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What a day!

I hit the Western section of Croton Reservoir on what turned out to be an incredible day! Overcast skies, air temps in the low 60's with a light SW wind...perfect fishing conditions. Started out fishing an 8" black worm in deep weeds (15') off an island on the main lake. I hook what feels like a good fish, but he shakes off. A little disappointed, but it's early, so I'm not too upset. I move to a rocky, underwater point surrounded by weeds and flip a jig&pig in, immediately hooking up with a 4-10 LM. Now we're talking!

I work my way down the shoreline, coming to a subtle rocky point, again in the middle of a long band of weeds. A perfect ambush spot. I flip the jig&pig up to the rocks and no sooner does the jig hit the water than a 5-10 LM bites and is quickly boated. That's my big fish for the year! On the water for less than an hour and I have 2 fish for over 10 lbs.

I continue down the shore, coming to a rocky island, surrounded by (guess what?) weeds. In goes the jig&pig and out comes a 3-12 LM. Sure sounds like I have a pattern going, so I decide to spend some time looking for rock & weeds combinations dropping off to deeper water (with an occasional fallen tree thrown in). I miss a good fish off a downed tree because my line was caught over a limb, but I keep on moving. My next fish, again on the jig&pig, comes off a rock bluff in 20' of water but only weighs 1-13 on my digital scale. I come to another rocky point, an catch a 1-0 LM on jigging spoon right on the drop.

I ultimately come to another perfect ambush spot, a small rocky point, surrounded by weeds. I throw in the Jig&Pig and hook up with a 3-0 LM. at this point, I add up my best 5 fish and realize I have 19 pounds 13 ounces. All I need is a 2 pound fish to break the 20 pound mark, but time is running out. I hit one more spot, worming and jigging a deep weedline, hoping for a 2 pounder, but nothing. I pick up a spinnerbait and fan cast the weedbed when all of sudden a bass jumps on it.

Unfortunately, he only goes 1-4, and time has run out. My final tally is 7 bass, 1 pickeral and I lost/missed 2 fish. My best 5 weighed 19-13. Man I love Croton!

What a great weigh to spend my birthday! My only regret, no camera and my fishing partner couldn't make it out there with me.

Keith
 

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Welcome to NYBass, Keith. Great first post. Many of us fish the Croton, and the other reservoirs and it is good to hear a positive post. The fishing has been tough lately. I was out on Saturday with another NYBasser and the wind was so terrible that it was pretty unfishable. We managed one 3 lb. largie, but that was it.

I think I know the section of the reservoir you were on, as it is where my boat lives. I hope I'm right, because I think it's a great part of the lake, but I haven't managed a day like you had yesterday.

Stick around and keep posting your reports. You'll find this site is full of friendly and helpfull anglers. We can always use another 'reservor dog'.

What other areas do you fish? Have you been fishing long? Any other boats, reservoir or otherwise?

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mark,

Thanks for the welcome. I've actually been watching this site for quite a while, but rarely post. Anyway, to answer your questions: I've been fishing since I was 7. Started bass fishing at 12. Founded a high school bass fishing club at 16 and joined my first "real" club at 18. I've had a boat on Croton since 1990 and I used to have a boat on Cross River, but it was a wooden "Ark" and is now termite feed. I bought a bass boat in 1994 and since then haven't spent as much time on the reservoirs as I used to. I currently fish the NYS Federation trail and made the 2001 and 2002 NYS Teams that fished the BASS Eastern Divisionals.

As for Croton, I learned the reservoir in the early 90's when I actually fished with the now defunct "Lunker Landers" club that held "Paper" tournaments on Croton and Cross River reservoirs. I miss those days. I'm not sure the boat location number, but my boat is on the south shore, west of the Taconic Bridges (before the island with 3 rocks jutting off the east end).

I hadn't fished Croton in over 3 years, but at the end of August a friend of mine convinced me to go and we had a great day. I finished with 17+ pounds and he had 13+. I went out again 9/14, but could only manage 5 LM for about 8 pounds. All worm fish. My plan for this weekend was to take the big boat out on the Hudson on Sunday, but as it was my birthday and I had dinner plans, at my wife's suggestion, I decided to stay close (I live in Yorktown Heights) and fish Croton - good move. Although it was a great day, my best 5 bass limit anywhere came from Croton in the early 90's when I won a September club tournament with 22.4 pounds (included a 7+ LM caught on a crankbait). That reservoir is unbelievable. I know I've been spoiled from the ease of fishing from a bassboat these past 10 years, but nothing beats the quality and simplicity of fishing Croton. I just needed a little reminder.

Keith Cleary
 

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Keith, did you know a guy named Steve Calnan from Lunker Landers? I know he was in a Reservoir club a number of years back, but I'm not sure if it was the same one. Anyway, he spoke highly of those times, and he is another NYBass member and good friend. I would imagine you know some other NYBassers from your Federation days, as I believe we have some Fed members on the site.

You should get out with some of us reservoir fishers. I bet we could compare notes and spots and talk about stories of days on the water. I'll be getting out this week with Ronnie the Bass Stalker, but perhaps we can meet up sometime soon. I have a boat at spot 6 in the Hunterbrook section and it has been warming up there fishing wise. I think this will be a good week on the water...

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I knew Steve pretty well back then, but have only seen him a few times at NYS Lake George tournament since. I fished with him a number of times and he's a very good fisherman. I learned a lot from him as well as many of the other members in the club. In September, I ran into 2 other former club members on the water, Nick Piazza and Alex Pidhoredecky (sp?). I miss those days as well, and often wonder if that club could be resurrected.

A friend of mine has a boat in the Hunters Brook area and just sent me the key, but I haven't been able to use it yet. I'd love to get out sometime, but not sure if time permits. After yesterday, I want to hit Croton again, but I'm also still itching to hit the Hudson again. I guess I'll just have to see what the schedule allows.
 

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Keith, this is great having you aboard.... I used to watch the paper tourneys back then, as I had a boat on Cross River and knew some of the guys.....

now: let's see if I can really jog your memory:

there was this great fellow, a black guy, I believe his name was James, can't remember the last name, he used to work at the now defunct Hermans at Cross county....

James used to do those paper tournies on Cross River and was an excellent fisherman, I have lost touch with him, used to run into him at the BASS seminars when they used to do them at Pace University...

does this ring a bell??
 

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You guys are really jogging some memories now. John, you're talking about James Carriel. We actually named one point "Carriel Point" after him. Yep, he worked at Herman's and I believe was a NYC sanitation worker. I haven't spoken to him in years either, but I have his tournament shirt that he left at my parents Adirondack house after a Federation Lake George tournament . I was in college in those days and wasn't too good about staying in touch outside of fishing. Kind of regret it now. Maybe a reunion get-together is in store for 2004.

I remember some people used to sneer at those paper tournaments, but when you can catch fish of that quality, whether it be inches or pounds, it's great.
 

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YES!!! that is it, that is the last name! wow....goes so far back......

James was a very confident angler and back then used to combine several plastics to make unique ones that he felt " the fish had never seen" lol......

I will tell you: there was nothing wrong or bogus about those paper tournies...the concept was FRESH!!

for any not familiar: this was on the NYC Reservoir system.....boat left from their respective docking areas.....at a prescribed time....

now: the man on your boat was not a partner, you were fishing against him....the first four hours of the morning, the boater could row to wherever he wanted to fish and then the second 4 hours , the non boater took over and had his preference.....all fish were measured and/or weighed in front of the competing angler.....there were draws to make sure people always fished with different people......

a great, friendly , conservative concept...no live wells, almost instant catch and release.....records were taken to a meeting point after it was over and winner declared......


by mixing up the combos of people, you were able to do different starting points as a non boater depending on who your boater was and where his boat was moored on the reservoir.....

at the time, it worked out fine.......

I see no reason why that couldnt be done today.....

Keith, please stay with us, I have a feeling you are going to have an awful lot to add here, you already have !!!!!!!
 

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Keith,
I'm in touch with Alex.Chris,James ,Lenny and a couple of other Lunker Landers. I visit this site often, but don't post because I don;t type and not sure how to work the computer.
 

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Keith,

Welcome aboard ! Great post ! It’s great having another reservoir fisherman join the ranks.

Croton is a great fishery, among the very best in the system. I’ve been fishing there for more than 20 years and it just seems to get better !

Looking forward to meeting you and spending some time on the water.


Ronnie
 

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Yeah John - I was a Lunker Lander too then, and that was James Carriel - and we named the point on the South East side of hunter bridge Carriel point since one tournament he stayed there all day and won with 20 lbs. We still speak occasionally but haven't fished together in years. Nick and Alex fish the reservoirs regularly, and weight big fish in consistently in the Stewart contest.
Hey Keith, long time no see! My Champion collects dust most of the time (no more tournaments for me with kids' schedules) - lucky to get a few hours on a Saturday morning on Croton or one of the other reservoirs these days!
 

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Sticker: what is James doing with himself these days? he certainly doesn't frequent this board, which surprises me....

is he still fishing competitively?
 
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