The Three Amigos 6th June Bash
4:00 am – I jump with a start as the alarm sings it’s good morning song…Remind me to shoot that clock one of these days! As I hurry to dress, I swing by the kitchen and turn on the coffee pot. I can hardly wait for that first hot cup. You know what I mean, steam coming off the cup as you cradle it in your hands, anticipating that first sip! I am able to get away a day earlier this year which will give me some extra time on the water. This should be a good get together as it’s been a year since the three of us have wet a line together. This year Hoot will be along! Hoot and Ed are regulars for the Derby at Lake Seneca and it sure is nice to be invited to join them!
All my bags are now packed securely in the car and the food items are in the cooler…It won’t be long now!
4:35 am – I’m off! It is the first time that I’ve driven to Ed’s cottage from my new home and the rout is a little different, hopefully easier, because I hate traveling around Harrisburg! As it turns out, it actually takes less time, woo wee!
6:16 am – I turn on to Rt. 15N, heading for Selinsgrove, and pull into a familiar restaurant for a fresh cup of coffee and some breakfast. Forty five minutes later I’m back on the road, refreshed. I have always loved this drive along the Susquehanna River! I continue up around Lewistown and through Williamsport toward Madison. What a beautiful drive! All the leaves are out and with a gentle breeze it makes for a beautiful contrast against the pines. The air temp right now is 70*…Woo wee, what a beautiful drive! I stop in Watkins Glen long enough to find an outhouse and give Ole Pie face a shout on my cell, letting him know where I am. Once outside of the Glen, I turn up the east side of Lake Seneca, passing HectorFalls on the way. The views I have of the lake as I travel through wine country are great causing me to “flash back” to past trips…The village of Lodi doesn’t seem to ever change and I turn down the same road, toward the lake, heading for Lodi Point and Ed’s cottage.
9:35 am – I pull into the campground and turn up the hill to Ed’s place. There he sits on his front porch, coffee mug in hand! I pull into the drive, get out of the car and reach for his out-stretched hand! There are hugs and kisses… (yuck!), it sure is good to be back! The only things missing are Frank & Howard…
11:00 am – Ed and I head into town for me to register for the Derby and fill the fuel cans for the boat. When we arrived back at camp we ate a light lunch and then we loaded up the boat and headed for the lake.
1:30 pm – Ed backs his boat into the water after reviewing with me the extra caution that is needed for his new rod holders. Like the expert that he is, Ed backs his boat away from the launch then forward out of the inlet. Once out in the lake, Ed turns to the south, staying in the 40’ depth range along the eastern shore. We take our time, checking out the scenery as we go. After about 6 miles Ed turned the boat around, dropped three lines; 17’, 26’ and 33’ with 33’ being starboard. It didn’t take to long, FISH ON! The first fish was a 1 ½ pound laker…Woo wee! It has been two years since I was out with ole pieface and it sure feels good! A short time later, FISH ON! Ed hauls in a 3 ½ pounder, I haul in a 2 ½ pounder, both 23” Lakers. After that the bite slowed, but Ed wasn’t ready to give up. He changed up two spoons and picked up a 2 pound rainbow and a 1 ½ pound brown. After that we spent some time getting out of a “junk line” and decided to call it a day. So we headed back north to Lodi Point where we started, chatting about all that has been happening in our lives…It’s good to be back!
6:15 pm – Back at the cottage, we busy our selves with cleaning the fish and covering the boat. Soon, Ed will do his magic on the grill!
After a great meal Ed and I take a seat out on the porch, watching the sun go down for the evening. I am reminded of the many great times I have had here. Whether it is the Finger Lakes Meet or the season opener…Frank will be here tomorrow morning and Carol will arrive on Friday!
6:30 am – I again awake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Ed was up ahead of me and has already started to load the boat. Just about this same time ole Frank pulls in. Hugs and kisses for all (yuck!) as we continue to load Ed’s boat. We are about ready to pull out when Hoot arrives (hand shakes and hugs)! He needed to open his cottage and straighten up the place a little so he declined to join us. So we get ourselves into the truck and head for the launch.
After the launch Ole Pieface takes his boat out the inlet and heads across the pond, stopping about ¾ of the way across to the west side where he proceeds to drop three lines; 18’, 26’ and 33’ down (starboard to port). Ed set his troll at about 2 mph (plus or minus) heading for the western shore. Early in our quest, Frank and I observer the “Fire in the Sky”…What a treat! Whelp, it doesn’t take long and FISH ON! Frank lands a nice 5 pound laker! And so it goes for us three on the first official day of our spring opener. We fished until 2:30 pm with five in the boat and losing two. The weights of the fish ranged from 1 ½ to 7 pounds…Woo wee! Once back at the launch, Ed pulls his boat out of the water and we head to the gas station to fill the truck and the boat.
Back at camp we set ourselves to the task of unloading the boat, covering the console and down riggers, pictures of our catch and cleaning fish.
5:45 pm – Ed has the grill fired up and we hungrily wait on dinner! After a fine meal of burgers, dogs, potato salad and beans, we sit on Ed’s front porch, listening to the rustle of the leaves and sampling enjoying each others company. Our conversation starts with catching up with all that has been happening in our lives since we last met, but quickly changed to the Derby. Tomorrow morning is the first day and ole Pieface talks with us about our strategy…
!0:00 pm – Bed time for these tired fishermen!
4:35 am – I am wakened by the smell of freshly brewed coffee. The other guys (Ed, Hoot, Frank) are up packing already! I brush my teeth and grab my license and head out the door.
5:45 am – Ed expertly guides his boat out of the inlet, turning her to the south and running down the eastern shore. We all take notice to the fact that there weren’t many trailers in the parking lot today…I wonder…After about a two mile run Ed and Frank drop three riggers and one lead core line (three colors out). FISH ON! Hoot catches a 16” laker to start us off. There were five other fish “boxed” this morning, three lakers and two browns weighing 1 ½ to seven pounds with one of the lakers weighing the seven pounds. Altogether we boated nine and lost seven. It seems that we had difficulty keeping them on the hook…
12:30 pm – The fish decide to stop hitting. For the last hour we haven’t had so much as a nibble! Ed and Frank have been changing up spoons every ten minutes or so. It’s like someone has just closed the door…Little did we know that it would be the standard for this Derby. So Ed and Frank bring in all lines and head for Lodi Point. It has been clear and windless for the most part this morning – LakeSeneca was flat and a little early fog with few boats to the south. The boat is now tailored and we drop it off at Ed’s cottage. All the fish are loaded into a cooler which is put into Frank’s truck and we all head to SampsonState Park for our first official weigh – in. We managed to get on the bottom of the leader board with a 5.77 pound brown, a 5.17 pound rainbow and another brown at 3 pounds. This was very early for reporting and there were other weigh stations that need to input their entries. Late in the day Ed discovered that we had been knocked off the leader board – no surprise there! This would turn out to be the last weigh-in we would attend as we never caught a fish over eight pounds!
1:30 pm – Back at the cottage while Ed, Frank and Hoot are cleaning up the boat, I set myself to the task of cleaning the fish. Usually when I come up I am on a meat hunt and this year is no exception!
Once all the work is done we “chill out” on Ed’s front porch…Supper will be early tonight!
4:30 pm – Kielbasa, apple sausage, potato salad, beans, grilled lake trout and pasta salad…Yum! After a terrific meal it was down the hill to the bath house for a hot shower. Afterward, Ole Pieface, Frank and I sit on the front porch and talked about today’s hunt. And if ya want to know how it went with the ham sandwiches, you’ll have to ask Ed and Frank…That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
10:00 pm – Time for bed, tomorrow could be a long day and I don’t want to hear these old guys complain about a nap…
5:00 am – Again I wake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, yum! We hurriedly pack the boat and head for the launch.
5:30 am – We are now in the water and heading out the inlet. Ed turns his boat to the south again, along the eastern shore. There is light discussion as we travel and we all took notice that the parking lot at the launch was very full this morning. Ed thinks that maybe bigger fish are being caught at the northern end of Seneca. For sure there are many boats surrounding Lodi Point!
About two miles from the launch, Ed and Frank drop three riggers and two inline planer boards (one each side). FISH ON! Ed hooks into a four and a half pound rainbow, woo wee! By 8:30 am we had boated Ed’s 4.5 pound rainbow, my 4 pound brown, Frank’s 5.5 pound rainbow and Ed’s landlocked salmon which was just less than six pounds! What a time!
Frank’s rainbow was his personal best and what a battle it gave! My brown was a personal best for me by a half pound, and Ole Pieface caught his personal best landlocked salmon, another hard fought battle! As we continued on Hoot picked up a 1.5 pound laker, a three pound brown for me and we caught a dink laker which we released. Then, just like that, the bite was shut down for the day…Go figure!
2:30 pm – We trolled the southern part of the lake for several hours with no hits, so Ed and Frank bring in all lines and we decide to call it a day. Since we know what it will take to get on the leader board, we won’t be going in for an official weigh-in. Instead, we just head in to clean fish, take pics and clean up the boat.
5:00 pm – Ed has the grill fired up with kielbasa, and fresh brown trout, yum! The four of us stuff our faces, and talk about the excitement of three personal bests and a Seneca Grand Slam all on the same morning!
Ed and Carol had a special cake made up for us, wait until ya see this!
We stuffed our faces and laughed about all the good times we’ve had so far…The Park is quiet tonight, no air moving and no rain in sight. Its great sitting on the porch listening to the night sounds, occasionally one of us would speak up about something or nothing at all…
Tomorrow is just a half day of fishing and we’re not really sure that we are up for it. It has been a tuff schedule and these older guys need a break once in a while! Except for Frank, he is the youngest of us and I don’t think much of anything bothers him…His day will come!
5:00 am – I awake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, yum! Ed has faithfully prepped the coffee pot each night before bed, and he has been the first up to turn it on! Frank and Ed are busy loading the boat. Hoot comes down the hill and gives us a welcomed, “good morning!” I choose this time to tell the guys that I’ve changed my mind (my wife says that’s a short walk) about going out today. Opting to spend my time packing and perhaps leaving earlier than planned. We all shake hands, some hugs (yuck!)…I wish them all the very best, then down the road they go.
Sitting on Ed’s porch I can see LakeSeneca in all its glory. The water looks to be lying flat and rather golden in color as the early morning sun breaks across the surface. It’s a perfect air temperature right now as I am making this entry, but I can tell it’s going to be a hot one for sure!
7:00 am – I call my lovely wife, informing her of my change in plans. As I write this last entry I look around, taking in the scenery one more time…I remind myself of the many ways that I have been blessed…Good friends, good weather, good food and of course good fishing! I make a mental note to myself that all will look different when I return in September when the smell of grapes will be in the air…The Finger Lakes Member Meet!
I need to say a big thank you to Ole Pieface and Hoot for inviting Frank and I to join them in the Derby. Ed is always a perfect host and his lovely wife Carol always makes us the best salads and beans for the dinner table. Thanks you guys!
I pull out of the drive and slowly head down the road, hoping that I might catch a glimpse of the guys in the boat…Cursing along the lake, heading south, I again think of how many ways I’ve been blessed…See ya around the fishing hole!