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Lake Ontario is on Fire!
Aaron Shirley posted a topic in General DiscussionA few weeks ago, I joined my friend Glen with his buddy Alan for browns on the shorelines of Lake Ontario. It was a great day out, as we caught a bunch of feisty browns in shallow water. Storm Thundersticks were the hot ticket trolled at 1.8mph. A great way to kick off the open water season! Glen and I fished with Tony on the north shore of Lake Ontario this past Sunday after Glen and Tony fished for lake trout on Saturday. It was an absolutely beautiful weekend to be out, and the fishing was fantastic! Glen and Tony did well catching lakers on Saturday, and managed to boat a behemoth over 25 pounds to currently lead the SCGF spring derby in the lake trout division. The guys asked if I wanted to join them on Saturday as well, but I declined as I didn’t have a derby ticket. I had a feeling! I bought my ticket on Saturday, and headed out with them on Sunday morning. Glen with his derby leading laker We got out Sunday bright and early, started setting lines and it didn’t take long to find the kings. Riggers and Mag Dipsys were the ticket. We didn’t get a bite off a standard Dipsy or planer boards. All the action came at 2.3mph at the ball on custom Big Erns done by Mike Blake. Mike does the nicest custom colours I have ever seen, and it regularly pays off for us. I also love the Shoehorn spoons, as they also have great colours and run well at slower speeds in the spring. As a bonus, the Shoehorn spoons are compatible with Big Erns. My favourite set up is a mix of Big Erns and Shoehorn spoons early in the season. The water temp was 38F to 39F from top to bottom most areas we fished. We all had a blast hooking up with almost 30 fish mostly kings. We even had a couple double headers, but it was a steady pick for the most part. At one point, it was hard to keep the hottest Big Ern down in green/silver with black dots. Some kings didn’t even wait for it to be let fully out before nailing it! The three hottest spoons. I get the feeling this will be a great year on Lake Awesome! It was great times with great friends. It doesn’t get any better than that. We are all thinking about making the next trip out again! Good fishing! Aaron
Lake Ontario is Hot!
Aaron Shirley posted a topic in General DiscussionI had a friend Glen out on Monday for some spring trolling on Lake Ontario. We caught a lot of fish and had a blast! We couldn't keep the lake trout off our lures, and we also got some great brown trout, coho and chinook salmon. A few double headers had us busy as well. We had an incredible day with a mix of sun and cloud, warm temps and calm water. I absolutely love it! We launched at Port Dalhousie on the south shore and fished stained water from 20-feet to 40-feet in depth. We thought about going in tight for brown trout, but we were getting browns where we were fishing anyway, so we stayed a bit deeper hoping for kings. We only got 2 chinook in a double header, but the lake trout and browns kept us busy. The best water temps we found were 43F. The colder clearer water was not productive. The stained warmer water was full of fish from top to bottom. Four-inch Shoehorn spoons did the most bites off divers, although we did get some fish off mono and stickbaits with inline Church planer baords. We let out approximately 120-feet with a deep diving lure such as a Reef Runner and Storm Thunderstick, then clipped on the board and let out another 250-feet. We got most of our fish off the Shoehorn spoons in yellow/green colours. Our best speeds were roughly 2.4mph. Good fishing! Aaron
Trolling Lake Ontario for Trophy Spring Browns
Aaron Shirley posted a topic in General DiscussionI had an opportunity to get out trolling for winter/early spring brown trout on Lake Ontario a couple of times recently. I had a great time and caught some nice fish. There is something special about trolling Lake Ontario in March with ice-covered piers and shoreline while most anglers aren't even thinking about their boats yet. Very few brave souls engage the icy elements and tricky launch ramps with salt and ice chisels to get out early in the year for trophy brown trout. Most of the time, I don't see anyone all day. The launch ramp is the most difficult part of the equation most times. Some ramps are simply not available or frozen up, requiring extensive chiseling and salt to launch. A four wheel drive truck is helpful, especially at the end of the day on an icy ramp. With the right conditions, a cold day in March can warm you up in a hurry when you tangle with a trophy sized brown trout! The shoreline from 5- to 15-feet of water seems best with in-line planer boards and shallow floating stick baits. The Storm Thunderstick has been my go-to lures of choice most days. I typically start with 60-feet of line out, attach an inline planer board, then let out another 160-feet or more. I then add another board inside approximately 75-100-feet out from the boat. I try various lures until I get bites on any given day. I find speeds of under 2mph is best in the cold water. Brown trout are available in shallow sandy areas on Lake Ontario in good numbers early in the year. If you can find stained green water on a beach or creek mouth, brown trout may be present. Brown trout are located all over Lake Ontario, but few anglers take advantage of them in March. April can see a bit of pressure for spring browns. The early spring can be a good time to catch big brown trout, and having little wind is a big factor when venturing out in the cold elements. I keep a close eye on weather and head in quickly with unstable conditions. Even then, I got screwed the other day. All weather reports said NO WIND all day. Well, it picked up bigtime and I had to pound back in big waves in icy cold conditions over 25k's!!! Not the most fun part of my trip, but it was worth it with the quality of browns I got. I spent well over an hour chiseling out a boat ramp this morning. Still about 2" of ice in the harbour, but I should be able to chisel that out when I launch the boat to get to open water. Maybe another hour worth of chiseling ice from the boat to get out. Hopefully I get to take advantage of my hard work this week, my arms are still jello! There are not many boat ramps free of ice yet, so you may need to take a drive with a chisel and shovel. I checked out 4 boat ramps today before I went to work on one. The only one of four that was even close to being ready. Good fishing! Aaron