Lake Ontario out of Oswego 5/2
Had a terrific day of fishing solo out of Oswego today. At 11 am I was in Cato enjoying a couple slices of great pizza from the New York Pizzeria just as they opened. It's one of my favorite pizza places for a slice and has been that way for close to two decades. From there it just got better. After some fruitless casting with a stickbait I switched to a tube jig and nabbed a 21" smallmouth that was at least 5lbs on my 1st cast. Another 8 smallmouths followed over the next hour and 15 minutes.
After that, I had a choice – flyfish or spin fish for browns or take a ride and see what the kings were up to. I chose the latter and am glad I did. I got away from the few boats working outside the harbor and set up for kings/lake trout. I was marking fish right from the start and had groups of what were likely kings under me on a few occasions. They were chasing. The next group that came by resulted in a hookup! It was incredibly exciting to have a hold of a chrome spring king on my laker set up. After a great battle I netted (using my usual laker net) the solid fish – a 34" 12+3/4lb chromer. What I saw afterwards over the next couple hours was pretty wild. I actually saw a chinook chase a baitfish right under the surface of the lake – moving through the water like a torpedo! Fish were surfacing for bait all around me (though not often) – try as I may, I couldn't get them on my gear. Overall I didn't have any other luck (the conditions started to change for the worse.)
Reports all along the south shore of Lake Ontario have been great – from the piers/shoreline to trollers, the fishing appears to be the best in recent memory – and this is after last year's great fishing. Nobody is talking about the baitfish situation. To me it's pretty obvious that baitfish numbers are very low. My fish appeared healthy but only had one huge (aka old) alewife in it. It is odd for this many salmon to be caught throughout the shallows of the lake this time of year. Spring brown trout fishing doesn't usually result in good numbers of spring Kings. I think this is going to be the start of the "Lake Ontario Roller Coaster" in terms of baitfish numbers and fishing success. Like Lake Michigan, I think our days of steady great year after year fishing are done. I did mark some bait today but not much despite plenty of warm water in and around Oswego Harbor.
What an incredible day! To go from trophy sized smallmouths to a gorgeous King on a jig all within less than 3 hours is a testament to the tremendous fishing we have in NY State in general and in Lake Ontario in particular.