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What a season..

Salmon season has come to an end and what a season it was. With a horribly dry summer we found ourselves facing very low water conditions. How’s that old saying go? When life gives you lemons make bull frogs or something like that.

I have to give a huge thank you to all my awesome customers. You are the reason I do what I do. In less than ideal conditions everyone was more than willing to change things up which equalled smiling faces and fish in the net. Some days where better than others but everyone was happy.

Another thank you to those who have already booked next year’s trips or steelhead trips. It’s a great feeling having most of your next season booked as this season is ending. That being said if you want to salmon fish with me next year I wouldn’t wait too long to start planning.

With the low water I never fished the Salmon River this fall. I stayed on the lake as much as possible and fished other locations when I couldn’t get on the lake. Next weekend that changes and I will be steelheading on the Salmon River come hell or low water. The reservoir is slowly filling and I expect 335 cfs base flow to return in the near future as long as it keeps raining. My Smithfly raft floats no problem at 185 cfs so I am not concerned either way.

Steelhead season is looking like it is going to be a good one. Some very nice steelhead have been caught already along with some impressive brown trout. I do have a couple December dates open that I would like to fill if anyone is interested give me a call.

This weekend I had 3 trips on Cauyga lake. I decided I would camp near the lake rather then drive back and forth each day.

I stayed at Sned-Acres Family Campground. If you are looking for a campground in the Finger Lakes region I would recommend this one. It is a family run clean quiet campground. The owners are very nice and accommodating

The fishing was not easy this weekend. We had to work hard for what we got. The weather was not in our favor as it was far from stable. Friday I took Adam and Chrissy out for a four hour afternoon charter. We trolled a variety of depths and baits looking for silver fish. We no luck after 2 hours I switch baits around and we managed to land four lake trout before their trip was over.

Saturday morning Walt and Brooks joined me. We started where I had found the lakers the day before. Only to find they were not willing to bite. Weather was nasty at times but we fished through it trolling north. We found one good laker that wanted to play. They were fishing with me the next day and staying at the same campground so I offered to take a break and go back out in the afternoon. They decided that sounded like a good idea.

We headed back out in the afternoon and caught another laker and two rainbows in about 2 hours of fishing in some less than desirable weather. We probably could’ve caught more but the steaks back at the campground were calling our names.

Sunday morning the weather was supposed to be good and we found a good pile of fish and bait the night before. We were excited to get back out in the morning. Well the weather man was wrong and the fish had moved. We worked very hard fishing everywhere from 60 to 325 feet of water. We found 3 atlantics and one big lake trout that wanted to play before it was time to go.

This afternoon I had the pleasure of taking Ken and Gerry out on Onieda Lake walleye fishing. Ken won the trip I donated for the Redfield Fish and Game Club kids fishing derby raffle.

When we launched the boat it looked like it might be a little bumpy out in the deeper water. That turned out to be an understatement. When we got out to the area I wanted to fish we had 3 to 4 foot waves. We were there so we set up and trolled with them. I was hoping it was going to lay down but the waves coming over the back of the boat as we trolled didn’t give me much confidence. The marks on the fish finder gave me plenty of confidence we were going to catch fish though.

We finished one pass landing three keeper walleye. I gave them the choice of running back west and making another pass or giving it a try another afternoon. They decided it was time to head back to the dock and I didn’t blame them as the waves were not letting up and actually still building.

All things considered it was a good hour on Oneida Lake. Hopefully next time we will have calmer water. I have some date available for October walleye fishing before I put the boat away for the winter. Book them now as it’s also salmon season so dates are filling quickly.

Last year my oldest son came home from school upset that his classmates had been off for take your kid to work day. We explained to him that kids aren’t allowed into the aluminum factory that my wife and I work in. Then it dawned on me that he could come to “fish work” as he calls my guide business. He was so excited that could come to fish work with me next year.

Well next year came and I had it all set up. Customers to take that understood the plan and how our trip could be cut short as Gunnar would be with us. Then the Corona virus shutdown school and guiding. This left me with one very disappointed 6 year old. It was time to come up with a new plan.

Plan B was to “guide” my father and wife for crappie and/or rainbow trout. Gunnar was very concerned that we would get in trouble for guiding when it was shut down. I told him mom and grandpa would just pay us at home where no one would see as he made sure they both knew they were going to have to pay him.

That morning Gunnar helped me get the gear and boat ready. Then he packed snacks while I went and bought subs for us for lunch. When we arrived at the reservoir he helped to launch the boat.

Unfortunately we tried about everything we had and couldn’t get anything going on the reservoir. We decided we would head back home and try fishing in the creek that separates our property from my parents. In the truck on the way home my dad gave Gunnar $4 which made his day.

Back at my parents house Gunnar wanted to ride his bike before fishing. I headed down to the creek with his fishing rod and a container of worms. As I made my way across the lawn I saw a fish splash on the surface. It was a good size steelhead. I called to Gunnar, who had just put on his bike helmet, telling him there was a steelhead in the creek. He came running down very excited to try to catch it. I explained we needed to be very careful not to spook it. I took the bobber off and hooked a whole night crawler on. I told him I would cast it for him becuase it needed to be a precise cast. Not sure if the spin cast rod would even make the cast I made a test cast in the yard.

We then snuck down the bank into position. After multiple bad casts I landed one the drifted perfectly to the fish. I was shocked to see it grab the worm. I set the hook as I handed the rod to Gunnar. The fish turned downstream splashing in the surface. Gunnar struggled to fight the fish as he laughed at the way it took line and splashed. After a couple minutes he managed to get it to the shoreline. I ran down the bank and grabbed it for him. He was ecstatic to have caught the biggest fish of his life and be the first person in our family to catch a steelhead from the creek.

He ran up to the house to get his mom so she could take our picture. After a quick picture we returned it to the water and watched it swim away.

We then returned the bobber to the line and proceeded to catch multiple shinners and horned dace. After all they were our target species when we headed to the creek. Gunnar later told me he had a great day at “fish work” and wanted to do it again next year. Given the circumstances take your kid to work day couldn’t have gone better.

Gunnar’s first steelhead and the rod he caught it on.
Gunnar even let Beckett catch a couple

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of flying to Oregon for two days of steelhead fishing on the Siletz River. Fishing on the west coast is something I have wanted to do for a long time so when a friend called and asked me to go I had to jump on the offer. He told me we would be fishing with an awesome guide and he wasn’t lying. Originally I was going to write a story about my trip. As I tried to write it I realized I needed it to be two parts. Part one a review of our guide. Part two, which will come at a later date, the entire story of the trip. Our guide was Nolan Davis who owns and operates Northwest Connection Sportfishing.Day one we had high but fishable beautiful green water. The night before Nolan had told us the water was dropping but still on the high side but would have great color. We arrived at the boat launch to see he was spot on. We rigged our rods and launched the boat. As soon as we left the launch Nolan was telling us where to cast and how to run our drifts. We weren’t on the water 20 minutes and Craig was hooked up with a gorgeous hatchery fish which ended up in the net.As we drifted down stream and motored around some of the pools Nolan would tell us to cast to this spot, move the float over to this spot, reel in and recast. The entire time he is talking about slots, buckets, and troughs. I am listening and doing my best to hit the spots he is calling out. It wasn’t long before I was hooked up too but the whole time I am thinking what is this guy talking about? I can’t see any structure everything looks the same in this water. I kept hooking fish though and ended up hooking 6 before the day was over with a couple others that I felt just long enough to know it was a fish that made the bobber drop.Nolan is a lot like me in the fact he doesn’t like to fish around other people and boats if he can help it. There were a good number of boats on the river the first day and he did a great job to make sure we didn’t have to fish around many of them. He told us he liked to fish small spots others don’t know or just don’t bother to fish. Again with the water conditions everything looked the same to me. We managed to hook fish in multiple places after others had fished them though. This told me we were doing exactly that, hitting the little overlooked pockets.Day two the water had dropped about a half a foot. What a difference that made for me. Now as Nolan called out the spots I could see them. It was amazing that the day before I was fishing these same spots but couldn’t see them. Nolan knows this river so well he had Craig and I casting to micro spots all based on memory. Day two absolutely proved to me we were with the right guide.There were even more boats on the river the second day as it was at a level more people are comfortable floating it. Nolan knew that would be the case and decided to pull a somewhat secret move of his. I am not going to elaborate on what that was but I will just say we fished the first part of the day in water that no one else had fished yet and the rest of the day behind the fleet of drift boats.We only saw two boats on the river all day. One was a raft we saw at the launch which we motored up past and proceeded to catch a nice wild steelhead out of the hole they had just been fishing and the second was one of Nolan’s friends at the take out. Day 2 Craig and I hooked and landed 7 steelhead. I also caught my first and second cutthroat trout. Craig caught one or two cutthroat as well. Overall it was an awesome day on the river where we didn’t have to fish around other boats. Nolan might have been second guessing his move in the morning but by the end of the day it was very clear he had made the right call.If you want to head to Oregon and fish the Siletz, I highly recommend doing so, get a hold of Nolan Davis with Northwest Connection Sportfishing. His knowledge of the Siletz River and it’s steelhead is second to none. He is by far one of the best guides I have ever fished with. His boat is clean and comfortable. His gear is top notch as he works closely with some great manufactures. I learned a lot in my two days on the river with him and I know you will too.www.nwcfishing.com

I spent the last 3 days in a cabin on the bank of the West Branch of the Ausable River. During that time I never even strung up a rod. This afternoon I told my friend it was difficult but the truth is it really wasnt.This trip wasn’t about fishing. It was a family camping trip with my wife, kids, and parents. I am not saying I didn’t think about it. I even laid out clothes a few nights in case I woke up extra early. Which I did do one morning but the thought of the dogs waking the wife and kids at 5 am as I tried to sneak out of the cabin was enough to make me roll over and go back to sleep.I wanted to take the boys fishing bit they were more concerned with the playground and swimming pool. That is of course until we were leaving and they realized they never used their fishing rods. I know one thing we are doing tomorrow.I could have snuck out in the dark and tried throwing a mouse in the famed flume pool. I had left the mouse rod at home and was more than happy to sit with Amanda by the fire.I had packed 3 fly rods and my vest in the truck just because it felt like the right thing to do. I knew they weren’t likely to be used but I had to bring them. I was camping right on the Ausable after all.When it comes down to it, contrary to my wife’s belief, fishing isn’t all I think about. Sharing my love for the Adirondacks with my family means more than catching a few trout.In a few years the boys will be fly fishing the Ausable with Amanda and I. We just have to catch that short window before they have to make a decision between the evening hatch and the cute girl they met at the pool. I still remember making that decision myself. I was 15 years old and we were leaving in the morning. Boy did we catch some nice fish that night.

That’s a wrap

That’s it I am done. Yesterday was my last steelhead trip for the season. My season is over but your doesn’t have to be. There are still a lot of fish in the river. They are dropping back to the lake but the lower parts of the river should fish well for at least the next 2 weeks if not longer.

Yesterday there were still plenty of fish to be caught from Altmar to Pineville but not as many as I saw on Sunday. The water bump definitely spread them out.  That being said those fish still have 14 miles of river to go before the enter Lake Ontario.  If you want to catch a steelhead there is still time on the Salmon River.  Covering water finding the pods of drop backs will be key. This time of year one of my favorite techniques is throwing spinners for them.  This allows you to cover water while not requiring you to carry a lot of gear.

Now that I am done with steelhead it is time to move onto walleye. The next two weeks I’ll be chasing Lake Ontario Walleye from the Oswego to the Black River.  These are trophy size fish averaging 6 to 8 pounds with some tipping the scale at over 10 pounds. If trophy walleye fishing interests you I still have a couple week nights available. These trips are 6 pm to midnight.

After walleye the focus changes to trout and bass. I will be fishing all over the Tug Hill region for rainbow, brown, and brook trout.  These trips are either wading or from my Smith Fly raft. This raft allows me float streams that no one else is floating. It gives my guests the chance to cast to fish that have seen very few if any other anglers.  I will be floating the raft for smallmouth and largemouth bass as well. Smallmouth on the Salmon River and Tug Hill Region streams. Largemouth on back country ponds.

I will also be offering Oneida Lake walleye charters all summer long. Either with myself or my good friend Mike Tankersly of Full Tank Charters.  Last summer when everyone was saying the walleye bite had slowed and was tough Mike was still getting limits. He has spent more time on Oneida Lake than anyone I know.

If any of these trips interest you give me a call @ 315-529-3886 to set up a trip you won’t forget.

Shelby’s first great lakes steelhead fishing on the Salmon River

Pavati drift boat

Bobby with his first Salmon River steelhead

This one crushed a Maglip 2.5

Louie’s first ever steelhead fishing the Salmon River

Louie senior with his first Salmon River steelhead

Guided Ice Fishing Trips

I have decided to take a new approach to guided ice fishing trips.  I have found that there are a lot of people who have never ice fished and would like to give it a try but don’t want to spend a bunch of money.  Given this I am going to be offering 2,4, and 6-8 hour ice fishing trips.

The two hour ice fishing trips will be either intro to ice fishing or learning something specific.  Intro to ice fishing would include the basics of jigging, tip ups, tip downs, and electronics. It would also include the basics on where to start when trying to locate fish and what moves to make if your first spot doesn’t pan out.  Specific two hour trips would focus on just one thing. That could be setting tip ups for pike or walleye, using a Vexilar, jigging for pan fish, or using tip downs. A third option is just going out and trying to jig up a pile of fish in two hours.  Many days you can end up with at least a meal if not two or three in two hours. These trips will be priced at $100 for one person or $150 for two people. This price includes all gear and bait along with coffee for morning trips.  If available additional time can be purchased for $75 per hour.

A four hour trip can be a more detailed intro to ice fishing. This would again cover all the basics. However, the extended time frame will allow you to get further instruction where desired. This will likely also lead to more fish being caught.  Another four hour option is to go out and target one species of fish such as pike, perch, crappie, or bluegills.  Four hours most days is enough time to catch a fair number of fish while also learning new techniques.  It is also a good amount of time to learn how to use a Vexilar if you have never done so before.  Four hour trips will be priced at $250 for one person or $300 for  two people. This price again includes all gear, bait, and a pot of coffee if desired. If available additional time can be purchased for this trip as well for $50 per hour.

The 6-8 hour trip is a full day of ice fishing fun. There will be two options. The first is a run and gun perch and panfish trip. We will stay mobile using jigging rods inside the shanty and only setting a few tip downs if we are really on the fish.  This approach will allow us easily move if and when needed to find the fish or stay on the fish.  The second option is to set up for pike and or walleye with tip ups and then jig near by.  Using this approach we will run a large spread of tip ups and tip downs then work around our spread jigging.  This allows us to target larger game fish and still fish for panfish at the same time. It is a much less mobile approach as it takes time to set 10 to 15 tip ups. It is hard to beat the excitement of hearing someone yell flag followed by everyone running to see what is on the end of the line.   These trips will be priced at $350 for one person or $400 for two people. Larger groups can be accommodated as well.  This price again includes all bait and gear. All you need to bring for any of these trips is warm clothes and boots.

If you have any questions or would like to book an ice fishing trip call me @315-529-3886.

Disclaimers:

Additional time will not always be available to be purchased. Please book the time that you think you will want. If you book a 2 or 4 hour with the plans of adding time that time may not be available. I may have another trip booked or might have other plans. It is also possible I will not have enough bait left to stay out as I will be buying bait based on the time frame booked.

Pike bait is expensive. Please do not tell me you want to fish for pike and then change your mind. One I have purchased minnows we will be fishing for pike.

My limit will not be kept.  The rules will be the same on the ice as they are on the river or lake. You are welcome to keep your legal limit.

 

 

When you ask people their favorite fresh water fish to eat the most likely answer will be walleye.  Known for their excellent table fair walleye are a highly sought after prize in upstate New York.  They can be caught numerous ways but trolling and jigging are by far the most popular.  Also normally the most productive.

One of the best walleye waters in the North East sits right here in Central New York. Oneida lake isn’t known for producing big walleyes but it is known for having a huge population of them. That being said the past few years we have seen an uptick in larger fish being caught.  I am not talking 10+ pound slobs we see come from the Great Lakes but nice 4 to 6 pound fish that will provide you will some nice fillets.  Oneida Lake also offers some great perch fishing.  It is not uncommon to catch perch in the 10 to 14 inch range will fishing for walleye. We call these bonus fish.

Starting May of 2019 Wayne-o’s Guide Service will be offering Oneida Lake walleye fishing trips. These trips will be trolling and/or jigging.   I have partnered with Mike Tankersly, Full Tank Charters, and Chris Yard, Irish Knots Sport fishing, to offer these trips.  Between myself, Mike, and Chris we should be able to get you on the water almost any day from May through November.  Each boat can accommodate 2 to 3 anglers.  These trips will typically be 6 hours and be priced between $400 and $550.

Call 315-529-3886 to set up a trip today.

Oneida Lake Walleye

These walleye and perch are just a sample of what you can catch on Oneida Lake.

Leaves, leaves, leaves, and more leaves. Everyone we talked to today had something to say about the leaves. The leaf hatch is in full swing for sure. With high winds and some snow hopefully it won’t be long before they are all off the trees and washed down stream.

Even with all the leaves we had a great day. It wasn’t tons of bites at each stop. It was actually only 8 fish hooked all day. However, out of those 8 we landed 3 and they were all very good fish. One was actually the personal best for the Pavati and possibly for any guided trip I have done. We didn’t get a weight on him just a quick picture and he was released to fight another day.

Today it was strictly a bead bite for us while we were float fishing. We also tried egg sacks but they wanted nothing to do with them. Our hot bead was a Great Lake Steelhead Company bead that I had doctored up a bit. We also took one fish on a chrome hotshot while back trolling one hole. That same hot shot took a good rip after that but didn’t hook up. Due to high winds we didn’t do much plug fishing today.

It is not lights out fishing but it there are plenty of fish around and most of the fish we saw were big. I have some open dates in December if anyone wants to get in on the action. I will also be offering $50 off for the Months of January and February.