Finally, we have warm weather and the fish are definitely biting.
Many of the nearby lakes have a big crappie and panfish bite. I stopped by Lake Lonely, and Bill Parry, owner of Lake Lonely Boat Livery, said the little lake is producing 25-fish limits all over the lake. Crappies must be nine inches or more to keep. The spawning bass are also grabbing just about everything tossed in the water near their beds.
Tim Blodgett of Saratoga Tackle said the panfish and bass bite is peaking there, also. You’ll find the pan fishermen’s boats several hundred yards off Route 9P and Fitch Road, as well as in front of South Shore Marina. Other areas are the shallows near Manning’s Cove and China Town. A reminder to Saratoga Lake and Fish Creek panfishers, the daily limit is 15 of any size.
The best choices for crappies and other panfish are multi-color tiny tubes on tiny jig heads, set a foot or two below a small bobber. Fathead minnows will also work. Stay off their area so you don’t scare them, and make long casts. Be sure to downsize your line to no more than four-pound test. To safely hook up and release bass, I recommend using a trailerless, single-hooked, spinner bait. I like chartreuse and white, but they all seem to work. Don’t handle bass long. Take photos and slip them back into the water.
Speaking of bass, John and Karen Mariano of Schenectady found the largemouth bite very good on Ballston Lake recently. They caught and released quite a few on a variety of artificial lures. Karen caught the biggest — a chunky 41⁄2-pounder. Several days later, John got a surprise out of the depths of Collins Lake in Scotia — a 35-plus-inch northern pike with a big head and slender body. He was fishing a chartreuse/white spinner bait toward evening when he hooked up.
Dave’s Bait and Tackle tells me the walleye bite on Great Sacandaga Lake has come alive. The primary lure continues to be spinner harnesses tipped with worms, trolled at various depths. If you don’t have a depth/fish finder, varying depth will help you find those ’eyes.
Fishing guide George Albert of All Seasons recently boated 15 walleye averaging 14 to 21 inches using these harnesses.
As for northern pike, there was one taken on live bait by a visiting angler from Brooklyn. It measured 331⁄2 inches and weighed 14 pounds.
That bite is very slow now, but the brown and rainbow trout bite is still good. The best method fishing for them is trolling slowly with planer boards. Bass are still on the beds and banging Keitech plastics.
The Ryan’s Farmers Market 16th annual Kids Fishing Contest at Six Mile Water Works in Albany attracted 106 young anglers. There were three age groups.
The winners, determined by the total length of their five biggest fish, were 1-7 years old — Landon Charland, Kamron Fleming, Dominick Eggleston and Giovanni DeGeorge; 8-12 — Brooke Disipio, Ryan Goslin, Samantha Tanner, Shelby McNamara and Antonio Gonzalez; 13-16 — Branden McAuley, Tyler Travison, Patrick Banas, Shannon McNamara and Tyler Hoffman.
The raffles raised more than $600, which was donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast NY.
As a reminder, the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation’s 23rd annual Summer Fishing Contest will be held June 21 from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. All measuring will be done at Sport Island Pub.
They will be giving away $2,100 in cash prizes, and there will be six trout swimming around in the 24,000 acres of water with orange tags, each worth $1,000 if caught.
The top four places (fish measured in inches) in the bass, walleye and trout categories will be paid — first through fourth, $300, $200, $150 and $50 respectively. The entry fee for adults is $20 by June 20, or $25 the day of the contest up to 10 a.m. Children 12 and under are free with a participating adult.
For further details, call Jack Smith at 863-1062 or Randy Gardinier at 848-7248, or go to their website, www.gslff.com, where you can download an application or a list of businesses where entry fees can be paid.
New boat launch
On May 24, Round Lake’s new free public boat launch, completed with $450,000 of New York Works funding, opened. The launch is located on Route 9 in the Village of Round Lake, and includes parking for nine trailers and vehicles and 11 additional vehicles.
It has a concrete launch pad, boarding dock and informational kiosk. There’s also a separate launch area for canoes and kayaks.
Final turkey tales
Twelve-year-old Josh Fugitt of Westerlo mentored by his dad Vince, shot a 19-pound gobbler that carried a 91⁄8-inch
beard and 11⁄8-inch spurs. He downed his first tom at 30 yards with a 12-gauge Browning.
Other successful tom turkey hunters included Steve Zahurak of Schenectady, who shot a 22.2-pounder with a 91⁄2-inch beard; Mel Carter of Rotterdam, who shot a 19-pounder with a 83⁄4-inch beard; and Mitchell Rogers of Gloversville, who shot his first long beard, a 24-pounder with a 10-inch beard.
The winners of the Tuman’s Tavern annual two-man turkey contest, determined by total weight of the two birds, were Ken Paro Jr. andBrian Horton with 41 pounds, 10 ounces.
I had seven good opportunities at jakes, but my “wait for a bigger one attitude” left me without a spring turkey this year. But I enjoyed every minute of the 21 days I spent in the turkey woods.