• Lake Ontario Brown Trout Fishing Tips from the Fish Doctor

    Posted on January 23rd, 2010 admin No comments

    Here’s a simple lure color selector  that will help you catch more spring browns, and it probably won’t cost you more than 10 cents, if you happen to have a spray can of fluorescent paint around.

    Fishing Lake Ontario for spring brown trout can be a challenge at times, especially when it comes to lure color selection.   Variable water color and turbidity complicate the matter even more.  Your favorite spoon or stickbait may be deadly, but if you don’t have the right color in the water, you’ll probably end up going home with a nice clean cooler.

    There are some basic recipes for lure color selection based on water clarity, which generally revolve around the rule of thumb…, natural colors like silver, black/silver, black/gray, Tenessee shad, and others in clear water, and lures with more color, with some chartreuse, green, or fluorescent orange in the color pattern, in more turbid the water.  The more turbidity and less visibility, the more color, until you reach near solid chartreuse or orange colors.

    That’s fine, if you can figure out exactly what the turbidity is.  If you’re fishing the mouth of a large river like the Oswego, where I do much of my brown trout fishing, the water is commonly turbid or colored most of the time.  If it has been dry and river flow is low, the water in the plume of the river mouth is fairly clear.  If it has been rainy or there is a lot of snow melt, flow is high and the water color can be quite muddy.

    Look over the side of the boat on a clear, sunny day with a slight ripple on the lake surface, and the color of the water on an average day might not seem too turbid.   An hour later on the same day, with no actual change in the water color, under overcast skies and a glassy surface, the water will probably look more turbid to you.  Sometimes, it’s just difficult to eyeball this and figure out exactly what the conditions are.

    To make life easier(MLE) for myself, and make my lure color selection more effective when I’m fishing spring brown trout, I paint one of the five 6 lb. cannonballs I use on my riggers in the spring fluorescent red.  This give me a water turbidity indicator when I lower it down in the water and check my depth indicator on the rigger when the brightly colored ball disappears from sight.  I call it my COLOR-SEELECTOR.

    I have my favorite color patterns, just like you do, and have developed my spring brown trout color selection formula around a combination of what I see with my COLOR-SEELECTOR, overhead light conditions, and what the fish tell me after I put lures in the water.  If my COLOR-SEELECTOR READS(fl. ball disappears) 6-8 feet, and it’s moderately overcast,  I’m going to fish my favorite silver/blue Flutterdevle.  If it reads 3-5 feet, I’m going to fish a silver/blue/green Two-Tone Flutterdevle. 

    It works for me, and for 10 cents, how can you go wrong?  The bonus…, if there are any cohos around, they love to snuggle right up close to that red ball and hammer a brightly colored spoon or plug 3 or 4 feet behind it!

    A fluorescent red 6 lb. cannon ball, the perfect Color-Seelector for spring Ontario brown trout

    A fluorescent red 6 lb. cannon ball, the perfect Color-Seelector for spring Ontario brown trout

  • Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Fishing Tips from the Fish Doctor

    Posted on January 23rd, 2010 admin No comments

    MLE(Make Life Easy) Tips from Fish Doctor Charters


    There is nothing a charter fishing captain who fishes two trips a day, day after day in all kinds of weather and conditions likes any more than something that MAKES LIFE EASIER(MLE)!  Over the years, I personally have discovered some of these MLE items, and thought some MLE tips might help you as well.


    As I look toward the beginning of the 2010 charter fishing season that will begin in early April in and around Oswego Harbor fishing for browns and cohos, one of the first things that makes life easier for me when I’m trolling shallow, say less than 30’ deep,  is 6 lb. downrigger weights.


    It may not sound like much, but the difference between using 6 lb. and 10-12 lb. downrigger weights when you’re fishing up to two trips day after day is huge.  It’s huge as far as saving energy, and it’s even huger when it comes to reducing wear and tear on your body and equipment.


    Here’s the deal.  Most anglers use the same 10 or 12 lb. rigger weights all season, whether they’re fishing shallow or deep.  However, there is actually no need for the heavier rigger weight when you’re fishing shallow, especially at early spring brown trout depths or offshore spring steelhead depths shallower than 10-15 feet.  The lighter rigger weights work fine with minimal blowback.


    If you’re using downriggers mounted either astern or abeam with booms long enough to require a retro-ease, which is used to pull the weight close enough for rigging, there is a huge difference between pulling a light rigger weight and a heavier weight to the boat.  If you’re using a heavy weight, you have to grab on to the retro-ease line firmly with your full hand, pull it to the boat, and lock it in place with the chock.  It takes some “umphh”!  When you get it locked in place, if the water is rough, you all know what happens.  The weight starts to rock and roll, putting a lot of stress on your retro-ease line, downrigger boom, rigger cable, terminal snap, etc., etc.  Put too much stress on the cable connection to the weight too many times, and you hear the dreaded splash as the cable breaks and the weight heads for bottom.  Been there, done that, eh?


    Now, with the lighter 6 lb. MLE weights,  you grasp the retro-ease line with a couple of fingers, easily pull the light weight to the boat and lock it in the chock.  When it’s rough, the little weight bobs around a bit, but doesn’t put much stress on your gear.


    This MLE tip saves me tons of energy thru the season whenever I’m trolling shallow.  The other benefit…, far less disturbance(smaller signature) from the small weights in the water, and fish tend to hit on less setback.

    There is a HUGE difference handling 6 vs. 12 lb. rigger weights.

    There is a HUGE difference handling 6 vs. 12 lb. rigger weights.