Fishing Forecast: Start of bass tournaments brings a crowd to water
Despite all the recent rain and the high water there are still quite a number of boats out there.
I visited the Saratoga boat launch last Friday, and there were 18 boat trailers in the parking lot.
The water level at the launch was very close to coming over the walls.
Saturday, the opening of the bass season, I returned to watch the Greenbush Bass Association’s season-opening tournament weigh-in, and the parking lot was full of boat trailers. I had to wait in my car for an opening.
When I spoke with tournament director Jerry Gibson, he told me 41 teams had entered. Total payback to the top six anglers and the angler with the biggest bass totaled $2,425. As I watched each team weigh in, I was surprised at the number of five-bass team limits. Obviously the high water did not affect the bite.
The Saratoga team of Dave Munger and John Jenkins picked up right where they left off last season with another Saratoga Lake winning catch of bass averaging over three pounds each. Their winning bag of five bass totaled 16.22 pounds, and was anchored with a 5.09-pound largemouth. First place returned $780.
Finishing second with 15.41 pounds and receiving $410 was the Saratoga team of Chris Graziano and Jason Micklas. Third place and $325 went to Adam Bielawa of New Lebanon and Jerry Gibson of Averill Park with 13.56 pounds. Rounding out the rest of the six cash positions were the Waterford team of Paul and Jason Norton, 13.01 pounds; the Saratoga Springs team of Rich Whelpley and Carl Paquette, 12.41; and the Ballston Spa team of Dick Nolan and John Clermont, 12.36 pounds. Fourth through sixth places returned $245, $165 and $120 respectively. Big bass honors and $410 went to the Nolan and Clermont team for their 5.72-pound largemouth.
As a reminder to those of you who launch your boats at the Saratoga launch site, when you pay the fee, be sure to put the ticket stub in your windshield where it can be seen. They check, and if there’s no ticket, they issue a warning.
In other bass club tournament news, the Adirondack Bass Club got an early start, opening its season with a contest on Lake Bomoseen in Vermont. Eighteen anglers fished, and 16 weighed in five-bass limits. The winner, with 14.19 pounds, was Jeff Hermance of Wilton. He anchored the catch with a 5.18-pound tournament lunker largemouth. Second was Ben Grieco of Greenwich with 9.98 pounds. Mike Galcik of Schuylerville was third with 9.62 pounds. A total of 94 bass were weighed in, and all were released alive.
The Schenectady Elite anglers opened at Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain with 29 two-person teams. Leading the way with a six-bass team limit was Gerry Rosenbarker and Bruce Jeram, both of Schenectady, with 19.42 pounds. Second were Amsterdam anglers Bob and Brian Bez with 19.30 pounds, and third with 18.79 pounds were Tom Kail of Burnt Hills and Jason Norton of Troy. Big bass honors went to the Schenectady team of Mark and George Amedore Jr. with their 5.38-pound largemouth.
North East Team Bass kicked off its season at Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, attracting 54 teams, and this lake is still giving up some big fish. The ride from Red Hook was worth it for Cory Baright and Dave Jutton, whose five-bass team limit of 19.96 pounds earned them the $3,000 first-place cash. Finishing a close second ($1,300) was the Massachusetts team of Frank Maher and William Pigott with 19.23. Third and $850 was awarded to Robert Misuraca of Climax and Bill Kested of Westerlo with 17.89 pounds.
Fourth-place cash of $600 went to Darren Smith of Middletown and Robert Fairweather of West Brookville with 16.52 pounds. The Vermont team of Tom Coloutti and John Phillips was fifth ($550) with 16.25 pounds. Phil Colarusso Jr. of Malta and Carl Paquette of Stillwater finished sixth with 16.07 pounds and received $350. Colarusso and Paquette also had the tournament lunker, a 5.01-pound largemouth, and they received an additional $590.
The Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation held its 22nd annual Summer Fishing Contest opening day of bass season, attracting 157 adults and 11 youngsters. The three winners in the bass division were Lake George angler Scott Erwin with an 181⁄2-inch bass, Brady Boles of Gloverville with an 18-incher and Andy Cozzolino of Broadalbin with a 175⁄8-inch bass.
In the trout division, first place went to Forrest Higgins of Glenville with a 171⁄8-inch brown, and Rick Youmans of Tolland was second with a 157⁄8-inch brown. There was no third-place winner.
The walleye division was won by Fuzzy Harrington, Northville, with a 221⁄8-inch ’eye. There was a tie for second between Gloversville anglers Landon Dingman and Steve George, both with 181⁄2-inchers.
TOURNAMENT FUND RAISER
The Gateway House of Peace in Ballston Spa will hold a bass fishing tournament at Saratoga Lake on July 21 at Lee’s Campground (next to the Saratoga boat launch) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is a two-person-per-boat maximum, and the top three teams plus the big bass will be paid. Entry fee is $70, which includes the lunker pool if paid before July 21.
Entry fee the morning of the event is $80, and can be paid from 6 to 7:30 a.m. Registration is being taken at Saratoga Tackle or on its web site at www.gatewayhouseofpeace.org.