Starting small

I was too tired to write my diary yesterday after fishing into the evening and fiddling with tackle well into the night. McDonald’s in Brewerton opens at 5 a.m. When the doors opened at the Golden Arches this morning, I was there, computer in hand.

A sausage egg McMuffin and a large black coffee kick-started my brain so I could begin writing. Valerie and I finally got on the water well after daylight.

The wind was still blowing, but we were greeted with bright sunshine and warmer temperatures. The weather change lifted our spirits.

We started where we left off yesterday. We tried a variety of techniques with the intent of tuning into the smallies, but caught only one there. Not much of a pattern.atter

From there we ventured to one of Oneida’s many offshore humps. There is a major tournament happening here this weekend. Those fishermen, combined with the anglers practicing for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open, didn’t leave many humps unoccupied.

There were four other boats on the hump we fished. That’s where Valerie landed her first Oneida Lake bass. It was a smallmouth pushing 3 pounds. She soon caught another. We did a casual kabuki dance, trying not to let the other anglers around us see the bass as we landed and released them.

I caught one and shook off a few more. Then we left. Val’s first bass was the biggest. It was a great boost for her confidence.

We tried to duplicate the pattern at other humps with limited success. I caught a good smallmouth late in the day along a nice drop-off that looks to have good potential. We’ll start there tomorrow.

At some point over the next two days, we need to make a serious attempt to find largemouth bass in the shallows. This tournament might be won with three limits of smallmouth bass. But, I believe the winner is likely to catch at least a few kicker largemouths.

If I get a better handle on the smallmouths tomorrow, I’ll dedicate Tuesday to largemouths. That’s a pretty big if.

I’m writing this dairy by campfire light so I can send it in before daylight tomorrow. I plan to be on the water early and hit it hard.

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