Capt. Gerry Bresadola and I fished Oswego Harbor May 28. Figuring the early bird gets the first worm, we left the dock at 6 a.m. By 6:20 we were trolling between the detached wall and west wall. Running three Michigan Stingers off downriggers in depths ranging from 14 to 20 feet, and flatlining another on lead core three colors out, we moved around the harbor in a circular pattern, heading a little further north with each pass. I watched the rods with great anticipation.
At 10 a.m. we landed two browns simultaneously; both small. Agreeing that gas was too expensive to waste chasing little fish, we called it a day. Curious why the bite was so meager, I asked Gerry if he could come up with an explanation. After all, in 1997 he led a client to a 33 lb. 2 oz. brown that still reigns as NY's record; so I figured if anyone knew something about the species it had to be him.
Quick as a chinook striking cut bait, he replied, rather poetically for an old salt: "The answer is blowing in the wind."
And that's it in a nut shell. The wind was blowing out of the east, scattering warm water, and the browns, all over the place. If it had come out of the northwest, blowing cold water inshore, the trout would have stormed in to bask in the mild temperatures the Oswego River pours into the harbor.
But all wasn't lost. Before heading home, I went to Wright’s Landing to try my luck with a grub-tipped jig. I nailed a few palm-sized Bluegills, a 10-inch rock bass and some yellow perch ranging from eight to 10 inches.
Local tackle shop owner Larry Muroski says panfish, including some crappies, have been hitting well at Wright’s Landing and he expects they'll continue to for a little while. He also reports that some huge walleyes are being taken near the H. Lee White Marine Museum by guys tossing grub-n'-jigs for panfish.
Strange but True: Capt. Bresadola tells me the client he led to the state record brown trout was himself named Brown; and cleverly adds: "The next day I went looking for someone named Chinook to take fishing."
Scott Brown holding an Oswego Harbor Brown. Photo by Captain Gerry Bresadola
Andy Brown holding a sheepshead. Photo by Captain Gerry Bresadola