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Catching Up

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Hey all, haven't posted on here in ages but I figured it was time to post up my decent catches from my time off.


Starting in Summer 2021, I had been fishing since the season opened in May looking to break the 30" mark once again. I was consistently catching pike for the first time, but they were all mid-high 20s, not quite what I was looking for. I was fishing one spot pretty heavily and started to get pretty dialed on the bite with a small soft bait. I casted to my most productive spot and got smoked, set the hook and I knew it was over 30 immediately. Got her in and although she was in rough shape she went 32" and I was stoked.





Shortly after, the river flooded and my pike fishing was done for the rest of the summer. I went up to school in Syracuse and didn't have any time to fish but came back in mid-October and stopped at a spot I thought may produce given the flooded conditions, of course the river levels didn't go down after the first flood in July. I was fishing a mid-size softbait and popped it out of some grass to immediately feel the tick and slack line I was looking for. Got the fish in and the stoke was high given that it was my first fish in months at 32". Got to get out with a good buddy too which is always a bonus.




I finished my semester excited to come home and fish for these pike more. Unfortunately I was unable to catch any over my available time during winter break, instead shifting gears towards trophy walleye where I was only marginally more successful actually catching fish. 


My Spring semester started and once again I did not have time to fish. Spring break came around and I had 2 days to fish before the season closed and I took full advantage. In the time I had I caught 4 fish but interacted with well over 30, most in their low 20s but some definitely over 30 and one I believe to be pushing 40 (I'll be back for that one this year). My first day I caught this 32" crawling a big softbait near bottom on a hump in the river channel, a spot that has produced well for me in the past. I felt the tick and before I knew it I had the shakes again. I was expecting the chaos to continue, which it did, just not for me. My buddy caught 3 over 30 that day, one being well over my PB. The next day I was out again, this time all day, determined to get some solid fish but it wasn't meant to be. Got one high 20s and that's about all that's worth mentioning.







Fast forward to this Summer and I am working on the biomonitoring crew at Onondaga Lake, and have ample time to fish with a roommate who is just as addicted, all be it for bass. We started going to Otisco in a small 14' boat with only a 30lb thrust trolling motor. It didn't take long to get my first tiger, although I'm not sure how legit it really is. We were fishing a weed bed and I saw a head swimming around. I casted my 8" walking bait at it and after pretty much hitting it, the fish maybe struck, still not sure. I brought the fish in and neither hook were in the mouth so I took a quick pic and released it, not considering it a truly legit catch. Shortly after missing quite a few on a small glide bait I was throwing, I hooked up again, this time legit. Got the fish in the boat and unhooked her, quickly placed the fish in the water to get some air and she got away. I was just happy to have caught my first legit tiger and that she swam away healthy, but it dd ignite a bit of a fire.





We went back a few times, interacting with multiple tigers each trip but never hooking up on any. Taking a break from tigers I took a trip back to home waters for a river float for my birthday. Being that it was mid-summer and I hadn't floated this section of the river before I was expecting smallmouth but was still prepared with pike gear. Got about halfway through the float and had interacted with 3 or 4 pike, hooking none, each striking multiple times and missing, often going airborne for the glide I was using. Finally hooked up on one and was happy to see a near 30" fish come up, not bad for my first pike in months.





Back up in Syracuse, my pike buddy and I went to Otisco hoping for one more chance at fish before temps were too high. We shot up to the spot and immediately had action with a strike and follow. Shortly after I got another strike, the fish never felt hooks so I casted back and she ate again, my PB tiger at 32". I just seem to be stuck catching 32" Esox hahaha. Shortly after, the wind died and so did our bite, very Esox of them.




After my first river float this summer I was a little addicted to that stretch and the bite I got on, so I went back with the other technicians from work. Same story, missing nearly every fish even with multiple strikes. Had this fish eat 3 or 4 times, chasing it up yakside finally and hooking up. After a long fight avoiding the rapids and fighting the fish I brought her to shore and was happy to hold my first over 30 since March. 





I have been fishing a little recently, but have missed all opportunities since with Esox, including some tigers pushing 40". Hopefully there will be more to come with my winter break coming up soon! If you read this far I hope you enjoyed hahaha, I know it's a lot

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7 minutes ago, muskiedreams said:

Didn't you try for tigers and pike in Onondaga Lake and the Seneca River while you were working there?

Sure did. Interacted with quite a few, never hooked up or landed any. Tigers up to 40 eating boatside and pike into the high 30s following were highlights but couldn't convert any. We got 2 tigers (both over 40") and quite a few pike (30-42") in our gill nets this summer which kind of scratched the itch but also rubbed salt in the wound

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2 hours ago, muskiedreams said:

Do you know about what kind of contaminant levels Onondaga Lake fish have compared to Finger Lakes fish?

I don't know about any contaminants other than Mercury, but as far as that goes they are higher. Although they are higher, they are almost within what is considered safe in most species so the remediation of the lake has been somewhat successful

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