Lake Ontario Charter Service with Captain Len
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About Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario, the 14th largest lake in the world, is the smallest of the five Great Lakes in surface area. It ranks fourth among the Great Lakes in maximum depth, but its average depth is second only to Lake Superior.

The basin is largely rural, with many scenic areas along the shores, although there are a few urban areas, including Rochester, NY and Toronto, Ontario.

icon_bullseye.png The Fish

Lake Ontario has a large variety of fish including Brown Trout, Steelhead, Lake Trout, King Salmon, and Smallmouth Bass.

Fish Calender

Best

Great

Good

Fair

April

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May

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June

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July

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August

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September

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October

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King Salmon

Brown Trout

Steelhead

Lake Trout

Smallmouth Bass

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*King Salmon incudes Coho and Atlantic Salmon

**Fish listed may vary depending on weather patterns and target species

To Find out more about some of the fish you maybe fishing for, visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) website.

icon_bullseye.png Brown Trout

*Length: 16 to 24 inches
*Weight: 2 to 8 pounds
*Coloring: light brown or tawny back, becoming silvery on the sides and belly
*Other Names: brownie, German brown trout, German trout, European brown trout

Brown trout, a European relative of the Atlantic salmon, arrived in North America as early as 1883 and were introduced to Wisconsin waters four years later. These resourceful fish managed well in degraded habitats no longer suitable for brook and other trout. At the same time, the browns proved they could grow faster and live longer than the other kinds of trout. Their reputation as a wary fish that tends to feed at dusk or night may account in part for their durability.

Brown trout are among the wariest of fish, feeding usually at dusk or at night, so fishermen are the adult brown's chief predator. In many localities, surf casting for brown trout is popular. The record brown trout from Lake Superior -- nearly 30 pounds -- was taken in 1971.

icon_bullseye.png Steelhead

* Length: 20 to 30 inches
* Weight: 2 to 8 pounds
* Coloring: steel-blue, blue-green, yellow-green to almost brown on back; silvery sides; silvery white below
* Other Names: rainbow trout, coast rainbow trout, silver trout

These attractive game fish strike aggressively, fight valiantly and are an angler's joy. The first rainbow trout planted in the Great Lakes were probably "steelheads."

This is a strain of rainbow trout that migrates into the ocean before returning to spawn in their freshwater home streams. Rainbows have adapted well, moving in and out of the Great Lakes much as they would the ocean.

Rainbow trout seldom swim deeper than 35 feet along the Great Lakes shores and are easily located. They grow 30-32 inches long and may reach 16 pounds by the time they are five years old.

icon_bullseye.png Lake Trout

* Length:17 to 27 inches
* Weight:3 to 9 pounds
* Coloring:light spots on darker background, light underside
* Common Names: Great Lakes trout, laker, namaycush,togue, grey trout, mountain trout
* Found in Lakes:Michigan, Huron, Ontario, Erie and Superior

These swift, torpedo-shaped fish inhabit the cold waters of an area extending from Wisconsin and Upper Michigan to the northernmost reaches of the North American continent. For more than half a century, lake trout were the most valuable commercial fish in the Upper Great Lakes. Then overfishing and the onslaught of the sea lamprey from the late 1930s and into the 1950s effectively eliminated this fish from Lake Michigan. ęDNR_LakeTrout.gif (18013 bytes)Thanks to sea lamprey control and continuous stocking, lake trout now live seven or more years in the lake, thriving on a diet of chubs and sculpins (their traditional prey), smelt and alewives. As a result, the return of this preeminent native, along with the introduction of Pacific salmon, has created a thriving world-class sport fishery in Lake Michigan. Biologists hope that ongoing research and plantings of these fish on historic spawning reefs will yet restore reproducing stocks of lake trout in Lake Michigan and enhance the few surviving stocks in Lake Superior. Lake trout are long-lived and do not reach sexual maturity until 6-8 years of age. While the average lake trout in Lake Michigan today weighs around seven pounds, some of the larger trophy fish are three feet long and weigh as much as 25 pounds.

icon_bullseye.png King Salmon

* Length: Wisconsin record length is 47.5 inches
* Weight: Wisconsin record length is 44 lbs 15 oz (The U.S. record weight is 97 lbs 4 oz from Alaska.)
* Coloring: iridescent green to blue-green on back; sides below lateral line silvery; silvery to white underside
* Common Names: chinook salmon, tyee, spring salmon, quinnat

Many king salmon end their days as trophies mounted on tavern and game room walls. In tribute to their size and character, they are also known as "king salmon."

King Salmon were the first Pacific salmon to be transplanted to other parts of the world, but the only notable success in creating self-sustaining stocks has been in New Zealand. A key factor in this general failure was that, like other Pacific salmon, King salmon seek the stream of their birth to spawn and die.

Chinook are generally caught by trolling. But as winter approaches and the lake becomes colder, they disappear in search of more suitable water temperatures. Some say they veer south along a route five to 15 miles offshore; others say that, unlike cohos, they simply move offshore into deeper water.

For several reasons, this salmon species is especially popular with fish management agencies. They can be released five to six months after hatching and therefore are cheaper to hatch and stock than cohos, which require 14 to 16 months. During their four- to five-year lifespan, chinooks feed on large numbers of alewifes and so put more pressure on the lake's alewife population.

icon_bullseye.png Smallmouth Bass

* Length: 15 to 20 inches
* Weight: 1.5 to 5 pounds
* Coloring: brown, golden-brown through olive to green on back; sides lighter; cream to milk-white underside
* Common Names: northern smallmouth bass, black bass, brown bass, white or mountain trout

"Inch for inch and pound for pound the gamest fish that swims." Enthusiastic comments like this entered in the journals of the 19th and early 20th century paid tribute to this scrappy, well-proportioned fish. Because of these qualities and their relatively small numbers, smallmouth bass are reserved exclusively for sport fishing. Essentially a nonmigrating fish, they retreat to pools, undercut banks, or fairly deep water to avoid bright daylight. They are most active in early morning and evening. During winter, they gather near the bottom and feed little until spring and water temperatures rise to about 47 degrees Farenheit.

Smallmouths spawn when water temperatures rise in the spring. Males build several nests before choosing the final location, andSmallmouth Bass construction of the nest can take anywhere from 4 to 48 hours. When a female appears, the male will drive her into the nest. The female will usually stay a little bit longer in the nest each time, and the dark mottlings on her back become prominent and the background pales when she is ready to spawn. Approximately 2,000 to 10,000 eggs are deposited into the nest during spawning. Males stay to protect the eggs and fry, but many nests fail. Floods destroy the nests, sudden temperature shifts cause fungal infections, and other fish prey on the eggs or fry.

Young smallmouth bass feed throughout the day on small crustaceans and graduate to insects and small fish by the time they are 1.5 inches long. Adult smallmouths eat fish, crayfish, and insects.

Many consider the flavor and texture of smallmouth bass superior to all Great Lakes fish except the whitefish. The low fat content of its flesh makes it easy to freeze for later consumption. If the lake's waters remain clean, these plucky game fish will undoubtedly continue to be a favorite attraction in some areas of the Great Lakes.

For more information on a Lake Ontario Fishing Charter call us at 585-703-4704 or click here to contact us. Want to book now. Click here.

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