Once again, fishing reports indicate the hot, humid days and heavy rains didn’t seem to interfere with the fishing.
As always, I like to begin with a young angler’s fishing experience, and this week’s youth catch of the day is quite a fish taken from a North Country lake.
Don Weber of Saratoga Springs took his 15-year-old daughter, Tessa, to Oxbow Lake recently, and she out-fished her long-time tournament angler dad.
Being their first time on this little Hamilton County lake, I’m sure dad and Tessa never expected to catch what she did, a six-pound-plus largemouth. By the way, when dad told me the story, I believe he was just as excited, if not more, than his daughter. She caught the big bass on a three-eighths-ounce Luck-E-Strike Scronger jighead tipped with a skirt and small swim bait. Congratulations, Tessa. I’m betting dad will be using that particular bait in some, if not all, of his coming tournaments.
Lake Champlain is still producing some very big largemouths. The biggest I’ve heard of recently was an eight-pound, four-ounce catch by Steven Vanalstyne of Clifton Park. His fishing partner, Laurie Kot of Clifton Park, had one close to five pounds. The couple, fishing in South Bay, caught five bass, all of which were over five pounds. They were using a Berkley black/blue Havoc Pit Boss.
I saw this one on the Washington County Bassmasters website, at their recent Ticonderoga tournament on Champlain. The lunker of the tournament was a 6.05-pounder caught by Hudson Falls angler Scott Suckman.
I am going to have to take time to fish the Great Sacandaga Lake because the tournament results there have been very good all season, with three-pound smallies showing up in some of the anglers’ weigh-in bags.
The Rotterdam team of Tim Squires and Jason Lane had a 3.04-pound smallmouth in their six-bass team limit totaling 12.58 pounds, good enough for first place in the Mohawk Valley Angler’s club event. The winners received $240 for the win and an additional $55 for the tournament lunker. Second-place cash of $160 went to Barton Metzold of Rotterdam and Chris Gallelli of Guilderland with 11.50 pounds. Chris Colin of Guilderland and Todd Keenan of Duanesburg were third ($130) with 10.85 pounds. All the fish weighed in were released alive.
Saratoga Lake pike fishing has been very slow, and catches have been on all sizes of live bait. The biggest reported recently was 29 inches.
Pickerel however, are still hitting just about anything, but for the most fun, use a head-hooked, seven-inch plastic worm and toss it out over the weeds. Let it sink six inches or so, and, holding your rod tip up, retrieve it back slowly. The pickerel will find it.
Bass are biting all over the lake, including Fish Creek, but they continue to be cookie cutter 14-inch fish. I think the bigger ones caught are coming out of deeper water.
At last Tuesday night’s Saratoga Tackle Bass Challenge tournament, the Saratoga Springs team of Dave Monger and John Jenkins won with five bass totaling 11.26 pounds and got $473. Second place went to Carl Paquette of Saratoga Springs, who fished alone. He had 9.84 pounds, and received $283. Clifton Park anglers Jim Janis and Ian Germain were third with 9.42, and received $189. Big-bass bucks of $190 went to Tony Pascucci of Saratoga Springs for his 4.48-pound largemouth. All bass caught and weighed in were released alive.