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Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Cayuga Lake week

When the Bassmaster Elite Series visited Cayuga Lake in 2016, that late-June event saw lots of fish on beds.

Next week’s return to this Central New York lake will find anglers facing a completely different seasonal complexion when the SiteOne Bassmaster Elite. The event is slated for Aug. 22-25.

“The first time we were there for an Elite event, it was a summertime event (late August 2014) and it was probably 99 percent largemouth,” Bassmaster Elite Series pro Keith Combs said in a B.A.S.S.-issued press release. “When we went back in 2016, it was kind of a spawn/post-spawn event, and we saw a few more smallmouth. I expect to see a couple of big smallmouth this time, but not many.”

The longest of New York’s glacial Finger Lakes, Cayuga Lake stretches nearly 40 miles from the town of Cayuga to Ithaca. Its north-south orientation features steep sides, shallow top and bottom ends, and a plunging center that reaches approximately 435 feet.

Combs noted that grass and docks comprise the primary habitat elements likely to dominate the week’s fishing.

“If it’s anything like the last visits, I think grass will be more of a player. It’s just the main feature of that lake,” he said. “This lake has a lot of milfoil, eel grass and a variety of other vegetation.”

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