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While anglers are still ice fishing in northern Ontario and reporting 2-3′ of ice, anglers in southern Ontario are already taking advantage of ice-out conditions and getting their boats in the water.
This is an excellent time to troll shorelines, bar & reefs in less then 50′ water for both Brown & Lake Trout. These fish can be easily caught trolling between 2-2.5mph using flashy 3-4″ spoons.
Anglers can simply flat-line with casting spoon such as the Lil’Cleo, Alligator & Crocodile or if they use additional weights, sinking lead-core or copper line, planer boards or downriggers they can use fluttering spoons.
The key is to cover water and find feeding fish that are suspended anywhere from 20-40′ below the surface. The western basin of Lake Ontario from Grimsby to the mouth of the Niagara River is one of the best stretches to target both species.
Many anglers that love to river fish continue to fish the “all-year” open stretches along the eastern Lake Ontario shorelines. While many of the Steelhead have already swam past these sections and are near to their spawning grounds, or spawning, fresh fish continue to move in and out of the harbor mouths.
With clearer water conditions anglers will do well to continue to drift fish a fresh trout roe bag under a sensitive float. Most lower section so tributaries are wider then the upper stretches which means the current is dissipated and drift will be slower. Also, if there are strong winds in Lake Ontario this will create a “tide” effect where the current will flow into the lake for a while, then stop all together and then reverse direction. Don’t be intimidated by these changes. The Steelhead adapt well and hit in all three conditions.
Make sure to use a more sensitive float with less split-shot sinkers and smaller spawn sacks ties in white or natural color netting for best results. If it’s going to be a clear, sunny day, make sure to start early as fresh fish will move in before light, and when the light gets to intense they may drop back down into the harbor and into the lake.
While spring has sprung in southern Ontario, things are still cold and icy north of Lake Superior. Our good friend Simeon Kubassek reports that there is still 2-3′ of ice on several Lake Superior bays and the conditions are very safe to continue to ice fish.
Simeon has been doing very well catching jumbo Perch right near the bottom in 20′ water using small jigs and spoons. Look like the ice will take a while to break-up so anglers are taking advantage of the conditions.
Anglers throughout the Great Lakes are enjoying the annual fall Chinook Salmon run. Getting them to strike in many of the smaller tributaries where water levels are low and clear is challenging, especially after salmon are spooked. Anglers fishing larger rivers where Chinooks can hold in deeper runs and pools can gave a great time getting them to take skeened salmon eggs, flies, jigs, spinners, Luhr Jensen Hot Shot and KwikFish lures.
Chuck Rinehart who lives in Michigan, USA and just received a custom Ber Float Reel had an excellent Chinook Salmon trip on the Pere Marquete River, Michigan.
Chuck fished with his wife Michelle and guide Cody Leifers using a variety of gear.
They did best drifting a chunk of treated and color skeened salmon eggs under a float in quiet deep pool.
As water temperatures drop below 70F in southern Ontario dedicated Smallmouth Bass anglers know that Smallies become very active and head back to shallow-water feeding heavily on smaller fish and crustaceans.
This is an excellent time of the year to experience some of the best top-water fishing especially using poppers and top-water lures that look like injured baitfish on the surface.
The beginning of fall is also a great time to fish shallow-running crankbaits that have the same silhouette as the baitfish the Smallies are feeding on.
Key areas to fish are rocky points & rocky shorelines in the 4-12′ depths. Some of the best action will be early and late in the day with late afternoon outings very productive. Gabot Horvatt has a chance to fish with his buddy Drago and they had non-stop action cranking a southern Ontario reservoir. When water temperatures really drop, Smallmouth Bass will head to open, deeper water structure to winter in.
Our good friend Capt. Aldo Nava took a vacation with his wife to PEI. Yes, fishing and eating fish and seafood was a critical part of the trip.
PEI is known for producing lots of Mussels. In fact much of the Mussels we purchase fresh at grocery stores come from PEI.
Do you like Oysters? Ado and Carolynn do and they had their fill while in PEI and brought a bunch home.
What goes great with shellfish? Fresh Lobster and PEI has lots.
The Navas also had a chance to fish for Atlantic Cod jigging in 130′ water. They fished with Bearded Skipper Deep Sea Fishing.
To top off the trip, Aldo caught & release a 500 lb. Bluefish Tuna. Congrats to the Navas looks like they had an awesome trip.
Most Chinook salmon anglers in southern Ontario concentrate on fishing Lake Ontario for in-shore salmon. Michael Szwez had a chance to take his two sons out and have some fun catching Chinooks on Lake Huron.
Same trolling techniques that work for Chinooks during the summer months continue to work well going into the fall as well as slow-trolling wobbling body baits off of downriggers and also off planer-boards either flat-lining or using Dipsey Divers. Look for staging salmon in water as shallow as 20′ and as deep as 70′.
Many anglers are taking advantage of Lake Ontario Chinook Salmon moving closer to river mouths and staging to run of the rivers and spawn.
Small boat anglers are getting out with downriggers and Dipsey Divers trolling close to shore in water as shallow as 30′ and having good action. Timing is crucial when salmon are in-shore especially if the water is clear.
Getting out early for shallow-water “staging” Chinooks is crucial to get them to strike.The Grdosic family has also been getting out early to make sure they get the first bite.
Chinooks that are turning darker and doing less feeding can still be caught on spoons, flasher & fly combination and also with erratically swimming hard-baits like the Luhr Jensen Kwikfish and Rapala J13 in bright colors.
If you’re planning to troll or cast for fall Chinooks make sure to get out early and don’t forget that they also strike well after dark and especially on “glow-in-the-dark” lures.
Our friend Scott Clark invested in a “power” fishing kayak and is putting it to work. He recently fished the Grand River and was impressed with it’s performance, comfort and how it handled overall.
He was fishing deeper stretches of the river pulling worm harness weighted with a bottom-walking sinker near the bottom and caught both Bass and Walleye. Standard paddle-kayaks are fine for overall recreation and fishing but having a kayak that either has a “peddle-drive” or can be equipped with an electric drive and even more efficient especially in windy conditions. Electronics like the Raymarine Elemenet7 are ideal to know exactly how deep you are fishing and for showing fish, baitfish and important structure.