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Yankee's Spring Tightline Shootout


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Friday Practice - Unlike many events we fish this one was only going to allow us one day of pre-fishing. Vacation time for many of us is running low as more and more tournaments are popping up all over Lake Ontario. This really isn't a bad thing either because Lake Ontario has a great fishery!

A good friend of mine gave us some starting points since most of this water is very new to all of us. Our observer Jim (who we found on Spoonpullers) also fished with us during practice, and he was very knowledgeable of the area. We started right out front Friday morning because on the way in Thursday evening we saw a ton of bait out there, and we took a nice low 20's King Salmon right before it got dark. It wasn't long and we had those A-TOM-MIK flies fooling fish into taking our rigs. We fished flasher/fly combos on all three of our Cannon DT10's, and also behind our divers. We ran three coppers anywhere from 300-600 depending on how much water we were over. All of them smoked fish. These rods were loaded with meat behind big paddles. We were surprised at the class of fish we were on, and the fact we had very little pressure around us. As we trolled East our observer Jim told us we were getting close to a "dead zone." We joked about it at first, and then a triple on big Lake Ontario King Salmon happened! However, after that we would rot for the next hour. OK, so Jim was right...

We picked up and ran 5 miles East to the Nuke plant. We set down, and as fast as we got the rods out more big Lake Ontario King Salmon were ripping our gear apart. We worked 90-200' of water picking away at some real nice fish, but we were still looking for that Tyee! Closest we came was 27lbs. After beating up on those fish a little and creating an area filled with waypoints we figured we had better go check out from the filtration plant and West. We picked up our gear and headed down there. When we sat down the bait on that piece of structure was more than we'd seen in a long time. It was actually comical. We had 30 minutes to fish, and it wasn't long before we were doubled once again. We noted that the picture was a lot better in our last spot, but we also saw that out presentation had to compete with the real food. Sometimes that's a bad thing.

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What we fished over!

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Saturday Tourney Day - We left the harbor and headed about 5 miles East to an area we had littered with waypoints from the day before. The picture was not there, but we sat down and began to fish it anyway. Our first bite took almost 30 minutes, but it was a good one! We picked away at a few fish, but it just wasn't happening. Two of the fish were real nice ones, and they ended up being part of our six fish box, but we knew we had to make moves. When we set lines we put flasher/fly combos on all three Cannon DT10's, and behind our divers. We let out one copper with meat, and once we were into our day we yanked a rigger and put out a second copper with meat.

About 9:30 we picked gear and ran to the West waypoints. We set down and people were cranking in fish all around us. It wasn't long and we were doing the same. The amount of fish coming over the gunnel of our boat was hysterical, and tossing back 20-23lb Chinook Salmon because they were too small was even more hysterical. We were all having a great time even with five big egos on the boat for this event. We came close to our first Tyee of the year weighing just under 30lbs. Our 500 and 600 coppers were smoking as long as we could get them back in after they took a fish, and our two riggers were on fire as well. We fished 80-130' down on them, and put our wires in the same zone.

In the morning white/green paddles were good and as the sun came up it was chrome/green paddles. The A-TOM-MIK flies that worked best were various Hammer patterns, Hypnotist, Ultra Green Glow, Sweet Peas, and Pro Ams.

We knew we had a good box with about a 25lb average, but we knew a lot of people were catching fish. We were one of the first teams to weigh in, and when our fish hit the scales we had 153 pound with six fish. We were in first for a short while before team Vision Quest came through and beat us by .22 ounces. That stung a lot, but we figured we still had at least a top 5 box given the amount of 130lb boxes being weighed in. Towards the end of weigh in team Get It Wet puts their fish on the scales and beats our box by .14 ounces. Another kick in the family jewels! When it was all over we took third place, and ahead of 4th by about 4lbs. The three of us sat atop the leaderboard separated by ounces. That was the closest we've ever come to $25,000.

I would like to thank my brother Craig, Casey Prisco, Captain Chris Lopresti, and Captain Andy Bliss for a great weekend. We laughed more than anyone should, and we butted heads as was to be expected. However, we got the job done, and that's what matters at the end of the day. We lost 4 fish on tourney day and probably put 35 in the boat. A stellar day by anyone's standards. Congrats to Pete Alex and team on a great win.

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It's capped at 60 boats w/ $1000 entry. We have 3 of them on Lake O. Two are in Canada called the Tightline Shootout, and one I help put on called the Wilson Harbor Invitational, which is capped at 75 boats. All three are one day events. You can cull up to your 6 biggest fish using 6 rods, so just about any boat can compete, and have a chance at a big payday.

If anyone is interested in the Wilson event let me know. We'd love to get some more MI teams involved. This past event we had 2. As for the Tightline event there is a waiting list to get in on that.

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