Reports 7/9 to 7/12
What a wild week it’s been! Here’s how things went:
7/9 AM – Seneca Lake out of Geneva: I got a call from Craig the night before, and we set up a 1/2 day trip. He was accompanied by his 9 year old son Cain. I had to contain myself a bit, but as I motored out of the Chamber of Commerce Boat Launch I was pretty psyched to see the hot, steady sort of normal weather. I marked bait and lakers everywhere, and knew we’d be in for some good to great fishing. Craig landed around 14 nice lakers and Cain managed to catch a beauty on his own. Craig had a great touch with the fishing and had no trouble with the technique. He’s a neat guy and was an original member of “Blue Man Group.” So it was a lot of fun chatting!
7/9 PM – Seneca/Geneva: Guided John and his buddy Ray. They wanted to learn the jigging technique. John was nice enough to pick me up a hot cup of coffee (at my request!) so I was ready to roll. Fishing was slower than the AM, but it was still quite good and the guys landed 5 nice lakers. Fish were in around 65′ to 85′ if I remember right.
7/10: Cayuga out of Cayuga Lake State Park: I was looking forward to guiding Andy and his son Tristen. Andy’s done very well trolling and jigging for trout and salmon and was looking to get more into bass fishing. He was out with me last year (the infamous “license incident” 😉 We met at 6 am at the launch and headed out. I got the guys working a combination of stuff – incl. Super Flukes, topwater, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jerkbaits. We found some decent pickerel fishing along with a few keeper sized largemouths.
As we worked down the lake the fun began. At around 11 am my motor alarm went off! I’d been in some shallow water and was hoping it was just a weed in the intake. But it wasn’t. A call to Skyler at Silver Lake Marine was made. He gave me a few suggestions, but nothing worked. My water pump/impeller wasn’t working! So I had to use the trolling motor to get us back. We were going to work smallmouths, but it wasn’t to be. Only problem was that I was near Farley’s Point when this stuff happened! To make a long story short, I was able to use my Motorguide Trolling motor to get us all the way back (around 5 miles!) to the State Park. Needless to say, we covered a lot of water and found some great bass areas. Andy landed a chunky bass with a Superfluke as we worked back in.
So now I had a dilemma. I had to cancel my PM trip with my friend Chris and his son Brian. I wasn’t happy about that. I had the Red Cross Derby this weekend, which I was really looking forward to fishing. I’d already paid the $35 entry fee. Skyler at Silver Lake told me it’d be Thursday before they could take a look at my motor. That would mean another round of trip cancellations. And if the power head of the motor had blown, I’d have been in trouble!
I was able to work something out with the folks at Silver Lake Marine and they got me up and running by Saturday night! A new impeller was all I needed, and they happened to have one in stock. The amazing thing was that I had dropped the boat off at around 8:30 am and decided to head to Rochester to shop a bit and grab some food at a favorite restaurant. My buddy Chris (from Rochester)from the cancelled trip knew I was free and happened to call me – there was a party going on with a bunch of my High School buddies. How great was that? My boat was ready to roll at 5 pm. I’d get to fish Red Cross after all, at least Day 2 of it!
7/11: Red Cross Derby Day 2 – I was going to fish Red Cross with my buddy Jarrod, but he didn’t realize that one of the NYS Bass Federation Tournaments he’d signed up for was held on the same weekend as Red Cross, so I was on my own. Thus far I’ve fished Red Cross 4 times. Once with my buddy Terry, then I guided it two years in a row with a client – Mark. Then last year with Jarrod. We’ve cashed checks 3 out of 4 years. But no great shakes.
I felt I could win this year’s laker division and perhaps put 3 fish on the board. Seneca has been HOT and my clients and friends have caught some big fish there recently. We caught some pigs on Cayuga last April/May, but not much lately. Seneca churned out a bunch of beauties during the Memorial Day derby too. I arrived at the launch at 5:15 am and was shocked to see only one other trailer there. In a nutshell, the fishing was tremendous in the AM, then it slowed, then it picked up, and then by noon it slowed but remained “slow-steady”. It was nice fishing alone for a change – no need to think about any boat positioning, waking up on time etc… I hammered fish. I landed over 35 lakers including at least two 29″ fish and one at 31″. I fished to win. Normally we fished for a check, so if we caught a big fish, we weighed it right away. I put the 31″ on my Tek scale and it went 10lbs 4 oz. I failed to do a good job packing it on ice (due to the hot bite) so I know I lost a little weight, but it really didn’t matter. My 2nd best fish was a 9lb 2 oz fish, that just missed the board. I fished till I absolutely had to go (in order to make the weigh-in.) I apologize to the motorists I tail-gated on Rt. 14! My fish wound up in 8th place. I was pretty stoked about that for fishing 1/2 of the derby.
So how’d my buddy Jarrod make out with the Fed??? He made the right choice! He was paired with a good fisherman who had some good fish located, then Jarrod did what he does best – catch fish like a machine (he could probably give Ike a run for his money!) Jarrod weighed over 17 lbs of bass on the St. Lawrence AND caught lunker! He came in 1st. Place in the non-boater division, winning $1,500! He’s a monster!