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Black Lake June 4 to June 11

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On Saturday A.M. we left for our first of three trips this year to Black Lake. This will be our first camping trip of the season. We messed up on reserving a camping spot this year for the Lake Trout Derby at Seneca. By the time we went on line for reservation in February, it was overflow only.

While we were excited about our first trip, our expectations were dampened by the weather forecast. It looked poor for the entire week. When we got there Saturday afternoon however the weather was great. Another thing that was great was the significant improvements to the boat launch. Launching and retrieving the boat had been the worst part of the trip, especially if there was much wind. With the improvements made, it was a breeze. Kudos to the folks that were responsible for the much needed improvements.

We decided to take advantage of the weather and fish. Started on the SW side of Tin Island and did zero. Didn’t bother staying long. Moved to the NE side of Raspberry and again did nothing. Again, didn’t bother staying long. Moved to the SE side of Raspberry and started a slow South drift. Had a brief flurry of some decent perch and sunfish but drifted out of them. Decided to head back to McLears and drift out in front. Very good action on perch and sunfish. Bridget caught and release (of course) one nice largemouth bass. Most action on worms, and when we ran out, we called it quits. Three dozen keepers. A pretty good start for the trip.

Woke up at about 5:00 A.M. on Sunday and looked out of the camper window. Sky was red to the east and drizzle of rain. With the old adage of Red Sky at Morning, decided not to take the boat out, fished off the dock for about a half hour and caught about a half dozen keeper perch and sunfish before the rain and wind picked up. In that I had the opportunity to attend a work related seminar in Syracuse on Monday, we decided to head to Turning Stone to spend the night (forecast for Monday was for a lot of wind).

Tuesday A.M. got up again about 5:00 A.M. and again weather didn’t look good. Fished off the dock for the entire day. Caught and released seven largemouth bass, one nice one. Caught probably over 200 sunfish and a few perch. Kept our limit to 100.

Wednesday A.M. again got up at 5:00 A.M. and got the boat ready. Decided to cast the rattle trap of the dock before going out. Second cast, got a decent pike. Headed out to the middle side of the East of Raspberry and didn’t do anything. Again, didn’t stay long and moved off to the north. Constant action on fairly decent perch. Had the fish swimming around in two five gallon pails an in a cooler and decided I better start counting. Opp’s 54 perch, so threw four back and fished for a little while longer, culling before heading in about 10:30 A.M.. Wind had picked up so Bridget and I fished the dock in the afternoon and evening. Ended up with a limit of 50 keeper sunfish and a few perch.

Thursday A.M., again the weather was very windy. We (or Bridget) decided to go to the Ackwasanee Casino. On the way back stopped at Alex Bay and had a great rib dinner overlooking the town dock. Nice evening.

Friday A.M. again at 5:00 A.M. I’m up and the weather is a little windy, but fishable. Fished East side of Raspberry with and picked away at a few perch. Fished lonesome bay with not a lot of action, but a few more perch and sunfish. Decided to try in front of Mclears and had some decent action. Called Bridget to meet me at the dock and join me. I caught and released a nice smallmouth and we did get by Black Lake standards some nice perch and some sunfish. Spent the afternoon cleaning about 60 or 70 fish.

Saturday A.M. got up about 4:30 A.M. and was going to fish to about 8:00 A.M. before pulling the boat and pulling up camp. Unfortunately again, weather looked bad, so decided to pull the boat and get an early start home. Bridget drove the trailer up to launch to meet me. Just before the launch I see a deer swimming towards the West shore. I told Bridget I almost hit a deer, which she laughed after being dumbfounded. Funning thing was that on the way back to McLears, a water soaked doe, ran across the road in front of us.

Glad we decided to break camp, because it started pouring just as we hooked up the camper. Just outside of Watertown it was raining so hard we had to pull of 81.

Can’t say it was our best Black Lake trip ever (in fact maybe one of the worst), but we left with five bags of fillets, which we make those at the deer hunting camps at Speculator and Almond happy this fall.

One thing I did learn (too late for this trip) from spending hours at the fish cleaning house was the great male bluegill fishing this time of year. Some folks from PA had some great catches of slab gill caught on the beds in 3 to 5 foot of water. We have been going up in July, August and September and didn’t realize that great opportunity. Will remember to do so if we go up again in early June.

First time in any of trips, we didn’t catch a crappie. Have Black Lake trips scheduled for July and August, so will see what happens. Next camping trip in for the July fourth weekend at Hamlin for trout and salmon. Haven’t been too rosy so far, but may be the thermocline will be set up and fishing improves?

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Nice report. I only ice fish black lake but it sure is a great fishery. Glad u were able to make the best of mediocre weather and get on some fish.

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Thanks. We like the diversion from the Finger Lakes and LO Trout and Salmon Fishing. As much as we like that fishing, it's relaxing to just walk down from the camper with a thermos of coffee and just motor out and drift or anchor and catch fish. To easy to get stuck in a rut. We like the mix. I wouldn't trade it for going out of the Oak in late August before dawn and catching Kings;but fortunately don't have to. 


The other thing is the humbling experience just when you think you have the lake kind of figured out,folks come into the fish house that blow your catch away. That is the great thing or trying to figure things out on what to do on the next trip.


As Black Lake goes, Bridget and I are rookies and learning and having fun as we stumble along.If one can catch that many fishi while learning, that's a great option. 


Given the miles of shore line and shoals, I'm not sure how long it would take to explore it all, but that's a good thing.

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Black Lake 6/4 t0 6/10


Well we are heading up to Black Lake today. With the high water and work schedule haven’t been out once to Lake Ontario, which is a first.

When we pulled into McClear’s I was surprised with the water level. Actually it looked a little low for this time of year. According to the locals a few weeks earlier the docks were under water.

Got the camper set up and launched the boat. So great the improvements they made on the launch lasts year. It used to be an “experience”, now a piece of cake.

With the good weather, wanted to take advantage of the evening and went out about 5:00 P.M.. Set up on the SW side of Tin Island and never moved. I set Bridget up with the double fly dropper rig and before I could get set up, she had a half dozen perch and sunfish.

I started to get a few crappie on minnows but all through backs.

We basically had constant action until 7:00 P.M. and could have kept catching but decided to go back in for dinner.

A mix of sunfish and perch with a couple of crappie. 48 total.

Sunday A.M. the lake was great. Went back to Tin. Came back about 10:30 with limit of Perch (50) and Sunfish (50) with a few Crappie.

With fish cleaning duties, never went out for the P.M..

Monday A.M. the fishing was great. Never left the spot at Tin. Released two Small Mouth Bass and again culled sunfish and limited with about 30 perch and few crappie.

Weather report for Tuesday was crap, so we Monday afternoon we left for Turing Stone. Good dinner and a hot shower.

Hit Gander Mountain in Syracuse on the way back and picked up some stuff, and stopped at 1000 Island Bait Shop and got some more.

When we got back to Black Lake and the camper it was nasty. High winds and rain.

Wednesday A.M. actually was great.

Back to Tin and constant fish. Limited on Sunfish and Perch with a few Crappie and went back in at 9:30 for Bridget. Bridget and I went back to Tin and came back before 2:00 P.M. with another 108 fish. Back to fish cleaning, and never went back out.

Thursday A.M. was again great and back to Tin. Again limited and culled Sunfish with about 30 good perch. Never went back out, back to cleaning fish.

Friday I decided to try some different spots. Went into Lonesome Bay, but didn’t do much. Went back to Tin and looked for my phone, since I told Bridget I would be back  by 10 and phone was not there. Headed back to the dock and found I left it in the camper. About 8:30 so I back to Tin. Nothing doing. Decided to hit the East side of Raspberry. In shallow, constant fish. Since I told Bridget I would  be  back at 10 for the Clayton Food and Wine doings, reluctantly I had to quit. Total 42 fish kept, Perch, Sunfish and a few Crappie.

Well it I added it up right it was 579 fish kept. A lot of cleaning and I actually was culling quite a bit. Had to be 1000 fish total. 7 one gallon freezer bags. All in 5 mornings and 2 afternoon trips.

Since fishing at Tin was so productive, didn’t go for Crappie. Did see two locals over the week come back with limits of Crappie. They are out every day and keep tabs on them on for the most part fish back in towards Indian River. Also saw one day guys from PA with an awesome catch of big Blue Gill. So in spite of a good catch there are better fish to catch if you know the spots. I’d estimate 35% Pumpkin Seeds,  25% Blue Gills, 35% Perch and 5% Crappie. Also four Bass. While hundreds of throwback Perch, some nice ones mixed in.

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Thanks for a great report. I like to relax and catch fish and love Wellsley island but I am going to have to go back to Black Lake for a few days here and there. I fish mostly during the week and enjoy the peacefulness. Live on Oneida and still like to get away. Thanks for your honest report!!

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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