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A Limit Catch of Kings
18 lb 6 oz Brown Trout
Thank you for visiting us here at Port Ontario Charters. We are located in the Eastern Basin of Lake Ontario approximately 40 miles north of the city of Syracuse NY, at the mouth of the world famous Salmon River. If you are looking for a unique freshwater fishing experience, this is the place for you. The Salmon River area offers what is considered by many the most diverse freshwater fishing in North America. Where else do you have the opportunity to catch huge chinook (King) salmon, lunker Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Steelhead up to and over 20 lbs., huge Walleye, or hook into some of our spectacular Smallmouth Bass? In the fall of 1989 the WORLD RECORD coho salmon was taken. It weighed in at an incredible 33 lbs. 4 oz. and beat the old record set in British Columbia in the 1950's by over 2 lbs.; what a fish! This is what makes this area a destination of anglers everywhere, the chance to hook up with some truly trophy fish. Already this spring a Brown Trout weighing over 28 lbs. has been landed just a short distance from us, a 29+ lb. Brown was landed on 6 lb. test during the week of 4/21 and is a pending world line class record for 6 lb. test, and a 26 lb. 10 oz. Brown trout was landed in Mexico Bay which won one lucky angler $20,000 in the first LOC derby which concluded on 5/5/96.
Our season starts with ice out, usually around mid-April, and continues through the month of November. Fishing is generally considered excellent throughout the year. Recently we have found some of the best fishing has occurred out of the so called "peak" times. At ice out you will find Brown Trout Lake Trout and Steelhead in close to shore where most of the trolling will be done. Generally, we are long line trolling with planer boards and some shallow water downrigging with spoons and plugs. This is considered the most productive time of the year for Brown Trout, although the truly trophy fish tend to come a little later in the spring and early summer, after the fish have had a chance to feed for a month or so. Browns in Lake Ontario have a tremendous growth rate, a 4 pound fish caught in April can be 8 to 10 lbs. by early July! Around the 1st of June, the trout begin moving out to the deeper parts of the Lake (generally within three miles of shore). The real trophy Brown Trout fishing starts around July 1st and continues until they come back in close to shore in the fall. Last spring and summer's Brown Trout fishing was the best in years. Fish were averaging 6 to 9 lbs. with many fish in the 10 to 15 lb. range. The largest Brown landed on the GOOD TIMES last year was a whopping 18 lbs. 2 ozs.
Our newest and fastest growing fishery here on the Lake is Walleye. The Walleye fishery has grown tremendously since 1990. This is generally attributed to the drastic improvement in water clarity. Walleye season opens the first Saturday in May, and continues throughout the year. Walleye on the Lake average 6 to 8 lbs. with many fish over 10 lbs. landed. These fish are generally caught on diving plugs and some spoons. Our Lake Trout fishing is considered excellent. In the past few years we have seen a dramatic increase in the average size of our Lakers. The credit for this is given to the slot size limit which went into effect in 1990. This slot protects spewing size fish by releasing them back into the Lake to spawn and grow up. According to the DEC only 5% of Lake Trout landed previous to 1990 were over 30 inches (about 12lbs. and up), but in 1995 we saw this percentage of 30+ inch Lake Trout jump up to over 25% of Lake Trout landed; that makes for some fun trout fishing. Our largest Lake Trout taken last year was about 18 lbs. The largest Lake Trout we landed in Mexico Bay last year was weighed in at 29 lbs., and in 1993 the state record Laker of 39 lbs. was taken. Steelhead in the lake are considered one of the most challenging fish to take. In general steelhead can be caught where other trout, especially browns, are being caught. If the right conditions exist where a thermal bar (an area which separates cold and warm surface water) sets up we have some great steelhead action. This thermal bar generally sets up at the end of May to mid-June, depending on weather conditions.
Salmon fishing starts around the beginning of July when the fish start gathering off of the Salmon River and other local river mouths in anticipation of their fall spawning run. In 1995 our King salmon were averaging 20 to 35 lbs., which is the same average size as Kings caught in the Pacific states of Alaska, Washington, and Oregon as well as British Columbia. At this time of year we are fishing deeper water. These fish tend to congregate in the thermocline, or their preferred temperature, and this is where the majority of fishing will be done. Again we are using spoons and plugs, and we often use what is called cut bait. This bait is placed in a special rig which gives the bait the appearance of a wounded baitfish, and is generally very effective. Later in the season we begin to move closer and closer to shore as the fish get ready to move into the river. When there are fish in the river, we often will casts plugs off the stern of the boat while docked in the river. If the conditions are correct, this technique proves to be very effective for hooking large Kings.
No matter what your preference we here at Port Ontario Charters look forward to providing a fun, safe day of fishing for the whole family.
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