I was invited back to the Dofasco Angling Club to speak on a topic of Salmon and Trout on Lake Ontario. President Bill Jefferies recommended my charter service to his son Phil (the Best Man) to arrange a bachelor Charter for his brother Matt (the Groom to be). Months before the date we planned to accommodate 6 men and it included hiring Brent Bochek of Fish NV Guiding Service to host 3 and I would host 3.
|From Matt the Groom to be|
The two boats departed together from Foran’s Marine at 6:00 am and were met with a choppy lake from winds coming from the Northwest. A 3 foot chop kept things bouncing for the first hour of trolling that took place in 130 FOW straight out from the Marina. We were without a strike for some time and when we did have a strike it was a missed fish. We trolled with the waves during the first hour and managed only one small rainbow and one small Chinook salmon that both came on a Wonderbread Yeck 66 Zipper spoon as a free slider that finds itself halfway down with the downrigger weight set at 47 feet. With the two fish that hit very high in the water column spurred us to make minor adjustments to the lines to raise things up a little. The chop was obviously helping these fish ride high in the water column with comfort.
On our troll easterly with the waves we ended in front of Grimsby’s far east end where we turned to troll up wind. Although bumpy, the rods began to hire. Must be a speed thing I thought, and the down speed showed a head current even though our GPS speed remained consistent. Higher speeds are key! Then it was one rainbow after the next that came to the boat. It was a steady pick, but without any doubleheaders and much chaos to contend with at the back of the boat. The downriggers were taking most of the shots, but 10 colour leadcore was also managing a few fish.
When we trolled all the way back to the top of our starting point which was close to the Grimsby Weather marker, the winds stopped and the lake laid right down. It was odd because as the lake relaxed the fish did not. The bite got even better and now two hours into our Trip everyone had a few turns on the rods already reeling in about 8 Rainbow Trout and one salmon.
9:30 am and the Lake is only with a slight ripple and the sun is starting to get hot. We troll South to 120 FOW directly in front of Foran’s Marine and then while we turn to the port side to head east again, the starboard rigger fires. I grab the rod, and it was instant gratitude as the short lead on the downrigger made the rod feel like it still hadn’t sprung up to take up any slack. It was solid as the rod doubled over and vigorous headshakes were felt as the fish thrashed from only 47 feet below the stern of the boat. I handed the rod to Phil that was on deck for the next fish. As I did, the reel clicker to tell us line was coming off the reel started to sing in a cadence and the fish bolted for waters further from where he had been hooked. I started the camera after the initial run, but once we had finally turned to slow the fish down the reel read 500+ feet of line. Other lines required clearing and some found itself around the line while we fought the fish. Keeping the boat circling the fish helped us free the lines from a catastrophe, and Phil’s patience as we did so, was much appreciated.
Now it was all Phil and his brute of a King Salmon to fight it out. We get the fish to the back of the boat and Mark slides the net under the fish, but the sheer size of the fish causes difficulty in fitting it’s entire body easily through the hoop of the net. Mark lays across the cowling of the motor to reach out and gain a few more inches and the fish is caught. Brought on board and smiles around the boat as Phil boats his biggest fish ever. 28.4 lbs on the digital scale. 39” Fork Length 41” total length.
The highlight of the trip for sure, but it was without the end to catching more fish. About another 10 rainbows came to the boat as well as 2 coho salmon.
When we came to the dock at noon we snapped some pictures of the entire crew. Wished Matt all the luck and enjoyment on his big wedding day in a month’s time and we shared a few laughs as we talked about the morning’s events and what was next for Matt’s Bachelor party.
Have fun boys!
Shane Thombs www.FINtasticSportfishing.com