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Our Summer on Lake O - Li'l Bit Crew


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Our summer 2012 Lake Ontario trout and salmon season began on July 19 when we (my wife, son, brother-in-law, grandson and I) towed our Sportcraft 252 to Point Breeze.

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We arrived to find the wind howling from the NE with 4-6 foot seas. We launched the boat at the town dock and ran her upriver to Wiley’s Marina where she would be docked for a month. We didn’t get out that day so I set my alarm for 4:30 the next morning. When I got up it was dark of course, but I could see the silhouette of a small tree across the street laid down to look like it was growing sideways. When I got back up at 6 the wind was still blowing hard so we decided to go see Naigara Falls since my Brother-in-law had never been there. It was my first time to the American side and I was duly impressed with the views and lack of commercialism you get on the American side of the falls. When we got back the wind was laying down and we had hope the lake would as well. We later went out, set up a troll and had a couple of hits on wire divers that evening, but nothing in the boat to show for it. We had put my 12 year old grandson on the rod, so he took a little good natured kidding regarding his fishing skills.

Saturday morning found us on the lake early and we had 1’ or less all day. We fished a full day and had an all king day with most of our hits on spoons off divers running at 60 – 100 feet. We fished waters that were 100 – 300 feet and had mostly teens.

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The next trip was August 2 and there were four of us on that one. This time it was my son and grandson, his daddy and I. We had been having a screeching sound from the engine compartment that a couple of mechanics had suggested indicated an alternator problem. I called a several Mercruiser service providers in the Rochester area and couldn’t get anyone to answer the phone. Then I started calling the Buffalo area and the best I could get was 3 – 5 days for a new alternator. I had a nav light with a bad bulb so we went to Lake Breeze to get a replacement bulb. They asked if that was all and I said that I needed an alternator. They looked and had the numbers that bracketed mine, but did not have the right one. They said they could get me a new alternator the next day, so I told them to get it. We headed out into shallow water, not wanting to get too far from port with a failing alternator. Several of the contributors on Lake Ontario United had made suggestions to us about how and where to fish for browns, so that’s what we decided to do. Our first fish was a 12-1/2 pound brownie.

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Then we caught a 9 pounder also. Both of these fish went into the freezer whole for my taxidermist son to prepare replica molds. We also caught a king the size of the smaller brown that went back for a swim.

Friday morning we caught a couple of brown trout and a 13 pound king fishing the waters we plied the evening before. We headed in early to let the engine cool before changing the alternator. Unfortunately the big brown truck did not show up a Lake Breeze until around 4:15 pm. I got the alternator changed and we were heading to the lake by 5:30. We had a good couple of hours and we got into a few smaller kings.

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Saturday was our last day for that trip and we had a few steelhead and several kings in the high teens and up to 21 pounds. We caught 13, kept 9, lost 10 (mostly on wires) and had another half dozen runoffs with no one home by the time we got to the rods.

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We still had one more trip planned. My son , his wife and their two daughters had planned their week-long summer vacation for the week of August 11 – 18. They got out early on the morning of Monday August 13. As seemed to be the case during that time, it took a while to get on the fish. Their first fish was a 17 lb king.

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Next they caught a 22 pounder that bested our previous boat record of 21 pounds for a Lake Ontario salmonid.

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Their third fish of the morning was this 27 pound beauty.

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My son wanted to quit at this point because he knew he was the one who had to get those fish up the 52 steps from the docks to the parking lot at Wiley’s. The kids would have none of that as they were having a ball catching these first three fish on wire divers pulling spinny/fly combos. They continued trolling in 140 – 240 feet of water with riggers set at 40 – 100 feet and wire divers with Walker 107s on a 2 setting out 240 – 300 feet.

The next and final fish for that day was this 29 pound king.

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My wife, grandson and I showed up late on Tuesday morning. After we got settled in the cottage and did a couple of things on the boat, we started checking the weather for the forecast thunderstorms. It was about 7 pm before the electrical activity passed, so we didn’t get out on Tuesday. Wednesday morning we were one of the very first boats out of the harbor.

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Once again our early start did not result in early catches and tit took a couple of hours before we started landing some steelies.

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We caught several and had one sizeable fish on that got off 20’ from the boat before we had to take the girls in at lunch time.

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We had some lunch and got back out in the afternoon. In all we caught 9 steelhead and one really nice coho – first ever on our boat.

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All in all we had a great summer season. Before this season we had made one annual trip to Lake Ontario. For a couple of seasons our trip was to do a charter. Then we started bringing our boat up for a trip to combine with a charter. Next we brought the boat up for one trip of three or four days. Finally this season we had the boat up for a month – this stuff grown on you. This season we accomplished:

We caught fish every day we fished but one. That one day we had multiple hits on wire divers but could not get the fish to the boat.

We broke our boat record for heaviest salmon three times.

We caught our first ever Lake O brown trout.

We caught the first coho on our boat.

We learned a tremendous amount about trolling lures and techniques in the charters we did with Captains Rick Hajecki and Bill Ruth. I also want to thank Captain Carl Bish for his willingness to talk and share information over the radio. Also, all the guys on Lake Ontario United have been very helpful in answering questions and sharing information that helped us a lot.

Now the boat is home and it will undergo a little modification on our track system and tackle to convert to a striper trolling machine. We will have the fall season and next spring to give the boat a good workout in the brine, but will be looking forward to next July/August when we hope to be back at Point Breeze.

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