When in Doubt, Fish for Lake Trout
This season on Lake Ontario near Sandy Creek has been a challenging one. Early April we had many good days with multiple catches of brown trout. There were days where we even caught some good king salmon. May started like April ended. Our days were filled with good action. The kings were around in abundance and we thought what a year this is going to be.
That quickly changed with a weather pattern that brought an overabundance of rain and constantly changing wind direction. The salmon scattered and fishing was a bit trying at times. Although we caught fish, every day seemed to change and there was not the numbers of salmon that we saw earlier that May.
This scenario can happen at any time. When the weather is as inconsistent as the fishing it is easy to give up and go home. However when chartering, you must dig deep and get fish in the boat no matter what. When this happens, fishing for lake trout can be a trip saver. This year we have seen more big lake trout than in the past few years. Since early May there have been a good selection of fish caught. Even if you're not targeting them, the lake trout have been biting at a pretty good rate.
Lake trout usually like cold water. they will lay on the bottom and wait for a bait fish to swim near them. They like a very slow troll presentation( 1.2-1.7 mph) and the lure needs to be on top of their nose before they strike. This year while fishing for kings, we boated many lakers over 15 lbs and our biggest to date is 26 lbs. The lake trout have been aggressive, biting at all depths and hitting many lures that are usually used for salmon. There were many days we would double and triple up on lake trout, while fishing for king salmon! These fish have been hitting lures at 2.5-2.9 mph! They have been aggressive and fun to catch.
If you are ever on the water and the salmon fishing is slow, don't get discouraged. Have an open mind and look for other fish that may be around. if you are in 100 ft of water for example and you are marking fish on the bottom, chances are they are lake trout. Move a couple of lures to that depth and you may surprised at the results!
Capt. Lou Borrelli
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