• Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Fishing…, Take an Ol’-timer Fishing

    Posted on March 27th, 2018 admin No comments


    Ol'-timer Bob Lorenzen, his nephew Dave, Dave's wife Jodi, and Fred with an early May quad on kings.

     I’ve always been a proponent of, “Take a kid fishing!”  Kids are the future of  fishing and any of us who love the sport should do whatever we can to encourage kids to participate.  On my charter boat, there is no charge for kids.  

    But what about the old-timers, the people who got us here,  the folks who took the time out of their lives to share a special experience with us when we were youngsters and teach us how to be successful anglers? Some of my most memorable charter trips have been with these elders, and I cherish the time I spend with them aboard the Fish Doctor, knowing the trip may be their last.

     So it was when old-timer  Bob Lorenzen slowly made his way with the help of a cane down the dock toward my charter boat one spring morning.  His nephew Dave, with a watchful eye, was close behind.  This was the 25th year Bob, now 81 years young,  had fished with me.  When Dave was in his early teens, Bob brought him along on a charter fishing trip with me.  On that trip, I watched  Dave land his first king salmon, knees shaking, full of excitement.  It was a fishing trip Dave never forgot, and later in his life, a favor he would never forget to repay.

     As Bob approached my charter boat, I welcomed him in the early morning darkness.  Never, ever late for the 5:00 AM dock departure, Bob was raring to go.  The only help he needed boarding was someone to hold his cane …, independent old cuss.  He seemed as excited on this trip as he was on his first.  I glanced behind Bob, and there was Dave, not too obvious, but close at hand, just in case.  Dave’s wife Jodi, and Bob’s fishing buddy, Fred rounded out the group.  Fred, a spry 77 years, is pretty much just a youngster in Bob’s eyes.

     It was early September, and the king salmon were bunched up right at the mouth of Oswego Harbor.  As usual, just off the Oswego lighthouse, when dawn broke over Lake Ontario’s east shore salmon action was wild, with almost every boat in the area hooked up to salmon after salmon.  This was what Bob lived for, and always the last in the group to take his turn on a rod, he waited patiently for the fourth salmon, his fish, to hit. There is a reason we call Bob “Hawk”, he never misses seeing a hit before anyone else, never taking his eyes off the rod tips.

    Sure enough, even though I wondered if Bob could safely navigate the slippery cockpit deck to get to the rod, when the next king hit, he was there, his cane forgotten.  With experience from many years on the water, and muscles not as young as they used to be, Bob fought the unseen king salmon in a give and take battle.  Minutes passed and we still hadn’t seen the big king. I started wondering if we might have accidentally foul hooked the fish.  Finally the monster surfaced in the wash of the inboard, and I could see the trebles of the glow green #5 J-plug buried deep in it’s mouth.  A quick swipe of my oversized landing net and the fish was Bob’s, a 36 lb. hen on my Sampson digital scale.  It was Bob’s biggest ever Lake Ontario king salmon, and a real thrill. 

     As my eyes met Dave’s, I could see the whole story…, a little payback for an old-timer who took the time to bring him along fishing years ago. Where are these ol’ timers  like Bob Lorenzen now?  In their later years they are often unable to handle their own boat, or maybe even unable to drive to a fishing spot? Take a look around my friends.   It’s great to think about taking a kid fishing, but just don’t forget the old- timers.

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