Posts Tagged ABA

ABA New York West Division on Oneida Lake

This past weekend I fished as a rider in the last divisional event for the bassmaster weekend series, New York West Division on Oneida Lake.  This was the championship so it was a two day event held on Saturday and Sunday.  Much like Leo has said in the past, these guys from the ABA do a fine job at putting on a tournament.

Leo and I arrived at Oneida Lake Thursday afternoon and practiced both Thursday and Friday.  We found some solid spots around some of the shoals that littered the lake.  The main pattern was a 3/8 or ½ oz white spinnerbait over 10 or so feet of water.   Let me tell you that the smallmouth in Oneida are some of the strongest fighting smallies I have every seen.  In fact I didn’t talk to too many guys that didn’t have at least one spinnerbait broken by these guys, I myself broke two.  The secondary pattern was to pull a green pumpkin tube or beaver.

Day one of the tournament was not what I would call and nice day on the water.  Heavy winds produced some bumpy conditions, 3 to 5 footers.  Despite the bad weather conditions my boater was on good fish and I was able to get limit of solid fish using my ½ oz white spinnerbait on day one. This put me right where in needed to be for day two.

On day two the wind had died off a little but the rain moved in.  My boater had some smallmouth he fished in practice about half way down the lake so after a few stops in the morning we decided to run down and see if we could get into them.  We pulled up to spot and within an hour had a small limit.  We worked this area for the reset of the day and we were able to cull up but not quite to the quality of fish from day one.  Once again just about every fish came on a ½ oz white spinnerbait, a few came on a green pumpkin tube.

I was able to put together my first top 5 finish in this series, finishing 4th.  All in all it was a good weekend of fishing.  If I learned one thing from this trip it was that I’m more out of shape then I ever thought possible.  Throwing a ½ oz spinnerbait for four straight days had my arms sore.  I have no idea how KVD does it.

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Chautauqua Bass Tournament

I fished in the third division event in the New York West Division of the Bassmaster Weekend Series on Saturday.  The tournament was held at Lake Chautauqua and was run by the ABA.  These guys do a great job making sure the tournament runs smoothly and the weigh-in is fast to help get the fish back to the water.

Last week I had stated that I was really excited for the upcoming tournament.  Friday’s practice left me feeling about that I would be able to land about 13-15 pounds of fish.  Depending on how many big bites I was able to get.  Friday I found fish in the weeds, on docks, and on laydowns.  I only stuck 1 fish in each location, but I managed about 13-14 lbs worth of fish and 2 of them were in the 3 3/4lb range.  The key to my bite on friday was to leave the lure fish perfectly still.  The water temperature varied from 66-70 degrees depending on the end of the lake and time of day.

Towards the end of practice on Friday and during the pre tournament meeting Friday night the winds started to pick up.  You guessed it, a cold front was about to come through.  Throughout the course of the night we got hit with high winds, heavy rains, and even a little bit of hail.  This being said I new that the conditions were about to get even harder on the lake.

At the start of the tournament the winds were relatively mild and out of the west.  I started on a weed line where I caught on of my good fish the day before and punch a few lure in the 8 feet of weeds.  With no success I moved to the shallow flat adjacent to the weeds looking for an agressive bite.  Once again, I couldn’t get an agressive strike.  I went back to the weeds for another 20 minutes or so with no success.  At this point I worked towards a long row of docks and started fishing them.  The first dock I threw at I pulled a 5lb largemouth bass.  At this point I was thinking that I had a great chance to get a big weight.  After working the rest of the docks on the stretch and not getting a hit I ran to another spot.

I pulled into a set of docks that had a bunch of potoon boats.  The potoon boats were key to my pattern.  On my very first cast I hooked up with a small keeper that jumped off.  A few casts later I caught a small keeper.  Ten minutes later I caught another small keeper.  To say that least I couldn’t find our where the big fish or even average (2.5lb) fish had gone from the week before.

After fishing all of the docks in that area, I decided to run back to my first spot in the weeds.  That decision was based on the fact that I caught a couple big fish over there in practice and I thought it was a matter of time for the weeds to turn on.  I was wrong.  Once I decided that I wouldn’t get hit anymore in the spot it was time to move again.  I tried to hit a couple more spots, but there were guys on them.  So, I decided to run south to fill my limit.

When I arrived at the creek I decided to flip the lay downs that I caught a 3 3/4lb fish from the day before.  There was a big difference this time though.  the wind was ripping from the North and blasting the shallow shoreline with waves.  This made it very difficult to flip the laydowns, but I managed to get a 2lber and my limit with another small keeper.  I tried multiple other spots and had no success.  Looking for a couple more good fish I went back to the north to find guys in every spot I wanted.

Before I knew it the tournament was over and I had to leave.  Overall, I finished with a 5 bass limit that weighed 11.48lbs.  It was not what I had planned for, but it was good enough to place 16th and give me some valuable points toward the AOY standings.  After the tournament I moved up in the standing from being tied for 9th place to being tied for 5th place.

If I had it to do over I believe that I would have never left the northern end of the lake.  Conditions were tough, but if I would have tried more things in the areas I had fish maybe I could have gotten a couple more good bites.

Now it is time to get ready for the fourth event which will be at Canandaigua Lake, NY on September 12.  I am really looking forward to fishing that tournament because I have never been to that body of water.

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Well after spending this past weekend practicing at Chautauqua for my upcoming B.A.S.S. tournement, I am pumped to get back up there.  Every time I go to New York to fish I leave thinking about the next time I will be heading back.  The combination of beautiful lakes, great fishing, and friendly people make it a pleasure to visit.

This past weekend the weather made fishing more than a little difficult.  Saturday the wind was ripping and there was a mix of rain and sun shine.  The lake laid down towards the evening and I was able to get some nice fish.  Sunday I woke up to the wind being a little more calm, but it rained the majority of the day.  The surface was temperature varied.  I saw temps as warm as 74 degrees and as low as 68 degrees.  The lake seemed to be turning over because there was a thick layer of green alge floating in the water.  It was so thick in certain spots that it affected the sonar.

The fishing wasn’t stellar, but I did manage to get some really nice largemouth.  The aggressive bite was not on at all.  I also couldn’t get bit punching weeds.  Which is very confusing because that lake is covered in weed cover.  I managed to find a pattern that I managed to catch 5 keepers saturday that weighed over 13 pounds, and 5 keepers sunday that weighed over 14 pounds.  I fished this pattern about 1/10 of the time I was on the water.  I feel that if I would have worked 2 of my spots that I could possible end up with the 20 pound bag that I will need this saturday.

If you remember my post about Chautauqua in the spring I was catching mostly smallmouth.  This trip I only managed 2 smallmouth and a bunch of largemouth.  I am not real sure where they have disappeared to but I know if I am going to win I better find them this friday.

For anyone that wants to check out weigh-in we will be at Long Point State Park.  Weigh-in should start around 3:00 pm and last for at least 1 hour.  The Bassmaster Weekend Series – run by the ABA does a great job with fish conservation and public relations.  Come on out and see it for yourself.

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