Chaumont/Guffin Bay – Lake Ontario 10/12


My guiding schedule is finally slowing down a lot, so now I have some time to fish. My buddy Craig Nels called me up and asked if I’d like to join him on Chaumont Bay (just past Watertown) for some smallmouth bass fishing. I’d never fished Chaumont Bay (though I have fished the creek and Guffin Bay) so I was looking forward to checking it out.

Water temps up there were pretty darn cold – we had 48 on the surface when we started, but the basic temp was 52 degrees. We started shallow and things weren’t looking too promising – dying weeds and no signs of fish/bait. A deeper area (10′ to 15′) around a shoal produced a decent smallie and a nice perch on a tube. Craig wanted to try another area of his and we shot to Guffin Bay. In very shallow water we spotted some decent smallies and drum cruising around, but they were spooky and somewhat negative. We tried a deeper break and started contacting some nice fish, including a FAT 4lb smallie that Craig landed. The same tube set up we use elsewhere was fine on LO Bays. Another nice perch was landed. We tried another area and I set the hook into a heavy fish – I was hoping for a monster smallie, but after the long, strong fight a big drum made it to the net. I thought smallie, since the drum appeared to head towards the surface when I first hooked it. A few more smallies and a largemouth were hooked/landed.

The last fish I landed really surprised me – I guess you can take the guide out of the Finger Lakes but not the Finger Lakes out of the guide – it was a chain pickerel! In all my years living around Lake Ontario and fishing creek mouths, bays etc….I’ve never heard of, or seen a chain pickerel. Surely they can get into the lake’s bays via various connecting waterways like the Oswego River, but again – I’ve never heard of a chain pickerel collected in fisheries research in those areas.

All in all it was a fun day. We barely scratched the surface of the fishery over there. I would have loved to have fished some deeper water, but we found enough fish shallow to keep us enthralled. Next time!