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An online space for outdoorsmen from CNY and beyond. Tell us about the one you caught or the one that got away.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Anglers have high hopes for walleye season

For many area fishermen this Saturday, May 3, will be the highlight of the fishing season. It is the opening of the northern pike and walleye season and most anglers have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the season to go after the tasty walleye.
Most of the area anglers will converge on Oneida Lake and its tributaries with a variety of lures, baits and techniques. If the weather is decent as the forecast calls for, there will be a flotilla of boats, especially along the eastern and north shores where walleye fishing is traditionally found in the early season. Many others will line the banks of the streams, especially the main tributaries like Fish Creek.
There is always debate on where to find the walleye in early season. With this cold late spring, the fish will probably still be near the spawning areas even though the walleye have spawned. Typically after spawning the larger females head back for the lake, especially the deeper areas. Males tend to hang around longer and are likely to be found in the streams or the shallow areas of the lake.
Remember that the majority of walleye spawn in the lake, not the streams, so it will be where you find the most fish. However it is easier to target the fish in the streams so many anglers will concentrate there.
I was talking to Dave Malbouf at “Bouf’s Bait Shop” in Verona Beach earlier this week as he prepared for his grand opening this weekend. His advice will be to fish the creeks and shallower waters of the lake because that is where the perch fishermen have been finding walleye on their outings
In anticipation of the big event with enthusiastic fishermen heading for their favorite spots, Malbouf will be open all night on Friday night and all weekend. He is stocked up with lots of jigs, worms, and other popular lures and supplies. He will also be serving free coffee and donuts for customers.
Captain Ted Dobs, a veteran walleye fisherman, also believes that many of the walleye that ascended the creeks will still be there. Since the cold water is still below 50 degrees the fish won’t have any urge to head back to the lake.
Dobs recommends using bucktail jigs or jigs with twister tail grubs swam just off the bottom. He suggests adjusting the color of the jigs to the clarity of the water. Since walleye are sight predators, you should choose the color jig that shows up best. Lower your jig slightly into the water and see how well it shows up.
Good luck to all the anglers and let us know how you did this weekend.
Rivers of Steel: Steelhead season may be winding down but it certainly is going out in style. There have been lots of fish in the rivers like the Salmon Rive all winter but many days the cold weather or high water has hampered anglers. Lately the conditions have been better and the anglers have been enjoying great fishing.
Last Friday my friend Mike Seymour and I fished with Chris Mulpagano and had a fantastic day. While fishing the lower river from Chris’ driftboat we hooked up with 34 powerful and acrobatic steelhead. The excitement and action was great throughout the entire trip and we ended up boating about 23 or 24 of the hard-fighting fish.
We took a lot of the fish by fishing single beads under a float drifted through deeper pools or runs. Several others were taken by hot shots in front of the boat as Chris skillfully back-rowed his driftboat through likely areas. A lot of the fish were in the seven to eight pound weight class while our largest was about ten pounds.
On Sunday my friend “J.B.” and his son fished the same stretch of the river with Chris and hooked into 25 fish, landing about 20 of them. Their largest fish topped 12 pounds I have said for a long time that Chris Mulpagano, a former local resident, was one of the best – if not the best – guide on the Salmon River. After this weekend both Mike Seymour and “J.B.” were ready to agree with me.
The steelhead we caught had mostly finished spawning and were on their way back to the lake. It is likely that the major spawning activity will wrap up in another week or two at the most. By then most of the big trout will be back in the lake for another year.
Lake Ontario Action: Fishing action has been good all along the Lake Ontario shoreline from the Niagara Bar to Henderson Harbor. Lots of brown trout have been cruising the shoreline and anglers have been targeting them with stickbaits and spoons.
When the browns are in the shallow water, they are spooked easily so anglers need to run long flat lines behind the boats or use planer boards to get the lures out away from the boat. Fishing is best in areas where tributaries enter the lake and produce areas of stained and warmer water.
Anglers have also been taking fish early in the morning from piers or jetties that extend out into the water. A few hours after sunrise, especially on bright sunny mornings, the browns will head out into deeper water. When the brown trout fishing slacks off many anglers will then head out into deeper water (50 – 80 feet) and catch some nice lake trout by fishing “peanuts,” or big flutter spoons along the bottom.
Camden Sportsmans Day: SHOTS (Sportspeople Helping Others Through Sharing) will be sponsoring the First Annual Sportsmen’s Flea Market on Sunday, May 4, 2014. The event will be at the Camden Rod & Gun Club at 2655 Moran Post Road, Camden. It will be a day full of fun, games, and sporting goods traded or sold. Goods include hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and trapping equipment. There will be a licensed FFL dealer available to do NICS background checks on firearms. Vendors are welcome. Call 315-447-7551 for more information or to reserve your space.
Mothers Day Suggestion: May 11 is Mother’s Day and naturally you should do all you can to make the day special. In addition to dinner and other special things, you can consider some gift that will help that special person enjoy the outdoors.
One gift that you should seriously consider for the outdoors lady is the Free Country jacket. This stylish and sporty windbreaker is perfect for the active person whether she is running errands, jogging or boating. It is water and wind resistant and it is machine washable. An attached hood with adjustable drawstring, Velcro cuffs and zippered exterior pockets provide protection against inclement weather.
A modern touch is an interior pocket for mobile devices with cord outlet and loop for using earphones when she wants to listen to her favorite songs while on the go. For a complete line of windbreakers or jackets that are durable, lightweight, and stylish for the outdoors women, check out
Paddlefest: Adirondack Paddlefest, the largest on-water canoe and kayak show in the Northeast returns to Old Forge May 16 – 18. There will be hundreds of canoes and kayaks on sale, and all types of accessories available. Meet with manufacturer’s representatives, take skill classes for a modest fee and attend free seminars and demonstrations on everything from tandem paddling techniques to kayak fishing. Of course this is also your chance to test paddle canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards, as well as try out various paddles.
There will be a special one day contest of fishing for northern pike from a kayak on Saturday, May 17. First prize will be a Wilderness Fishing Kayak. There will also be many booths of various outdoor related organizations. For more information check the website Or call (315) 369-6672.


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