Last Friday and this Monday I was able to go out trolling Lake Ontario with my buddy Ryan of Brookdog Fishing Co. ( brookdogfishing.com ) This was very cool and exciting to me since I had never been trolling prior. If anyone reading this listens to our podcast, Two Angles on Angling, you know that we haven't had many great days lately fishing locally. Due to many days with high winds, the conditions have been less than ideal for an early spring bite for many species.
Due to the windy conditions on Erie and the Upper we decided to go poke around on Ontario. Last Friday was also my first time going out far on Lake Ontario for trout. We launched and head down stream to get onto the lake. It took a bit of driving, and much to my surprise, we stumbled onto some clean water.
We set up the rods and started trolling. Within 10 minutes of setup one of the rods went off and the fish came unbuttoned. Since we were in new water, we kept trolling straight for a while. After a whole lot of nothing, we turned back around. Once we got to where the other fish bit, we had one bite and another that actually hooked up. We then landed the first fish of the day, a small brown trout. I wasn't complaining, first fish trolling was super exciting despite not being the biggest.
After that we shot up river to Devil's Hole and there Ryan caught a beautiful steelhead. That ended our mission for the day. Overall it was fun, I learned a lot about a new style of fishing to me, and we would've had fish to eat if we had to. That is a successful outing in my book.
Monday was another fun day. Same program as Friday, headed out to the lake to find clean water. This time it was myself, Ryan and his buddies Mike and Josh. As we were going out further on the lake the waves just were outstanding. Steady 2-3' waves that were choppy. It is always a fun ride in Ryan's Warrior boat, it handles rough water like a dream.
We headed out deep to find some clean water. It is so amazing to see, it was all mud and once we got about a mile or two off shore, it cleaned up beautifully. We trolled a 80-120' zone in the area where the clean met the mud and gave us a good strip of slightly stained water. It wasn't too long before we did move due to inactivity. Seeing that mud line really leaves you in awe at how cool nature is.
After another fun boat ride, we made it back to the spot Ryan and I caught the brown on Friday. This time though the water and gotten dirtier. After a few pulls through a shallow zone 10-20' we went back to the drawing board. Another run out to deeper water to find fish. We got back out to that 80'+ zone and we were marking fish on the graph!
About thirty minutes into our troll one of the rods was acting funny so Mike grabbed the rod and the fish was off. A few minutes later this happened again but to Josh. Finally though, third times the charm, Mike grabbed it and fish on! He handed the rod off to me since I haven't ever caught a fish this way or that deep.
It was a learning curve in the fight, that is for sure. I am so used to catching fish in 40' and less, it seemed strange out that deep. Thankfully the fish stayed pinned and Ryan netted it. What you see below is the only fish of the day, but one that was well earned after hours of grinding through subpar conditions. The fish swam off like a champ back to the depths. By far the biggest lake trout I have seen in person. Such a blast and it is always an adventure out on the water with Ryan.
Rod: Okuma White Diamond
Reel: Shimano Tekota LC 3500
Line: 80-pound braid -> 25-pound fluorocarbon leader
Lure: Moonshine Magnum Spoon