Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Colby (9) catches 33 lbs 6 oz King, July 27, 2010

We had a Father and Son guests on board last night that are familiar with the Kawartha Lakes fishing, but a recent move to Waterdown and an interest in fishing Lake Ontario but would like a starting point to a new learning curve.
Brett and son Colby (9) joined us at Foran's Marina at 4:00pm and we boated out to 110 FOW just east of the weather marker and began trolling east. 1 1/2 hours we watched a blank screen and had one release off the rigger down 26 ft but no one home.

Then the Wire Diver Walker Deeper Diver Black 107 on a 3 setting and out 140 ft on the Port side and towing a Mnt Dew NBK Spin Doctor and Mirage Howe fly takes a strike and it was Colby in the hot seat to wrestle the fish and it is a mature king with much vigor. After a 400 foot dash and bringing all that line back in to the 70 ft mark on the counter- the fish comes off on a headshake.

Then the rods started popping from that point. and action was steady with drag burning and some high flying rainbows. Noted sets that I can recall taking the majority of the shots include...
Mnt Dew NBK and CrazyB!tch fly down 60 on the rigger and back 50 ft lead.

NBK SpinDoctor with Hammer Fly behind Walker 107 Blue Dolphin on 3 setting out 170ft on braid.

Green Dolphin Walker Deeper Diver 107 on 1 1/2 setting out 70 ft and a NK 28 Black/Silver half and half with Green and Glow Ladders. This resulted in some high flying rainbows on a short string- Lots of fun.

But the highlight of the night was when 9 year old Colby was on the Rigger rod equipped with a new Super UV Crushed Ice house ProTroll Flasher
and a MC Rocket # 3 with Magic Marker on it's back is stressed to the extreme with a quality fish. BTW this rig fired three times with all mature kings down 46 ft in 50'F water temp.

Colby repeatedly was asked by his dad if he needed a rest, but his quick shot back "NO! I can do it- It's my fish". So we cheered him on and helped him pump the rod when his little arms couldn't take it any longer. Even some rod time in the rod holder was necessary to help clear lines and get prepped for landing the tank. But he didn't want to give up the possession of the reel handle- it was all his and he was determined.

Bring the fish to the net and John gets the fish half in and the big body of this king gets out, but John turns the net under the fish again and makes one last effort to boat the fish. It's in.

Put it on the scale and it weighs 33 lbs 6 oz!!! Now that's setting the kids bar pretty high and he was jumping in excitement and proud dad was eager to take pictures and capture the moment.
The evening fish continued until sundown with a few more shots on divers and lots of laughs and talking about the excellent Chinook Salmon fishing Lake Ontario has to offer right now.

They are definitely hooked!

Shane Thombs

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Salmon Dance Tournament, July 24, 2010

The tournament morning weather was much better then the forecast had been calling for. Light winds out of the Southwest (offshore) and the cloud cover, although think, was without the threatening Thunderstorm and Tornado warnings that were evident over night in Windsor through to Long Point on Lake Erie. The front must have slipped south!

25 boats and roughly 75 participants lined up for blast off start outside the breakwall of Jordon Harbour at 6:30am. Countdown on the VHF radio and the horn was sounded to send everyone on route to fishing spots. Primarily the boats headed straight out although some travelled east and only a handful travelled west. Visibility was only 5 miles or so, so it was difficult to make the boats out too far.

John Poirier, Stephanie and I were not going to run very far as it was difficult to suggest an alternative that was better than what we had discovered on Tuesday night. There might be a better location to go to, but we haven’t heard much from other anglers over the past week and the Northshore was definitely not happening with many poor reports.

Once the boats had left we started to set-up in 45 FOW and initially put the riggers down 35 and 45 with Flasher/MC Rockets and set out the Planer Boards for Leadcores out to the sides. 5 colour and 7 colour with Flasher/Fly. And then two divers were set out. Slide diver on starboard side and braid 107 diver on the Port side, both with Flasher/Fly sets.

The sonar screen had definitely changed since Tuesday night. Where bait was think inside 50 FOW it had dispersed substantially. Bait was sparse at mid depths in the water column but although difficult to read on a sonar, bait was shown very high riding the top 15-20 feet, and there were still some fish in the area.

The night before was a full moon shining bright and it was the thought that much of those fish were able to feed throughout the night and early morning, and were likely fed up for the most part, requiring us to wait it out for the next feeding time window.

The morning up to 10:00 am was very slow managing only two small Chinooks both tagged and released but we also lost 5 other small fish. We also lost all three fish during a triple header. Short strikes and missed opportunities- but the fish were small anyways. All of our morning bites thus far were in depths between 50 and 60 FOW and in front of Vineland (slightly west of Jordon Harbour ).

Water temps were cooler on the west side of Vineland and the Sea Fleas were minimal west, but warmer temps were East of Vineland and the Fleas infront of Jordon were bad enough to load up the lines after 30 minutes.

At 11:00 and after many, many changes in presentation and flasher/fly and spoon colours, John picks out a Atommik CrazyBitch Fly matched with a Mountain Dew NBK SpinDoctor and place it on the rigger wit a 65 ft lead and down 40 ft over 52 FOW. Minutes later it goes off and Shane was on the rod. The fish was big- strong and not happy. It made short, but fast runs and dove continuously. 35 minutes and with all rods now cleared and riggers brought up, the brute was at the back of the boat. Kicker motor on idle and we manage the fish inches from the net when suddenly the fly pulls out, and John takes a last effort sweep at the unhooked fish with the net and came up with nothing. John says it was a fish in the mid thirties. The boat was silent for a few minutes- but a joke or two brought back the mojo. Hahaha. Hey it’s fishing!

PJ Poirier was on them- taking shot after shot in slightly deeper water 70-90 FOW. They boat a fish just under 30lbs and lost two other decent fish at the back of the boat. So at 12:30 pm we started to work deeper water as well. At 1:00pm we discovered where the fish were- 60 to the bottom and in 80 FOW.

Shane sets the wire diver to 200 ft on 3 setting using Blue Dolphin with Mountain Dew Tape on the face of a Walker Deeper Diver 107 towing a Green NBK Spin Doctor and Hammer Fly. It takes a big strike and John is on it. We turn the boat to reduce the line peeling off and at the same time we let out the braid diver rod on the port side to the same 200 ft 3 setting black 107 Walker Deeper Diver towing a Mountain Dew NBK Spin Doctor and Mirage Howie Fly and moments later the drag starts to scream peeling line off the reel. Doubled up!

Shane fought the braid diver fish and then passed the rod to Stephanie and then grabbed the net and scoop John’s fish into the boat. Then John fought the braid diver fish the rest of the way and Shane netted that fish. They were almost twins in size. Both went into the cooler knowing that we might have a chance to make something of the day at the scales.

At the scales- PJ puts the biggest box of two fish weighing 51 lbs and winning big fish with the one fish just over 29 lbs! Way to go Perry Junior!
We manage Second with our two fish totalling 49 lbs biggest was 25.26 lbs.
And Third Place was Brian Blainey with his two fish at 41 lbs.

Lots of boats got skunked and some got one fish only or two smaller fish. By the results the fish at Jordon Harbour were the better sized fish although 90-150 FOW at Port Weller had numbers.

Adrian Fleming at Grimsby Tackle put together a great Strait Line Anglers Club Event again this year- with some great prizes. The tournament was capped at 25 boats and with a great group of guys. No blown up heads with NASCAR like shirts. Low key events are the best!!!

John Poirier and I had an evening available and we took advantage of the calm seas and stable weather and tried our luck on Lake Ontario . At the ramp we talked to a fellow salmon angler returning from a day of tough fishing managing one rainbow and watching a blank sonar screen. We launched and set up in front of Beamsville in 50 FOW.

As we were told, the screen was blank but we managed only one release on a MC Rocket off a rigger down 52 feet over 60 FOW and about ½ hour later land a Rainbow caught on Mountain Dew NBK and Mirage behind a Black 107 Deeper Diver set on 3 and out 140 feet. It was released with pliers at the side of the boat.

A phone call to Perry Poirier that was fishing out of Jordon harbour revealed where we should be fishing as they report a good picture of bait and fish on the screen. John and I pulled in our four lines and motored over to in front of Vineland and set up in 50 FOW.

Moments later the screen lit up and it was evident that the past hour was wasted in comparison to our enthusiasm for the new potential. It was only 5 minutes later the 7 colour leadcore down the chute with a Nuclear Green SpinDoctor with Mnt Dew Tape and with a Crinkle Mirage Howe Fly. A powerful run spun 300 feet off the reel in a single dash and simply came loose. We later checked it one hour later to reveal the fly leader broke two inches from the knot!!! Yikes.

Next rod to fire was the braid diver again Mountain Dew NBK and Mirage behind a Black 107 Deeper Diver set on 3 and out 140 feet. King came to the boat at 7 lbs 8oz tagged with number 1494 and released back to the 60 foot waters.

Temps at 35 feet were 55’F and seemed to take the majority of the hits at depth, But as the night wore on the hooks on the screen continued to rise higher in the water column. We chased those fish up higher, by running the rigger at 35 feet instead of 50 feet down. This resulted with a soft strike on the rigger where it required manually releasing the line from the release before the fish pulled it out. It was thought to be a small shaker, but as I passed the rod to John, the head shakes were big and then the fish turned and took the line out to 400 ft. After a 15 minute fight the boat comes to the boat and weighs 25lbs 8 oz caught on the MC Rocket and Spin Doctor Mountain Dew tape and Crushed Glow tape on a White blade. The fish took the treble hook in the eye so we didn’t tag the fish.

Then the braid diver again Mountain Dew NBK and Mirage behind a Black 107 Deeper Diver set on 3 and out 140 feet. A small King came to the boat at 2 lbs tagged with number 1488 and released back to the 70 foot waters.

The sun was down and the Slide diver on 3 setting with the Mountain Dew NBK with Atommik Mirage fly out 100 ft then the diver clipped on the line and then set out another 90 ft took a shot. The drag sings and then the line binds up and we crank the boat about face and manage to avoid a break off. The fish was boated at just after 9:00 pm and weighed 23 lbs 10 oz and released again with tag number 1489.

Shane Thombs

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wire Walker Deeper Diver Day, July 4, 2010

John, Aidan and I went out of Foran’s Marine in Grimsby to see if the fish continue to inhabit the waters directly in front of Grimsby. As we anticipated it was another fantastic 5 ½ hour morning trip starting at 6:00 am. Landing 16 for 19. 12 Rainbows and 4 kings. Shaker, 10 lbs, 23 lbs, and 26 lbs were the worth mentioning fish.

It was choppy during the ride out as a shore breeze made a 1 ½’ chop coming out of the Southwest so to maximize our troll with the wind and waves on the stern, we ran the shoreline west until we were in line with Casablanca Blvd. Then set up in 56 FOW and trolled outward and towards the weather buoy. The bait balls were numerous and balled up all the way out to 75 FOW and then like a wall there was no more bait. But as soon as broke out of the bait, the sonar screen showed a fish on the move through the riggers. A few quick zig zags on the wheel turned a strike on the wire diver rod on the port side.

The drag sang indicating a king and I held on for a short run before the hooks pulled free. Walker Deeper 107 size in Metallic Green set on 3 towing a Green Dolphin Spin Doctor and Green Hammer Glow Atommik Tournament Fly and out 140 ft using 30 lbs wire.

We continued on a troll Northeast with wind and chop on our stern. The next to fire was a Braid Diver rod on Starboard side using a Walker Deeper Diver 107 in Blue Dolphin on 3 setting and out 140ft, towing a Mountain Dew Natural Born Killer (NBK) SpinDoctor and No-See-um Strong Fly. John was up to the challenge when the drag revealed the same sound of a good king. Later John managed to get the fish to the net and I scooped him. Just over 23 lbs and tag # 148?.

From this point on there was Rainbow after Rainbow that came to the boat dropping only two off the hooks upon reeling them in. Here’s Aidan AKA “Leadcore Little Man” with his biggest bow of the day caught on 10 colour full core 7 lbs 6 oz.
At 8:30 the winds shut off outside 100 ft of water. It was flat and hot with the sun and humid conditions. But to our surprise the kings were still willing to bite on the wire diver set. It shined as the stud rod for the next two hours pulling in three kings and two rainbows. But our location moved to the end of the reef fishing over 130- 170 FOW. We also discovered bait in the area and plenty of hooks in the top 50 feet.

John pulled a three year old king on the wire set that was spunky and full of energy.

At 9:10 the Wire took a power shot strike and then peeled line like hooking on to a freight train. I was on the rod and let the king make the run pulling 420 feet of wire off the reel with the line counter reading 560. I worked the fish to the boat while we circled the fish to keep him off our port quarter to manage to gain line. It came to the net after it’s last ditch effort to dive for the motor’s prop. But it on the scale and it weighed 26lbs 7oz.

Shane Thombs

Friday, July 2, 2010

Grimsby Grand Slam Sudbury Style, July 2, 2010

Glen and Paul drove down from Sudbury after anxiously waiting this spring for good weather conditions, good fishing and open schedules. Finally the stars were aligned for there chance to do battle with some salmon and trout from Lake Ontario .

Our morning started bright and early, 5:30 am departure from Foran’s Marina in Grimsby . Blue skies and a rising son on the eastern horizon made a picture perfect start to our day. Winds were light at 10 – 15 km out of the West Southwest.

We motored out to 100 FOW just east of the weather marker and began setting lines. On the downriggers one rod had a Frog on Chrome Spin Doctor and Green Hammer Glow Atommik Tournament fly set with a 30 ft lead and sent down to 60 ft on the starboard side. The other rigger was sent down 50ft with a 50 ft lead using a Mountain Dew/crushed Glow on white Spin Doctor and MC Rocket that I had custom coloured with magic marker.

#2 Rocket with a black back and red gill accents put into a Big Eye Challenger clear head. Set the role to just turn on it’s own by putting a very slight bend on the Rocket.

Next rod to put out was wire diver Blue Dolphin Walker Deeper Diver 107 on 3 setting and out 140ft towing a Green Dolphin Spin Doctor with Green Hammer Fly (leader length 18 inches from nose to knot).
I was letting it out when the Port side Rigger with the MC Rocket snaps out of position and shows signs of our first king to hook up.
Paul was up first and he was stoked when he heard the drag sing. Moments later the Wire diver takes a crushing strike and the wire line is buzzing off the roller rod. Glen is handed that rod and both are at the back of he boat laughing away. Who needs a morning coffee when you have a double on kings first thing?

Meanwhile on the Port side of the boat we had time to put another diver rod down while the two fish were still pulling line. I grabbed the diver that was planned to have been set on the starboard side, but the back of the boat was a little crowded to do so. Change the diver’s keel weighted dial to a 3 and the braided Green Metallic 107 Walker Deeper Diver with a NBK Spin Doctor with a Hammer Fly (leader length of 22 inches from nose to knot).

Glen’s fish was coming in first and we boated it. 14lbs 10oz tagged it #1483 and it contained an adipose fin. Then Paul’s Fish comes to the boat and we put the net under that fish. 12lbs even and tagged with # 1485.

While photos were taken, I re-arrange and put the wire diver on the starboard side on a 3 setting and out 150 ft. I was interrupted with another rip on the port side braid diver that showed signs of another king. Glen's turn again and this was yet another drag peeling powerful fish.
While Paul was fighting that fish I set a slide diver and added a spoon Glen picked out, a Chicken Wing Warrior Mag size spoon. It was set back 70 ft then the diver clicked in place and then out 140 on a 4 setting. Also set the rigger up again with the Rocket.

The wire diver goes again and this time it’s a Lake Trout. Then the slide diver that was just set, starts to shake. John grabbed that rod until we netted and tagged Paul’s fish that weighed 16 lbs 6 oz. Tag # 1481. Triple header!
Paul quickly brings in the small fish on the slide diver , but when we get it in the net we were surprised to find an Atlantic Salmon. A rare catch indeed! 20 ½ inches long in total length.
Time to set rods again, We haven’t had four rods in the water yet in the first hour and a half, but after a quick set-up we were up to six rods at 7:40 am.

The rigger set with Frog on Chrome Spin Doctor and glow green Hammer was silent all morning down 60 ft but finally takes a shot. Paul jumps to his feet and grabs the rod. The fish swam towards the boat and the surface and Paul quickly made up line. The was not 30 feet behind the boat with nothing but white water and a big Chinooks head thrashing back and forth. Everyone in the boat said ‘WOW that’s a big fish”. Then the fish dove at the back of the boat going straight down. The line was peeling off the reel and Paul yelled in surprise of the power in the fish. Then the main line broke. Ahhhh.

Full core was put out and it took no time to fire. Glen manages to bring in the Rainbow at 4 lbs. OK- time to make the Grand Slam. Rigger down 80 ft over 100 FOW and a fat Lake Trout takes a Fish-on Fly behind a Mountain dew NBK Spin Doctor. GRAND SLAM complete.

But that wasn't were it would end. Paul catch's his personal best King at 26 lbs.
16 for 21 was the day's end count. It was great having Paul and Glen on board!!! Here's some more pictures...

Shane Thombs