• Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Fishing…, 2018 Brown Trout Prospects

    Posted on September 8th, 2017 admin No comments


    A hefty 13" yearling brown boated in July, 2017,

    September is here and the lake fishing season is winding down, time to think about the 2018 season.  And, what a season it should be, especially for spring and summer brown trout fishing.

    Anyone who fished spring browns in April, May, and June out of Oswego will tell you that 2-year old browns, some of them up to over 6 lbs. by late May were super abundant.  They were gorging on one of the largest ever year classes of 2-4 inch yearling alewives…, perfect forage.

    Oswego anglers will also tell you that because of the excellent salmon fishing from midJune thru September, summer fishing pressure on brown trout was almost nonexistent.  Harvest of all browns, including the abundant 2-year olds, was way down.

    Now comes the best news…, survival and growth of yearling browns stocked in May, 2017, looks excellent based on the unusually high number of yearling browns boated aboard the Fish Doctor, all caught, incidentally, while fishing for salmon.  These browns are in tremendous condition, some with tails of yearling alewives sticking out of their mouths.

    All of this adds up to what should be an outstanding 2018 spring and summer brown trout fishery out of Oswego.

  • Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Fishing…, Plan Ahead to Book in 2018

    Posted on September 5th, 2017 admin No comments


    Planning ahead for a prime time date produced a limit catch of kings.

    It was the evening of August 12, 2014, and I was just about to hit the sack after morning and afternoon charter fishing trips on Lake Ontario.  The voice on the other end was a father who wanted to book a late August or early September fishing trip for him and his two daughters.  Telling him my late season calendar was completely booked was disappointing to him and frustrating to me.  Not only should he have planned further ahead to book a charter,  he should have done a little homework. 

     Planning and preparation are crucial in booking a charter trip anywhere.  Call early for best dates and don’t be afraid to ask questions.   Good captains are proud of their reputation and fishing services and will gladly answer your questions.

     Ask what size and type of boat the captain fishes.   Safety is the top priority. Your captain must be U.S. Coast Guard licensed and fully insured.    You will rarely find a veteran Ontario captain fishing less than a 28 footer.  Your charter fishing vessel should be fully equipped with USCG required safety gear, plus radar, a VHF marine radio, a chart plotter, and the best of fishing gear. 

    Ask if your captain fishes full time or part time, and how many trips he fishes per season.  Time on the water is important in locating and catching fish consistently.   

    Ask about lodging.  Many charter captains either provide their own, or arrange it for you at cabins, lodges, bed ‘n breakfasts, or  motels.   Captains also know the   best places to grab an early morning cup of coffee or a good meal.

    Ask for and check references.  Check the captain’s web site.   When you ask about price, remember you usually get what you pay for.   

     As easy as it is to arrange a trip by email, a quick phone conversation will help you feel out your captain.  When personalities aren’t compatible, it’s tough to have a good time even if fishing is outstanding.

     Tell the captain what you expect.   He will tell you if your expectations are reasonable.  Do you want to fish on a boat with the help of a mate, or would you prefer a hands on experience where you and your friends get involved in  rigging lines, and hooking your own fish?  

     Work with a captain to schedule your trip during prime time  for the species of fish you want to catch.  In Lake Ontario fishing for trout, salmon, walleyes, and bass  peaks at certain times.  If you want to lake fish for browns with light tackle, your captain will recommend a trip in April, May or early June.  If your sights are set on catching a king salmon, late spring or summer is best.

    Before you arrive at the boat, talk to your captain about what you’ll need.  Sun glasses, appropriate clothing, a camera, and a small cooler for lunch and beverages is standard.  Your captain will have an iced cooler on board for your fish.  Everyone 16 years of age and older will need a New York State fishing license, available online.

    When you arrive, be on time with the gear you need without overloading the boat.     Once you’re onboard, the rest is up to the captain.  Let him worry about details like tackle and techniques.    Any fish you catch and want to keep to eat or have mounted are his responsibility.    Most captains or mates gladly clean and package your fish free of charge, or provide fish cleaning facilities.  Wall hangers should be separately bagged, carefully stored on ice, and delivered to the taxidermist of your choice.

    When the boat leaves the dock, sit back with a cool drink, enjoy the ride, and relax, confident you’ve done everything you can to enjoy a great Lake Ontario charter fishing trip.