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For two centuries, Clayton has been the center of 1000 Islands fishing action. Years ago, the local fishing guides plied the waters off Clayton carrying the wealthy and famous on their annual fishing excursions. It was a formal affair, with the guides dressed in suits and ties, rowing similarly clad passengers out to the fishing grounds in beautiful wooden St. Lawrence skiffs. Now the local fishing guides have powerboats equipped with the latest in fishing tackle, electronic equipment and safety gear to ensure passengers’ safety and comfort.
One thing remains the same, however. Still lurking in the crystal clear waters of the St. Lawrence are any number of gamefish, sure to thrill the angler of every ability. Northern pike, walleye, bass, perch, panfish and the elusive trophy muskellunge continue to challenge fishermen from all over the country and attract professional fishing tournaments year after year.
The fishing action continues throughout the year with a popular ice fishing season for Northern Pike and Perch during the winter. Cars, trucks and small fires dot the ice in the larger bays as fishermen brave the brisk weather in search of fresh pike, caught through the ice. The annual ice fishing derby, held the first weekend of February, attracts many anglers.
Fishing maps are available, along with plenty of bait, tackle and advice, at local bait shops for those anglers who would rather fish on their own. Launch your boat and venture out to discover your own “hot spot” or bring along a folding chair and a rod and fish right from shore along the Clayton waterfront. Many an amazing catch has been landed right here from shore! For your convenience, fishing licenses are available at many locations throughout Clayton.
Garnsey’s Classic Island Cruises
Classic Island Cruises offers personalized tours of the 1000 Islands as can only been seen from the decks of a truly iconic antique boat. Accompanied by a taste of the Islands, you will be visually stimulated while enjoying the region’s finest wines, meats and cheeses.
You’ll cruise the waterways in a relaxing setting for a morning, afternoon or evening with an in depth history of the seaway’s most storied passages. **If desired, you may stop at local island shops along the way or just enjoy cruising past the island sunsets on the open waters of 40 acres.**
The Muskie is a 26 foot, 1953 Chris Craft with oak keel, mahogany planks and a beautiful teak deck. She is the third of her kind in the Garnsey family to carry the same name. Her spacious desks and ride, that only a wooden boat can provide, were noted in the Thousand Islands Sun as the period’s most popular fishing boat and pleasure craft.
Recently Retired from his 26 year career with the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Service, Captain Garnsey is the third generation river Captain with a wealth of knowledge of the islands from the days of bootleggers.