Summer brings many things to Southern Ontario. Soccer teams flock to the fields to test their mettle against one anotehr, bikers are out in droves pushing their machines to the limits on our endless Ontario highways, yard sale/antique season is in full swing. Great hobbies to be had in a great place. but perhaps my favourite thing to do in the summer, besides sipping an ice cold Ice cap from Tim Hortons, is to head out on the big lake to enjoy pitting my wits against the steely Rainbow trout or a Majestic Salmon. Thanks to stocking efforts from the MNR and agencies in New York, Salmon fishing in lake Ontario is some of the best in the country. Sadly, few people realize the resource we have so close to home.
I was definitely one of those few people until my uncle (watch out here, comes the shameless plug!), who runs RP Salmon Guide Charters, asked me and a friend to join him one warm June day in 2011. A tad early for the bulk of salmon fishing but a beauty of a day no less.
We left port at about 6 am from Newcastle, On, a popular launch site for many salmon charters and headed out to 60 feet of water (FOW).
Once we got there we rigged up the rods with an assortment of giant spoons, flies and cut bait rigged up to down riggers and dipsy divers. I’ll spare you the explanation of these amazing contraptions.
This was quite the set up as most of my fishing is fairly minimalistic when it comes to hardware. However, I trusted my uncles experience and knew he wouldn’t steer me wrong.
First fish of the day went to my buddy who had never really caught anything bigger than a small bass in his life.
Im not sure what was running through his mind when he set the hook this giant Rainbow Trout, but when he couldn’t gain any headway, I’m sure holy sh*t was among his thoughts!
What a beautiful 13 lb 8oz fish! After some quick photos of a beautiful fish and a proud/excited fisherman, the trout went back into the lake.
My friend still bugs me ever summer about when we can do the trip again!
Now that the appetizer was out of the way it was my turn for the main course. bout 30 minutes later we trolled through a large school of bait and just after got a hit on one of the flies. This was a big fish and consequently, my first crack at a Lake Ontario Salmon.
It was probably at this point where I realized that 1) this was probably the biggest fish I had ever hooked into and 2) this wasn’t just some big empty mass of blue we were trolling on. This was a healthy fishery with some world class trophies swimming about it.
Following a decent 15 – 30 minute fight I managed to wrangle this 22 lb salmon into the boat. I was absolutely stunned, excited and ecstatic all at the same time.
A few minutes after dealing with the big beast, it was my uncles turn. He boated this decent little 8lb 9oz rainbow. A respectable fish by an account!
Followed again by several small salmon (shakers as the guides call them because they are not strong enough to pull the lines from the down rigger balls).
Unfortunately they did not make it back to the lake, but take it from me they make quite the feast compared to store bought/ farm raised fish.
So next time your cruising along the shores of Lake Ontario, remember, there is more than meets the eye out there and I am not talking about transformers! Maybe, if your brave enough, you will decide to attempt to catch one of these majestic beasts. Trust me, if you pull the trigger on a trip out to Lake O, and hire a guide worth his salt, you will not be disappointed! You may even walk away with a feast fit for a king.
Cheers from the wild,
RP Salmon Guide Charters – https://www.facebook.com/pages/RP-Salmon-Guide-Charters/128039840606982