Lake Champlain – Ticonderoga 7/20 + 7/21
I finally got a chance to fish the southern portion of Lake Champlain! Got a late start after I got off on Route 9N earlier than I should have and wasted a lot of time going through Lake George/Saratoga. Big mistake, but it was gorgeous. Lake George is an amazingly scenic lake! Wow!
As for lower Champlain -what a difference when compared to other portions of the lake. I was looking for BIG gar and I spent a lot of time just slowly motoring around seeking visible fish. Didn’t see a single gar on Wed. I ran down to the southern end of the lake after getting a tip from some bass anglers pulling out of the launch. South Bay was massive! Tons of slop and frogging opportunities for bass. Saw some kids with a huge bowfin. Water color is murky in this part of the lake. I finally gave up on the gar search for the day and went bassin. No luck working the vast chestnuts beds. Found a big fairly weedless flat and worked it with spinnerbaits. Had some very good action. I landed a 19″ smallmouth and a bunch of good largemouths, 3 pike and a pickerel. There were next to no weeds on the flat, but there was a little wind on it and it was one of the few flats I found that wasn’t covered with sparse coontail.
Thurs. started out slow for me. I bass fished a bit early in the morning and only caught 1 small largemouth and a white perch. The wind had changed and my bassin’ flat only produced 1 pike. At around 8am I went back on the gar search. After a lot of fruitless searching I finally saw a fish sound towards the bottom. It was as big around as a carp, but was yellow with black spots!!! Yeow – a gar??!! Scary thinking about how big it might have been! Didn’t see another gar and it was 1 pm. The sun was beating down and it was brutal out. I had run back into the guys who’d seen the gar at South Bay and they gave me the exact area. I started running south and decided to stop at a little swampy area/cove on the way down. Good move! 😉 Saw a fish or two surface in close. The water was murky but I saw them! GAR!!! Made a few casts with a rope fly and next thing I know I’ve got a BIG gar on the line! Wow! Kind of scary landing a monster gar for the first time. The bill was about 10″ long or better. Grabbed around it with the glove and went to measure it when the gar shook and I dropped it as the beak whacked my chest! Glad I had a shirt on! 😉 45″ of gar fury!
The next behemoth jumped about 2′ to 3′ out of the water 3 times! Unreal. 44″. This lake was just LOADED with HUGE GAR! The biggest fish I see in other bodies of water were AVERAGE over here! I worked up the shoreline and my jaw dropped as I saw probably 100 gar – ALL WERE 40″ to 50″ or better! I caught 5 or 6 more then things finally slowed up around 4 pm. I found them again and hooked a monster that ran and ran! Eventually I got it in. 48″ long and probably 12lbs. Not far away from the State record! I tried flagging down a boat to get a picture with no luck. Then I remembered that they are gar and can breathe air. So I motored to the nearest launch and found a couple people to snap some shots. I can’t wait to get them developed! Anyways, I’ll be back on this lake as soon as I can….UNREAL GAR ACTION!!! BTW, no one else was fishing for them. Gee, that’s too bad 😉