Situated just south of the village of Tupper Lake, Simon Pond is essentially a flood plain of the meandering 146-mile-long Raquette River. Its shallow depth and weedy flats on the western side, accompanied by deeper, open water bays on the eastern side offers up a variety of great fishing holes. In the winter, the ponds shallow water typically means plenty of safe ice for ice fishing.
On the first Saturday in February, Simon Pond becomes a mecca for ice anglers as the annual Northern Challenge Ice Fishing Derby transformed the ponds frozen cap into a fishing village. The derby attracts anglers to compete in over 35,000 in cash and prizes.
How to get there
Simon Pond is accessible by water in warmer months via the Raquette River and Big Tupper Lake. Access to the lake is available at the Tupper Lake Boat Launch (DEC hard launch) on Route 30. PLEASE NOTE: in winter, this is not a safe access point for anglers since it requires crossing a part of a flowing river.
For safe winter access, use the Rod & Gun Club Canoe Launch on Lake Simond Drive. From the intersection of Route 3 and Route 30 in Tupper Lake follow Route 30 toward Long Lake. Continue for just 2.5 miles to Lake Simond Road on the left. Turn down Lake Simond Road and park immediately on the right. There is a small portage trail across the road.
Fishing and ice fishing
The pond’s weedy makeup provides a great habitat for northern pike, bass, walleye, yellow perch, pumpkinseeds, bullhead, and landlocked salmon. Ice fishing is especially popular here.
The separation between Big Simon Pond and Tupper Lake is a heavily grassed area where birding is at its best and motorboats are required to travel very slowly. The only downfall to Big Simon Pond is the entire shoreline is private except for the area that follows Route 30. This is a large lake with almost no protection from the elements or windy conditions. While on some days it can be very calm, other days it can whip up some decent sized whitecaps when out in the open waters. On windy days stay closer to shore or in the grassy areas for added protection. Always be on the lookout for motorboats while paddling here.