Local Fisherman PJ Clark – Perfecting His Largemouth Skills

PJ Clark with one of many beautiful summer bass.

By Joe Greco

Queensbury, NY outdoorsman, PJ Clark, nearly broke my iPhone this weekend when we reached out to him for some photos of Eastern Saratoga and Washington County largemouth. He sent me countless photos of impressively chunky bass that he has been scoring on a consistent basis. When I asked him what his secret was, and we got into some specifics, he explained that he has been learning by soaking up tactics shared by his fishing buddies and other sources. Just like all passions, to improve at something, you must practice getting better, listen, learn and put in the time.

PJ is good friends with several of The Angler Magazine field experts and he participates with his fishing buddies in some smaller informal bass competitions that have become quite popular on a grass-roots basis. Early in July, PJ won an event on Cossuyana Lake with an impressive bag of 5 largemouth bass totaling 19.96 lbs. while fishing with John McDougal who helps operate The Angler sponsor Lake George Distilling Co., www.lakegeorgedistillingcompany.com, with his family. That is a tremendous haul for any tourney, anywhere in the country. Recently PJ was laid up with a leg injury, and his fishing pal John McDougal ordered him some tactic sharing videos from The Bass University, www.thebassuniversity.com, for him to keep up his bass homework. When asked, PJ attributed his improving catches to these videos.

I instantly googled The Bass University site and it was quite remarkable. The informal fishing gathering that PJ fishes every week has 5 boats, it’s for bragging rights, somewhat like a bowling night. Local venues can vary in size, some trying to grow, and others happy with their current format and members. Saratoga Tackle & Archery, www.saratogatackle.com, coordinates a Tuesday night event which has had healthy turnouts this year, they meet then weigh-in at Lee’s Campgrounds from 5pm-8pm, they are welcoming new participants, pre-register at 3:30pm at Lee’s or visit Saratoga Tackle.

If you are new to the area or want to get involved in a local group, The Angler suggests you go in to a local shop like Saratoga Tackle or Country Pets and ask if something like this is available through them. These friendly venues are quite fun, but they offer fisherman like PJ and John a competitive format to hone their skills. If you have a small club that wants new members, contact us at The Angler and we will list your event. Dave of Country Pets in Hudson Falls, NY, www.facebook.com/countrypetshf, offers something a little different for his customers. He offers a free monthly photo contest that is easy and promotes CPR – Catch Picture Release. Each month Country Pets selects a specific featured species, August being BASS. Dave reported that all the area bass waters have been fishing great and have optimal water temperatures, and that walleye fishing has been good on the Hudson River drifting worm harnesses for 15-17 inch fish, with bigger fish coming from the Catch and Release section. Country Pets mentioned that Moreau Lake State Park is a great shore, kayak or canoe option with good populations of panfish and bass, with a vibrant aquatic food supply and stocked with rainbow trout that carryover nicely and attain respectable sizes.

The trout this time of year go deeper and can be reached by slow trolling Hillbilly Christmas Trees, www.hillbillylures.com, or can be scored trolling deeper 3/5 oz. Lake Clear Wabblers, www.lakeclearwabblers.com, trailed with ½ a nightcrawler or fly, keep letting out line while trolling till you get deep enough for strikes.