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Top Local Fishing Spots

Kevin Miller
Image: Kevin Miller

OK Anglers, April first is right around the corner and that means trout season!  Ol’ Monte has a little list of some of his favorite local fishing spots for you to get your rod wet.

Thompson’s Lake – 18 miles southwest of Albany and near the Helderberg Escarpment.  A little beauty I spent a day out on with a few of the Miller men and some cold ones. states Thompson’s is 41 feet deep on the average and their delights include “Rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch.”

Rensselaer Lake -In the Pine Bush Reserve this is off Fuller Road, less than a mile off of 90.  Now this is my hot spot to be if you like trout!  The DEC website lures me here (lure – zing!) saying “The lake is stocked each spring with approximately 1,900 Rainbow Trout, ranging from 8.5 – 9.5 inches.”

There is a tiny place off of Route 23 as you head towards Craryville, NY.   I know, I know – “WHERE!?!?” .  Listen, I’m from the middle of nowhere!  However, Forest Lake is a fisherman’s dream.  When I was a lad, you needed to get the key from the village office just to use the lake.  What does that mean to you, the fisherman? You have the entire lake to yourself for the entire day. A perk of living in a small town. – I’d do as they say, make sure to consult with the local resources first before you fish here.  Ol’ Monte isn’t fixin’ to get you in any trouble for going up without permission!  If you are granted and you make the trip out there, you won’t be sorry with your day on the lake.

If tiny lakes aren’t your thing, no worries, ol’ Monte hasn’t forgot the big boy spots.

Lake Champlain –  I checked on the DEC website and according to them, “Much of the lake trout fishing in Lake Champlain occurs from the Westport area north to Cumberland Head near Plattsburgh, extending over roughly 35 miles of the lake.”  35 miles of lake to fish!  I could spend a few days on those waters!  I’d like to thank the fine people of the DEC website for providing us with this great info:

“The following state-owned boat launch sites provide public access to the lake. Each of the sites listed include hard surface or concrete ramps suitable for launching trailered boats.

* Great Chazy River – Off Route 9B, 1/4 mile south of Coopersville at mouth of river. Parking for 66 cars and trailers.

* Point Au Roche – Off Route 9, 6 miles north of the City of Plattsburgh on the Point Au Roche Road. Parking for 40 cars and trailers.

* Point Au Roche State Park – Off Route 9 north of the City of Plattsburgh, in State Park. Parking for 21 cars and trailers.

* Peru Dock – On Route 9, about 3 miles south of Plattsburgh. Parking for 50 cars and trailers.

* Port Douglas – On County Route 16, 3 miles southeast of the village of Keeseville. Parking for 20 cars and trailers.

* Willsboro Bay – On County Route 27 on east side of bay, 3 miles north of the village of Willsboro. Parking for 100 cars and trailers.

* Westport – On Route 22 in the village of Westport. Parking for 35 cars and trailers.

* Port Henry – Off Route 9N in the village of Port Henry. Parking for 45 cars and trailers.

* Ticonderoga – On Route 74 at Ticonderoga Ferry. Parking for 55 cars and trailers.

* South Bay – On Route 22, 2 1/2 miles northwest of the Village of Whitehall. Parking for 50 cars and trailers.”

Lastly, let’s look at one other big boy spot-

The Hudson River-  I know you can name ten of your friends that have fished the Hudson! I don’t need to tell you what it holds as far as the fish! What I can tell you is that according to here are some great access spots for you!

“Green Island Riverside Park

This is the first, or northernmost of NY State public access fishing spots on the Hudson River. You can’t launch a boat here, but there’s a public picnic area, parking and you can fish from shore.

Troy Riverside Park

Moving south, we come to Troy Riverside Park. Again, parking and picnic area, but no boat launch.

Hudson Shores Park

parking for 20 cars, located in Watervliet. Take 787 to 23rd St/Watervliet exit and go north on Lower Hidson Ave, and the park will be on your right. This one also has a bathroom.

Rensselaer Boat Launch

Room for trailor parking and cars, there’s a picnic area but no bathrooms. Located on Forbes St in Rensselaer.

Albany Launch

Right on the waterfront, of course, where the Corning preserve trial runs by a grand old boat house, there’s lots of car and trailer parking here, as well as bathrooms.

Island Creek Park

This one is also in Albany, but off Broadway street, a little further down the river past the U-Haul building. There are some parking spots here, and also a launch for non-trailered boats.

Papscanee Island Nature Preserve

This is in East Greenbush, there’s a boat launch here for hand launching and under 10 car parking spots. Also a bathroom here.

Henry Hudson Park

This is in Bethlehem, and has bathrooms and picnic area. lots of parking and a place to launch boats from a trailer.

Schodack Island State Park

TONS of car and trailer parking, a concrete launch, bathrooms, picnic area, this was recently renovated.”

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