Tag Archives: Jackson Kayak

“We’ve all had those days”

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.

Southern coast of Otisco Lake in Central NY
Southern coast of Otisco Lake in Central NY

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.

my only fish of the day
My only fish of the day… 11.75″

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.

Any day on the water... Is a good day!
Any day on the water… Is a good day!

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.

Kayak Anglers of NY Group at Otisco Lake
Kayak Anglers of NY Group at Otisco Lake

Your Own… Finger Lakes

Kayaking has always been around the Finger Lakes region of New York. The eleven different lakes within the region all have something special and significant to offer all levels of paddlers. These lakes have also been host to many different fishing tournaments. However in the recent years a new sport has begun to spread through the area, a sport that combines both of these heavily populated past times, Kayak Fishing.

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The Finger Lakes Region of New York is a prime location for this growing sport. No matter what type of water you are looking to get into, the Finger Lakes have it. Seneca Lake, the largest of the eleven lakes is known as “The Lake Trout capital of the world”. At 35 miles long and over 600 feet deep in some points, there are hundreds of areas to get lost on a kayak for the day. If Seneca Lake and its plentiful supply of Lake Trout are to “flashy” for you, there are many other options for you. Just a twenty minute drive away is the much smaller, calmer, Keuka Lake. This “wishbone” shaped lake is 20 miles long and only a little more than 100 feet deep is home to some of the best small mouth bass in the state. Keuka Lake has many streams and inlets that the bass love to call home, and the low traffic on the lake make the fish more than abundant, and very hungry.

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These are only two examples of the eleven main lakes that make up our beautiful region, and this article doesn’t even start to count the dozens of smaller lakes and canals that connect them all together, making the Finger Lakes a true center for anyone looking to get into the sport of kayak fishing.

Another advantage of the area is the accessibility of the main lakes, with one of the largest cities in the Finger Lakes on the northern tip, Geneva; Seneca Lake is one of the most accessible lakes in the region.  This accessibility makes Seneca Lake home to the most tournaments throughout the years, many of which have even started Kayak divisions, and have gotten small specialized kayak shops to even come into these tournaments as sponsors.

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Just like in any sport, the correct equipment for your specific paddling style can make or break your experience on the water. That is why it is always important for growing areas such as the Finger Lakes to have and support these types of businesses. Bringing their education as well as high quality kayak companies; like the market leader, Jackson Kayaks, to the attention of the customer. These shops are a very important to any “up and coming” area.  Fuzzy Guppies, located in the heart of the Finger Lakes, has that role filled. Specializing in all things kayak fishing, this organization can amplify your experience tenfold.

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Everyone in the area has their own favorite hole on their favorite lake. For me, it doesn’t get any better than putting my Jackson Coosa fishing kayak in on the north shore of Seneca Lake, paddling down the east coast, away from all the motor boats and jet skis, and throwing that perfectly quiet cast along that ridge bank where I know there will be an extra hungry large mouth waiting for a fight, a special area where only a kayak and a fish can get to. It’s kind of unfair for those “motor-heads” in there $60k bass boats if you ask me. However, if it is a busy weekend, and I can see it would be hard for me to get away from the noise and craziness I am trying to escape, I drive to my second favorite fishing spot on Keuka Lake. Drop my Coosa in the Outlet just south of the town of Penn Yan, NY and paddle up the east shore, where I would never see one boat, but a ton of Small mouths.

These are important resources or always keep in mind when you make a trip to New York’s Finger Lakes region, but it is only the beginning, each lake truly is unique, offering the paddler a completely new feel and experience. It is important for you to get out and start fishing these lakes, and get your own favorite. Besides, I am not going to give you all of my favorite secret locations right out of the gate….

The new Coosa HD from Jackson Kayak

Check out one of my favorite kayak lines, and the new version of one of there best fishing models. If you are looking to get into a new kayak this fishing season, check this one out at your nearest kayak shack… like Fuzzy Guppies, if you are in my neck of the woods.

More info to come!