This past weekend, the Mohawk Valley Anglers Club attracted 15 teams to Ballston Lake and they caught some very good fish. How good? Ten of the teams had limits, and you needed more than 16.61 pounds to make the top three.
The winners were Guilderland anglers Tom Morrison and Anthony Reimo with 17.03 pounds, which they anchored with the tournament lunker that weighed 5.12 pounds. They received $320 for the win and $65 for the big bass. There was a tie for second place at 16.61 pounds. The tiebreaker was determined by the biggest bass, giving second place to Rotterdam anglers Tim Squires and Reed Poulson. They received $200. Third place and $140 went to Colonie anglers Glen Flagler and Trevor Stay.
I try to fish Ballston Lake for bass at least once or twice every year because I know it has some big largemouth. Last year, I took two friends from North Carolina there, and I caught a 6.9 pounder and it was our third-best catch of the day. The other two were 7.1 and 7.6. I would not be surprised if this little 274-acre lake has the record state largemouth bass swimming around in it. The NYS current record is 11 pounds, four ounces.
Once again, Lake Champlain produced some heavy five-bass bags of bass at the Greenbush Bass team tournament out of the Ticonderoga boat launch. This tournament took over 18 pounds to cash. The winners, the Pennsylvania team of Ed Kausmyer and Mike Godfrey, totaled 21.12 pounds and collected $860. Just ounces behind were Martin Paddock of Greenfield and Chris Paddock of Whitehall with 20.52 pounds. Second place paid $470.
Rounding out the top six were the Saratoga Springs team of Joe and Charlie Curcurito (19.03 pounds), the Clifton Park team of Eric Miller and Tony Momalla (18.97 pounds), East Greenbush anglers Bob Ernst and Gino Bielawa (18.07 pounds) and Chris Delong of Vermont and Tim Hawkins of Whitehall (17.16 pounds). Third through sixth places returned $380, $300, $215 and $125, respectively. Big bass of the tournament was won by the Nassau team of Bob Rings and Zack Sharpe with a 6.2 pound largemouth worth $430.
Also on Saturday, the Lake Lonely “One Bass” championship tournament was held. This tournament had a three-fish team limit, and the three top teams were all Saratoga Springs anglers.
Mike LaPoint and Don Weber won for the second year in a row, collecting $200 with a seven-pound catch. Finishing in second place and winning $150 were Robbie Robinson and Scott Suckman with 6.20 pounds. Mike and Carol Schleicher finished third with 5.40 pounds and won $100. Art Thivierge received $110 for the 2.80-pound biggest bass.
This year’s Angler of the Year award ($100) went to Greg McDermott of Schuyler, whose total weight for all the single bass weekday tournaments were 17.20 pounds. McDermott fished all his tournaments this year out of a rented Lake Lonely aluminum boat with an electric motor.
WATCH YOUR BACK
Schaghticoke hunter George Le Vinus, hunting behind his son’s house in New Hampshire, downed a nice black bear recently. He and his son were hunting from a ground blind when the bear came in from behind. When the bear was within six feet behind the blind, they could hear him breathing and see his butt in the rear-view mirror his son had set up. Those of you who hunt from ground blinds should also have a rear-view mirror.
George said it was an exciting few minutes and when the bear finally stepped out at 25 yards, one shot ended the hunt. The bear ran only 25 yards and went down. It was the fourth bear they had taken in this same spot in the last seven years. Fortunately it was only a 150-feet downhill drag to a tractor. The bear tipped the scales at 225 pounds and was taken with a 7mm08 rifle and hand-loaded 175 Nosler Partition bullets.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the graduation of 31 Environmental Conservation Officers (ECO) and 17 Forest Rangers. Six of the ECO graduates are from our area. They are: ECO Kyle A. Bevis, Albany; Melissa M. Burgess, East Berne; Zachary R. Crain, Rennsselaer; Michael P. Nicols, Middle Grove; Jason P. Smith, Lake George; Jonathon P. Walraven, Cohoes; and Michael J. Hameline, Lake George.