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Old 08-07-2021, 06:39 PM   #1
Jwojcik1990's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Whitesboro
Posts: 47
Piseco Big Bay, Mud and Spy Lake Canoe Fishing Trip

Right off the bat I have to say, the fishing in all 3 lakes as well as the connecting river was almost unbeatable. Some of the Largemouth and Smallmouth as well as the Pickerel I caught among these lakes were some of the biggest I have caught this year. Mud Lake produced a monster Yellow Perch weighing a little over 1lb and 13 inches long! He tasted great as well.

I started off by setting out solo in the Big Bay of Piseco camping and fishing there for 2 nights. Starting a trend that would last throughout my entire trip, it was windy (but not too bad) during the days but always nice and calm in the mornings and evenings. Making a habit of fishing early and late in the day I was catching really nice Pickerel all throughout the shallow Big Bay. There are huge swaths of weeds covering almost the entire body of water just under the surface making it a perfect place to use the Whopper Plopper or any top-water lure. Almost all the fish caught on this trip were actually on the Whopper Plopper 75 Perch Pattern with the exception of the Yellow Perch on Mud Lake who went after the old worm + Lake Clear Wabbler setup.

The next part of my journey is where I was really unsure if I was trespassing or not. The Piseco Outlet has a spillway with a large metal bar that hangs over the water making it impossible to paddle through without taking out. There were signs saying that I was on private land, but not posted signs. I wish I had actually taken a picture. They looked like DEC signs that said where I carried over was private land, and to be respectful and carry anything you took in with you out. I took that to mean that I could pass through, I hope I was right. Either way it was a very short carry, I took out on river left and just dragged the Radisson over a small grassy hill and plopped her back in the water on the other side of the spillway. After a very short and obvious rapids, if you could even call them that, you end up on what I believe is the West Branch Sacandaga River. I spent a little time fishing here as well picking up more average sized Largemouth and Pickerel in the slow moving water and weeds. Surprisingly there were some deep holes amid the shallow, weedy water.

Finding the Spy Lake Outlet was quite obvious and hard to miss based on where it's located in a bend on the river. Surprisingly the way through this marshy area was less challenging than I thought it would be. The water was high enough that I never had to step out of the boat and the path to follow through was fairly easy to stay on. In all I think it took me around 45 minutes to make it from the start of this marshy area to Spy Lake itself.

I ended up camping on the western bay of Spy Lake not far from where I entered the lake through the outlet. This is where I would end up doing most of my fishing during the trip. The action was always solid and never seemed to slow down until the last night of the trip where I only caught a few small ones, which is still hard to complain about. I did not keep track of exact numbers of fish caught, but I think they all ended up on video. The majority of the action was Pickerel, but in between I would hook into some really solid Large and Smallmouth Bass. I landed multiple 20+ inch Bass with some big bellies on them.

To break up the Bass and Pickerel fishing I decided to make a side day-trip to Mud Lake, just a bit south of Spy Lake connected to the same river I came in through. Paddling back the way I came the marsh was just as easy going as it was coming in. It took me about an hour to get from my campsite to Mud Lake itself. Despite the fishing being slow here, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip due to how remote it felt. I was the only person on this small lake surrounded by beautiful trees and a blue sky above me. I was not able to find much info on this lake and was actually worried it would be super shallow, but was deep than expected. My portable depth finder was reading 20 feet in the middle and I was hopeful I might find a Trout. What I ended up with was probably the biggest perch I have ever caught which ended up being my lunch for the day.

I did some exploring on Spy Lake and tried to find all the other campsites and I was able to locate all but two. They have either been removed or blocked up by one of the many fallen/hanging trees on the lake. According to the maps I have there was supposed to be another campsite in the bay my campsite was in but all I found was a spot that looked like it might have once held a firepit and a perfectly round discoloration on a tree that looked like it might have once had a disk nailed to it.

The rest of the trip was just more Pickerel and Bass fishing as well as hanging out at my campsite and reading a book I brought with me. My girlfriend came out to camp and fish with me on day 7 and on day 8 we returned home.

Spy Lake Road was another confusing part of the trip. There were many posted signs on the sides of the roads, but the gate was open and the sign at the boat launch was much like the one I mentioned earlier. It said we were on private land, and to stay on the road, which made me again think that we were allowed to be there? All in all I would put it down as a great trip. I had a ton of fun and got into some great fishing while getting to explore some new waters.

I uploaded an album of some shots of the fish and scenery here:

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Old 08-09-2021, 01:51 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 272
Regarding Spy Lake, It appears that the majority of the lake falls within the Silver Lake Wilderness Area. The road and surrounding area to the West of the lake is private. The road itself is a canoe carry for access to the lake and the campsites within the wilderness area.

Sounds like a great trip you had.
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Old 08-09-2021, 06:33 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 118
No, you were not on the W Br Sacandaga, still on Piseco Outlet - there are rapids downstream of Mud Lk before you get to the W Br. Supposedly, you can drive Spy Lake Rd, unload, then park back out on Rt.8 - you may get a ticket if you park at the lake. Or, park off Rt.8 outside the gate & carry/wheel boat/gear to the lake.
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Old 08-12-2021, 08:05 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Whitesboro
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It really was a great trip, with some great fishing. I am glad to know I was not trespassing! If anyone is interested in checking out the full video of the trip, I just finished editing it up yesterday. Really gives some perspective on the size of those Bass.
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Old 08-16-2021, 07:15 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,005
Great vid!
"A culture is no better than its woods." W.H. Auden
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