This past Sunday marked the first stop in the kayak fishing tour series, Kayak-Anglers of NY. The brand new division of the well formed Pennsylvania organization, which has three PA divisions throughout the state, granted the right to expand into the Central NY region this past spring, as long as the demand was there. The organization follows simple clear cut rules that are enforced throughout all four chapters. Rules such as: Catch, Photo, and Release. No live baits, and closed mouth measuring, to name a few. The interest was defiantly there on social media and chat rooms for the NY Chapter, but having an actual event was going to tell us just how the season would pay out.
The First stop on the tour, as I said earlier, was last Sunday. Check in was at the Otisco Lake campgrounds and marina, on the Southeast shore of a 5 mile long by one mile wide lake, a half an hour south west of the city of Syracuse. Upon arrival to the campground I was greeted by some get people, exciting about getting out on the water. After setting up my Coosa, getting my ID card and hearing a few guidelines, we were released on the water, with plans to meet back at the campground at 3:30PM.
I started out heading down to the south shore, there we so many pockets and downed trees I thought it was a bass paradise. I even found a nice stream at the south shore I thought was perfect, I spent almost three hours down there with nothing but a few nibbles to show for my time so I decided to head north.
I paddled about two miles north along the west coast of the lake, taking time to through some lines whenever a dock caught my eye… still nothing but nibbles. Keep in mind throughout this time I am changing back and forth from crank baits, spinners, and rubber worms, but yet still nothing. However there was hope in the air, when I saw the channel entering into the north end of the lake, I headed through and started floating down the north east side of the stone break wall, but still nothing!
It was at this point I started to think something was wrong with me, looking at the live tournament scoring it was easy to see that not everyone was having my luck. So I decided to stay positive and keep “fishing”. So I wrapped around the shore keeping with my plan of staying with docks and pockets along the way.
Then, finally, around 1PM, I get a hit! Most fun I have had all day! However, I get the fish on the boat and it measures a deflating 11.75”. I take a deep breath and say, maybe my day is turning around, “there are fish around here”. However from then till about quarter till three, nothing, not even a glimmer of hope.
I made the decision to head back to the camp to get the day over with, but I was going to take my time getting back, because I was not going to lose hope. About half way back I threw my crank under a dock and got a hit! A nice battle with a solid sized bass, only quality battle I had all day. While fighting, I am telling myself, “I knew the day would turn around”. Seemingly just when I told myself that I had the sucker laying right next to the yak, and getting my net ready to scoop the nice 20 incher beauty into my coosa, and at that exact moment it twisted just right and broke off my hook. The perfect end of my perfect day I thought to myself. Believe me I stayed there for a while trying to get that puppy back on the line, but to no avail. And on that note, my day on the water was over. Today the lake had won; I went limping off to the weigh in, feeling completely deflated.
I got out of the water, feeling like I have just double bogeyed the last hole of the masters, and in no mood to chat. My mood was quickly changed however by the other great people who are part about this awesome organization. The terms “we’ve all been there before” and “we’ve all had those days” made me feel better, even talking to the people that did not land a fish at all. These conversations and friendly jesters are what make the world of fishing so great, you can have a complete bust out on the water, but at the end of the day, you are still out on the water.
There is nothing truer than the statement “We’ve all had those days” but you cannot let that ever stop you from hitting the paddle to the water. In the end you have to remember that everyone has been there, and when the group gives you a “joke prize” called “the rat” for the day’s smallest fish, give you a hat with a stuffed mouse on it, and make you take a photo with the hat on for the tournament website. It will only get you more excited to go out at the next stop and win it all! Don’t worry, I will see you all at the next event.