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Canandaigua - Lazy Lakers

Pete Collin

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Hello All,

I have been so sick of not catching much on bright sunny days that i was eager to get out yesterday and troll during some overcast. Motoring out of the south end in the dark, I discovered that my graphs were not working. This wrecked my whole plan because in the fall when the lakers stage along a contour on the bottom, they are vulnerable to bottom bouncing rigs. Without a graph, you just can't attempt it. So in the low light I set up downriggers to target rainbows in the open water. First strike came in 10 minutes. A nice 21 incher that jumped a bunch! I figured I would stick with the bows until there was enough daylight to tackle the wiring that was surely my problem with the fishfinders.

When I approached what was the big hotspot last year, my graph was functioning again. i came in to 100 FOW to see what the lakers were doing, and found my screen looking like a tuba players sheet music! Decided to pass the point, then bring everything in and motor upwind to try it again with Seth Greens for the lakers that were down there. That is when one rigger got a big rip from a wonderful round bellied rainbow that also jumped and jumped. 23 inches. I should have a whole photo portfolio of the nice rainbows I got in Canandaigua all year. But it is tough taking them when you are alone, and somehow they are so precious, being wild fish and all, that I don't want to kill them if it isn't necessary. So a quick measure and back in the water they go. Below is one gotten a week ago that I couldn't revive, and the tackle I used to get it. i was suprised because it was hooked on just one lip, but it just wouldn't wake up. After the third attempt at CPR, I thought of the big cookout I was attending the following day and decided to donate it to that cause. The spiced and grilled fillets went over very well with the guests.


So anyway, here I am trolling right through a massive, continuous group of lakers without a take. I was braced for a strike at any second. Nothing. so i followed that contour continuing north, with the wind. Some nice concentrations, some blank spots, but plenty of fish to play with. Nothing. By the time i reached Onondaga park i had enough and decided to go back to a rainbow program. this is when i discovered that each rig had an 18 inch laker attached. What???? I use clip bells on my seth green rods, and even dinks usually let me know when i have a strike. Lord knows how long i dragged either fish. On my last trip, the lakers were behaving the same way, getting hooked without so much as a throb in protest. What a deal. All summer the lakers were so deep you didn't want to bother with them. now that they are within reach, they don't want to fight once hooked. To hell with that. The Seth Green rods were stowed, and within a half hour I got another big rip off the rigger which came off. Then came the call that ended my trip - a landowner who was at his deer camp near my home and would like to know if i can come by to look at his timber.

The last month lakers have really been living up to their reputation as fighting like driftwood. Sure hope things perk up once the lake cools some more. I have gotten accustomed to fast action in the fall!

Pete Collin


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I was jigging for Lakers the last weeks in August and the first week of September and did good in 60-70' of water without even a graph and hooked at least 5 or 6 each day. They all struck the lure hard. In August the Lakers did not fight much until they reached the surface and twisted so much most got off before I could land them.. In September the sizes were bigger and they fought all the way to the boat and when one hit I thought I was pulling the bottom out of the lake. I thought that it would be even better fishing for them now. I have not gone since because the launch was to low for my boat.

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  • 8 months later...

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