I recently received an email from an old fishing friend and fellow member of the Capital District Bassmasters, Bob Lounello of Schenectady, about his day on the water fishing with his son, Mark.
I could relate to what takes place when father and son do a bit of bonding on the water. It’s obviously well-spent time for both, but there’s also a small glimmering of competition between the two.
The biggest fish is usually the goal of both and Mark’s four-plus-pound smallmouth put dad away early in the day. Bob later hooked up with a good one that may have beaten his son’s, but in his words, “He [Mark] stabbed at it with the net and lost it right at the boat,” which was followed by some fun heat from dad to son. However, the rules of such family competitions are very clear: “In order for the fish to be counted, it has to be in the boat, not next to it.” Too bad Bob, but I’ve been there.
They did catch quite a few smallmouth bass throughout the day, fishing the stretch around the Rexford Bridge, but when the day ended, Mark maintained his big-fish status. Congratulations, Mark. Bob and I are going to hook up and do a little Mohawk River fishing soon.
Big bass return?
Have the big bass come back to Saratoga Lake? It sure looked like it when I attended the Greenbush Bass Association’s open partner’s bass tournament there last Sunday. There were a total of 34 boats, and most of them weighed in five-bass team limits.
The winning team of Adam Bielawa of Lebanon and Jerry Gibson of Averill Park definitely found some big bass when they weighed in 17.33 pounds, which included the tournament’s biggest, a 5.42-pound largemouth. The win earned them $645; the lunker, an additional $340. Second were Mechanicville anglers Todd Brown and Matt Rubino with 16.80 pounds. They got $405.
Rounding out the top five cash positions were: Gansevoort anglers Dick Nolan and John Clairmont, 13.43 pounds; Dave Munger of Saratoga Springs and John Jenkins of Stillwater, 13.42; and Latham anglers Joe Ensel and Al Kleeper, 12.92 pounds. Third through fifth places paid $305, $205 and $135 respectively.
According to a few of the tournament anglers I spoke with, there were plenty of bites, and some of the bigger ones were along the weed edges in 12 to 15 feet of water. The lures varied, but plastics were the most mentioned.
In the Tuesday afternoon three-hour Saratoga Tackle Bass Challenge, Todd Brown of Mechanicville, fishing without a partner, brought in the biggest five-bass limit totaling 11.58 pounds and received $383. His 4.16-pound largemouth also won big-bass cash of $170.
Art Thiverge of Schuylerville and Mike Jennings of Greenwich were second with 11.58 pounds and received $229. Third-place cash of $153 went to Munger and Jenkins with 10.62 pounds.
Little lake, big fish
Just around the corner from Saratoga Lake, little Lake Lonely’s trophy-sized northern pike have awakened and made several local anglers very happy.
John Rourke of East Greenbush was trolling a No. 3 Mepps spinner down around 20 feet when he got a toothy surprise. His northern measured 36 inches and tipped the Lake Lonely Boat Livery scales at 11 pounds, eight ounces. Latham angler Niles McCormick was trolling a No. 5 Firetiger Mepps spinner when he hooked up with his big pike that weighed in around 15 pounds and measured 40 inches. Kevin Williams of Schodak was using a big live shiner when he caught his big Lake Lonely pike. It measured 34 inches and weighed 10 pounds, four ounces. Three good catches in the same week.
Lake Lonely’s largemouth bass were also biting last weekend. Greg McDermotts Sr. and Jr., both of Saratoga Springs, caught a dozen keeper bass on wacky worms, and their three biggest totaled 12-plus pounds.
According to livery owner, Bill Parry, the action seems to be the result of the water temperatures cooling due to the drop in air temperatures at night.
The Lake Lonely Tuesday afternoon one-bass tournaments have been extended to run until the third week in September. Tournament hours are 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Entry fee is $10.
The last three winning weekly bass catches, all largemouths, were: 5.8 pounds, 5.6 pounds and 3.4 pounds.
If you would like to fish this tournament and do not have a boat, you can rent one with an electric trolling motor for the tournament for $15. In this tournament, you are allowed to weigh in one bass, and it must be alive. Call Bill, 587-1721.
Big bass of the week
This week’s biggest bass catch reported was caught and released in Washington County’s Hedges Lake in Cambridge. John Mariano of Schenectady was drop-shotting a small worm on six-pound-test line when the bass hit. John believes it was hooked before because it had a hooked, deformed lower jaw. On the scales, the largemouth weighed seven pounds, eight ounces. Nice catch, John.
Only one kid’s catch this week, and it was taken from a secret stream in Saratoga County by 7-year-old William Michael Schwerd III of Schuylerville. Michael was fishing with his uncle, Mike Galcik, of Schuylerville. The lure he used is a secret, but the four-pound-plus largemouth was bigger than anything his uncle hooked up with that day.
“Uncle Mike is a good guide,” he said.
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