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justtracytrolling

Otisco a look back on 2014...

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First Id like to thank a few regulars on my boat who help out with fuel, boat maintenance, and most of all their friendship, Matt, Wayne, Tim, Paul, Jimbo, Scotty, Kevin, and most of all Tracy, for without her none of this ever would have been possible. Id also like to thank Shane and Curtis from the campground for their help with a few boat issues, and our families for helping build our deck. Id also like to thank the 48 guests I had on the boat. I learned as much as all of you.

This year was like starting all over for me. Due to low water temps and many other factors most of the patterns/spots I had great success with in the past didnt really produce for me with any consistency. That being said we finished the season with 223 walleyes caught of which 30 or so were released. To clarify the DEC classifies the fishery as put/grow/take and I am trying to harvest the most mature of the fish we catch. As soon as my angler diary is returned Ill share the crunched data from the DEC. Over half of those fish were caught casting sticks at night. Daytime trolling didnt really produce with any consistency other than very early in summer when the water temps were highest. Night trolling produced the highest catch rates by far with the best night being 15 eyes. The average fish was about 5 pounds. The smallest eye was 7 inches, and the largest was 9 pounds, though I do know of 1 12+ pounder caught. May/June produced consistently every night, but after that it was tough with many hit or miss trips. The fall bite didnt last long as lake levels were lowered for dam repair, but it definitely produced the biggest average weight, close to 7 pounds.

The LOU walleye event had a pretty good turnout and as it was my first time hosting any fishing event Im calling it a success despite the very poor fishing. I find it interesting that the only weekend that we fished hard and didnt boat a single walleye was the LOU weekend!! Miss em stole the show kicking all our butts badly, and pete rajner came second with the only other walleye. I think we all made a few friends and enjoyed the fish fry after. I have decided that as long as there is some interest in this I will continue to host this event. Id also recommend the Muskies Inc tiger musky tourney held the second weekend in may. This is a great event on Otisco for anyone interested.

The highlight of every season, for me, is the time on the water with my son. As most of you know taking kids fishing is very important to me. Kids are the future of fishing. On this site we discuss, debate, and even argue about issues pertaining to conservation and fishery management. We have all seen the garbage along our waters and seen what happens when people dont follow the fish and game laws. The best way to combat this is not to complain, argue, and point fingers. The best way is to educate the next generation. The only way to do this is to expose kids to ethical fishing. Children taught to respect the outdoors will be the the future stewards to outdoor pursuits.

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Nice read Justin.  Spot on with the next generation comments.

 

I had a rough 2014 for walleye.  Maybe 10 with the largest 24 inches.  Half were released because they were shorts.  Just bad timing.  Fish are there.

 

Joe

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Great summary Justin and the comments regarding passing along the ethics of sports is especially near and dear to my heart as well.  I'm also sure that your posts have encouraged and sparked excitement in many anglers  on LOU as well as getting together with other like minded fishermen and sharing the experiences. Thanks for sharing that experience with the rest of us. Les

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Justin,

 

    I missed fishing hard with you this season.....hopefully next year  i will spend a bit more time out there! :yes:

 

   I know my Dad had a ball fishing with you also!

 

 

Tim

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Good read Justin. Do you get out on the ice at all?

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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The last night of the year your dad, wayne, matt, and I had the worst fishing and the worst weather of the year, and we all had a ball!!!!!!!!! Its all about the company you keep and the laughs you have. You know you guys are always welcome. How's he feeling and when does he head for Alaska? Was hoping to get him out before he goes. Been hitting the hard water at all? Whole family has had the flu here...almost back to normal now.

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John,

I dont ice fish I chase coyotes with hounds! Been meaning to invite you, but between the lack of snow and getting the flu I havent been able to go. Definitely going next weekend if you are interested.

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Justin,

First let me say that I thank you as well,I had a lot of fun fishing with you and learned a great deal about new tactics and gear.My reward,or better yet my enjoyment comes from watching and helping people enjoy the sport we love.I have been lucky enough to have caught quite a few fish through the years and now I would rather see others enjoy catching as well. While I know how frustrated you were with this past season, It was actually a pretty good year considering the conditions.I enjoyed every trip,(well maybe a couple were a little rough LOL)and look forward to more (besides fishing with you keeps my boat clean).I had a great time with everyone I fished with,(who the hell was that Matt guy????) Wayne

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Thanks for the trips out and always the advice! Slow year for me except when on your boat!!

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Justin

Dads doin well and will only be up for about a week in april before he heads out. Ive been out on the hardwater a half dozen times ....skinny..otisco...and black lake

Sent from my LGLS660 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I had very good year on the river and am even getting some through the ice. It seem my home fishery is prospering. I did put in many early mornings and middle of the night outings but ways rarely skunked. I too have enjoyed learning and sharing information with many great people on this site and hope to personally meet and perhaps fish with some of you in 2015.

Sent from my iPad using Lake Ontario United

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You got skunked a lot less than I did Kevin! Im still thinking about what I was doing wrong that I couldn't seem to make the right moves some of the time. I do know I added a lot to my bag of tricks this last season. We definitely gotta trade trips this year for certain Kevin!

Sent from my XT1080 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I doubt you did anything wrong. No matter what you fish for i believe it's 10% knowing what you're doing and having the right gear and 90% being in the right place at the right time.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Very cool thread Justin... kinda like an end of year gathering looking back at 2014. I want to say thanks not just to Justin but to everyone that contributes to the walleye thread... I'm sure I've learned something from everyone here...especially the braid, mono, floro debate! I don't want to rush my ice season but I'm looking forward to May... it's good to see some activity in the walleye thread it's been awhile since I stopped in here (my wife's watching some show). Thanks again Justin for taking me out those times it was a blast!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I doubt you did anything wrong. No matter what you fish for i believe it's 10% knowing what you're doing and having the right gear and 90% being in the right place at the right time.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

I agree 100% but I believe if you are good you know when to be where. Especially if you are trolling.

Sent from my XT1080 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Fishing is unlike other activities like bowling,golf,or pool where the more you do it the better you get and the better the results. While you can get better at fishing,if the fish won't eat you don't catch any. I once spent an entire week in september at Chatauqua during the full moon period and caught nothing.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Believe me Ive spent days portaging and paddling to get to a place I wanted to fish only to be skunked. Trolling a dozen rods and even more baits tends to minimize that type thing. Plus, trolling gives you the opportunity to work the reaction bite at speeds that would be tough to fish by hand. Fish can be patterned, but its tough.

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Would like to thank you again for taking my son and I out! It was a blast! post-154741-14233704069356_thumb.jpg

Get your FREAK on!!

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Justin, thanks for the great post ! Let us know when you get a date for the walleye derby. Also there was some talk about a kids derby on Cayuga hopefully this will come together. Depending on the date I may need to borrow you and your boy to enter!!!!

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Very we'll put. Your posts definitely lit a flame under my ass and got me going last year. I'm looking forward to taking everything I learned from talking to you and what I learned actually fishing last year and improve my catch rates big time. Thank you!

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Nephew,

Just caught up on your "look back" topic and all of the replies.  The discussion warmed me up like sitting next to the wood stove (and I don't have a wood stove).   The expressions of attachment to fishing, the environment and each other are just great.   If we don't take care of our planet and the flora and fauna that live on it with us....we're all in trouble.  Since most of my fishing is surf fishing at the Jersey Shore, I will mostly be reading about fishing activity in the finger lakes region, but I will be following.     

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Ive been wanting to get a kids derby started, but havent exactly came up with a format that would be for kids new to fishing. The only thing I could come up with was to have it somewhere where there is several farm ponds. I didnt think I could find enough guys with boats that would take a couple kids each out on the lake. My family has 4 ponds on the farm and perhaps I can put something together. Id love to hear any ideas on the subject.

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What we did with the Cubscouts was Big fish , smallest fish,and  Every kid "won" something.

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