on and on about the effectiveness of a soft plastic worm. I simply told him that it had little to do with the lure but had everything to do with the luck of the Irish, for I hadn't had a hit all morning. Finally, as the morning wore on, I caught and released a nice largemouth. I went on and on about patience personified and the effectiveness of a crankbait. Tom emphatically insisted that it had wee little to do with the crankbait and everything to do with the sheer stubbornness of a thick-headed German. I didn't belabor the fact that my bass was bigger than his bass. :o) :o)


Author caught and released a nice largemouth bass from a pond in Newfield

Over the years, Donna and I have come to know a good many fishing fools, several who remain among our circle of closest friends. So, who is this Tom Gahan guy? you may be wondering. Tom is the Marketing Director for Eposeidon Outdoor Adventures, Inc., http://www.eposeidon.com/, a budget-minded company that is making industry inroads by leaps and bounds . . . or should I say waves—BIG waves. Under the Eposeidon banner, the company's brands include KastKing and MadBite, combining both quality and exceptional value. KastKing offers excellent spinning, baitcasting, and—now—fly-fishing rods and reels, along with high quality monofilament, copolymer, fluorocarbon, and braided fishing lines; lines for a fraction of the cost of other leading brand names. The company will soon be producing quality fly lines, too. MadBite features quality fishing lures at a price point that is as sharp as their hooks.

Camps and B&Bs in the area are plentiful in the Ithaca/Newfield areas. Snuggled just 11.2 miles southwest from the tip of Cayuga Lake, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, lies The Wilderness B&B sanctuary in Newfield that caters to outdoorsy folks. Six spotlessly clean, spaciously separated cabins on twenty-one acres, along with a pond, blanket the property. Log onto http://www.thewildernessbnb.com/. You'll be glad that you did. Frank Hartenstein and his most amicable wife, Andi, run the establishment. During deer hunting season, the couple shift gears and provide a professional deer processing operation. Frank and his associate, Barry Dunning, are both professional butchers by trade. When I harvested my first button buck with a handgun this fall, of course that is where Donna and I brought the animal for custom processing. A young deer is venison at its finest.


Author with first handgun harvest

Tomorrow we'll continue our journey, first taking a look at A DEAL OF A FLY ROD & REEL. Stay tuned.

Bob Banfelder
https://www.robertbanfelder.com

Award-Winning
Crime-Thriller Novelist & Outdoors Writer

Member: Outdoor Writers Association of America
New York State Outdoor Writers Association
Long Island Outdoor Communicators Network

Cablevision TV Host Special Interests with Robert Banfelder & Donna Derasmo

Bi-monthly contributor to Nor'east Saltwater ~ presented on the 1st & 2nd of every month.



Available on Amazon in paperback & e-book formats


Available on Amazon in paperback & e-book formats

Comments (2)

Connection Failure wrote 5 months ago

I went to school in Ithaca. Senior year, I tried fishing Fall Creek during the spring floods and the mouth of the inlet. I was able to catch yellow perch on worms in the lake and tried live lining them for pike, but spent most of my time casting a spoon, mostly for therapy.
I did see a 7lb rainbow that had been landed just before I got there. Had one hit, but it got off in a few seconds.
I also headed north once, near the power plant and saw 100's of spawning carp, each about 10lb.
Wish I had more time to be a bit more serious, but Chem E was pretty demanding.

Connection Failure wrote 5 months ago

Thanks for sharing, Connection Failure. Donna and I love the Ithaca area. We’ve yet to learn it thoroughly. If you read Part II, posted April 2nd, you’ll see that carp with a bow is on my bucket list in the near future. Bowfishing with both a vertical and crossbow should be a blast. In this writing game, with which I’m seriously involved, I’ve learned to make the time to do outdoorsy things. Actually, the outdoors is, in essence, my office away from the office. My son has his degrees in Chem E from Cooper Union, so I know how demanding that coursework can be. Perhaps you’ll head back up to the Ithaca area one day . . . soon. After all, Ithaca is Gorges. :o) :o)

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