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huzzsaba

Lonely fish hanging out in the shallows in the middle of a hot day

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Before heading out to work today which was around noon, I decided to do a little shore fishing on Lake O. Water was calm and clear. The usual carp and bass swimming around but then I notice what looks like a rainbow or salmon in about 6 feet of water and 10 feet away from the edge of the water. Mind you the sun was beating down hard at that time (35 degrees) and it seemed to be the only fish of its kind. it pretty much just swam in the vicinity for the whole 90 mins I was there.

 

So why is it hanging out there in the middle of the day? looking for food? If so, what can I use as bait? What lures should I try?

 

Last year in the same area, I saw another one which I am 99 percent sure was a rainbow which was hanging out in the same conditions.

Edited by huzzsaba

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I have seen Smallmouth Bass just sitting on the bottom hardly moving. Once I actually was able to pick one up with my hands, yep illegal please forgive me. It was recovering from spawning was my guess. The fish you saw may have been recovering from being caught and released. I have seen that happen while snorkeling after witnessing the catch and fight underwater, that experience is special. In my unscientific opinion a fish sitting dormant like that will not take any bait. They are not feeding.

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I have seen Smallmouth Bass just sitting on the bottom hardly moving. Once I actually was able to pick one up with my hands, yep illegal please forgive me. It was recovering from spawning was my guess. The fish you saw may have been recovering from being caught and released. I have seen that happen while snorkeling after witnessing the catch and fight underwater, that experience is special. In my unscientific opinion a fish sitting dormant like that will not take any bait. They are not feeding.

that makes sense. I always hear of fish like salmon and trout go deep when the sun is up, so I was surprised to see it sitting in the shallow. It did wander off and come back a few times so I though it may be waiting for something more tasty :D

Edited by huzzsaba

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I've often seen groups of bows or cohos sitting just below the surface when up on plane out in the blue zone when it is mirror smooth and sunny.

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Over the years, I've seen the odd loner rainbows cruising some of the harbours and bays around Lake O during the summer. The ones I've seen looked like beat up dropbacks that just spawned out.

 

On the other hand, browns do cruise the same harbours and bays during the summer (particularly ones where they were stocked). They follow bait fish that bunch up close to shore and just annihilate them. Browns are slightly more tolerant of warmer water than other trout and salmon and are more structure oriented out in the lake (hence why they generally remain closer to shore out in Lake O compared to rainbows and salmon).

 

Before I got my drivers license, I would hit up a few of my local harbours with a spinning rod and a small box of spoons, jerk baits and crankbaits in the summer. I've had really good days with the browns in the middle of July - You could just see the browns busting the bait fish on the surface. My favourite lures were the Silver/green hammered Cleo, Rapala Rattlin Rap and Rapala Husky Jerk. Sometimes floating skein chunks or a salted minnow would work too. Last July, my friend and I had a 40 fish day between the 2 of us after work on one Lake O pier (The fish were between 1.5lbs and 12lbs). A good number of fish were caught on white Swammers, EGB spoons and Rapala Clackn' Raps.

The hot mid-summer brown bite from shore doesn't happy every day, but if you time it right, it will make you want to go back every day for more...Worst case scenario is you end up catching bass or pike when the browns aren't in.LOL

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Did you throw any lures at it? What were you targeting?

 

Maybe try a spoon or spinner next time.

I was looking for bass so I had a senko on at first but it didnt seem interested nor spooked by it. I tried spoons, husky jerk, kwikfish, gulp minnow and probably some other stuff lol. it did look at it then just turned around and swam away.

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I have seen Smallmouth Bass just sitting on the bottom hardly moving. Once I actually was able to pick one up with my hands, yep illegal please forgive me. It was recovering from spawning was my guess. The fish you saw may have been recovering from being caught and released. I have seen that happen while snorkeling after witnessing the catch and fight underwater, that experience is special. In my unscientific opinion a fish sitting dormant like that will not take any bait. They are not feeding.

 

This was my theory with post-spawn eyes (not opener). Correct me if I'm wrong, but they need to recover after spawning and go dormant for a while, which could explain why they weren't interested in anything.

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I remember jumping - diving off the docks at camps in Point Au Baril in July and August, that surface water was comfortable, but once you got down 6-8 feet it was like hitting an ice cube! Lake Ontario is a deep lake, it's going to take some time for anything other than the first few feet of surface waters to warm up?

 

Lure choices? any steelhead I kept for a meal here was stuffed with baitfish, minnows, shad, small perch, something that imitated them would be my choice.

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there is things going on in the river that usually don't happen till mid to end july. its going to be a early year for salmon in the rivers if it stays the way its going probably a big brown

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I remember jumping - diving off the docks at camps in Point Au Baril in July and August, that surface water was comfortable, but once you got down 6-8 feet it was like hitting an ice cube! Lake Ontario is a deep lake, it's going to take some time for anything other than the first few feet of surface waters to warm up.

The same goes for any big lake, surface temps in the 70's and 10 or 15 feet below it has to be in the 50's. Anyone that ever snorkelled or dived with SCUBA will tell you the same. Then sometimes in cold water a column of warm water will hit you like a Chinook.

 

I'm not sure if Walleye go dormant after the spawn. The only reason I found that Smallie laying there basically unconscious was I saw it from the deck and it didn't move for an hour so I walked down and picked it up. It was still laying there an hour latter. A few hours latter it was gone. This was a big female too, 5 plus pounds and almost Jhet black.

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The hot mid-summer brown bite from shore doesn't happy every day, but if you time it right, it will make you want to go back every day for more...Worst case scenario is you end up catching bass or pike when the browns aren't in.LOL

 

Been living a couple of minutes walk from the shore here for over 30 years, a strong SW wind will frequently push the warm water out and cold water will well up onshore pushing nearshore temps in the 50's, browns are definitely a possibility those days. I think it was better though in the 80's before the zebra mussels and the better water clarity, low light days or evening/daybreaks would be better now. Lots of access between Grimsby pier and Fifty Point.

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