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  1. Been a while since I trib fished so I may be a little out of touch. I trib fished hardcore for 20 plus years though. My personal opinion is that after mid-Nov the majority of trib fisherman are C&R. I believe the attraction to the trib fishery is to catch quantity with some trophy potential. I think more fisherman will come back if they can catch 10 plus fish in a day and maybe keep one as opposed to only catching 5 or less and keeping 3. The majority of people aren’t traveling from other states and spending money to come and catch fish for dinner, especially in the tribs. I guarantee that if somebody comes up and scores 10 fish in a morning with some trophy’s mixed in they are 10 times more likely to come back then if they came up and only caught 2 or 3. Once a fish enters the trib it is very likely to being caught over and over again, therefore any reg that promotes C&R in the tribs makes sense. I remember catching the same brown trout in various holes in the western tribs for two months straight. If I’m catching the same fish multiple times in a season I can only image how many times others have as well. They fought just the same each time and if I wasn’t in the know I would have thought that was the first time the fish was caught. Even if the fish dies at the end of the season (which the jury is out that they actually do) that fish was enjoyed many times by multiple individuals. Once that fish is caught and kept it is enjoyed once and by one person. Sure there will be those that abuse the fishery. No regulation is going to stop that so arguing about it is in vain anyway. Side note. I’m a huge proponent of our brown trout fishery as I think they bring a good benefit to the fishery as a whole. They are a good filler in the trib fishery when steelhead can be sporadic at times. They C&R very well. They are good for the open lake fisherman in that they are accesible year round to the small boat owners and are good for charters to target when younger fisherman are involved or when the salmon bite is off. They also have a balanced diet so they aren’t as susceptible to the boom and bust of any given bait population. They pretty much provide a year round fishery as well. My two cents
  2. Been a while since I’ve changed my dipsey rods. Any recommendations on the glue to use to attach the twili tip on my new dipsey rods? Would super glue work? Thanks for everyone’s help with all my questions.
  3. I’ll be rigging a 5,7, and 10 color set up. I usually run 27lb of whatever brand is available. Haven’t really gave much thought of the brand or considered a different size. Would be interested to hear others preference on brand and size? Also, I’m usually trolling with spoons at 2.5 to 2.8mph. Based on your suggestion, what approximate depth would I achieve at those speeds? I know rule of thumb is 5ft per color at 2.0mph, but what would the depth be at higher speeds and/or different weight cores. Any folks with Fish TD May be able to provide some insight? Thanks in advance
  4. Thanks Rich. How much braid will fit on the 30 with a 5 color?
  5. Anybody know what Saltist would be good for a 5 & 7 color leadcore? Thinking the 40 but would like to hear from somebody that has any experience using these.
  6. Good read. Many, many theories out there. I’ve fished the lake since the late 80s and can testify to a lot of the trends mentioned. I think more than anything, the warm fall trib temps have formed the life traits of our current LO chinooks from when they first were introduced. There used to be huge staging beginning in mid-August with combat pierhead fishing in full force by Labor Day. By the 2nd week in Sept the major push was over. Tribs, including the salmon river, would be absolutely littered with salmon carcasses throughout the month of Sept. All fish that would never pass on their genetics come egg collection at the hatchery in mid October. Many of us can remember what the Genny looked like mid September with the banks littered with rotting salmon. The fish left at the hatchery during egg collection in mid October were those that ran late and most likely didn’t stage for very long. Clearer water could also be a factor in the decreased near shore staging for salmon as well. I also remember good Spring catches of salmon, then vastly slowing down by mid-May, all but non existent in June, slowly picking back up in July, then a blood bath by mid August. I remember catching a 26lb king on June 20th while the DEC was doing their survey at Iron Bay and they said that was the first salmon they had seen out of Rochester that month. Nothing like the 20 plus fish days we experience all season long as of late. The larger staging activity back then could also simply be a factor that there were more mature salmon left in the lake in August because they were not being caught in abundance in June and July like they are now. I believe that increased catch rates now compared to back then is because once the massive bait schools showed up by mid-may in the 80’s/early 90s our lures couldn’t compete. There were more salmon being put in the lake back then so logically there should have been higher catch rates. Sure we are all better fisherman now, but I’m hearing stories of newbies nowadays going out and catching double digit numbers in June. In my opinion there is too much correlation to the decreasing salmon size, higher catch rates , and lower bait abundance being detected by the trawl analysis to come to any other conclusion that the decreasing size of our salmon is being most impacted by decreasing bait populations. As somebody mentioned earlier, Lake Michigan is actually starting to see an increased in the size of their salmon now that they have a better balanced predator/prey dynamic. If genetics and evolution were the major driving force behind reduced salmon size, what we are seeing in Lake Michigan should never be the case. An alternative theory to selective harvesting impacting the age class of maturing salmon, could be that when a population feels environmental stress they tend to mature early, not later. Stress in LO being, reduced bait, therefore it is best to mature early and of a smaller size to insure your genetics stay in the mix. Another perspective regarding the plumpness factor of age two fish that is that it is well known that salmon feed the most in the last year of their life so they can live off their reserves during their spawning period. In the 80's/90s it was common for a 3 yr old 18-22lb salmon in May to gain 10-15lbs by August, with 2-5lbs weight gain attributed to growing eggs in females. That is just not the case anymore. We know more salmon are maturing at age 2 these days, therefore the plumpness of a 2 year salmon could simply be that they are putting the feed bag on to prepare for spawning as they normally do in their last year of life. The growing eggs in the female 2 yr olds can be misintrepted as a healthy, "plump" 2 yr old as well. We are nowhere near what was experienced in Lake Huron with the complete crash of their alewife population. Even the change in life traits aforementioned could not counter the total devastation of the bait population experienced in Huron that produced the emaciated salmon they experienced. Interesting mention of the little impact to size of the Brown trout and Coho salmon. This is most likely because they are more adaptable to different sources of food, Gobies, perch, emeralds, ect. All additional food sources that Chinooks refuse to eat. We should be capitalizing on the almost unlimited abundance of Gobies available and stocking more Browns right now. I also like the idea of introducing more strains, seaforellen mainly, which grow to 20 plus lbs with more regularity. Browns are available pretty much 12 months of the year in either the tribs or lake, are easy to target and stay near shore providing opportunity for the small boat owners, and consume huge amounts of gobies which we happen to have a lot of right now. My two cents.
  7. Want to upgrade my triples. Have big Jon’s. Thinking Cisco. Anybody have any suggestions?
  8. I believe that Kings are the only salmonids that can successfully naturally reproduce in LO to any great extent due to the warm trib temps in the summer. Young kings migrate out in May and June before trib temps become too high. Much of the salmon river can get in the low 70s in the Summer which is lethal for young salmonids. Even Irondequoit Creek here in Roch gets good runs of kings every year and they haven’t been stocked in that creek in over 20 years. Getting a handle on natural reproduction is a good idea IMO to effectively manage the fishery.
  9. Genetic selection is a good point, but that would mean that the DEC would consistently be choosing smaller fish over larger fish. I believe they just take from fish as they come down the line. Doesn’t explain higher catch rates either, unless we all are becoming that much better of fisherman year after year:) Again, never mind what has happened with natural reproduction, bait trawls, the weather, etc over the past 5 years, the long term trends are very indicative of a growing predator to prey ratio.
  10. Forget the science if you want. Higher catch rates and declining size equals less forage. I don’t know any other way to interpret that. Not over 1 year, or 2 years, or even 5 years. This has been a trend for at least 15 years. Yes, Lake Ontario is more productive than other Great Lakes, but there still needs to be a balance. If I’m reading the DEC report correct the biggest alewife hatch in 2016 that we talk about is not so big anymore. Most likely because they have been decimated by heavy predation. Hoping for a warm winter to pull of another great bait hatch is not a great strategy to manage a fishery. There were many mornings this season when we caught upwards of 20 salmon. If I caught 20% less or even 50% less that still is a catch of 10-15 salmon in a morning...and the chance of the fish being larger. All is well in my book.
  11. Couldn’t you just adjust the following years stocking based on the spring trawls? Would always be a year behind but it is better than stocking the same number year after year regardless of conditions.
  12. Couldn’t you just adjust the following years stocking based on the spring trawls? Would always be a year behind but it is better than stocking the same number year after year regardless of conditions.
  13. Makes sense Gambler. Time will tell, but the trend of declining salmon size and increasing catch rates has been in the making for a long time now going back to the early 2000s. As somebody pointed out look at the history of the LOC leaderboards and the DEC published catch rates in the past 15 years. Not sure how sustainable the salmon numbers we have now are without something giving. I haven’t heard any news about the latest bait trawls but it seems like this many salmon would be putting a lot of pressure on any bait that is out there. I know it’s a different lake (LO being more productive,etc) but I can’t help thinking of Lake Michigan that had similar catch rates and sizes a few years ago. They ended up having to cut stocking in half. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining or being a naysayer, I’m just being cautious. I’ve seen enough great fisheries crash and burn to know that things can change quickly for the worse to the point of no return. I love this fishery as much as anybody and have a 2 and a 4 year that I hope will too.
  14. Clearly the predator/prey ratio seems to be a little skewed this year. Bait is getting absolutely pounded with this many salmon in the lake right now. Every bait school I’ve marked has had 2-3 fish on it. Although these high catch rates are nice, they are so high it is a little concerning. I have caught well over 100 salmon this year with only one or two being over 20lbs. Record high catch rates with record low salmon weight is a strong sign of a predator/prey imbalance. High catch rates, smaller fish, people complain. Big fish, lower catch, people complain. DEC has a tough job for sure.
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