Father’s Day Memories

By Jim Hanlon

This Father’s Day turned out to be one of the best of my life. My son, Jim, came home on leave from the Navy. Jim serves his country on a nuclear sub and his down time is very limited. As a matter of fact, I have only seen him a total of 7 days in the past year. I wanted to do something special for Jim and myself while he was on his short leave home, so I booked a chartered fishing trip with Captain Dave Wilson. Dave has been a long time friend of New York Outdoorsman Central, and I knew Dave had a track record of being one of the hottest charters out of Oswego, New York, both last year and this year. I wanted this trip to be a special trip so that my son and I could look back and reflect on it for the rest of our lives. I personally didn’t care if I caught a fish or not. Just spending some time in the outdoors with Jim is all I could ask for.


Jim and I arrived at the dock at 4:20AM to meet my friend, Captain Dave. Dave warned us that Lake Ontario had some good size swells due to the prior days of storms that went through. Dave offered an afternoon in place of the morning. I looked at Jim, and then I turned to Captain Dave and said, Dave, I haven’t been sea sick in 40 years, and I know my son can handle waves being on a ship, so I turned to Dave and said, “Let’s go catch some fish!” Therefore, we boarded the Dave’s boat, and headed out of the harbor and into the lake. The rollers were about 4′, but the reports from Rochester said that the lake was calming down to our west. We were ready.


Dave drove the boat east toward the nuclear power plant at Nine Mile Point and the fist mate was busily aligning all the rods across the back of the boat. When we arrived at our destination the first mate was busy hooking up rods to planer boards, dipsy divers, and down riggers. Jim looked at me and said something to the effect of, look at that man go. Dave and his first mate worked like clock work getting 8 rods in the water. We were set to start catching some trout. I told Jim that the first hookup was his, and we didn’t have to wait long before one of the down-riggers tripped, and we had a fish on, or so we thought. Jim reeled in a juice box for our first excitement of the day. I genuinely thought to myself, I hope this isn’t an omen of things to come! It wasn’t! Before Connor, the first mate, got a chance to get the rod reset the next one tripped and Jim was back in action. After a short, but vigorous battle, Connor lowered the net into the water and boated our first Brown Trout of the day. Jim got started fishing at an early age, and he loves to fish small streams for trout where a 10″ fish is a good fish. Lake Ontario Trout on the other hand can be huge. Actually, one of the other charter captains reported by radio that they had just landed a 10# Brown. Jim said something to the effect that this was a trophy to him, because it was the biggest fish he ever caught. Jim was about to find out that trophy status can quickly change from fish to fish.


Now it was my turn, and it was only minutes after the landing of Jim’s fish that the next rod tripped, and we had another fish on. After a good battle, Connor netted my fish and after a quick photo the next rod went off. Things were really starting to heat up. While Jim was fighting his fish the next rod tripped, and we had a double hookup going. We were having a blast. By 6:30 Jim and I had our limit of 3 fish each. We had been fishing for about 1 ½ hours, and we were done. Captain Dave knew how important this trip was to me and made the offer to stay out longer and fish for his limit, and his first mate’s limit. This is the kind of treatment you can expect with Captain Dave Wilson. As a result, we continued to fish, and it didn’t take long before the next hookup. To make a long story short, we caught fish after fish, and instead of being done with fishing at 6:30AM, we were finished at 9:00AM. A four hour trip is better than 1 ½ hour trip.


My son and I were very impressed with the teamwork between Captain Dave and his first mate Connor. Every hookup was intense. It was like it was the very first fish ever brought into the boat. These guys have genuine passion for what they do, and I personally want to thank Dave and Connor for this terrific trip with my son. This truly will be a memory that will last Jim and I a lifetime. He got to catch the biggest fish of his life, and I got to fish with US Navy, Petty Officer 2nd Class, of the USS Albuquerque, whom I am very proud of for helping to defend our country. What could be better? What more could a dad ask for? Well, Jim informed me that I am going to be a grandpa in December. Is that cool or what!


Contact information for Dave Wilson:

Capt. Dave Wilson’s Fishing Charters
7722 Maple Rd., Baldwinsville, New York 13027
Phone: 315-638-3522