High, muddy water still seems to be the fishing condition we are facing, but the slightest ray of sunshine or a lull in the rain is finding fishermen wetting their lines and, usually, their bodies.
I’ve started out several times on the upper Hudson River, Saratoga Lake and Lake George and got wet every time. And except for Lake George, the fishing has been very slow. The bites have been few and the fish being caught are small, as evidenced in several of the tournament results I’ve received.
The 20 teams that participated in the Greenbush Bass open on Sacandaga Lake out of the Broadalbin state launch site didn’t weigh in what they usually do there, but the numbers they caught were good. The Saratoga team of Ben Benkoski and Todd Michetelli won with five bass totaling 11.39 pounds. They were rewarded with $480. They also took big bass cash of $200 with a 3.40-pounder.
I spoke with Dave of Dave’s Bait and Tackle in Mayfield, and he said the bass fishing has been good with a lot of 14- to 15-inch fish, but bigger catches aren’t as frequent. Walleyes have been very spotty, and those being caught are actually suspended 10 to 14 feet down in 25 to 30 feet of water. Pike seem to be scarce.
Fifteen members of the Capital District Bassmasters traveled to Plattsburgh to start their season with a two-day tournament and enjoyed very pleasant fishing conditions. The day one leader was Sean Wilkes of Latham with a five-bass limit of 16.13 pounds anchored with a 3.64-pound largemouth. Second was Dave Goyette of Scotia with 15.23 pounds, and Paul Ripchik Jr. of Saratoga Springs was third with 15.14 pounds. Goyette also had the first-day lunker, a 4.08-pound largemouth.
The leaderboard didn’t change on the second day for the top two teams, as Sean Wilkes’ 13.81-pound bag of bass was enough to win the two-day event with a total of 29.94 pounds. Goyette’s second-day catch of 12.17 pounds gave him second with 27.4 pounds. Kevin Wilkes of Troy had a second-day catch of 13.79 pounds, which moved him from eighth place on the first day to third for the tournament. Lunker for day two was a beautiful 3.62-pound smallie caught by Bill Davis of Troy.
If your bass club would like to share its successes, email me your tournament results. Send me the top three place winners in the tournament, city where they live and their winning weight. Include the tournament lunker winner and his/her catch. Send it to [email protected]
NO FISH STILL WINS
In my 40-plus years of bass tournament fishing, I’ve always wanted to win a partners tournament and not catch a fish, but still get half of the winning cash.
My wish came true at the three-hour Tuesday afternoon Saratoga Tackle Bass Challenge. I did it to my partner, Mike Galcik of Schuylerville. Not only did we win $293 first-place money with 11.18 pounds of “Mike’s” fish, but “we” also had the big bass of 3.68 pounds that got “us” another $120.
On this particular afternoon, I had another first: Sometime between when we took off and got to the other end of the lake, my big, completely filled Kevin VanDam soft zippered tackle box had blown out of the boat. And now that I think about it, that’s a good excuse for not catching any fish with my own lures. However, it was my lucky day because right after the weigh-in, one of the contestants said, “Is this yours?” He had found it floating on the lake.
The Saratoga Springs team of Dave Munger and John Jenkins finished second with 10.10 pounds and got $175. At the weigh-in, John was mumbling something about Dave’s culling skills. Third-place cash of $117 went to Dan Harms of Glens Falls and John Harms of Scotia for 9.74 pounds.
TROLLING MOTOR ACCESSORY
If you have a bow-mount electric trolling motor that is lowered and raised with a rope, I think you’ll be interested in T-H Marine’s new
G-Force trolling motor replacement cord. I’ve broken and had to replace cords several times on the water during my fishing, and at least twice ended up in the water when it broke and I lost my balance lifting the motor up. I think it’s a “must” for any angler with a bow-mount electric motor. This is especially true for tournament anglers because even with a spare on board, if the rope breaks, replacement time becomes lost fishing time.
The G-Force comes with a very durable nylon-jacketed stainless-steel cable and a large and very comfortable cushioned grip handle. Also included is a hook-n-loop strap to secure to the motor shaft while under way. Handle color choices are red and gray. It sells for $35. Go to www.thmarine.com. Two of their other items I like are the money pole lure retriever and G-Force cull system.
Don’t forget, if you’ve had a good day on the water and would like to share it with other anglers, email me all the information to [email protected]
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