Lake Ontario out of Stony Creek 7/20


The last time I was out here was about 3 years ago with my buddy Mike. We liked what we found/saw then and after a couple of my clients informed me of some hot laker fishing having taken place here recently, I decided to give it a go with my buddy Terry. Oswego is closer to me, but having to drive north on Rt. 34 is a slow go when you factor in Auburn, Weedsport and especially Oswego. With Stony, I just hit Rt. 81 in Cortland then run north to Pulaski and jump on Rt. 3.

The great thing about Oswego as a boat launch is that to hit 200′ of water you only need to run out about 2 miles. To hit 200′ out of Stony Creek you’re talking 10 miles or more! That’s a long run. It was the furthest out I’d ever fished Lake Ontario. (If you head out here, you need to make sure all your gear is in good working order. This is no place to have a motor failure or run out of gas.) The Rochester Ports offer much better access to deep water too. Hamlin is another great area to run out of. Even Sodus. But Stony is one of the best lake trout areas going. Spawning areas for whitefish are around here too. We brought bass gear as well – it offers good bass fishing.

We had laker temps from around 115′ out. We also marked fish in this depth. Due to west winds over the past few days, I ran out to deep water before taking a temperature. The lake was a little choppy to start (the usual AM hot day – cool night winds.) We had a couple hits but nothing special, although I marked a lot of fish. I did a bit of running in and out and as the lake calmed I made the run into the deeps where a lot of the fleet was. The majority of Charters out here likely come out of Henderson Harbor. No matter how you look at it or where you launch out of – i.e. Oswego, Mexico, Sandy Pond or Henderson, you’re talking a long run to get out here.

I expected a tougher laker bite with the cold front on Tuesday and then the full moon last night and that proved to be the case in the morning. AM fishing can be slow until certain conditions change. Sure enough as the day wore on the fish became more active. I set into a solid laker and after a great, strong battle Terry netted a 29″ bull! A few drops later and I was into another thick brute. Both were adipose clipped 29″ fish but thick – likely close to 10lbs. We played around with a lot of stuff and I broke off a fish and lost a few, as did Terry. Terry nailed a good laker as well.

Lo and behold there was quite a bit of bait out in the 140′ to 150′ depths. I marked some good schools of alewives with some good hooks around them. The baitfish were right near bottom in cold water. That likely means that it’s where they are finding food. As Quagga mussels keep up their non-stop relentless filter feeding, the deeps become better (or perhaps the only) sources for zooplankton. Not a good sign to see the bait so deep but at least we were seeing bait. I have not seen any bait schools like this in the past 5 or 6 trips on the big lake.

Overall we had a great time and it was fun figuring out the bite. We’ll likely hit Oswego or somewhere along the lakeshore (maybe back here) next week to give it another go.