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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.

Why????

Lately it seems I have been asking myself why or why not a lot. Although the question of why is coming up a lot more than why not.

I keep hearing about people dying way too young too.  This makes me question a lot of what I do. It reminds me that things happen and not take anything for granted. You don’t know when your last day will be so live every day to the fullest.

Why do we spend our healthy, able bodied, years working and saving hoping to still be healthy when we are old?  Why do we work jobs we don’t like just because they are secure? Why do we waste so much time doing work around the house on nice days when we could be doing something we love? This is something I have been doing less of lately as seen by my yard.  A very wise man said you can’t catch a fish with a lawn mower and they don’t sell fishing rods in the lawn and garden department.  Why are we so afraid to fail?  Why not take a chance on that idea and see what happens?

Every Monday through Friday I walk into a job that I don’t really enjoy. I ask myself why but I know why.  It pays well and has good benefits.  My wife works there so I could keep the same insurance if I left.  I could make the same money or possibly more doing things I enjoy a whole lot more.  The difference would be I would have to work a lot harder to make that money and be away from my family a lot more.  I have no problem with the hard work but I wouldn’t like the not being home with my wife and kids as much.  It seems like I am already always working now.  Then there is my pension plan. I am one of the few people left that were hired under the old company and still have a pension plan. If I live to 55 and am still in good health I will be sitting on a good chunk of money between it and my 401k.  I could retire and instead of being a weekend warrior guide I could be a week day warrior not dealing with the crowded river on the weekend. Then again I could spend the next 17 years going to a job that I don’t enjoy only to die right before retirement. This has been my biggest WHY question lately.  Why take that chance? Why not take a chance on doing something that you enjoy?  Walking into work the other morning I thought, the only difference between this place and prison is the angle of the barbed wire on top of the fence.

I have ideas in my head and I think it is time to act on them.  Some of these are ideas that I started working on and never finished. Those will be first on the list. Then there are others that require some start up capital. Hopefully the first ideas can fund the next ones. Maybe just maybe I can break out of that “prison” .

This goes along with my “F it” list post.  Live life the way you want. Don’t do things that don’t make you happy. Don’t worry about the people that disagree with you or don’t believe in you.  There is always going to be someone with nothing but negative to say. Block them out.  They will likely be people who aren’t happy with their own lives or people who are in the business that don’t want competition.

Remember having an idea in your head and not acting on it is like having a fly in your box and never fishing it.  If you are asking yourself these same questions maybe it’s time to fish that fly.  Also, if you are looking for a partner shoot me an email if you think it’s an idea I would be into.  I am always open to discuss business ideas.

A couple weekends ago my friend Jamie and I took our annual trip up to the Adirondacks and stay at the Hungry Trout Resort. I have wrote a few reviews on The Hungry Trout and they are all still spot on. If you are looking to fish the West Branch of the Ausable River it is the only place to stay in my mind. They will help you in every way they can to get on the fish.

I always say if you want to catch a trout on the Ausable go to the Hungry Trout Fly Shop and buy what they tell you is working. This year was no different. Even with 7 boxes of flies in my vest I took their recommendation and added a few more flies. As we hit the river the first afternoon trying out a spot we had never fished before I wasn’t so sure about the fly I had tied on. In the back of my mind I thought this thing is huge and is never going to work but they had suggested it so I was going to fish it. After quickly fishing one section I moved up stream and was surprised by a large brown trout that smashed that big fly only seconds after it landed in the water. I was no longer doubting the recommendation.

Over all our trip this year was very good. We avoided a lot of bad weather that hit around us. The one thing this years trip lacked was fish numbers. The ones we caught were nice fat trout but we just didn’t catch as many as we normally do. This left me wondering why and bothered me for a few days until I took the time to play out the 3 days over in my head. This is something I normally do when fishing isn’t what I thought it should have been. I want to figure out if it was just fishing or was there something I did wrong.

In this case I think it was both but more to my fault. When we arrived we took the advice from the fly shop and headed out to the river. Our goal this year was to fish some new spots rather than just going to the same spots we always fish so that was what we did this first night. The first mistake made was fishing too quickly. Many of my home water streams are smaller and only hold a fish or two per spot. This being said it is normal for me to hook or move a fish in a spot then move on if nothing happens in the next couple casts. On days when the fishing is really good on the Ausable this is fine as you will find fish that want to bite in every spot. When the fishing is slow you need to slow down change flies and fish each spot hard. I also need to remember that there is likely 20 or 30 fish in that deep hole not the 1 or 2 that would be in the shallow spot back home. Even given our rushed approach we managed to land a few fish and see a few more. Then mistake number two happened.

Since having kids I don’t do a lot of drinking. I don’t have a lot of time for one and for two I don’t want to feel like crap the next day. That being said the first night in the bar I proceeded to suck down 12 or so beers leading to a not so pleasant next morning. Not getting up as early as planned was OK because we were going to check out some more new water that took some hiking to get to. This was a beautiful stretch of water that I am sure held some very nice fish. I can’t wait to get back and fish it again with a clear head and a full stomach. We zeroed on this stretch of water and quit early due to wanting breakfast. Lesson learned. After breakfast that day we stopped by one of our regular spots and were shocked to see no one was in it. We then proceeded to put a hurting on a bunch of chubby brown trout which made us feel a little better about the morning. That evening I made the same mistake as the first evening and just fished too fast but found a couple fish to play.

We learned some new spots and a couple new techniques. One that was very cool and I am looking forward to doing again next year. Overall it was a great trip and in review I learned even more than I thought I did. The fish might have kicked our ass this year but we will be back for them next year if not sooner.

Again if you want to spend some time on the Ausable River give The Hungry Trout a call. Between great lodging, a fully stocked fly shop, excellent guides, and a Bar/Restaurant on site you can’t beat the place.

As you know I don’t normally promote other guides on my page. However, seeing how Rocky is in Tennessee he isn’t exactly competition.

I had to travel to Knoxville for work so that meant I needed to look up the fishing opportunities. I came across a few guides that offer drift boat trips so I sent some emails looking for an afternoon trip if I could fly in early. Rocky emailed me back within an hour or two. There were others that emailed me back but it took more than a day. As a guide I always respond to emails right away so Rocky got my business. We set up the trip within an email or two and kept in touch over the next month or so until it the date arrived. He was always prompt and friendly when answering my questions and I had a lot of them.

The day of the trip arrived and of course the weatherman was actually right that day and the weather wasn’t looking the best. Due to the threat of some good storms we set up on a section of water we could motor up-stream and work back down to the ramp just in case we needed to run for cover. I was more than ok with that. I will fish in anything except lightning.

I knew we were fishing for big fish when I was handed an 8 weight rod with a 350 grain sink tip and a medium size streamer tied on the end. I say medium-sized because we fished much larger later on. I was pumped. I don’t get a chance to fish this way often. We motored up to the low head dam and started back down. The first pass down stream I connected with a nice feisty Rainbow Trout that found its way to the net. Not the huge fish I was hoping for but a good start anyway. Over the next few hours we found a some more fish that wanted to play but my ability to connect with them and put them in the hoop was lacking. The weather also was constantly changing. The skies cleared and the sun shined bright. Not exactly what I would call good trout fishing weather. Overall the catching wasn’t great but the fishing was excellent. I will definitely be coming back for revenge.

Rocky is a professional guide with top quality equipment. It was my first time casting a Orvis Zero Gravity rod and now I want to buy one. Everything from the boat to the reels were in excellent condition. A condition that isn’t always found on a guide boat even though it should be. It was obvious that he has a vast knowledge of the area waters and how to fish them in various conditions. I would highly recommend anyone coming to the Knoxville area to give him a call and set up a trip.

The fishing is very good for brown trout, king salmon, and steelhead.  The lake has been producing good numbers of browns and kings out of Oswego. From what we are seeing so far the fishing this fall is going to be excellent on the river again.  Charter captains are seeing good numbers of fish hitting the deck each trip out.  The Walleye fishing at night has been excellent as well. I have some openings for Walleye trips.

The Salmon River is still running at 350 cfs and has steelhead top to bottom.  I floated Altmar to Pineville Monday evening and couldn’t believe the number of steelhead up that high still. There are also large numbers of small stocked trout.  Try not to abuse these fish as they are the future of this fishery.  We made a couple moves Monday because in some spots we couldn’t keep them off the hook.  The smallies are starting to enter the river as well.  A few very nice ones have been caught so far and it is only going to get better. I will be offering Smallmouth Bass float trips all summer. These are spin or fly fishing trips.

Salmon season dates are almost full if you want to get on the river with me this fall you better call with a deposit very soon.  I have September 8th and 9th open. Last year we were getting them up river with no one around on this weekend.  This year if they aren’t in the river yet we can troll the lake or fish the estuary in my recently purchased Lund. This boat opens up a lot of options for the early season. These dates won’t last so call soon if you want them.

 

There really isn’t a lot to report other than the fishing is good and getting even better. Everyone is catching fish right now. With a good number of fish left in the hatchery this is going to be an extended season for sure. I believe the colder temperatures have caused the fish to trickle out of the hatchery rather than come in large groups. Add these fish to the fish that spawn in the river and it makes for a great season that will last into mid May for sure.

There are also still fish spawning and fish that haven’t started to spawn yet. This past weekend one of my customers caught a dime bright hen that’s eggs were still tight. Check her out on my Facebook or Instagram page.

The best baits seem to change from day to day but for me it has been beads and egg sacs over anything else. All fished under a float. The plug bite has been inconsistent with some guys getting them on plugs but most not doing any real numbers yet. With this weeks warmer temperatures I expect the plug bite to really turn on if the water temperature goes over 40 degrees.

If you haven’t made it up yet the time is now. I am fully booked with the exception of doing an afternoon trip but I likely can find someone who has an opening if needed.

I will be posting a lot more as we transition into summer. Well at least I think we are going to transition into summer. Either way after this weekend it is on to Walleye and Pike then it will be Brook Trout and Black Bass. I still have some openings for the summer trips. I will be offering float trips on the Tug Hill area streams with my new Smith Fly Raft.

On the Ice At Last

Today was the first day I was able to get on the ice this year. I have been trying to get out but it seems like there has been something going on every nice weekend.  The weekends nothing was going on the weather was so cold I didn’t want to leave the house.  I don’t mind ice fishing when its zero or less outside as long as I am already on fish. I don’t want to be scouting in that weather.

Today I had to sign my son up for baseball at 11 so I figured I would get out for the afternoon.  I stopped by the tackle shop for a couple new jigs and some bait. The lady behind the counter told me good luck I hear they got a foot of snow up that way.   This was not encouraging but I was going ice fishing so off I went.

I pulled into the parking lot at the Elm’s golf course where I planned to walk out from. However, when I got there I realized I couldn’t even see the ice from the parking lot. The wind was ripping and blowing snow all over.  After a few minutes of contemplating braving it I decided to go check Green Point. I pulled there and it was better but still not very good so it was off the Lake View.  I arrived at Lake View at the same time as a couple other guys that were heading out and there was once shanty out there already.  Again the wind was ripping but I had made up my mind I was going to give it a try. I unloaded the 2 man shanty from the truck bed and filled it with gear. I have a single man as well but the plan is to fish with my oldest son and wife tomorrow so I figured I would just deal with dragging it so I was ready for tomorrow.  This tuned out to be a mistake.

As I drug the shanty to the ice I realized I never put my ice cleats in the truck. The ice was snow covered so I didn’t think it was going to be too bad.  As I started out onto the ice I realized I was wrong. The ice was smooth as silk underneath 3 to 4 inches of snow making dragging the shanty very difficult. With no other choice, well besides going home, I pressed on.  I tried multiple techniques to move myself and the shanty with out falling.  No of which worked all that well. The third time I fell I decided that was where I was going to fish.  I cut two holes and set up the shanty.

Anyone who has set up a shanty in high winds by themselves know what kind of shit show that quickly turns into.  After a brief fight I was inside somewhat out of the wind. I cleaned out the hole and dropped in the Vexilar. I saw I was in six feet of water and there were fish down there.  It took a couple tries to figure out what they wanted but then I had my first blue gill hooked. It was a decent one around 8 inches. I say around because it fell off the hook and managed to land right back in the 6 inch hole which it more than covered before it flipped and swam away.  I wasn’t happy about that but hey at least there were fish there and they were what I wanted.  The next few minutes when well as I landed a few nice gills and placed them in my bucket.

Then a gust of wind came up that almost flipped the shanty. I fought to keep it held down as a few things fell off the seat next to me. Luckily not landing in the other hole I had cut that I was now realizing would not be used.  As it settled down I moved my seat position further back as to keep more weight on the back of the sled. I caught a couple more gills all keeper except one. The wind was blowing snow under the sides of the shanty but I was on fish and that was all that mattered. Then it happened, a wind gust so hard it flipped the shanty up on it’s side with me in it. I struggled and managed to hold it from flying away on me. As I got it back onto its bottom I realized it was time to pack up the shanty.  Why didn’t I bring that single man shanty again?

After It was packed up I decided I would fish with out it as long as I could. This was interesting as the snow was being blow into the hole and the Vexilar screen.  I lasted about 15 minutes landing a couple more gills and losing a really nice one that got caught on the transducer.  If I was using a heavier jig I could have lasted longer but the snow in the hole and ice on the line got to be too much of a pain.  When it was all over I had 11 gills in the bucket. Considering this was a complete shit show that only lasted about an hour or so I didn’t think that was too bad. I am hoping for lighter winds tomorrow.