If you've had trouble hooking up with the bass population at Saratoga Lake, here's a bit of advice from a pair of 7- and 10-year-olds who are willing to share their “secrets baits."
Andrew Walker, 10, and Jackson Pedinotti, 7, have been fishing with grandfather, Jerry Pedinotti of Niskayuna since they were 3. They said that they “always” catch fish using square billed crankbaits.
They concentrate on the rocks (out from Stony Point) for both smallmoutha and occasionally largemoutha and weeds on the south end of the lake. On their last outing with grandpa, they caught and released at least 15 bass in the two- to three-pound class, most of which came on a KVD square bill crankbait.
Jerry and his friend, Sal Pipito of Niskayuna, usually fish Saratoga every week, and have never been “skunked.” They have just started to try wacky worming in the weeds -- wise anglers. Keep them kids fishing.
Dave, from Dave’s Bait and Tackle in Mayfield, and his neighbor, Mike Tomlinson, had a good late afternoon of “catching” recently at the Great Sacandaga Lake.
Between 5 and 9 p.m., they caught 26 walleyes, the biggest 20 inches. They also caught 17 rainbow trout, three perch and a bass. The majority were taken trolling using downriggers with Challenger stick baits. Dave also said an unidentified angler sent him a photo of a 43-inch, 18-pound northern pike taken around Scout Island.
Dave’s fishing contest last month had some nice fish. Northville’s Luke Olsen took the top two spots in the bass category with a 175⁄8- and a 163⁄4-incher, and John Stuart of Wellsville had a 14-inch bass.
Olsen tied for first in the walleye category with Ryan Gander of Northville. They both had 20-inchers. Stuart had a 191⁄2-incher, followed by Dan Looman of Edinburg and Gander, both with 19-inch ’eyes. The rainbow trout winners were Stuart, 161⁄2 inches; George Albert of Rotterdam, 16; and Ron Smith of Catskill, 131⁄2.
Gander had the biggest perch last month, a 143⁄4-incher, just a half-inch bigger than Ron Smith of Catskill, and Dan Looman, who had 141⁄4-inchers. Looman also had the third-place perch, 133⁄8. In the white perch category, Smith was first with his 123⁄4-incher, and Looman took the last two with 121⁄2- and 121⁄4-inchers.
The Mohawk Masters Singleman in the Kiwanis stretch of the river attracted 15 anglers. Leading the way was Larry Andrews of Alplaus with a five-bass catch totaling 11.01 pounds. Ken Frederick of Schenectady was second with 10.09 pounds and caught the tournament lunker, a 3.02-pound smallie. Third place went to Vince Monini III of Rotterdam, who weighed in 9.13 pounds.
Oneida Lake bass were definitely biting when the Northeastern Team Bass Trail held its double-header there earlier this month. It was actually two separate tournaments, Saturday and Sunday. The first day attracted 46 two-man teams, and they all weighed in five-bass team limits. The winners were Chester anglers Tom Graiano and Don Christ with 18.40 pounds, which included a 5.66-pound tournament lunker. Nine teams had at least one four-pounder. There was only one five pounder.
On day two all the teams that competed, 47, came in with limits. The Rochester team of Stanley Sypeck and Steven Croll, second on Saturday, weighed in a winning weight of 21.28 pounds.
Several of our local bass anglers did quite well in the Rayovac Forrest L. Wood Pro Series last week on Lake Champlain at Plattsburgh. These bass tournaments feature two divisions — a pro who has the boat and a co-angler who fishes from the stern. The pros compete against the other pros, and the co-anglers against the other co-anglers. There were 142 anglers in each division.
The winner in the pro division was Slingerlands angler Mike Marini, who I believe is the first local angler to win a national bass tournament. He made the 140-mile round-trip boat ride to fish in the Ticonderoga area, where he caught a winning total of 57 pounds, seven ounces. He took home the trophy and $38,664. Marini said he focused on heavy weedbeds tossing wacky-rigged worms.
Nice job, Mike!
Among the other locals taking home a paycheck in this tournament was Glenn Barineu of Mechanicville, who placed sixth in the pro division, earning $7,733. In the co-angler division Jeff Russell of Ballston Spa finished third, $3,873; Jason Lane of Schenectady 15th, $968; James Schneider of Rexford, 16th, $775; Michael Conway of Mechanicville, 26th, $581; and Scott Shafer of Glenville, 31st, $484.
This year’s Fishing Tale of the year was sent to me by Steve Zahurak of Schenectady. He was fishing with Joe Mallozzi of Rotterdam and Pat Canning of Pennsylvania on Lake Wynona in Pennsylvania. Joe was fishing with a bobber and a nightcrawler, and hooked up with a largemouth, but the line broke above the bobber. The trio watched the bobber skimming along the surface of the water and started rowing after it.
Pat then tried with his plastic worm to snag the line, but a bass, which they thought was the one with the bobber, sucked in the worm. When they netted the bass, there was no bobber; it was a different fish. But 15 minutes after releasing the bass, the bobber reappeared on the surface. Before they get to it, it went down again. But Pat snagged the line and they retrieved the bobber and released the fish. This one is going to be hard to beat!
Frank’s on TV
Frank’s Gun Shop in Broadalbin will be appearing on the Sportsman Channel’s Big Deer TV series “Buck Men of the Adirondacks” at 10 p.m. on July 30.
The episode is hosted by Mike Hanback, and will include Frank’s Gun Shop owner John Havlick and his hunting party at their camp in Speculator.
Also appearing on the show is local hunter “Old Gun” Tim Rarick spinning some of his hunting stories and a short piece on the Wildlife Sports and Education Museum in Broadalbin.