Go big or go home with trophy fish

Whether open or hard water fishing, try upsizing your bait to catch the big ones. Depending on the time of year you happen to be fishing, what is considered large as bait can differ greatly.

For instance, I’ve used nine-inch pond shiners in the summer and caught three-pound large mouths on them. I’ve also used jigs through the ice that were smaller than a pea, and caught the same sized fish. Knowing what big bait for the conditions you are fishing is a key concept in catching large fish. By focusing in on the lake forage species and understanding which food source is being utilized, you can choose the most effective bait.

The recent cold spell has thoroughly locked up Chenango Lake if conditions continue as they are, and the Perch Derby is just around the corner! The event is set to take place on Feb. 9t. Registration fees all ages, advanced is $4 and $5 on ice. Registration begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. The derby starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Drawings and raffle will be held at 2 p.m., immediately after derby ends. Prizes are $1,000 for tagged perch, donated by NBT; $500 for second tagged perch, donated by Preferred Mutual. Every 15 minutes, prizes will be given for the largest perch. Mayhood’s Sporting Goods will be awarding $150 for the largest perch of the day. The same prize amount will also be awarded for the largest pickerel and is in memory of Dr. Polgar, and was donated by the family. If no tagged perch are caught, six drawings from registered fishermen will be held: $500, $250, $100, $75, $50 and $25. If the Perch Derby is cancelled, drawings will be made from pre-registered contestants only. The awards for cancellation will be broken down the same as above.

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