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Capital District area fishing???

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Capital District area fishing???

Postby CAThookedTOE » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:33 am

Are any of these fishing spots good? Do any of them require special permits to fish? Is there plenty of public access areas to get on the water/bank?

Albany, NY:

* Buckingham Lake Park
* Washington Lake Park
* Tivoli Lake Park
* Albany Pine Bush Preserve / Rensselaer Lake

Troy, NY:

* Wright Lake & Bradley Lake (Frear Park)
* Burden Pond
* Ida Lake
* Tomhannock Reservoir

Schenectady, NY:

* Iroquois Lake
* Riverside Park
* Front Street Park
* Gateway Landing Park

Scotia / Glenville, NY

* Collins Lake

Ballston, NY:

* Ballston Lake

Grafton, NY

* Second Pond
* Shaver Pond
* Long Pond
* Mill Pond
* Dunham Reservoir

Latham / Colonie, NY:

* Colonie Town Park

Waterford, NY:

* Mohawk River

I'm interested in fishing all species. What are your experiences at these spots? Are they all public access? Do any of them require a special permit to fish, like the Tomhannock Reservoir has? Please tell me about these fishing sites. These are fishing spots I can get to easily. If you have other suggestions, you can add them later. If you could provide links to specific town regulations for each of these sites, that would help. I've tried many of the standard DEC, and local govt sites. But they didn't
help me much. They mostly confused me.
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:24 am

Re: Capital District area fishing???

Postby amoidfisherman » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:57 pm

I realize this response is 4 years late :whoosh: . I found this forum question when I was googling a pond in the Troy area, so I thought I'd provide my experiences to help out those who may need it.

Albany, NY:
Buckingham lake - this is where I pretty much started fishing as a young'n. Great panfish action and there are quite a bit of largemouth Bass in the lake as well. For the largemouth, we've caught baby bass all the way up to the 14" - 16" range. We've also caught catfish out of this lake. But again, the most active species in this lake are the panfish; there are tons of them. The lake is public access by foot and there's a nice trail that goes around the lake. There are a ton of people who go there on the weekends in the summer to feed the ducks, so be wary of that. No boat trailer access, but I've seen people use kayaks. No special permit needed; just the fishing license.

Washington lake - similar to Buckingham, but with it being more in the city, you'll have a more difficult time finding parking. If you ride your bike there, be aware of people trying to steal your bike :bangin: . Same as Buckingham, the majority of the fish we caught are panfish with a few largemouth and some catfish. No boat trailer access, but I've seen people use kayaks. No special permit needed; just the fishing license.

Rensselaer Lake (aka 6 mile lake) - this was our go-to spot for a few years when I started driving (ah to be 16 again :beach: ). The lake is public access and there's a trail that goes around the entire lake. Here's a secret - if you walk on the trail and head all the way down (past the bridges), you'll get to another part of the lake that is more secluded. You'll have to do some trekking from the trail to get to the shoreline and you'll have to use strategic casting to avoid getting caught in the branches. This part of the lake is where we had some good action from largemouth bass. The overall lake itself has gone down the drain in the past several years. Back in the 90's and early 2000's, this lake was actually stocked and maintained well. We used to catch some decent size largemouth out of here. There were also boat rentals and a bait shop where they had a grill where you could order food and buy drinks. That stuff is long gone and since then, we've noticed the quality and quantity of the fish have gone down substantially. They still stock the lake with trout, but as far as largemouth action goes, it's not anything to rave for. There is no 'official' boat trailer launch, but I've managed to get my trailer backed in and my 14' aluminum row boat into the water. Mind you, I did this on a day where there weren't a lot of people there. We didn't catch much and that was a real downer. I haven't back since then (~2014). No special permit needed; just the fishing license.

Troy, NY:
Tomhannock Reservoir: This lake is an absolute honey hole. I can bet there are some monstrous fish in here and I've seen people pull (from the shore) massive carp out of this lake. I've fished this a handful of times from the shore and have caught small and large mouth bass (12 - 18" range). I haven't gone back there since 2012 because of the stupid special permit required and the fact that we can't put a boat on the lake. It's agonizing when you're standing from the shoreline and you see massive largemouth bass hitting the surface while feeding and you just can't cast far enough :doh: As mentioned, you'll need the special permit for this lake.

Collins Lake: Interesting lake where we've managed to catch a few largemouth bass out of. You can walk around most of the lake and it's right by the Jumpin Jacks diner. Very weedy and some areas of the lake required us to climb onto fallen trees. From my perspective, it really is not worth the drive. No special permit needed; just the fishing license.

Ballston, NY:
I didn't see you have Round Lake on your list. Round lake is close enough to Ballston lake :) It's a decent size lake and it is in fact mostly round. There's a public access boat launch that can get a little bit crowded on the weekends. We've caught a few large mouth out of here, but this lake is mostly known for the pike. Rumor has it that there are some monster pike swimming around this lake. Ideally, you'd want to be on a boat with a gas motor to be able to fish the lake properly. There are a few spots to stand from the shoreline, but the action is not that great. No special permit needed; just the fishing license.

Grafton, NY:

I could really go on for days and days about the grafton lakes. This has been our go-to spots for the last several years and it's because we are starting to understand the magnitude of prize fish swimming around in these lakes.

Long pond - this is the main lake where they have the beach and what everybody commonly refers to as "Grafton Lake". You can go thru the front entrance and pay for parking and deal with the beach-goers. The front entrance also has the boat rentals, which are open between memorial day and labor day from 10a - 4p (I believe, check their website). There's also a back entrance, which most people don't know about. If you stay on the main road, pass the normal front entrance, you'll come up to a sign on the left that says "Grafton lakes winter access road". You can take this road to go all the way back to access Long, Mill, and Second ponds. There's boat launch and trail access for each of these lakes from the back entrance. We've caught the following from Long Pond -
    -Large mouth bass - every size from tiny babies to huge 20"+ pushing 6lbs+. This lake has tons of largemouth and they are aggressive between late spring and early fall. Biggest largemouth we caught was 4.7lb.
    -Small mouth bass - every size from tiny to 17"+ and 3lbs+. Smallmouths are everywhere in this lake and the action will be constant once you hit a school of them.
    -Rock bass - again, everything from tiny ones to massive ones. In fact, this past summer, I caught a rock bass that came close to the NY state record. The chunker I caught was 1lb 14-oz and the NY state record is 1lb 20-oz. The rock bass are amazingly aggressive.
    -Pan fish - everything from sunnies to perch and crappies.
    -Pickerel - we've caught some nice size pickerel out of this lake.
    -Trout - rainbows and browns are stocked every year. In fact, there are some people who fish only for trout at this lake. One of the guys claims he's caught a 20"+ trout out of this lake.
Overall, an amazing lake that surprises us every year. We're getting better at understanding it and I can see us pulling out a monster large mouth from this lake in the near future.

Mill pond - this one is a little less active, but still produces good fish. If you park in the parking area and cast out from shore, you'll be able to catch a few largemouth. Back in 2012, I hauled in a largemouth that most likely pushed the 5lb mark. I didn't have a scale on me at the time :bangin: . There's a trail that goes around the lake as well and you could drop a boat into the lake. I caught an 18" pickerel out of the lake in 2013.

Second pond - again, not as active as Long pond, but still produces good fish. We caught a 4lb largemouth out of this lake. In fact, if you wanted to fish for minnows, this would be a great lake to catch them.

Dunham Reservoir - this lake is like a lightswitch. One day, the lake is very active with a lot of action. The next day, it turns off and you don't catch anything. First time I fished this lake, I walked around the trail and caught 4 largemouth, all ranged between 14" - 16", within 2 hours. I went there a couple of weeks later with my boat and fished for 4 hours, didn't catch a damn thing. Went back a few weeks later thinking I must have used the wrong tactic and again fished for hours; nothing. On my way back to the boat launch, I was trailing a 5" senko slowly and got a nice 17" smallmouth. Of course, that made me want to keep fishing and it was getting really dark. That's the thing about the grafton lakes, it's secluded and lighting is minimal, so you'll have to bring a spotlight if you plan on fishing late. No special permit needed; just the fishing license.

Well, hope this helps and happy fishing! :fishin:
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