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Posts Tagged ‘Jefferson County fishing’

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.

 

 

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If you have been fishing the Salmon River or just reading reports you know it has been a strange and tough year. After a couple years of earlier than normal runs we have been spoiled. There have been fish in the river all September just not in the large numbers of years past. Many anglers have had trouble figuring out what needed to be done to catch fish in these conditions. Even guides fishing almost every day have been finding the fishing tough. The trick has been to keep moving and cover lots of water. Standing in one spot all day was not going to get it done.

The cold weather and rain we have received over the last few days has help. The fishing has improved daily. The mid and upper Salmon River have been fishing well. Plugs being pulled from drift boats and cast by shore anglers have been producing fish. Also estaz eggs and woolly buggers have been a good bet.

The rain should start bringing the water levels of the small streams up. As of right now most of them still do not have enough water to fish well or even bring the fish into them. There is more rain in the forecast and it is raining as I write this. I will have a better small water report after my guide trip Thursday.

The Black River has fish but not a lot of them. They are doing work on the power generation dams in Dexter so there is no flow coming from them. The water flow is only coming from the over flow dams. This is changing where the fish would normally hold a little bit. There is also not a lot of water running right now.

The Oswego River has picked up over the last few days with good numbers of salmon being caught.

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The weather is about to turn a lot colder which will be good for making ice the next few days. I am guessing Lake View will be fishable right after Christmas. Parts of Sandy Pond might also be locked up good if we don’t get much wind. Sackets harbor and Henderson harbor may also have good ice by then.

The Salmon River has dropped to 750 cfs which is my personal favorite level to fish it at. The cold weather coming up with make fishing tough but it will also cut down on the pressure. I would fish beads or sacs under a float. I wouldn’t rush to the river if it is going to be cold. Sleep in a bit or stop for breakfast. Let the temperature warm up a bit first.

I drove over Grindstone Creek today and it was roaring as I suspect all the small streams in Oswego County are. The water will drop over the next couple days and if we get a day that warms up a bit the fishing should be good on any of them.  Getting on them before they ice up again will be key.

Good Luck

 

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There was safe ice today on Sackets Harbor inside the marina. The pike bite was good. I am thinking it might be fishable tomorrow but after that it will be no good until it gets cold again.

The pike and panfish bite on Lake View has been ok but again tomorrow will be the last day I would venture out on it until it gets cold again.

Rollaway Bay on Black Lake had a very good Crappie bite and had 6 inches of ice. It might stay good through the weekend but I would make a phone call or two before making the drive.

As you can see this warm weather is going to put a damper on our early ice. Hopefully Christmas week will lock everything back up for us and we will be back out there.

Take advantage of warm weather and hit the rivers for Steelhead or Brown Trout. That is what I will be doing tomorrow morning. The trout bite has been hot in Oswego and on the Salmon River.

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The water is dropping and the fish are hitting. The Salmon River is at 900 cfs. This is a great level to fish from shore or a drift boat for Steelhead. The river has fish from top to bottom with most of the fishing pressure being on the top half of the river. Your best bet is drifting an egg sac or bead under a float. If you are fly fishing egg patterns such as the 3 loop pink lady(my favorite) will get the job done.

Cold weather, snow and strong winds will keep most away the next couple days. If you can handle the weather you should be rewarded with fish.

The smaller streams are also on the drop. The Sandy’s have been fishing well and and should be at good levels by now. Earlier in the week they where both still very high. After all the high water we had there are Steelhead in all the small streams. Don’t over look even the smallest of waters. If it connects to Lake Ontario there are probably fish in it. Remember though if the water is low and clear it will take a lot of stealth to get the bait to the fish before they see you.

Grindstone Creek was fishing well Tuesday and Wednesday. I fished it both days and we hooked multiple fish on each day. Unfortunately our 6 pound leaders where no match for the fish we hooked and they all got off.

If you need flies, egg sacs, hooks, sinkers, floats or anything else stop into Salmon River Sports Shop. Button will hook you up with everything you need.

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Finally we got the rain we have been waiting for. The small streams have water and are fishing very well. The Sandy’s have plenty of water and lots of fish. Grindstone is also fishing well with good numbers of fish in it. My friend Shawn sent me a video of the Little Salmon River yesterday and it was LOADED with fish.

If you have been waiting to fish the smaller waters of Oswego and Jefferson County the time is NOW!!! There is more rain in the forecast so the fishing should stay good. If the water does drop remember to drop down in leader and weight size. Also stay back and fish the deeper pools.

If you have been waiting for  steelhead the Salmon River is the place to be. There have been more and more caught each day. The lower half of the river will be your best bet. If you want to get away from the crowd spend the $50 and fish the Douglaston Salmon Run. It seems like a lot of money to fish for the day but believe me it’s worth it. If you break it down by the hour it’s less than $6 an hour to fish a beautiful stretch of the river.

This can be a great time to swing streamers on a sink tip if you are fly fishing. If you are spin or pin fishing Salmon Skein or egg sacs are your best bet. Good luck and C U on the water.

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October is time to target monster Salmon in the small waters of Oswego and Jefferson counties. There are many great streams in the area that support large runs of these amazing fish.
Fishing these waters requires a change in approach and gear from fishing the larger waters of the area.

First the change in gear that will need to be made. Many people fish heavy line and weight when Salmon fishing on the Salmon, Oswego, or Black river. This is unnecessary on the big rivers and will not work on the small waters. These streams are often shallow and clear. The Salmon will see the heavy line and shy away from it almost every time. I recommend fishing no heavier than 12 pound test main line and using a 10 pound leader. If the water is very clear I will fish as light as 8 pound. As far as the weight goes only use just enough to tick bottom. The streams being much shallower and to much weight will cause you to snag bottom often.

I also like a rod that is more of a Steelhead rod than a Salmon Rod. Actually something in between is best. You want to make sure that you will be able to cast the light weight and line whatever distance is needed. That is why I prefer a 9 to 11 foot rod. This allows you to cast when needed or at times just drop the bait in front of the fish or in the top of the hole.

When it comes to your approach much more stealth is in order. It is best not to wear bright colored clothing so that the fish will not see you. When you walk up to the stream make sure to walk slow and watch for fish moving in the water. Polarized Sunglasses are a must for small water Salmon fishing.  If you do spook fish watch where they go and give them time to rest. Chasing after them will do no good as they are not going to be willing to hit right after spooking from a hole.

I am often asked where is the best place for small water Salmon fishing. This changes constantly based on the rainfall. These waters are not damn controlled  and therefore require rain to bring the water levels up. One of my favorites is the Little Salmon River in Mexico, New York. This stream has no public access however there is a section in the town of Mexico where you can get permission with a donation. As of last year it was $50 for a year long pass.

Grindstone creek is another that provides great fishing and unlike the Little Salmon River it has a lot of public access. There is access at Selkirk State Park where the creek empties into Lake Ontario. This is a great place to cast spoons into the lake before the Salmon start to run or when they first start entering the river. From there if you travel upstream on County Route 28 you will find 2 more public access points. There is also public access off Krebbs Road and County Route 41A.  This stream is well known and does see fisherman but not nearly as many as the Sandy Creeks.

Little Sandy Creek, South Sandy Creek, and North Sandy Creek are all great Salmon fishing streams.  As you travel Route 3 north out of Port Ontario you will cross all 3. Little Sandy has access of Norton road. This is a very small stream as far as width goes but it can hold impressive numbers of fish when the water is right. Down stream from the parking lot you will find deeper holes on bends in the stream.

South Sandy Creek has access along Route 3 and along South Landing Road. At the parking lot along Route 3 you will find a very slow moving and deep river. This is a good place for casting lures or fishing with a float and large egg sacs. Along South Landing road you will find more of what you would expect in a Salmon stream, shallower fast moving water with deep holes.

North Sandy Creek is my favorite to fish and there is a nice parking lot where Route 3 crosses the stream. This area is often heavily fished and is best to be avoided on the weekends. There is a great hole right above the bridge that is very deep and will almost always be holding fish.

There are many other small streams and creeks that see an annual run of Salmon each fall. I can’t list them all as I am a guide and must keep a few secrets.

salmon

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