Italo’s Blog

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Friday April 3, 09 Steelhead Outing

Posted on Friday, April 3, 2009

 

I have good news and bad news for anglers planning to fish the Lake Ontario tributaries this weekend.  The good news is that thousands of migratory rainbow trout are running up all Lake Ontario tributaries!  The bad news, most of the tributaries will have increased flows and murky water.  This will allow the rainbows to swim right through the lower “all-year” open fishing areas and on up to their spawning areas.  I had a chance to fish the Newcastle area tributaries yesterday and even before the heavy rains we had last night, the streams were already high and the water clarity was very low.  We managed to hook-up on several fish, but lost most of them since they hit were hitting very lightly.  If the water is higher and murkier make sure to tie your spawn-sacks larger (between “dime ” size and “nickel” size), use bright chartreuse netting material, use larger floats and a little more weight to slow down your drifts.  Also, instead of concentrating on drifting the deeper pools, concentrate in drifting the narrower runs since most of the fish will be moving from pool to pool.

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131

This Week’s Upcoming Show on TSN

Posted on Friday, April 3, 2009

The Canadian Sportfishing Crew had the opportunity to travel across Israel for 10-days and travel 2,500 km to experience some of the finest fresh & saltwater fishing Israel has to offer.  Join Barbara & I this coming Saturday as we take you fishing for trophy catfish in the Sea of Galilee, Israel.  Watch as we catch fresh-water sardines in the Jordan River, take a trip out on a traditional Seine boat, and than we fish in front of Kibbutz Ein Gev, Sea of Galilee (  http://www.eingev.co.il/index.php?sid=3143&lang=he&act=page&id=9129 ), for big catfish.  Here’s the date and time of the broadcasts on TSN:

  • Sat. April 4, 09         10am
  • Tues., April 7, 09    12noon
  • Tues., April 14, 09  3:30am
  • Wed., April 15, 09   5:30am
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131

Baitcasters for Steelhead Fishing?

Posted on Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Rapala's Avantis baitcaster is ideal to use with it's North Coast steelhead baitcasting rods.
Rapala's Avantis baitcaster is ideal to use with it's North Coast steelhead baitcasting rods.

When most Ontario anglers think of baitcasting outfits they think of fishing for bass, walleye, pike & musky.  BC river anglers have known for decades that baitcasting outfits are ideal for drift-fishing and for fishing artificial lures from drift-boats in many of our coastl rivers for steelhead & Pacific salmon.  For the last few years I have been testing the www.rapala.ca , Avantis baitcasting reels for steelhead fishing with excellent results.  Rapala has designes a complete line of specialized baitcasting rods specifically for steelhead & salmon fishing.  Their North Coast Salmon/Steelhead Rods offers three baitcasting models:

  • 2-piece, 8 1/2′ (ideal for casting steelhead artificials such as plugs, spoons, spinners, etc., in larger tributaries).
  • 2-piece, 9 1/2′ (ideal for bottom-bouncing with split-shot or 3-way swivel-larger tributaries).
  • 2-piece, 10′ (ideal for float-fishing/bottom bouncing with split-shot in smaller to medium tributaries).

I have fished the Rapala Avantis  baitcasting reel with 8 & 6 lb. test monofilament ( www.sufix.com , Siege, smoke-green color), in the Niagara River, on the larger NY tributaries such as the Cattaraquas River & Oak Orchard Rivers, and also in our southern Ontario tributary streams.   The Avantis baitcaster casts well with lighter line and with standard steelhead float-rigs.  The free-spool is ideal for “feathering” out line when the float-rig travels down-stream with the current and as soon as you have a hit, a quick snap of the reel handle forward locks the spool and the fish is on.  I’m also impressed with the reels drag system which worked well even with larger rainbows & browns on 6 lb. test.  The Avantis has not magnets, but instead it is equipped with a 6-pin system that can be easily set by popping-off the side of the reel and adjusting the pin-placement to your liking.  I have found that having 3-pins in the “in-position” , and 3-pins in the “out-position” allows for long casts and virtually eliminates any chance of back-slashes.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on stream steelhead fishing with baitcasting outfits in Ontario.  Personally I think it’s cool to see a steelheader with a long steelhead baitcasting outfit.

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131

Wobbling Lures for Steelhead

Posted on Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Male steelhead are especially aggressive once they enter tributaries and will usually strike a wobbling lure before females.
Male steelhead are especially aggressive once they enter tributaries and will usually strike a wobbling lure before females.

Many of the southern Ontario tributary waters rose dramatically through the weekend and we are still seeing lower visibility in many of the streams that flow into Lake Ontario.  If the clarity is at least 6-18″, spawn-sacks will continue to work well, but if the clarity drops below 6″, it can make for difficult drifting with trout & salmon eggs.  Under these conditions I have had good results using wobbling lures, not just in the smaller tributaries, but even in the Niagara River.  Niagara River guides know that when the Niagara gets “blown-out” by strong winds on Lake Erie (which dumps it’s murky water down the Niagara River), and they still have charters, they usually go to wobbling lures and drift them along the bottom in the same way they would be drifting spawn-sacks.  If you are planning on using wobbling lures keep these two simple rules in mind;

1. If you are fishing smaller/larger tributaries and the water is pretty clear, use small size wobbling lures in natural colors.  This would include the Luhr Jensen Kwikfish #5 & #7, Luhr Jensen Hot Shot 030, 035, in silver & gold, with light “accent colors” of greeen, blue, pink, etc., & skunk color.

2. If you are fishing smaller/larger tributaries with turbid water condtions, use larger size wobbling lures in fluorescent colors.  This would include the Luhr Jensen Kwikfish  #9 , Luhr Jensen Hot Shot 025, in fluorescent red, chartreuse/red spts. skunk, etc.

Brigth, fluorescent color wobbling lures work especially well in murkier water conditions.
Brigth, fluorescent color wobbling lures work especially well in murkier water conditions.
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131

Fishing in Florida

Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009
 Barbara & I came back just before the Toronto Sportsman Show from a trip to south-east Florida.  The weather was great and you might wonder what we do when we are on holidays.  We golfed and fished.  We had a chance to fish in the north Fort Lauderdale area both from a party boat (trolling for tuna, dolphin fish and king mackerel), and also fishing the piers for a variety of pretty bottom fish.  

Even though we had windy weather and  a Florida “cold-front” (temperatures dipped to 40F), we still made the most of it and golfed or fished almost every day. 

Medium-action spinning or baitcasting outfits is all you need if you are planning to travel to Florida and you are thinking of doing some shore, pier, or bridge fishing.

If you go out on a charter or party boat, they have all the proper gear so you don’t need to take any of the heavy saltwater rods & reels.

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