Fishing on Saratoga Lake

Saratoga Lake is an extremely fertile lake with a pH of 7.6. Its diverse structure, bottom contours and varieties of vegetation are attributes which yield a “veritable fish factory.” This top-notch fishery has been well written about in both state and national magazines for its quality and quantity of fish. Below is a breakdown of some of the available species and how you might catch them.


Largemouth Bass Largemouth Bass
“Thoroughbred Bass’n” is hard to beat with large schools roaming the weed beds all summer. Big top-waters in the morning can produce lunkers for the livewell. When the temperature begins to rise, try a 4- to 5-inch worm or Spider Jig “flipped” into the weeds in 8- to12-feet of water. When the sun begins to set, a 1/4-ounce all-white buzz-bait is hard to beat.
Lake record - 10 lb., 2 oz.

Smallmouth Bass Smallmouth Bass
Since the introduction of Zebra Mussels in 1994, Smallmouth fishing has become better and more popular. Stick-baits with props from 5 to 8 inches are deadly on calm days. With light winds, try a plastic grub worked slowly down drop-offs, and on real windy days, a 1/2- to 3/4-ounce Rat-L-Trap in Fire Tiger or Silverado colors should produce.
Lake record - 9 lb., 1 oz.

Northern Pike Northern Pike
Many Pike in the 8- to 14-pound range can be found all over. Effective artificials include suspend baits, giant spinnerbaits and Rat-L-Traps of either 3/4 or 1 ounce. Truly, the best bait of all for these toothy critters is big  live bait (7 to 14 inch). These baits should be rigged on heavy tackle and fished from 5 to 14 feet of water with the use of a slip bobber.
Lake record - unknown

Walleye Walleye
Aggressively sought after all year, these guys can be both easy to catch or nearly impossible. In the spring, you can find schools of these fish roaming outside weed edges. In the summer, they go deep... as much as 60 feet! Trolling crankbaits or downriggers is then your best bet. In the late fall, they can be found over the rocks in shallow water and can net you a quick limit. Ice fishermen do very well with the use of small suckers from 3 to 5 inches.
Lake record - 14 lb., 3 oz.

Crappie Crappie
From ice-out till the weeds get thick, these fish can fill your stringer in a heartbeat. Fat-head minnows or tiny jigs in green or white are the local choices. Both are fished under either a weighted casting bobber or small slip bobber in 6 to 12 feet of water along drop-offs or over emerging weeds.
Lake record - 3 lb., 9 oz.

Bluegill Bluegill
“Gorilla” Bluegill begin to bite about 10 days after the winter ice goes out. Pieces of worm under a bobber are the standard. The Bluegill peak around Memorial Day and
then they go deep for the summer, when most anglers seek a different quarry.
Lake record - unknown

Perch Perch
Jumbo “Jack” Perch are caught both in the fall and winter. Small minnows on outside weed lines are the usual method for filling one’s creel.
Lake record - 3 lb., 14 oz.

Carp Carp
The largest of all the fish residing in Saratoga Lake but probably the least sought. These giants are a lot of fun to catch on light tackle from spring to fall. Worms, bread-balls and manufactured baits fished on the bottom can all procuce Carp ranging from 10 to 50 lb.
Lake record - unknown

Aquatic Plant Species for Saratoga Lake

Scientific Name Common Name Scientific Name Common Name
Bidens beckii Water Marigold Potamogeton crispus Curly-leaf pondweed
Chara/Nitella Stonewort Potamogeton pectinatus Sago Pondweed
Ceratophyllum demersum Coontail Potamogeton praelongus Large Leaf Pondweed
Elodea canadensis Waterweed Potamogeton pusillus Small Leaf Pondweed
Eriocaulon septangulare Pipewort Potamogeton richardsonii Richardson’s Pondweed
Heteranthera dubia Water Stargrass Potamogeton robbinsii Robbin’s Pondweed
Lemna trisulca Duckweed Potamogeton zosteriformis Flatstem Pondweed
Myriophyllum spicatum Eurasian Watermilfoil Ranunculus longirostris Buttercup
Najas flexilis Water Naiad Sagittaria graminea Slender Arrowhead
Nuphar luteum Yellow Water Lily Sparganium Burreed
Najas guadalupensis Southern Naiad Trapa natans Water Chestnut
Potamogeton gramineus Variable Pondweed Vallisneria americana Duck Celery

Source: RPI Freshwater Institute - 1994