Bassmaster Elite Series pro Dave Wolak gets warm and fuzzy feelings anytime his Toyota Tundra takes him north to Oneida Lake, NY. While Wolak never fished a tournament on Oneida prior to turning pro, he grew up just two hours south of Syracuse, and fished the Finger Lakes region a lot with his family as a kid.
"The mention of Oneida brings good thoughts of growing up fishing the northern waters of New York, and more recent memories of good finishes there. Oneida puts my mind at ease, and gives me confidence," said Wolak.
And 'confident' he should be, following last year's 5th place finish there. But Wolak warns that living off the past is a dangerous equation. "I'm going into this event with an open mind; everytime I go there the locations and lure selections change for me, so I don't feel comfortable predicting what lures will for sure work best. I'll do a lot of searching in practice with a jerkbait, a spinnerbait and a YUM tube — which is pretty much the 'kitchen sink,'" he explained.
As for whether Wolak will target smallmouth or largemouth, again he insists on letting that unfold with no preconceived notion. "I won't be afraid to change or move around. Oneida is basically one giant flat, and the bass typically move wherever the yellow perch go because they love to feed on them. Last year I caught largemouth one day and smallmouth the next, it all depends on what's active. I will say this; there's a ton of bass in Oneida, so if you're not getting bit, you better change quickly, because you can be sure somebody's catching them while you're not," concluded the 3-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier.