Autumn has arrived and it’s an ideal time to take that last getaway while the weather is still warm.
That getaway is a lot closer than you think, probably no more than an hour drive for most of us. I’m talking about Peck’s Lake in Fulton County.
This little lake is just west of Gloversville, nestled into the Southern Adirondacks where the fishing is very good, especially with the cool nights and decline in boating traffic. And speaking of cool nights, our Adirondacks have already started to show their colors.
The Pecks have been in the area since 1842, and in the early 20th century, the lake was built. Today, the marina on Peck’s Lake is run by Albert (Alby) Peck, his wife, Alice, and Wellington Peck. Also working in the Peck organization is Alby and Alice’s grandson, Clarence (Peanut) Chamberlin.
Peck’s Lake offers 14 cottages on the water. They’ve recently been updated, and vary in size from one to four bedrooms. All cottages are equipped with electric refrigerators, wood stoves, propane gas, hot plates or propane cooktops, pots, pans, dishware and a kitchen sink with hot and cold water. Each cottage has a private privy and bedroom potties. Also on site is the Knotty Pine bath house with separate men and women shower rooms, flush toilets and a vanity area with sinks, mirrors and a modern laundry.
With regard to boating, you can use your own if it meets the following qualifications: it must be 14 to 20 feet long and the motor no more powerful than 40-horsepower. There’s no charge if you rent a cottage. You can also rent a boat with or without an outboard motor, which is what I prefer.
I have fished Peck’s Lake on several occasions, both in spring and fall. Usually, I hunt turkeys the morning with Peanut, then we do a little fishing.
Having spent quite a bit of time at Peck’s Lake and in its cottages, I’ve always had good luck with the fish population. Bass fishing is my favorite, and so I usually target the small- and largemouths, but there’s also a good crappie and walleye bite, and the Pecks stock this 1,370-acre lake annually. In 2012, they put in 500 largemouths, 600 walleyes and 300 crappies. The lake also has northern pike, rainbow and brown trout. If you look at their website — www.peckslake.com — you’ll see photos of some of the fish taken, one of which was a 7.5-pound largemouth.
I’ve caught quite a few largemouths in the four-pound range and a smallmouth I know was over four pounds. I found the best bass pattern for me, especially in the fall, is to concentrate on the area near the dam using either drop-shot rigged four-inch wacky worms or a four-inch tube bait on a quarter-ounce jig head.
Also, there are a number of small bays, most of which have some weed cover, that attract the largemouths and the toothy critters (pike and pickerel). A weightless wacky worm tossed to the edges of the weeds, then let slowly wiggle its way down to the bottom will usually trigger a strike. Watch for openings in the weeds, cast your worm into them and let them free-fall. For this type of fishing, I recommend at least 14-pound test line.
As you move around the lake, you’ll see a number of areas with trees lying in the water. They all have the potential to produce big bass. Actually, the four-plus-pound smallie I caught in Peck’s Lake several years ago came at the far end of the lake where there were a number of downed and overhanging trees.
This year, when I make my fall fishing trip to Peck’s Lake, I’m going to try a Chatter Bait on heavy line and wobble it over the tops of the weeds, which hopefully attracts a northern pike. I know this bait definitely attracts pike and bass at Saratoga Lake, Lake Champlain and in the Hudson River.
If you’re looking for a getaway destination, spend a quiet weekend at Peck’s Lake and enjoy the fishing and sitting on your lakeside cabin porch enjoying the beautiful Adirondack foliage.
The only tournament to report this week is the Mohawk Valley Angler’s Club contest held at the Kiwanis launch on the Mohawk River.
Ten teams fished, and all caught five-bass team limits. The top three winning teams were all from Rotterdam. Leading the way were Jeff Squires and Barton Metzold with 14.71 pounds. They won $400. Second were Floyd and Tim Squires, 14.03, who received $225. Third place and $175 went to Vince Monini and Reed Poultan with 13.82 pounds. Vince and Reed also had the big bass of the day in their bag, a 3.29-pound smallie worth an additional $100. Fourth place went to the Herkimer team of John D. and John R. Irons with 13.74 pounds. They won $100.
Joe Johnson Tournament
Friends of the late Joe Johnson will host a benefit tournament, with all proceeds going to the Albany Medical Children’s Hospital, on Sunday, Oct. 6, at Mohawk Valley Marine.
The entry fee is $105 per team, and must be paid by 7 a.m. the day of the tournament. Between 7 and 8 a.m. start of the tournament, there will be a Calcutta (auctioning pool of wagering for each team).
After the tournament, there will be food for all participants, raffles and prize drawings. For further details, call Vince Monini at 858-8573.