Ice Fishing: Action picking up at Saratoga Lake

Apparently, the snow followed by rain and warmer weather hasn’t had any ill-effects on the ice fishi

Apparently, the snow followed by rain and warmer weather hasn’t had any ill-effects on the ice fishing. By all accounts, the fish are biting just about everywhere.

Reports from Saratoga Lake are that the walleye and crappie bites have picked up. Emil Buckmiller of Mechanicville caught quite a few walleyes fishing the Saratoga Tackle contest last week, ranging from three pounds to his winning catch of 5.94 pounds, for which he received $100. He was fishing the weed edges in 15 feet of water using tip-ups baited with medium-sized minnows.

The walleye bite on Saratoga Lake seems to be mostly in the northern end, as the fish are beginning to stage for their spawning. It is usually during this period that they are feeding more frequently.

Fish the weed edges in 10 to 20 feet of water with live bait, and don’t be afraid to poke one hole just for jigging. Good jig choices are Swedish Pimples, Rapala Jigging Shad Raps and Lindy Rattl’n Flyer Spoons.

The pike bite here is also good, with three- to seven-pounders coming through the holes. They, too, will soon be staging, and are quite fond of the larger suckers and shiners fished in and around the weeds at depths from five to 10 feet.

Brian Mather of Scotia took top honors and $100 for his 4.92-pound northern pike caught during the Saratoga Tackle tournament.

Another $100 winner in this event was John Stiles of Clifton Park with a 1.4-pound perch, while Tom Bonfey of Schenectady pulled up a 3.04-pickerel worth $70.

Saratoga’s panfish population, especially the crappies, seem to be feeding more frequently, and jigging colorful tiny tubes, twister tails and small minnows beneath a tip-up are all getting results. The weeds near Franklin Beach and south toward Snake Hill, Brown’s Beach and even the shore cover in Fish Creek seem to be producing.

If you like a lot of action and watching tip-up flags fly, you might want to consider Mariaville Lake.

A group of Galway anglers — Chris and Kyle Goldy, Bruce Villa and Harvey Sajvak — hooked up with more than 100 pickerel over a two-day span. They also caught a fair amount of perch. The majority of the fish came on tip-ups with shiners fished in waters as shallow as three feet.

The Great Sacandaga Lake continues to produce fish, as evidenced by the results of tournaments there.

In the recent Fish House contest, which attracted 183 contestants, Gregg Geelan of Broadalbin won the walleye division with a four-pound, 13-ounce catch, while his son, Peter, won the northern pike division with a four-pound, seven-ounce fish. Chris Rose of Altamont had the winning perch, weighing one pound, eight ounces, and Mike White of Lake Luzerne won the trout division with his two-pound, nine-ounce fish.

Most of the good fishing has been in the northern end of the lake, and live bait seems to be the primary “fish-getter.” It shouldn’t be too long before the northern pike bite and size picks up, which it usually does just before the spawn.

Two of the bays in the lower end of the lake — Dunham’s and Harris — were still producing good perch and an occasional big northern pike as of last Sunday. Jigging with small jigs and tiny tubes tipped with grubs are attracting the perch, and the bigger live bait are catching the pike. Fish the perch on the deep edge of the weeds, and move into the weeds for the pike.

Continuing north, Schroon Lake’s lake trout, landlock salmon, perch and pike are setting off flags. Lake trout from three to five pounds are usually down 60 to 100 feet. Fish the areas between the north shore in the village and Clark’s Island. Keppler’s Point, just off of Fowler Avenue, is also a good starting point, as is the area along the East Shore Road south of Adirondack. Stay clear of the creeks and the mouth of the Schroon River; the ice there may be unsafe.

The salmon are usually found swimming in these same areas, only they are quite often within

15 to 20 feet of the ice surface. Both the lakers and salmon will hit small minnows, but, as always, punch one hole and do a little jigging while you are waiting for a flag.

I haven’t heard of any really big northerns taken through the ice in Schroon Lake this season, but the next few weeks might produce a few. Fish the weed edges in front of the town beach and throughout the north end of the lake. As for the perch, fish the 15 to 20 feet of water on the back side (east) of Clark’s Island. Small minnows and jigging should produce some tasty perch fillets.

If you are in the Schroon Lake area and want to fish something smaller, Muller Pond, located on Hoffman Road, is a good option. There, you will find perch, pickerel and northen pike. For fishing information and conditions about

Schroon Lake, call Crossroads Bait at 494-3821.

Categories: Sports

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