(Originally posted on September 25, 2010)
This past summer during the Marlboro Music Festival season, my buddy Miles and I went to a lake we had never fished before. We knew of this lake for a couple of years at least, but we had been too busy exploring Harriman Reservoir as our primary fishing water. Probably we go fishing on a boat about 10 times a season, and we usually get to fish for a couple of hours at a time — that isn’t really enough to explore Harriman. We had tried a few different boat launching sites, different tackles, and different tactics there during a few Marlboro seasons… And actually we did find, this past season, a new public boat launching ramp that we didn’t even know it existed, and we fished around there for the first time. That day we saw a couple of bold eagles flying by — it was quite a sight. But what makes this reservoir a bit less attractive is the number of motorboats and jet-skis we see there. Loud noises, and intrusive violent waves that follow them, are something that could really bother us, and on a Sunday or a public holiday, it could get so busy on the lake that we would rarely enjoy stillness and grandeur of this beautiful lake.
Regardless of the noises, I do like to fish Harriman Reservoir. After all, that was where I caught a 19-inch smallmouth bass, and that’s where I never had no-fish day on the boat. I’m getting to know which bait to use, which color to pick, and what structure to cast at for smallmouths. Lake Sadawga, which is a largemouth (warm water) lake, didn’t interest me much initially, because I get to fish for largemouths here at home a lot in spring. Smallmouth bass fishing is something I get to do only during the festival season in Vermont. But this year, things weren’t the same. Because of my broken wrist, I hadn’t fished for largemouths since April. I suppose I was a bit hungry for largemouth bass fishing this year.
So went we to Sadawga. This lake is actually very close to the south-end of Harriman, but it appears completely different. No rocky shoreline like the reservoir. This place is vegetation-heavy; you won’t have much success casting crankbaits. Our favorite bait to use at Harriman, a twin-tail grub on a football jighead, won’t work here. We launched our boat and we looked around. Yes, its appearance really affirmed it — it is a largemouth lake, no question about it. I knew what bait would work for us here. My go-to bait in Indiana, Gary Yamamoto’s 5-inch Senko, should do the job.
We had some good outings, and some bad, at Sadawga. I had my first no-fish-on-the-boat day there, but on another day I did catch a nice one on my topwater bait that I kept in my tackle box since early ’90s. Miles improved his baitcasting technique quite a bit there. Senkos really proved to me, once again, that they are the premium all-purpose bass bait you don’t want to go fishing without. I hooked my hand with a barbed treble hook there. We lost our tackle there (we did get our rods and reels back, thanks to the local family who recovered them). Miles caught a northern pike-look-alike (pickerel) that I had never seen. We already have some stories to tell from our experiences at Sadawga, after fishing there only for one season.
But what makes this lake special is how peaceful it is there. It is calm, and it is beautiful. What we hear are birds and wind. Sometimes we realize how disturbing our speaking voice can get— Being out there on Sadawga was definitely one of the most peaceful moments I had in a long while.