* Mid-to-late Fall - O'Neill Forebay - Steve Rudzinski

I really have enjoyed fishing at the O'Neill Forebay this fall, some of the fruits of volunteerism are falling, in the form of boat rides on the lake with our own homegrown experts.
Once content to getting five or six fish a day, this year it's, twenties and thirties per day. Timing or luck or sixth sense intuition and a good fish finder had us catching more than fishing for a change. I followed up by driving the seventy miles to camp and fishing with the pontoon boat during the Thanksgiving week up to turkey day. I like shoreside camping at the Forebay, with the exception of the nasty ants everywhere. It's not a long kick or row to good fishing out from the closed launch ramp to the deeper water and down the channel to where the sea wall takes the turn, I just call "The Point" now. I use it to "point" to my new favorite spot that seems to always hold fish.
The first morning at barely first light, the headlights of a truck came up close to "Westinski" and I see it is a white truck and a new Ford - must be Yog. So we are soon fishing the first light but the fishing is terrible with only a few fish each and small ones. Jeff had to leave early afternoon, and as he is rowing in, I am starting to get fish after fish in shallower water. I knew he hated leaving as the bite got better with some very big powerful grabs and misses. This trip I felt the real power of the 25-30" fish of the Forebay. Bob Ransdell from our club gave me a few flash flies he tied and said worked well. One of them landed 30 fish one day and was destroyed with the eyes gone and the flash torn up, still caught fish. Bob gave me a few hooks he uses from Eagle Claw jig hooks and I tied three and used just one on this trip just to see if it would catch fish and it caught almost all the 30-plus total those three days. I wonder if an old "pop top" and a hook would catch fish when on the bite. I like the idea that monsters exist at this fishery, almost in our back yard. We could have club fishouts there weekly during the fall when the fish cooperate best.

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