In New York, bass a fish for all anglers

Bass season is open across New York and anglers couldn’t be happier.

Although most of the state allows for catch-and-release bass fishing from December until mid-June, the bass opener remains a special day regardless of the fact that very few of these fish make it to the frying pan, grill and dinner table compared to species like trout and walleye.

The allure of bass fishing may be the fact that bass can thrive in nearly any type of water. Rivers and streams may have their share of smallmouth bass while largemouths can be found in lakes and ponds both big and small; from a massive body of water like Lake Champlain or the St. Lawrence River, to a golf course pond or farm pond

Anyone can catch bass, which is likely what makes fishing for them most appealing. Throughout my career as an outdoor writer, I’ve heard endless anecdotes from average anglers catching big, trophy bass. This may be a kid fishing off a dock with a “kiddie” pole using just a bobber or a worm, or someone paddling a canoe around a local pond and tossing their favorite topwater lure over a submerged log.

I grew up on the southeastern Adirondacks with a brook trout stream within sight of my home. My brothers and I spent countless days on the banks fishing those little wild brookies, and sometimes still do. But once I got in a canoe and rowboat and discovered the pleasure of catching just a 2-pound largemouth from our local lakes, I was literally hooked on bass fishing.

I spent the summers of my teenage and college years either on the small ponds near our deer hunting area or on Lake George. The canoe and rowboat were the vessels of choice and we were fortunate enough to catch both bronzebacks and bucketmouths.

I still take a somewhat similar approach to bass fishing to this day. My vessel of choice is a kayak and I love to fish with plastic or rubber worms. I keep a medium action rod with 6-pound flourocarbon line rigged with 4/0 wide-gapped hook just for this purpose, along with a bag full of plastic worms in a variety of colors. Quite often, especially if I’m kayaking with my wife, this is the only rod in the boat. Otherwise, I have a similar rig that I use to toss a variety of lures. But I catch most of my bass on wacky and Texas-rigged worms.

My wife and I are avid campers and typically spend one weekend a month camping somwhere in the Adirondacks, and bass fishing is usually on my agenda. I can cover some water in my kayak, and it’s not uncommon for me to paddle six or eight miles in the course of a day as I explore the lake and fish its shoreline. This is my idea of a perfect summer day.

Summer is here and the bass are waiting for anglers of all extremes. That includes the tournament angler with an expensive bass boat, the young angler casting off shore, and everyone else in between.

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