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Noonan: The ice is thick and the fish are biting

Noonan: The ice is thick and the fish are biting

Also: Attention turkey hunters
Noonan: The ice is thick and the fish are biting
Rich Ortiz of Fort Ann holds a 13-pound lake trout that he caught on Lake George.
Photographer: Provided

The Great Sacandaga Lake will be hosting a number of ice fishing contests this month, and I have heard there is a good bite there. And Lou’s Lake Report as of Feb. 2 says the lake and shorelines are tightening up. The four-wheelers are out there on 20 inches of ice. North of Batchellerville Bridge, there is 16 inches of ice.

Before going onto the ice, though, I recommend checking in every time with the local bait and tackle shops in the area for up-to-date ice thickness. And while you are in there ask “WHERE THE FISH ARE BITING!” The walleye has been biting. Northern pike are starting to bite also; there have been a few 40-inchers pulled through a hole in the Sacandaga.

The Fish307 website reports that the Hague Fish and Game Club and the town of Hague are co-sponsoring an ice fishing contest on Lake George on Feb. 24-25. The entry fee for adults is $30, which covers you for both days. You can register at 6 a.m. both days. Ages 16 and under are free. You can register at FISH307, Crossroad Store, Outdoorsman Store or Beach Road Bait and Tackle. The final weigh-in will be at the club both days. Cash awards will be given for lake trout, perch and northern pike. For more information call 518-543-6401.

Saratoga Lake is still giving up a lot of 10- to 15-inch bluegills at depths from 10 to 15 feet near Franklin Beach. Ed Skorupski of Stillwater took his limit in some of his eight visits. One day he caught at least 30 and kept his 15. Also, there is a good nighttime crappie bite if you can find them, and some walleye are being caught but not in numbers. Also, there was another angler who took his vehicle out off of Fitch Road and had to call a tow truck to pull it out.

My fishing report here in Flagler Beach is a bit more comfortable. On my first morning, out fishing boat docks (with about 90 pilons) in the Intercoastal Waterwa,y I caught and released five red drums on my first five casts flipping shrimp on a drop rig on each of the pilons. It was a good day catching more -- and I even got a crab. I am going to try fishing the 4.5-inch Stik-O-Worm wacky style off these docks to see if anything will bite it.

DEC news

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proud to present the latest episode of "On the Front Lines," the agency's video series profiling staff and the important work they do to conserve the environment, protect New York's natural resources and serve the public.

"We are proud of this series, started nearly a year ago, to give the public a behind-the-scenes look at the great work our dedicated employees do every day across the state to preserve and protect the environment for generations to come," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "It's also an opportunity for New Yorkers to get to know our employees and the reasons they chose careers at DEC. A special thanks to Vince Spadaro for his hard work to safeguard water quality in DEC's Region 5."

The latest episode featuring Spadaro can be watched here:

Spadaro is an environmental program specialist working primarily on the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit program, which is designed to reduce pollution in New York's waters. In addition, Spadaro partners with the National Weather Service on the Adirondack Snow Survey project, calculating snow depths in the winter to help predict potential floods during the spring thaw. He serves as Region 5's flood program coordinator and, when he's not at work, you might find him on a boat in the middle of a lake.

'On the Front Lines' is posted monthly on DEC's YouTube channel and its Facebook and Twitter pages. Watch past episodes on DEC's YouTube channel.

Attention turkey hunters

The National Wildlife Turkey Federation's Saratoga Strutters Chapter is going to provide a forum for new, young and experienced turkey hunters to connect and participate in New York State Youth Turkey Season 2018. The dates are the weekend of April 21 and 22.

If you are a youth 12 to 15 or a turkey hunter with a desire to join them on March 29, a range day and mock hunts will be held at the Hudson Falls Fish & Game Club on Route 196 in Hudson Falls. The seminars will be at 6 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Range Day & Mock Hunts will be at 10 a.m.-noon that Saturday. Mentored Youth Hunts are April 21 and 22.

Seminar topics will include firearm safety, turkey knowledge, required gear, call types, hunting strategies, guidance and rules on the NYS Youth Turkey Season and mentored hunt information. For more information, contact Chuck Law at 518-321-7634 or [email protected].You must register by March 22.

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