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Noonan: Brighten your day by taking a child fishing

Noonan: Brighten your day by taking a child fishing

Kids will jump at the chance to go fishing
Noonan: Brighten your day by taking a child fishing
John Mariano of Guilderland displays the largemouth bass he caught last week.
Photographer: Photo provided

Have you been fishing yet? Looking for something to do on the weekend? How about fishing — with the kids. 

Last Saturday I went over to the Saratoga Lake boat launch and there were two kids fishing from shore for panfish with their father. What better way to teach a child to fish? All it takes is an adult with a current fishing license, rods and reels and worms. Will they like it? Ask them; chances are really good that they will jump at the chance. Here is a few of the things New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and I recommend you will need.

Let’s begin with the rods. I suggest you get an ultralight-to-medium rod and either a spinning or spin-casting reel spooled with 6-8-pound test monofilament line. Hooks should be No. 6 to No. 10 with long shanks which will make removal a lot easier. I like to introduce the kids to fishing using small bobbers. The kids and I get excited when that red/white little ball goes under.

Now if you want to bottom fish, you will need small split-shot sinkers. Before you go fishing, children should practice their casting in the backyard. 

As for bait, I recommend worms in the beginning. I also suggest you visit a local bait shop for both your equipment and bait. They can also tell you where and how to fish. 

The six fish that NYSDEC qualify as panfish are blue gill, pumpkinseed, black and white crappie, yellow perch and bullhead. For photos of all the panfish, Google “NYSDEC Panfish Photos.” 

Don’t forget — if your kids have a good day fishing, send me the photos, their full name, city where you live, age, and where you were fishing to [email protected]

Several New York state big-fish records have been broken recently. Brian Hartman of Alexandria Bay now holds the walleye record with his 18-pound, 2-ounce walleye taken in the St. Lawrence River on May 5 on a swimbait. William Wightman of South Dayton now holds the biggest crappie record with the 4-pound, 1-ounce catch taken from Lake Flavia in Cattaraugus County. The next one wasn’t a record, but definitely was a trophy any bass angler would like to hook up with.

John Mar­iano of Guilderland caught an 8.5-pound, 24-inch largemouth bass fishing with his cousin on a reservoir west of Albany. He caught the fish on a Zoom trick worm rigged with a drop shot and fished wacky style. He took a quick photo and returned the bass to the water.

On Sunday, Mike Ryan will host his 20th annual kids fishing tournament at Six Mile Waterworks located on Fuller Road in Albany. Contest hours are 9:30–11:30 a.m. This is a free tournament and awards will be made to the top five kids in each of the three groups: up to 7, 8-12 and 13-16 years of age. Winners will be determined by the total inches of the three biggest fish. Only one fish at a time can be presented to the measuring official. When the participants catch a fish, they must have it measured before fishing again. There will be various raffles with all the proceeds given to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York. I will be there if you need help.

I spent a recent Sunday morning turkey hunting with Dan Ladd (adkhunter.com) in the Adirondacks, where he has been chasing a big tom since opening day. He called him in and got to see him at about a 100 yards out. He was coming, but as Dan shouldered his shotgun, the tom saw his movement and headed away. 

Dan was sitting in some heavy brush and couldn’t believe he saw him move. Our plan this time was for him to go high and the old man (me) stay low. We would both start calling and see if either one of us could get a shot. Unfortunately, that day he wasn’t talking; but it is always fun.

On the next day, I was sitting in my favorite spot in Saratoga County where I have seen a number of nice toms. It is not a big woods, only about 50 acres, but it has turkeys and deer. Most of the turkeys I have shot here have come from across the road. 

I was in the woods and set up by 5 a.m. and when I made my first yelp at 5:30, it was not answered. This “no answer” game lasted a couple of hours, and then, out of nowhere, there was a gobble in the gully below me. I made a few yelps and he would not answer anything. I was hoping he was silently making his way to me. Wrong! And I never got another response and decided at 11:00 a.m. to head home.

I normally park my truck about 100 yards from the woods and when I was just about to walk out into the field and head to my truck, there about 50 yards away, were six turkeys. Just for fun, I took out my truck keys and pushed the start button and started the truck. All six of them took off and ran right by me no more that 25 yards away. I wonder if one of them was a big tom — if I could have legally shot it. 

It’s tick season, and everyone knows the dangers of deer ticks and Lyme disease. Everyone should be aware of how to protect themselves against this disease. 

NYSDEC has a thorough outline of this disease that I think we should all read. Go to https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/commun­icable/lyme/.

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