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Lucky Enuff Oswego and Sodus Pro Am Experience.

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Lucky Enuff Oswego and Sodus Pro Am Experience.

Long post warning !!!  A week late, but still recuperating from two weeks of mayhem.


I fish an east end Pro Am with my son each year. We have been doing them together since 2012 as a father/son team. before that, he'd

fish an occasional tournament with me and some teammates.  The very first one we fished together as a two man father/son was Sodus in 2012 and we

ended in first place Am division, so that gave him a .drive to keep doing them with me.  


Justin is not an avid fisherman. He doesn't possess his fathers deep seeded passion for fishing, but when we do it, I try to make it a great experience and

we always have a great time. .I set very few rules, I let him do what he wants and I don't act like his father. This year he turned 18, so I was worried he wouldn't make it up to Ontario with me, but with a little bribery, we made it happen.




I have not fished the Oswego Pro Am in 5 years.  Mainly because of the 9 fish limit.  I do like it, don't get me wrong. 9 fish separates the winners from the beginners and allows a team room to separate themselves from the crowd. However,  like some other aspects of this Pro Am, in my opinion its outdated.  I fished years with just Justin and I.  We couldn't fish a 9 fish limit event, so you take out all the two man teams like us with a 9 fish limit. I won't add just any person and mess up what we do, I will find something else to fish.  Sure, the upper tier teams love 9 fish and believe me, I understand why!!  All things being equal, I prefer 9 fish also  but its not good for tournament growth. IMHO,  5 or 6 fish limits is the future of tournament fishing.on Lake O.  Again....my opinion only.  


This year, we found the right people to join us, so we fished Oswego again!  I pre fished starting Wednesday by myself.  I caught fish, but didn't set the world on fire.  On Thursday, my new teammate Jason fished with me. Jason had observed for me years ago. We never fished together, so this was our maiden team voyage.  We went north east 18 miles, and had a very good day. Our biggest was about 20lbs, so we missed out on the 1k but had a plan for Friday.


Friday brought my son Justin to NY for his first trip on the season.  We headed to Thursday's water, and fish were present but it was sloooow !  I worked over a small area refusing to leave because I only needed three, but damn if I could get one in the boat.  Short bites is all we'd get.  Then....boom, and we double up !

Justin.  lands a 26.4 king, Jason lands a 16  Ya think we could get another?  Nope.  I finally decide to pull lines and hit up the browns.  I waited too long, and only had about 15 minutes to fish browns.  Luckily, we got one quick and headed in.  Had I upgraded my brown by just one pound (it was 5 bs) , we cash a check.   Dumb move Rod!!


But....Justin won big fish, plus the 1k a day and was 3rd at the time LOC as the big bruisers had yet to show up.  He even got on the front page of the paper.

Not bad for his first fish of the season!!  I can't lie, it was (and always will be) a VERY PROUD father moment seeing him on the front page at the newsstand. 











He's grown up a bit since we caught our very first salmon together!!




OSWEGO SATURDAY......tourney day is here.  We were excited, but knew we had some rough conditions awaiting us.  We were delayed because of thunderstorms until 7:30.

I thought the Pro Am committee did the right thing, and a great job with the delay process !!  As we idle out of the harbor, I was putting my plan together knowing I couldn't go east due to the forecast.



Once I saw the conditions, I knew my best plan was to run west before it got any worse.  Shotgun start was a ride, as we got

a bit rocked by the waves.  This great image was taken of myself in the middle of Thrillseeke ant the A-Tom-Mik CB11



We ran to Fairhaven, set up and worked east until we found fish.  We picked away as the day passed and the waves built to ridiculous heights.

We put a decent box together, loosing a couple key fish late, but had a shot an Am division  money spot.


Unfortunately, we left our weigh in sheet at the boat.  It was a very confusing time, but I just shrugged it off as **** happens.  I was told immediately I would probably be dq'd.  I shrugged it off, as **** happens. It is what it is and I messed up. Its just fishing and I refuse to get mad or upset while doing what I love most.  I have gone on record as saying that a dq was a ridiculously harsh penalty for just forgetting a paper that is no longer needed and one that I did in fact acquire, fill out and hand in. Not having it gave me no competitive advantage. Another team broke a rule, it was decided they gained no competitive advantage and it was dismissed (as it should have been). But.. rules are rules and I messed up so I took it on the chin like a man without a fuss.


What I did get upset over was how I was treated and talked down to.  I made a stink on Facebook about it, and while some didn't agree I don't think they knew what happened. Really, it was just one individual and shouldn't reflect on the tournament itself. We have talked privetly and mended the fences. Time to move on.... The important thing is that there are talks about lessening the punishment for minor rule infractions that don't give a team any competitive advantage. A dq was damn harsh!   I would love to see Oswego work on this, and if some rules are modified to bring the tourney up to date, I'd love to fish it again. 


Oswego is a fantastic port and boasts an incredible fishery. I'd love to see the Pro Am be what it once was, and maybe it can be?  Only time will tell if Lucky Enuff returns. 





After Oswgo, I decided on a big change!  I was out of the Am cup with my dq in Oswego, and felt I wanted to prove I could follow protocol after my Qswego experience so for the first time Lucky Enuff went to the Pro Division.  I found an observer here on LOU ( Thanks Casey !!)  and we made the plunge!!

Jason again would join Justin and I, along with his GF Becky.  I felt good, as Jason was a GREAT driver and that is so important when tournament fishing.


Our observer Casey joined me on Friday and we pretty much crushed it all day!  We had a great time running a short spread of 4 rods.  We targeted Kings, then steelhead, and finally browns and caught all of them.  I was very happy with my Saturday plan.


Casey with one of his MANY fish from Friday. Casey was great,!  Even being new to great lakes trolling, he was setting lines, netting a couple and reeled in many. 






On Saturday, as in Oswego, we had nasty conditions. I had a plan to run east a little and work north until I found fish.  We went as far as we could by 6 am and set up. We landed right on a pod of kings and had two by 6:15.  They were small though. Then we had one that was 18 3/4".  Team decision was to let it go.  I regret that decision.  We stayed on that small pod of fish all day, loosing many in rough conditions.  Being Pro, I had the option to run 8 rods.  On Saturday, we ran a steady 4 to 5.  Mostly, I ran two riggers, one wire and one diver.  I had them all going, so its all we needed.  I did deploy another rod later in the day.  We kept a lot of our spread on one side, and that made working a small area easier in rough seas on a smaller boat.  


I did miss two at the net on a diver that we tried to hand line in. One was 25 plus and I had the flasher in my hand!  He was right there but the 50lb line snapped under the top fly on a meat rig.  It was a tackle failure....it happens.  That was last minute and broke my heart.  We immediately pulled lines and headed in three fish short of our limit with 9 fish.


We did okay, and found ourselves with a 182 box and in 12th place.  Only 30 some points out of a money spot.  That is doable so I ws ready to correct our Saturday mistakes and give it hell Sunday!






My plan....fish the same water as Sat.  We got there early, thanks to calm seas.  But, those fish I had Sat. were gone!  We made two passes with a small guy to show for it.  I asked .Jason to keep going west until we got in front of port.  If nothing happens, point her north.  We followed the plan, and once we hit 300 fow we got a much needed moral booster.  Finally....two in the box.  We'd turn on that spot and go through it again.  We'd loose one and land one on each pass.  They were smaller, but they were fish and I'd take them. Within a couple hours, we had 7 but our bite stopped and I asked Jason to continue north.  We saw some boats working deeper, and as soon as we got to 400 for the bite was on !!  We doubled.....now we have 9.  We loose a couple.  Justin says all we need is a triple dad!  I laugh....only a tripe huh?   Then, the 350 wire gets bit.  FISH ON  !!    As Justin fights that one, the 500 copper goes and we are doubled.  Within a minute, the 400 copper starts really screaming. TRIPLED !!  


We would land all three, and as the third goes in the net Justin absolutely erupts with joy and emotion.   It wasn't until then I realized how much boxing out as a pro team meant to Justin.  We hadn't discussed it before, and he was actually reluctant to fish pro.  At 12 pm we were boxed out and went in early.  Only two other teams would box out on Sunday, and only one other would have a box of all kings.


Did we have enough to get in the money?  I was concerned about size.  That pod of kings I worked over in 300 fow were small.  Was it a bad decision staying with them?  Naaa, we had 12 and that's good enough!




When the dust settled, we moved up 4 spots to 8th place.  We did what we set out to do!  Had we fished AM we would have been in the top two

and made some dough, but the feeling of accomplishment far outweighed  any monetary gain just to see our name among such lake Ontario greats !


Congrats to the top 10 teams
1-508.90 Cold Steel
2-469.50 Finders Keepers
3-451.85 Shark Tank
4-449.35 Oh Baby
5-448.50 Thrillseeker
6-430.25 Cannonball Runner
7-416.25 Screamer
8-401.45 Lucky Enuff
9-395.90 A-TOM-MIK
10-366.85 Fishin Magician




So yeah....This is a loooooong  post, but with a message.  It's not about winning. It's not about getting a check. Its not about having a huge catch. 

It's about the enjoyment of competitive fishing and making so many good friends!  It's about family, friends, learning, competing, giving it your best and being happy and proud that you were brave enough to get your boat, get a team and give it a go when most everyone else sits home reading the reports!!    I felt like a winner!  You would have thought I won, as content as I was. I never thought I'd win the Pro division, but in the end we should have been at least third.  Finishing eighth was good for us, and as a team I think we all stood proud. Thank you Jason and Becky and Casey for everything you all did!!


All that being said....finishing first still would have been cool.  I wasn't able to get it done, but I didn't miss out on an opportunity to photobomb the first place winners Team Cold Steel.  They never saw me slide in  Hahaha




The Sodus Pro Am is my favorite event on the lake. Attendance was down this year due to high water concerns.  For those that made

that decision, ya done messed up!!   Fishing was the best I can remember in a long time!!  The water was high, but there were plenty of slips.

The town was welcoming and alive!!  The idle only in the bay was a non issue.  It was a BLAST !!!   Everyone should fish this pro am.   6 fish limit for AM's makes it doable for a two man team.  


Will Lucky Enuff do PRO again?  I honestly don't know?  We are Ams who live in south Pa and only fish weekends here and there.  I don't

like how much it seems like work to need 12 fish in the Pro division.  Can we do it...sure. But do I always want to ??  The observer requirement, 4 person crew,

12 fish, more money, worse odds to win with a less experienced team. I don't know yet.  Time will tell, but I sure am glad I did it this time, as I had a blast !!




Edited by Fishtails
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Good on ya rod. Great post. Saturday for Sodus was just freaking brutal, and like you we lost a bunch of good fish. I say you stick with pros- it's helps my odds tremendously!

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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