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justtracytrolling

Otisco opening weekend

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I wish I could say I am exhausted from all the fish I caught, but it was tough opener for me.  Friday night we fished from 12 till Dawn and never even saw an eye.  Saturday we casted for tigers in the middle of the day and didn't see a single tiger.  Saturday evening I decided to load some trolling rods and work some deeper water.  I ended up missing a couple fish and landing 2 tigers.  Sunday I put the riggers on and ran a full spread hoping to figure something out.  I ended up losing several fish that I'm fairly certain were walleye before we could even get the board off or in some cases out of the rod holders.  We finally landed the my first 2 eyes of the season when I bumped our speed hoping to get them to hit better.  Along with the 2 eyes we caught 2 more tigers.  None of the fish were noteworthy but it's a start.  The bigger eye, 6lbs, and the biggest tiger, upper 30's both came on a spoon off a rigger 30 down on steep structure occasionally banging bottom...tough trolling!  I was hoping for eyes ON shore at night for casting sticks, then I hoped for eyes suspended, or eyes on a sand flat, but if it was easy they would call it bass fishing!  I definitely felt I was getting things figured out.

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Nice report Justin. Way to mix it up when things are slow. I sometimes get stubborn and waste a lot of time running proven, but unproductive on that day, setups.

 

I live on the SLR and there were very, very few boats out this weekend. Water temp 44 here.

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Hey Justin. What kind of water temps. we're you seeing on Otisco? 

Sounds like Oneida had the hot bite this weekend...not surprising.

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Tough for a lot of us brother, but you put a couple in the boat and that us the key! It will only get better as the temp comes up.......they're gonna start opening their mouth a bit. Still saw a ton of them spawning........and its first week in may.....I expected to see a couple....but man the spawning areas are still full of them.

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We had 47-49 Friday and 51 Sunday. Bite was plenty hot on Otisco Sunday if you had a spread that allowed you to be versatile enough to figure anything out. I ran 9 lines, 3 over open water for suspended fish, 3 riggers which we worked up and down constantly to follow the drop offs, and three up on the flat shelf where there is one. My first bite was just after setting lines before 7 and we caught our 2nd fish (last bite) was nearly noon. After dropping 3 fish at 2.0 I slowed down to 1.7 to see if that would help and that was the only stretch of time I didn't get a bite. So when that didn't work out I went back to 2 and dropped another fish or 2 immediatly. I upped my speed to 2.3-2.5 and bingo the next 2 eyes choked the baits. BTW, I personally have never seen Oneida when it was fishable and I couldn't pull at least 1 limit of hammer handles. Can't compare Oneida to any other walleye fishery in the state for numbers....the place is literally overpopulated with starving fish compared to Otisco. Last couple years their fish are starting to fatten up some. Everyone has their own reasons to fish...for me I want a serious challenge and if successful a serious reward! On Otisco a keeper is nearly a 4lber and avg fish is 5lbs at least. I like the Susquehanna out my window for numbers and size, but between unstable water levels, pollution, and difficulty accessing much of it by boat I ended up elsewhere.



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Yeah....that's why I like I-bay. It's my home water and it's a challenge. Very much an overlooked fishery but I like it that way. Only in the last 2 seasons did I every catch an eye under 18".  24"-26" is very common for me. But I have to work for them. Hence the night shifts all the time.

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Yeah....that's why I like I-bay. It's my home water and it's a challenge. Very much an overlooked fishery but I like it that way. Only in the last 2 seasons did I every catch an eye under 18".  24"-26" is very common for me. But I have to work for them. Hence the night shifts all the time.
I'm going to fish it this year! How did you do so far? Did you get out?

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Saturday morning 8 of us fished Quinte in 4 boats in the morning and caught no walleyes. Many boats out and we only saw one fish netted. Afternoon bite improved somewhat but still only landed 8-10 eyes. What a difference Sunday morning! 8 man limit of 32 fish by noon and most 17-22 inches. Mr Walleye caught one 11.11 which we released.
Went from famine to feast overnight. Most were caught in 28-35fow on worm/ spinner bottom bouncing.IMG_5289.JPG


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Nice job Kevin and Mr.Walleye what was the water temp up there Kevin. Saturday port temp. was 48 and shipwreck was 42. We only put a 12" walleye in the boat sat. 3 other boats landed 2 and on sun they never got a bite. Hope of the rest of the seasons picks up.

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With the weather being so inconsistent it makes patterning eyes more difficult. We tend to want to fish for walleye based on prior experience rather than starting from zero and sometimes you have forget what you did previous years and figure it out anew. Eventually things repeat but it doesn't have to in the short term. I don't normally have the riggers on the boat if I'm primarily casting, but when the fish aren't where you expect them you have to explore elsewhere with different tools. Be flexible and it pays off. Same thing with choosing the hours you are going to fish.

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going to try it wednesday nite..in between fronts might work.thanks for the report,and so long 4 now;john


Just wanted to thank johnnywalleye, I read this the other day and took the advice about Wednesday night being a good bet. Got my limit from shore last night at oneida. No one else around caught any tossing sticks, got mine on a jig.

Thank you!


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I often throw a swim jig early in spring when they tend to be even more bottom oriented.  As the water warms and bait gets active you see walleye cruising higher in the column at night, and occasionally even right on the surface.  By the middle to the end of the spring bite when the water column is starting to stratify it's all about floating sticks and even dead sticking.  If memory serves one night when you were out with me Brent caught a dandy boatside dead sticking while he was just sitting there.  Nice work bud!

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