Tag Archives: NY

“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

NOW is the time!

I understand that a lot of you will think I am crazy when i say this, you will look outside your window and probably yell at me through your computer screen… but its true. Spring is right around the corner! And now is the time to get yourself into the paddling “game”

Fuzzy Guppies Kayak in the snow
Fuzzy Guppies Kayak in the snow

You see now is the time that your local paddle shop is working hard on all of their “Pre-Season” orders, for all of their boat lines. They are working hard to make sure that they bring you the boat that YOU want. Asking, “What boats work for our area?” “What do my customers want?” and “what will make me stand out in my area?” These are all extremely important questions, ones that make or break any business out there really.

There are two times really when a paddler can get a great deal on their boat. The first is at the end of the season, the shop will want to sell off the boats that they couldn’t move through the summer season, this is a great way to get a boat if you don’t care what color it is, are open minded on the style, and don’t mind some bumps and bruises (sometimes they can be demo boats). However, if you want to get a brand new boat, at a great price, and have it be EXACTLY what you want, there is another time to buy… NOW.

Now is the perfect time to reach out to your local paddle shop, ask them about the new lines coming out, tell them what you are looking for in a boat, where you would like to paddle, what style paddling you like to do… and they can fit you with a few awesome incoming lines for you to look at. Take that information and do some homework, look them up on line, read reviews, check out kayaking forums on those specific boats                                         (http://www.kayak-anglers.com/forum/) is a great one! And learn all you can about the boats they pointed you in. NOTE: I will always be the first one to advocate “TRY and BUY” when it comes to kayaks… the local shops are awesome at letting you test out boats before you buy them, this makes a huge a big difference if you can do it locally..

That being said, if you know what you want, this is the best time you will have all year to make your purchase! Since companies are making their orders now anyway, you will be able to order exactly the boat you want: Make, Model, Color, Accessories… everything!  And because of this, shops might offer you great deals on shipping, accessories, custom colors and add ons, and even special package deals with paddles and or vests (Things that over the season, you might pay a big premium for.)

Also, always remember to talk to your local shop about services they offer. A lot of local shops stand apart from the big box stores because of their customer service, and their “extras”. Some might offer free installation on accessories, or a percentage off mounts or gear with your boat purchase. I know my local shop always gives you shop swag when you purchase a boat (www.fuzzyguppies.com)

Get on the phone (or email) your shop today, remember those points and get a conversation going with them. You might be surprised with the deal you come out with… but you won’t be surprised when you get exactly what you want… before the season starts!

youth kayaking at Fuzzy Guppies in the Finger Lakes
youth kayaking at Fuzzy Guppies in the Finger Lakes

NOTE: I stole the winter photo above from Fuzzy Guppies webpage. I know I need my own photos, and I will get them up here, as soon as I get out of this winter snow globe I seem to be living in.

Happy Paddling!