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Posts Tagged ‘Drift Boat guide’

It was a cool fall morning when we launched the boats in the dark.  This was my first time rowing down the river in the dark and to say I was nervous would be an understatement. I wasn’t going to let me first ever customers know that though. I was lucky enough to have a veteran guide let me follow him down river.  We were the first ones in the river so we had our choice of spots.

At 5:15 am we dropped anchor at tail of the School House Pool. We only had about a hour and a half to sit in the dark and wait for legal fishing hours.  We hadn’t been sitting there 5 minutes when one of my guests cracked his first beer.  They had brought a 30 pack with them so this had me concerned.  I started rigging up the plug rods we would put out at daylight. Once the plug rods were set I made sure our bottom bouncing rods were ready then I drank my coffee while they drank their beer.

When I put out the plug rods at day light there were at least 6 empty beer cans in the bottom of the boat and fish all around us. I was praying we would hit a few fish on the plugs and get them to the net first thing. That was not the case. We had 3 hard hits that doubled the rod over but never hooked up. At that time you couldn’t run bead chains unless you had a special lures permit and being new I didn’t have one.

Now it was plenty light out and we could see the fish constantly moving through the current around us. You could also now see at least 10 empty beer cans in the front of the boat. I pulled in the plug rods and hand them the bottom bouncers. I am not going to lie and tell you we were trying to get the fish to bite. We were trying to line them just like almost everyone else on the river at that time.  I explained to them how to cast just up stream of the fish so as not to spook them and then drift the line back into them. They kept casting right at the fish. I would tell them to cast ahead of the fish and they would cast way upstream and get snagged. I retied and they cast directly at the fish again. I was in trouble and I knew it. After about 2 hours of this and a few more beers the fish were gone and it was time to pull anchor.

When we dropped anchor again there were about 50 in the current right along side the boat. I though we were safe because it was a bit deeper water so they could get away with casting a little too far upstream. They were having trouble seeing the fish so their casts were even farther off target. It seemed no matter what I told them they did the opposite. It wasn’t long before another guide came through saw the fish and purposely splashed his oars through the hole sending them fleeing. I was not happy and never forgot this moment. I didn’t say a word as I was the new guy on the river and I had customers with me. I let them cast for a few more minutes while I regrouped and made a plan. I knew something had to change if I was going to get these guys at least one fish.

We made a big move down stream where I could pull plugs in some deeper water. I knew this was our only chance as they were never going to get one casting.  We fished through the first hole with out a strike. There were a few shots from a liquor bottle taken though. As I was setting rods in the second hole I noticed there were at least 20 empty beer cans in the bottom of the boat. I could tell the guys were far from sober. The second hole was money or at least it should have been. I watched the right rod double over and saw the fish thrashing on the surface. As I yelled “right rod right rod right rod” I rowed upstream as hard as I could to keep the line tight. Of course both guys tried to grab the left rod. By the time they got to the right rod the fish got slack line and came off.

There was only one spot left to try plugging before the boat launch. It was now or never and I was far from optimistic. I put the lures out again and started working them in the current. We were almost to the tail of the pool when the middle rod slammed down into the bow of the boat. I pulled hard on the oars and yelled “middle rod get it and reel”. I told them in the beginning you don’t have to set the hook, the fish will do it for you, just keep the line tight.  When he grabbed the rod out of the holder not only did he set the hook like Bill Dance but he dropped the rod right back down giving the fish the slack it needed. The fish was gone and so was all hope of saving the day.

Back at the lodge they told a bit different story to the owner who they had booked the trip through. They were not happy to pay all that money and not catch a fish. I was given the chance to tell my side  of the story when I stopped in later that evening. I learned a lot in that first trip. First and foremost I needed a special lure permit. Second there would be a limit on how much alcohol was allowed on my boat from there on out. This was when I decided if someone is just looking to catch a buzz they can hire someone else.

 

 

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of guiding Cherie, her son Ben, and his friend Luke. The boys are both 11 years old. They fished with me back in the fall for salmon and the boys worked together to land the one salmon we managed to hook that night.  This time they wanted to catch lots of fish even if they weren’t all that big.

I took them to one of my favorite spots to go just catch fish. I knew they wanted to take fish home for dinner so I hoped we would get into some Crappie and Rock bass which we did. I also knew that the smallies would keep them very busy.

Keeping kids busy is the most important part of taking them fishing. If kids get bored they won’t stay interested in fishing for long.  Don’t take young kids to a body of water that doesn’t hold a lot of fish or holds fish that are difficult to to catch. Find some place that holds panfish that can be caught with a worm or minnow and a bobber.

I chose minnows and bobbers for our trip. I also had night crawlers and wax worms just in case. As an added bonus my minnows were a split of fat heads and rosy reds. The red/orange minnows not only caught fish but the boys thought they were really cool.

Though out the afternoon we landed 7 crappie, 4 rock bass, a big blue gill, and over 20 smallmouth bass. We kept the crappie, the 2 bigger rock bass and the blue gill which provided them a delicious dinner the next night.  This is another way to get kids interested and keep them interested in fishing. If they like to eat fish take them fishing for a species they can keep and eat. Catch and release can come later in life for them.  Keeping what they catch allows them to show off more than just a picture and it is rewarded for them to eat fish they caught.

If you notice the kids getting bored or restless it may be time to switch it up. Skip rocks, look for frogs, or even call it a day. I can’t stress enough you must pay attention to how they are acting and if it is time to call it a day call it a day. Don’t keep them out there when they don’t want to be there just because you aren’t ready to go home.

If you want to take your kid fishing but don’t know where to start or have the equipment give me a call. I offer discounts for take a kid fishing trips. I will provide all the gear and bait. I have the patience to help teach how to cast and to untangle lines all day if needed. I am willing to bet your kid will not be the worst fisherman that has been on my boat. I have a few good spots weather your want fish to take home for dinner or just want to catch and release a lot of fish. We will have a good time and your kid or kids will go home with stories to tell all their friends.

 

 

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I am going to start with a disclaimer. Hero Drifter floats are the only custom made floats I have used. I am not comparing them to other custom floats or even plastic floats such as Clear Drift.  I am comparing them to mass produced balsa wood floats.

Hero Drifter floats are hands down the best floats I have ever run. I have now been running them for a couple weeks and they are awesome. Michael Weber makes some sick looking and sweet running floats. The quality is seen immediately when you take them out of the heavy duty shipping container he mails them in.

I ordered a dozen Ninja’s and a half dozen of his Rock star floats with my logo on them.  I am going to very loosely say these compare to the Raven balsa wood floats.  I say loosely because they only compare in size and shape. The quality of the Hero Drifter floats is so much greater that there is no real comparison past that.

The first time I fished them I couldn’t believe how much better they ran.  I had always wondered is it worth spending a little more than double what a mass produced float costs? The answer yes absolutely. Once you fish them you will understand. They run the edges of seems and stick there.  They make it some much easier to get the bait where you want it. If you run a quality pin reel and keep the line of the water you will be amazed at how well they hold the line you want them too. There is nothing worse then having your float move from the line your a trying for right before it gets where it needs to be. You will not have that problem with Hero Drifter floats.

My clients have been loving them and it has actually made my job easier. When the float runs true and stays where it should it is so much easier for people that are just learning to float fish.  Last Saturday I met a couple friends after my trip and let them borrow a Ninja for the afternoon. Both of them sent me a message later that afternoon and had nothing but good things to say. They were shocked how much better they were than the mass produced floats they had been using.  They also both plan on ordering floats in the near future.

If you are ready to step up your float fishing game ditch the Raven’s and order Hero Drifters. You won’t be disappointed. If for some strange reason you are just give me a call and ill buy them from you.

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It is only March 5th and I have already been on Lake Ontario. This is the earliest I have been trolling the lake by about 10 days.  It was a great deal of work to break up the ice at the launch to get the boat in the water. Then we broke through the ice to get to the river and more ice on the river to get to the lake. Even though we only fished for about a hour and a half after it was all worth it when we landed a nice brown trout that weighed in at 10 pounds on the boga grip. The fish was brought home for dinner tomorrow.

Over the next week we are supposed to see some warmer weather which will take care of the ice and should kick the brown trout fishing along the shoreline into full gear.  Today there was very little colored up water due to the lack of run of at the moment. The warmer weather will change that as the remaining snow melts.  I am guessing next weekend will be an excellent time to be on the water.  I will not be on the water Saturday as I will be selling tackle at the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association flee market at the fire hall in Brewerton.  I am available for a trip on Sunday though.

The tough part of booking a drift boat trip trolling along the lake is it is very wind dependent.  If the wind is blowing hard we can’t fish the lake with a drift boat. However there is always a plan b and c.  We can go to Oswego and troll the harbor or go to the Salmon River or Black River and fish for steelhead.

If you are set on trolling the lake I recommend hiring a charter boat such as Irish Knots Sport fishing or High Adventure Sport fishing.  The benefit of going on a charter boat is that the wind is not as big of a factor. They are able to fish in a fair amount of wind and waves.  The cost will be more but you can also split that cost between 4 to 6 people instead of 2.

Spring brown trout fishing is a trolling trip most of the time. If you are fishing on a charter boat it will definitely be trolling. If you are on a drift boat most of the time we troll but if you wanted to cast that is an option. We could even try fly fishing for them. Trolling will produce the most fish though. I also have two trolling fly rods that can be deployed if you wanted to catch them on the fly.

With warmer weather right around the corner now is the time to think about booking a spring brown trout trip. I will be having my gallbladder removed on the 14th of March so I am not booking any trips until April but I have other guides that I work with that I will gladly set you up with if you wanted to go before April. If you would like to book a charter boat give Chris Yard (Irish Knots Sport Fishing) or Troy Creasy (High Adventure Sport Fishing)  a call and they will set you up for sure.

 

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I had the pleasure of guiding Tom and Joe today. I decided yesterday I was tired of playing the who can get on the river earliest game. Last Saturday I pulled in to the Launch at 3:50 am and was not the first boat in the river. This morning we launched the boat at 5:30. I knew we wouldn’t get the spot I wanted but I also knew we could still get a good spot. We anchored up in a spot I like, started the heater and waited for day light.

Once it became legal fishing time we started casting Finger Lakes Tackle spinners. On Tom’s third cast the spinner stopped dead then took off upstream in the mouth of a nice 6 pound steelhead. Tom did an excellent job fighting the fish and it wasn’t long before it was in the net. They had decided they wanted to keep one to eat so this one went into the box. It was a good thing it did because the rest of the day we had a lot of trouble getting them to the hoop. We did land a nice little brown trout later in the morning though.

Spinners and egg sacks took all the hits today. Talking to people as we made our way down the river it seemed that most people were having a slow day. There were a few drift boats that had a pretty good day though. I know Tom and Joe thought it was an excellent day, as did I. We battled snow, wind, and cold all day yet still managed to hook multiple fish and land a couple. That is a good day in my mind.

Tom and Joe also enjoyed the comfortable seats and the warmth of the heater. Multiple times they complimented the Pavati especially using the doors to get in and out of the boat. I am definitely looking forward to fishing out of it this winter.

Finger Lakes Tackle Spinners doing work

Finger Lakes Tackle Spinners doing work

Happy Customers

Brown Trout and Cigars

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I am a bit late posting but Saturday I set up and ran a 2 boat trip. The fishing wasn’t hot and heavy but we had some action and managed to get one into the net. The guys were very happy as they had struck out on their trip the day before. (It wasn’t with me) The one that came to the net smashed a Finger Lakes Tackle Blades of Steel spinner. We also took hits on beads. Overall it was a great day. The weather was good and we all had a good time.

Sunday I had the chance to be guided rather than be the guide. It was great. I set up the trip for my friend Steve’s bachelor party and we had a blast. We landed 4 steelhead and lost many others. A big thanks to Mike Kerstetter and James Kirkland for taking us down the river.

This is a short report as I am tired but I will say fishing has been a lot like it used to be. You have to work for them but they are there and if you put in a bit of effort you will be rewarded. Spinners and beads have been the hot baits the last couple weeks. Fly guys that know what they are doing are getting them too.

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I had the pleasure of fishing with Jeff and Brandon on Friday and Mark and Corey on Saturday. We had a great time both days however the fishing wasn’t that great. We fished Altmar to Pineville both days. There were a good number of fish in the top of the river we just had some trouble getting them going.

Friday we only managed to get one to the boat and the best part is we didn’t even hook the fish. We somehow managed to hook into the swivel at the end of a leader someone had broke off while fighting this fish. It was tough to get to into the net as I had to pull it in by hand at the end. We did hook a few others that came unglued.

Saturday we put two fish in the net and lost about 8 others. It probably would have been a much better day if a group of people hadn’t waded out into the river right down from us causing all the fish to scatter. We had anchored up in a good spot with a lot of fish around us and about an hour into day light the people walked right into where they should have been fishing. Many people seem to not understand that you don’t need to go chase these fish around. You can sit back and wait for them to come to you. They want to go upstream if you just let them.

Overall river report:
Fishing is still not great but it’s not bad. If you put some time in you will be rewarded. There are good numbers of salmon spread out through the entire river. The majority being in the upper sections. More steelhead and browns are being caught each day. Again they are throughout the river however more are being caught down low. Egg sacks and beads have been the best bet for the trout. Salmon have been caught on a variety of flies, egg sacks, and lures. Remember it is still single hooks only on the Salmon River for floating lures.
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