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Gamblers 2018 season


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2018 will go down as one of the best seasons ever for my crew.   2012 we placed more fish in derbies but we did not catch nearly as many fish as we did this season.  We started off the Summer Derby putting a 26lb 9oz. salmon on the board that we figured would stay in the top 20.  I was amazed it ended the summer derby in 5th place after sitting in 1st place for three weeks.  The week after the salmon, we decided to hit the brown trout water since it was left alone all season. After a couple hours of fishing the brown trout water, we boated a monster 19lb 4 oz. brown.  That morning, we boated a ton of browns with 7 big enough to make the leaderboard.  After being satisfied with 1 brown we knew would stick on the board, we hit the laker waters and worked our way back to Sandy.  Year after year, an area between two of my weigh points has paid off.  After a short troll, we boated a derby laker at 18lbs 10oz that landed us in 7th place in the end.  One week later, we decided to hit the brown trout waters once again and put a 14lb 3oz brown on the board before 9am.  We hit the laker waters again mid morning and netted a 18lb 4oz. laker within minutes of setting up.  We quit early that morning since all the guys were on the board with fish we were confident were going to end the derby on the leaderboard.  The following week we started prefishing for the Sandy Creek Shootout on Thursday morning.  Our plan was to head offshore and find out what was going on out there and try to get a derby steelhead to have a fish on the board in every division.  We started the morning in 300' and fished all the way out to the 35 line and picked kings all the way out and all the way back in.  We would end up boating a steelhead that missed the leaderboard by ounces!  We ended up finding a big break late in the day in 300' that was not there in the morning.  On Friday, we stopped in the inside waters and checked that out first light and then went back to that break to see what changed over night.  The break had moved North a mile but the fish that were on that break stayed.  We worked that area for a couple miles and put together a solid game plan.  At the weigh in for Big Fish Friday, we took 4th place with a 21lb and change king.  Saturday morning, we ran to our spot from pre fishing and set up just short of the best area.  The currents were horrible so we thinned our spread down to 2 coppers, 2 wires and 2 riggers.  It was not long and we were on the kings but the size was down from the prior two days.  By 11am, we had a 70lb box and desperately needed some upgrades.  At 11:30, we doubled up on two good fish.  We boated both and upgraded our box with both fish.  We were now sitting in the upper 70's for weight.  At 12:30, The rigger parked at 95' took off screaming and we knew this fish was the kicker we needed to end up near the top.  After a long insane battle, we slid the net under a 24.38lb king.  When we got to the weigh in, we were the second team to weigh in.  Our boxed weighed 82.5lbs for four fish.  In the end, we ended up winning the shootout and took biggest king of the tournament with the 24.38lb king.  The Orleans County Rotary Derby was up next.  We started off the derby hitting the brown trout water but the class of browns that was there two weeks prior had disappeared.  We caught a lot of browns but just not the ones we were looking for.  We ended up putting a brown on the board that stuck until the last day but got knocked off.  We spent two hours fishing lakers over the length of the derby and took 1st place with a 17lb 12oz lake trout and took third with a 15lb 12oz lake trout.  The first Monday of the Fall LOC derby, we hit the inside waters looking for mature kings.  We immediately were into a good class of kings and boated many over 20 lbs.  Late in the morning, a rigger rod fired and was screaming line.  After a long battle, we boated a 27lb 5oz. king that put us on the leaderboard until it got bumped off this morning.  We fished a couple more days during the Fall derby and caught tons of mature kings but all were short of making the leaderboard.  I found this summer that the less is more concept helped us boat more fish.  Too many riggers or flashers in the rigger spread some mornings slowed our bites down.  I watched fish after fish streak through the spread and made adjustments and took flashers out or went down to two riggers and really helped us boat more fish.  A HUGE factor in our success this summer was team work.  I have an awesome core of crew guys that fish with me throughout the season.  Without these guys, summers like this one would not be possible.  Here is a list of lures that worked well for us this summer:

Flasher Fly Combos

Hammer Time E-Chip / Atommik Crinkle Green fly

Live Wire E-chip / Atommik Stud Fly

Double Crush UV E-chip/ Atommik Mirage Glow

Captain Valium Spin Doctor / Atommik Green Hammer Fly

Atommik Shenster Meat Rig / Double Crush UV E-chip

Minion Night fury Meat Rig / Two Face UV E-chip

Moonshine Green Jeans

Moonshine Carbon 14

Stinger NBK

Stinger Green Glow Alewife

Stinger Purple Glow Alewife

Bull Frog Gambler Rig / Hammerhead Froggy Aluminum series Cowbell (this combo took all four of the lake trout we placed with this summer)

Silver Glow Gambler Rig / Hammerhead Crystalina Watermelon Cowbell (original not aluminum)


5th place LOC Summer Derby - 26lbs 9oz.


Summer LOC 2nd place Brown trout 19lbs 4oz.


7th place summer LOC lake trout - 18lbs 10oz.


8th Place summer LOC lake trout  - 18lbs 4 oz


15th place summer LOC brown trout - 14lbs 3oz.


Sandy Creek Shootout winning box - 82.5lbs (122.5 points)


Sandy Creek Shootout Big King Salmon - 24.38lbs


Shootout floor shot


1st place Orleans County Derby Lake trout - 17lbs 12oz.


King Salmon we had on the Fall LOC board for a while -27lbs 5oz.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

Edited by GAMBLER
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:yes: WTG Brian. I haven't seen a year like this since the late eighties. Lake O has been on fire this year and especially so with the kings, and I'm sure the "armchair quarterbacks" that didn't get a chance to get out there are more than a little regretful:lol:

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1 hour ago, LakerTaker said:

Awesome write-up (thanks for listing what worked) and very successful season. Congrats!  And for a guy who makes the best laker rigs known to man (Gambler Rigs) you didn't even mention them?  Humility.......:cool:

I totally forgot to add them to the list!  I have a new favorite from this season!

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