Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fifty Point/Grimsby July 26, 2008

Mike Dumesnil “Catch-One” and I were off to do a charter in the morning. Weatherman said we should stay home, but we managed to get out on the big lake at 7:00 am and fish until 1:00 pm without a rain drop. We watched as lightening was on shore over the escarpment in Grimsby in Beamsville, but the three cells seemed to follow along without visiting us out in the lake. The wind however wasn’t light. Moderate to strong south-westerly made for a tricky two – three foot chop out four miles.

As for fishing, we started in shallow working as little as 40 FOW inside and east of the riffle range at Fifty Point. Then slowly edged our way out to 50 then 60 FOW east of the gun range. The first hour was slow with one shaker and one missed fish and then we turned outward (north direction) we started hitting fish. Turn back against the waves going south-southwest and the bite stopped. Turn back out to the Northeast and the rods started firing once more. This happened over and over and we varied speeds to try top get something to go trolling south- but nothing. Paddle wheel speed was 2.5 mph trolling north. That was fine, it gave me a chance to set up on the troll south only to catch up on setting rods from trolling north. Most productive depths were 60- 75 FOW.

End count is still ??, but the four clients all said they brought in three each not including two or three shakers. Notable fish were Chinooks at 23 lbs, 18 lbs, four between 12-16 lbs, two rainbows at 6 and 8 lbs and one chunky coho at 11 lbs. Here’s the tackle and sets they seem to produce results starting with the best…

Wire line 107 Glow Frog Deeper Diver 1 ½ setting and out 120ft with Black/Crush Glow SpinDoctor and a Green Mirage Strong Fly.

Full Core with Yeck 88 M&M Glow

Rigger down 55 with Yeck 88 Glow Frog

Rigger down 51 with NBK/Mountain Dew Chrome SpinDoctor with a Hammered TG Atommik fly.

Rigger down 45 with Glow Gin & Tonic Michigan Stinger Stingray

Bait was no further out then 65 FOW and there was two depth ranges they were found. 20-40 feet and smaller schools right on bottom.

Surface temp was 68’F and the down temps dropped at we trolled outward 45 feet on the ball had 56’F in 55 FOW and dropped to 54’F in 60 FOW and then to 53’F over 70 FOW at the same time with a temp rigger down 58 feet it was 54’F in 55 FOW and dropped to 51’F over 60 FOW and then to 49’F over 70 FOW. It would appear that the window of temperature got narrower as we went deeper and only slightly came closer to the surface.

Shane Thombs

Monday, July 21, 2008

Grimsby humps and bumps to 28 lbs, July 21, 2008

John Poirier "JubeJube", my son Aidan and I went out on the lake after dinner to fish the evening. north east breeze made a 1 1/2 chop on the lake and it was our decision to ply the waters in tight in search of bigger fish after good reports from the Salmon Dance Tournament in shallower waters then where we fished during the tournament.

Set up in 40 FOW and worked our way in and out on 40-70 FOW and first went west of 40 mile Creek and then east. Had a fish hit a Blue Silver Blue Fox matrix spoon Mega large size on the rigger with a 40 foot lead and down 52 Ft in 60 feet of water. But the hooks pulled free before too long.

Started heading east but made efforts to troll in and out instead of along the shore as we relize the currents are taking away from consitent and known down speeds. We took a small shaker, and then moments later the full core bends over and starts peeling line. My turn on the rod and it was fun to say the least. Finally get the fish to the mono leader when John says " We don't have the net in the boat" WHAT?". It was left inthe truck after the tournament and we forgot to put it back in the boat.

So John pulls everything in as it was getting to about 8:15 and the sun was hinding behind dark cloads. John made three attempts to run his fingers under a gill plat over the transome before lifting the fish to the deck of the boat.

28.20 lbs it weighed. Biggest in the boat this year.

It was caught on a Yeck 88 M&M glow spoon in 55 feet of water. 2.5mph trolling in and out.

Shane Thombs

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Salmon Dance Tournament, July 19, 2008

Tournament day is here and it was a weird morning wake up. On the way to John Poirier’s the lights were out everywhere from Beamsville to Grimsby. The darkness and the muggy and hazy look was an ominous setting. While on the way down the QEW the LED blue and red flickering lights from the police reflecting off of two small import looking cars the had rolled over the South Service Rd ditch and took out a hydro pole. Racing??

Time throughout the day seemed to go soooo fast. We called the blast off over the radio and horn and 25 boats were off in all directions. Some toward Toronto, others toward Bronte and Port Credit, and some toward Port Weller. This should be a very interesting result to see where the biggest boxes come from. For john, Stephanie (John’s neice) and myself, decided to start in front of Beamsville where we had been hitting them consistently over the last few weeks. The Grimsby spot was where I took good fish on Thursday night with Ron and that was our second spot to go to. At the morning launch, John told Joe Williamson “Trophy Taker” and Bill Ransky/Randy Scott “Reddog” that they should start there. 20/20 hind sight says we should have went to Grimsby in the morning instead, because nothing over 16 lbs could be taken from our first spot. The mature fish had moved.

On set-up at Beamsville we had a triple header right off the start and lost all three and then another rod went off and lost it too. Man- not a good start. We caught lots of fish but nothing of size. Joe radio’s to us and says he boxed a 19 lb king on the spot in front of Grimsby. Then an hour and half later he boxed one over 26 lbs in front of Bartlett St in Grimsby in about 55 FOW.

We headed that way and hooked up on a biggie on the same spoon I took my 27 lbs fish on Thursday night. Then the line snapped. Pulled it in that the line looked like it went through the meat grinder. Must have been on bottom when the board slowed and the fish took the bait.

Time ran out and the hits were fewer and fewer. The dark skies turned to rain and we started to pull lines at 1:40 when the Thunder rumbled across the lake. We managed to get to Jordon and see everyone under the gazebo before the lightening and ran was on us. It was a great tournament, and some incredible weights of two fish in the 55 lbs range. You needed over 45 lbs to get in the top ten! I not even sure where we ended up, or how much we weighed, because it was far less then we had anticipated our result to be. But that’s fishing!

You can see the results of the Salmon Dance tournament at

Thursday, July 17, 2008

No Riggers, but still manage quality Kings, July 17, 2008

Ron Arnold, his son Cole, my son Aidan and myself set out for waters west of where we have been getting fish, again to search out waters for the Salmon Dance Tournament on Saturday. We had a late evening start with lines in the water by 6:00 pm and out by 8:30 with dark thunderstorm clouds approaching before dusk.

We motored slowly out of Foran’s on a North East angle scanning for baitfish and without surprise the bait was from 35 FOW out to 50 FOW. We set up in 45 FOW roughly in front of Nelles Beach Park and trolled straight out. I set out the 7 colour first with Ron’s NK Mag Blue Dolphin that has been sitting on a lure hanger in his boat for I think years now. I get it in the rod holder and start to let out a second line when I seen in the corner of my eye the rod start to bend over a buck like mad. Fish On. Ron says “What, you got to be kidding me” and the rod was handed to him when the drag starting peeling out. Three good runs then we boated it, 24.1 lbs. We snapped a few shots, and then in the drink it goes. Get the rods in the water and missed a fish in the process on fullcore. Turned a 360 to come back through the area we just got the 24 and I set the fullcore out with an old discontinued bait that was good in it’s time for big fish. Super King sized Northern Dancer in blue/silver with a little bit of tap added to the cup side of the spoon that was purple and pink. Because we were in 50 FOW at the time I slowly let the full core ten colours Leadcore out by thumbing the spool for the last two colours so the big spoon would pick it up off the bottom. Sure enough the rod takes a violent slam in my hands and my thumb starts to warm quickly as it is still in free spool and it’s the only drag at the moment. Engage the reel and the clicker finally tells the tail of a drag scream. I fought the fish for nearly 20 minutes as it seemed to just keep dogging it down behind the boat. Boat the fish and it was my best in a few years. 27.4 lbs on the scale. Here’s the picture.

We took a bunch of other salmon below 12 lbs on 7 colour with Ron’s NK Mag Blue Dolphin, before pulling lines and coming in with ominous clouds approaching from the west.

Shane Thombs

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tip: Consistent Slide Diver Lead Lengths

Here’s a tip to keep slide diver lead lengths simple and consistently set every time. Zero the counter and pull out the lead length behind the diver. Clip in the diver so it holds on the line and then zero the counter again and let it out the desired length out to the diver. The counter will only show the distance out to the diver for easy adjustments without having to remember to subtract the lead length in your head. Then when you set the line out again the counter will read something like 935 ft (65 ft lead was the last set). Pull out the lead until it gets to zero and then clip in the diver and all you have to remember is the distance out to the diver.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Beamsville Salmon, July 14, 2008

John, Aidan (my son) and I had the evening free to continue the search for fish to target for the next weeks Salmon Dance Tournament. We worked water closer to Jordon Harbour that we hadn’t seen in weeks and then went back to in front of Beamsville where we have been getting them in recent outings only to find they haven’t left. GOOD!

We managed to hit as deep as 130 FOW and seen a number of fish on the bottom. Drop down to 102 with the Hot Spot Glow Green Flasher with a Sure-strike Rig and a Banjo Minnow as imitation whole bait. 19 lbs 1 oz Lake Trout. My biggest taken in a few years.

4 Chinooks ranged from 8 – 18 lbs and we lost another good one. Also took one brown and one Rainbow. 6 for 8 I think. All the same depth zone with the same baits producing. Bluetail Silver Streak seemed to do the trick.

Shane Thombs

Lake Trout, Brown, Rainbow, and Chinooks, July 14, 2008

John, Aidan (my son) and I had the evening free to continue the search for fish to target for the next weeks Salmon Dance Tournament. We worked water closer to Jordon Harbour that we hadn’t seen in weeks and then went back to in front of Beamsville where we have been getting them in recent outings only to find they haven’t left. GOOD!

We managed to hit as deep as 130 FOW and seen a number of fish on the bottom. Drop down to 102 with the Hot Spot Glow Green Flasher with a Sure-strike Rig and a Banjo Minnow as imitation whole bait. 19 lbs 1 oz Lake Trout. My biggest taken in a few years.

4 Chinooks ranged from 8 – 18 lbs and we lost another good one. Also took one brown and one Rainbow to complete a Grand Slam (four species in same day). 6 for 8 I was our total. All the same depth zone with the same baits producing. Bluetail Silver Streak seemed to do the trick.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Skinny Water Beamsville Kings, July 12, 2008

John and I had the Saturday to search for fish to target for the next weeks Salmon Dance Tournament; it was a day to narrow down location and to test a number of things.

Firstly the flasher/fly has been a dud for us for sooooo long. Our program has been spoons since the early spring and it is a shock that we have had only the odd day (count on one hand) where flasher fly had a few fish. This season it is never out producing spoons in our boat. But everyone else is hitting fish on flasher/fly and every trip we try to make it go. Today was without exception. We dedicating time to experiment and make it work. All the hot colours in flasher and flies reported by others were put on riggers, core, wire deeper diver, and no stretch braid deeper diver. We varied fly leader lengths from 19 ¾” to 25” and most in the typically productive leader lengths of 23-24”. Not a single fish on it. Speed Over Ground (SOG) 2.3-2.4 mph. Four rod spread and two of the four we ran flasher/artificial bait on one and flasher/fly on the other. The other two were spoons.

Spoons on the other hand are doing it. We went 10 for 12 today and all but one rainbow came on spoons. Total breakdown two rainbows at 5 lbs each, two shakers, and the balance of our fish were mature Chinooks 18, 20, 21, 22, and the biggest was 23 lbs 11 oz. Nothing like the reports from TO and east, but our best for size this year on our shore. 50-80 FOW with all of the bait inside of 55 FOW and directly in front of the microwave tower just east of Beamsville’s, Ontario St. 7 of the 10 fish came on slide divers set on 3 with 65- 100 ft leads (behind the diver) and 85 and 90 feet from the rod to the diver. 6 out of 7 fish on the slide divers were caught on one lure, Silver Streak Blue tail. The other was caught on a Blue Veggie Michigan Stinger Stingray.

The 23 lbs 11 oz fish came on 7 colour leadcore down the shoot using Silver Streak Blue Tail, but I doctored it with a little bit of purple along the blue edge of the blade and glow eyes were added to the hook end of the spoon but avoiding to cover up the pink painted dot. Also one was taken on a five colour using the rigger at 20 feet. Estimated to be at the 45 foot level with that set while going a speed of 2.4 mph, and was likely the deepest fish we took all day.

Shane Thombs

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Water temps stir things up in West end of Lake O, July 5, 2008

John Poirier "JubeJube", my son Aidan and myself headed out for a morning fish infront of Grimsby. Calm water made an easy boat ride and we set down in 60 FOW after watching the surface temps as we ran. On my way to work on Friday the breeze over the lake showed a clue... Flat water inside from shore out about a mile, and then choppy after it. All I could guess was the moderate to strong Southerlies had pushed out the warm water and drawn in the cold stuff along the shoreline. The prediction was right... It was 58'F infront of the Greenhouses at Bartlet in 60 FOW and we it was colder in shallower, out to 90 Feet we were in 64'F and it was warmer East and out then West and in- if that makes sence?? Called Peter Hansen on the radio and he was almost at Jordon in the same depth of water and he read 68'F!!! They had 8 fish in the boat by 11am. Far west towards Hamilton and Bronte Reports were surface temps of 44'F!!!!! Burrrr.

Set up and discovered a great picture on the graph. bait fish schools and hooks all over them. Best marks in the 45 ft depth

Slow start and flustrating to get bit. Cores were quiet for a change. But we worked at changing colours and spread dynamics and managed to pattern something with some level of catch rate. 7 for 9 was the count by the end of the day. Aidan reeled in two shakers, one about 6 lbs and three were about 12 lbs kings, and the largest was this 22.30 lbs chinny.

Best set up was Slide diver on 3 setting 65 feet back and 90 or 100 feet out to the diver. Silver Streak, Blue tail

was good and the bigger fish came on NK 28 Glow Frog (white back). Couldn't buy a fish on the riggers and managed only one on 7 colour. Flasher/Fly, Wholebait and Wire were not doing it. Curious Fish coming into the spread, but wouldn't bite in close or way out in the outer spread. had to be that middle spread that would get the bites. More on this in Powerpoint for your download... PowerPoint Slide Show on "Putting out a Salmon Spread"

Shane Thombs

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fifty Point, August 3, 2008

Boated from Foran’s (Grimsby) and set up one mile west of Fifty Point (hydro cut in the escarpment) at 6:30 am. Before getting the last rod of six in the water the Slide Diver rod takes a shot. around 18lbs. 80 feet behind the diver, 3 setting and out to the diver from the rod at 150 ft. Blue Dolphin NK Mag.

Not long after, the same set-up takes another around 21 lbs and then after adjustments the other slide diver set 100 ft back and out 160 to the diver using Yeck 88 Glow Frog starts going. It took three – one rainbow, two Chinooks (no matures). Wire Divers were quiet with only one Lake Trout. Fullcore took one small king on Matrix Blue Silver. One rainbow on the rigger down 60 ft using Silver Streak, Blue Tail.

After 10:00 am the wind had stopped and we couldn’t figure out how to keep the rods moving. We mixed up the spread throughout the day to see what was what. It was about an hour before we found more fish and starting getting hits. But short hits at that., some were big heart stopping rips. Managed another small king in front of the Riffle Range on the Yeck Glow Frog, Slide Diver set at noon, and then we pulled the plug at 1:30pm. Temps on the surface was 71’F but down 45 ft you were into 45’F, at 35ft the temp was 50’F. Now that’s a small window of temp, hence the reason we figure we managed all our fish out of temperature and weren’t able to move a fish above 40 ft in the water column. Bait was in 65 FOW and less, and all our fish came outside that to as far as 75 FOW. At 80 FOW the screen was blank and reports from others in that water, the odd rainbow was going.

Haven't got the one picture I took off the camera yet, sorry.

Shane Thombs

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Canada Day Eve with Irish luck onboard, July 1, 2008

Nice to have some Irish luck in the boat for once. hahaha.

Colm and Ethia from Dublin, Irland were visiting family in the states and came to Ontario to see some of the tourist sites. John and I had anticipations of providing a trip on Lake Ontario for Salmon to be added as a highlight to their vacation.

The Canada Day evening trip of four hours was with moderate south winds that made 2 ft chop in the water we fished, which started in 60 FOW in front of Beamsville and angled toward the East. We took the first hit on a full core off the boards using Michigan Stinger Mixed Veggie on a copper blade. It took line and had weight. We coached Ethia through the fight and she was a champ with the arms and hands feeling sore, but the fish pulled the hooks free with only one more colour to reel in.

We missed one other fish on the same set up that took it out of the release, but nothing was there when we got to the rod. The second fish was where the Irish luck kicked in. Ethia took our coaching into full implementation and managed to boat the first and biggest fish she had ever caught. 21 lbs Chinook Salmon. It took a screaming run that made us sweat it out turning the boat on a dime to chase it and recover line before the final roles of wraps on the reel were stripped off. She smiled for the entire night after she seen the fish come aboard. 7 colour with Michigan Stinger Magnum, Chicken Wing.

From Photos

Some pods of bait throughout the 60-100 FOW with a few hooks on the screen. Never ventured further out for the building off shore waves. The inside waters did display the greatest picture on the screen and likely the reason for only a few releases.

Hope the Irish luck stays in the boat for the season thanks to Ethia and her dad Colm.

Shane Thombs