Lake Ontario fishing
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Bill Stickles with a 40 Pound King Salmon from Oak Orchard
   Bill Stickles with a 40 Pound King Salmon from Oak Orchard. This big King was caught straight out on 24N. He measured 48 3/4 inches. Don't know positively what he weighed, but it was in excess of 40 pounds. It Took 55 minutes to put him on the boat. He almost spooled us twice. Thank God it was the first line we dropped in the water and we were able to backup and chase him. He was caught on a spook 90 feet down. We caught so many big fish this day that we ended the day early because of fatigue. This same trip I also hooked 2 Mombo Lakers on the same rod. A day that we will never forget.

Chinook Salmon Fishing on Lake Ontario

  Chinook salmon are commonly called kings. They are not a native species to NY waters. Most all king salmon caught in NY are from the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.The king salmon in Lake Ontario are raised at the Salmon River Hatchery, located in the Village of Altmar in Oswego County. It is here that the DEC will collect the eggs of the migrating Chinook Salmon. The Salmon River Hatchery produces about four million trout and salmon each year.

  The NY state record king salmon weighed an amazing 47 lb. and 13oz. This awesome fish was caught by Kurtis L. Killian on a orange fly from the Salmon River September 07, 1991. Most salmon caught by NY anglers range from 15 to 35 pounds in weight, but there are some real line busters mixed in there as well.

  Chinook salmon spend most of their time in deep open water. They feed on the vast schools of alewives and smelt found in Lake Ontario. A mature salmon will be 3 to 5 years old. Not all fish will mature at the same age. A fish pushing 40 pounds is probably a 4 year old fish. Most fish will return to spawn after 3 years in the big lake. The salmon have a genetic imprint that makes them return to the river in which they were born. This means each year the Salmon river receives a very large run of king salmon from Lake Ontario.

  September heralds the earliest run of fish into the Lake Ontario tributaries. October brings on the main run of fish with spawning becoming completed by early November. Then after spawning is complete the salmon will die off completing their life cycle.

  Fishing for king salmon in Lake Ontario is done by trolling spoons and plugs on downriggers from 50 to 120 feet deep. Dipsey divers can also be used to catch salmon when they are active. Near the end of the summer the fish will respond well to cut bait run behind a flasher.

  Once the fish start to return to the river they may be enticed to hit a variety of baits. Egg sacs or plastic imitation eggs are among the most common used. Sponge in various colors can also be very productive. Artificial flies and streamers will also entice fish to strike. The longer the fish are in the river the more interested in spawning they become. A fresh run fish is more likely to hit your fly or egg sac. Major Lake Ontario tributaries having Chinook salmon runs include the Salmon River, Oswego River, Genesee River, Black River, Niagara River, Oak Orchard Creek and Eighteen Mile Creek.

  If you would like to read more about the Salmon River Click Here.

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Chinook Salmon Fishing on Lake Ontario, Pictured here is Bill Stickles with a 40 Pound King Salmon from Oak Orchard
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