• Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Fishing…, Ontario Mystique

    Posted on January 4th, 2020 admin No comments

    It’s the feeling you get when you fish Lake Ontario.   You just never know how big the next fish you catch will be.  I have fished this 200 mile long lake since 1977, and every time an anglers onboard hooks up with a monster, I feel it.  It’s like a chronic case of buck fever!  It happened again on September 17, 2019.

    Before daybreak when Mike Wales and his crew boated out with me through the mouth of the Little Salmon River  into Mexico Bay at the southeast corner of Lake Ontario, their thoughts were on salmon.  Kings and cohos migrate from all over the lake to this 20 mile wide bay where they stage before their spawning run in the Big Salmon River.  Along with the salmon, prespawn brown trout, some of them huge, also concentrate here.

    As we navigated out to the area in 35 feet of water where I had been fishing the previous day, the conversation was all about salmon.  Fishing for both kings and cohos had been better than I cared to mention, hesitant to elevate expectations.  When I mentioned the brown trout we had been catching in a bit shallower depths than the kings, there was no response.  Just, “How many salmon? How big?”

    With the sky lightening over the east shore, I had just set our third downrigger when the center rigger rod bent to the water.  We were locked up with our first king of the trip on a J-plug.  Action was steady until the sun sun broke over Tug Hill Plateau, then slowed.

    That’s when I headed for slightly shallower water toward the brown trout zone.  Although kings and cohos are the main target in September, on every trip I keep one rod in the water for brown trout.  Browns are great eating in September, and you never know when you might just tangle with a big one.

    As we trolled along at 2.5 mph in 30 feet of water, the port slide diver with one of my favorite brown trout flashers and flies  was fishing just above bottom.  When that rod doubled over and the reel’s drag started screaming, my first thought was, “Aha, a shallow water king.”  Not so.  Instead of the screaming run of a September king, the fish only ran about 50 feet, then stayed deep, refusing to come up off the bottom.  “Hmm, too warm in here for a big laker?”  I wondeed,   “A big brown?”  That’s when I felt it

    The chance of catching a brown twice this size keeps you on the edge of your seat when you fish Lake Ontario.

    .  If it is a big brown, how big?.                             

    It only took about five minutes to find out.  When Hen ry Hitchcock eased it to the surface, all I could see was gold.  When it came aboard, it took my breath away, even after seeing  thousands of Lake Ontario browns boated.  What a magnificent male brown trout in full spawning colors!

    As big and beautiful as the brown was, I knew there were even larger ones, much larger ones,  in this seemingly limitless lake we were fishing, maybe nearby, maybe our very next fish.

    It’s the feeling you get when you cast or troll a line in Lake Ontario,  legendary for world class trout and salmon.  Would anyone have ever imagined the once 26 lb. 5 oz. NYS steelhead record would be broken by an unimaginable 31 lb. 5 oz. steelhead?  What’s next?  There it is again…, Ontario mystique.

    And, what about the 32 lb. 3 oz. NYS record brown trout?  Is there a bigger one out there?  I’m betting there is.

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