Sunday, November 15, 2009

SLA Bay of Quinte Trip, November 13-15, 2009

Friday 13th

The weekend started with preparations Thursday Morning. John and I rigged up 9 trolling rods, two jigging rods and put together a reduced version of a complete tackle box that included all the tools needed for both trolling and jigging.

Friday morning was 4:00 am we departure and was on route to pick up our third guy in the boat, Bruno. Bruno lives in Toronto and required a short jog off the 401. Bruno just got home from a business trip from Vancouver , and was short on sleep and a little jet legged. We stopped for breakfast at 6:30 am at the Stop 50 in Bowmanville where we welcomed the group of 18 Strait Line Anglers, squared up with tournament details and moneys and then the convoy of trucks and boats were on their way to Picton.

Our destination, Merlin Park , where we put our stuff in our respective cottages and then pushed off for the start of our morning jigging tournament. 7 boats participated, $10 each, Return time 1:00 pm and it included a total weight per boat of four walleye needing to measure under 24.8”.

8:30 am we were traveling Picton Bay on the water and boated over to Thompson’s Point and parked our selves in the middle of roughly 20 other boats. Boats all around reported slow, and after nearly 2 hours we were without a fish. Jigging spoons working slowly wasn’t working, Gulp Minnow on Jigheads were getting taps but not managing walleye bites. The sonar graph was showing a ton of fish. Everywhere from 10 feet down to the bottom in 40 FOW.

Then I reached into my jigging spoon box and pulled out what I thought might be better for tight lipped walleye on a slow drift. I have seen it work at Quinte through the ice, why not try it while the drift is slow. A light spoon silver/gold half and half. A small (2”) Williams Ice Jig. Looks like a Williams Whitefish rigged backwards and with additional hooks on the side of the spoon.

I would pitch it out leaving slack line to drop straight down. Patience- it’s a light spoon. First cast the spoon didn’t get to the bottom. But it was a white Perch. Second pitch and three snap jigs and it loaded up with the first walleye. 2 lbs or so. After that the spoon started getting consistent fish and before you knew it a look at the GPS time and it was 12:45pm we had 7 fish in the box – all small. The other 6 boats in the jigging tournament were without four fish or too small to weigh, so it was between us and Jimmy Rodney and his crew to weighin. Jimmy weighed in at 6.55 lbs with his four. We weighed in and it was 6.45 lbs. It was that close!

We had lunch and then transferred all the trolling gear to the boat for an afternoon of trolling. Setting up 3 miles East of the Lighthouse on Adulphous Reach we set four inline boards and two Slide diver set-ups. Outside boards pulled 200 ft of line with Manns Stretch 20’s and Reef Runner 800’s (deep diver). Inside boards pulling 3 colours and 200 on the reel with Reef Runner and Dr Death Mann's Stretch 30. Port Slide Diver started with a Reef Runner 900 (shallow runner, but large saltwater size) in Eriedecent 100 ft back and 40 ft out on the 4 setting. And the other a shallow stick bait a Renowsky in Purple/silver.

10 minutes after set-up the slide Diver on with the Reef Runner 900 takes a crushing blow that bent the rod over yanked some drag and when the rod came out of the rod holder the fish and bait pulled out of the snap. I must of forgot to close the snap, ooppps.

30 minutes later the outside board pulls back with Black/silver Mann’s Stretch 20 and Bruno was on it. He slowly cranked in the board and as soon as the board was being pulled off the line, the fish thrashes and the line goes limp. MAN! Line broke. 0-2! Good thing I got another one.

It’s 4:00 pm and the sun is low in the sky, when the three colour with Dr Death Mann’s Stretch 20 on the inside board, pulls back. Bruno was on this one again and we managed to boat this one. 9.3 lbs

Not long after, the outside board rod goes heavy and John gets on the rod. Black/Silver Mann’s Stretch 20 200 feet back takes another. This one was the largest of the weekend at 9.5 lbs, which is a modest fish for Bay of Quinte standards.

After 4:30 pm the rods went quiet until we pulled lines at 5:30 pm in the dark. Nice weather all day with blue skies and no wind.

Saturday Trolling Tournament Day Nov 14

9 boats were registered in the tournament where the target was for each boat to manage 2 walleye over the 24.8” and one under. It’s a game of strategy, where trolling usually manages bigger fish and jigging produces much smaller fish. Fishing was between 7:00 am to 5:00 pm and most boats left well after 7:00 am simply because the sun was covered by cloud and it appeared later. Again the winds were light, but a chop out of the northeast.

With our results from Friday eve, we had a starting place for the morning and we set-up up wind and trolled with the chop on our stern. The results from yesterday helped determine a few baits to run and we concentrated on high percentage set-ups to begin. Three high lines with two running 200 ft behind boards, on running 180 ft behind the boat. 10 minutes after setting up Black and Silver Fingerling on the outside boat back 200 pulls back with a fish. Bruno manages to bring in the board and then the rod started to show the signs of a quality fish with headshakes that jolted the rod violently. Then the line caught the line on the inside board, after thinking the fish passed it. 0-1 already.

20 minutes later the same board with the Black/Silver Fingerling pulls back again. This time I get on the rod and manage to bring the first fish on board. It was just under the 24 ½ “, OK we said, we got the one under taken care of and now if we can keep the ball rolling we should manage two over. Well that feeling slowly withered when the hours went by and the constant changes didn’t turn a strike (other than a Sheephead) for over 8 hours.

Then at 3:30 pm we set our troll down wind over our trolling path from Friday eve at the same time. It worked, Black and silver Mann’s Stretch 20 back 180 ft behind the board manages our second fish. It weighs 9.1 lbs on the scale.

Instead of trolling up wind we pull everything and try one last troll through the area with a spread of Black/Silver on 4 of the 6 rods. Also all lines were set to run high and out on the boards hoping for one last big bite. But it wasn’t to be. 5:00pm and the lines had to come in.

The results of the Tournament would show Joe Williamson with two quality Quinte walleyes. One at 13 ½ lbs and another at 11 lbs! They also had a third fish that went 9.9 lbs but couldn’t weigh it in as the third fish since it was over 24.8”.

Our boat managed second place and Darryl Day/Sandman/Steve managed third, but boated seven walleye all of which were under the 24.8” mark!

Sunday Nov 15 Morning fish before going home.

After packing up the cottage we headed out and was faced with a thick fog. Using GPS we motored to Thompson’s Point and began fishing. It was hard to get oriented in the fog, but when we found the right depth when talking to other boats in the fog, we starting finding fish. But all too often the fish were coming up snagged on our jigging spoons and needed to be turned back to the lake. It was silly after fowl hooking 4 of the first 5 walleye and it was about 9:30 when Gary and Kevin Hampson’s boat appeared beside us in the fog. Gary was hitting fish steady and they were catching them all in the mouth. So it was time to change up.

Gary said Swedish Pimple, I went in my jigging spoon box and pulled out my one and only Swedish Pimple in Silver/Green.

It took three jigs off the bottom and it took a walleye to open up. After that the fish came in regularly, but mostly too small to keep. At 11:00 am we called it quits.

The ride back home was a smooth drive. Big thanks to John for bringing the boat and to Bruno for the funny digs all weekend.

Shane Thombs

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fort Erie Bass, August 30, 2009

The wind blows! The weekend was all about wind. Lake Ontario and Lake Erie is out of the picture to fish Salmon or Walleye respectively. So “If you’re given lemons, Make Lemonade!” So John, Brad and I took the riggers off the boat and loaded up our bass rods and headed for Fort Erie . On the water by 7:00 and discover that yesterdays blow loaded up the Niagara river with water visibility of about 2 feet. We launched from Nickels ramp and made our way out towards Lake Erie and out along side of Rosey’s Reef. The water was dirty throughout the ride out. And the winds from yesterday put a roll on the big lake that made for a rock-n-roll ride.

Setting up in 17 ft and drifted from it to 30 ft and into the mouth of the river. It didn’t take long and we started to pick away at them. Mostly smaller Smallmouth Bass in the 1 to 3 lbs range all day. The rollers on the lake were coming in from the Southwest and the winds for the day were coming out of the Northwest. The drift was quick so we started with heavy weights. 5/8 oz, and ¾ oz tube jig heads and 1 oz drop shot weights to maintain contact and a steep angle presentation.

Baits for bites included a few on green tubes, and a few on Poor Boy Erie Darters in Green. John managed the biggest bas at 4 lbs even on the scale. But the majority of the bites came on dark colours (black). And get this- “twister tails!” On drop shot black Yum twister tails were getting bits. Also black tubes tipped with black Yum twister tails managed a good number of fish. A green twister tail jig also managed a few near the end of the trip.

Kim Poirier, Roy Young and Darrel Day were also out and managed three walleye fishing the same area while fishing for bass. Also the water did get clearer as the day went on and it was about three ft visibility by the end of our day at 1:00 pm.

The wind blew and we couldn’t get out for walleye on Erie like we had planned, but we did manage to get out on the water and make the best of it

Shane Thombs

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Grimsby and Blue Zone Salmon/Rainbow, August 23, 2009

It has been almost two weeks since our last time out on Lake Ontario , and reports were dismal to say the least. None-the-less we needed to discover it for ourselves. We had a late start leaving the dock at 10:30 am and setting up in 80 FOW directly in front of Grimsby at 11:00 am . We would mark a good number of fish on bottom and we ran a number of baits near bottom to try to turn a strike with no avail. It was 39- 41’F water on the bottom and the thermolcline was between 50 and 60 ft. We trolled out to about 140 FOW and the sonar screen went blank for most of the way. At noon we decided to run out to the Blue Zone and not long after going under power we marked a school of bait in 240 FOW. So we set up again and marked the odd fish, but again- no takers. So we made one last ditch effort at around 1:30 to find fish out in the Blue Zone and salvage the day

Out to 305 and inline with Oakville , we set up and immediately marked good bait and some fish. Get four rods in the waterat 2:00 pm and the first rigger rod goes off. 40 feet down and 50 ft lead with Lemon Drop Warrior Mag. Rainbow. My 4 year old son reels the fish in. Set it up and minutes later I see it bump, but no release or shakes, then a minute later it gets a strike and releases and another rainbow shoots out of the water behind the boat on the slider. Aidan reels the fish in closer to the boat only to find that a tiny salmon took the spoon on the main line and pulled in this rainbow on the slider. Two fish on one rod!

The Lemon Drop Warrior Mag was getting regular shots of rainbows and then one nice Coho guessing around 15 lbs comes airborne behind the boat then charges the boat and goes under the rigger cable and then out of the water again. The speed!!! We run the rigger rod around the cable and thought we would have broken this guy off, but we wrestle with the line around the rigger and the other line meanwhile the coho is in the air over and over again. Finally get the line cleared from the other rigger and the fish finally came off. But we didn’t break off! So we strip the line off the reel that got chewed and retied on the Lemon Drop Warrior to get back to business.

We pull the other rigger rod that was running meat down out of temperature for a king and changed it up to a Yeck 88 King Thing and down 45 ft. It managed a fish not long after.

The wire diver had a good crack, but no one was home when I got the rod up and out of the rod holder. It did catch another rainbow near the end of the trip at 4:00 pm when we managed a triple header. The Wire had a 107 Walker Deeper Diver Green Dolphin on 3 setting and out 110 ft using a Glow/Mountain Dew SpinDoctor and an Adrenalin Atommik Tournament fly.

7 colour leadcore and slide diver didn’t get a single strike.

A slow start in tight and then Good action out in the Blue Zone turned things around for us.

Shane Thombs

Sunday, August 16, 2009

SLA Lake Erie Walleye Tournament August 16, 2009

John and I ran the first ever SLA Lake Erie Walleye Tournament on Sunday August 16 th . The weather the previous Sunday was not in our favour but the 16 th was much improved with clear skies and light winds

John or I haven’t been fishing Erie Walleye since last summer, so we were fishing this tournament blind!

We registered 14 boats in total. Of the 14, 7 caught fish. And only three boats came in with a full box of four fish for the tournament. Dave Viles, a fellow Strait Line Angler, won the tournament with 28.55 lbs. He managed 10 for 12 walleyes and was clued into the Full core and large Divers close to bottom in 72-80 FOW.

For us, I will call the day of fishing on our boat good in the middle with a set of ugly bookends on either side. The morning registration, boats were arriving at the last minute. So where we posted that registration was to end at 5:45am we got caught up finalizing at 5:55 am instead. We got in the boat and motored down the river and John says, “I forgot my Sun glasses”. So we call on the VHF for someone else to blast off the tournament, but there was no answer.

We turn back to the marina and I run out to the truck to get Johns glasses. Two other boats were looking to get in the tournament- but they were turned away.

We start on our way back down the river and the fog got so thick we couldn’t see 50 ft in front of us. John try’s to navigate by his GPS and ends up running up in the mud and we make our way slowly out to the lake. We get out to the lake and there was no more fog. There also wasn’t a tournament boat in sight and the wakes from the tournament boats had already dispersed. We are really behind the 8 ball here!

We decide to head to our old waypoints from last summer and we were pleasantly surprised to find the Sonar screen looked good. We set up and worked the rods up and down , tried different baits and we were without a fish for an hour ½. Then the Metallic Purple 107 Walker Deeper Diver on 3 setting and out 200 ft with a Blue Berry Muffin Yeck and metallic Purple blades on a warm harness happens to start pulling drag (drags set loose). Slow steady retrieve and the fish comes to the net. It’s a 7 ½ lbs walleye. Nice.

We take a few Yellow Perch, a few sheepshead and a white perch throughout the day as well. All of which were treated as if they could have been a walleye playing possum.

Another hour goes by and we hit a Walleye on a Monkey Puke and Purple Puke bladed harness on a Full core straight out the back of the boat. This one was less then 3 lbs.

The second pass through the same area of the first fish was caught we discovered that it was adjacent to a marker buoy set at a ship wreck. We mark that in the GPS for future reference.

Knowing our pattern was fishing bottom now, we figure the wreck must have a few walleye close by. So we make another pass and as I was letting out another 107 Metallic Purple Walker Deeper Diver with Gold and a Purple/White/Black worm harness. The dial read 215 where I engaged the reel and noticed the rod started jerking. I pick up the rod and immediately locked up on a heavy fish. Regular headshakes were enough to stop your heart with hopes that it wouldn’t rip out the hooks. The fish comes to the net and it’s another quality walleye. We put it on the scales and it comes up just shy of 8 lbs. Now we got three.

Another 15 minutes goes by and the other full core straight out the back of the boat gets bit. John brings it in and it was the smallest fish of the day, but at least it was four for the scales. Four bites and four fish to the boat.

Now here’s the other ugly bookend to the day. We bring in all the rods and go to tilt the kicker motor and discover that the pins that slide inside the trim and tilt track, have broken off. So John and I decided to pull the motor right inside the boat. The 9.9 hp Hondo long shaft is a heavy bugger and we lay it down on the floor of the boat. The Time is getting close and the chop on the lake has made sure we couldn’t go full throttle. We managed to get in with 6 minutes to spar.

We came in with 22.95 lbs with our biggest coming in at 7.90 lbs.

Shane Thombs

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Grimsby Morning Salmon, August 9, 2009

The Strait Line Anglers Club was hosting a Walleye Tournament out of Lake Erie for this morning, but due to the high wind forecast we decided to cancel it.

Lake Ontario however was calm and the chance of Thunderstorms was forecasted, but we were going to stay close to port. So with the morning still available and a window of fishable waters on Lake Ontario , John and I head out of Foran’s to try out front. We were also joined up by two other boats from the club to head out. We communicated on the VHF and spread out looking for the fish. One of the boats ran right out to 80 FOW around the west side of the weather marker, the other boat set up shallower in 50 FOW south of the weather marker and we set up on the east side of the marker in 40 FOW and trolled straight out.

A minute after setting up Dave hits fish right away. We continued to troll straight out all the way to 160 FOW with only one rainbow trout to show for. Dave on the other hand was hitting fish regularly from the weather marker to the riffle range in 90 FOW. Then Brad in the other boat hooks up on the west side of the weather marker and it’s 18lbs on the scale.

So pull up our four rods and pick up and run back in and set up again. It was clear why they were catching as the screen revealed many fish and bait up high. Water temps were also very cold. 40 feet down it was 47’F and 41’F down 50 ft.

Our first fish came on SpinDoctor Blue Dolphin with Fish On Atommik Tournament Fly back 20 feet and down 40 feet on the rigger. Coho leaps out of the water and roles in the line. Taking drag- running into nearly every line out and then comes to the net. “Wow- nice coho” I said to John. 10 lbs 4 oz on the scale.

Wire diver 107 Walker Deeper Diver in Purple out 75 ft on 3 setting and a ProTroll Blue killer with Yeck Fly “Day Break” takes a small king.

The other rigger down 60 ft with a slider running around 30 ft using Purple thunder with glow ladder takes two fish in a row. Rainbow and a small salmon.

Meanwhile the rigger down 40 ft on a 25 ft lead using Blue dolphin Spindoctor and Fish on fly takes off. John fights the fish and it acts like a giant laker with head shakes and staying down the entire fight. We were in 70 FOW and the line continue to sound deeper. We finally get it closer to the boat and the Wire Diver rod goes off. Double header. I put the rod in the holder and net John’s fish and its 19lbs on the scale.

John brings in the smaller fish on wire as I get the hooks out of the fish in the net. He has yet another nice coho at 7 lbs 4 oz that we finally net. It came on a Cherry Red 107 Walker Deeper Diver set on 3 and out 80 ft with Caramel Dolphin SpinDoctor and Caramel Dolphin Atommik Tournament Fly. This same set up takes a nice 9 lbs rainbow shortly after.

Producer spoon in Black with a white back caught a Lake trout down 70 ft on the rigger over 80 FOW. It was time to switch that spoon. Hahaha. So John changes it to a Yeck 88 Blue Dolphin on a 40 ft lead and down 50 ft.

Over 70 FOW the Blue Dolphin Yeck takes a crushing blow on the rigger and the line peels off the reel. The fish comes to the boat after a lengthy fight and we net it. It weighs 23 lbs 7 oz. It has a lamprey still on it and the head looks like it would be better to be on a 30 lbs salmon instead of the short dumpy looking fish this was.

Then this giant ominous black cloud approaches at an alarming rate. We quickly pull lines and get under power along with the other boats. The cloud had a front like a 52 chevy as you can see the cloud rolls in front of it. Then as we cleared the rocks at Foran’s the winds hit and the sky turned dark. We organized out quick ramp work between the boats and managed to get the boats out on the parking lot and ready for the road before the rain came down in buckets. We stayed dry! Look at my watch and it was 12:15 pm and the wife calls. “Yes honey, I’m off the water”. Then thinking to myself. "Good thing we weren't on Lake Erie 10 miles out with that cloud between us and shore!"

Our final count was 10 for 12, after a slow start for the first two hours. The other boats also did well. Dave got 8 fish and Brad got 6.

Shane Thombs

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Jordon/Vineland Evening Salmon, August 5, 2009

The lake was flat on the way home from work so I call John and say – hey I got Aidan and I ready to see what we can do on the big lake. Aidan says “I’m going the catch the biggest fish ever”. Wow- that’s the attitude we like to have on the boat! John didn’t need much persuasion, and by 4:30 we were out of Foran’s and motoring over to Jordon where we finished up the charter on Monday.

At first it was a slow go for two hours as we tried deeper in the 120-160 FOW range and marked very few fish. A few calls to local boats, we realized we motored over the fish and set up where they weren’t. So we adjusted and got into about 100 FOW to set-up and work our way in. Sure enough he screen on the graph proved what was to be plenty of fish and baitfish.

Minutes after setting up the first rod in the downrigger set at 50 ft and on a short lead of 8 ft with Miami Dolphin Warrior Spoon, the line takes a hit and I was on it like a fat kid on a smartie. The drag starts going good and a few head shakes and the hook pulls free. Set it back up again it goes off again and this time John brings in a rainbow. Then after that, the same rigger set had another release and no one was home, then it went quiet.

We worked the area and now the wind started to pick-up out of the south. Many lookers come into the spread, but they hesitate to bite. It was time to switch things up a bit. John puts his rigger down to 71 over 80 FOW and a coho at 6 ½ lbs takes the Miami Dolphin Warrior Mag. Aidan my four year old son reels in his first coho. This would make four species he has reeled in on Lake Ontario at four years old! How many kids can say that before they start school! He’s got the lucky hand!

We put Warrior Mag Yellow Tuna 3 hr glow on a full core and it started going off and Aidan reels in two rainbows on it.

We took another small Chinook around 8 lbs on Coyote on a slider on the rigger down 50. So it was around 25 feet.

We watched as about a 10 lbs king leaped out of the water four times with a very large lamprey on its belly. Aidan got a kick out of it. We initially thought we had a fish on one of our lines so a quick scan over the spread showed we didn’t.

At the end of the night John was pulling in the leadcore and he gets a hit. The line starts peeling off the reel but then the hooks pulled out.

We watched the sun go down and the Full moon come up. Aidan fell asleep on the ride back in and I’m sure he was dreaming of catching a big king. “Next time bud- next time”.

Shane Thombs

Monday, August 3, 2009

Beamsville to Jordon Salmon, August 3, 2009

It was a blustery evening to be out on the lake, but with a couple of sea worthy clients that are used to the Pacific Ocean on the west side of Vancouver Island, the rocking ride was handled nicely. Winds were directly out of the south but somewhere around 30 gusting 40 km/h! Boats were coming in to the marina looking shocked, weather beaten, and generously giving descriptions of the poor conditions. That doesn’t provide the level of comfort that I prefer, but we made the decision and it was time to go. 4:00 pm departure.

Game plan to start was to run the shoreline down to Beamsville where the night before we finished up with a few shots including the 22 lbs king. With the wind on our stern, we worked or way out from 40 FOW. It was going to be a five rod spread rather then run all 8 rods (four of us on board). Keeping the spread light in the rough stuff is not a bad idea. Two Slide Divers, Two riggers and a leadcore down the chute.

We worked our way out and the conditions were getting rough, but still fishable. But for some reason it was a tough go for the first two hours. I worked vigorously changing things up. The picture on the Sonar was favourable with plenty of fish and good schools of bait to suggest our luck should be much better then it was.

The fish on the graph were very active coming into the cannonballs and at first I was running our standard 70 and 100 ft leads. I kept on decreasing the lead length over and over again. 50, 30, 20 then I said, OK now lets do it OLD SCHOOL-> 8 ft behind the ball. 50 feet down, Halo Miami Dolphin Warrior Mag and I got the rod in the holder, cranked down so the rod tip is almost in the water (I sometimes get frustrated with the fish and add a little more bend to the rod). I turn to adjust a diver rod and the rod tip jerks dramatically down into the water, what I thought was already a maxed out rigger stick had reached a new level of bending capability. The rigger rod only slightly relaxes it’s extreme bend and the drag starts singing before I even get the rod out of the holder. It reminds me of those crushing short lead blows on a rigger in the 90’s.

Todd from BC has had plenty of kings (they call them Springs) and was a pro at fighting this fish to the boat even if he didn’t have his single action mooching reel on the underside of the rod. I cleared the rest of the rods and we chased the fish on the big motor into the waves after about 20 minutes of the reel continuing to loose more and more line as the waves pushed us further and further from this muscular fish. When we caught up to the fish the counter read 100 ft and it was almost straight down off the back of the boat in 80 FOW. Neat stuff. We boated the fish and it weighed 23 lbs on the scale.

I took the picture and then got back to work setting the same rod in the rigger the same way. Turn to put the second rod in the other rigger and sure enough the same rigger stick fires. This time the drag is screaming and I asked Terry how much line on the counter? 250! Then seconds later 400, So with one rod in the water we turn on a dime and chase this one down into the waves again. We boat it and it goes 17lbs on the scale.

OK, time to get back to setting rods. And this time I was able to get all five in the water before the rod in the rigger down 40 feet, makes Todd come to his feet and it is yet another reel burner. Love it! We figured it out. Same spoon, Same short lead and this rigger was out of temp as it was riding at 60’F water temp down 40 ft (BTW it is 56’F down 50 ft). We manage to boat this one without clearing too many rods and it weighed 17 lbs as well.

By 8:00 pm the wind just about stopped all together and the lake went from three footers down to a 6 inch. Now we were free to troll any direction and we turned back to where we hooked up on those fish and managed a rainbow on a slider and dropped two others, one on fullcore (10 colours) using a Warrior Mag, Yellow Fin Tuna (3 hr glow as we set for a dusk bite), and the other miss was a short strike on the rigger down 40 ft.

We ran back in when it was dark and the wind started to pick up just as we got to dock. What started off an uneasy feeling, ended the trip with two BC coast salmon fisherman now hooked on the Great Lakes Salmon fishing. We may not have the brutes they see, but they fight vigorously none-the-less. Todd and Terry were a good bunch to have on board in less then favourable conditions to start and they handled the rods well when the bigger bites counted.

Shane Thombs

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fifty Point to Beamsville, August 2, 2009

John and I had the pleasure of taking Paul that is on vacation in Grimsby from Ireland . Winds were moderate out of the West and the forecast said South winds. So we decided to run as far west and roll with them. So we set up in front of Fifty Point on the west side of the riffle range in 40 FOW and trolled around the rifle range markers and out to 80 FOW. In no time we managed three rainbows. One on fullcore using Yeck 88 PK Special. The other two came on Slide Diver with halo Miami Dolphin Warrior Mag. It was set 100 ft back from the diver and 80 feet out.

Then trolled to 120 FOW still witht he waves on our stern and they were growing to about four feet. The Rigger down 100 Feet and using SpinDoctor Blue Dolphin with Hammer fly and it takes a Lake Trout. We brought that up to 60 feet and it took a small chinook. The other rigger down 50 feet then took another 8 lbs salmon on a SpinDoctor Black/Glow/Green dots with a Green/Glow Horsefly. then we hit a nice rainbow around 8 lbs that went on a five colour using Yeck 88 Michael Jackson.

Paul now has seen a Rainbow, Lake Trout, and Lake Ontario Chinook Salmon. But it was time to look for bigger salmon. Once we got to the Grimsby weather marker the plan was to trough the waves in shallower water and look for the bait. When we broke 75 FOW we caught another lake trout on the Blue dolphin SpinDoctor and hammer fly down 70 ft. No more chasing lake trout, The five colour hit another salmon. Paul was handed the rod and then the hammer fly with Blue Dolphin SpinDoctor was put down 50 feet instead and it fired with a good drag burning salmon. Paul Had the rod swap to fight the better fish to the boat and it weighed 16 lbs. Short and fat fish.

Then we trolled towards Beamsville and manages a few more small salmon for the cooler on Fullcore and downriggers down 50 feet.

The sun was starting to go down and it was nearing the end of the evening when the Slide Diver out 40 feet to the Yeck 88 King Thing and the diver on 3 setting out 100 ft. We cleared all the rods and played the fish to the boat. The fish weighed 22 lbs and Paul landed a personal best.

Shane Thombs

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Salmon Dance Tournament, July 25, 2009

The weather man would suggest staying away from the lake, but with offshore winds and the heavy clouds holding off until the end of the day. The south east wind made for a 1 foot chop and comfortable enough to fish in close where we have found fish. John Poirier, his niece Stephanie and I were teamed up and were eager to make the best of a day on the water.

John was out on Friday night, the evening before the tournament, and found the fish to be in front of Beamsville/Vineland and that was where we started. We set up in 75 FOW and it was a slow start with about one hour of fishing gone by and trolling further west towards our marks from fishing on Wednesday the 21st.finally the five colour off the boards with Holo Miami Dolphin Warrior. This was a quality fish but the hooks pulled out at the end of a long run. The same rod went off again but with a small shaker.

Then the rigger down fifty feet with a green dolphin Spin-doctor and hammer fly takes a release. At first the fish just stayed there with a few small head shakes. I call out Lake Trou... Then before I got the word out the reel interrupts me with a drag burner. A few more runs and get gets into another line and the fish bam un-pinned. Two matures lost and it's now 8:30. Not good.

It was another hour before hitting a bunch of smaller salmon and a few rainbows, one of which went9 lbs and was a long clean looking steelhead.

At 11 am we finally started to move rods at a regular pace including one double. At this time we were in front of Beamsville found a pod of kings and steelhead. Rigger down 71 feet over 77FOW with Green Dolphin Spin-doctor and Fish-on Tournament Atommik Fly takes a hit and the drag sounds good. Moments later the wire diver rod with a Metallic Purple 107 Walker Deeper Diver set at 1 and out 105feet with a Black and Glow Spin-doctor and No-See-Um Strong Fly goes hay-wire. With John fighting his fish thought to be a bigger one, I proceeded to do the one-handed net job on what I suspected to be a 15 lbs king. The fish came free while the fish was half in and half out of the net. Still no fish in the livewell. Net Johns fish and it is smaller then it's attitude at 15lbs. But finally gota fish in the box.

Moments later the Slide diver set -up finally wakes up. The best set-up all week long and it takes 5 hours before it produces a king. But it was our best of the day at 20 and change. The slide diver had a 100 ft lead behind the diver and was out 60 feet on a 3 setting. It had a Warrior Miami Dolphin without the green glow tape. That rod started to catch a few more salmon but smaller then what we had in the box. Here's Stephanie's fish that fell to the same.

We managed another 15 lbs salmon that required the balance beam to measure it's size to the smallest in the box, but it was only slightly smaller and swam away to grow to be a 30 lber in the tournament next year.

Our weight was a dismal 35 lbs and we were disappointed thatwe dropped so many quality fish. But we caught alot of fish not sure how many).

The following are links to the tournament results and standings.

Shane Thombs

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Grimsby and East, July 22, 2009

With the Salmon Dance Tournament on Saturday, it was search time for quality fish. The pattern of shallow water kings was the target and we needed to find bigger fish amoungst a countless number of smaller salmon and numerous Rainbows. At 4:30 pm I met up with Ron Arnold to fish in his boat while John Poirier and Jay Whitwell fished together in John’s boat. East winds for the afternoon put a 3 foot roll on the lake that made trolling and driving a little sloppy. When we got out to 70 FOW we set up and continued to troll east into the waves looking for pods of fish. It didn’t take long to find the fish and John calls on the radio and hooks up with his first. Slide Diver out 100 ft behind the diver and 60 feet out to the diver using the Halo Miami Dolphin Warrior spoon. Jay finally landed it after a long fight and it weighed a little over 25 lbs on a scale that didn’t stay steady in the waves.

Then shortly after John calls again and had hooked up with another good fish on the other slide diver set the same distances but using the Michigan Stinger Stingray Coyote. That one weighed 23 lbs! Not a bad start for John with 48 lbs in the first two fish. John also managed another mature salmon at 18 lbs coming on the rigger down 50 feet with a 60 ft lead using Blue Killer Protroll and Atommik Tournament Hammer Fly. Temps down 40 ft were 48’F and down speed was 2.1 mph on Johns Depth Raider.

Ron and I managed 6 fish for 8 with the biggest being around18 lbs taking a Green dot/glow Protroll behind a Walker 107 Green Dolphin diver on a 3 setting and back only 45 feet off the corner of the boat. Ron doesn’t have downriggers on the boat so all of our rodshad walker 107 diver, Slide Diver and two 45m size divers on walleye rods trailing behind the boat.

Shane Thombs

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grimsby Skinny Water, July 15, 2009

Four years in a row the skinny water pattern for mid July kings on the south shore prevails. The evening of July 15th, John, Aidan, Linda, and I went out of Foran's Marine. Action was a steady pick, with one double header. It wasn't long when we set our lines and hit our first fish.

Wire 107 Walker Deeper Diver in Wonderbread on 3 setting and only out 60 feet. It was rigged with a ProTroll glow Wonderbread and Strong Fly No-See-Um. This rod caught two and lost one early in the evening and then didn't do anything else. Both fish were small chinooks.

The fullcore Leadcore also caught two fish, one small Lake Trout and the other a small Salmon and lost one bigger lake trout.

The two downriggers were set in the 35 and 40 feet and 40 feet it was 41'F. The riggers managed three fish. One Rainbow at 6 lbs, one small salmon and one salmon at 20 lbs even on the scale. We had one good fish break the line as well.Spoons on the riggers were Yeck 88 in Green Hornet (black/green/glow) two on it, and the other was Yeck 88 in Blue Dolphin (broke off).

The best producing rod was the Slide Diver Lite bite set 60/60 (60 foot lead behind the diver and 60 feet out to the diver from the rod). It was set on 3. On the Slide Diver set, Michigan Stinger Stingray Coyote spoon caught the biggest of the night at 23 lbs as well as another small rainbow. One shaker chinook and another around 8 lbs. It also had a number of missed fish.

Also caught a 5 lbs chinook on 7 colour using Yeck 88 Micheal Jackson.

Good action for fishing between 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm.

Shane Thombs

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lift Bridge-Shell Pier, May 24, 2009

John and I knew fishing was tough, but the weather was perfect and it's about fishing and not catching- right? We ran down to in front of about Appleby Line and set up in 135 FOW. It wasn't long before the sonar was showing big marks on or near the bottom. We were worked marks and approached them at angles and turns and changing up colours and speeds. Use Flasher flies, spoons, whole bait anchovies, dodge fly with nothing. Then with the 107 Walker Deeper diver on a 1 setting and out 360 feet on braid it hits a fish. I drop the wire diver to 350 feet out and it goes off. Double header. Both Lake Trout. When the second fish hit the floor it was the fattest Lake Trout I had ever seen. It was a 12 lbs brute in a 8 lbers frame! Not only that it made a mess all over the floor of the boat and John's leg. Nasty!

The lake Trout took the wind out of our sails so we decided to go for a search. We went out to 220 FOW and set up a shallow program and scanned the area. One rodwas bumped, but that was it. We pulled lines again and started towards Stoney Creek. We trolled from Chipmans west of Fruitland Road and trolled all the way to the Radar tower in Grimsby looking for salmon. There were plenty of Lake Trout to be had throughout the stretch- but we avoided them as best as possible, but still managed to hook two .

Off the water by 1:30 pm.

Shane Thombs

Monday, May 18, 2009

Feed The Fry Salmon Tournament, May 18, 2009

Congrads to Steve Fudge, Deryk Hastie, and Chris Vanrooy for a great win. Bronte was the spot to be early and fishing deep.

John Poirier, Brad May, and myself ran down to Grimsby where we slowed and scanned the water column for hope of a picture that would suggest us to slow the boat and start trolling. The picture was empty until finding marks closer to infront of ED Smiths Bubble roughly at McNielly Road Stoney Creek. We set up and it wasn't long before the Wire diver takes a strike, but after a short fight the fish is dropped. Then the rigger rod takes a strike and John cranks in a good sized Lake Trout. Not the species we were after. We took another Lake trout about and hour after on the other downrigger using Michigan Stinger Coyote Stingray 110 on the rigger over 130 FOW.

At 10:30 it was evident that the salmon were not hungry in front of Stoney Creek. We picked up and ran to infront of Bronte and set up in 180 FOW. Wetting up we worked a deep program again with hopes of coming in contact with some salmon. But 45 minutes and a sonar screen that would suggest fish were spread out. Talking to a boat he reassures us that fishing deep is working but bring up the speed to 2.5 mph instead of the slow 2.1- 2.3 mph we have been going at. Without down speed it was tough to make down speed consistent and we finally hooked up on our fist salmon on Walker 124 Deeper Diver Wonderbread on 2 setting out 190 on wire with Wonderbread ProTroll and No-see'um StrongFly. The fish was too small for the 25 inch minimum lenght that was the rule for the tournament.

We were trolling west at the time and noted that we were doing 2.5 mph on the GPS. Working East we tried changing the speed up and down from there to figure out which way the current was going, but the next one came when we turning back towards the west and the free floating slider with Stop'n Glow Michigan Stinger Stingray and the rigger ball down 100 over 145 FOW took the next fish. But it too was just under the 25 inch minimum at 23 1/2 inches! Time was ticking away and we still were without a fish in the box for weighin. Finally we hook up on a fish that was over 25 inches. It took a Dreamweaver Dave's Salmon Slapper down 124 on the rigger over 140 FOW. Not long after that the Magnum Walker Deeper Diver Rod starts ripping out 30 lbs braided line using the 107 black Walker Deeper Diver on 3 setting back 360 feet! White Protroll and Hoover Atommik. not long after John struggled to slide the diver rod out of the holder, the hook pulled free.

Time was spent and we needed 45 minutes to run back to Port Dalhousie. We pulled early and made it back in plenty of time with only one to wiegh in.

It was tough fishing in the tournament with only ten boats bringing in fish out of 35 boats in the field.

The tournament itself was a success as a fundraiser for the Port Dalhousie Pen Imprinting Project with $1,425 going towards the cause. John, Jay, and I plan to make the tournament a annual thing.

Shane Thombs

Friday, May 15, 2009

Port Weller to 4 Mile Point, May 15, 2009

With the Friday off and the marine forecast in favour of a nice morning ahead, John, Aidan and I headed out from Port Dalhousie out to in front of Port Weller. We set up in 100 FOW after reading the reports of salmon caught in the King of The Lake Tournament the weekend before were coming from deeps sets. Found a nice temp change that went straight out of Port Weller and we stopped and set up on the warm side (east of the line). We marked fish on bottom so we started to set lines on riggers and run divers on 1 setting and out 220 first and then more as we went.

First rod to go was the wire and it pulled drag and thrashed like a laze king, John helped my four year old soon crank in the fish and he worked the rod and reel like a champ. When the fish hit the net it was clear it was a good size Lake Trout. 16.7 lbs.

Walker Deeper Diver 107 in Blue Dolphin with Blue Killer Protroll and Atommik Tournament Hammer Fly.

After much switching lures and trolling east towards the bar it was evident that the King bite was nearly non-existent. Boats were running the bar taking Lake trout very steadily. We ran up on the bar and it was clear that the Lake trout were hungery when two rods go off on a double and we chank in two more. Michigan Stinger Coyote Stingray, and Yeck 88 in PK Special on the riggers running close to bottom in 80 FOW.

We called it a day at 10:30 am as there were numourous things to take care of for running the Feed the Fry Tournament that was scheduled to run on Saturday may 16th.

Shane Thombs

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Beamsville Spring Kings, May 3, 2009

Our friend Ed Barbosa was on a weekend trip to Niagara to do some fishing on Erie and then with us on Lake Ontario. Saturday he went out Perch fishing off of Abino and managed 30 good sized perch in 60 FOW just west of Abino. Minnows worked very slow were the ticket.

On Sunday he had a drive from Fort Erie to Grimsby where he joined up with John Poirier and I for a trip out on Lake Ontario. We managed to get on the water at day break as we watched the sun come up over the flat lake. Marine forecast would suggest moderate southwesterlies were to come.

We boated from Foran's Marina down to in front of Bartlett Rd. We set up in 25 FOW and not long after had a good tug on the board line that never released. 3 colour leadcore with a Bomber Long A Michael Jackson. Later we check the line and it was busted off on a clean break through the leader material. First miss.

Then a few minutes later the Spotted Frog Reef Runner on the board on the other side of the boat went off. 75 feet back and the fish was not happy. No big runs, just surface headshakes and rolling in the line, short runs and about a minute in the fight -pop- the line breaks again.

We replace both baits that broke off and went for about 20 minutes before we hit another fish. Blue Killer Protroll with Attomik Hammer Fly behind a 107 Walker Deeper Diver in Blue Dolphin on 3 1/2 setting out 55 feet (that was running at 30 feet as it touched a few times going 2.2 mph) on braid. This was the biggest king we boated for the day estimated at about 16 lbs.

About 30 minutes went by and we hit a double. One on the rigger, Michigan Stinger Coyote Stingray set 100 feet back and 25 ft down over 35 FOW. The other was on a Reef Runner off the boat set 100 feet back in Purple Tiger.

Then there was about two hours without a rod move. we trolled out to 90 FOW and found the screen blank after 50 FOW. There was a hook on bottom in 70 FOW on the way back to the shallows and I dropped the Coyote spoon down there and sure enough a 10 lbs Laker took it.

We got back in tight to see if the late morning bite would turn for the better and it did. We hit another on the Coyote down 20 ft on the rigger back 100 ft. And managed to have Ed hold on to a big screamer on the three colour that found the hook pull free after the reel read almost 500 ft. That was on a Michael Jackson Bomber Long A.

We boxed one more on the Frog Reef Runner and we were off the water at 1:00 pm. It was a nice morning with a little bit of action. Water temp was 48 'F in the Green inside waters and 42'F in the 90 FOW. Our troll seemed to be best around 2.3 mph in the morning and then 2 on the money in the afternoon.

Shane Thombs

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jordon Harbour Spring Salmon, April 26, 2009

Finally my first trip out on the lake for 2009. After a light show of lightening and cracks of thunder, I was concerned that the fish might not be on the bite. Reports were good out of Jordon Harbour, and the King of the Lake tournament was on this weekend and it is tough to say if the fish would cooperate with fishing preasure as well as the weather change.

At 7:30 am John Poirier, my son Aidan and I motored out a short way and then started setting up in 25 fow. It took about 45 minutes for the first rod to fire. Braid Walker Deeper Diver 107 set at three and a half in the new colour Green Dolphin
with ProTroll 8 Yellow Killer with an Atommik TG Hammered Tournament Fly . Ten minute fight on a good one and the braid gave up and the whole rig went with the fish.

20 minutes later we were in 35 FOW and managed a triple header. Aidan reeled in the biggest of the day at 16 lbs and the other two were also kings around 10-12 lbs. Reef Runner Deep diver in Spotted Frog on the boards back110 feet.

. That same set up took one more fish and lost the last one of the day when the back split ring retired.Habenaro Dreamweaver on Slide Diver took one set on three and a half with 100 feet back and 80 feet out to the diver.

Also one other fish on a Bomber Long A on a three colour off the boards.

All fish were chinooks from 10-16 lbs and were caught from 35 - 50 fow from in front of Jordon to in front of Vineland. Trolling speed was 2.3 mph. Off the water at 10:30 when the winds pîcked up out of the east.

Get out there and have some fun,

Shane Thombs