Lake Oneida outside Syracuse, New York has been the hot spot for largemouth bass over the last few weeks. James Daher at Mickey’s Bait and Tackle (fishingcny.com) told us, “The BASS guys were just here and they had a great time and the FLW tournament is on its way.” Tom suggests that tournament competitors use topwater lures on the shallow weed beds and tube jigs on the drop-offs and weed-holes. “Bass fishing is phenomenal,” he said. In addition to largemouth, James told us that Oneida is overpopulated with smallmouth. The fish are falling for spinnerbaits fished around any structure. “They’re big smallmouth,” James said, “I call them warriors.” Outside the bass hoopla, perch fishing is the big star on the lake. The fish are starting to school up along the deeper sections of Lake Oneida around Frenchman’s and Dunham Island. James suggests anchoring in 11 to 18 feet of water and using a fathead minnow on a bottom rig to load the box with fat perch. James said that walleye fishing has been good for guys drifting with worm harnesses and Dixie spinners. He suggests focusing on the deeper parts of the lake from 18 to 30 feet of water especially in the channel between buoys 125 to 183. For anglers who can tear their attention away from the lake, James said that the trout streams in southern Onondaga County are on fire. He said that browns and rainbows are responding to small worms on a size 8 hook a few inches below a small split shot. “Fly fishing is all ways lucrative,” he says, “insects are abundant in Onondaga county.”
Chattahoochee River, Georgia—“We got muddy rivers,” reports Paul Puckett at The Fishhawk (thefishhawk.com) in Atlanta, Georgia. The remnants of hurricane Fay had inundated the area with rain, but once the water clears, Paul expects the upper Chattahoochee to produce good numbers of fat trout for guys throwing small midge dries and lightning bug nymphs. Paul suggests fishing above Morgan Falls Lake. “Thirty minutes outside of town and you’re catching trout,” Paul instructs anglers to park at Abbott’s Bridge, Jones Bridge, or Settles Bridge and walk the river. “A 5 wt rod with floating line should get the job done,” he said. Although the fish will feed through the day, he says that the best bite is from 9 AM to noon and again from 4 PM until dark. He expects the mountain streams to pick up steam in the next month. He suggests fishing from Ellijay to Smokey Mountain Park in the Toccoa River. “The same strategies will work,” he says, “but I would throw more streamers to catch bigger browns and rainbows.”
_Dallas, Texas—_From Fish’n World (fishnworld.com) in Dallas, Texas, Royce Martin reported that sand bass and hybrid bass are schooled up and feeding in Ray Roberts Lake, Lake Tawakoni, and Lake Texoma. “Drive the boat around the lake looking for birds or just head for the other boats that are congregated over the fish,” he said. Once on the scene he suggests using T&T Slabs and Humdingers. “Just throw it out and let the lure fall through the school,” he says. While the striped bass bite is hot, Royce says that largemouth bass fishing has cooled off with the hot weather. He says to look for the fish in deep water with Carolina rigs and rubber worms or a deep diving crank bait like a Norman DD 22. “Fish the road beds and humps in 20 to 30 feet of water,” he said. He suggests cruising around the structure while watching the fish finder for signs of bass. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon, Royce says that the bass can be pulled out of the hydrilla with topwater plugs..
_Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota—_From Joe’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rob Buche told us that fishing has been pretty slow. He said that the best bet for local anglers is fishing for smallmouths in Mille Lacs Lake. Rob suggests using a slip bobber and leach around rock piles for the smallies. Even walleye and muskie fishing has slowed down, he said. As can be expected, fishing for northern pike remains good with crankbaits and spinnerbaits. “You throw out almost anywhere and you’ll catch northerns,” he says. Rob expects muskie fishing to pick up in September. “All the fish will be putting on the feedbag,” he says. Rob says that Mill-Lacs is one of the best lakes in the nation for muskies. He tells anglers to troll the north end of the lake with large crankbaits or to throw Cow Girls or double spinner blade topwater plugs to the weeds and lake edges. He also suggests anglers look to Lake Minnetonka for muskie; one of his customers brought in a photo of a 56 incher that he pulled out of the lake the other night. “Walleye fishing should also pick up in the next month,” he says, recommending anglers fish the Rainy River. “That’s a great place to catch 10 to 12 pound walleye,” he says. The best method for walleye is to vertically jig a shiner, fat head, or rainbow minnow on a ½-ounce to ¼-ounce jighead. “The biggest fish will be closer to the Lake of the Wood’s side of the river,” Joe hinted.
_Denver, Colorado—_Something smells fishy in Denver this week and it isn’t just the politicians and journalists at the Democratic National Convention. The smell was coming from all the trout fishermen heading back from Clear Creek. Lori Nicholson at Anglers All (anglersall.com) suggests that Dems looking to escape the mayhem should head to Clear Creek only a few minutes outside of town. “There’s lots of parking along Highway 6 between Golden Colorado to Georgetown,” she said, “and plenty of trout.” Lori suggests fishing a hopper dropper with a yellow stimulator and a red copper John or a small dry fly. “You might still see a few cadis in the evening,” she says, prompting anglers to tie on a royal Wulf in size 16. While Lori points the pundits and pols to the easy-to-fish sections of Clear Creek, she suggests die-hard anglers head to the Roaring Fork River above Glenwood Springs. “There is limited public access,” she says, “but that’s what makes the river awesome.” Before heading out, stop by the shop to learn the best parts of the river to fish. Lori says that the river is full of heavy shouldered good fighting rainbows. The fish will take nymphs or hoppers worked close to the edges of the river. She said that the Colorado River close to Parshall has also been hot. Again, a grass hopper and a bead head barr’s emerger, are the ticket for these fish. On a cloudy day, Lori recommends a blue winged olive in size 18. “There is tons of public access,” she says, “so you won’t be the only person there.” The Arkansas River has been running high and producing good numbers of nice-sized trout. “You can fish hoppers, beetles, terrestrials,” Loris says, “try a PMXs in size 16 or a yellow Joe’s hoppers along the banks.” She says that anglers can fish any of the public access areas but her favorite public area is called Hayden Meadows.