The Oneida Prince


It was about 3 weeks ago that I had reached out to the NYOC boys Dan and Jim about doing some walleye fishing on Oneida Lake. These guys don’t like to leave Oswego County very often, but when they found out how well we were doing, it did not take much convincing. It also helped that would be fishing with the best kept secret on Oneida Lake, Pat Edwards.

Pat Edwards is not a guide, but he should be. He has been fishing Oneida Lake with his father Butch since he was 5 years old. Pat knows every rock pile and weed line West of Sylvan Beach and can pretty much catch fish all year round. He has learned about these spots through his dad, but has also found a few on his own. It is not so much the spot that will impress you; it is the lure or bait that really makes the difference. If you don’t believe that ask Dan Leonard who pretty much caught fish all morning, whereas Jim Hanlon wanted to try his own lures for a few hours (he is what we call a bullhead), which did not work as well.

The morning started out rainy, and the NYOC boys where a half an hour late due to a mishap with some alarm clock or what not, but still made it. Pat and I had the boat already loaded and where ready when the boys showed up. We knew exactly where the fish would be and how to catch them. All we had to do was hope the fishing gods would let the walleyes be active that morning so we could send Jim and Dan home with a few fillets.

On Oneida Lake we find that jigs work great for most of the year, especially perch colored jigs, but this morning was different. For whatever reasons the walleyes where not hitting jigs so Pat suggested we try worm harnesses, either bronze or gold, and the rest is history.

Dan Leonard put on a bronze spinner and in half an hour had his limit of tasty eyes’. We all switched to spinners except Jim who was using a green Erie Dirie. In 4 hours of fishing and running out of bait, we had landed 16 walleyes, a handful of panfish, white perch, and even a few smallmouths. I don’t think the boys could believe how great the fishing was, as well as the company. It makes fishing that much more enjoyable when you can poke fun at the guy with the fewest fish, especially when that same guy usually catches the most!

With the Prince of the Lake, Pat Edwards, it doesn’t really matter where you are fishing at in the lake, he will find the fish, and even better, find what they are hitting on. I think the NYOC boys will be sure to tell you the same thing. I am blessed for having such a good fishing partner, friend, and neighbor who has made my life in Syracuse, NY more enjoyable then I would have ever imagined. He is selfless when it comes to entertaining fisherman from all parts of NY as long as they appreciate it as much as he does. Pat welcomes the boys back anytime, just as long as they bring more bait!

Ross M. Ireland-The Gobbler King