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Outdoor Journal: Fish are biting at area tournaments

Outdoor Journal: Fish are biting at area tournaments

Ed Noonan's weekly outdoors column
Outdoor Journal: Fish are biting at area tournaments
Mike Croll, left, of Troy and Heath Clayson of Ballston Lake display the bass they caught at the Saratoga Bass Challenge.
Photographer: Ed Noonan

The area bass clubs and open tournaments are all fishing and producing good catches. And the one that caught my eye was The Capital District Bassmaster, of which I have been a member since of 1976 and now member inactive.

Its first two-day tournament was at Chaumont Bay and the catch was very impressive. There were two smallmouths over six pounds and three over five pounds and one largemouth over five pounds.

The total weights for the two days were Mike Slowikowski of Ballston Spa (32.08 pounds), Bill Davis of Loudonville (30.47 pounds), Paul Stachowicz of Scotia (28.22 pounds), Dave Goyette of Scotia (26.72 pounds), Brian Tandlmayer of Niskayuna (25.49 pounds), Dave Beemer of Averill Park  (25.32 pounds) and John Whaley of Troy (21.08 pounds). Very impressive.

The bass tournaments have all begun, and Saratoga Lake continues to be producing some good catches.

Last Tuesday, Tim Blodgett’s Saratoga Bass Challenge on Saratoga Lake attracted 38 teams, 25 of which weighed in fish. Leading the way was Mike Croll of Troy and Heath Clayson of Ballston Lake with five-bass limits totaling 15.65 pounds worth $855 and another $380 for their 4.67-pound lunker.

Second place and $515 went to the Saratoga team of PJ Peculis and Henry Marshall with 14.67 pounds. Third place and $342 went to Jeff Russel of Malta and Dan Dyer of Saratoga with 14.56 pounds.

For information on this tournament, go to http://saratogatackle.com/saratoga-bass-challenge.html.

Also last Thursday, the Saratoga Lake South Shore also kicked off the late-afternoon team bass fishing. It attracted 12 teams.

The winners with five bass totaling 15.77 pounds were Saratoga anglers Dave Munger and John Jenkins. They earned $400 and an additional $80 for their 5.17-pound lunker.

In second place was the Mechanicville team of Mike Gromley and John Umatada, who received $190 for their five-bass catch of 12.78 pounds. Third to cash with 11.87 pounds were Clifton Park anglers Jim Bubb of Halfmoon and Mike Maynard of Schaghticoke. They received $110.

There will be no fishing at South Shore Marine on Thursday, but will start again on July 11. The tournament fee is $80 per team which includes parking. Tournament hours are 5 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

The Mohawk Masters Bassmasters held a club tournament at Alcathys and six of the anglers that competed caught five-bass limits. First place with 13.11 pounds was Tim Longo of Rotterdam, who received $225 and an additional $50 for his 3.14 pounds largemouth lunker.

Tom Barnes of Rotterdam was second with 13.02 pounds and received $145. Finishing third was Jim Cantamessa of Scotia with 12.15 pounds and received $80.

The Mohawk Valley Anglers attracted 22 anglers that competed their P-Dog Bait Battle at Saratoga Lake, four of which cashed. Leading the way was the Rotterdam team of Tim Squires and Reed Poultan with 15.95 pounds worth $592.

Second place and earning $392 were Dan Harms of Saratoga and John Harms of Scotia with 15.71 pounds. Third place and lunker was the Rotterdam team of Chris Colin and Todd Keenan with 15.21 pounds, which included the tournament lunker 5.16 bass. They received $300 for the win and $105 for the big bass.

The P-Dog Baits donation of $80 went to Bart Metzold of Rotterdam.

Now as I finish this column looking at all the club tournament information, it brings back memories of my first bass boat, a 16-foot Ranger with 50 horsepower outboard and the 12 bass boats that followed. I now have the “bug again,” and I am going to contact Capital District to become active as a “No Boater.”
As for my wife, she just smiled and said, “You will never grow up.”

As a reminder, all these tournaments are catch and release.


This past spring, trout living in streams benefited from abundant rainfall and cool weather that promote the growth and survival of these game fish.

Both trout and salmon can experience physical stress whenever the water temperatures reach 70 degrees. These fish will seek deep pockets of cold water or released from deep reservoir. These refuges allow trout to avoid or recover from potentially fatal levels of heat stress.

The DEC is asking trout and salmon anglers to help. Due to the abundant rainfall and cool weather this past spring, which promoted the growth and survival of these game fish, more the fish will seek deep pockets and cold water in small feeder streams or water released from deep reservoirs. 

Avoid catch-and-release fishing for heat-stressed trout on hot days. Fish early in the day, and always have an alternate fishing plan to fish a different body less prone to heat stress or fishing for more heat-tolerant species-like bass.

Do not disturb trout where they have gathered in unusually high numbers. Fish early in the day when stream temperatures are at their coolest. Always have an alternate fishing plan in case water temperatures are too high at the intended destination.

Consider fishing a water body less prone to heat stress of fishing for more heat-tolerant species like small and largemouth bass.  


Recently, there have been some bear problems visiting property owners looking for food. DEC has issued what to do to keep the bears from residents and also those who are camping.

You should store your garbage in a secure building, remove bird feeders and not feeding your pets outside. Bears take advantage of anything they consider food don’t have any conflict with them. It should be obvious do not feed.

For more on how to keep the bear away, go to https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/117390.html.

Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected].

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