The hard water is gone, and boats are starting to appear on lakes and rivers.
Riding around last week, I saw a bass fishing boat going under Fish Creek bridge onto Saratoga Lake.
In late afternoon, I got a call from Mike Galcik, who asked if I’d like to join him on the upper Hudson River. He said a few days before, he and a friend had caught and released more than 20 bass.
We didn’t catch that many, but we did catch some largemouths, and we did some CPR (catch, photo and release) on a four- to five-pound walleye. The ’eye was swimming in three to four feet of water.
All our fish were taken on a chatter bait (sorry, Mike, had to tell them the truth). I suggest if you don’t have one, you should. Sunday, Mike and Mike Jennings of Greenwich fished Cossayuna Lake and caught a dozen bass and four small northern pikes.
Driving down Route 9P (east side) last Sunday, I pulled over near Fitch Road when I saw a guy in a boat about 150 yards out grab a net. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but my guess would be a panfish. Before I left, he hooked up with another.
There were also several other anchored boats in the same vicinity. Later, I stopped at Saratoga Tackle, and owner Tim Blodgett said the crappie bite had definitely begun, and by the number of bass boat trailers I saw at the state launch site, I’d have to say bass are also biting.
Just remember, CBR only for the bass.
The only trout catches I heard about came from Casey Avery of Ballston Spa. He was fishing the Kayaderosseras and said the water was really moving fast. Using night crawlers, he caught two brown trout and one brookie that measured 141⁄2 inches.
If you’re catching fish, I’d like to start Fish Tales. Email me your name, city of residence, where you were fishing, what you caught and what you caught it on. The water depth would be helpful, also. Send your information to [email protected].
Hudson River stripers
On Friday, River Basin Sports Show in Catskill reported anglers were seeing larger schools of herring moving in the Esopus, Roe-Jan, Catskill and Stockport creeks.
The first striper schools weren’t far behind. There was also talk of catches ranging up to 381⁄2 inches in the Catskill Creek area. It’s beginning, and will continue to get better.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation recently released new striped bass limits, effective April 15, to comply with the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission’s mandated 25-percent harvest reduction.
The recreational limit for all anglers in coastal waters (all New York marine waters of Long Island, Westchester County and New York City south of the George Washington Bridge) is one fish, 28 inches or larger, during the April 15-Dec. 15 season.
New York is committed to maintaining a healthy stock of striped bass for both recreational and commercial fishing. This reduction will allow the state’s striped bass stock to recover more quickly.
DEC also has established new limits for the Hudson and Delaware rivers and commercial fishing in coastal waters.
The Hudson River (all tributaries north of George Washington Bridge and all inland waters) limit is one fish, 18-28 inches or one fish larger than 40 inches during the April 1-Nov. 30 season.
The Delaware River limit is one fish, 28 inches or larger (no closed season). The commercial quota is reduced by 25 percent. A slot limit of 28-38 inches during the June 1-Dec. 15 season are the new limits.
Also to reduce the mortality of the released fish, DEC is recommending the use of “non-offset circle-hooks” while fishing for stripers.
Circle hooks are designed and manufactured with the point of the hook turned back toward the shank to form a circular or oval shape. The point of the hook should form an angle of 90 degrees or less to the shank of the hook. The hook is considered offset when the point of the hook is not in line with the plane of the shank of the hook.
The anadromous river herring regulations remain the same for the Hudson River. All Hudson River fishermen must enroll in the annual no-fee recreational marine fishing register before fishing for “migratory fish of the sea” such as stripers. To enroll go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/54950.html.
More fishing rights
DEC has also announced the acquisition of almost 7,000 feet of public fishing rights along the Onesquethaw Creek in Albany County, including a 1,375-foot access trail and a new angler parking area on Rupert Road, next to the town’s transfer station in Bethlehem.
There are also access sites within the South Bethlehem town park, where there is also parking.
The 1.6 miles of the stream is all well marked with DEC signs. Access to this private property cost about $21,000, and came from the Environmental Protection Fund.
There are also future plans for restoration and improvements by the Clearwater chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Indian Kill Preserve
The Glenville PBA and East Glenville Fire Department will host the first Hooks and Heros Indian Kill Preserve Youth Fishing Derby May 9.
Fishing hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Participating fishing day enthusiasts must be Schenectady County youths 15 or younger. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Entrants must pre-register at the Boat House in Niskayuna, Goldstock’s in Glenville, Taylor & Vadney in Rotterdam or Target Sports in Glenville before May 6.
The youth turkey hunt is this weekend, and junior hunters 12-15 who are accompanied by an experienced adult hunter can harvest a spring turkey.
For all the regulations, go to: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27836.html.
I would like to hear about young hunters’ turkey tales for a special “Turkey Tales” column here in The Daily Gazette.
Email me all the information, including full name, city of residence, adult assisting the youth hunter, beard and spur length, weight of the turkey, what type gun was used, distance of the shot, calls used and anything else you think is important. Send it to [email protected].