Anglers are finding that fish are biting

Good time to get out on the water.

Fishing is good!

All the reports I’ve received this week are that the fish are biting.

Last Sunday, I fished the Washington County Bassmasters open tournament on Lake Champlain with Schuylerville angler Mike Galcik, and this lake is unbelievable. It just continues to produce good bass, both for regular and tournament anglers. Temperatures reached the mid-80s by the time we weighed in at

3 p.m., and the 25 teams all had five-bass limits, not unusual for this great lake.

Our first fish came early when Mike was working a rocky point with a Strike King square-billed crankbait made by bass pro Kevin VanDam. The fish weighed 4.41 pounds, and turned out to be our biggest fish of the day.

From the back of the boat, I was pitching a BPS Stik-O Worm, rigged wacky style, and shortly after Mike’s second keeper, I boated a nice three-plus-pound smallmouth. When we left that area about an hour after arriving there, we needed just one bass to fill our limit. The limit and at least another 12 or 15 bass came into our boat throughout the rest of the day, some of which we were able to cull to improve our catch.

We did have a few exciting minutes when Mike’s rod bent in half and I scrambled for the net, only to find a freshwater Champlain drum on his hook.

This one and the one he hooked later had to each weigh 15 pounds. And before the day was done, he boated a six- to seven-pound channel cat.

At the scales, we had a respectable total of 15.57 pounds, which put us in ninth place.

The top four paid positions were led by Joel Marcott of Corinth and Darin Duell of Warrensburg with 20.84 pounds, and their five-bass limit included the tournament lunker, a 5.10-pound largemouth. The winners shared $1,200, plus an additional $250 for the lunker.

Second place and $800 went to Vermont anglers Bruce Holt and Scott McKay with 20.19 pounds. Third place and $500 went to Saratoga Springs ang­lers Rich Whelpley and Carl Paquette with 18.40 pounds, and last to cash were Fort Edward anglers Richard Petty and Kelby Truay with 17.81 pounds.

This week’s Great Sacan­daga fishing report comes from Doug Blowery of Northville, who fishes the lake frequently and thinks the fishing is just beginning to get good.

There’s an abundance of walleye bait this year. Find them, and you’ll find the ’eyes. The easiest way to do it is with a fish/depth finder. Doug is a jig-and-worm ’eye angler, and said they’re usually 15 to 25 feet down.

The Sacandaga smallies are also plentiful, with most averaging 14 to 15 inches, but if you stay at it, you’re bound to catch a bigger one.

Fish the shoals and points early with top-water baits like the Pop-R or soft jerk baits. Try casting an eighth-ounce jig head with a three- to four-inch white twister tail out, let it sink about a foot, then swim it back to the boat.

By mid-morning, they’ve usually moved off into deeper waters and require a quarter-ounce jig head with tubes, spider grubs or you can drop-shot with four-inch worms.

Twenty-one teams competed in the Schenectady Elite anglers bass tournament on the Great Sacandaga Lake last Saturday, and all weighed in six-bass limits.

The top teams were the Schenectady duo of Tim Squires and Reed Poultan, 12.68 pounds; Jason Lane and Floyd Squires of Schenectady, 12.12 pounds; Clifton Park ang­lers Bob Bachelder his son, Bob Jr., 12.00; and Troy anglers Pete Rico and Jim Barcomb, 11.83 pounds.

Big bass honors went to Schenectady anglers Shane Unides and Joe Fiedner with their 3.12-pound smallie.

Saratoga Tackle’s Tuesday afternoon Bass Challenge broke its boats. The two-pound largemouths are still biting, but there was a surprise.

What do you do when you launch your boat in a bass tournament and when you start to put your electric motor in the water, the head of it comes off? Well that’s what happened to Carl Paquette of Saratoga Springs, and he was forced to let the wind push him around in Fish Creek for the entire time. Tough way to fish, but he won the tournament with a five-bass total of 12.92 pounds and picked up a cash reward of $585.

Just .04 pounds behind were Stillwater anglers Dan Brinsko and Jim Clyne with

12.88 pounds. Their bag of bass also included a 5.24 pounder. Second place paid $351, and the big bass another $240.

Third-place honors and $234 went to Saratoga Springs anglers Dan Dyer and Chris Richardson for their five bass totaling 12.24 pounds.

wait pays off

It takes a true hunter to postpone having knee surgery to go on a bow-and-arrow bear hunt in New Brunswick, but that’s exactly what Jack Douglas of Galway did last month.

He was hunting at the Oak Mountain Outfitters, where he had hunted many times before. On his first day in the tree stand, he passed on a small bear. The next night was different. The bear walked right under his stand, but Jack couldn’t move or he would have spooked it. The bear walked off.

Five minutes later, he saw the bear coming back. This time, he was ready. It only took one arrow tipped with the new Toxic 100-grain broadhead at 22 yards to end the hunt.

Jack was using a PSE Bow Madness compound set at 58 pounds. The bear tipped the scales at 175 pounds. Congratulations, Jack, and good luck with those knees.

Crossbow recall

Missions Archery has received three reports of its crossbow firing unexpectedly. There have been no injuries reported. Full details of the recall are at http://www.cpsc.-


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