Fall Fishing Report 10/20/2022
Local Fishing Reports
Saratoga Lake: (Water Temp 62-63°F) The Largemouth Bass bite continues to be fairly consistent with fish relating to the healthy weed beds that are still scattered around the lake. The best baits have been spinnerbaits, jigs, chatterbaits, and live medium shiners. The more stable the weather patterns become, the better the fishing will get. Schools of largemouth and smallmouth are also still chasing bait schools on the weed edges right now between 8-14’, and this is where the bigger fish are being caught right now. Anglers are having success trolling and casting for walleye during the nighttime hours along the rock shoals and weed edges. The best baits have been rapala crankbaits, smithwicks, and berkley flicker shads.
Lake George: (Water Temp 59-60°F) The lake trout fishing has been consistent for guys trolling along areas where lake trout are beginning to migrate to. Some are chasing bait fish that spawn along the rock ledges and some are moving towards their spawning grounds. Guys trolling are having luck anywhere from 50-120’ of water trolling spoons and stickbaits as some are suspended and some still relating to bottom structure. The best areas have been Paulist Fathers and Dome Island.The Atlantic Salmon are beginning to move shallow and guys have begun targeting them with flies and spoons off the Million Dollar Beach Area. The bass bite has been inconsistent, as the colder mornings have fish suspended and chasing bait schools around the lake. Once the temperature begins to be more stable the smallmouth bass bite should improve.
Ballston Lake: (Water Temp 62-63°F) The bass bite has gotten significantly trickier on Ballston Lake as the overnight temperature has begun to get down into the lower thirties. It seems that some of the bass are shallow, near the warmth of the weeds, and some are out deep, suspended, chasing schools of gizzard shad. GThe best baits have been chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, and jigs along the weed edges. The only way to fish the lake is by boat as the public dock is still out of order and is being repaired. If you have a boat you can launch at “Finnigan’s On The Lake” which used to be called “Villago”, for a fee of $15 weekdays and $25 on weekends.
Lock 8 on the Mohawk River: (Water Temperature 57-58°F) Lock 8 is still producing good numbers of pike, bass, and walleye. These have been caught mainly by the patient anglers that have been fishing off the wall. The walleye have mostly been caught at nighttime using paddle tails and stickbaits. Live bait has been working well when fished directly off the bottom. For artificials chatterbaits, spinnerbaits, and various crankbaits have been the most consistent.
Great Sacandaga Lake: (Water Temp 56-57°F) At the Broadalbin launch, the water is so low that the concrete is fully out of the water, so be extremely careful launching a boat here. Once you get past the concrete it turns into deep mud so please take caution. We recommend launching at the Town of Day launch if you are willing to make the drive. The overall water level is down 15’ from the spring, and is 10’ below the average. Anglers that are venturing out have been catching Northern Pike on Spinnerbaits, Spoons, and large jerkbaits. We again want to advise fishermen that target northern pike to be extremely careful when they are handling these giant fish. Although big, these fish are fairly fragile and you want to make sure you are delicate while holding them for pictures. The Smallmouth Bass are actively chasing bait this time of year so if you can find the bait schools the smallmouth won't be far behind.
The N.Y. Fall Salmon Run
Salmon River: (Water Temp 55-60°F) The run is beginning to slow down downstream, as the remaining fish from the lake are trickling in the lower part of the river. However, the upper parts of the Salmon River and the small tributaries have been fishing very well. They just raised the water flow from 300 CFS to 1200 CFS so the water will be high and the fish will be where you usually stand. Please take precaution when wading at these high flows as the current will be very strong.
In the lower parts of the river, the salmon are sitting on gravel beds and are beginning to spawn. We always advise anglers to try and leave these fish alone as much as possible to let them do their thing. The best action has been in the early morning, as the lowlight conditions have fish moving up to reach the hatchery. So if you are fishing right now, it is vital to be on the river early. Usually after Columbus Day, the crowds begin to thin out so this is a good time to go as the numbers of fish are still relatively high. Right now the upper river is fishing the best with spots like Altmar, RT2A, Sportsman Pool area, Pineville, Trestle Pool area, Ellis Cove, Altmar, as well as the Upper & Lower Fly Fishing Areas producing good amounts of fish. This time of year the fish are starting to decay so the majority of the fish you will be catching will be brown or black in color. If you do choose to eat them, the fresher looking the better.
The steelhead are beginning to show up which can provide an absolutely incredible, acrobatic fight. Steelhead enjoy sitting in more oxygen rich water which will be the faster pockets and riffles. They follow the salmon up the river to eat their eggs so these fish will be willing to bite egg patterns, egg sacs, and plastic eggs.
Wiggly Worm’s Fishing Tip of the Week
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Spinnerbait Fishing Tip: This time of year if you're fishing for bass, the spinnerbait is one of the top producing fall baits to imitate a school of fleeing baitfish. While fish are moving around during the fall transition, spinnerbaits have the ability to cover multiple depth ranges with maximum efficiency. One issue anglers run into is short strikes and the way to fix that is by running a 1/0 or 2/0 trailer hook on the back of your spinnerbait. This will ensure that if a lethargic bass swipes at your spinnerbait it will still get hooked.