Lake Ontario out of Irondequoit Bay 9/21


I had a day off and the big question I mulled over with my friend Shahab was “where do we go?” We decided to leave it at the last minute and I met him up in Geneva geared for either Canandaigua Lakers or Lake Ontario jigging/bass/flyrod action. We shot up to Rochester and motored out of the bay at around 7:30 am. There was a load of boats out by the massive channel markers perch fishing – you could virtually hop from boat to boat! We saw a nice largemouth bass jump at the mouth of the bay (in the lake) and Shahab threw a topwater plug w/o any luck. We worked our way out to around 100′ and found some bait and marks. No luck.

We worked west all the way out to the Hamlin/Sandy Creek area where a couple friends of mine have had some jigging luck on salmon/trout over the years. I marked fish out around 75′ on bottom and lots of fish around 110′. The story was the usual – fish coming off the bottom but not hitting no matter what we dropped. We spent HOURS trying! I had 3 to 4 fish chasing – but not far. Immature Kings? Lakers? Mature fish? I don’t know. I  do know we never felt or saw a hit. Next time I’ll have to take some chances on venturing out in different weather conditions – I’ve been playing it safe fishing south winds and the action has been slow both on the rods and on the screen. Next time we’ll hit some westerlies or light northerlies.

We worked in shallower and started getting hits. We started nailing gobies! I’d never seen one “live and in-person” before. Weird looking fish. And big too – some of them were the size of small bullheads – like 7″ to 8″ fish! They should provide some great forage for the bass and trout out there on LO, but I sure hope we don’t see them in the Fingers. Things are fine just as they are.

Russell Station was pushing out 84 degree water into the lake! The water was steaming and the air temps/water temps were in the upper 60s/70s. Nothing but pin-minnows out there. We tried the mouth of the Genny – zippo. Then we headed up towards Shipbuilders/Webster. Shahab nailed a nice 2 1/2lb smallie in around 23′ of water on a streamer, but it appeared to be a straggler – no other bass were around (at least none for us!). I couldn’t but a bass dropshotting or tubing – just gobies, gobies and more gobies. I should note that I don’t often fish the I Bay area of Lake Ontario and I’m much more familiar with the Sodus Pt./Oswego area of the lake. So we were just fishing blind and drifting a bit – but these areas did produce significant bass for us back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The bass Shahab caught was hooked deep and bleeding. We kept it – nothing was in its stomach which was surprising. We worked from 12′ to 35′ of water. It started getting late so we called it a day.