Saratoga Lake giving up big bass

Saratoga Lake reaffirmed its reputation as a “bass factory” last week with some outstanding catches.
Eighty-nine-year-old Charles Gaetano of Utica holds the 21-inch, five-pound smallmouth bass he caught recently at Saratoga Lake.
Eighty-nine-year-old Charles Gaetano of Utica holds the 21-inch, five-pound smallmouth bass he caught recently at Saratoga Lake.

Saratoga Lake reaffirmed its reputation as a “bass factory” last week with some outstanding catches.

In Saturday’s Schenectady Elite tournament, 31 out of 33 two-person teams weighed in six-bass team limits.

Running away from the field was the Albany team of Bill Goodermote and Chuck Sidito with 22.04 pounds. Included in their bag of bass were two largemouths that tipped the scales at 5.02 and 5.08 pounds. The biggest bass of the tournament, a 6.08-pound largemouth, was in the second-place team’s catch of 18.10 pounds.

There were two other five-pounders weighed in that day — a 5.14-pounder by Glenn Flagler of Schenectady and Trevor Stay of Ballston Spa, and a 5.03-pounder by Pat Lenny of Albany and Scott Madcharo of Schenectady.

Those anglers who did well in this event credited their catches primarily to plastic baits. These included six-inch Berkley Power and ribbon worms rigged Texas-style and wacky-rigged Senkos. Most of the fish came from the main lake in water depths of 5-15 feet and always outside weed lines and sub-surface weeds beds off the flats out from Franklin Beach.

The day before this tournament, I had the pleasure of netting the biggest smallmouth I’ve seen in Sar­atoga Lake in quite a few years.

I was fishing with Utica angler Brian Gaetano and his 86-year-old dad, Charles. We had been fishing the south end of the lake at sunup around South Shore marine, and caught quite a few nice largemouths.

About 9:30, we moved up to the buoy line out from the Saratoga Lake Sailing Club fishing in about eight feet of water when Charles said he had a big one. His rod was bent in half as I grabbed the net and then saw the fish come straight out of the water. I’m not sure who was more nervous, Charles or me, but we were both quite happy when I slipped the net under a 21-inch, five-pound-plus, Saratoga Lake smallie.

Plenty of photos were taken, and we all watched the trophy smallie swim away. All the bass that morning came on Venom worms.

Saratoga’s Fish Creek is often overlooked by anglers, but lately, it has been producing a lot of largemouths ranging from 1 1⁄2 to 3 1⁄2 pounds taken on plastic lures and crankbaits. Texas-rigged worms fished with a pegged worm weight and fished in the heavy weeds that line both sides of the creek’s shore line have been working well. You’ll catch a lot of smaller bass, but the bigger ones are there. Patience is the key.


California angler Eoin Harty, a thoroughbred trainer, took a break from the track and spent an afternoon catching and releasing a number of largemouths all the way from the state launch site down to Bryant’s Bridge, fishing a wacky worm around the fallen timber and weed edges. His biggest was a three-pounder, but he also lost two others that were bigger.

Recently, Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R.C.I.-Schenectady) was joined by Mike Miller, sportsman outreach coordinator for the state Assembly, and Schen­ectady County Planning Department’s Mark Storti for a day of fishing on the upper Hudson River, and found both the largemouth and smallmouth bass quite active.

Miller caught the big fish of the day — a largemouth close to four pounds — and the group hooked and released a number of smaller bass. They also hooked up with several pike and pickerel, but the fishes’ sharp teeth quickly set them free before they could be landed.


As of Wednesday, the current in this stretch of the river is still moving rather quickly, but the water level has dropped and the clarity is much better than it was after all the heavy rain we’ve had this month. Best bass baits on the river right now are plastic worms, tube and spider jigs on quarter-ounce jig heads, spinner baits around the weeds and top-water offerings during the early morning.

Kathleen Ridgeway of West Point and Vince Obremski of Rexford managed to land their Hudson River toothy critter. Vince boated and released a 26-inch northern and Kathleen a 20-incher. They also hooked up with a number of small and largemouth bass, most of which were caught on plastic worms.


This year, there have been four state freshwater fish records broken.

These were a 16-pound, nine-ounce walleye caught by Tom Reed; a three-pound, nine-ounce fallfish caught by Jonathan McNamara; a five-pound, 4.5-ounce brook trout by Tom Yacovella and the latest, a seven-pound, six-ounce brown bullhead caught by Glenn Collacuro of Mahopac, taken from the Lake Mahopac. Brown bullheads average about one to two pounds in New York.


If you have a transom-mount electric trolling motor, here’s something you are going to like — Pro-Controll.

This unit is designed to allow you to have foot control of your hand-operated transom-style electric trolling motor. And it makes no difference if the motor is mounted on the transom, bow or even the side. It is a foot-steering system made to work with 12-volt trolling motors of any kind and thrust that have a shaft locking feature. This system includes a clamp mount and precision engineered foot pedal that, together, turn a transom-mount trolling motor into a foot-steered model with selective continuous-run or momentary on/off operation.

If you want more hands-free fishing time while following a weed line, take a look at Pro-Controll. Suggested retail price is just over $100, and you can see it at

Categories: Sports

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