Finally, after what felt like the longest winter in recent memory, the boat was finally splashed down for the start of the 2013 fishing season. Although you can say this is a cold spring thus far, it actually is more normal than what we have been spoiled by in recent years. Last year had to been the earliest we ever seen spring, and to bring us back on par, is a bit of a shock to the system.
A friend from TSC Grimsby store; Rob, and my son Aidan joined me for this planned short fish and shakedown cruise. Aidan had his mind set to catch his first Brown Trout today, and accomplishment that would finish breaking the ice of catching all five of the most popular Trout and Salmon species on Lake Ontario. To give you an idea of his accomplishments at 8 years old and over 4 seasons trolling on Lake Ontario; his personal best by species consist of; 28 lbs Chinook salmon, 18 lbs Lake Trout, 9 lbs Rainbow Trout, 4 lbs Coho. But today we were ready to catch his first Brown Trout.
We launched from Grimsby’s Foran’s Marine at 10:00 am. Early starts are not always the best when the water is cold. Mid-day bites can be more productive and with current conditions on the lake it was likely the optimal time to hit the water for fishing. But more importantly it was the first time on the water for the boat this season, which means making sure everything is in working order. When we cleared the rocks and powered up on the lake we ran the motors and checked the gauges. ALL WAS GOOD- that feeling is better than accomplishing a 10+ fish day.
We turned the boat back to the shoreline and began our troll. Body baits went out on the boards and the two inside lines we experimented with spoons and other styles of body baits. We also tried a 0 sized Dodger and small peanut fly. Much of the baits and colours we started with were changed out by the end of our 4 hour trip.
The water was brown with much run off from the creeks and the onshore strong winds we seem to be experiencing the past few weeks. Inside of 15 feet you couldn’t see your prop in the water, but the water temps were between 42 to almost 44 degrees in the stained shallower water. This is a satellite picture that shows the amount of shoreline dirty water along the south shore. This is good in the fact that it allows fish to stay shallow under the cover of dirty water, but conversely it becomes difficult catching fish that feed primarily by sight in open water. In my experience a few techniques have helped catch fish in these types of conditions; troll slow (2 mph), use bright colour baits, look for rattles in body baits or a jointed bait that will click on every tail wiggle, and look for baits that have a greater wobble (tail wag) action.
A Bomber Long A jointed in firetiger set 100 ft behind the board on mono caught two coho. The best producing bait for the day was a Storm Thunderstick Jr Deep Diver in Hot Tiger. See picture below. It was set 40-50 feet lead and then clipped on to an inline planerboard. The action of the bait was key in these conditions which lends itself to work in theses dirty water conditions. This bait caught 2 coho, 1 Lake Trout and this Brown Trout. That’s right; Aidan’s first Brown Trout at 9 ½ pounds on the scale!
The funny part of the trip was Rob asking Aidan which rod would go off next. Aidan would say the rod number if we counted them from port to starboard across the back of the boat. “Number 2 then Number 5.” He was right over and over again. Rob thought he must have a special talent or skill, Like he was the next “Fish whisperer”.
It was a short trip pulling lines at 2 pm. All went well and was a fun trip and look forward to another great fishing year!