5th annual King George Fishing Derby delivers
The King George Fishing Derby on Lake George is one that continues to grow. This year was the fifth annual event and saw a record 185 anglers take part. That’s nearly triple the number that participated in the first derby in 2015.
Lake George has always been known for its lake trout fishing; a species that attracts anglers year-round, including through the ice during the winter months. Decades ago it was also considered a solid landlocked Atlantic salmon fishery. Given the fact that there are more frequent reports of successful salmon fishing outings, along with results from both this and last year’s derby, the salmon fishing appears to be rebounding.
As for the tournament, the number of both salmonids brought to the scales increased after the derby was moved from July to September in 2017. It also seemed to encourage participation since the tournament is now held after the main tourist season.
Lake George, meanwhile, is what this writer calls a “sleeper” bass fishery. There is simply some fantastic bass fishing in Lake George for both largemouth and smallmouth bass. It’s surprising that the big bass fishing trails like B.A.S.S. and FLW have not picked up on it. The smaller bass clubs and federations sure have.
And so the stage was set for this year’s derby, held Sept. 14-15. Each year I have volunteered to man the scales at one of the weigh stations and usually find myself in Bolton Landing, about 10 miles north of Lake George Village. While a few lakers tend to make their way to these scales, my experience has been that of mostly weighing in bass.
High winds and choppy waters subdued the action early on the first day. But the skies cleared and the winds subsided. Still, it was a 11 a.m. before a derby participant pulled up to the docks.
It was a deep-V aluminum fishing with an adult and two young boys aboard. An excited youngster jumped out of the boat and held up, as best as he could, a huge largemouth bass and yelled, “I caught it.”
That youngster was Christian Taylor, age 8, of Goshen, N.Y., who’s father Christopher drove three hours so that he and his two sons (including Carter, age 10) could participate in the derby. Christian’s 5.65-pound largemouth bass held on to be the biggest bass caught in the derby and won the boy first place honors in the junior largemouth bass division.
The biggest lake trout was a 33-inch monster that weighed 13.47 pounds. It was caught early on in the derby by Brian Henry. And every year father-and-son duo Ed and Dylan Palmer seem to place in the laker division. They do it by jigging rather than trolling.
As for the salmon, an angler named Christian Rose picked up a six-pounder. He was tolling for lake trout and hooked the salmon while making a turn. Joel Clark, a native of the Lake George area who took second place honors, targeted salmon all weekend and it paid off.
Proceeds from the King George Fishing Derby benefit the The Fund for Lake George and its ongoing battle against invasive species. Full results are available at http://kinggeorgefishingderby.com.