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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well, got back yesterday after 10 days of extraordinary fishing, company and generosity. I am a very lucky chap.

Flew into Syracuse last Thursday week and was met at the airport by Jims Snr & Jr. Just time to head up to Gander to spend a little money and get licenses, then back to Jim's to meet up with Dale (Mrs Snr) and have a fantastic home cooked meal, some beers and plenty of talking.

Friday morning we're up before dawn and head off to Onieda (after waking a slumbering Jr :laugh:). We arrived at the ramp and loaded all out stuff and food into the boat. Snr says "where are my tackle boxes? Actually, where are my rods?" D'oh. In all the excitememnt of the morning we'd managed to forget all his gear while making sure we'd got all the food and drink! Poor Snr headed back home to pick up his gear while Jnr and I pottered about near the ramp. The fishing was tougher than normal due to the weather, but that is such a great lake to be on any time. Jr had a bass blow up first cast and nailed it second cast, which was fantastic! We fished around without any other action until Snr returned, then headed off out.

We picked up odd fish through the day, but it was a bit of a struggle to find any definite pattern.



Odd fish, mainly smallies came throughout the day.



We all caught them.



As the evening started to draw near the wind got up and all of a sudden we found a good stretch with plenty of fish which were happy to annihilate crankbaits over the weeds. Everyone got plenty of action and then the inevitable happened...



Absolutely smoked my little crankbait! I expect it's turtle food now as there was only the lip of the crankbait showing out of his mouth, and with so little room to work with around the crankbait, it was a little tricky. There was blood, but hopefully he made it.

Also, while catching bass and other various game little fish I caught this yellow perch. Yellow in name only. It looked like it had been dipped in an emerald green dipping dye, the pictures don't really do it justice, but it was extraordinary!



What a great fun day! Jim Jr lent me a couple of Rapsody rods while I was fishing with them. A flipping stick for the frogs and a medium actioned baitcaster. The former didn't get much use, as the frog bite wasn't really happening for us, but the medium action rod was used a huge amount. What a great rod! I'm usually a bit of a tart about rods and nearly always custom make my own rods from St Croix or occasionally MHX blanks. These Rapsody rods are the real deal though. The medium actioned rod would happily cast anything with it's really responsive tip but had the power and recovery speed to snap weeds off easily and put the hurt onto irate smallmouths. Highly recommended!

We went back to Snr's house for a delicious dinner with beer and soon afterwards a deep coma!

Sunday saw us fishing a double shot team tournament on Cayuga Lake. John Francho stayed at Jr's overnight and Snr and I went over and met up with them at silly o'clock in the morning. I was fishing with John, which was a lovely surprise, as was the whole tournament thing. I rode up with John and we had some time to chew the fat. He'd had a busy week after going to the Wild Bill meet and fishing various other places all over the state all week. We headed off at the launch to the opposite side of the lake and started working the deep weeds. There were fish topping all over the place as well as suspending according to the sonar, but we struggled to make anything of them. I caught a just about keeper, which went in the well, then later a smaller one, just too small to count and later still, just before the first weigh in, had a small smallie on which threw the hooks at the boat, so we never did get our three fish limit in the morning. Interestingly there were Gar, presumably spawning, in the bay we fished. They were topping all over the place. Great to see. At the weigh in it was obvious that some people had found some fish, though everyone was finding it a bit tough.

By the afternoon leg the wind had got up to an annoying level.The two bullets were having a hard time getting about quickly and Snr didn't look like he was having the best time of his life whenever I saw him. John's boat got through the waves a bit better, being a couple of foot longer, but it was tough conditions to control the boat in, driving or fishing.

We got to our spot for the afternoon and John had a nice smallie almost immediately. We thought " here we go, at last they've decided to play!" unfortunately though, we couldn't buy a bite after that. We ran over to the other side of the lake, hoping for some calmer water, but amazingly the wind and waves were the same if not worse on the other side, defying any logic or reason! We battled around throwing spinnerbaits in an attempt to provoke some fish into hitting a bait we could actually fish and feel a strike should it come. Eventually we drifted down towards the launch ramp and just past it, where the water was a little more sheltered. Continuing with the spinnerbaits all of a sudden John's bait got blasted by a real quality fish. Around 4lb I harboured thoughts of the lunker prize, and we both kicked up the concentration level a bit for the last hour, hoping against hope for a third fish, to give us our limit and a possibility of a prize.

As it turned out, there were heavier fish and plenty of limit bags, so we didn't fare as well as I'd hoped, but it was a great fun day though I felt a little sorry for John as he was tired from a week fishing and then got battered by the wind all day and my end of the boat didn't contribute what it might have as I was suffering slightly with jet lag. Great to see him and spend the day with him again though, and that bullet is a beaut!





Saturday evening we went over to Jr's and had a great BBQ with family and friends, then went down to the bottom of the road to see the local fire service's "4th July" fireworks display. Very very impressive! We got covered in firework detritus as it was all going on immediately above us. What a show! Sunday morning I got packed up and went for a walk along the canal with Snr before the next leg of my adventure.

I was deeply touched by the absolute generosity of the whole extended Husnay family. The effort they went to to make my trip was absolutely outstanding. Such lovely people. Jim Snr and Dale were fabulous hosts and Jim Jr and family were so kind to me the whole time. A million thanks guys, and of course a million thanks to John as well for a great day on the water.



The story continues below, as I've run out of picture space!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After our walk down to the canal Jim ran me up to Gander where I would meet up with Tim for the next leg of my holiday. Tim had recently bought a cabin up in Canada in the Rideau chain, an area we had fished together before from a fishing lodge up there. I was very exited to see the cabin as I'd been fishing with him a couple of years before when we coincidentally got chatting to the cabin's previous owners while we were fishing along. We'd both said that it was an ideal part of the lake to have a cabin on, and serendipitously, that's the cabin that happened to come up when Tim was looking for one!

Just putting the pics on the computer now, will edit shortly...
 

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After our walk down to the canal Jim ran me up to Gander where I would meet up with Tim for the next leg of my holiday. Tim had recently bought a cabin up in Canada in the Rideau chain, an area we had fished together before from a fishing lodge up there. I was very exited to see the cabin as I'd been fishing with him a couple of years before when we coincidentally got chatting to the cabin's previous owners while we were fishing along. We'd both said that it was an ideal part of the lake to have a cabin on, and serendipitously, that's the cabin that happened to come up when Tim was looking for one!





Superb place on the lake. Not to big or too small, best part of the chain of lakes for easy access to any of it, all in all perfect!

Tim was to be working during the day for most of the week, so we fished mornings, before breakfast and evenings together. During the day, while he was working I took the boat out and fished. What a great time! The mornings and evenings definitely fished better and I spent the days either trying something different or exploring new areas. Between us we managed around 35-45 bass most days. The beginning of the week was extremely hot and the fish we caught were a small average size but as the week went on the average size increased.







On Friday we'd been out early as usual and Tim had caught a nice 3lb class smallmouth off a point. I went back there during the day and spent an hour or so really picking the spot apart, mainly with a drop shot as it was 25-50ft deep where the fish were taking, just outside the weedline on the drop off. First fish was actually the most terrifying and exciting fish I've ever caught! I've been lucky to catch a good number of big pike, zander and perch over the years in the UK and even musky in Lake of the Woods, but this fish really got me! Fishing 6lb fluoro and a little size 2 dropshot hook I got a heaviness on the line, set the hook and all hell broke loose.No jumping, just ridiculously powerful bulldogging and kiting around. It was trying to get into the weeds and I was trying to get the boat out into deeper water away from the weeds. :laugh: The drag kept whirring and still I hadn't actually seen the beast. Eventually I got a glimpse of it in the clear water before it dived again and I had to plunge the rod into the water and walk round the boat to keep the line from touching the hull or motor. Next task was to unbury the new and set it up. Not easy when your heart's racing and you can hear yourself saying "don't come off, don't come off" all the time to the fish. eventually and unbelievably the fish surfaced and I scooped. Everything had held and the fish was mine!



5lb 4oz of beautiful feisty smallmouth. Super chuffed with that. Had to give myself a severe talking to and drift the boat away while I calmed down, retied my rig and generally paced round the boat delighted. The fish was in the livewell and I set up the camera for a couple of pics and sent Tim a text telling him the good news. Poor guy was stuck working while I was out whooping! I went back to the cabin to show Tim and have him take a couple of piccies.



Did I mention, 5lb 4oz?!!!! :laugh:

I ended up with about a dozen fish of both flavours from that spot, but nothing bigger than 3lb. Great fun. A massive thunderstorm rolled in that evening, so we were delayed going out, but when we did we found a nice new spot and Tim was absolutely whacking them on his finesse worm technique, a fish a cast for a while!

Saturday was our last day fishing. Tim wasn't working, so we were to have a full day at them together. The weather was still a bit windy after the thunderstorms that slightly delayed our start, but fishable. we went to one lake that has miles of shallow pads and stumps and whacked at least a dozen then went exploring around the lakes. The fishing was fairly steady, with only odd periods where we couldn't get a bite, and that was normally cured by moving. Not fast and furious, but steady.By evening time we were going to set about a pads area we had done well in a previous evening, but the initial drift through showed that the fish either weren't there yet, or weren't interested in what we had to offer, so we moved. This turned out to be an excellent turn of events. I had wanted to catch a crappie, as it was one of the species that had eluded me during my previous trips. I had actually had a tiny one earlier in the week, but not really hit any numbers or size. We had decided that we would put a couple of the bazzillion rock bass that bothered out finesse worms constantly in the livewell for a last morning breakfast and I got out my light spinning rod with 3lb line to fish specifically for them while Tim carried on after the bass. As we got to one area I caught a small crappie, much to my delight, then dropped down and immediately caught another, bigger, one. This carried on and the livewell was suddenly filling up with a much better prospect! Tim tied on a crappie jig too and we spent half an hour catching crappie, pumpkinseed and bluegills one after the other, though interestingly hardly any rockies. It was getting late and Tim looked at his clicker and announced that we'd caught 68 bass today. One short of his record. I wasn't about to leave just one bass away from record numbers, so I insisted we have a couple more casts, I picked up my worm rod and he his, we both cast out and both immediately hooked up with bass! Hilarious New record sorted in one cast!

Back to the cabin for a little mossie approved fish cleaning, then back dinner. Two of the most enormous t-bone steaks I've ever seen with potatoes and broccoli. Magnificent! The only fly in the ointment was that out beer management program had failed utterly and we were there on the last night with only three bottles in the fridge!:eek:mg:

The following morning we took the boat out then had an enormous breakfast of bacon, eggs and delicious crappie fillets. the breakfast of kings.

Again I had been really looked after and had an absolutely superb time in a superb place with wonderful company. Such generosity is really humbling for both parts of the trip and I can only thank all those involved from the bottom of my heart.
 

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Very nice reporting there Mr. Kelly. Too bad you have to hurry back to hear what the new Princes name will be.:laugh:
Yeah, New Yorks North Country & Ontario, Canada are beautiful places to fish. That`s worth the trip by itself. Getting a good bite & being with friends on your Holiday can`t be beat. Thank You for the report. Since you were a "tourist", no negative points on this trip. I won`t be so kind next time.:laugh:
 

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sounded like you had a awesome fishing vacation & ending up with a plus 5 SM - worth the trip for sure. I'm sure you'll be remembering this trip until your next time back.

Mark
 
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