Catch Hudson River bass above Waterford

Catch Hudson River bass above Waterford

By Robert Day

WATERFORD, N.Y. — You can’t keep the fish above Troy dam on New York’s Hudson River due to PCB contamination, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth catching and releasing some of the nice-sized smallmouth and largemouth bass as well as pike and walleye in the Waterford area.

Start at Waterford on the west shore of the river. The boat launch here not only provides access to the Hudson, but also the Mohawk River (Erie Canal).

The concrete ramp is located at the end of South Street. From Route 52, take 2nd Street to South Street. There is good parking.

After launching, check out the bridge by the Mohawk lock. The abutments hold some smallies. A jig with a brown or watermelon grub is worth a try here.

As you work your way up the Hudson from there, you’ll come to the Waterford bridge.

Fish the structure along both sides of the river and then fish the bridge abutments with jigs and crankbaits in baitfish patterns.

A ½ mile upriver on the west side is a rock cliff about 20 feet high. In the early morning or late afternoon, Texas-rigged worms or jigs in dark colors work well.

Further upriver on the east side is a rock cliff about 40 feet high. Crankbaits, jigs, stickbaits and wacky worms in all colors and patterns are good producers here.

From the cliff to the river channel is only about 50 feet (marked with a red buoy).

Keep your boat out far enough from the cliff. Your electronics will show you the way.

About 2½ miles further upriver on the east side are some rocks submerged in about 8 to 10 feet of water. They hold some nice fish in the afternoon. Try stickbaits and spinnerbaits in bright colors here.

One mile further upriver is an island. Work the point at the southern end with Texas-rigged worms in dark or watermelon colors.

The last spot to check out is the dam 4 miles up from the Waterford bridge. Toss spinnerbaits and crankbaits at the foot of the dam.

Try the former in white or yellow, the latter in crawfish colors. Jigs with brown grubs work at the rocks to the left of the dam. Keep them moving, however, or they will hang up on the rocks.

For more info or gear, try Conroy’s (518-273-2582) in Watervliet or Dick’s Sporting Goods (518-464-1948) in Albany.