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July 2003

Oneida Lake


June is here, and bass fishing is finally going to open! While we are on that subject there is some very big news for our wonderful lake! B.A.S.S. is going to hold one of the Northern Opens on Oneida Lake! The tournament will take place in October and should be an absolutely huge event. I am going to have more details in the months to follow, but for those who would like to enter you better act quick. You can find an entry form in the May issue of B.A.S.S or write to the B.A.S.S. Tournament Department P.O. Box 17900 Montgomery AL 36141.  The amateur entry fee is $400 with a $200 deposit. This is going to give the lake national coverage on ESPN and in my opinion provide some of the best promotion for the lake it has ever seen!

Many of you might think I have become a little one sided lately on bass fishing and the lake. Well you are absolutely one hundred percent, could not cast it any closer, RIGHT! Why have I taken this attitude? What is the big deal? I am not anti walleye; in fact, I catch my fair share when time permits. But there is a constant problem with the walleye fishery on Oneida Lake or any body of water for that matter. That is, that these fish taste good! Changing limits will never change the fact that 90 % of walleye fishermen fish for flesh. The population is recovering, and as soon as it is back and the word is out it is only a matter of time before it can be fished out again.  Bass fishing provides an exciting recyclable resource as 90 % of the bass fisherman fish for sport and not for flesh. The result is a bass population in the lake that is second to none. This has attracted a national attention with B.A.S.S and could be the Eco-Financial savior to our lake!

How did this all come about? Well in the opinion of this writer, it can be attributed to a combination of events in recent years. The invasion of those little clam like aliens called Zebra mussels has turned the muddy water walleye waves into a clear water environment; allowing weed growing light to penetrate much deeper than ever before. Deeper water Bass habitat means a larger population in both size and quantity. Even though alien intruders may do great harm, there always seems to be a silver lining to every cloud they create. In our case, the clouds rained down 6 lb. smallmouths in abundance! So then, why didn’t the walleyes move in? After all, they like deep weedy shoals? Well, everyone out there that has taken 2 limits in a day, or sold their catch to a local restaurant took care of that. The irony of the whole thing is that those who complain about the walleye fishing on the lake are most likely those who have broken the rules protecting these fish in the past. So, stop your whining, and shut up! The louder you cry the more foolish you look as you are cause of the problem. Not only did you rape the lake, you criticize it, giving it a bad reputation keeping tourist and people THAT HAVE MONEY away! Oh yeah, I still catch a lot of walleyes; thank god you complainers do not know how to fish! OK now that is off my chest, lets get to some helpful tips. Bass fishing is not difficult if you keep it simple. There are a lot of things on the market that claim to be the latest and greatest thing. As far as artificials go, you really cannot beat hand poured soft plastic Baits. Key word here is HAND POURED! These baits usually have larger amounts of salt and scent and work terrific any way you rig them. Senkos are manufactured bait from the Gary Yamamoto line, that have a similar quality with some amazing results. Be ready for a shock as these baits are very expensive, but well worth the investment. You local shops such as Marion Manor and Phildon’s sporting goods carry this line of baits.

Pat at Marion Manor has done a great job stocking the store up with a variety of bass baits. Start your shopping now as these lures are in great demand and will sell out soon. Phildon’s has also introduced a Hand poured line of finesse baits that are super soft and are perfect for both novice and expert. There really is no way to fish these baits wrong! Stop in and see the staff for some extra help and hints. While you’re there, browse the rod racks and check out the new Phildon’s Signature Series Custom Rods! Wow what a difference one of these custom rods will make, and reasonably priced too!  Until Nextime, Tightlines, Ted

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