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Yankee on the East side!

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Oswego Pro Am 2011

Thursday Practice -We got on the water about 5:30am and fished from Port Bay to Oswego. We picked fish the whole way down in 125’ to 300’ of water. Our program consisted of 3 coppers, 2 wires pulling Walker Deeper divers trailed by Spin Doctors/Smartfish with A-TOM-MIK flys, and our three Cannon Digi-Trolls. Temp wasn’t as bad as we had seen in recent years, and the break was around the 100’ mark. Our 500, 600, and 700 coppers were probably our best presentations, but no real set-up or combo was greater than another.

Nothing really excited us the whole day, but we knew we could head back to the stretch between Port Bay and Fairhaven if we needed to.

Friday Practice -We left Oswego marina at 5:30 and wanted to look out the front door to see if the river plume was holding anything. We set-up in 100’ of water and the screen lit up. We ran a very similar program as the day before, and it didn’t take us long to get on the bite. White and chrome paddles seemed to be our best producers pulling A-TOM-MIK Hypnotist, various Hammers, and the Pro-Am flys. We also had the meat rigs going. 11†paddles with twinkie rigs on our deep copper that took some great shots, but we still weren’t able to master hooking up with these fish consistently. Maybe it’s just our meat rigs?????

We had a great day fishing right within sight of the Port of Oswego. We never took any monster fish, but we had a good class of “tournament fish,†and plenty of bites.

Saturday Day 1 -We started this tournament off just like we ended our last one. With the dropsies! We lost our first four or five screamers. A moonshine Carbon 14 fished on our 300 copper and our wire almost went off instantaneously, and after short battles both of those fish went back to fight another day. The bumpy North winds moved some water around and even though we got the bites our picture from the day before had dissipated. The lost fish seemed to get in our heads this time, and when we saw two very respected captains head for BT land we figured the King bite just wasn’t there. So, we panicked and within the hour made a team decision to head to the buoy line around 10am. We would learn at weigh in that what the North wind actually did was push those fish off-shore, and a little East as those teams seemed to have the better boxes.

When we got to the buoy line we saw a small window of BT waters in the 90-110’ range. We ran 2 junk lines, 2 wires with clear Walker Deeper Divers, and lines on our three Digitrolls. We would go on to box half the Brown Trout we would hook up with. The best spoon we found for the Brown Trout on this afternoon was a Stinger NBK. Our cooler was light at weigh in with only 7 fish to show for, and had us sitting in 23rd out of 27 teams.

Sunday Day 2 -We decided we were going to fish for Kings when we got out there. We knew we had no shot at winning, but we wanted a shot at a decent finish. We set-up in the same waters as the morning before, and started to pick at fish. Mid way through the day the screen just dried up for us, but we were seeing some higher fish. Past tourney experience told us those were probably Steelhead/Rainbows, and Coho Salmon. Indeed they were as we started to pick away at them until we gave a “cooler nap†to our 12th fish at 1:30pm. Our best spoons were getting eaten on free sliders fished on 100-125 riggers. Dreamweaver Lemon Ice and Michigan Blueberry Super Slims took the last 6 or 8 fish we needed.

We knew we didn’t have anything won, but we knew the bite was tougher on day 2 for a lot of people. We still saw them out fishing till the end. Our box of 12 fish bumped us up a little bit,and gave us a finish of 16th.

Sodus Pro Am 2011

Thursday Practice -We got a nice early start by leaving the dock at 5:30am. We scanned the inside waters for a little bit checking 50’, 75’, 100’, but the screen just wasn’t there. We slid out to 125’ and figured we would just toss rods down and begin trolling around. Well, the screen in 130-150’ was loaded with bait, and there were some great marks in there too. All we could manage were 4 or 5 small fish as we zigged and zagged West. Our program was one we run in most East end tourneys consisting of three downrigger rods, two wires pulling Walker Deeper Divers, and 3 junk lines which in this case were 300-700’ coppers depending on where we were seeing the fish.

We got a call late morning that the bite on the bigger guys was a little deeper than where we were fishing, so we pointed the boat North and headed for that 200-300’ range. When we got out there things started to pick up a little, and we grabbed some nice fish.

Friday Practice -We set course for the waypoint from the day before where we doubled up on majors, which was 300’ of water right out front of Hugh’s marina. We stopped short and the picture looked good, but we had a slow pick of fish during the morning hours. Maybe due to the full moon???? As the day progressed our bite got better, and by the end of the day we figured we had upwards of 30-35 bites. However, we continued our 2011 tourney tradition of dropping a lot of nice fish. During the morning white combination SmartFish and Spin Doctors pulling A-TOM-MIK Hypnotist, Sweat Pea’s, various Hammer’s, and Pro Am flies took our fish.

We were running the same program as the day before. Our riggers weren’t very productive, our wires were virtually dead until late morning, and our coppers held their own. Our wire divers finally started to rip when we switched our white SmartFish and Spin Doctors out for chrome ones. One diver had a Hawg Wild Spin Doctor pulling an A-TOM-MIK Pro Am, and the other had a Captain Valium combo. Set back anywhere from 225-275’ they quickly became our hot set-ups.

We would end up weighing 52lbs for our 3 biggest Salmon in the Captain Jacks big fish event, but we knew we had an area we could go to in the morning with fish and not a lot of pressure.

Saturday Day 1 -We headed out to our waypoints from the previous two days, but we decided to start in 130’ and point the boat North. A North/South troll was our best on Friday. We set out the same program consisting of three downriggers, 2 divers, and 3 copper rods. Our team is like a pit crew now. Everyone knows their job on tourney morning, and rods get down and out really fast.

It didn’t take long and we were tied into our first screamer on the diver out 225’. A Walker Deeper Diver pulling a White/Green dot SmartFish with an A-TOM-MIK Hypnotist fly. That combo would end up being a very hot rig for us the rest of the tourney. Within minutes of dropping that fish we are doubled on Moonshine Carbon 14’s. One on the wire behind a Walker Deeper Diver, and the other on a 300 copper. Both screamers would go on to fight another day. Coppers and divers were our best rigs, and blew our downrigger action out of the water. At one point we pulled two downriggers to add other lines hoping that might get some junk out of the water, and get that lone rigger firing. We have been running a meat rig on the deep copper, and it seems to always grab some shots throughout the day. Toward the end of our box we put out a trash can dodger with an A-TOM-MIK Hypnotist fly on the wire out 225’. Five minutes later and we are into a big guy. We land him and put the rig back out. Ten minutes later and it’s singing again. We put one down on the other wire, and that took our last fish for the day within minutes.

We finished our box around 12:00pm, but the disappointment of losing some big fish was hanging over our heads. After the rest of the Pro boats hit the scales we found ourselves in 5th place our of 40 boats. Not too bad, but the woulda, coulda, shoulda’s just stuck in the back of our head.

Sunday Day 2 - We head back out to our waypoints from the previous three days. We put down a similar spread, and within minutes we are hooked up on a screamer with a White/Green dot SmartFish/A-TOM-MIK Hypnotitst on the diver. After about 3 minutes the rod goes limp and we bring back 4†of 50lb flouro leader behind the SamrtFish. We would also go on to dump a nice 20lb King 20’ behind the boat due to fleas bunching up in our twilli-tip. The streak of lost fish has plagued us all year on the tourney trail.

We would go on to pick fish throughout the morning, but our screen would dry up by 11:00am. We went into search mode and tried to pick at some high fish like the week before, but they weren’t as cooperative. We would box number 11 at 1:30pm and that would be it for us on day 2.

After the fish hit the scales we got bumped down to 8th, which was still a check, but those fleas ended up costing us four spots. The fishing on the East end of the Lake this year was and still is amazing. Probably some of the best we have seen down there in years! As always thanks to everyone who helps put these events on. We couldn’t do it without you! The pics below were part of a double from Thursday’s practice. Those waypoints and that area would provide us with all our fish for the remainder of the tourney.



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Congrats on your 8th place finish. This is not an easy feat to accomplish especially when you are competiting against the best of the best. Heck, think about it, this is your first year with your new boat and you are already in the "top ten". :yes:

I really enjoyed the details about what you guys have done during the tournament. I kept thinking to myself someday.... I hope to join in the ranks on the am side with the fellas from LOU.

Question: what is a twinkie rig? Is it a meat rig?

Tight lines.


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kind of funny the trash can dodger still does so well amidst the the smart fish and spin drs and their array of colors, way to go Rick

Mike.....the fish that hit those smoked them too! Like it aggravated them! Lol Who doesn't love angry mean kings?

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And the old becomes new again...

Sometimes it pays off to change things up, especially when the fish are wondering when Spin Doctors became an invasive species. We also noticed that the rips were savage this past weekend. Lots of fish had both the treble and the single just buried deep. I wonder if some of the knockoffs where we didn't connect were kings trying to eat the flasher?? Times like that I'd like to have a camera down there.

Congrats on a getting to fish two solid weekends!

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