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Hedges 7/17 In case you were wondering.........


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Wow! NO Gobies is better news than catching gobies! I was asked by my buddy about the SM fishing last night and I told him that they are still there! Now with your report, I cant help but hold on to my hopes that the Smallies are still out there.

SM fishing was my first experience fishing out of LO in 90's and it has been killer experience with 15 plus catch each time I venture out. This has all changed after the invasion of gobies in the past five years.

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I have fished smallies on LO for over 30 years going back to a small kid. Only within the last 5 yrs locally. Most years past, between Henderson and Sacketts. The early to mid 90's the fishing up north went to @#%$, at least for me. I was just getting the hang of Hedges, Bear Creek, and a few other local spots when the gobies came. Some guys defeat the gobies by trolling but I just cant do that for bass. Hopefully, no gobies is a good sign. I have heard that the Sheep are huge and plentiful this spring and summer. Maybe they are feeding on the gobes.

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So what is the difference between the invasion of gobies on Erie, and on Ontario? On Erie it seemed to improve the smallmouth fishing, at least for size and the numbers aren't too bad either, but on Ontario it wiped out the bite all together? It just doesn't make sense to me.

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Erie was a far superior smallmouth fishery to Ontario to begin with. Don't know if that has anything to do with it or not. Erie was so strong the smallies thrived on it while Ontario was mediocre and couldn't handle it?? Just a guess....and a bad one at that probably....pure speculation....but maybe it has something to do with it.

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Erie was a far superior smallmouth fishery to Ontario to begin with. Don't know if that has anything to do with it or not. Erie was so strong the smallies thrived on it while Ontario was mediocre and couldn't handle it?? Just a guess....and a bad one at that probably....pure speculation....but maybe it has something to do with it.

I do agree with Erie being a better SM fishery, but I remember days on Ontario not too long ago where 30-50 fish days were quite common. They just weren't as big with 2 to 3 pounders being the biggest. The numbers were good.

So what would a goby do to decimate a smallmouth population? They are not competing for the same food source and I find it hard to believe gobies could wipe out entire spawns from year to year. What else is there?

I think gobies are the easy blame, but I think there is something more to it than that. Maybe many things including VHS and fish kills due to temperature fluctuations could be factors. Just odd to go from catching as many as we did to not getting many bass bites at all anymore.

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I think the bass population is down in the lake from 1) gobies eating bass fry 2) the big bass die offs 2 - 3 years ago (probally VHS but the DEC will never admit that).

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My initial thought when I heard 'no gobies' was that it could be a good or very bad thing.

i'm no expert, but IMHO if the gobies had decimated their foodsource and moved on or died off, then its either a very bad sign for the SM #s, or could be that the gobies exploded in population on the SM Fry and overpopulated and are now dying back, meaning that maybe we have yet to see what will eventually become some sort of equalibrium in #s between the two and we're just expereincing a 'new phase' in getting to that point as gobies die back and SM #s then begin to return.

Some many other things have come along that made everyone think the sky is falling, but in reality the fishery has been remarkably resilient. Sometimes a change is just that: a change. Not good or bad in the long run, but just a different paradigm. (think zebra mussels for instance)

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Years ago before zebra mussels invaded, SM were very predictable on depth and clarity of water. Since, I believe they have found new depths to seek the cooler waters and reduced light source they're used to. Find structure in deeper depths than you normally fish and I think you'll find them. Don't forget, a lot of the bait have moved to weed areas which are growing in deeper depths also.

Adapt, Improvise, & Overcome ;)

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