Mickey’s Oneida Lake Report

When it comes to Oneida Lake giving up its walleyed pike during the first few weeks of the season, there are a few tactics worth noting. Cold water temperatures and post spawn fish usually mean shallow water opportunity. Don’t put those stick baits away yet, you know the one you threw last fall, mostly in vain. Fact is in the Spring, the night time offshore bite can be just as productive as the fall bite, providing that there is no overabundance of forage, in this case shad. Maybe the spring bite will prove better; Its worth a try, and an on-shore breeze can help.

If it’s open water that gets your attention, try hitting them over the head with “Sonar” blade baits. This is where water temperature can be a factor. The warmest water and early weed formation will be found on the north shore of Oneida Lake. Try using jigs that imitate the round goby in the ¼ to 3/8-ounce range. Another good imitation would be the perch jig or blade bait. If you’re a troller, it might be a good idea to drag Thunder Stick Jr’s in 10 to 25 feet of water; you will not have much in the way of weeds to contend with. Chrome and black or blue are good color choices.

It’s been reported that this upcoming Walleye season may be just as challenging as last season due to an overabundance of shad and round gobies. It’s also been suggested that the gobies are putting a dent in the zebra and quagga muscle population; This may result in reducing water clarity. Walleyes being light sensitive creatures may become more emboldened  under these conditions. In the old days; the Seventies, you could flat line a #7 silver Rapala in the middle of a sunny day and boat five fish within an hour. The most productive color jig was chartreuse. The best fishing line to use was Mahogany King, a coffee colored line made by The Us Line Co.  I don’t think were quite there yet, but things do change over time.


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