Learning how to Fish Lake George: Finding Fish Pt. 1


Where do you begin when talking about the daunting task of fishing a 32 mile long lake that covers 45 square miles? I’m going to lay out a series of thoughts that are set up to help you become a better fisherman for any body of water. It starts with this key focus: Location.

Location: Fishing is always about finding fish.

On a body of water this size of Lake George, there is always sections of water that are productive along with lots and lots of areas that are a complete waste of time. And the areas that hold fish in the early part of the summer, become like a ghost town in the middle of the summer. So where do I start?

Seasonal movements

Every body of water has a similar (ish) seasonal progression that I breakdown like this:

Just after ice out: Mid 30 - 45 degree water temp

Pre spawn: 45-60

Spawn: 60-70

Post Spawn: 70ish

Summer Pattern 73-78

Fall Pattern Usually back around 60

Winter Pattern Depending on species - some become pretty docile

Starting in June on George

Most fishing activity starts in June on Lake George, so let’s talk post spawn for smallmouth. This can be a tricky time of year because fish can be fairly scattered. You can catch smallies in 5-10 feet of water on tubes, near shore humps on jerkbaits, crankbaits over the top of humps, and top water baits like the Whopper Plopper all over the place (literally you can find fish suspended in the middle of no where).

You will see a progression happen from near shore moving toward off shore. One day you’ll catch them shallow and the next day they are gone. Move and cover ground and you’ll contact fish - and they will be biters.

Best early season options:

  1. Top water - Whopper Ploppers…go with natural colors (perch/bluegill/loon).

  2. Plastics: TRD tubes fished on light mushroom heads. Could throw a hair jig in an 1/8oz option. Centipedes texas rigged on a 2/0 worm hook. Never hurts to throw a wacky rigged Senko either.

  3. Rapala DT 10 cranks: I like to pull cranks near and off shore during this period. I’ll fish over humps and crank suspended fish. Again - I like perch colored or natural bait fish colors.

This is just the beginning of a series of blogs I’m going to write. Hope to help you become successful on the Queen of American lakes…Do me one favor with the success you experience - practice catch and release. It is so important to let these fish live (Remember that the season doesn’t open until the third Saturday in June). By practicing CPR with these fish, we will help make this lake a trophy fishery! Let me know in the comments about other topics you’d want me to write on. Thanks!