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Was this late December??

1706 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Rob J in WNY
On my way to the lake this morning, the temp was in the mid 20’s, and the frost on the ground was getting thicker and thicker as I got closer to Conesus. The wind was nonexistent, and I became worried the lake might have skimmed over that night. I finally was able to see the north end, and my worries were confirmed, skim ice from side to side. Heading down East Lake Road, I was south of Camp Stella Maris before I began to see open water. Then, by the time I got to the launch, is was open water from there all the way south. Whew!!! We could still fish!!

Shortly after I got to the launch, Ted and Andy pulled in. A short while later, Fred, then John. Todd apparently was not going to make it. I hopped in with Ted and Andy, while John went with Fred. We got the boats in the water, and both outboards were a little sluggish starting. Ted’s was abit more finicky, and we discovered the fuel system was froze up somewhere, most likely the water separator. We thought it would be a good idea to start fishing near the ramp (seeing we couldn’t go anywhere else LOL!!) and let the sun do it’s magic warming things up. Fred and John headed south.

A few minutes into fishing, I caught something out of the corner of my eye, water was spewing up through the floor drain in Ted’s Ranger. Yikes!!! A flip of the bilge switch blew a fuse, probably because it was still froze up. We needed to get to the ramp, and get the boat back onto the trailer, quickly! Ted swore he put the drain plug in, but with his recent “drain plug issues” his reassurance did not have much credence with us LOL!

On the trailer, the plug was in, and we couldn’t really figure out how water was getting in. Our best guess was water was leaking in through some damaged livewell plumbing because of past freeze ups. The water separator was worked on, and freed up. Bilge pump fuse was replaced, and worked great. We decided to launch again, knowing we would still be taking on water, but we could pump it out now. Hopefully faster than it was coming in!!

On the water, we headed south as well, right to where we left them biting last weekend. In very short order, Andy pulled in the first smallie, then Ted, and after a short time I did to. These were all “first bass after Christmas” for each of us. On that initial 200-300 yard drift, we landed 8 smallies between us.



Water temp along this stretch was 36 degrees. We were still taking on lots of water, but it was only coming in about a 1/4 as fast as we could pump it out. As long as we popped on the bilge every few minutes, we were fine. We called it our “controlled sink”. LOL!! Besides, Rangers can’t sink anyway!!

A second drift proved to only put one more smaller 2 pound fish in the boat, and we made the decision to head north. Two areas were drifted, but no takers. Water temp here was 34 degrees. We decided to head back to the “balmy” waters of the south end. We stopped at a different spot than the first, and got into fish once again. A second drift again produced only one smaller fish, so we crossed the lake to a third spot. We spent the rest of the day here, and caught decent fish right up until we left at 4:45. Water temp in these two spots was 35 degrees.

All fish were caught between 28 and 45+ feet, on the bottom, with dragged tubes


A couple “off species” were caught during the day. First, Ted was having a good fight on his hands until he realized it was not fighting back. He got it right to the side of the boat, but the line snapped, and the baseball sized rock sank quickly back to the bottom :D A while later I had a similar fight on my hands, but knew it was MUCH larger. After a long battle, I was able to get the 2-3 inch diameter six foot long chunk of wood in the boat. I quickly released it so it could fight again another day!! With minutes left in our day, I really hooked into something solid, very solid! I thought it was the bottom, but it was moving towards me. After a long exhausting battle, I called for the net. Andy was right there and scooped up my rock! It was a beauty, better than grapefruit size! If it wasn’t for the privilege of fishing with “Tony the Rockin’ Dude” this past Spring, I am not sure I would know the proper technique of landing such a specimen. I kept that one, and brought it home. 4.1 pounds!! LOL!!!

Ted had the largest smallie of the day at about 3 3/4 pounds, and about half our fish were close to 3 pounder or better.. Andy caught the most with 8 fish. And we had a total boat count of 19 fish for the day. Each of us had a 5 fish limit!!

Was this late December???
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Nothing much to add, except.......

........ what a great day, on the last weekend of December! Absolutely fabulous weather (downright warm in the middle of the day), the fish were biting, and I got to share the day with two good friends. Even though we had a couple, early morning obstacles, we worked it out and went fishing. Can it get any better than that?

BTW..... I take offense to the drain-plug crack.:D

That, I think, was my last outing. I feel fullfilled..... at peace for the remainder of the cold-weather season to come. Obviously, the boat needs a little attention, and the next decent day I get, I'll get her ready for her winter's nap.

Noel's quote of the day: "I can still hear the water rushing in...... I think we're o.k."

C'ya on the water,
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First, You SCUM!

Second. You really think I buy the fact that Ted had his drain plug in? Or in the CORRECT hole? Yea Right! :D

Nice report.....makes me wish I was there for sure. Sounds like you guys had a great day on the water. Lets hope the ice on the north end goes away with the nice weather forcast this week.

Way to go guys!!! Good to see our fish on the south end have not moved!!


Seth V
Re: Nothing much to add, except.......

jiggin-n-piggin said:

That, I think, was my last outing. I feel fullfilled..... at peace for the remainder of the cold-weather season to come.
C'ya on the water,
Awww, Ted, you can't give up for the can ride on my boat anytime. Next Saturday will be nice...... Besides, I need a Drain Plug Expert to help me put the plug in!

Seth V
Seth, that north end ice was gone by 10:00 or so. A good south breeze combined with 50+ degree air temps did the trick!!
you could see who all our stalwart fishermen are on this board!!!!
wnybassman said:
If it wasn’t for the privilege of fishing with “Tony the Rockin’ Dude” this past Spring, I am not sure I would know the proper technique of landing such a specimen.
THAT was classic! I laughed my heart out when I read that!

Great report. Again, wish I could have been there with you guys. Next weekend, weather permitting, I'll be there!

You guys "rock!" :D :p

Tight Lines...
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