April 23, 2024

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Fishing at Lake George, The Complete Guide

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Nestled in the breathtaking Adirondack Mountains, Lake George is often called the “Queen of American Lakes.” And the nickname is very befitting, considering these waters are among the country’s cleanest and most beautiful. Of course, fishing on Lake George is equally impressive, offering some of the finest freshwater angling in New York state.

To paint a picture of just how amazing Lake George’s fishery is, we’ll first delve into the species you can catch. Then, you’ll get to read about ways to fish the lake, as well as where to go. Finally, we’ll answer a few questions you might have going through your head. If you’re ready, read on!

What fish can you catch in Lake George?

Species Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Lake Trout Great Great Great Great Great Great Good Good Great Great Great Great
Salmon Good Good Good Great Great Great Good Good Good Great Great Good
Bass Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed Great Great Great Great Great Great Closed
Yellow Perch Great Great Great Great Good Good Good Good Good Great Great Great

Lake George’s waters are rich with life, giving anglers the opportunity to catch fish throughout the year. The main season takes place from spring through fall. But should you visit during winter, you’ll get to enjoy the lake’s bountiful ice fishing. The species you’ll get to reel in are many, so let’s take a look at a few popular targets.

Lake Trout

Photo taken by Tyler Mason of Lake George Ice Fishing Adventures & Charters.

With cold and clean waters, Lake George is the perfect habitat for Lake Trout. They’re the lake’s most abundant game fish, with many specimens reaching weights of over 20 pounds. Lake Trout are tough fighters, especially when the water temperatures drop and there’s plenty of oxygen. They’ll grace you with a thrilling battle and a delicious meal if you hook a keeper.

As we mentioned, Lake Trout like to keep it cool. This means you’ll often find them in deeper pockets of Lake George, especially in summer. Trolling with downriggers is typically the most effective technique, although jigging off the side of the boat can be productive as well. Lake Trout will bite both during the open water season and when the ice hits, so they’re always a solid target.

Landlocked Salmon

A closeup photo of the head of an Atlantic Salmon being held slightly out of the water.

While we’re on the topic of great fighters, Lake George is stocked with Atlantic Salmon each year. These fish battle with the same intensity as their sea-run brethren. They’ll twist, turn, and jump out of the water, putting on an exhilarating show. The only difference is the size, as landlocked Salmon are on average smaller than their anadromous counterparts.

When it comes to targeting landlocked Salmon, trolling is the name of the game. Compared to Lake Trout, Salmon are often caught closer to the surface, especially during colder months. The bite stays fair even when the waters freeze over. In fact, the biggest Salmon in recent years, a 35″ giant, was caught from beneath the ice.

Bass

A smiling angler in a red jacket on a boat, holding a sizeable Smallmouth Bass, with a fishing rod trolling off the side of the boat to his right on a cloudy day.
Photo taken by Robert Canter of Lucky Buck Fishing Charters.

To further make the case for that Lake George is a top-class fishery, it’s also home to some of the best Bass fishing in the Northeast. There are both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass swimming about, though the latter are found in better numbers. Both of these Bass species are a blast to fish for. However, most anglers would agree that Smallies put up the more exciting brawl.

In contrast to the previous two fish we’ve named, Lake George Bass prefer to lurk in warmer, shallower waters, only retreating deep in the heat of the summer. The keeper season usually opens in mid-June and lasts through November. However, if you use artificial lures and make sure to practice catch-and-release, you can target Bass at year-round.

And More!

An angler kneeling on a frozen Lake George, posing with a Yellow Perch, one of the most commonly caught fish during Lake George's ice fishing season.
Photo taken by Andrew Beaudoin of Battle Fish Charters.

You can think of the fish we named so far as the main stars of Lake George’s fishing bonanza. However, there are plenty of worthy co-stars swimming about, too – many of which will also make for a prized catch! For example, Yellow Perch are plentiful in the lake, often serving as a fantastic dinner after a long day fishing on the winter ice.

There are also feisty Northern Pike stalking the shallows, together with Chain Pickerel, Crappie, and more. Along the lake’s tributary streams, you can even hook into Brook and Rainbow Trout. All in all, there’s a healthy mix of both warm and coldwater species inhabiting Lake George. What’s up to you is to decide what you want to fish for first!

Best Ways to Go Fishing on Lake George

Before you head out, it’s worth considering how you want to approach Lake George’s waters. It’s what’ll determine both the species you’ll have at your disposal and your overall experience. Let’s dive into a few ways to fish here.

Guide Fishing

Whether it’s the open water or the ice fishing season, pairing up with a Lake George guide is the most effective way to get your hands on some fish. The benefits of fishing with a pro are twofold – you’ll get to make use of their equipment, as well as their vast knowledge of the waters.

A view from the shore towards the waters of Lake George with two docks on either side of the image and a boat moored against each on a sunny day.

During the open water season, you’ll have your guide’s vessel at your disposal, allowing you to navigate Lake George with ease. You’ll also get to employ boat-based fishing techniques, such as trolling. With your guide leading you to the right spots and the gear set up correctly, it’s only a matter of time before you hook into some Salmon and Trout.

Similar rules apply if you want to go ice fishing on Lake George. But instead of a boat, your guide will bring out the shanties, augers, rods, and fish-finding equipment. With them providing all you need for your trip, your winter adventure will be much more comfortable and productive.

Kayak Fishing

If you already have some angling experience under your belt, kayak fishing is a fantastic way to tackle Lake George’s waters. As we mentioned earlier, the lake boasts stunning natural scenery. So if you want to experience it at your own pace and in a personal way, navigating it with a kayak will allow you to do so.

A female angler in a yellow kayak, netting a Pike, while holding a fishing rod in her other hand.

Of course, there’ll be plenty of fish to catch, too. Kayaks are great for sneaking up on shallow-dwelling fish, getting you within casting range in silence. Bass, in particular, are among the favorite targets for kayak anglers. There are also rental stores on Lake George itself, so you don’t have to worry about lugging your own ‘yak along.

Shore Fishing

A third way to fish Lake George is to simply do it from shore. The lake features plenty of shoreline you can cast from. Depending on where on the lake you’ll be staying, there may also be piers for you to set up on and fish from.

A view from a hill of a young girl fishing from a dock on Lake George on a sunny day with choppy waters.

This being said, you’ll be somewhat limited in terms of the fish you can reel in from Lake George’s shores. Lake Trout and Salmon lurk in the deeper waters, so your main targets from land will usually be Bass, Crappie, and the occasional Pike. Alternatively, you could pay a visit to one of the tributary streams flowing into Lake George and fly fish for some Rainbow or Brook Trout.

Where can I fish in Lake George?

A scenic aerial photo of the middle portion of Lake George, called the Narrows, with a forest hill and numerous small islands visible, surrounded by water.

While there are fish to catch all over Lake George, its different parts bring different opportunities. If you’re fishing with a guide, they’ll advise you on where the best action is and where’s optimal to meet up. However, here are some areas you might explore on your trip.

  • The Bays: The southern basin of Lake George features several bays that offer prolific fishing. These include Dunham, Kattskill, and Warner Bay on the southeastern shores, and Huddle Bay on the western shore. To explore these, and the rest of the lake’s southern portion, you can depart from towns such as Lake George or Bolton.
  • The Islands: Fishing is also good around the different islands you’ll find throughout Lake George, such as Dome or Harbor Island. Once you reach the waters around these, you’ll be fairly deep in the lake, which means Lake Trout and Salmon may bite.
  • The Narrows: The slender stretch of waters that connects the north part of the lake to the south is called “the Narrows.” The small islands in this area and the waters around them serve as a hiding place for Bass and Crappie, with Trout lurking nearby in the depths. Depart from Bolton or Hague, and you’ll have an easy time exploring the middle portion of the lake.
  • The Northern Basin: North of the Narrows, you’ll reach the northern basin of Lake George. It offers the opportunity to reel in all the local species. However, the reason why we mention it here is that many anglers claim it’s where the best Salmon action takes place. So if you’re in the mood for some epic fights with delicious consequences, head northwards.

Lake George Fishing F.A.Qs

Lake George: A Fishing Heaven in the Adirondacks

A photo of Lake George and the greenery along its shores, with forest hills in the background and a small boat house visible on the right of the image on a sunny day.

With its natural beauty and pristine waters, Lake George draws in more than just anglers. It’s also famous for luxury cottages spread along its shores – dubbed “Millionaires’ Row.” If nothing else, these houses serve as a testament to just how valued Lake George is. And while many come to the lake simply to relax, for you as an angler, these waters hold even more prizes. All that’s left is to set out and discover them.

Have you ever been fishing on Lake George? Which of the lake’s species do you enjoy targeting the most? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Fishing on Lake George: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Marko
Title: Fishing on Lake George: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/lake-george-fishing/
Published Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2023 16:03:18 +0000

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