Lake Champlain (NY / VT Border)

Unspecified • 0 mi • 0 ft

Short Take: 271,000 acres; both clear and dingy water, weedy shallows, islands, rocky bluffs, open water. Some believe that if the French explorer Samuel de Champlain had stayed long enough to sample the bass fishing at the massive 125-mile-long lake he discovered and named after himself in 1609, he would never have left. As it turned out, bass fishing at Lake Champlain remained largely undiscovered until the mid-1990s when it was suddenly found to be one of the best—if not the absolute best—smallmouth fisheries in the United States. Many anglers who fish this beautiful New England lake today honestly believe they’re catching bass that have never seen an artificial lure, an astounding revelation in this day and age. Champlain went relatively unnoticed in the bass fishing world for a number of reasons, perhaps the primary one being that local anglers in the region preferred to go after some of the lake’s other species like walleye and northern pike, a feeling not unusual in this part of the United States. For example, it was not until about 1980 that the full extent of the smallmouth and largemouth fishery in New York’s St. Lawrence River was recognized, and it took a multi-day professional bass tournament there, just as at Lake Champlain in 1997, to show local authorities what a fishing bonanza swam in their waters. Lake Champlain is one of the largest lakes in North America, embracing some 435 square miles, or a stunning 271,000 acres. It is so big, and so divided by islands, points, and bays, that many actually consider this to be several different lakes. The easiest way to describe Champlain is by describing prominent features or landmarks. Primary Species: Smallmouth and largemouth bass.
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Activity Type: Fishing
Nearby City: Burlington
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Unspecified
Season: Best May through October
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