Noonan: The bass are biting big-time

Neil Hopkins with one of his catches.
Neil Hopkins with one of his catches.

The bass are biting! I have talked to a number of anglers at the Saratoga Lake boat launch who have been catching and releasing primarily largemouth, but also a few smallmouths all over the lake.

Last Saturday, Neil Hopkins (Saratoga) and I headed out on Saratoga Lake at sunup and, because of the wind, we decided to let the wind drift us while we tossed wacky worms in 4 to 5 feet of weedy water. On Neil’s second cast, before I had even made my first, he hooked up with a largemouth that, if we were in a tournament, would have gone in the live well. And this rod bending continued for the next six hours wherever we were. Our biggest bass, was an estimated 5-6 pound largemouth that Neil hooked up with and lost right at the boat. 

The Mohawk Valley Anglers club traveled to the Pontoosuc Lake in Massachusetts to fish their first club bass tournament. The lake had been sprayed with weed killer the week before, which the anglers believe made the fishing very difficult.

Leading the way with a 5-bass catch totaling 13.26 pounds was the Rotterdam team of Tim Squires and Reed Poultan. Finishing in second place was Glen Flagler of Schenectady and Gerald Simmons of Ballston Spa with 11.65 pounds. The Guilderland team of Tim Morrison and Anthony Raimo were third with 11.50 and the Broadalbin team of Eric Fiedner and Scott Madcharo were fourth with 10.33. If you are interested they have 2- and 3-man open tournaments scheduled. For more information, go to their website at

On June 17, the Eagles Club in Saratoga will sponsor their annual Father’s Day Kids Fishing Day on Lake Lonely at 373 Crescent Saratoga Springs. Fishing hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no entry fee and there will be free refreshments for the kids, from toddlers to 16 years old. Bait will be free and prizes will we awarded. For further details, call 518-587-3421.

Also, there will be two weeknight bass team tournaments on Saratoga Lake this year. The Saratoga South Shore Marina Thursday night partners tournament will begin on June 21. Entry fee is $80 (includes launching fee) fishing from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information, go to their website at (NOTE: Neal and I found a lot of these bass just off the launch at South Shore Marina.) 

Saratoga Tackle & Archery will hold their Tuesday evening 2-man Saratoga Bass Challenge bass tournaments (beginning on June 26) launching at Lee’s Campground. Fishing hours are 5-8 p.m. and fees are $60 and $10 for lunker. For further information, go to


Last Thursday, the last day of the turkey season, I returned to where I got my tom on May 1. I was in the woods and set up by 5:15 a.m. and started my calling at 5:30. And to make a long story short, I never got an answer to any of my calls and at 11:30 a.m. I headed out.

Now I have been turkey hunting over 26 years, and what happened to me on the way out was quite a surprise. I was just out of the woods into some high grass when I brushed against one of the bushes and all kinds of loud clucks and putts when out of the bushes came a big hen headed right at me. She ran a little to my right stopped, looked at me and continued to yell at me some more.

I was laughing and fumbling for my camera and snapped some photos. Then I remember reading that the mother turkeys (hens) will try to draw an intruder away from the baby (poults) so they can hide. I turned immediately and headed to my truck nearby. Once inside I watched her with binoculars as she ran all around in and out of the woods. And then I spotted a little one sneaking through the grass. As I scanned the tall grass, I saw several others poults sneaking. I could still here her putting in the woods when I started up the truck. No tom for me that day but the encounter with the hen and her chicks sure made my day.


While fishing on Saratoga Lake last week, I saw plenty of carp rolling and splashing all over the creek and the main lake. Most of their activity was in the weeded areas and in the creek and very close to the shore. Any person who has a fishing or small game hunting license, or is entitled to fish without a license, may take carp of any size and in any number by longbow (recurve or compound) from May 15 through Sept. 30 from any water of the state where fishing and the discharge of a bow is permitted.

The Fish Carcass Disposal Law must be followed. Taking fish by crossbow is prohibited at all times. It is important that you obey the fish disposal regulations, which include that it is illegal to discard any fish carcass, or parts thereof, into the fresh waters of the state within 100 feet of shore or upon any public or private lands contiguous to and within 100 feet of such water. For full details go the NYS Fishing Guide.

Reach Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan at [email protected].

Categories: Sports

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