Lake Ontario out of Irondequoit Bay 9/7


Met my buddy Terry at Irondequoit Bay’s City launch at around 6:45 am. For what it’s worth, I don’t miss Rochester’s traffic one bit. Anyways I’ve been meaning to fish some Lake Ontario areas further west and a couple client/friends of mine did well near here jigging lake trout over the weekend, so it made sense to give it a shot.

Conditions seemed great. It’s hard to avoid baitfish on the screen in this part of Lake Ontario. It’s really full of bait. I understand the sentiment of the guys who fish Rochester and westward thinking that there couldn’t possibly be anything to worry about in Lake Ontario, but as someone who has fished Stony Point, Mexico Bay, Oswego (a few times,) Sodus (a couple times) and now Rochester this season, I can attest that there is nowhere near the amount of bait further east as there is around Rochester and westward. It’s night and day. There isn’t really a “lack of bait” in Lake Ontario this year as the condition of the fish will attest to, but there isn’t nearly as much as people think. If you fish strictly east of Rochester, you are concerned. If there was this much bait everywhere in Lake Ontario, it wouldn’t be an issue. But there isn’t.

If I’m a troller, I’d set up in 50′ to 80′ around Rochester in the AM and PM. There was bait and what had to be Kings around. Night fishing should be starting off of the piers now too. We tried some different stuff drifting and casting and had a few fish moving for our baits but no grabs. I have some ideas for next time. In deep water I hooked a halfway decent steelhead and lost him near the surface. Everything happened quickly! It was like the one Mark I. got off of Sodus in July – gorgeous colors but not huge, maybe 5 to 6lbs. A lot of lake trout were around but they weren’t chasing or hitting much while we were there. And it got HOT. Yowsa. Biting flies combined with tropical humidity and heat made for some “fun” fishing. Fortunately a cool breeze came up out of the north after at least one hour in the “boiling room.”

Seven hours went by like 3 hours and we were running out of time. I would’ve loved to kept at the lakers and inshore fish but our curiosity got the best of us and we tried an area that we used to fish in the late 1990s/early 2000s for smallmouths. We only had an hour or so and certainly got pecked by a lot of gobies. Terry set into a fair smallmouth – maybe a 15″er and that was it. We might have had a quick hold of a couple others but you never know, sometimes it’s just a big goby momentarily. But we did not get a chance to check on much regarding smallmouths. The bass fishing is definitely better than it was a few years ago. It’s coming back slowly.