I am determined to fish at least one day a weekend for the entire spring/summer season. I started at the end of April with a fishing trip to Lake Ontario. This week I visited Balsam Pond for panfish. It was been nearly 10 years since I last fished this great watershed. It used to be a pain to launch your boat here because the launch was shallow and you’d have to walk the boat out a long ways until it was free floating. Now the state has built a real boat launch that drops off quickly. Launching you boat is super easy now. This will benefit the throngs of bass fisherman that invade this little rural community during the summer months.
Once on the lake the fishing started off slow. While I was steering the boat and making sure everyone was rigged up and ready to fish, my wife and son were catching the fish. So I began very slowly. My son jumped out to a 5-0 fish lead and began running his mouth about it. That is when the fishing gods spoke up. I then rattled off like 30 fish in a row before he caught another fish. I wound up beating him 37-10. I used the same rig as I did during my trip to Lake Ontario. It was the 6′ 6″ Browning SuperLight spinning combo while fishing with a stick bobble and a piece of nightwalker.
For those who have not visited Balsam Pond, it is a flood swamp watershed. The old trees still protrude from the water to the right and far end. Most of the pond is littered with old stumps and cover for the fish to congregate around. This pond is a mecca in our area for Large Mouth Bass fishing. People swarm here during bass season from all over.
The pan fishing used to be some of the best in the area as well, but can be difficult considering how many stumps you have to watch out for. This makes it really difficult when you are jigging. Be prepared to lose many jigs. I would suggest casting jigs to trolling. It is easier to adjust your jig depth when retrieving.
We came home with a small basket for the first fish fry of the year. We brought 12 fish home to cook up. They were all Blue Gills or Pumpkinseed, with one oddball perch. Almost all the gills were in spawn or pre-spawn mode. The colors on these fish were gorgeous. Look at this Pumpkinseed: . What a beautiful fish! Aside from the fish, the lake offers some natural beauty for site seer’s as well. The water was clear, the birds were abundant, and the natural view is serene. Here a few pictures of the birds we saw up close. The first is a goose that made its nest in a hollow log on the lake. We couldn’t eve see it until it popped its head up to check us out. That is one camouflaged bird. We fished there for like ten minutes before any of us actually spotted the bird.
This second picture is of a Great Grey herring that was flying before the boat. I know these birds are common, but I have always been interested thought that these birds are somewhat majestic especially when they are in flight.
This next picture is my oldest son standing on the boat launch in front of the lake.He is quite the handsome boy, but he definitely needs a haircut. If you look closely, you can see just how clear the water was. I didn’t have the depth finder on today or I would post the water temperature. Look at the water and sky in the background. You can tell that it was a beautiful day fishing.
Pan total for the year: 175.
Balsam is a must stop for bass anglers in middle upstate New York.
Directions to Balsam Pond from Binghamton:
Take Front St/12 heading north. Stay on 12N until you come the Route 41 intersection just passed Greene. Take a left on 41 until you come to the Route 220 intersection. Take a right onto Route 220N and stay on until you pass through McDonough. After you pass Geneganslet Lake(after McDonough on the left) take the first right. Then take the first road on the left and follow it until you come to the sign for Balsam Swamp Pond.