Catch the Outdoor Spirit!
Saratoga Tackle & Archery is located at 1456 Rte. 9P, Saratoga Springs, New York
in the Stewart's Plaza next to the State Boat Launch on Saratoga Lake.
FROM BEGINNER TO PRO - WE GUARANTEE SUCCESS!
Bushwhackin’ for Bass All Outdoors by Tim Blodgett
I don’t know about you, but this summer has been flying by for me. July is more than half gone, August is just around the corner and pretty soon we’ll be seeing “Back to school” sales fliers. Saratoga Lake has been an easy place to fish so far yielding great numbers Bass, Pickerel and pan fish to anglers of all levels of experience. I’ve had more exited fishermen come into my shop with stories of their “Best day ever!” than I can remember for years. I expect to hear that phrase many more times this summer but only if fishermen change their tactics as the conditions change.
Summer’s heat has settled in and with it, rising water temperatures and thicker weed growth. Many people avoid the weeds because they consider them a nuisance and would prefer that there were no weeds at all. Contrary to what those people think about them, the weeds are your fishing buddies. Pond weed, Pickerel grass, Lily pads and yes, the dreaded invasive, Eurasian Milfoil are your friends. Go to Sacandaga Lake or Lake George if you want sterile water but embrace the weeds if you want to enjoy top notch fishing in Saratoga Lake.
Fish like the weeds of all types, and so should you, because they provide the fish with everything they need to conduct their daily business. Oxygen to breath, shade to provide relief from the blazing sun and essential habitat for the tiny creatures at the bottom of the food chain are all found in the weeds. Thick weeds also provide cover for newly hatched fry to evade predators and camouflage for those at the top of the food chain seeking to ambush those occupying the lower levels. Fish are constantly engaged in a life and death game of “Hide and Seek” where getting tagged doesn’t mean you’re “It” but you’re “Eaten”. It’s as simple as that, the little ones hide from the big ones in the weeds and the big ones hide in the weeds to catch the little ones. Kind of puts our daily struggles in perspective doesn’t it. Here’s the take away…
1). The Big Ones Eat the Little Ones!
2). The Little Ones hide in the weeds. Therefore…..
3). Fish for the Big Ones in the weeds.
Conclusion: Time to go Bushwhackin’!
You don’t need to look for the thickest, meanest, nastiest weed bed in the lake. Heavy action fishing rods and strong reels loaded with 30lb. or heavier braided line is needed for exploring that jungle. If you’ve got the tackle, go for it. Work the outer edges and as far into those thick tangles as your tackle allows with weed less frogs and Texas rigged plastic worms. You don’t need to hit these areas first thing in the morning because they often get better as the day progresses and fish start moving to the shade and shelter of the weed mat. Frog lures worked over the top of matted weeds provoke Bass lurking below into an explosive frenzy to get at your lure. When the weeds erupt where your lure was last seen, resist the urge to react right away. It is important to wait and give the fish a couple of seconds to get the lure. Point your rod at the boil where the lure was, reel in the slack and when you feel the line tighten up, SET THE HOOK HARD! This is one of my favorite ways to fish and when the fish cooperate it is one of the most exciting. If your tackle is not up to that challenge, target the weeds in 8 to 12 feet of water. Unless ultra light tackle is all you possess, you most likely have the tools you need for these weeds. Make short casts or pitches to openings in the weeds. Also keep your eyes open for extra thick spots and areas of transition from one type of weed to another. These subtle differences in an otherwise uniform environment can clue you in to ambush points and changes in water depth or bottom composition that are sought out by bass and other predators looking for an easy meal. Speaking of easy meals, fish don’t want to work any harder than necessary for a meal, so pick the weed bed apart. You may have to drop your lure right on their head to get them to strike. Two or three feet to either side may be outside the strike zone of the fish your after. Whacky and Texas rigged worms, jigs and drop shot rigs work extremely well in these conditions and will help you stay in the game when the easy morning bite ends.
Thick weeds can be intimidating and difficult for anglers new to that type of fishing. New techniques need to be learned and possibly new tackle will need to be acquired to fish them affectively. If you give it a try, you may find more satisfaction in an activity you already enjoy.
Getting ready for fall
Fall will be here in a couple of months so it’s time to start getting ready for the October opening of Deer season. Obviously, you need to check your equipment and replace or tune up what needs replacing or tuning. This includes you too. Replacement isn’t much of an option so get tuned up! Start shooting your bow and spending time at the range with your gun. If you don’t shoot regularly during the off season, you will benefit from the practice. Shooting skills get rusty and muscles need conditioning after a long lay off. Don’t forget about how difficult it can be to get to your favorite hunting spot or how hard you will have to work if your hunt is successful. Start walking, hiking or riding a bike to improve your fitness, it will pay dividends when you’re in the field. The build up to opening day can be just as enjoyable as the hunt itself so start early and savor the experience.
On a slightly different note:
- Rumor Mill has been spinning so we wanted to address a few things:
1. NO we are not going out of business.
2. YES we'll be here all summer through September.
3. We WILL be moving to a new location (working on Schuylerville) in the late fall.
4. While we'll continue to sell fishing tackle & archery supplies, we also have 'other' things in mind.
We appreciate all the customers who followed us from Lake Lonely way back when we opened in 2001 and all the customers we've made since being here. We hope you will check us out after we move. The details of where & exactly when are still being worked out but we'll let you know!
Also check our Facebook page for Saratoga Tackle we have updates there and you may ask questions.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is conducting a creel survey of Saratoga Lake this year. The purpose is to check the overall health of Saratoga Lake’s fish populations. NYSDEC will be conducting on the water interviews with anglers to see what they are catching, their concerns and their overall satisfaction of the fishery. If you are approached while fishing, let them know how you’re doing. DEC will also be electrofishing at night to capture fish which will be released once they are measured. Later this summer, DEC will set nets deep in the water to capture Walleye, some that will be sent to their lab for health department testing. The survey will continue through the coming winter and once it is over, all the information gathered will be collated, condensed, analyzed and written up in a report. The conclusions reached will provide us with a better understanding of the lake and may result in regulation changes that will improve the quality of the fishing in Saratoga Lake and help to conserve the resource for future generations.