Lake George Fishing Guide
Known as the "Queen of American Lakes," Lake George is perfect for fishing year-round. When you fish this pristine lake's 44 square miles of water, you can catch a veritable smorgasbord of warmwater and coldwater fish. Those of you who love to stalk largemouth and smallmouth bass will be excited to learn that Lake George ranks among the top five locations in New York state for bass fishing.
Founded in 1992 on the shores of this beautiful lake, FISH307 has a staff intimately familiar with its waters and finny denizens. We are happy to help you learn more about Lake George and plan your next fishing trip.
Fishing Season on Lake George
Lake George is open to anglers year-round. Some fish, including yellow perch, black crappie, trout and landlocked salmon, can be caught year-round within daily limits. Other fish, like black bass, northern pike and others, are only allowed to be taken during specific months. Check out the detailed regulations on Lake George.
Here at Lake George, a little cold weather doesn't have to stop you from fishing. If you love ice fishing, you will be glad to learn that Lake George ice fishing can be superb. Popular on Lake George in the winter months once the lake is frozen over, ice fishing features such popular coldwater fish as lake trout, salmon and smelt.
Fish Found in Lake George
Lake George fish species come in all shapes and sizes and offer anglers of all skill levels a chance at some real fun and excitement. A wide variety of fish swim in the lake.
The most popular coldwater fish are lake trout, salmon and smelt. Trophy lake trout of 20-plus pounds have been caught here. Landlocked salmon, also known as kokanee, are restocked in the lake annually. Like all salmon, these fish are terrific fighters and delicious on the dinner plate. Also tasty and very plentiful, yellow perch is another popular catch for ice anglers.
Warmwater fish in Lake George include perch, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass, among others.
Other fish caught in Lake George include northern pike, chain pickerel, rock bass, brown bullhead and brook trout. If you are taking a kid fishing or just enjoy the fun and fish-fry potential of catching a mess of panfish, you can target black crappie, pumpkinseed and others. In all, 36 species of fish have been found in the Lake George watershed. That will give you quite a bucket list to complete.
Best Fishing Locations on Lake George
Because this lake is so large, it helps to start with a good idea of the best Lake George fishing spots. This lake has ample locations perfect for fishing. Depending on what you're looking to catch and in what season, you can find the best spot to fish on Lake George. Here are some of the hotspots on Lake George for the most popular fish species:
Lake Trout: Lake trout like cold, deep water, especially in the summer. Some of the best locations to find lake trout include:
- Southeast of Dome Island
- The point of Tongue Island
- The Flats in the Southern Basin
- The shoreline by Paulist Fathers
- The Northwest Bay
Smallmouth Bass: Bass, especially the black bass in Lake George, tend to swim in warmer, shallower waters. They can often be found lingering around underwater structures and plants. Largemouth bass swim in this lake, but most of the bass taken are smallmouths. These smaller cousins of the largemouth are great fighters, especially on light tackle. The best locations for smallmouth bass are:
- The Narrows
- Canoe Island
- Dicks Island
- Hogback Reef
- Sunken Island in Hague
Landlocked Salmon: During cooler times of the year, salmon tend to swim near the surface. Anglers also catch them ice fishing. These kokanee love cold water. In the summer, salmon move toward deeper water farther into the center of the lake, but they come closer to shore in colder weather. Salmon spawn in streams around the fall, so look for them wearing their crimson red spawning colors closer to shorelines and tributaries during this time. Some specific hotspots for salmon include:
- Million Dollar Beach
- Diamond Point
- Assembly Point/Harris Bay
This map from LakeGeorge.com offers other popular locations for fishing on Lake George.
Equipment to Bring to Lake George
The type of fishing equipment and tackle you will need will depend on the season and what kind of fish you hope to catch. A boat will increase your range, but many anglers successfully fish from shorelines and piers without bringing their boat.
To fish on Lake George, you'll need the obvious necessities like fishing reels, rods, fishing line and coolers. You'll also need a New York state fishing license and proper licensing for your boat if you're going out on the water.
If you're looking to catch lake trout, we recommend these fishing lures:
- Speedy Shiners (either orange with black dots, blue-silver, chartreuse-silver, cop car, or wonderbread)
- Live Target Smelt (black-silver or blue-silver)
- Flatfish (most colors)
To catch smallmouth bass, use the following lures:
- Keitech Swing Impacts
- Yamamoto Senkos
Ice fishing requires extra equipment as well. Ice anglers should be sure to pack tip ups, an ice auger and an ice scoop. Bring Tungsten jigs and live bait as week as safety picks and appropriate cold-weather clothing. This gear is in addition to your normal fishing equipment, of course.
Find All Your Fishing Necessities at FISH307
Before you hit the water, stop by FISH307 for all of your fishing needs. We're local to the Lake George area and can provide expert advice and products sure to help you find your next big catch. Visit our store in Lake George or check out our website for the best industry tips, quality fishing gear and more.
Of course, we have tons of experience fishing this big lake and we love to talk about the best fishing opportunities, methods and conditions. Feel free to contact us for the latest updates and outstanding advice.