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Take on 2021 salmon season on Lake O ?


chinook35

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Just wondering how everyone felt about this past season on Lake O. 
I didn’t get out as many times as in past years   The trips I made were only fair for catch rate and size for Chinook . I caught fish on nearly every trip , but it was much slower than I’ve ever experienced   Didn’t get to fish the spring BT fishery , but I heard it was nearly non existent. 

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I  pretty much had the same experience as you chinook 35. I fish oak orchard and it seems like the fish are going farther out in lake every year. it seems like i use to fish 150-200ft of water a lot more than i do now.  maybe just more wind events the last couple of years. still great fishing.   the BT spring fishing can be really tough now compared to what it use to be.

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Here's my take, which don't mean dilly!

 

I'd say if you were a West end fisherman it was good and consistent. Not lights out like we've experienced in the last few years, but consistent. I feel for the East end guys this year. They had more of a typical season out there, and maybe even a little tougher. They did get spoiled the last few seasons. The newer guys down there would say the fishery was off.

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I feel the lower water which led to clear clean water kept the kings on the west end to be in with the flow of the Niagara river . 

 

Seems like the guys Oak east had to go out mid lake to get constant silver action . 

 

We have most definitely been spoiled the last so many years . And with the stocking cuts , could be lean for years to come . 

 

We sure didn't get the return at Sandy this year of kings . And Brown's or rainbows for that matter

I have lived through this before 

Can't be great every year . Makes you appreciate the good years . 

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I have fished the East end of Lake O ( Oswego to Gallo/Stoney ) since the mid 70’s    
In the day you could bet on the kings hitting Mexico bay in mid July   And the fishing getting better and better as it got into August   It has changed. The fish are definitely more scattered than I have ever seen it. The cut in stocking has played a role , but the overall size and weight have been on the decline for years. A limit catch was the rule for years. Now , it’s the exception. It’s getting harder and harder to justify the ever increasing cost of owning and outfitting a boat for the return. The out of staters that hire a charter for a day or two don’t get that we , who live here and fish every opportunity , have many thousands invested in this fishery   Time will tell if it gets better or worse 

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Out of Rochester  we never had the insane triples and quads like the last couple of years but we had a pretty consistent bite. 

One thing we noticed is that the fish were noticeably bigger this year and the bait more plentiful than in recent years.  We did some of the biggest kings I've seen since the early 80's this year. That's fine with me. I'd rather catch one really nice fish than a bunch of teenagers.

 

We had to use the electronics more in 2021,  usually if you found bait you found kings. Drop a waypoint and then work the heck out of it and the fish generally cooperated.  

 

On the plus side - steelhead and cohos were plentiful and eager biters if you went offshore. 

 

Downriggers probably only accounted for about a third of our fish this year. Most were on lead and dipseys. Downriggers weren't really catching kings for us until late summer when we started pulling meat, but even then maybe only half the bites came off downriggers. Dipsey/Spinny was probably our best producer all year. 

 

One trip this year we were having a tough bite so just to get the skunk off we pulled into 100', dropped the balls to the bottom and within minutes had a laker on.  I think that bite is as good as ever. 

 

We didn't target browns so I can't personally speak to that fishery, but I've heard it was pretty tough sledding this year. 

Edited by Chuck Smth
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Weather conditions this year set things u different for us we did not do well on our traditional way points and had to search out new spots fishing was harder overall but life conditions has us fishing sodus area more this year last two years were more sandy area. We had more consistent action than many we talked to but overall fewer fish and smaller kings but more and bigger stealhead. We lost most of spring when the boat died but turned out a blessing I ended up with a boat I never thought I would end up with and it's a pleasure to fish out of. Key lesson this year if it's not working g change it up and do the be afraid to go to very different areas if your normal ones are not set up

Sent from my XT1080 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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This season was good but not the great fishing we had the past 10 years.  One huge thing to take into consideration is the inconsistent winds ALL season.  This made things tougher than it should have been.  Brown fishing was stellar.  A lot of guys were complaining early on that there were not a lot of small browns around.  Mid to late summer, there were tons around except for the 5-8lb class of browns.  Anything smaller than 5lbs and bigger than 9lbs, numbers were great.  

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On 10/30/2021 at 12:29 AM, GAMBLER said:

One huge thing to take into consideration is the inconsistent winds ALL season. 

 

Kind of over this statement unless someone can line up data to back it? Whenever there's tough fishing I hear this excuse. I only fish weekends, but I didn't have to cancel a charter becasue of weather until mid September, and I started in late March. Currently, the East end rivers and streams are loaded, so we can't use the stocking cuts as an excuse either. I'm at a loss for why it was tougher for some areas of the lake. 

Edited by Yankee Troller
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7 hours ago, Yankee Troller said:

 

 Currently, the East end rivers and streams are loaded, so we can't use the stocking cuts as an excuse either. I'm at a loss for why it was tougher for some areas of the lake. 

I have not talked to one 15 to 20 yr experienced guide who has said the rivers were loaded.  Pretty good Coho run but certainly not Kings.  There are a few internet hero fish cutters over stating there business but I think that is where it ends....  Oswego never got a run.  

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48 minutes ago, Tall Tails said:

I have not talked to one 15 to 20 yr experienced guide who has said the rivers were loaded.  Pretty good Coho run but certainly not Kings.  There are a few internet hero fish cutters over stating there business but I think that is where it ends....  Oswego never got a run.  

 

Yup, going off the racks of zombies I see all over Facebook. I've silenced those trib pages on social media. Watching that crowd of people disrespect our tribs, as well as those Salmon, makes me sick. The stream guys beyotch about something and get protection for the fish that's slated for them. However, the fish slated for the Lake guys get's no protection from the trib guys. Our best specimens get ripped out of the system before their genes can get harvested. They're un-ethically caught most of the time. I can go on and on, but it falls on deaf ears so one county's business isn't effected.

Edited by Yankee Troller
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3 hours ago, Tall Tails said:

I have not talked to one 15 to 20 yr experienced guide who has said the rivers were loaded.  Pretty good Coho run but certainly not Kings.  There are a few internet hero fish cutters over stating there business but I think that is where it ends....  Oswego never got a run.  

Yes sir !! I am getting the same information.

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On 10/28/2021 at 11:41 AM, chinook35 said:

Just wondering how everyone felt about this past season on Lake O. 
I didn’t get out as many times as in past years   The trips I made were only fair for catch rate and size for Chinook . I caught fish on nearly every trip , but it was much slower than I’ve ever experienced   Didn’t get to fish the spring BT fishery , but I heard it was nearly non existent. 


It was a spoon year. Meat caught some, flies caught some, plugs caught some but day after day from March til September spoons carried the day. 

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15 hours ago, Yankee Troller said:

 

Kind of over this statement unless someone can line up data to back it? Whenever there's tough fishing I hear this excuse. I only fish weekends, but I didn't have to cancel a charter becasue of weather until mid September, and I started in late March. Currently, the East end rivers and streams are loaded, so we can't use the stocking cuts as an excuse either. I'm at a loss for why it was tougher for some areas of the lake. 

You know as well as anyone stable weather = better fishing for all Lake O species.  Inconsistent weather and shifting thermalcline makes fish move to stable offshore waters.  The West end has it was easier to fish those offshore waters.  Having the boat you have also makes it easier to fish offshore most days.  

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10 hours ago, GAMBLER said:

You know as well as anyone stable weather = better fishing for all Lake O species.  Inconsistent weather and shifting thermalcline makes fish move to stable offshore waters.  The West end has it was easier to fish those offshore waters.  Having the boat you have also makes it easier to fish offshore most days.  

 

There's weather every year. I still have no data from anyone to back up the theory about the weather this Summer being different from the last few where fishing was good.

Edited by Yankee Troller
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Made it to Lake O twice this season, west end, late May and late July, fished for about 5 days total, very small sample size, but our July trip was the best fishing I've ever experienced.  We caught over 20 mature kings and countless big steelhead.  The kings were huge, got my PB at 28lbs.  I am going to dream all winter about the white water shooting from behind that planer board when that beast took off like a freight train!  We got a number of kings over 20lb in the Spring as well but the fishing was "slower" with heavy derby traffic and flat lake.  Obviously I don't have the perspective as the guys doing it every weekend, but holy hell, this is an AMAZING fishery.   Only thing I can complain about Lake Ontario is how it sure makes fishing in Lake Erie seem boring!  

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1 hour ago, Yankee Troller said:

 

There's weather every year. I still have no data from anyone to back up the theory about the weather this Summer being different from the last few where fishing was good.

 Since I'm a pretty nerdy engineer I keep a detailed diary of every trip. Conditions, winds, location, temps., speeds, what produced, what didn't, etc. If I compare this year to last they are remarkably similar. The only thing the data I've got shows is that we didn't get as many doubles/triples as last year and that pretty much accounts for the lower total number of kings boated. 

 

As I noted earlier, the plus side is that steelhead and cohos were more plentiful this year for us. So when you add that into the number of kings we caught, we had a decent year.  Not off-the-charts and a few days we really had to grind, but a good year. 

 

Another thing was we had a little more south wind this year so we didn't have to run as far offshore to find temps. 

 

BTW, I really encourage keeping a notebook. It helps me a lot. 

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