Lake Ontario out of Hamlin 7/15


After a lot of internal debate – between muskies, smallmouths and more smallmouths, I decided to head up to Lake Ontario to try some jigging for Kings and other salmonids. If I still lived in Rochester, I’d do this a lot more but since I’m down here it’s become a once-a-year thing. Maybe this year I’ll be back again. After setting my alarm clock for 2:30 am I finally got up and on the road around 3:15. Made it to Hamlin at 5:45 or so. Other anglers launching report some great salmon action thus far this season. The hot zone was supposedly 150′ to 180′ or so, down around 50′ to 80′ or something like that. I was incredibly psyched to launch my boat as I looked out on the lake – things looked right.

My “psychedness” turned to horror as I switched on my trusty Lowrance HDS-5 and nothing came on! I checked the fuse and the wires, then saw a faint image on the sonar. I love my Lowrance, but Lowrance and Eagle units are junk when exposed to any significant amount of water – and I’m not talking immersion – which would ruin any unit, I’m talking simple rainstorms. When I docked my boat on Monday to wait out the storm, the heavy rain soaked my unit and the light became toast. So I awoke at 2:30 am, drove 2 1/2 hours and launched to find I basically had no electronics. What a bummer! If it was bass fishing or anything else – it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but I was expecting to hunt salmon in deep water.

Eventually I found that if I had the sun face into the unit I could read the screen. So I used my Vexilar and temp probe and did the best I could. Cold water was inshore this AM which was great to see. I had 46 degrees down around 70′. Some nice hooks and bait too. I came incredibly close to hooking a nice salmonid of some sort – maybe an immature King. I dropped my jig and got hit then got hit again and I saw the fish. He just never gobbled it. Also had a hit casting a spoon. Great Lakes jigging for salmon and trout can be done and I think consistently with some effort and smart fishing. Mark my words! It may be two decades before it becomes popular, but it can be done.

I was too tired to try gar fishing Oak Orchard, though I kicked myself on the drive home for not doing it anyways. Went to Bass Pro Shops and dropped $750 on a new HDS-5 so I’d have something for guiding the next three weeks while the older one gets fixed. Then I’ll mount one on the bow!