Black Lake Recap: Part 1 – Tradition

Editor’s Note: Hello all, it’s been a hot second since we’ve had a Small Town Outdoors blog, hasn’t it?! Well good news, we have a few that we’ve built up and will be releasing, starting with this one! This is part 1 of a 3 part blog series on my trip to Black Lake, plus there will be a blog on the 3rd Leg of the IBO Triple Crown (the archery tournament that was held at Two Mile) and a video to follow.. So hop aboard, and follow along with us as we put out some content here over the next month!

Two Mile. Allegheny River. Oil Creek. – Those 3 locations are where I spend 90% of my time fishing, and 95% of my time fishing is spent going after bass. It’s where I love to fish, and bass is what I love to catch. In these locations, I can usually pull out some decent bass, with the occasional 17”-18” smallie or largemouth that’s a pig and makes you want to come back for more. But I’ve never went on a fishing trip where the main target is bass and every one you pull out is mature, healthy, and every trip out on the water is an experience. . .

Let me tell ya, that all changed this year. I was lucky enough to be invited to go with one of my best friend’s, Aaron, and his family + close family friends to Black Lake, in upper NY. Unfortunately, last year when I was invited I couldn’t make it; but the one thing I remember Aaron saying when I told him in 2018 I couldn’t make that trip was “well mark it on your calendar for next year, because if there’s a spot, you got to go and experience it.”

And guess what? I put it in my google calendar, got the invite for this year, I was able to go and boy, I was not disappointed!


Here’s the thing: the next 2 blogs are stories of specific trips that happened on the lake during the trip, so I’ll give a brief overview of the fishing in general:

This trip was a week long, and we started fishing the night we got there. Aaron and I took out one of the john boats that had a 9.9 outboard on it, and after a little bit of a slow start on the water that night, Aaron and I finished STRONG by hammering some small-mouth off of a point that had been known to catch some nice fish. The 2 bass pictured below that I caught I swear were great size (I think both around 15.5”-16” and very healthy), but Aaron caught an absolute FOOTBALL of a small-mouth at I believe 17.5”-18” and it put both of my fish to shame!

Aaron - Smallie PIG

Me - Smallie 1

Me - Smallie 2

Aside from the other times Aaron and I would take one of the john boats out, throughout the rest of the week we’d catch a ride on someone else’s boat and it was just as fun. Aaron’s cousin’s (Luc, Jake, and Wyatt) were nice enough to invite me out with them a couple times. Although according to Wyatt, the one day I was catching some of the smallest bass he’s seen actually be caught (he ain’t kidding, pretty sure I caught 2 bass that were each 4”-5” long . . . can’t say they were picture worthy lol).

I got the chance to go fishing with Derek (one of my best friend’s dad’s who I’ve known since I was a kid), Aaron’s uncles Sam and Matt, and Terry (close family friend of Aaron’s). Each trip was just as much fun as the other, and one of us always seemed to pull out a beautiful, healthy bass. Along with some other fish, but mainly bass at least when I was around. Below you can see a bunch of pictures from throughout the week of some of the fish that were caught:

Overall, the fishing was great. Big bass, pike, dawgfish (story to come in part 3 of this blog series..), crappie, gar; you name it, and it was probably caught. I’m sure they had better years fishing in the past, but if it was in fact a down year, then it was a good one in my eyes.


There really aren’t words to describe Black Lake. It’s an amazing place and we were lucky enough to have great weather too. It was sunny almost every day, only rained once or twice while we were there, and it was windy some days but even the wind wasn’t too bad.

Beautiful structure surrounding the lake, islands all over in the middle of the water, swampy areas, rocky areas, inlets around every corner, etc. It was awesome. Like I said, it’s hard to describe but Black Lake is an amazing place. The pictures don’t do this place justice, but here’s a brief couple pictures of the lake in a slideshow, with a video I took the one day below that:

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What made the trip so great is the people I was around. Everyone was great, and so welcoming to a newbie of this trip like myself.

They’ve been going to this lake for over 20 years (or close to), and since the first time they’ve gone, they’ve turned it into a tradition that they do as a family every year. Even if you’re on the trip and not their family by blood, they treat you like you are.

Aaron’s grandfather, Don, was the one who made this a tradition from year 1. Unfortunately, I never got to meet him before he passed away, but from the stories I heard, he sounds like he was an amazing man that loved his fishing, and loved his family and friends even more. They named their lunker night (it’s a night where the biggest fish wins and you’re placed with a captain on his boat for the night) after him, and do a great job of carrying on his tradition.

Each year they have opening & closing ceremonies, a cornhole tournament, a golf outing, guitar playing, and much more. Ed (Aaron’s other grandfather) made sure we were all entertained with his hilarious stories and campfire songs, and you can be sure Aaron’s Uncle Jim got involved in those too.

To end part 1 of the Black Lake trip; Aaron, Owen, Wyatt, Jake, Luc, Kevin, Derek, Eric, Sam, Matt, Jim, Ed, Terry, Kurt, and both Doug’s: thank you for inviting me on this trip, making me feel welcome, and voting me into the group to join again in the future. So the question is, will I be there again next year? . . . As long as that vote still holds true, you’re damn right I will be.

Find the outdoors within.

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