Kings are back in Town

By Spider Rybaak

First mate Kevin holding Chad’s brown.

Good buddy Dick Stanton called Sunday night.

“Hey Spider…The kings are back in town. I’m heading out tomorrow with some close friends. You’re welcome to come along.”

“Is Kevin first mating?” I asked.

“Are you kiddin’??? “ he asked rhetorically with such emotion I could hear his eyebrows rising in disbelief.

“He’s the best,” claimed Dick. “I don’t even think about other first mates when he’s around.”

Well, I’m not one to refuse a seat on a charter boat, especially when Big Dick’s in charge and Kevin Rodrigues (the Portuguese spelling, I’m informed) is playing second fiddle.

“I’ll see ya at the dock at 6 a.m.,” I promised.

Dead calm sat on the lake, squeezing its surface into a mirror finish. A light fog frosted its edges.

Kevin starts setting lines after we clear the breakwalls at the mouth of the river. Less than a half-mile out, he’s busy letting out the third rig when a 4-pound brown devours the Sigg’s Rigs fly. Ron Marlett , a retired NYS Trooper, tells his grandson to grab the line.

Moving with speed I can only dream about, 16-year-old Chad Tyson is reeling the brute in. A few minutes later, we’re all high-fiving the youngster.

Kevin no sooner gets the line down again when another fish hits, prompting the good captain to suggest, with the calm of a seasoned pro, “Someone ought’a grab that rod.”

In a blur, Chad’s up there again. Heck, I didn’t even have time to turn my neck to see which rod it was.

This is a much bigger fish. After battling for about 10 minutes, a 16-pound king is in the boat.

“When do these fish start converging on the waters off Oswego,” I ask Capt. Dick after everything settles down.

They start showing up in June and their numbers grow steadily through September, when the biggest show up. Still, even now you can easily get kings weighing 20 to 30 pounds,” he says.

As if on cue, another rod trips with such ferocity I swear the boat went backwards for a split second. The fish hit the copper line which was out over 100 yards. I knew it would be tough bringing this one in, so I decided to go to the head.

George Panarites, another old friend of Dick’s, passes too.

Fortunately, we had Chad aboard to do the heavy work. What a sport, I thought, as he took the rod.

Fifteen minutes later, Kevin lands the 23-pound king. Everyone but Chad is panting after the battle. The youngster just wants another one.

A short time later, George notices one of the outside rods acting funny and decides to bring it in. A keeper lake trout is on the other end. “Ah, a nice griller,” he remarks, contentedly.

This kind of action is average from now until the leaves start turning. If Capt. Dick (315-246-4767; www.stantoncharters.com) is booked when you wanna go out, he’ll be able to refer you to someone almost as competent. If you’d rather do it yourself, check out the list of charter captains on Oswego County’s website; www.visitoswegocounty.com.

Chad battling a big king while grandpa Ron offers encouragement.
Kevin netting the prize.
Chad with his biggest king.
George with a griller.