Bailing on the community holes

My eyes and ears for this blog today are Andy Crawford, our on-water photographer, who is compiling a gallery of the morning action. He’ll only be on the water for another hour, before returning to shore to process his gallery and publish that to this website. 

Not surprisingly, the notorious community holes of Oneida Lake— filled up quickly this morning. Andy said the holes were covered in boats, with most anglers fishing vertical baits. The normal pattern befitting that observation is the smallmouth hide inside the edges of grassy edges, where the sun casts its brightness into the grassy openings. When gobies or baitfish swim into that target zone, the bass ambush them. The other pattern is fishing around the grassy edges of the islands, namely the 25-acre Frenchman Island that is another top community hole. 

What is making those patterns tough to evolve are the prevailing conditions. Those are sunny skies and calm winds, neither of which are conducive to that bite. What is more, what is now happening validates the feedback Andy and I yesterday received from the anglers. It’s just plain tough out there. By 9 a.m., the boats were dispersing from the community holes and heading in all directions of the lake. 

So far, Andy has few fish catches. Gary Clouse caught a bass flipping along a grassy shoreline. Otherwise, look for a sequence of birds in the gallery, including this bald eagle. 

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