WELCOME TO BLACK LAKE, NY - A FRESHWATER FISHERMAN'S PARADISE

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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:12 pm 
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I'm purely a C&R guy when it comes to bass. That said, I understand fisherman have the right to take home a few for the dinner plate, so I will not bash anyone for taking fish they are entitled to. I have now been fishing Black lake for 5 years. My best friend who got me fishing black lake has been going there about 9 years. I remember seeing picture after picture he was sending me daily of Huge bass, and real nice pike. So I was hooked! I had a phenomenal first year up there, I love fishing top water, and black lake is perfect for top water fisherman like myself. I was catching an average of 10-15 bass (5-7 keeper size) and 3-4 Pike along with many swing and misses from fish that fire out from under the matted grass and just miss. Now the last 4 years my buddy and myself have noticed a steady decline in the fish quantity, along with the fish quality. Last year 3-5 bass a day average with 1 keeper a day average if that. Also far less Pike, numerous days we didn't get 1. So what has happened? I can tell you this, we have witnessed on more than one occasion, fishermen/women going out early, catching their limit, coming in, filleting them up, then going back out for another round and also bringing them back. We have also seen many undersized fish kept, my buddy had words with someone once before about this. But how do you police this? I have never even seen a fish commission guy on Black lake. I understand the flood of a few years ago did not help things, but could that flood have screwed the fishing up that bad? I read the reports on here, and other sites all the time, the reports are clearly not what they once were 5-7 years ago. Clearly there is a problem, just my take on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:08 pm 
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Remember what keeping a few did over the years for their future generations?

Be responsible and reasonable when taking fish anywhere regardless of slot limits or not - as fishermen, we all know when conditions are stressed for various species on bodies of water we fish. When they are, re-think your fish fry needs. Preserve the waters for our future generations.

Thanks and good luck fishing.


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:16 am 
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Location: Marion,NY
Were the vehicle license plates from Pennsylvania? There known as the whack em, pack em and stack em crowd. Limits morning,noon and night.

Actually in the last few years the fish size have been getting larger. For many years prior it was hard to catch more than one 3 lber in a day.


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 10:35 am 
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Location: Hammond, NY
This lake has always received a lot of fishing pressure. The cottage rentals have been here a long time. There's roughly a cottage rental for every 100 acres of water. How many 10,000+ acre lakes do you know of like that? And its mostly fisherman that come here. And they have always kept fish. Which is what is so impressive about the resiliency of this lake.

Some around here feel the tourism is down from 20+ years ago. And its entirely possible that there are less fish being kept from the lake now than there was back then. There is more intelligent fishing pressure now with better equipment. And catch and release may actually be more common than it was back then.

We take it for granted that a bass will bite a piece of plastic. They do become conditioned to artificials. That's the drawback to guys catching and releasing a lot of bass. There was an impressive study done by the University of Illinois (type in Ridge Lake bass study) that proved that bass pass there "catchability" on to their offspring. Meaning they do become smarter and will genetically pass that trait on.

Which could explain why the artificial fishing is questionable on this lake at times. But the fish are there because my live bait trips prove it. When I'm guiding in Florida some of the tournament anglers like to bust on us guides for using shiners. But the natives who know what is going on and go shiner fishing themselves, know why we do it. The bass became conditioned a long time ago down there. The long off season here I would like to believe will keep it from ever getting to that extent.

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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 11:22 am 
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They had to be from Pennsylvania. There's no one else up there that could catch that many!


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Location: Hunlock Creek , Pa.
A "Pennsylvanians" thoughts.

Around my parts there are far fewer lakes per square mile than probably any place in New York which means the fishing pressure is heavy to say the least. Some people catch and release and some folks catch and keep.
Unless you have access to the private lakes, at the end of the day it is quite hard any time of the year to fill a daily limit of bass. An exception might be the Susquehanna river for smallmouths. That is the reason that I and other "Pennsylvanians" come to New York to fish. Simply put, It is better fishing.

So yes, I have seen first hand what over fishing a lake can do for a fishery. But at the same time I have also seen what can happen in an under fished pond and private lake .
It causes stunting of fish, massive fish kills during times of low oxygen levels, and disease/parasites decimating the fish population for years.

I don't have any thoughts on slot limit sizes for the lake because ,in my opinion, it is a fantastic fishery.

We come up several times a year and rent one of the camps on the lake and it never ceases to amaze me to see that the people complaining about the horrible fishing and we usually have good luck.
An example was last fall, It was an exceptionally warm fall with high water temps and the fish were'nt stacked up in their usual fall staging areas. The fishing was tough but 2 of us managed to land 20+ bass per day. You can rarely do that in Pa on a banner day. But then talking to people at the dock they claim that it was fished out and they got skunked. (This has happened several times.)

Now as far as people from Pennsylvania being meat hunters, multiple limits, slobs ect. That is an ignorant and immature statement. I am sure that there are people fulfilling their LEGAL limits and perhaps some breaking the laws (which I do not condone) but to generalize all the folks from Pa in that category is asinine. That would be like me saying that ALL property owners around the lake with septic systems are responsible for the heavy weed population that is choking the bays instead of the ones that knowingly leech raw sewage into the lake.
I would be more than willing to bet that if the millions of dollars a year that is pumped into the local economy by the tourists were to abruptly end that it would have an adverse effect on the lake. Remember, This site and forums are funded by the businesses that benefit from out of area visitors.

By the way, I nor anyone whom fishes with me has EVER KEPT A BASS FROM ANY LAKE IN NEW YORK !!!!! But that is how we are and don't condemn folks that legally keep their limits.
I trust that the DEC ,which might not be perfect, has a much greater arsenal for the management of Black Lake than any one of us that individually posts on these forums. Enjoy what you have instead of always wanting the next best thing. Sometimes the grass isnt always greener on the other side of the fence.

At the end of the day Black Lake is a wonderful fishery and I look forward to coming up next month for some great fishing.

Tight Lines from Pennsylvania.


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:38 pm 
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Location: Hampton, NJ
Ken,

As an out of state guy and a BL property owner well said.

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:02 am 
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I am another PA resident who owns property on Black Lake, and I do not keep fish. Ever.

The "fill the freezer" mentality is strong at Black Lake. From tourists AND locals BOTH. It's a shame, but it's the reality and I doubt it will change anytime soon.

But the lake is FAR from fished out. You just aren't going to do well burning a spinnerbait through 80 degree water at 3PM in August. It's summertime! It's HOT, the water is HOT ... and there are a million people on the lake.

Fish deep, fish slow, fish at night, fish the wind, fish the fronts ..... it WORKS. Once you learn to fish differently, the lake becomes a completely different adventure.

Here is a tip I'll give out for free. Leave the tackle box at home, grab a handfull of jigs and some worms .... and learn to read electronics and fish structure.


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:53 am 
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Out of Staters, Locals and All Black Lake Camp Owners - If all of us respect the lake and turn in those who don't things will improve for the better. Laws are laws and they should be respected and obeyed. . Otherwise it is only a matter of time for the lake to begin to demise like other water areas have through out the country. Catch & Release!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:11 pm 
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Fishpro wrote:
Out of Staters, Locals and All Black Lake Camp Owners - If all of us respect the lake and turn in those who don't things will improve for the better. Laws are laws and they should be respected and obeyed. . Otherwise it is only a matter of time for the lake to begin to demise like other water areas have through out the country. Catch & Release!!!!


Breaking of laws is bad, but not the real problem. The impact from people keeping short or too many fish is negligible compared to people stuffing coolers with legal fish or keeping all the bruisers as wall-hangers. From my personal experience fishing the lake for many many years, the vast majority of fish that people keep are legal. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's just what I've personally witnessed.

Ontario had the same problem with it's lakes when US tourists figured out they could go up there on the cheap and come home with a pick-up truck full of walleye. It was a feeding frenzy for many years, and nobody complained because the locals were bringing in good money and the tourists were catching tons of fish. But then the fishing tanked on many of the more popular and accessible lakes. Tourists stopped coming, the business owners complained to the government, and the DNR implemented some very strict new regulations. In my opinion, it took about 15 years for the lakes to recover, and they are now as good as they used to be. The difference is, now it's sustainable!

Many US fisherman threw a fit about the laws and refused to go. Plenty of lodges went out of business, or changed hands to owners with a more conservation-based mindset who were willing to seek out a different clientele. It's a different era, but the fisheries are now protected.

Will Black Lake go through a similar cycle? I don't think so. The lake has so many different species, and many are thriving, that I just don't see the tourism drying up. Plus, it's not all about the fishing. Lots and lots of people come to the lake just to vacation for a week and fishing isn't their top priority.

I think the fishing will always be good, regardless of pressure. But, a few simple changes to the rules and it could be great!


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:08 pm 
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Location: catskills,NY
I have to agree with the remark many people come to Black Lake for a relaxing vacation. The fishing is just a bonus. I have to say this year in our 3 weeks my family was at the lake we had the best fishing ever. we didn't catch 300 hundred fish for the time period like I have seen posted earlier. but we caught some awesome lunker bass, and Chanel cats what a fight. This was our first year for catching pike. Our youngest granddaughter actually caught the biggest 31 inches. She was so proud, to me that is what fishing and coming to black lake is about. Some days we sat for hours before getting a bite. when it started it was good. All fish were released. I just don't understand why the poor PA fisherman get hassled so bad on this forum. after all they do pay a nice fee for their licenses.
Just my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:51 am 
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Location: Marion,NY
$28.00 for a week of fishing. Chump change compared to a price of a cooler. Now an out of state hunting license is some coin.

As mentioned above. And it took me by surprise. Many camp owners by my area own just for the relaxation and peacefulness of the lake. No really intention of fishing at all. It's amazing how far someone will travel weekly for tranquillity. Any lake a short distance around Rochester is literally a circus on the weekends.


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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:09 am 
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Location: Hammond, NY
When linewetter started this thread I don't he realized this kind of continued response. But its testimony to how passionate a lot of us are about this bass fishery. And it is all healthy discussion, because that is how things can get changed when needed.

Just to throw a twist in this, there's a bass biologist that comes in the marina I work out of in FL who believes anglers cannot hurt a fertile bass fishery...even if they were to remove the regulations!...That when a bass fishery does go down hill, it is strictly due to habitat loss and environmental problems, and has nothing to do with what the anglers are doing...I'm not saying I totally agree with him, but that is how biologists and lake managers look at the big picture.

If that is the case with Black Lake, its the Black Lake Association we all need to be supporting...and bugging the local politicians for funds instead of pointing fingers at other anglers. The BLA has very little money to work with, but they are able to acquire grant money through their efforts.

The biggest environmental mistake of this lake was the causeway, which was addressed when they were able to raise enough money to cut the holes in it. But in my opinion that bridge needs to be removed and replaced with a piling bridge. You wouldn't build a causeway across a river would you? Same for the septic tank issue and the power generation being done downstream which is effecting the flow of this lake. Bottom sediment build up and the algae blooms are the biggest threat to this lake.

Biologists don't pay attention to fishing pressure because it is not measureable. They have no way to study it. Black Lake doesn't receive an equal amount of pressure from one end to the other and the fish move further distances they you might think. And it is a seasonal lake with the serious boat fishing pressure only lasting about 4 months.

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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:24 am 
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Location: Ogdensburg, NY
The only thing different about the causeway, from times past, are the three pipes. Before that, no pipes. Bridges are the same as they were. I don't see them ever changing the causeway agin; save for the development of a 4-lane highway. :O
As for downstream - the dams on the oswegatcie have no affect on the water flow through the lake. There is no control at the downstream end of the lake. In fact, at times of hi water in the oswegatchie, one can witness the lake flowing "backwards". Not often, but it does happen.
I believe that environmental changes have the biggest, by far, affect on this lake. Been here for more than 55 years and have seen a lot of changes; in fact, I hope to be around to witness a lot more changes. :big-grin:
Most of us need to learn how the lake, and the fish, have changed and adapt. Not an easy thing to do.

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 Post subject: Re: Slot Limit on Bass?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:28 pm 
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Phil wrote:
I believe that environmental changes have the biggest, by far, affect on this lake.


Well, kind of. The actual environment (meaning Earth, the weather, etc) hasn't changed the lake hardly at all in recent history. People on the other hand sure have!! Dams, bridges, causeways, septic tanks, power stations, fishing pressure, and development are what have changed things.

Also, the addition of non-native species to the lake (I'm looking at you mr. Crappie) have changed things significantly too.

Ultimately the best thing for the lake would be if everyone moved away and left it alone. Natural bodies of water generally perform best if people aren't there. But that isn't realistic, and its a good thing for people to enjoy a natural lake like Black. What's needed is a proper balance of enjoyment and conservation. In typical human fashion, people have emphasized enjoyment over conservation for a long time, and we can now see the impact.

Oh, and any biologist who says unregulated fishing pressure can't hurt a fertile fishery ..... is an idiot. Maybe it's true on some massive southern lake with unlimited habitat, a long growing season, tons of food, and limited tourism. But on a relatively small, shallow northern lake with massive tourism .... you can bet your boat that unregulated pressure will destroy the fishery.


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