Planning your Walleye opener in the Saratoga/Sacandaga Area

by Joe Greco

On Great Sacandaga come May walleyes are in different stages and can be fished in different ways. I prefer to get right to trolling or drifting spinners and small cranks. “Running” contour lines using the latest in GPS mapping technology is my go-to technique when targeting fish at a certain depth. This time of year, look for bends in the old creek channel and sunken structure that’s just a little shallower than typical summertime depths, usually in the 20ft range or so. I prefer to cover lots of water, troll or drift contours and find the fish at a certain depth. If they’re on a break in 18ft. I can program my minnekota i-pilot to repeat the run I just made, Try white and gold spinners with crawlers, small jointed raps black and silver and black and gold will work too. I have also had great luck on the small size 5 Berkley flicker minnow behind lead core or on mono with snap weights adjusted accordingly.  Hot colors are clown, silver chartreuse, pink and gold perch.

Saratoga Lake can also be tricky this time of year. If water temperatures are still colder in the low 50s you may find fish up in the shallows.  You may find fish in various areas of the lake already stacking up in classic summer locations. If it’s been a cold spring the fish may have just finished spawning. This means probably a transitional phase, and some that are feeding actively.  Regardless, I would start my search with some casting style baits and jigs and fish new weed growth and rocks for active fish. Shad raps, in-line spinners and swim baits all produce a variety of fish in Saratoga Lake in spring.  When fishing shallow shoreline structure, consider wind direction as it will likely gather baitfish and will produce warm water as the sun heats up the shore and the waves recirculate warm water in back into the lake.  When I work my way to deeper main lake structure, I will search with similar baits. Try thin profile crankbaits and swim baits this time of year.  Another option is slip-floats and live bait, which may turn inactive fish into biters’.

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