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On August 12 we headed of for our third and final week at Black Lake for 2017. Arrived at McClears about 1:30 P.M.. Had a bit of an issue in that some-one was set up on the site that we had reserved.  Didn’t make much difference to me but Bridget was upset. Janet at McClears told them to move, but I convinced Bridget it was not a big deal, why make those folks pick up and move with another site available. So we set up on site #20 which was fine with me. After setting up the camper we checked out our dock. That was a little concerning with the water level. Not that the water level was unusual for this time of year, only where we were assigned. As typical for Black Lake afternoons there is often a breeze, but we got the boat in and docked with no issues. Relaxed with the locals and talked about what was going on. Previous week was stormy and one of our friends had damage to his camper awning. We can relate to that since it happened to us a few years back. Fishing wise, not glowing reports. With the lake a little choppy, we invited one of the local couples over for dinner and had a campfire.

Sunday A.M.

Decided to set up on the NW side of Raspberry by the second buoy. Discovered something I had not realized but there is a big hump that comes up on the outside of the buoy. Probably the reason I caught all the rock bass there on the last trip? Caught two nice blue gills but not much else worth keeping. Decided to head to the SE side of Raspberry on the weed-line where I did good for crappie last August. Soon as I set up got two keepers and some throw backs and thought I was into them, but not the case. Backed out a little deeper and with not a good anchor hold drifter slowly North. Some crappie doubles but throw backs. A few nice perch and pumpkinseeds and keeper crappie. Got a little windy so headed in at about 10:00 A.M.. Not a stellar A.M. but 25 keepers. Also release a SMB.

The locals we had dinner with got some huge perch, just north of McClears by Rogers.


Monday A.M.

Decided I would give the SE side of Raspberry another shot for Crappie. Mistake, did nothing.  Moved and set up South of Rogers by the Flag Pole and anchor drifted. Good choice. Non-stop action. Released four SMB including a 18”. Some slob perch. 70 Keepers.

Bridget decided to go out with me for the  evening. Pretty slow. 3 keeper Crappier and some Perch and SF. 10 kept, dozens of throw backs.

Tuesday A.M.

Back to Rogers. Some very nice perch. 4 keeper crappie and dozens of SF.

62 Keepers.

Wednesday A.M.

Back to Rogers.

Excellent actions. 3 Keeper Crappie. Some slob perch. Many SF,.

64 Keepers.

Thursday A.M.

Amazing Bridget went out with me in the A.M.. Lake was great.

Went to Rogers.

No slob perch this time, but game on for SF.

Also caught 4 keeper crappier including a 12.5” slob.

A little after nine, Bridget had enough and wanted to go in. Had major engine problems in that at idle – 1800 RPM.

A little issue getting it docked, so with an iffy forecast for Friday, pulled the boat. Ended up with 81 keepers. My plan was to drop Bridget off and go back out so who knows how many I would have caught by noon???

Storms did come in during the night.


Cleaned the 81 fish in the A.M. and then got a good shower.

Went to Alex Bay for Pirates Weekend and had drinks and BBQ wings at Coleman’s. Sitting on the dock with brew, wine and wings; not much better?

Until, we hit the Clipper Inn in Clayton. This place is pricy but worth it. Bridget got the Fillet with Crab and I got the Crab Legs. Bridget was jealous. Hers was very good, mine was fantastic.

I wanted to get back and go to bed, but our seasonal campers came over and set up a camp fire. Nice to say good-by until next year.

So the final count was 312 keepers with 5 bass throw-backs. I didn’t mention that the small perch were a pain. Hundreds and hundreds of throw backs and the funny thing was the next thing up could be a slob perch. Go figure. With that and throw back SF and Crappie definitely caught a 1000 Fish this trip and didn’t even fish on Friday. Came back with 5 one gallon bags of fillets which is great for hunting camp. Can’t fit another bag in my two freezers.

As said many times before, if you like to catch fish and eat pan fish  Black Lake is the place to go. While I don’t target Bass or Walleye they are there to be caught.

Now on to Salmon Fishing.


On July 15 we headed up for our second week at Black Lake for 2017. We arrived at Mclears a little after 2 P.M.  It was sunny but a little breezy. The yard crew was lowering the docks. Apparently the lake was up but was coming down quick. After setting up camp we headed up to launch the boat. Thank God for the improvements made in the launch a few years back. With the wind the way it was before it could have been a struggle, but today, not all that bad. Pleased with the dock this year, water level doesn’t look to be an issue. With the breeze we decideT 12 T TTTT to relax and have dinner and pass on fishing for the night. Unlike in June, glad to see the regular campers are back to talk and see what’s been going on. Fishing by Black Lake standards apparently has been a little spotty but one of the guys picked up a 26” walleye in 19 foot of water between Tin and Big Island.

Sunday A.

Set up on the East Side of Raspberry in about 14 FOW. I caught only a dink perch so I decided to move into 11 FOW. Good action on pumpkinseeds, bluegill and a few keeper perch. Suddenly the action just stopped. Moved to the SE buoy off North End of Raspberry and got back into the same action as earlier. I culled through the sunfish until I had a limit of 50 keepers and about 25 perch.  Thought I had a bass, but it ended up with a decent size catfish I threw back.

Decided to go in and clean fish. I had a weird thing happen on the way out of the fish cleaning house. Dropped my long time fillet knife and heard a strange sound. The blade broke in half. Not happy.

Afternoon was again breezy so we didn’t fish.

The buzz around camp was the Monday could have Thunder Storms with hail and be nasty, so we decided with Bridget’s free room to go to Turning Stone on Monday.


I had a conference call for work at 9 A.M. so the morning wasn’t a waste.  On the way to TS just had to stop in Gander Mountain in Watertown for the Going out of Business Sale. Got a Wüsthof fillet knife, a new graphite crappie rod, a 650 lumen small flash light for deer hunting and some socks (sweet).

The showers at Mclears are not bad, but glad to clean up at the TS hotel. We have had some mixed experience at the TS buffet, but tonight it was excellent.


On the way back from TS I just had to stop at Gander Mountain in Syracuse. I had been looking for boat shoes at the stores in Rochester and Watertown, but couldn’t find my size. Just happened they had my size there. We stopped at TGIF’s in Watertown on the way back for lunch (not impressed).

We got back to camp and Bridget decided to go out for her first and only fishing outing for the trip. Set up on the SE buoy off North End of Raspberry. It was a little breezy. Didn’t do much so decided to move to where I started Sunday. I’ve been having intermittent engine problems since the Seneca Lake Trout Derby and took the boat in, but the problem hasn’t been apparently solved. The engine started to spit and sputter. With that happening decided to fish on the west side north of Mclears in about 11 FOW, just on the weed line. We had very good action on the sunfish and perch. We ended up with about 35 keeper sunfish and 15 perch.


The perch minnows at Mclears were very small so I went to the Log Cabin to get bait. They ended up being the same size and to my dismay the guy at the shop say’s, he heard it’s going to be windy today- not good. Wind was coming from the North so I set up by the flag pole North of Mclears on the west side and even with two anchors out, drifted south. Good sunfish and some perch action on each drift. Did the drift half a dozen times and culled though the sunfish and perch. By 10 A.M. I had my limit of 50 sunfish and about 15 perch, but it was getting a little too fish comfortably. Got back to the dock and one of the local campers asked if I wanted a perch he caught (they know we like the pan fish for hunting camp). Not sure if I have seen a bigger perch anywhere (Erie, Seneca, Sodus included). He caught it East of Raspberry in about 19 FOW. Breezy in the afternoon, didn’t fish.


I went to the SW buoy on the North end of Raspberry. The screen looked great but didn’t do much.  Pulled up and anchored on the NW buoy off Raspberry.  Right off the bat I caught two keeper Crappie. After that Crappie action was spotty. Got one double on the same rod but only got a few more keepers. Bluegill and Pumpkinseed action wasn’t bad, but it got to breezy to fish. I ended up with about 10 Crappie, 20 Sunfish and 15 Perch. I also release a nice catfish.

Yard crew had to again lower the docks, with the water level dropping.

Bridget and I decided to go to Alex Bay for the afternoon for some shopping and cocktails. While we have been there, and done that many times before, but always fun. Picked up some stuff and had cocktails and appetizers at Coleman’s on the dock. Smoked BBQ chicken wings were OK as was Bridget’s lobster bisque.

When we got back to camp it was again breezy so we had a nice camp dinner.


Again very breezy, but had to fish. Went out to the NW buoy off Raspberry but it was too windy to anchor. I decided to fish on the SW side of Raspberry in the lee of the wind. I did nothing  but dink perch after 15 minutes, so I decided to brave the wind and fish the NW buoy of Raspberry. Bluegill and Pumpkinseed action was good with a few perch. I was surprised not to catch a Crappie. Was also surprised to catch and release six very large rock bass (don’t like the flavor).  Also released one small mouth bass. I culled out 50 nice Bluegill and Pumpkinseeds with some perch.

With fish cleaning, didn’t get out in the P.M. We had a great fish fry at Mclears with the clam chowder (one of the best chowders we have had anywhere).  We had a great campfire to end the week. We can’t wait to get back in August.


As it turned out, this A.M. was the calmest of all week. Oh well, that’s the way it works out. At least a nice ride from Mclears to the boat launch to get the boat out with no issues, piece of cake.

Our target it to catch a 1000 fish a week. I don’t think we made it this trip but it was probably close. We kept about 300. It is only a guess on how many released, bust estimate about 900 caught. We brought back 5 one gallon freezer bags full of fillets, which will please the guys at hunting camp this fall.

With four mornings and one night of fishing (all but one solo), averaging 60 keepers and 180 fish caught per trip, that’s a lot of action.

Except for the catfish, crappie and rock bass; the majority of fish were caught using an ultra-light rod with two dropper flies tipped with worm bits with a jig on the bottom. I had multiple triples and dozens of doubles on the same rod.

Based on reports by the long term campers I could have done better for Crappie and bigger perch in the deeper water (18 to 20) but it’s hard to leave fish to catch fish.

If you like catching and eating fish, Black Lake is the place to go. Can’t wait for our August trip.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank You. The locals for Crappie go with electric with a helper with a fillet knife.

I make a cut behind the head with the serrated electric and do about a dozen fish, then take the fillet kinfe and finish them off with fillets and skinning.The fillets get rinsed in a calander and go on ice. The process is then repeated. I got it down pretty good but when you have over a hundred to clean at a time it does get old. Sometimes I think it's too much work. But when I get to my hunting camps the guys love the fish, so all is good. When I'm at BL I suspose I'd rather be sitting around and having a beer than spending time in the fish cleaning house? But during the process other folks often stop in with their fish, so we compare notes and ask where they are from. Many from PA. The fish house is across from the resturant, so some folks just stop in ask if they can watch and chat.We made three trips this year and on every trip I get more selective on what i keep. Just got back from Salmon Fishing and for Salmon get more meat in 5 minutes then hours on the pan fish. Only problem is, the cats won't even eat the salmon and they would kick me out of camp if I brought in salmon. I do have some guys however that take the salmon to smoke.I wouldn't want to waste any fish, too valuable, if they won't be eaten, throw them back. With the BL population of panfish, I don't think it hurts on keeping pan fish to eat.

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To the guys going up on Columbus Day. I've never been up there then (hunting) but the folks at the Log Cabin Bait Shop have told me that at Pope Mills or Rossie they slam the crappie at that time of year. Not sure if it's all talk, but might want to check with them to see what they have to say?

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  • 4 weeks later...
To the guys going up on Columbus Day. I've never been up there then (hunting) but the folks at the Log Cabin Bait Shop have told me that at Pope Mills or Rossie they slam the crappie at that time of year. Not sure if it's all talk, but might want to check with them to see what they have to say?

That would make sense from a timing perspective...... crappie begin aggregation this time of year on many lakes.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app
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