Brian Baulsir wakes before his 4 a.m. alarm, knowing he’s due for a morning on the water. Fueled by anticipation, he treks to the morning’s launch and paddles in search of his first cast.

Man stands on kayak, fishing near the Lake Champlain bridge.
Baulsir was an outdoorsman long before he co-founded the Adirondack Kayak Bass Fishing Club. From an early age, his father “instilled the wonder” in him. Soon, all things outdoors were calling his name: photography, hiking, camping, but, most significantly, kayaking.

From that first paddle with his father, Baulsir felt the intimacy of being close to the water. Every ripple, wave, or gust of wind directly affects the way you manage the vessel. That intimacy extends into the far reaches of the lakes and rivers he visits. For Baulsir, it’s about “having the ability to access places that other boats or people might not be able to.” 

A close up of Brian as he manages his line, fishing for small mouth bass.

“When you’re on a body of water [in a kayak] all those little nooks and crannies are at your fingertips. You can squeeze your way into the most secluded coves and through intricate estuaries where most boats could not."

Despite the grandiose nature of waterbodies like Lake Champlain, Baulsir recounted those smaller moments foremost. After fishing around the country, he still felt lucky to come back to Lake Champlain and to call this place home. “It’s so big. It’s so grand. It’s so deep … and the fish are huge,” Baulsir said with a chuckle.

Brian sits on his kayak with the mountains as a backdrop in the distance

Lake Champlain’s ecosystems are expansive and healthy, supporting fishing as a sport no matter your age or experience. Baulsir noted that, “Champlain will facilitate all levels of fishing.” From the million dollar bass tournaments on T.V. to “the kids on the dock pulling out sunnies,” you can learn and grow along with it. It's not just about your most recent catch, but about adapting, problem solving, and patience.

With a laugh, Baulsir stated, “When you’re out on the water alone, it really makes you use your noggin and decide how you’re going to break it down, how you’re going to approach [the situation], and hopefully how you’re going to take a picture of that giant fish in your hands all by yourself.”

Brian places his recent catch back in the water after removing his hook.

Being out on the water before the sun rises can be frightening. Paddling out into the unknown can strike fear even in those who know the lake best, but as soon as the light breaks the sky, all worries fade away. A morning on the water creates the perfect headspace to start the day. Regardless of what lies ahead, you can move forward knowing you’ve already done something with your day. Because “when it all comes together, it is truly something special.”

A birds eye view of the kayak fisher against the silhouette of Lake Champlain's water.

If you're ready to hit the lake for sunrise, sunset, or even during the afternoon, be sure to make the most of your trip to the Lake Champlain Region! Stay for awhile, grab a bite to eat, shop for new fishing gear, but, most importantly, enjoy every second of the day, from sun up to sun down.

This story is a feature of Dawn Patrol, a series of videos created by Adirondacks, USA, highlighting incredible locals as they share their passion for their favorite outdoor activity and the Adirondacks.

The Dawn Patrol series:

Season 2

Episode 1: David

Episode 2: Sarah

Episode 3: Dan and Willie

Episode 4: Bobby

Episode 5: Taylor and Josh

Season 1

Episode 1: Mark

Episode 2: John

Episode 3: Beth

Episode 4: Mitchell and Bethany

Episode 5: Ali

Episode 6: Amanda

Episode 7: Erin

Episode 8: Keith

Episode 9: Stacy



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