On the Water: Hitting the limit on Lake Champlain

Aug. 02, 2014 @ 04:24 PM

Susan and I had a great time on our recent fishing vacation to Lake Champlain, and I hope I didn’t leave the impression in last week’s column that we didn’t.

While our accommodations for part of the trip were somewhat shabby, the fishing was great. Next time we’ll know to take the camper so we can sleep in our own bed.

On the second day of the tournament, I was fortunate to find a big school of smallmouth bass and weighed in a five-fish limit going almost 16.5 pounds, an average of over 3 pounds each. That’s a good limit of smallmouth anywhere.

The best smallmouth I weighed wanted to go to the weigh-in so bad it literally jumped in the boat. I had laid my rod down with the lure on the bottom in 22 feet of water and when I picked it back up, there was a good fish on.

It had gone under the boat and before I could react, I heard a holler from the back of the boat and turned to see a 4-pound smallmouth flopping around on the floor. It felt good to catch that big fish instead of having it jump off. I ended up only 1.5 pounds off the money and one more good cull could have done it.

We also had some great food on the trip, including a Michigan at Gus’ Red Hots in Plattsburgh, New York.

And just what is a Michigan? Well it’s what we call a hot dog with chili. Somehow the people in New York ended up calling them Michigans and no one seems to know exactly why.

Gus’ also provides the option to upgrade your wiener to a Glazier dog for an extra 50 cents, and it’s well worth the up-charge. Glaziers claim to be the best on the planet and have a loyal following worldwide. It’s the crispy natural lamb intestine casing that makes them so special. They are one of the best hot dogs you could ever eat and you should try one if you get a chance.

Kerr Lake fishing report — Bass and stripers are all biting well. Bass were biting on top water at night and deep during the day last weekend. The better fish wanted a large plastic worm or deep crankbait fished on points, especially ones with stumps in about 15–20 feet of water. Stripers are biting shad fished near the mouth of Eastland Creek.

Upcoming area tournaments — There are several next weekend including three on Saturday, Aug. 9. The Bass Catchers will fish at Lake Gaston; contact Dennis Bradley at (252) 532-5782.

The third Piedmont Bass Classics End of Year Team Bass Trail Qualifier will be held on Kerr Lake out of Flemington; contact is Phil McCarson at (919) 471-1571.

And the Last Capital Bass Club will go out of Longwood; contact Scott Moser at (434) 579-6164. On Sunday, Aug. 10, the Buggs Island Bass Challenge will launch out of Occoneechee Ramp 1; call Brandon Gray at (252) 213-2949.

Next week’s report — Hanging out with the grandson on a rainy weekend report from Walnut Cove. We might get out on Belews Creek Lake Sunday.

Tip of the week — This time of year I enjoy top-water fishing early in the morning. I will go to bed early and then get up and on the water around 3 a.m. Top-water lures like a black buzz bait or large jitterbug fished around rocky banks or points can provide exciting strikes from giant bass.

Contact the writer at waltbowen@yahoo.com and on Facebook under Walt Bowen.