Summer for anglers in the southern Adirondacks inevitably leads to talk of bass fishing, as the annual summer bass bite kicks in around mid-summer and offers some of the best bass angling of the year.
Here in Warren County, you can drop a line in any of dozens of lakes, ponds and streams and find yourself battling a bruising largemouth or energetic smallmouth, with good chances at both in many of our best waters.
No writeup about fishing in the Lake George Area is complete without a discussion of Lake George itself, and the bass fishing on Lake George is undeniably outstanding.
Numerous bass clubs hold tourneys on Lake George every year, and the lake sits in a part of the state where it is not far from waters such as Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River that are considered among the nation’s best.
The tried-and-true techniques of most waters, live bait such as minnows, crayfish or worms, fished around structure will yield fish, and Lake George annually gives up plenty of largemouths topping 5 pounds and smallmouths over 4.
On Lake George, bass hot spots can be found in any of the bays on the Southern Basin’s east side, around Long Island and throughout the rocky bottom in the Narrows. The annual summer crayfish bite, when bass focus on the abundant crayfish population in the lake, is particularly productive.
If you’re looking for more solitude and space than the big lake will usually provide, Warren County has a number of other smaller, quieter bass-laden waters where you can fill a stringer most days. Among them:
Brant Lake – Minutes east of I-87 Exit 25, Brant Lake has a revamped public boat launch just off Route 8 that gives great access to this picturesque lake. And the bass fishing on Brant can be spectacular, particularly off the points on the north side and around the handful of islands. Brant also has some nice weedbeds that will yield big largemouths.
Schroon Lake – This nine-mile-long lake that straddles the Warren County/Essex County line has public access in the town of Horicon, off east Schroon River Road. It has extensive weedbeds in the north and south ends that harbor big largemouths, and lots of underwater rock structure for smallmouths.
Glen Lake – A small lake in Queensbury, its public access on Glen Lake Road is usable by those with kayaks or canoes. It has plenty of bays and weeds where bass seek cover, and it has given up largemouths topping 7 pounds in recent years.
Hudson River – An underrated fishery, the stretch of the Hudson from Rockwell Falls in Lake Luzerne to Glens Falls has public access from the boat launch off East River Drive in Lake Luzerne, off Big Boom Road in Queensbury and at Feeder Dam Park in Queensbury. The river’s place in logging history has left a lot of underwater wood for fish to use as cover, and the bass grow big in the Hudson. Upstream, the section of river from Riparius to Lake Luzerne has many spots to find feisty river smallmouths. Parts of the river are catch-and-release only, so make sure to check the NY DEC’s rule book.
Loon Lake – This 593-acre lake has access for kayaks, canoes and rowboats off Route 8, and is a sneaky good bass water. Its contours provide points and cover where largemouths and smallmouths can be found, as well as weedy areas in the north end.
The NY DEC’s website offers a host of other suggestions for spots to wet a line for bass.
The biggest bass bite of the year in the Adirondacks typically begins in mid-to-late July as water warms enough to kick their metabolism into high gear.
Fish will feed on a variety of baits, from crayfish to minnows and hellgrammites and artificial offerings such as softbaits and plugs. Early mornings and the hour or so before dusk will see the most action, but you never know when and where that lunker might be waiting!