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After five years of jigging Lake Ontario, I got a chinook salmon!

Every trip I have made this summer, there were marks up high, between me and the lakers I was targeting.  But they never seemed to bite, or even follow.  But last week, when it was flat calm, I saw a salmon follow my jigging spoon all the way up to the boat.  That gave me the courage to try for those up high marks some more.  There was one that seemed to chase my jig as it dropped, visible on my sonar screen.  I stopped it at 60 foot down, pumped, the rod a few times, and got a bite.  It was obvious at the hookset that this was no laker.

I had always imagined that a chinook would immediately tear the rod from my hands, but that wasn't the case.  It more like swum fast figure eights, making it hard for me to keep a tight line for the first minute or so.  He bulldogged me as I brought him up, and I was tickled to see silver as his back broke the surface.  There was a big eel stuck to him.  Now, when you have a lake trout at boatside, he is pretty much licked and netting him isn't hard.  Not so for the salmon.  He wanted nothing to do with the net, and tore off on a run every time he saw it.  It was crazy, trying to pull him in with one hand, scoop him with the other, and watch him bolt away again and again!  Finally I exhausted the salmon, he rolled over, and I got him in the bag.  The eel had skedaddled by then.  Smart move.  I would have made a "Join or Die" flag out of the lamprey had I gotten him!  The chinook measured 36 inches.  A little thin, maybe, but a solid teenager!

It's remarkable how fast a fisherman can get spoiled.  I hooked a lake trout maybe 2 drops later, and it was so less satisfying after that king!  Overall I had good action in the morning, there were lots of fish around in the same place I found them last week, but once it got bright and warm the fish shut right off.

Nonetheless, it's always an awesome day when you cross a personal milestone.

JigSalmon.jpg

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After five years of jigging Lake Ontario, I got a chinook salmon!
Every trip I have made this summer, there were marks up high, between me and the lakers I was targeting.  But they never seemed to bite, or even follow.  But last week, when it was flat calm, I saw a salmon follow my jigging spoon all the way up to the boat.  That gave me the courage to try for those up high marks some more.  There was one that seemed to chase my jig as it dropped, visible on my sonar screen.  I stopped it at 60 foot down, pumped, the rod a few times, and got a bite.  It was obvious at the hookset that this was no laker.
I had always imagined that a chinook would immediately tear the rod from my hands, but that wasn't the case.  It more like swum fast figure eights, making it hard for me to keep a tight line for the first minute or so.  He bulldogged me as I brought him up, and I was tickled to see silver as his back broke the surface.  There was a big eel stuck to him.  Now, when you have a lake trout at boatside, he is pretty much licked and netting him isn't hard.  Not so for the salmon.  He wanted nothing to do with the net, and tore off on a run every time he saw it.  It was crazy, trying to pull him in with one hand, scoop him with the other, and watch him bolt away again and again!  Finally I exhausted the salmon, he rolled over, and I got him in the bag.  The eel had skedaddled by then.  Smart move.  I would have made a "Join or Die" flag out of the lamprey had I gotten him!  The chinook measured 36 inches.  A little thin, maybe, but a solid teenager!
It's remarkable how fast a fisherman can get spoiled.  I hooked a lake trout maybe 2 drops later, and it was so less satisfying after that king!  Overall I had good action in the morning, there were lots of fish around in the same place I found them last week, but once it got bright and warm the fish shut right off.
Nonetheless, it's always an awesome day when you cross a personal milestone.
JigSalmon.thumb.jpg.6dab859e7147a8e47f63d00068bfc4bd.jpg
Congrats Pete. That's awesome

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Excellent Pete Congratulations....another lesson that persistence pays off in the long run:smile: Not many folks can say that they have jigged one of those guys up

Edited by Sk8man
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Nice catch.ive been catchhinh a few pumping my copper rods

Caugh some gigging a flutter #88 sutton also.

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That is a great story and thanks for sharing.  Was wondering what kind of sonar you were using?  Vexilar?  

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34 minutes ago, MadPerry said:

That is a great story and thanks for sharing.  Was wondering what kind of sonar you were using?  Vexilar?  

I use a Lowrance.  If you look at my recent posts, I have a video that shows the graph in action.

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Good stuff. There was a fishing show I remember watching not too long ago were they were jigging up coho in Lake Michigan. Should google it and see what you find. I remember they used a lot of black jigs. 

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That’s awesome- always wanted to try it. I know John Gaulke of Finger Lakes Angling Zone has tried a few times. Congratulations!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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That is awesome. Congrats. They do it elsewhere, I just don’t see it in Lake Ontario. You are well on your way to figuring out how to do it consistently, I’m jealous

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Sounds like a blast!

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Congrats Pete! Was that you I trolled past yesterday in 130’ off Sandy?


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Awesome! This is the year to do it. 

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Awesome Pete! We just talked about this when we chatted.


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Nice job. Just out of couriousity, are you using a jigging outfit that you would use for saltwater butterfly jigging with metered braid? 

Just wondering because I have 4 for yellowfin tuna, but they would definitely be a little on the heavy side for Kings.

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4 hours ago, GAMBLER said:

Congrats Pete! Was that you I trolled past yesterday in 130’ off Sandy?


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Think so.  I wondered if that was you as well.  I was hoping you would troll close by so we could talk!

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1 hour ago, Whacker said:

Nice job. Just out of couriousity, are you using a jigging outfit that you would use for saltwater butterfly jigging with metered braid? 

Just wondering because I have 4 for yellowfin tuna, but they would definitely be a little on the heavy side for Kings.

I don't know much about saltwater fishing.  The rod and reel would be something you would use for bass or pike.  I use 10 or 15 pound braid with a mono leader.  I discuss this on one of my videos.

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3 hours ago, Pete Collin said:

Think so.  I wondered if that was you as well.  I was hoping you would troll close by so we could talk!

I was in a tan StarCraft with a brown top trolling 2 rods really slow! 

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