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J Francho

Take A Soldier Fishing - Oneida Lake

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Some background: http://blog.syracuse.com/outdoors/2013/04/soldiers_give_back_to_soldiers.html

Did the TASF event this past Saturday, at Oneida Lake. This is my 3rd year volunteering, and this was by far the best event yet. After free coffee and sweets, we got paired up with our soldiers, and off we went. I gotta say, the valet service at the launch was a great add this year. It took a lot out of the confusion during launch and retrieval.

Out on the water, I explained to my guests that we weren't fishing to win any of the "rough fish" categories. We were going to fish for smallmouth bass. Since neither had ever caught a bass in their lives, they both agreed this would be a good plan. I got them situated with spinning rods, Avid St. Croix AVS63MLXH with Shimano CI4 Stradic 2500 reels, spooled up with 6# Seaguar Tatsu. Set them up with wacky rigged, 5" Yum Dingers in solid black. I had one throw shallow, and the other throw deep, and I fan-casted an Xcalibur One-Knocker in Royal Red. This was sort of like a trolling set, with our baits covering a lot of water. I use a fast moving, reaction bait to find the active chasers, and put together some pattern, while they basically dead sticked the bigger baits, looking for the bigger fish.

After I caught several pickerel, and two smallies on the shallower side, and my shallow dragger, TJ had a pick and two smallies, we got serious, pounded the shallows. Most fish were caught between 2-6' water. I used the same bait all day, and the guys barely went through half a pack of Dingers. We did go through a few bags of hooks - d**n picks! All said and done, somwhere around 20 smallmouth bass, and stopped counting pickerel at 30. We even had a double smallie hook up for Ken and TJ.

Just an awesome day on the water, followed up with good grub, and great company. Here are the highlights from the day:

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Did I mention the "joy ride" to the spot? Heh!

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Getting paired up:

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WOW!

 

 

 

 

:respect-040: 

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Wow man got some nice fish there congrats

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Quality outing for an awesome cause!  Well done John!

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Awesome...congrats!

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Great Job!! ours is in Sept.!! always look forward to it!!!

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Nice! Looks like a great day of fishing, and a great day of giving back to the vets.

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Well done J Francho! Looks like a great time was had by all. You represented our community well to a couple of deserving soldiers. I salute you my friend :high-five:.    

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Thanks guys, this is just one of literally hundreds of acts of generosity during this event. I did the bare minimum, by doing something I love to do anyway.

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Couple of footballs in those pics! Looks like an awesome time.

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Thanks guys, this is just one of literally hundreds of acts of generosity during this event. I did the bare minimum, by doing something I love to do anyway.

 

Great work, John.  Your humility is exemplary.  To those guys, you gave them a day they won't forget.

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Congrats and a job well done!

 

Jeff

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