Without venturing out of Bolton Bay two of my favorite species, Large Mouth Bass and Northern Pike, are quite prevalent. The bay is a lot shallower then most of the rest of the lake and although it is still very rocky there is above average weed growth. I target LMB and Pike by paddling around looking for submerged weed beds in about 15’-20’ of water on my sonar. If you don’t have sonar, on calm mornings with the sun at you back you normally can see the tips of the weeds. However, sonar really changes the game on this lake and gives you the advantage for finding structure the fish cling to. Once I find the weeds I’ll normally start dragging soft plastics through it, with favorites being twin tail grubs or crawfish imitations on a 1/4-3/8oz jig head or soft swim baits like Storm’s Wild Eye Swim Shad in the 4”-6” range.
Lately I have also been throwing a 3/4oz sinking Rat-L-Trap and brining it through the tops of the weeds with a lot of luck. This is also my got-to lure for trolling, and I troll everywhere, as there is so much water to cover there is almost always a fish around. My last vacation there I caught more than 60% of my fish on this lure, from large pike to tiny perch they all love it. The most productive colors for all the fish imitations I throw weather they are lipless crank baits, a Rapala, or swim bait is clear, silver, or white.
Once I leave Bolton Bay I start looking for submerged rock piles or extremely shallow and protected areas that the motor boats avoid. Either one I fish the same with the twin tail grubs or crawfish imitations on a jig head or a lipless crank bait. The key with both of these is bottom contact, yes you will most likely lose a jig or two in the rocks but that’s where the crayfish are and that’s where the bass are feeding. And with the lipless cranks they were designed to bounce off the bottom and look like a bait fish feeding on algae. Out on the rock piles you will find more Large Mouth but the prevent fish out here are the Small Mouth Bass
Time of day also matters, I do most of my fishing in the morning and typically launch between 5 and 6 I normally stay out on the water until around 10 or 11, at that point the bite has normally tapered off and with boat traffic increasing it’s time to go play with the kids at the beach or take them tubing. Then later in the afternoon normally after 6 the bite will pick back up and I’ll fish until about an hour after sunset. I have fished in the middle of the day and caught fish but the action is inconsistent at best and with the boat traffic it just isn’t worth it for me.
Over the last ten years I have really watched the Bass and Pike in Lake George flourish. Ten years ago I would say the average size bass that I caught in the lake was barely 12”. Even 2-3 years ago I was only catching fish in the 12”-14” range but never anything bigger than 15”. And this year I caught 18” Large and Small Mouth Bass and my average catch was 14”. Conservation around the lake is working, the water quality is improving and the fish are thriving. Next year I’m hoping for a couple of 20” bass to top this year.