Tuesday, July 5, 2016


One of the best kept fishing secrets is probably less than an hour from your doorstep. It is the landlocked Atlantic salmon in Lake George. Each year NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) stocks this fantastic game fish. This year in May DEC released 15,000. According to DEC Biologist Jim Pinheiro, Lake George is one of the few bodies of water that has a large natural producing population.

Now having not ever caught a salmon, when Dan Ladd, Fort Ann called me and asked if I wanted to fish for them it didn’t take long for me to say “yes.”  Joining us on this outing was Gordon Woodworth, News Editor of the Glens Fall Chronicle. Our guide for the trip was Captain JJ Jeffery Johnson of Diamond Point.

Before heading out JJ briefed us on the equipment we would be using. The trolling rods were graphite custom rods made by FISH307 in Lake George and Okuma line counter reels spooled with 6 to 8 pound test ultra-green monofilament, and the lures were a variety of colored small spoons. All I can say about the electronics is “WOW.” I call them depth finders but they are much more than that. He had one on the dash and one on the stern right near the rods. These were definitely the key for finding fish. He also had an electronic remote control for the motor. And last and equally important were the instructions of what he had to do when there was a strike; and exactly how to bring the fish to the net. He also showed us a photo of the 27.5 inch 10.5 pound salmon taken right where we were going.

Shortly after we left the dock and entered the “salmon” area and began trolling at a depth of 117 feet  JJ told us that there was a school of bait about 40 feet down  so be ready. Shortly after  the rod on the port side Gordon  grabbed the rod; but it turned out to be a 20 inch lake trout; however the size limit for lakers in Lake George is 23 inches and over and a daily limit of 2. Salmon must be 18 inches and also have a daily limit of 2.

We hadn’t gone too much further when Dan also caught a lake trout that measured 25 inch laker that he released. I was next and anxious and I did not have to wait long before the port rod sprung up and before I even touched the rod I saw the salmon jump. And for the next 10 minutes or so I learned how much a salmon can fight. When I got a quick glimpse of the fish I knew I had to get him into the net; and with JJ’s verbal instructions I did. It measured 24 inches and tipped the scales at 5.5 pounds and went into the box, after the photos. Shortly thereafter Dan hooked up with and boated a big bellied salmon that measured 23.5 inches and weighed in at 6 pounds. This too went into the box.

There were several other salmon and lake trout caught and released before we headed back. It was truly a very enjoyable 4 hours of fishing. At the dock Dan asked JJ how many salmon and lake trout he had caught so far this season. His answer was awesome: “About 400 lake trout and 100 salmon.” Very impressive; and so were those salmon filets we took home. THANK YOU JJ!

 If you have never hooked up with a salmon, and or a laker contact JJ at www.CAPTJJ.com or call 668-5657.  


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