Outdoor Journal. Never a dull moment outdoors

The latest outdoors column from Ed Noonan
Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan holds a bass he caught Sunday on Saratoga Lake.
Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan holds a bass he caught Sunday on Saratoga Lake.

Last week was a very busy one outdoors for me. 

It began on Tuesday getting soaked in the rain chasing pheasant with five members of the Peck Lake family in one of the state-stocked pheasant areas in Fulton County. There were others hunting this same area and they, along with us, got a few shots — but I didn’t. It was fun, though, watching the dogs and getting wet. After a brief lunch break all went home except Alby Peck and I, and we hunted hard until dark and covered a lot of ground — but no pheasant.

Then, early the next morning, Steve Zahurak of Schenectady and I headed to Oswego County and spent the day in Captain Wayne Weber’s very comfortable drift boat fishing for salmon in the Salmon River. Steve and I sat in the bow of the boat while Wayne maneuvered the boat around the wading anglers in the water. We were very impressed with how Wayne made his way around the current of this river filled with anglers everywhere.

On our first stop, we were each given a bait-casting outfit with a single hook shallow running crank bait. We didn’t have long before we both got hits. Mine was first, but he got off, but Steve had one coming to Wayne waiting with the net. 

Just inches from the net, it escaped.

For the rest of the day we had our “almost” fish and it was fun watching those wading anglers when they hooked up. The spots we stopped to fish at were: Schoolhouse Pool, Ellis Cove, Trestle Pool and a shallow rocky stretch called “Pinball” because of the drift boat bouncing over rocks.

Right now, it is illegal to snag the fish. Wayne pointed out to us some fish that were hooked on the tail and body when they broke water. Fish only bite with their mouths. We saw a number of snagged fish in the Trestle Pool; not a lot of sportsmanship doing that.

Our four-mile trip with Captain Wayne on the Salmon River was our first, and I know we will be back there again – maybe in April. You can email Wayne at [email protected].


The Mohawk Valley Anglers bass club held its championship out of the Amsterdam boat launch on the Mohawk River. 

First place and $900 went to the Rotterdam team of Mitch Monini and Rob Brower with 15.82 pounds, which included a 4.07 smallmouth bass. 

Second place and $500 went to the Rotterdam team Reed Poulton and Tim Squires with 15.76 pounds. 

In third place with 14.11 pounds was Chris Colin of Scotia and Todd Keenan of Rotterdam, who received $350, and an additional $260 for their 4.12 smallmouth lunker. 

Fourth-place money of $200 went to Larry Andrews of Rexford and Bart Metzold of Rotterdam with 13.98 pounds.


I was still recuperating from the rainy all-day pheasant hunt and the floating in a drift boat in the Salmon river the next day, and I had intended to spend my weekend on the couch watching football. 

But when my friend Neil Hopkins of Saratoga called me last Saturday evening to go fishing on Saratoga Lake, I quickly decided that fishing was more important.
It was quite chilly — in the 40s — that morning when we launched and started Wacky Worming for bass. 

Hits came quick for Neil, but they were not bass — they were pickerel. Neil boated some nice largemouth, and when the wind began, we decided to stay in the creek.

Neil was catching keeper-size tournament largemouth (12 inches or more) and I was catching seaweed. I did get a few hits and we moved further down the creek to get out of the wind. 

We had some hits on bass and pickerel, but the wind was making it harder to fish and finally decided to go. It was on my last cast that I hooked a good one, which was a good way to end it. (All fish were released alive.)

After four hours on the water, it was time to go home and watch some football.

Reach Ed Noonan at [email protected].

Categories: Sports

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