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You bet your bass the fishing is good! | Notes from the North Woods

Historically, brook trout and lake trout have been the primary spring species for anglers on most local lakes and ponds, however Fathers Day weekend has long signaled the traditional opening of Bass Season.

Although legislation now permit anglers to practice ‘catch and release’ bass fishing year ‘round across most of the state; I always believed the traditional Bass Season Opener on Father’s Day was a most fortunate occurrence.

Bass are voracious feeders, and when they are “turned on”, there is likely no finer species to fish for. When they are ‘on’, bass are hard charging, tough fighters with a flair for acrobatics and drag screaming runs.

In terms of recreational angling opportunities, there is likely no finer fish than a smallmouth bass.

If taken home, their white, flakey meat makes a wonderful meal on the grill or fried in the pan.

While bass are one of the most abundant game species in the state, they are also one of the most underutilized sporting resources in our region, which has historically been regarded as a haven for trout and salmon.

Although Lake Champlain is regularly identified as one of the most productive bass fisheries in the entire country, most of the region’s lakes and ponds are relatively untapped in terms of bass waters. 

Bass are also to be found in a majority of the region’s major rivers including the Saranac, Raquette, Hudson, Schroon, Sacandaga, and the Indian.

While Lake Champlain is likely to remain king of the region’s bass waters, they are also found in a majority of the region’s lakes and ponds, which makes them one of the most accessible game species available.

A top ten list of suggested bass waters includes:

  1. Saranac River and Chain of Lakes

  2. Long Lake

  3. Raquette Lake and and Raquette River

  4. Blue Mountain Lake

  5. Lake George

  6. Black Lake (St. Lawrence County)

  7. Indian Lake

  8. St. Regis Lakes

  9. Floodwood and the Fish Creek Ponds

  10. Forked Lake

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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