Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Monday Erie Perch, October 10, 2011

What a great Thanksgiving weekend of weather and fishing. Four full days of flat calm water and today the sun is shinning again and it’s warm enough to be out in a T-Shirt. Brian Blainey, that docks beside me at Lake Court marina in Grimsby, was on a job in the morning but wanted to try for a bucket full of Erie Perch in the afternoon. That provided Aidan and I enough time to scout out a spot to net some minnows in the morning. We caught a few but they were really small.

When Brian got back from his window repair job, we hooked up my boat and Brian was fast on the phone to call Erie Tracker for Minnows- they were closed. The word on the website messageboards were that minnows were hard to get. So Brian called Fishmaster Tackle shop in Dunnville and luckily he had minnows available. It was a little out of our way, but we pulled the boat to Dunnville, picked up minnows and then turned east to Port Colborne to launch at noon hour.

There had to be 100 boats anchored in two packs, one pack at Point Abino and the other directly in front of Port Colborne in 65 FOW. We cruised straight out and then slowed when we got to the pack. It was flat calm and the last thing you want to do is run the boat fast and create a wake that will upset a lot of guys.

We merely were at idle scanning the area for fish and any structure to anchor on. There wasn’t much to make us stop and finally we seen a few hooks on the bottom and then dropped the anchor. Drop the minnows down and bang Brian brings up a perch. Then Aidan pulls up his first Erie Perch. But then it was tough to hook another for a while. We pulled the anchor and drifted for a bit until we seen more fish on the graph and then drop it again. That worked to catch a few more, but still not enough to be content with the spot. We moved around a bit more and moved back to an area where we seen a few boats catch a bunch when we were watching them.

Aidan Perch

From Photo_Gallery5

We then seen schools of bait on the SONAR and we decided to try it. It was a good decision. For the next two hours of fishing until 4:00p when we pulled our lines and ran in, we caught perch one after another. There were no Jumbos in our catches, but we managed 50 perch to keep that were all over 9 inches.

Shane Thombs

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bill's Hunt for Silvers, October 7, 2011

It was well over a year when my friend Bill and I were hoping to make a fishing trip happen. He had fished with me for walleye and bass on Lake Erie last year and both times we hit one fish the entire day- sometimes it is true when the say it is called “Fishing not Catching”. Although we try, the results were simply not good enough so I promised Bill a better Lake Ontario trip and explained that we will work around each others schedule and set off when convenient.

With Aidan bundled up with a coat, the chill in the morning air was a sure sign we were near the end of the Lake Ontario trolling Season. This far into the season very few fisherman have been out, so information sharing was non-existent. We knew that our trip would mean a “hunt for silvers”.

We motored our way out from Foran’s Marine in Grimsby and scanned the shallows first then ran for a short distance and scanned 60 FOW and then 80, then 120 and then 150. It wasn’t until we got to 200 FOW that there were some signs of life on the SONAR. But the bait and fish were marking on the graph were deep. 80 to 130 feet down. We still scanned for some time until there were enough marks to decide we would slow to a troll. We were in 250 FOW and the screen filled with bait and hooks.

I came ill prepared to fish effectively in those types of depths with all lines. So I made the best of it with two downriggers and long stretches from 107 divers. I also only had Leadcore on board and that meant the best I could do was put out a 10 colour Leadcore and add 4 oz of weight to get it down a little further.

Only a few times in the season are you forced to fish 100 feet down. But when I do, there are a few things that have proven to be successful techniques to catch fish from those depths. One is running downrigger lines with short leads. Flashers in glow colours are also good and running cutbait or cutbait imitations like MC Rockets are the go to sets.

Today I ran both riggers with one 10” Spindoctor with cutbait and the other with a number 1 MC Rocket. Consistent was glow colours in all parts of the baits.

Bill and Aidan

From Photo_Gallery5

It was a short trip fishing until 11 am and at the end I had a few waypoints ready for tomorrows charter. Bill had 4 salmon to bring home with the biggest at 11 lbs. Aidan was also smiling after having the opportunity to drive the boat with the water being flat calm.

Shane Thombs