Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont

Lake Champlain, New York/Vermont

At 125 miles long, this New York/Vermont border lake, Lake Champlain,  is the largest lake in Adirondacks.  Large enough, some claim, to support Champy, the Champlain version of Nessie, the Loch Ness monster.  I leave to you whether Champy exists, but the lake is full of largemouth and smallmouth, some of them of monstrous proportion.  This lake tops Bassmaster Elite and Classic champ Mike Iaconelli's list of places to fish, and June is the time to be there for quantity and quality.

"The lake is really a 'dual' fishery," shared Iaconelli.  "The southern half of the lake is all about largemouth, the northern half of the lake is a mixed largemouth-smallmouth fishery.  At this time of the year, expect a few bass, especially largemouth, to be spawning, but most bass will be post-spawn."

Iaconelli advised targeting shoals and, especially coves.  Focus on water less than 12-feet deep and out of the wind.  Reeds (bulrushes, cane) in water 5-feet deep are largemouth magnets.  Iaconelli entices bites pitching Texas-rigged soft plastic under a 3/8 to ½ ounce weight to holes in the reeds.  Braided line is essential.

When you get tired of pitching and catching largemouth, look for gravel/rock points in the same cove where bronzebacks congregate after spawning; 10 feet is a good starting depth.  Iaconelli gets the smallmouths' attention with a soft plastic fished on light (1/8 to 3/16 ounce weight) drop shot on 8 pound test fluorocarbon.

The accomplished pro's parting advice:  Weather is critical at Champlain.  Whether the spawn period, summer, or fall, fish for largemouth on cloudy, rainy, or dark days; go for smallies on bright, calm days.

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