Fish Tales: Woman learned, embraced thrills of fishing

I’ve received numerous telephone calls, letters and emails in my more than 35 years of outdoor colum

I’ve received numerous telephone calls, letters and emails in my more than 35 years of outdoor column writing, but a recent letter from Frances Payette of Altamont really touched me, and I thought it would make a great opening for this week’s Fish Tales.

Dear Mr. Noonan,

I read your column on pike fishing in the 9-15-11 issue of the Gazette.

Needless to say I found it very interesting. My husband and I were very avid fisherman.

I’m now 86 yrs old and my husband is no longer with me!

My husband taught me to fish for pike. We used steel leaders, which is a must, bobbers, and golden shiners.

We would stop at a little bait shop on Route 9 just north of Clifton Park.

At that time we could fish right off shore, on Little Round Lake on Route 67. The only access now is by boat through the larger Round Lake on Rt. 9.

What a thrill to toss that bobber out and wait. Where we fished, you didn’t have to wait long.

When that bobber went down, and your line began going out faster and faster, you waited and held that pole tight!

I think I practically held my breath until that bobber popped up! Wait a couple of seconds and pull with all your strength! Keep the line tight, don’t relax, you’re in for a fight! This is way that way your line cuts through the water. Keep reeling!

I ran him right up on shore! He measured 43 1⁄2 inches. The biggest monster I ever caught! We caught others in the 40-inch range, so I know they are still out there only now, they’re bigger!

If Round Lake isn’t polluted, there are real lunkers lurking out there.

Just thought I would tell my story because Round Lake wasn’t mentioned in your report.

By the way, Mr. Noonan, if they don’t already know, pike can bite right down to the bone! Keep fingers away from their mouths. We saw a man with both thumbs caught in the pike’s mouth. He was helpless! He came to my husband with blood streaming down his arms. My husband cut off the pike’s head, which was still attached to his thumbs!

Thanks for listening to an old woman and her dream. I remain a reader.

Mrs. Payette, if you would like to try a little pike fishing on Round Lake again, just give me a call. I would be honored to take you there.


Four local anglers, Mike Auriemma, Milt Morin and Dick Andrews, all of Amsterdam, and Jim Davis of Clifton Park, had quite a fishing weekend aboard the Lori-J Charters boat at Cape Vincent, where the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario meet.

Friday evening, they hooked up with a seven-pound walleye while trolling a purple-and-pink Husky Jerk. When the action slowed, they switched to a blue-and-black one-ounce bucktail jig and caught another seven- and a 10-pounder.

The next morning, they traveled up river, where they caught 50-60 big perch, and that evening, they hauled in 10- and five-pound walleye, several good bass, an eight-pound drum and a five-pound pike.


Local tournament angler John Pelletier of Nassau did very well with a third-place finish in the recent Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open on Oneida Lake last week.

Pelletier, fishing in only his fourth B.A.S.S. pro tournament, was competing in a field of 138 pros, most of which were full-time touring anglers that included prev­ious Bassmaster Classic qualifiers, several of which are past Classic champions.

John, whose dad, Bob, travels with him and fishes the co-angler side of these open events, was very consistent in his daily catches. His Day 1 catch of 15.3 pounds placed him in 16th place. He moved up into third on Day 2 with 16.7 pounds. His final day’s catch of 13.3 pounds gave him a total of 45.7 pounds and earned him a third-place check for $11,500.

California angler Ish Monroe, who took the lead on the first day and never looked back, won the event with 51.2 pounds and collected a $54,200 reward that included $9,200 in cash and a fully rigged bass boat valued at $45,000. Runner up was Ohio angler Mike Simonton with 48.12 pounds, and he received $13,800.

In the co-angler division, Syr­acuse angler Kevin Haley took home a brand new Skeeter bass boat with a Yamaha outboard valued at $35,000. On the final day, Haley caught a five-pound smallmouth eight minutes before the tourn­ament ended.

In local tournament news, the second annual Saratoga Rower Association’s (SRA) Angler Appreciation Invitational Bass Tourn­ament, an entry-free tournament with $2,500 in cash prize money

donated by SAR, was held on Sar­atoga Lake. Also included was a barbecue for the 24 teams that competed. The winners with a five-bass team total of 16.34 pounds were Dan Dyer of Saratoga Springs and Tom Kail of Burnt Hills. Their catch also included the tournament lunker, a 4.14-pound largemouth. They received $600 for the win and an additional $200 for their big bass.

Saratoga Springs anglers Dave Munger and John Jenkins were second with 11.74 pounds, and Don Weber and Mike LaPoint, also of Sar­atoga Springs, were third with 10.76 pounds. Second and third places returned $400 and $300, respectively.


The inaugural Joe Johnson Mem­orial Bass Partners Tourn­ament will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at McMurray’s, near Broadalbin, on the Great Sacan­daga Lake. The entry fee is $100 per boat, which includes lunker fee, and $20 will be donated to the Children’s Hospital of Albany Medical Center. For more information, contact Al Denny at 505-5795.

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