Jump to content

Who remember these from the 70s.


Recommended Posts

I moved here in 1991, and learned about the Smelt runs within the 1st year or two... Love to eat Smelt, so went and bought a net... Just as I was ready to get started I kept hearing about the great  downturn in the fishery.. Went  a few times, never saw anyone with more than  few, and lost interest... Basically was  the "you should have been here  10 years ago"  type of thing... Oh well, missed out... Maybe they'll come back, but with  the Goby infestation, I have my doubts..

Link to post
Share on other sites
I moved here in 1991, and learned about the Smelt runs within the 1st year or two... Love to eat Smelt, so went and bought a net... Just as I was ready to get started I kept hearing about the great  downturn in the fishery.. Went  a few times, never saw anyone with more than  few, and lost interest... Basically was  the "you should have been here  10 years ago"  type of thing... Oh well, missed out... Maybe they'll come back, but with  the Goby infestation, I have my doubts..


Not for smelt .. it’s a speed net that was hand made for night fishing.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United
Link to post
Share on other sites

 old finger lakes antique we used on canandaigua and Keuka lakes for night fishing. I still have mine. I bought mine at sutton spoon company for 40 dollars back in the early  1970. these nets were made by an old woman from Pen Yan. the purpose of the speed net, catch sawbellies under the lights. The net didn't work for me. I couldn't catch one fish with the net. by the time the net hit the water. the bait moved away. I ended up using a ice fishing rod with 6 ft of line with 5 tiny cold hooks. I snagged my bait. its was an art trying to bring bait up at night. I had to work around the moon. it was best from early June through July. by august the bait was to deep to draw up with lights. this night fishing was different fishing all together. I fished Seneca a lot at night. when I fished it. I was the only guy out there. I was on my own. these fingers lakes like to kick up at night around midnight. The smaller lakes were very popular on weekend nights. it looked like a lit up city out there. I fished on week day nights. I loved being out there by my self. very relaxing. Today I would do something different. The hell with the bait. I caught fish. worst fish to catch was a rainbow. that sucker made a mess out of everything. canandaigua south end marina clarks had 2 good guides to go out with at night.     

Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember the smelt runs on these fingers lakes. what was the limit. a quart. On a good nigh I could go down to the Buffalo small boat harbor and fill up a 5 gallon bucked full of lake Erie smelt fishing at night Ice fishing with lights. smelt 8 inches long. boy this was good eating.

Link to post
Share on other sites
 old finger lakes antique we used on canandaigua and Keuka lakes for night fishing. I still have mine. I bought mine at sutton spoon company for 40 dollars back in the early  1970. these nets were made by an old woman from Pen Yan. the purpose of the speed net, catch sawbellies under the lights. The net didn't work for me. I couldn't catch one fish with the net. by the time the net hit the water. the bait moved away. I ended up using a ice fishing rod with 6 ft of line with 5 tiny cold hooks. I snagged my bait. its was an art trying to bring bait up at night. I had to work around the moon. it was best from early June through July. by august the bait was to deep to draw up with lights. this night fishing was different fishing all together. I fished Seneca a lot at night. when I fished it. I was the only guy out there. I was on my own. these fingers lakes like to kick up at night around midnight. The smaller lakes were very popular on weekend nights. it looked like a lit up city out there. I fished on week day nights. I loved being out there by my self. very relaxing. Today I would do something different. The hell with the bait. I caught fish. worst fish to catch was a rainbow. that sucker made a mess out of everything. canandaigua south end marina clarks had 2 good guides to go out with at night.     

I fished with John R. “The Answer “
We had some great times night fishing


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United
Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember him too. John Oravec did some night fishing also. these two guys moved up to Lake Ontario once that fishery got started. later 70s Don Swann did some night fishing. he sold spoons. Swann spoons. I bought a lot from him. he moved out later. The only one left when all these guys stopped fishing Canandaigua was Ron Irean spelling is wrong. happy hooker up on the north end did a little night fishing too. by the later 80s only ones doing it was guys like me and the others who could stay up all night. this night life is not for everyone. I can write a book about night life fishing. by 1130 pm. most guys got off the lake. about midnight fishing got better. lasted till 3 am. started trolling once the sun came up. fished till 11am. slept in the camper till 5. got ready and went out at 8 pm to fish another night. those were the good old days. I took guys out with me but they only lasted one night.  my best fishing buddy my black lab. this night fishing was very popular with the old timers. night fishing was a way of life for most of them. once the hight tech fishing got started it all died out. you people that read these post think night fishing is easy. your wrong. try setting up in 150 ft of water with 400 ft of anchor rope. sit there for two hours and wait for the bait to come up. then the wind comes up around midnight. all you see out there is white water. by the time I got back to shore my heart was racing. tough fishing. Seneca lake bad lake at night when the wind kicked up. but that lake produce fish at night.  new moon best fishing. full moon stay in and sleep. if I got 3 good nights during a month with no moon and good weather it was a lot. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
I remember him too. John Oravec did some night fishing also. these two guys moved up to Lake Ontario once that fishery got started. later 70s Don Swann did some night fishing. he sold spoons. Swann spoons. I bought a lot from him. he moved out later. The only one left when all these guys stopped fishing Canandaigua was Ron Irean spelling is wrong. happy hooker up on the north end did a little night fishing too. by the later 80s only ones doing it was guys like me and the others who could stay up all night. this night life is not for everyone. I can write a book about night life fishing. by 1130 pm. most guys got off the lake. about midnight fishing got better. lasted till 3 am. started trolling once the sun came up. fished till 11am. slept in the camper till 5. got ready and went out at 8 pm to fish another night. those were the good old days. I took guys out with me but they only lasted one night.  my best fishing buddy my black lab. this night fishing was very popular with the old timers. night fishing was a way of life for most of them. once the hight tech fishing got started it all died out. you people that read these post think night fishing is easy. your wrong. try setting up in 150 ft of water with 400 ft of anchor rope. sit there for two hours and wait for the bait to come up. then the wind comes up around midnight. all you see out there is white water. by the time I got back to shore my heart was racing. tough fishing. Seneca lake bad lake at night when the wind kicked up. but that lake produce fish at night.  new moon best fishing. full moon stay in and sleep. if I got 3 good nights during a month with no moon and good weather it was a lot. 
[/quote

We stayed on the boats all weekend. Fished with both “John’s “ and Dan C.
You’re right on about the night fishing. When full moon the bait would stay down about 10 feet .. m80s would bring them up Don’t forget the bass boats coming up the lake at 60mph in the morning to wake you up. Guys moved up to oak orchard in about 80 Here we are at the OakIMG_2896.JPG


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United
Link to post
Share on other sites

I know we have been here (night fishing topic) before but Ray brings up a lot of nostalgia :smile:. I too used to fish by myself out there at the south end of Canandaigua at night and Seneca and Keuka as well in my little 13 ft Whaler no less. I remember captains John Roides and John Oravec (often in his Greek fisherman's hat) at the south end of Canandaigua. They both had good sized boats that I thought were like the Queen Mary compared to me:lol: The marina that John and Miriam Clark owned was a bustling beehive of fishermen in those days and you'd put your money in the money box and launch but most of the time I launched at the public one there in Woodville. I also had one of those nets that I bought at Sutton's. It took awhile to learn how to get the sawbellies and smelt with it though. My technique was to hang only one of my Coleman lanterns from the boom of one of my Riviera downriggers so that the light was brighter on that side of the boat (which I could do because my boat was so small and low to the water) and when the bait came up I would scoop the edge of the school from the other side of the boat where the light wasn't so bright....often worked but you had to be real quick and have the net already in the water and wait until the bait was over it and then lift up.

As Ray mentioned it could be very lonely out there especially on the Seneca (mainly off Dresden)  and somewhat on Keuka when the lights went out from the cottages along the shoreline. If you didn't have much moonlight  you would have little ability to tell where you were out there until morning. It is hard to describe the thrill though when you nod off and then hear the drag playing out in the darkness with something unknown on the other end. Rainbows did indeed wreak havoc and the only clue might be hearing them splash from jumping out there somewhere in the darkness. The south end of Canandaigua was the most social of the places in the AM when folks came in and like Ray I usually trolled for a while before quitting. Probably hard to imagine the scenario for many folks today but it was a hell of a lot of fun at the time.

Edited by Sk8man
Link to post
Share on other sites

when I first saw you photo these fish didn't come out of Canandaigua. they had to come out of Lake Ontario. I read your post and I was right. I tried night fishing  once off golden hill state park Lake Ontario. I got the bait up but the weather  changed. I went in. those smaller finger lakes were much better fishing at night. how did you do with your speed net. if you caught fish with it you were pretty good. those guys had a system when they went out at night. they went up to Seneca point early during the season and moved south later in the summer. I never went up that far to find trout. I fished the drop off, off vine valley or fished off whiskey point in the middle of lake. always caught fish. that little bay around black point was good too. to far to travel at night with a smaller boat. Canandaigua sucked on weekends. the guy on the left side of photo was John R.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sk8man

 

you had balls to fish with a 13 footer on Seneca at night. did you launch from Sampson to fish Dresden. I stayed on the east side and fished off willard a lot. as you know nice drop off in this area . I never used a Coleman lantern. to dangerous to use in a boat at night.  lantern got to hot and brought in to many bugs. I used a 12 volt system with 20 watt bulbs connected to a 100 amp hour battery with bench shop lights. I clamped them to each side of boat and I tied off a floating light off the motor. I had bait all over the place front and back. could not catch a sawbelly with that net. I never went over to clarks marina. it was a big click. I stayed at the DEC launch site. I stayed overnight there too with my truck camper. only and hour and half ride from Arcade. back in those days. fishing was different. a generation of different fisherman. today its all geared up to see who can equipped their boat with all the fancy high tech toys that catch fisherman not fish. If I had the fish finder we use today and went out and Jig under the stars with the jig tipped with dead bait. we could catch fish this way. I know it will work. all you need is the 12 volt lighting system with 400 hundred feet of anchor rope. you could put that jig in the fish zone and see it on your fish finder. we had to use mini Seth green bait rigs to find the trout. I had 3 sowbellies tide to one pole. one pole on each side of boat. Lake trout were down about 70 feet. rainbows I tried to stay away from them. they made a mess out of everything.  as you know. when you went out by yourself its was dangerous. when we were younger we didn't think about it. 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I was a bit crazier back then :lol:. I did however switch to a headlamp connected to my battery which was still crazy as we did not have lithium batteries etc. back then to last long so I had to be real careful  but i always had my 4 HP Evinrude kicker  to get me back too. I fished exactly the way you described, You were also correct about the "click" I wasn't really a part of it with my little Whaler:lol:. but I knew most of the players. They used to bust me about the boat too saying "hey someone's dingy got loose".

 

On Seneca I launched mainly from Sampson but also once in awhile from Dresden. A guy used to have a small launch there and I gave him $5.00 and he let me park there. I would get my sawbellies at Jake's Bait Shop right in Dresden on Rt #14 or if I fished east side Seneca from Fisherman's Friend Bait and Tackle between Waterloo and Geneva. Walt the owner and I used to perch fish together too. I also agree that jigging at night would probably be VERY deadly on the lakers especially at night but I never did much of it until the nineties. I think some of my current back issues are a result of being huddled on the floor of the Whaler with life vests under me trying to get some shut eye lying sideways with my feet hanging over the gunwales as I'm 6 ft tall and not that much room between the bench seats :lol:

fishlight.jpg

Edited by Sk8man
Link to post
Share on other sites

I used one of those lights connect off the big motor. my other 2 bench lights clamped off the sides of boat. we didn't have lithium batteries back in those days. I never use the main battery from the boat. I used a heavy duty wet cell battery I used for a spare. I could go all night with 3 lights. I have a lithium battle born battery now for the camper. the price for one of these batteries will scare the birds away. I paid 950 dollars for it. it will be a long time before we see more of these batteries come down in price. I see more coming to market but don't match up with the battle born. I use now AGM in the boat one Vmaxx 100 AH, one 65 amp optima. I need another battle born for the camper. they have them now for 900 dollars. but waiting for them to come down a little more. I could build one for 600 dollars 200 amp lifepol4 to risky playing that game. if I got tired I just sit back and rest my eyes with the clicker set on the reel. when I here the clicker fish on. just hope I didn't have a rainbow on. I had no problem seeing in the dark. my eyes adjusted to darkness pretty fast. my flash light had a red plastic cover over it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My father, my uncle and myself used the hand line Seth Green rigs on Keuka, Canandaguia, Hemlock and Canadice. We used a home made adaptation to a Coleman lantern to get it out over the water with one on each side of the boat to attract saw bellies using white gas or Colman fuel. My dad and I later switched to propane lights. We have always used the hand line version for the Finger Lakes. 10' leaders with 2 hooks each, spaced 10' apart on mono) attached to the green "cloth" top line coming out of wood drawers stored 3 apiece in wooden boxes and went down with 7 leaders and saw bellies (5 for the shallower lakes). The drawers have screen bottoms with the left side divided up into 7 or 8 compartments where the hooks and the sinker are placed to keep them out of the leaders and lines. Some of the guys always called them "Set Screen Rigs" which I think they got confused with the actual name Seth Green Rigs. The lines and leaders are coiled in the drawers. We always place an outdoor magazine on the lines to hold them down. It also gave us something to read on a slow night. Anchored with enough rope to give the boat a good wide swing the Lakers, and the occasional Brown, Splake, Rainbow, or LL were in trouble. We used soup cans and later on plastic cups fastened together, filled with water and hung on the outside of the boat to put the saw bellies in as we pulled up the rigs. Like Ray 4852 said the Rainbows would raise hell with everything. When the line went slack you know you had one. They would jump right out of the water sometimes, and they liked to circle the boat wrapping up every ones lines and the anchor rope. Good times!  We'd dip saw bellies for bait with a net like the one in the picture. Used to be lots of boats out there back in the the day. A regular party every Saturday night. Sometimes in the midst of all those boats you would hear a Cherry Bomb go off in the water. (Maybe they forgot their dip net?). No one out there anymore on the Bluff or on Canadaguia at night. Too bad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good stuff! Nothing like "old school" :smile: It is a shame that many of the folks reading this are probably scratching their heads and wondering what the hell are they talking about? :lol: Perhaps not realizing how much fun they have missed.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Good stuff! Nothing like "old school" :smile: It is a shame that many of the folks reading this are probably scratching their heads and wondering what the hell are they talking about? :lol: Perhaps not realizing how much fun they have missed.


Was some great times. Got to read whole thread I have not yet.. how about
“Gator” when he came out of the bar and jumped the dock lol. I did get to meet Gid the game warden once.
Link to post
Share on other sites

my setup was simple and easy. I used a medium action rod with 10 pound test. I tied off my leader section with a tiny bead chain swivel. I spaced my mini rig  with 3 sawbellies per pole 4 ft apart with another bead chain small enough to go thru the pen 9 reel. my sawbelly leader was 24 inches long connect with a spring clips we use today the sawbelly can swim around the bead. at the end of line I used up to 2 ounces of lead to get the bait down to the depth I needed. 70 ft worked best for me. I set the clicker on the reel and free spool it. stuck it in the rod holder and waited to I hear the clicker. if you watch the old Jaws movie you would know what I'm talking about. who the hell needs M80 and cherry bombs. that's an old wives tale. my ice fishing rod with 5 tiny gold hooks spaced up 2 ft long. all I did was let the hooks sit in the water and the bait would come up to the hooks and slowly lift it out of the water with 3 sawbellies on it. bread balls worked too. when I caught a trout I had a section spaced with 3 cans full of water to stick the bait in it till I came up to the one with the trout on. I never used tribble hooks. I use one hook per bait. those tribble hooks were terrible. most of the time the hook would be in the trout stomach . single hook i got most of them out. this is hands on fishing. you have to be very skilled to be good at it. if you need flash lights to see what your doing you wont last with this sport. the darker the better. if I need a light it will shine red. I never used a Coleman lantern on my boat. one mistake I could have a fire. worst thing about them. they destroy night vision. I want light guided down not out. 

Edited by Ray4852
spelling
Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my Coleman's had a reflector that covered one side of it the other one I used foil to block the light and project it outward and not in my eyes. When I later switched to the attractor headlight the beam was directed downward so was not a factor.

My setup was basically like yours Penn9 reels on Medium action rods 10 lb mono (probably use fluoro now) 8 lb leaders about 2 ft long 4-6 ft apart.

I'll include pics of the materials for reference for folks that haven't experienced this stuff;.

 

The 2 ft leaders with #8 double hooks (tied my own) were attached to the loop end of the spring clips. The spring end was fastened to the clevice or between the middle beads of the bead chain that was spliced into the main 10 lb test line. I used the bead chains with the tiny clevice so that the bait could swim freely around the line without getting tangled. The sinker was located at the end of the main 10 lb test rig line. The line was lowered one bead chain at a time while threading a sawbelly on the leader just in front of the dorsal fin) with a threading needle such that the hook points were facing backward toward the tail just under the skin and avoiding the backbone as the fish would usually swallow the bait head first. Sometimes I would just hook the hook through the upper and lower mouth of the bait,  This type of fishing is done suspended as  you are drawing fish up from the bottom and from the sides and hopefully away from your anchor line. Ray is right about the tiny (#14) hooks catching both sawbellies and smelt as well on the bare hooks. today we would probably use the smallest sabiki rig available on an ice fishing jigging rod and just trim off one of the 6 hooks

lantern.jpg

nightrig.jpg

needles.jpg

Edited by Sk8man
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Still plenty of us out at night fishing!  We used tent poles that had a pointed end in the holes where oarlocks went.  The poles were bent and the lanterns were white gas with heat shields, we used them to smelt in waders as well.  Never gave the fire hazard a thought, but the bugs were awful!  We were fishing eyes under the bait we pulled up.  The speed net is the exact net we used to smelt I think.  The guy who took me back then had the gear.  I'll have to ask him about where he got them.  He is battling cancer now and for the first time in his life he couldn't get out and hunt.  I managed to get him a deer and process it the way he does it and drop it off.  Thanks for the posts....brings back some great memories of a better time...imo at least!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...