The Mike Ryan’s 20th Kid’s Fishing Contest at Six Mile Waterworks in Albany set an all-time record of 93 kids. And the fish were biting!
The fishing contest, which is for the benefit of the Northeast Make-A-Wish through various auctions and raffles that day, raised $1,213 plus an additional $100 donation from Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam. The contest's “start to fish” signal was with the Fuller Road Fire Department’s fire truck blowing their siren and shooting a water stream out and into the water. Also visiting the contest was two Albany police on horseback and state Department of Environmental Conservation Officer Chris Valenty.
It was a steady line of smiling kids bringing up catches measured right up until 11:30 a.m. Trophies were awarded to the top five kids in each of the three different age groups. The biggest fish of the contest was a 13 1/2-inch largemouth bass caught by Antonio Gonzalez of Albany in the 13-16-year-old category.
This was my 20th year helping Mike with his contest, and as always it is a lot of fun watching these young anglers running up to get their fish measured.
This Sunday is a very special day – Father’s Day. Now from years of experience the outdoor dad always “needs” something; especially if he is a fisherman. A fisherman always needs more tackle, etc. There is always something new in soft baits, lures that he most likely uses.
For the past 10 years my family has always given me my favorite soft bait (Stik-O-Worms) which I use for my wacky worm bass fishing. This is just one of the many baits that are out there, but this one is special. Just hook it through the center, toss it out and let it slowly drift to the bottom. Once on the bottom twitch it a little and then, if no bite, reel it back slowly. No weight is required. You might want to remind dad that this particular soft bait will catch fish for kids also, so he might want to have you tag along. If you get some fish, and you will, let me know.
There was a number of bass anglers taking advantage of the bass spawn catch-and-release bite this past week on Saratoga Lake. Neil Hopkins of Saratoga and I were out there fishing the south end of the lake.
If you are looking for some good catch-and-release waters, launch at South Shore Marine and work the weeds in that area just out from its docks. We tried a number of lures and found the plastic baits to still be the best. Just remember to treat the bass gently when catching and releasing them.
The Stoney Point area also produced some average-sized smallmouth, and just about everywhere we fished there seems to be a lot more pickerel, some of which are good sized. As for the carp, they are still splashing around in the weedy shallows. On my next trip out on Saratoga Lake, I will also be taking my bow and do a bit of bow fishing.
I got an email from Louis Guertin, Ballston Spa who said: “I have been fishing Saratoga Lake for 50 years and caught everything in the lake but while trolling in about 10 feet down in 13 feet of water caught a rainbow trout."
Beginning this Saturday, you can keep up to five bass measuring 12 inches or more. Also, this weekend the area bass clubs will be fishing their catch and release tournaments. If you and/or bass club would like to put the results of your catch/tournaments in my column send me the results and include where you fished, winner’s names, city where they live, what they caught and prize money awarded. Send it to me at email@example.com. Good luck.
WATERCRAFT INSPECTION PROGRAM
In 2015, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 12 new boat contamination stations in the Adirondacks. This program was developed to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species while creating a more informed public, and is aimed at protecting these resources so they can continue to be enjoyed for many generations. As a boater you should clean off any visible plants, fish and mud from you boat, trailer and other equipment. This includes thoroughly draining all holding wells such as the live wells and the bilge. Also dry before using you boat in another body of water.
Recently, I was met and talked with the college students who were greeting all those who were launching their boats and asking if they could check you boat and trailer. If needed, they offered to use their high pressure hot water decontamination units to clean the boats that have not been cleaned and drained. I was quite impressed with these students and what they were doing – not to mention their cleaning of my boat and trailer. For more information on the program go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/113760.html.
Reach Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan at firstname.lastname@example.org.