Lake Champlain – Crown Point/Ticonderoga 8/1 – 8/2


Just got back from my 4th trip to Lake Champlain and the fishing was tough – no question about it. Brutal heat/humidity and high murky water combined to leave a lot to be desired fishing-wise. My buddy Phil is moving out of State in a week, so this was our window to fish. We decided to fish largemouths and cover some water in hopes that we’d locate some monster gar, then we’d switch over to the fly-rods. We got started around noon on Tuesday and worked around Larabees north of TI. Didn’t see much. Nailed one small bass on a Senko and that was it. There was plenty of “pin-minnows” around, but we had no luck with bass. We started out fishing outer deeper weed edges/flats then moved into ultra-shallow stuff. Water levels were high from recent heavy rains and we hoped some big fish would be in shallow, but we couldn’t find ’em.

There were scattered gar nearly everywhere we went, but it was ones and twos and we couldn’t relocate them. No monsters, but bigger fish that we generally see anywhere else!

We worked a lot of areas that produced bass for us last year with very poor results. We wound up with one more bass and a white perch. That was it for day 1. The highlight of the day was finding a shaded bank and pulling in to get out of the sun! Either that, or a couple cold beers and a cigar at the launch ramp. Not a great start 😉

On Day 2 we started late again. We slept well with the air-conditioning at the Sportman’s Cottages and it was revitalizing after virtually no sleep due to high humidity/heat the night before we drove up. We launched at Crown Point. The water here was in much better shape – high, but a bit clearer than the 8″ to 14″ of visibility at Ti. We shot right up to a little “hotspot” we’d found last summer and I picked up a couple nice largemouths – one on a tube and one on a green pumpkin Sweet Beaver imitation (an Ugly Otter – which to me doesn’t have much action) There were plenty of small smallies around and bait fish but no big largemouths that we could find. Phil had a bite-off on some 55lb. braid!

We worked Bulwagga Bay’s west shore and Phil took another keeper largemouth near some distinct weeds we found. Further into the bay we had some great fun topwater fishing with Johnson Silver Minnows/Twisters and a frog. Phil used the minnow and outfished me with the frog by a huge margin. Most of the fish blasting us were pickerel – but at least it was something after a dismal first day. We both missed a couple good bass. I caught a decent largemouth by a creek mouth on a tube.

Storms were all around us and we had some swirling winds, but no downpours. We fished slop filled bays south of Crown and Phil took the best bass of the trip – probably a 2.7lber. Not great for Champlain at all! But it was better that what we had been catching. Overall the trip was a disappointment fishing-wise. Clear water was the key for us. The lack of a topwater bite and even much of a pitching bite was a shock on day 1. We never fished any chestnut, so maybe that would’ve been the ticket. I don’t know. It’s hard spending a short 2 days on this lake and every year I tell myself I’ll stay for at least 3 or 4 days. That’s the only way to do it. The lack of big schooling gar reminded me of how lucky I was to find them last year. And that only happened towards the end of my last day there on my first trip! Luck can sure play a part….