Bass season is just around the corner and the tournaments will be rolling sooner than we think. We will be doing our Thursday night series again but WE WILL BE LAUNCHING AND WEIGHING IN AT ONEIDA SHORES. Last year the trail was so popular we didnt have room at our Marina. The tackle shop is permanently closed as of now, but I will still have some stuff for sale at each tournament and am able to special order stuff for people if they need or want.
I will also still be the Tournament Director for US Anglers Choice Oneida trail. You can check out our team tournament schedule on the website at anglerschoice.com/ region 4.
Thanks to all and we will see you soon
It was 1 degree this morning on March 3rd. The lake is flat glare ice and is sporting a healthy 16 plus inches of ice in most places.Ive had reports of as much as 22″ in some places on the east end. There are only 12 days left in walleye season and we have the live bait and the tackle necessary to get the job done and the fillets in the freezer for you. The perch and walleye fishing has stayed very strong and really shows no signs of slowing down. The northshore hot spots continue to be along the shelf that runs from constantia to north bay. The drop off starts in 3 mile bay as a 10′ depth change and goes all the way to a very steep 20+’ slope by the time you get east of godfrey and jewel. The off shore structure has been good as well, shackelton, messenger, dakin, wantry and the north side of frenchman’s and dunham islands. The days when the perch especially are hott then it hasnt mattered what you have on, ive even heard of 1/2oz kastmasters plain icing a limit of perch and a #7 jiggin rap basically flung through the hole towards the bottom and the perch eating it on the drop!!!!!!! a #7?????? Thats when their hott, how about when there not? Downsize the offering first but not necessarily the gear. 2lb test in 25fow is useless, it turns into a cobweb trying to stop a freight train with stripes. Plain minnow on a drop shot rig, small pimple or kastmaster as a weight and a couple of ice flies above it. Drop shot a plain plastic or fish a single ice jig that is a little heavier than a dot and hope the school stays still.
The panfish bite has slowed once again in big bay. I am seeing and hearing of good sunnies being caught in south bay if you can get access or come in by sled or atv.
Its been longer than I wanted between reports but until last wednesday there hadn’t been much to talk about during that long spell of snow, snow and more snow. I am going to go to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday format for the fishing reports from now on. That way we can re-cap the weekend on Monday, discuss weather and trends during mid week on Wednesday and re-cap what has happened all week and look ahead for what to expect for the weekend on Friday.
The lake conditions had become so tough to move around everyone quit fishing. Well the good news is that the warm up last week changed all of that for the better and right now the ice conditions are FANTASTIC and the FISHING is even better. Walkers, wheelers and snowmobilers can go just about anywhere they want right now and both the NORTH and SOUTH shore are fishing very, very well. Lets get into what we know and what were going to do about it?
1) We know that the big sunfish, bluegills and crappies are going crazy in Big Bay since last wednesday. I have seen many limits of crappies in the last 5-6 days as well as buckets full of slab sunfish. The Sunnies are also biting very well in polar beach and lower south bay(if you can get access). The best jigs lately for the flat fish have been the pink glow demons, pink or green glow ratfinkee’s and the green or blue glow Moon Glo jigs tipped with spikes.
The perch are biting just about everywhere but seem to be the best from the area off Doris Park (13fow), east of Dakin Shoals (22-28fow), south of the drop off in the mouth of 3 mile bay (15fow), back again in the cut between long and little island (12-20fow), off the east end of Dunham’s Island in the dumping grounds (16-22fow), off chapman park in (22-30fow). Now some or all of these spots have been producing walleye’s right along with the perch, but the best walleye bite seems to be centered on the north shore between Constantia and Cleveland. Dakin Shoals on the north east side, off the drop off at Willard Island and on the western end of Cleveland bar most reports are between 22-28fow.
Perch are eating everything at times, big Caty Willow blades and Northland single hook forage minnows are the ticket in 15fow or less and the small crushed ice swedish pimples and #3 jigging rapala’s are cleaning up in water deeper than 15 feet. Another trick this time of year if they get fussy is to use the bigger metal spoons as a weight and flash attractor and tie either tiny ice jigs or ants or flies in line about 12″ apart up the the line. These can be tipped with Maki plastics, spikes or perch eyes for a little more of a finesse presentation.
The walleye’s still want something a little bigger and meatier. Pimples and Kastmaster’s tipped with a minnow head are hot and I highly suggest changing out the treble hooks right away on the lures and either putting multiple split rings on and then a single hook or tying a dropper out of heavy braid or mono about 3″ long. That way you have a better free swinging hook under the heavy metal and will get better hook up and landing ratios with a single hook.
Remember we have only 3 more weekends until walleye season closes until May so lets make the most of them. The weather forecast from now through sunday afternoon looks incredibly good. We are still fully stocked with ice fishing gear and bait and as always are open at 6am everyday.
“NEWSFLASH” “NEWSFLASH” “NEWSFLASH”
THIS BREAKING NEWS JUST IN FROM THE SURFACE OF THE ICE………
THE SURFACE HAS FROZEN AND HAS BECOME VERY WALKABLE AND FISHABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just got a call from 2 friends of the shop and fellow IS guys and they both tell me that the snow has frozen to ice and that the walking is very very good. So here’s what I want everyone of you to do…. Get your ass over here and go fishing.
Im going to temper my enthusiasm and tell everyone to still be careful and really look and think before you go out there especially with a 4 wheeler and watch for slush spots.
Here’s the skinny on the fishing, it’s very good and if we can really get around out there it’s going to be game on for the next 6 weeks. The north shore is and has been the best fishing this season. The walleye and the perch seem to be moving east a little but the area from Wantry to Dakin is still where you want to be. Limit catches of walleye are being reported daily even through the bad snow and weather of the last 2 weeks. The perch fishing has also been good and lake wide im hearing of good catches of yellow’s coming from shallower and shallower water. Williams beach area has been good but the slush was an issue and I have not heard directly how and if it stiffened up there in the last 2 days. Chapman park has been better lately for perch but the walleye’s are always around and it is easy to get to deep water quicker than most spots. I have not heard much from the far east end north or south like cleveland or Lewis pt. I will keep everyone posted as word comes in.
The standard hot items seem to still be the rage, we have great selections of swedish pimples, all northland spoon and jigs, Kastmasters and jigging Rapala’s and jigging shad rap’s. Ice line, rods tip ups and augers are still in stock as well. We are fully stocked with 2 sizes of buckeyes and fatheads, spikes and wax worms as well..
This weekend on Saturday is the Cleveland American Legion Ice derby and we are having our ice derby next weekend the 19th and 20th here at The River Rat. you can check our website for details on the tournament calendar at for more details.
Also for those Bass fishermen among you who are looking ahead to the open water season our full Thursday Night Workingman’s Tournament Schedule to include our end of year “Classic” is also posted on our website on the tournament calendar at
Thank you and we will see you this weekend.
Well im not going to lie to anyone or lead you astray, the conditions on the ice are not great. If you are a walker you will really need to find a snowmobile trail that is crusted over and it wont be that bad, snowmobilers you need to avoid any of the off colored patches which are probably slush holes and may be as deep as 12″ and people with 4 wheelers should do them selves a favor and leave those machines at home.
Now the fishing, if you can get out to the fishy areas they are still more than willing to bite. The fishing this year has been as good as anyone can remember in years. Big Bay is still producing good catches of big gills and sunnies and enough crappies to keep you interested. The fish can be fussy and light line is critical right now, 2 and 3lb test is a necessity and small rodent, sliver and rug rat jigs are working the best, tipped with waxies or spikes. Waxies have been better lately.
The perch bite has continued to be very good off of the islands and shoals south of Constantia. People are catching them on small Swedish pimples and Jigging Rapala’s, Kastmasters and northland jigs. The Perch have also been all through the water between Williams Park and Frenchmen/Dunham Islands and as far west as off shore at Borio’s restaurant. Huge catches of perch last weekend came from the south side of the cut between the island’s all the way in to 10 fow infront of Borio’s. Dont be afriad to look shallow for the wiley striped green bandit.
The Walleye bite has been excellent and widespread. The best walleye bite has seemed to have been on the northshore from Constantia all the way to North Bay. The same spots where the perch are biting around the mid lake shoals are also producing Walleye. Bigger metal spoons and jigs are producing best, tipped with a whole or half minnow. The tip up crews are still pulling toothy perch on big buckeyes and the tip up guys that are adding a little bling to their sets are saying they think it is making a difference. Beads, glow beads and worm harness blades are adding a little extra life and movement to an otherwise static presentation.
The store is full of great tackle and bait and we are open early all weekend for everyone that is fishing the south shore derby. We were completely restocked last week with swedish pimples, Kastmasters, Northland and Jigging Rapala’s, Demon’s and Rat Finkee’s and did I mention minnows. 2 sizes of buckeyes and fatheads, spikes and wax worms.
Our derby will be february 19th and 20th.
Lets hope that the big snows and the freezin ass cold weather is behind us. The main lake ice seems to have held up pretty well considering all the snow, ive had reports of as much as 13″ of ice out over deep water. The last 2 days have been warm and have definately compacted the snow, now we just need a freeze to stiffen it up. The snowmobiles are having no problem and the walkers are doing ok if they can catch an old trail heading to where they want to go, the wheelers are not faring so well out there though.
The hottest bite on the lake right now is still off the islands and shoals south of Constantia. The jumbo perch and the walleye’s are there and are snapping at hot offerings. What are they eating? well ill tell you. Vertical baits like kastmasters, northland buckshot spoons and swedish pimples tipped with minnow heads and horizontal baits like sonars, northland fish fry traps and jigging raps. The perch are eating big caty lightning jigs in hot pink and glow and red/green nitro glow, northland minnow jig and small jigging raps tipped with wax worms or perch eyes. There is also more good news, big bay is no longer a fished out wasteland. It is alive and full of fish. In the last 2 days the crappies and blue gills and sunfish have been biting pretty good. Glow pink ratso’s, green glow moon glow’s, Caty blue and pearl glow thunder’s.
This is going to be a good weekend weather wise, we have the Norterby and the following weekendheast Ice Tour here on Sunday, next weekend the 5th is the South Shore derby, the 12th is the legion derby in cleveland and the following weekend the 19th and 20th we will be having our derby at the shop. It will be 2 days long and we will have all rules and dates posted by monday.
We have been fully restocked with ice fishing gear so you dont have to go without for the next 2 months of great fishing. We have all the new northland jigs in stock, 4 sizes of kastmasters, 3 sizes of swedish pimples, 2 sizes of jigging rapala’s, demon’s and ratso’s and great live bait.
We are open 7 days a week at 6am.
Happy F@#king Friday everyone. Here’s what is happening on our Lake. The snow is deep out there and unless the walkers stay on top of a snowmobile track its not the easiest walking in the world, and it just started snowing right now. Its supposed to snow all day but quit tonight. Now im no Wayne Mahar but the temps to the west of us are falling down through the floor and by late tonite and into tomorrow morning its gonna be cold. I hope that means that whatever snow is out there stiffens up and makes it easy walking. My suggestion is that you bring a shovel with you to dig your self a spot and put up your shanty. That is what im hearing for weather and for ice conditions and I would seriously think twice before taking a wheeler out there right now.
The fishing has been very good for the most part all across the lake. Big Bay has not had many people fishing it lately but the reports im getting from there have been good especially in the evening on big gills and Crappies. The main concentration of people have been going out of Big Bay Marina and heading northeast towards the big duck blind on the point. Caty Lightning jigs tipped with spikes have been working very well for both gills and crappies in blue and white and green and glow with the orange dot. South bay has also been producing some very big sunfish around polar beach and the yacht club if you can find access, also around Aero Marina in the old weedbeds.
The perch and walleye bite seem to be located in the same spots more than ever this year and Constantia is leading the charge as being the hottest hot spot on the lake right now. The area between Little and Long Island must be full of fish because it has been hot now for 2 weeks. Limits of Walleye are coming off of tip ups with live minnows, Kastmaster spoons, jigging rapala’s and pimples. Tip all of the spoons with a minnow head and your in business.
The hottest perch jig right now on Oneida is the Caty Thunder Jig in size #2. The blue/white pearl, the glow/hot pink head and the all glow with orange dot, tipped with a fathead either live or dead. The bite has also been good off of Chapman Park in 23-28fow. The perch havent been as plentiful there but the walleye fishing has been good. I have not heard much from the Williams Beach/Islands area so I wont guess but as with anywhere on the lake right now please be careful traveling out there as it is very hard to know what is below all the snow.