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Fishing New York with Brad Paradis
As a Pennsylvanian, I love going to New York to fish. New York has world class fisheries that provide great fishing destinations for its residents and all of us in the Northeast. I am so happy that Brad Paradis agreed to do this interview as this guy knows many of the best New York waters.
GFN: You are a very active tournament fisherman. What do you love so much about tournament angling?
The competition. I’ve always been a competitive person and the day I fished my first tournament when I was 16 years old I was hooked. I feel like tournament bass fishing forces you to become a more diverse angler. You don’t get to choose what day you’re going out to fish. You have to perform at your peak on a specific day, regardless of weather conditions, time of season, whatever may happen to your equipment that day, on a specific body of water that you may struggle at, or anything else that gets thrown your way. Basically you’re forced to fish when it’s not nice out and the fish may not be biting well, and I love that challenge.
GFN: What is your proudest tournament fishing moment, a time when you said to yourself "this is why I do this"?
In 2013 I took my oldest daughter, who was 7 years old at the time to a junior bass tournament for the day. She was so excited and by the end of the day she was exhausted. She was passing out on the truck ride home but she managed to catch her limit of smallmouth on the St. Lawrence and weigh in all by herself. She was so proud and talks about it still today. That is something I won’t ever forget and was one of those moments where I realized how much I love this sport and how amazing it is to share with my family.
GFN: Overall, how have you felt about your tournament season thus far?
It has been a frustrating year for me. I’ve had a few major boat issues this year that hit me just before a couple of my tournaments, including a FLW Costa Series & NY State B.A.S.S. events that caused me to miss them. It’s always difficult when something out of your hands alters your plans but I feel like I’ve made the best of the situation and it did allow for even more family time this summer so there is always a positive that comes from a negative.
Beyond that I’m having a pretty decent year with the NNY Bassmasters Team Trail. We have had 4 top 5 finishes out of 6 tournaments so far this year and are sitting 3rd overall in points for the trail. My father and I fish together and we won team of the year in 2009, 2013, 2015 and we would love to do it again this year but the competition in the trail is intense. We have some incredible anglers who know the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario like the back of their hands. When you have young guns like FLW Costa angler Chris Flint, legends like Dick Garlock, and all the other local sticks nothing comes easy on this trail.
The FLW- Costa Series event on the St. Lawrence River I was without my boat but did manage to finish 44 of 136 on the non-boater side so I was reasonably happy considering the situation.
NY State B.A.S.S. landed me a top 40 performance in their 2nd tournament and I will be competing in their 3rd event on Lake Ontario in a few weeks. I’m really looking forward to that event.
GFN: What makes the St. Lawrence your favorite river to fish?
It’s one of those magical places where you can catch a 6-7 lb largemouth and 6-7 lb smallmouth on the same body of water. The river is so diverse. You can fish anything or any way. You can fish shallow or deep. It has a great population or Walleye, Smallmouth, Largemouth, Musky, Pike, and many more species. It’s just an incredible fishery where you literally could fish one area and catch a trophy fish in multiple species. After being in many bodies of water from the Midwest to the South, it’s hard to find a place that is anything even close to this.
GFN: Which of your New York tournament location gives you the hardest challenge? Why has it been so challenging?
Without a doubt Oneida Lake is my nemesis. That lake has challenged me every single time I am there. I don’t have many years of experience on the body of water but the few tournaments I have fished on it have been a disaster. I always struggle locating the smallmouth on the lake. It’s not my style of fishery but that’s no excuse. I know if I keep making my way to that lake I will eventually get my mind wrapped around it. I hope!
GFN: A lot of people like myself have headed to the waters you fish for a fishing vacation. Which New York lake or river do you recommend to out of state fishermen and why?
That’s a difficult question. Partially because there are so many world class waterways in NY State. It also depends on what you want. If you’re looking for a trophy Smallmouth I would suggest Lake Ontario. If you want a chance for a trophy in a variety of fish, as I mentioned earlier the St. Lawrence River is hard to beat. If you’re on a family trip Black Lake is a great body of water. Particularly if you have kids. There are a ton of Blue Gills, Crappie and Largemouth on that lake. I don’t know how you could come to NY state and not fish Lake Champlain, which is another one of those gems. Finally, I also love Chautauqua Lake in western NY, if you are a shallow water largemouth fisherman, this is heaven for you.
GFN: You list in your profile that your favorite lake is outside of New York, Lake Guntersville in Alabama. Why do you love the lake so much?
I go on a trip in the spring every couple of years to go fish a different body of water in the Midwest or Southern United States with my father and brother, which we’ve never been to before. It’s a nice little family, guy trip, getaway for a few days. We visited Lake Guntersville a few years back and just had an absolute blast. Amazing body of water. I have never caught so many 4 to 6 lb largemouth on one body of water in my life. The area is very hospitable to fishermen and I would love to maybe have a house on that lake someday. Maybe a winter location during retirement. I can dream right?
GFN: You were an FLW Ambassador for 2016. How did you get selected for that and what were your responsibilities?
I’ve been an FLW Ambassador for the last few seasons. It’s a great program FLW offers it’s anglers to participate in and I have been fortunate enough to take advantage of the program the last few years. My basic role is to run an event at a predetermined Walmart store where the goal is to promote fishing in general. Talk with people about tournament fishing with FLW and other avenues. Encourage the purchase of fishing licenses to support our fisheries and hand out some free items to kids.
I usually have a casting event set up for kids to participate in which is always fun. It’s a great experience. You meet a diverse group of people. Some who love to fish, others who don’t really know much about fishing at all. In the end there are always a few kids….and adults who walk away with smiles on their faces, and that’s what it’s all about.
GFN: What can you tell us about your sponsors and why you like representing their products?
I have been very lucky to get the support of some great companies over the last few years. I can’t say enough about Wright’s Marine, Gajo Baits, Bayou Bug Jigs, Liquid Mayhem, National Pro Staff, Power-Pole, Ardent Reels, and Fishidy. Each of those companies have helped me out in different ways and together they keep me on the water with the confidence I need to compete in each event.
I think what’s so great about representing them is that I 100% believe in their products/service. It’s easy to represent a company that cares about me. And that’s exactly what you get from Wright’s Marine, Gajo Baits, Bayou Bug Jigs and Liquid Mayhem in particular.
Wright’s Marine has been a title sponsor of mine for 5 years now. Their service is second to none and I would recommend that if you are thinking about looking at a boat, they are the first place I would go.
Gajo Baits has also been a huge supporter as well. The owner William Clute has created an unbelievable lineup of dropshot baits, stick baits and swimbaits that work so well they will sell themselves once you get a chance to use them. William has been in the industry previously and has since opened his own business with Gajo. I’m unbelievably excited to be with this company as it grows. I truly believe it will be a leading industry brand over the next few years.
Liquid Mayhem is another great company based in Canada that has exploded onto the scene. Their scent is something really special. It’s made with real baitfish, while most other scents are formulated with synthetic chemicals. It also has infused amino acids, UV coloring, and sticks better than anything you could ever imagine. he stuff lasts forever on your bait. Which means more fishing and less reapplying. A true innovative product that is something the fishing world has never seen before.
Bayou Bug Jigs can be described as creative genius. Dan Siemssen’s jigs are one of kind. He can customize anything you can dream of. Who wouldn’t want to work with someone like that?
Working with the owners of these companies has been fun, exciting, and has opened the doors to so many other opportunities along the way. In the end I’m proud to have these businesses’ logos on my jersey on tournament day because they stand behind me on and off the water.
In the end my biggest sponsor has to be my wife. She supports me to compete on any tournament trail that I want. She stands behind unconditionally and I don’t know what could be more valuable than that.
GFN: Thank you Brad for the great information on New York waters and the products you love. Good luck with your fall fishing.
To learn more about Brad, go to his website or follow him on Social Media.