Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Late June Walleyes on Oneida Lake

Todd Frank holding a 20 inch Walleye. Wantry Island is behind him to the right.

I fished with Todd Frank on Wednesday on Oneida Lake. For those of you unfamiliar with the professional walleye circuit, Frank happens to be NY's brightest star in this highly competitive and challenging game.

And he proved it -- in spades.

Having just gone through a couple of global warming-type days pushing into the 90s, a cold front moved in, all but shutting the walleyes down. We spent a good two hours searching for the beasts.

Oh, we found them all right, but they were shut down like city hall on Sunday. Luckily, we happened on schools of smallmouths ranging from 1 ½ to 3 pounds, sunfish and rock bass big enough to write home to Mother about, and white perch that hit so hard, the planer boards shuddered.

We nailed all these fish in weeds between 10 and 15 feet deep. Frank caught the majority-and the biggest-on an Orange/Yellow Northland jighead tipped with a worm; I got mine on the same color jighead tipped with a Gulp Alive 3-inch leech.

After a little while, we took off in search of walleyes again, running in all directions, checking out every transition zone, rock pile, and weed bed in the Oswego County piece of the lake.

Known nationwide for his trolling skills, Frank put them to work. We flatlined a Tail Dancer and Bomber on either side of the boat, 100 feet out, off planer boards; a Smithwick Rogue dragged down by a snap weight and a Tail Dancer on lead core, four colors out, ran directly behind the boat.

Frank watched the Lowrance LCX-113 hd for fish, and his intuition kept tabs on the rods (either that or he has eyes on the side of his head).

Between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. we reached his goal; two limits of tasty walleyes ranging from 15 to 20 inches long; all taken 15 to 18 feet down in water 30 feet deep.

Frank seemed mystical, able to get walleyes to hit in the brightest time of day -- when just about everyone knows they're not supposed to, but - this is Oswego County, so why was I surprised that the fishing was far beyond the ordinary??

Frank holding two Oneida Lake Pumpkinseeds

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