Air Temperature: Mid 60’s in the morning to mid 70’s later in the day
Water Temperature: 63-64 degrees
The weather this morning wasn’t awful but it wasn’t what I’d call great either. It was overcast with a decent breeze and threatening rain at any time. Today was only a half day for me because I needed to head back on home later in the afternoon.
We started fishing up near the ranger’s station and just trolled around the various islands there.
As with everyday this week… the fishing was slow… I did manage to land a nice smallmouth bass and a nice largemouth bass as well along with a few smaller fish.
A bit later in the morning my friend landed a very nice largemouth bass as well that was nearly 4 pounds.
All-in-all, we’ve had trips where we caught “hundreds” of smallmouth over the course of the week. This year was certainly different but definitely a lot of fun fishing with great friends. I can’t wait to get back here again some time in the future.
Today’s fish catching baits were: Senkos ! Yup… that was basically it.
Oh – I almost forgot… the evening before we were out at the sirens and we had an awesome flyby by a military helicopter !!!
Weather: A simply beautiful day… rain moved out… wind was none to very light and the sun was out
Air Temperature: Mid 60’s in the morning to mid 70’s later in the day
Water Temperature: 56 in the morning up north. 63 in the afternoon down south
This Monday morning was picture perfect… a simply glorious day. Bright sun, little to no wind, almost zero boat traffic out on the lake… as good as it gets.
A nice, morning cruise in the Nitro Z18
We again started out up in the northern islands sections where we were fishing the day before. But, as nice as the day was starting out to be… the fishing was basically unchanged. A fish here, a fish there… no complaints for sure but damn… this place is loaded with quality bass but where were they all !?!?!?
Well, here’s a few pictures of some of the smallmouth bass we caught this morning.
We fished until about 2 PM and then headed back to the cottages for some food and some refreshments.
After our afternoon lunch and refueling stop, we went back out onto the lake to see if the action would be any different later in the day. This time, we decided to head on down south of the cottages to the waters around the Norowal Marina. In year’s past, we’ve had some success in this area fishing for Northern Pike.
The area is a large “no wake zone” with some shallow water, a channel, lots of docks, some weeds and access to deeper water.
My friend and I started out casting spinner baits. He was using a perch-colored spinner bait and he caught several nice Largemouth bass shortly after we began fishing the area. I was throwing a white spinner bait that normally produces very well. After he’d caught his third fish to my none I was beginning to question my choice of color. Then… BAM… something hit my spinner bait just as I’d begun to retrieve it. After a few cranks of the reel handle the fish realized it had been hooked… it was then that my line tightened up quickly and my rod bent over quite a lot. I knew I’d hooked something big because the fish was staying down under the water and taking drag whenever it caught site of the boat. My friend was on the front of the boat and casually asked me “You the normal net or the BIG NET ?”… just then I managed to get a look at what was at the end of my line… a huge Northern Pike… It took off running again and I simply stated “We’re gonna need the bigger net” … I fought the fish for a few minutes longer while my friend dug the big net out from wherever he’d stored it. This is what we netted…
I’d hooked an awesome eight pound Norther Pike !!! What a fish ! My personal best by far ! What a way to end such a beautiful day ;^)
Today’s fish catching baits were: Bluegill crank baits, Senkos, jerk baits and spinner baits.
Weather: Overcast, light rain, slight breeze but not too bad
Air Temperature: Low 60’s in the morning to about 80 later in the day
Water Temperature: 56-58 degrees
The clouds thickened up over night and some light rain moved in on us. The rain was light and the wind had died down so we decided to head on out and do some fishing.
We ventured a bit further to the north on this Sunday morning. Our first stop was a place known as “Three Sirens” Island. We’d had good luck here on prior trips and expected to have some good luck this time as well. We caught some smallmouth bass up in this area but they were very scattered… as in we’d catch one here, then one more ten minutes later over on a different rock pile and then nothing. We’d move a bit and then we’d pick up another fish or two and then nothing…
Next, we decided to head back south towards the cottages as the rain wasn’t showing any signs of stopping (although it was still just light rain) and the fish weren’t biting all that much up at the Three Sirens.
Our next stop was a stretch of the lake called ‘The Narrows’. It’s a location full of many small islands and rock piles with both shallow and deep areas to fish. Here, too, we’d had great success and caught many fish. Today, however, the fish here in ‘The Narrows’ were acting the same way as their fishy friends up at the Three Sirens… we’d catch a smallmouth or two in one spot than nothing. We’d move to another spot and the same pattern would repeat itself.
On an odd note, I think I set a record for the most Rock Bass caught in a single trip… for whatever reason, they loved the lipless crank bait I was throwing. At one point, I think I caught a rock bass on six consecutive casts.
As it got to be around 1 PM, the weather wasn’t getting any better and neither was the fishing. We officially called “Miller Time” and headed back to the cottages. Also, due to the rain, I unfortunately didn’t take any fish pictures today… Oh well, I guess I will just leave you with a few shots of the cottage life..
At least, there was some excellent food and beverages awaiting us…
Today’s fish catching baits were: White/blue lipless crank baits and jerk baits.
Weather: Sunny. These was a breeze on the lake that picked up pretty good as the day went on along with the wave action. Clouds started moving in as well.
Air Temperature: High 60’s to about 80 by the end of the day
Water Temperature: 58-59 degrees
This was a return trip to Lake George. I’d fished here a couple of times over the past ten years or so as part of the yearly bass fishing trip my friend’s family takes. Each year they spend a week on a bass lake in the upstate New York area.
This lake is simply gorgeous. It’s big, it’s deep, it’s surrounded by mountains and dotted with islands. The water is also crystal clear which make for some amazing underwater views. Oh, and the fishing is typically fantastic too !
Our morning started early, about 6 am, as we left Massachusetts for the 5 hour drive to the cottages we were staying at.
We stayed at a place called ‘Candlelight Cottages’. The cottages are well kept, the docks are solid and have space for many boats and the owners are very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend the ‘Candlelight Cottages’ if you are ever looking for a place to stay on Lake George.
We arrived there some time around noon and checked in. We then proceeded to one of the large marina’s nearby to launch the bass boats. There’s a very good, easy to launch from marina just a few minute’s drive from the cottages. It’s called Norowal Marina. Be prepared to have your boat inspected, and possibly pressure washed as well, by the marina personnel. They are very strict about keeping all types of invasive species of plants and other beings out of the lake.
We didn’t venture too far away from the cottages on this day simply because it was our first day and all we wanted to do was float the boats for a bit, get a little bit of fishing in and then head back to the cottages to finish unpacking and setting them up for the week. As you can see in the image below, the cottages we were staying at are located at the red marker and the marina we launched at is at the bottom of the image. We started fishing up north of the cottages in the Northwest Bay section of the lake.
Up in that northern area there is a river that runs into the main lake and you can find largemouth bass and northern pike up there. We caught a few fish up around that area. All largemouth too. Here’s one of them…
We didn’t stay out on the lake too long though. The wind and the waves whipped up so we headed for the docks and the cottages where some hot food and cold brews awaited our return. All-in-all it was nice start to the week !
Today’s fish catching baits were: Natural colored jig with craw trailer, Senkos and jerk baits.
Conditions at the beginning of the tournament were actually quite calm. We had experienced a good deal of rain in the days prior as well as some heavy rain the day before. The morning was overcast and quite ‘sticky’… it felt like it could rain at any moment but aside from a very short period of light drizzle, no rain materialized. In fact, about 2 hours into the tournament the clouds went away, the wind started blowing and the sun came out.
I had a non-boater with me today which was an adjustment for sure but fun nonetheless. Five minutes in my non-boater landed a small bass on a top-water bait. That was the only fish either of us would land for the first hour or so.
We’d been fishing up shallow but aside from that single small bass we hadn’t hooked anything. I started casting a lipless crankbait into deeper water and along ridges. I had a couple of hits and then a hook up. However, the smallmouth bass I’d hooked managed to free himself after a few highlight reel jumps… Damn! …
Our luck started to change as we managed to land about six more bass from a pocket up at the far end of the pond. I had four largemouth. Although they were keepers, they were barely keepers. This would turn out to be my theme for the rest of the day. My non-boater had 2 fish that were just about 2 pounds each.
I moved around a lot over the remainder of the day. Shallow, deep, rocky, mid-lake flats, humps, you name it. I did manage to catch a lot of fish. I didn’t count them all but it had to be close to twenty. The only problem was that all of the fish I was catching were small… keepers but barely. In fact, this was not only my theme for the day but it was the theme for most everyone else as well. Lots of fish landed but no monsters.
On the positive front, this was the first time I managed to catch a limit, and easily this time, in one of my club tournaments. Things could be looking up !
My buddy called me up and he had an open Sunday morning and luckily so did I. The weather was actually awesome for fishing… Cool to start but rapidly warming up and little to no wind… perfect conditions to actually enjoy the fishing and not fight the conditions. You have to enjoy these moments !
Looking at that shot of my graph you can tell by all those trails that I’ve fished this place a few times 😛 You can also tell that this place is a shallow water fishery for sure and those trails are clumped together to avoid running aground.
It felt so nice to actually be out fishing on a day when the weather cooperated. My fishing buddy is convinced that a black weather cloud follows me around whenever we get out on the water together… thankfully, I managed to ditch that cloud this day.
All in all it was a really enjoyable day. We hooked some decent largemouth bass along with some pesky pickerel. The largemouth bass weren’t huge but whether they were one pound or three they fought like five pounders. I even had a two pounder leap out of the water like a smallmouth. It was crazy to watch.
As the saying goes…. you never know what you’ll run into out on the water… as you can see in the photo above the water was like glass. My friend and I were fishing a point when we noticed a disturbance on the surface of the water a few hundred yards away. The disturbance peaked our curiosity and after about five minutes of watching and speculating “what the heck is that ? A turtle ? A bird ? An animal ?” we put out our rods away and trolled over to it… as we approached it we couldn’t believe what we were seeing… it was a massive largemouth bass that was breaking the surface of the water and looking like it was trying to take its last breath. I got our net and simply scooped up this big bass.
This monster was all beat up from the spawn… just look at the tail… all red with pieces missing. Overall, it looked wiped out. We took a quick picture and weighed it – 6 pounds in this state – dang ! On a normal day it’d have 7-8 for sure ! … and then placed it back into the water to allow it to continue on its journey to wherever it was going. Crazy times…
Weather: Partly Cloudy, GUSTY winds, cool air, occasional sprinkles, even a brief period of hale…just lovely
Air Temperature: 50 – 55 degrees
Water Temperature: 50 – 52 degrees
I’m convinced that Spring in New England is just something they wrote about in the old books because for the past few years we’ve gone from 4 months of Winter to a day of Spring and then onto Summer.
This year has been no exception… I saw a graphic the other day about the weather and it stated that it had rained for some part of the day for 30 of the past 35 days… and our average daily temperatures were also below normal.
I store my boat outside and it had been sitting in my driveway, under it’s cover, ever since the day I had picked it up nearly a month prior. In order to get ready for this tournament I had to leave work a bit early on Thursday, uncover my boat, setup my rods, baits and other stuff and cover it back up right away as it was going to rain, again, for the next 30 hours…
It finally stopped raining about 5 am on Saturday, the day of the tournament, just as I was going outside to take the cover off of the boat and load up the truck to head out for the tournament.
Ok… so… first club tournament of the year… tough, cold, windy conditions… and guess what… I drew boat #1 … awesome… now the pressure is on ! I headed up towards the north west part of the pond in an effort to run my boat for a more than 10 seconds and also to try to find a spot out of the wind, if that was even possible.
I started tossing my bread and butter bait… the Largemouth magnet… a good ol’ weightless Senko … but, after about a dozen casts I quickly realized two things:
It was too windy to make an accurate, targeted cast with such a light weight bait
It was too windy to work such a light bait, even if I had managed to cast it where I wanted it, for more than a couple of twitches
I then swapped to a swim bait, a jerk bait, a lipless crank bait and lastly a spinner bait… nada… no hits… not even a look.
Ok… what next ? My next go to bait is a Yamamoto creature bait… so I picked up that rod and headed as far to the northwest of the pond as I could. Up in this section of the pond there is some hay-like grass and a small, shallow channel also runs into the pond at this point.
I had been fishing for about an hour by the time I made this move. About 4 casts in I hooked my first Largemouth bass. A solid 2.6 pound keeper.
As I worked my way slowly along the shoreline, battling the wind that was of course blowing directly at me, I landed my second bass of the day about ten minutes later. It was also a nice 2.1 pound keeper…
A few casts later I’d hooked my third bass – but this one was just short of being a keeper… I had to toss it back. I didn’t feel bad about it though because I thought I was onto a good pattern… 3 bass within 20 minutes along the grassy shoreline.
As it turns out… that was the end of that pattern… for the next six hours the only fish I caught was a pesky pickerel.
I moved around… I fished deep and shallow… I threw many different baits… I was talking to myself… I put some country music on… I battled through the wind and the cold… I soldiered on… nothing… nothing at all worked…
I endeavored to fish a bit deeper as I really like fishing drop offs and changes in depths. On this pond, on this day, I just got really frustrated. The wind was blowing so hard that I could not work any bait the way I wanted to. This was mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t keep my boat in one spot very well or for very long. I struggle mightily on windy days and it always seems to be windy when I fish. On my wish list for boat upgrades are a new, stronger trolling motor (the new models are powerful and gps enabled and will keep your boat in a specific spot automatically) and possibly a pair of Talons (which will keep your boat in an exact spot in shallow water).
However, as the saying goes.. f you’re not catching you’re learning… and I can always take that to the bank.
As far as the tournament goes, and although I only brought two fish to the scales, I managed a 7th place finish.
As stated, conditions were tough and only 2 of the 15 contenders managed a 5 fish limit. Several even zeroed (as I did last year).
Today was the warmest day of the year here in the Boston area. It just so happens that today was also the day that I had scheduled to pick up my Nitro Z-18 out of winter storage. Perfect timing I say !
Like last year, I had no expectations of catching a bunch of fish, or even any fish for that matter. The main purpose of today’s trip was to just clean the cobwebs off of the boat and myself and to just get out onto the water for a little while. For whatever reason, Whitehall Reservoir and I don’t get along with low water temperatures. Until last week, there was still a fair amount of ice on this body of water.
When I got to the launch just before noon another angler was just coming off of the water. He’d been out for a few hours and managed a bag of zero bass and a few pickerel… Hmm… more confirmation that the fish here don’t like cold water ;^)
And… my experience today was no different !!! I caught a total of zero bass today – but I did manage to get a fat perch !
I also managed to get my new rods setup for the season… I even managed to create a massive bird’s nest on my Senko rod and reel… I’d failed to realize that I’d forgotten to set the brake on the reel… I make the first cast and whoosh… bird’s nest galore… To clear it I had to nearly de-spool all of the line on the reel… fun times are always to be had on the first time out every year ;^)
At the end of the day, I was at the boat launch hooking my boat up to the trailer to pull it to of the water. A few anglers in a Ranger boat had just come in as well. They’d been out for about 8 hours and had only managed two bass and few pickerel. Again, at least it wasn’t just me that struggled to find the bass today.
It was good to be back out on the water again though after a long winter. Looking forward to getting out more this year than last year.
If you’re like me and live up in the Northeastern part of the United States, you only have two options when it comes to fishing during the winter months… It’s either ice fishing or ‘Couch Fishing’ … I typically opt for the ‘couch fishing’ option ;^) It’s not that I don’t like ice fishing – lots of folks really enjoy it. It’s more that I am not a big fan of being cold… I’d rather be sweating it out on a humid, sunny 85 degree day than standing out on the borean tundra waiting for a flag to tip.
Anyway, many months spent ‘fishing from my couch’ and catching nothing but glimpses of my packed away rods and tackle, occasional snippets of professional anglers competing in televised/streamed warm weather tournaments and consuming a fair amount of decent IPAs have resulted in a body that’s definitely no longer in tip-top fishing shape.
Now, you may be asking yourself – ‘What do you mean by fishing shape’ ?
You may also be thinking to yourself – ‘Fishing is a quiet, fairly sedentary activity. Why would anyone need to get into shape to fish ?’
Well – fishing can be a very quiet, sedentary and relaxing activity… IF that’s how you choose to fish. Casting a bobber and worm from the bank or a dock and waiting for a bite is a perfect example of this.
However, when you typically fish from your bass boat (or kayak) like I do it is definitely not a sedentary activity…
Launching and pulling your boat isn’t always simple or easy and can require a push or pull or just some old fashioned muscle
Standing on your boat for many consecutive hours requires stamina
Controlling the trolling motor pedal
Add some wind and waves and both standing on your boat and controlling the trolling motor becomes even more difficult and taxing
Making hundreds of casts during the course of the day…
Have you ever tried casting a 1/2 ounce or heavier spinner bait, jerk bait or a deep diving crank bait at the end of a long day ? Oh my aching upper back and shoulders…
Sometimes at the end of a long day it’s all I can do to just lazily toss a weightless worm ;^)
You’ll also notice that I don’t have the seat in place at the front of my boat… that’s a conscious decision as I find that it gets in the way more than it helps… If I need a break I just go and sit down for a few minutes in the regular boat seats.
I’m not the only one that thinks fishing is a physical demanding activity ! For example, check out this ‘Anatomy of a Fisherman’ article.
So, watch out fish !!! It’s off to the gym I go !
Oh yeah… what good is a blog post about fishing without fish pictures ?
Wow ! Been waiting a LOOOOOOOONG TIME for this ! Hard to believe that it’s finally happened 🙂 !!!
I’ve had a lot of fun fishing with my friend on his Nitro over the past few years. Lots of fish and lots of good times ! But, it was time… time to get my own bass boat and graduate from kayak fishing. Plus, it’s not easy taking my kids fishing with just a kayak 🙂
Here are some photos of the new boat and a few from the maiden voyage this past weekend on Whitehall Reservoir . More to come as I get out onto the water and start catching those lunkers.