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.