Near-shore Great Lakes Steelhead fishing.

Posted on August 24th, 2016

I know several small boat anglers that enjoy trolling near-shore in Lake Ontario both for late winter “staging” steelhead, and also fall staging steelhead and salmon near harbor mouths of our many tributaries.


I just received these images of an angler that was trolling in 130′ of water, 70′ down and hooking trophy-size steelhead.

When salmon & trout venture in water shallower than 30′, especially in the fall, they may still be feeding before making their way in and out of the harbor mouths and eventually up-stream. Even if they are not aggressively feeding, they can still be made to strike. This is where long leads and even in-line planer boards work well fished with 1/4 & 3/8 oz. casting spoons or medium-diving Rapalas like the Scatter Minnow & Jointed #11. Experimenting with the length of lead and making gentle turns to speed-up and slow down the presentation and at the same time covering more of the water column can really produce some nice steelhead.

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