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hermit

A week on Otisco 5/20 - 5/26

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This past week I had a cabin at the campground and fished 7 nights in a row. The week straight of fishing paid off and I’m finally getting a feel for the lake, the fish, and the techniques. First off I had an immense amount of help from Justin over the past few years! Thank you, your passion and knowledge really shine. Anyone looking to learn some walleye or tiger musky techniques could not choose a better guide. It’s been a blast hanging out and I’m glad to return the favor and help you out too. One of these days we’ll even go trout fishing!

Overall I had one of the best weeks I’ve had in years- the weather was good, the fishing was good enough for me, and just the simple fact of being physically healthy enough to do this for the first time in 7 years was amazing in itself. I needed that trip and it was freaking awesome.

The reports: here’s the details!

Friday 5/20: The trip got off to an inauspicious start as my tow vehicle broke down two hours before departure time. Oh crap! Got it in the shop ASAP but it’s Friday afternoon. Luckily PCPete was going to join me for some of the weekend and was able to pick up me and the boat and we made it to Otisco late but before dark. Okay.

The fishing was slow for us, we bounced around the lake and finally I hooked and landed a 18.5†walleye around 1:30 AM at one of the points on the west shore. It made our night, at least we got something! Whoo! I was pretty psyched, I know it’s small and not that exciting in the big picture but it was the first walleye of the year and the second one I’ve caught on my own.

Saturday 5/21: Virtually a repeat of Friday, except we didn’t catch any walleye. Saturday was a tough day all around and nearly everyone had a hard time- the tiger tourney shows that too. Let’s blame the weather front. Pete and I tried trolling for tigers in the afternoon with nothing as well.

Sunday 5/22: Success! A change in the night-time weather made for the best fishing of the week. Every night this week with the exception of Sunday was dead calm, with very few clouds. Sunday night it was still calm but it rained and I had a hot window in the rain, landing 4 walleye in the hour it was raining from 9:15-10:15 pm. I tried one of Justin's spots he showed me last year and Pete and I tried several times earlier in the weekend without luck, but this time they were there.

Went home that night with my first limit of walleye and was super happy! It can be done! The bite can be better than the tough fishing I’ve had until now! The campground and lake were quiet and it added to the illusion that I was out there figuring this out by myself. At this point I begin to feel that I’m getting the technique down.

Monday 5/23: Went out with Justin and his friend Jim on Justin’s boat. They got three between them and I got skunked. At this point I’m beginning to feel I still have a lot to learn and am appropriately humbled after my success the night before! I did try a different lure as an experiment and either the lure sucked or I did that night :)

Tuesday 5/24: I figure that since I’ve located fish and they haven’t moved for several days, they’ll be there again and I don’t need to move around as much. I bring bait and run a bait rod while I’m casting. This works great, and I nail a nice 23†walleye ten minutes after setting out the rod. I got a few laughs from people over my circle hooks for walleye but I started using them on Cayuga a while back and like them a lot. They work great whether or not you intend to release the fish but it gives you the option most of the time.

That night I go 1/2 on stickbaits and 2/2 on alewives, again catching a limit. Big fish of the night was 24â€.

Wednesday 5/25: More of the same, more or less. I generally like to be more active than anchoring for hours but I’m trying to learn how to catch them before trying to find new areas. If you can’t catch them it does no good to search for them! As a compromise I slowly work a section of shoreline where there are fish all along. 2/2 on stickballs and no takes on the bait.

Thursday 5/26: Feeling pretty good after a decent week, I have PCPete on board again and really want him to get a fish, so naturally the fishing was tougher than it had been all week. We tried hard and fished until 2 AM but only came up with one 17†walleye, though Pete did nail a huge smallmouth.

Again no luck on the bait rod. A tease, it worked the first night then not the next two. My takeaway here is that it works but there are more effective techniques. At best it was equal to the stickbaits and at worst it just plain didn't work.

Week total: 7 nights of fishing, 11 walleye caught, 9 kept, one lost boatside. Several 24†fish with most 21-24â€. I ate one fish already and managed to put about 12 pounds of fillets in the freezer. Two nights of zero fish, two nights of one fish, two limits and one night with two. Considerably better than I’ve done before!

As a learning experience it was top notch and the blitz approach really helps to understand how things chance in the lake on a day-to-day basis. That’s seven years of fishing once a week in late May all squished into one week. The water temp rose from the mid-50s into the mid-60s over the week, and the alewife activity went from light to heavy too, we were fishing in a sea of bait at the end.

I did gain some confidence in technique and finding fish, and was able to draw some parallels to fishing I’m already familiar with. Alewives behave the same in Otisco as they do in Cayuga, and the shoreline structure is also naturally very Finger Lake like. It was a fantastic week all around. I did think I'd do more tiger fishing during the day but staying up until 3 every night kicked my ass pretty good and I wasn't up to it. That's about it!

Edited by hermit

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Totally awesome down to the nitty gritty, I'm so happy you got to do this hermit. This will definatly put air under your wings, and to have confidence in yourself again is a big part of it!! It will put the drive back in your ass to get out there more. Great to hear you caught fish and nice ones at that. Pretty cool Justin was able to contribute to your sucess, sorry to hear about your vehicle, but you were able to adapt and overcome that situation so you could continue on with your trip!! Congrats to your week long outting!!! Well done. I know first hand how hard it is when your out of commission for a few years, the older we get the more you think about what might happen when 20 years ago I wouldn't have thought twice about. Keep the ball rolling my friend. Tight lines to all.

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Awsome hermit!! It was an awsome week weather wise, we had 2 guys on vacation at work, and I was wishing I could get over to otisco at some point, but I'm dealing with my own truck troubles.... glad you were able to get some nice eyes.... any pics of the trip?

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

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Great to have you here! Im very surprised it hasn't turned on lights out yet, but we are getting fish! I stayed in and rested but im gonna get some for me tonight! Hermit put in some serious time and effort and it shows....circle hooks are the way to go but man don't set the hook...cost me a nice eye Thursday night...

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Thanks all I had a great time, well worth it. Pap hang in there I've read your posts, sounds like things are improving for you too. MeatHunter I was typing this up before I realized I didn't take a single pic! All the good nights were by myself and I just wanted to get to bed I guess. Thanks again Justin I'll see you soon I'm sure. Have a great weekend everyone!

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And a beautiful morning it is! It's nice to be home but I wish I were back there already. Good luck! And MeatHunter hope you get out there soon too, it soothes the soul.

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:yes:  :yes:  :yes:   i learned some good things about this pond this am. 

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great report..if you find the bait the eyes will be there.the hard part is finding what the walleyes want,speed, action, color.ill be at it in 10 days or so...im off to canada...and so long 4 now;john

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Land Shark that's an awesome pic. Makes you want to hook up the boat and hit the water!!

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