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This productive twelve-mile region is a favorite of many knowledgeable Champlain bass fishermen. Each year, numerous top professional FLW and BASS tournament anglers make a 100-mile round trip run from Plattsburgh, past the better-known Ticonderoga area, to fish here.
This section of the lake fishes like a river, with noticeable current running from south to north. A strong south wind over the main lake increases the current flow. This definitely influences the positioning of the bass, pulling them to the edges of weedbeds and stimulating feeding activity.
The water here is much dirtier than elsewhere in the lake - a function of high nutrient load and suspended clay particles from area soils. Water visibility can be limited to just a foot. As a result, power fishing techniques like pitching jigs and creature baits are favored. That being said, don't be afraid to give finesse a try, especially around the rock walls and deeper holes.
The main channel areas average 17-21 feet deep, with occasional deeper holes near the rock walls and current breaks. Most of the bottom is mud and silt. Isolated hard bottom areas, rip rap, rock ledges, concrete pilings and timber all attract and hold bass.
Spawning occurs in the marshy backwaters along either side of the main channel. As summer progresses, these areas fill with vegetation and bass move to main channel areas. The predominant vegetation is water chestnut, an invasive species that usually covers most of these shallower areas completely by late summer.
As much as water chestnut is feared by lake ecologists (some 800 tons are harvested from the lake each year), the bass love the cover chestnut provides. Fishing the 'nut with Texas-rigged creature baits and jigs are two productive techniques. Try slipping them just below the level of the leaves or probing the outside, deep water edges of the bed. Topwater fishing with frogs and other weedless baits can also be very rewarding.