Return to Lake Champlain…

 After last years fun on Lake Champlain I just knew this would become an annual trek  South.  Along for the ride again this year were buddies Paolo and Brad.  For me, like most trips these days is more about getting away and doing some fun fishing with buddies.  Sharing a few laughs and telling tales is what it’s all about.  I try to do at least two a year and sometimes a third on the Fall.  It’s a great getaway.

The early season Catch and Release Bass season is another appeal that draws us back.  Vermont and New York State have for years offered early season Bass anglers this opportunity and it does draw anglers from Ontario and Quebec.

It’s really an odd thing to do and one that as we continue to make this trip we learn more about how these fish set up pre spawn.  

Last year I relied heavily on a Jackall Aska crankbait, this year was no different though I did switch colors.  Dirtier water led me to a Red Crawfish color.  Paid off BIG TIME.

Targetting shallow flats with hard bottom was key.  Yes we did pick off some fish on buck brush and wood but those flats were predominately the key.  Points, cribs and anything else along those flats were prime.

My first quality fish came on the edge of some buck brush at the mouth of a spawning cove.

Paolo wasn’t far behind with his first chunk on a Chatterbait.

Brad found himself in a odd predicament….

We seemed to be finding mostly Males in this bay so we moved out.  The Crank became the star on the flats.

There isn’t much better than a hot crankbait bite, man that’s fun.  I set the hook on one and immediately said “This can’t be a Bass.”  Well I was wrong.  When it broke the surface my knees weakened.  Biggest Bass I’d ever laid eyes on.  Meet BIG BELLY KELLY.

I was done.  I could have stopped fishing the trip and been happy, but I didn’t.

Brad is a Swimbait connoisseur.  He loves them and the ability to throw those big baits all day for one or two big bites was almost admirable.   This fish made up for his efforts.  Pure Toad.

One cast I made had us all puzzled.  I set the hook on something and knew it wasn’t a Bass.  This time I was right.  We netted it and still had no idea what the hell it was!  

Turns out thanks to Facebook guys nailed it right away.  It’s called a Tench.  Invasive Species.  Weird looking bugger.

The fishin wasn’t lights out but we did hammer some quality fish, just as we were getting ready to pack up we came down one shoreline and had at least a dozen fish in a 100 yards.

A few more gooduns.

Ended the trip by running into BIG BELLY KELLY’s little sister, BIG BOOTY JUDY.  

In the end, it was a great trip.  Caught up with a few buddies and stuck some really nice fish.  Bring on the Guiding season!

See ya in 2018 Lake Champlain.