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Best Bass Fishing Spot in New York State

Nature creates ability; luck provides it with opportunity         Fran├žois de La Rochefoucauld

Ancient Beginnings

Around more than a dozen millennia ago the last glacier that had come down from the Arctic and scoured the land finally receded and melted -- leaving behind a ten thousand acre lake, twenty miles long, while only four miles wide at the maximum, amongst the pre-glacial rocks at an area that is about two hours ride north of what is now Syracuse, New York. This was one of many such natural lakes formed at this time -- including the Great Lakes, wheras the look of its many islands -- of sand and rock --more resemble the Canadian tundra.

It's main water sources are the Indian River and Fish Creek on the north end, while it drains into the Oswegatchie River then cascades over the Eel Weir Dam where eventually it will merge with the St. Lawrence River (or Seaway) at Odgensburg. This lake with the deepest water only 40 feet, and thus relatively warm, but has currents are refreshed with oxygen with fickle winds. It has 60 miles of shoreline with grand harbors for fish hatcheries, also provides picturesque and tranquil settings for the angler who can go for:

The Fish

The fish which have various size regulations (15 to 30 inches), can be safely consumed as there are no health advisories as can be seen at other locations. It is consistently on the top twenty or better of the U.S. bass fishing spots.

Historic Highlights

The Steamboats

The first steamboat, the Paul Pry, arrived on Black Lake's waters in 1830. Steamboats, like the Evening Star, The Morning Star, the Luck and the Afton carried people and merchandise from Rossie to Heuvelton. The last steamboat was Arthur Storie's 1906 Oswegatchie which ended its career on the feet of Bigge Island in 1908.

The Ferry

The towns of Macomb and Morristown on opposite shores needing commerce recieved help from the NY congress and established the Black Lake Ferry in 1851. Both towns even recieved $ 22.50 a year from this horse drawn barge, and even outwaiting dangerous winds for a few days was faster than the journey circumnavigating this watery impediment.

The Toll Bridge

The Black Lake Toll Bridge aka Long Bridge of 1902 put the barge out of business. There is sketchy records of a "Hi Bridge that connected Booth Island to Macomb. This other span connected Edwardsville and Booth Island, and in 1922 the State's purchase ended the fee. On that day people drove back and forth across in a victory spree.

In 1931 Emmett R. Booth of Booth Island whose family ran the toll collection booth in fron of his house had to escape to this house in nostalgic depression when the bridge was blown up to make way for the new ediface. His son, Emmett R., born in 1915 eventually was a fishing guide until he died in 1989.

Other Endeavors

The Pope family ran a Saw and Grist Mill from 1816 to 1937. One of the founders, Timothy, was killed by an exploding mill stone in 1935.

A peat dredge, Heuvelton, was built in 1905 for a quarter of a million dollars by European and NYC investors. There was a lot of big talk of ventures involving canals from Black Lake to the St. Lawrence, but all these dreams, which never showed much peat, anyway, lay in ashes with its burning in 1908.

How to Get There

Take Interstate 81 north from southern New York State until exit 49, mile 169, the LaFargeville exit. Go right on NY Rt. 422 until the blinking red at NY St 37 and make a left. Go 18 miles to the yellow blinking light in Hammond, and go right on Lake St (Cty 6) to the shores of beautiful Black Lake.

Source: Black Lake Dot Org

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