The water of lake Champlain has cleared of ice and spring/summer fishing season is here. As I prepare to go out for my first fishing trip of the season I am reminded of another memorable journey from last August aboard the Lake Champlain Angler Fishing Charter. I have fished from the shores and from various boats through my years along the Adirondack Coast, but this journey with Mick Maynard took Lake Champlain fishing to a whole new level.
Everyone has a fish story. The story of the great beast that got away. They speak in elaborate ways of the epic fight between man and beast under dark storm clouds while fierce waves crashed into their weakened vessel. Fortunately for me, my day on Lake Champlain with Captain Mick Maynard of Lake Champlain Angler Fishing Carter was the exact opposite of this fanciful fish tale. The weather was perfect, our boat was strong, and the monster catch never got away.
I would definitely describe myself as a novice when it comes to fishing. Growing up, my father would take my brother and I fishing with him whenever the opportunity would arise. I’ve fished the Gulf Coast of Florida, ponds and rivers all along the east coast, the deep waters of Cape Cod Bay, and of course Lake Champlain. Today will be my first time setting out on Lake Champlain with a professional angler. We set out on Captain Mick’s 21′ PolarKraft in the early morning hours. With the sun rising over the peaks of the Green Mountains in Vermont we made our way to our first destination in search of the day’s target, Lake Trout. Captain Mick caters his fishing charters dependant on the type of fish that are most active at the time. This day we were to be jigging for lake trout, but if one were interested in catching Bass, he recommends scheduling a charter Late in April through May or September through November. Captain Mick also recommends mid August until early October for Pike.
We reached our first spot, set up, and cast out. Captain Mick gave me a lesson on how to jig for Lake Trout and what I should expect of Lake Trout behavior when they bite. While Jigging, Captain Mick shared his knowledge of the Lake Trout habitat, feeding habits, and range. I listened intently to be sure that I do all that I should to entice a “Laker” to my lure. As I carefully tried to dance the lure exactly as I should, Captain Mick hooked the day’s first catch! I tried to keep focus on what I was doing, but the excitement of that first catch gets the blood flowing. The first catch that proves the fish are out there! The first catch that sets the bar for all other fish that come after it! Captain Mick had it!
After watching Captain Mick bring in that first fish I was definitely ready for my own shot at a huge Lake Trout. It took a bit of time for me to get a handle on the feel of the line and the method I had learned only an hour earlier. Here, floating on lake Champlain I was honing my skills and waiting for my chance. I knew that with patience that fish would be mine. Bam! My first catch! The Lake trout hit hard and bent the tip of my fishing pole over with its strength. My acute hunter skills went into high gear as my focus left the rest of the boat and honed in on the catch. Of course I had in my mind that this could certainly be the biggest Lake Trout ever snagged from Lake Champlain. A fish of monster proportions worthy of the record book! I see it, The flash of color as it comes closer to the boat. This monster was putting up a fight. That fight that every fisherman is looking for. The struggle between man and beast that leads to either victory or defeat. Captain Mick was ready with net in hand to help me bring my first catch on board. I maintained my composure as we brought him in, but inside I was laughing with excitement. Maybe not the record setting Lake Trout I envisioned, but certainly a monster to me.
Captain Mick and I fished the waters for 8 hours that day and got to experience that same excitement repeatedly as we caught (and released) six large lakers. The experience here fishing these Lake Trout was very similar to fishing I had done many miles from here on a Cape Cod private charter. A private charter with a very skilled and knowledgeable captain fishing the waters of Lake Champlain is truly an experience I have shared with anyone who gives me a opportunty. Everyone needs their fish story. Their tale of that monster catch or the beast that got away. The novice or the seasoned fisherman will feel right at home fishing alongside Captain Mick Maynard. I recommend to anyone looking to have their own big fish story to contact Captain Mick through his website http://www.lakechamplainangler.com/ .