I’ve seen a few bass boats out on the Mohawk and Hudson rivers and Saratoga Lake, in spite of last week’s snow. I assumed they were fishing primarily for bass, but would be happy to catch anything.
Although bass season doesn’t open until the third Saturday in June, catch, photograph and release is allowed. Remember, only artificial lures can be used.
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a renewed interest in weekend and weekday evening cast-for-cash bass fishing locally. As a weekend cast-for-cash angler myself for the past 45 years, all I can say is, “Try it.”
This year, as last, there are quite a few open partner bass tournaments and a few individual events to choose from. However, if you’re new, I strongly suggest joining a local bass club. You’ll not only make new friends and learn new fishing tactics, but also feel the excitement of bringing in bags of bass to a weigh in. I’m not as active a tournament angler as I used to be, but I’ve been a member of the Capital District Bassmasters since 1976.
Here’s a list of local bass clubs and their contacts: Adirondack Bass, Rich Guyette, 744-4620; Albany Area Bassmasters, Paul Pflieger, 355-3334; Capital District Bassmasters, Bill Davis, 625-7565; Helderberg Bassmasters, Frank Arcolano, 861-6449; and Washington County Bassmasters, Peter Rice, 326-4483.
The New York B.A.S.S. Chapter Federation has three points-draw (a boater and a non-boater) tournaments for members.
Entry fees are $125 for boaters, $75 for non-boaters. The tournament dates and locations are June 22, Lake Champlain at Plattsburg; July 20, Cayuga Lake at Union Springs; and Sept. 28, Lake Ontario at Henderson Harbor. For further details, go to www.nybassfed.com.
Andersen Boat’s Northeast Team Bass will be offering five regular qualifying tournaments with a two-day, two-lake championship. A $35 membership is required. Tournament entry fee is $200 per team.
The schedule: June 15, Lake Champlain at Ticonderoga; July 12-13, two separate tournaments on the same weekend at Oneida Lake, either at Marion Manor or Oneida Lake South Shore boat launch; Aug. 3, Great Sacandaga Lake at McMurray’s Boat Livery; Aug. 24, St. Lawrence River at Massena Intake; and the two-day championship, Sept. 20, Schroon Lake at Horicon boat launch, and Sept. 21, Lake Champlain at Ticonderoga boat launch. For further details, contact Tracy Hanchett, tournament director, at email@example.com or go to www.andersenboat.com
The Schenectady Elite Anglers, a local team trail that began in 1991, is offering members and non-members six points tournaments and a two-day classic. Members pay a $35 annual fee. Tournament fees for members are $100, non-members, $120.
Their schedule: June 14, Lake Champlain at Ticonderoga; June 28, Great Sacandaga Lake at McMurray’s Boat Livery; July 26, Mohawk River at AL Cathy’s; Aug. 10, Oneida Lake at South Shores; Aug. 31, Great Sacandaga Lake at McMurray’s Boat Livery; and Sept. 13, Lake Champlain, site to be announced. Their two-day championship will be held Sept. 27 (TBA) and Sept. 28 on the Mohawk River at Kiwanis.
The Mohawk Masters, the only singleman bass contest in the area, probably the only one of its kind in the state, will kick off its 22nd season by offering six point tournaments and one open, all on the Mohawk River. There’s no membership fee. Tournaments are $50.
Their schedule: June 21, Al Cathy; July 5, Kiwanis; July 19, Fort Hunter; Aug. 9, Route 5S launch; Aug. 30, Kiwanis; Sept. 20, Fort Hunter; and Oct. 11 (open), Kiwanis. For further details, call Tim Longo, 441-9963 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mohawk Valley Anglers “partners club” was formed in the early 1980s. This year, it’s offering seven points tourneys, a championship, an open and a new three-man sprint trail. The sprints are six-hour Sunday contests.
The annual membership fee is $20, tournament fees are $50 per team for members in the regular tournaments and $65 per sprint team and $125 for the open tournament. If substitutes are used in a points tournament, there will be an additional fee of $20.
The regular tournament schedule: June 7, Pontoosuc Lake (Massachusetts); June 28, Canadarago Lake state launch; July 13, Oneida Lake state launch; Aug. 16, Mohawk River, TBA; Sept. 6, Otsego Lake state launch; Sept. 20, Mohawk River, TBA; and Oct. 4, Mohawk River, TBA. Their championship is Oct. 11, Mohawk River, TBA. The open tournament is Oct. 19, Mohawk River, TBA.
The sprint schedule: June 6, Great Sacandaga Lake at McMurrays Boat Livery; July 27, Mohawk River, 5S launch; Aug. 24, Ballston Lake at Good Times; Sept. 14, Mohawk River at Kiwanis; and Oct. 26, Mohawk River at Fort Hunter. For information, call Bart Metzold at 701-6520.
Those who enjoy fishing Lake Champlain should check out the Towne and Country Rod and Reel Club’s six contests on that lake this year, plus two others on different lakes. The annual membership fee is $25. Point tournament fees are $100 per team.
The tournament schedule: June 8, Onota Lake (Pittsfield, Mass.) town launch; June 21-22, Lake Champlain at Point Au Roche; July 20 and 27, Lake Champlain at Plunder Bay; Aug. 10, Lake Champlain at South Bay; Aug. 17, Lake Bomossen, TBA; Sept. 7, Lake Champlain at Plunder Bay. The championship will be at Lake Champlain, Plunder Bay Sept. 14. For further information, call 733-0625.
The two local weeknight tournaments on Saratoga Lake will also be back this year. Beginning June 24, Saratoga Tackle and Archery will host its Tuesday Afternoon Bass Challenge, from 5-8 p.m., launching from Lee’s Campgrounds. There’s a five-bass limit. Entry fee is $60. For information, call 584-3952 or go to www.saratogatackle.com.
The South Shore Marina, whose boat launch is now open, will host its three-bass, Thursday night tournament this year beginning at 5:30 p.m. The entry fee, which includes launching at South Shore Marina, is $49. The tournaments will begin June 26 and continue through Aug. 21 with the playoff Aug. 28 and the championship Sept. 4. For information, call 584-9125 or 584-0227 or go to their website at www.southshoremarinaofsaratoga.com
If you email me your tournament results, I’ll include them in my regular Fish Tales this summer. I will need the names of those who cashed (top five and big bass), city where they live, the weights and, if possible, what they caught them on. The more information, the better. Send it to email@example.com.