For longer than I care to admit, Great Sacandaga Lake has always been my go-to place for fishing and boating. I can recall the earlier days when getting a stringer full of bigger (18-inch or better) walleyes in one day was a newsworthy event. It was always a great place to fish — but the fishing wasn’t always good. I can recall when the lake was a constant source of complaints from anglers — the walleyes were all shorties and pencil thin. Sometimes the fishing was downright bad but I kept going back until I learned the lake and and its vagaries and my success went up on both walleyes and northerns.
At first the majority of my fishing was from shore, then I purchased a trailerable boat and, then finally a larger one that was still trailerable but had all sorts of goodies from a hardtop to a cuddy cabin, four electric downriggers, planer board masts, LORAN, GPS, side scan sonar, etc. Since I liked to often begin my fishing jaunts in the pre-dawn hours, launching a boat at any launch ramp — public or private — could sometime be difficult. Not impossible — just difficult. I decided it would be more convenient to dock my boat and I chose Driftwood Park, because of its protected harbor and proximity to the areas I liked to fish.
Then I began chartering on the lake, after I secured my DEC guide’s license and OPR & HP certifications. While I still had some grey matter left I also obtained my USCG “six-pack” license. I didn’t need that on Great Sacandaga but I got it anyway. For a few dozen years I spent virtually all my spare time on the lake. Granted, I also went elsewhere to fish from northern Canada to Alaska -but the majority of my time was spent on Great Sacandaga.
In the interim, the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation was formed and the organization worked tirelessly — as it still does — to improve everything about the lake, as well as the fishing. Catching a big trout in the lake was uncommon at one time but since the organization commenced its wildly successful trout stocking program the fishing for that species became excellent and the walleye fishing actually improved as well.
The lake always was a haven for dedicated northern pike anglers and it still is, but the GSLFF recently secured the necessary DEC permits to stock walleyes in the lake and will commence doing so this fall. That could be a real boon for anglers and I suspect the walleye fishing will get much better over the next few years.
Many other New York State waters harbor larger walleyes and trout but Great Sacandaga is close, large and the fishing is getting better as time progresses. I’ve since ceased my chartering on the lake but it remains my “go-to” place for good fishing.
However, if you do like to travel around to other New York State venues for some fishing, you can find out whether fish are biting before venturing outside. On DEC’s Fishing Hotline/News webpage, you’ll find weekly updates on fishing conditions and other pertinent fishing information for select streams, lakes and rivers across New York State.
To find a great location to drop your line, visit DEC’s Places to Fish webpage. It offers detailed information on fishing hot spots among the more than 7,500 lakes and ponds and 50,000 miles of rivers and streams in New York State. By choosing a select body of water or region, you.ll learn about on-site amenities and the types of fish lurking beneath the water’s surface at each location. Have a look at that site. I think you’ll find it interesting.
The 20th Annual Foothills Friends of the NRA banquet will be held at the Eagles Club in Johnstown on Thursday, Aug. 23, beginning at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 pm. The proceeds from this event will be used to help fund upstate New York shooting safety and educational programs, environmental conservation projects, youth programs and range development activities.
There are several levels of tickets available for this event, depending upon your preferred degree of involvement and a call to Bob Johnson at 762-7264, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, will get you all the details of each, so you can select the level that suits you.
As usual, this event will feature, in addition to the dinner, live and silent auctions, prize drawings,various games, and an opportunity to socialize with friends, old and new.