Wow! What a great Memorial Day weekend here in Orleans County and the Point Breeze lakeshore! Many thanks to all US Service members past and present - with lots of folks out showing their support and enjoying outstanding weather like at the Orleans County Marine Park. From sightseers to picnickers to shore anglers to boaters and to trollers alike - everyone enjoyed a great weather weekend. Maybe it's a great way to keep things in perspective? Getting out to enjoy the day with friends or family with or without great fishing, still makes for an enjoyable day!
Now, to the fishing part, and yes, generally the trolling action has been tougher. Everyone with some experience will tell you June can be a bit of a transition period and given the warmer, stagnant weather lately it seems that we are already there now for the end part of May. With any luck that will mean we'll move through this phase quickly with summer patterns and temp structure setting up sooner then later. Alewives are making a decent Oak Orchard rivermouth showing and will likely hang around until at least some serious offshore winds chase them back to deeper water. Pike and walleye casters and trollers can take advantage of the baitfish presence and even a couple brown trout have been hooked up by pier fishermen over the past couple days.
Wayne S. and his wife Nicole did an evening troll just before the holiday weekend and got the nice King pictured below in 70 fow on a wire diver with a spin doctor flasher/fly. With just a few hours to fish they found a few more small salmon and marked nice bait around 55 to 80 fow. But like most everyone else lately they found all the same kind of water from top to bottom without good temp, even out to 200 fow. Wayne spreads his program out when it's like that with 5 colors and 10 colors leadcore and one diver 180 out and one diver 100 out and riggers from 65 up to 25 fow.
It sounds like all around and even to the west there's lots of the same kind of water and fish that are well spread out among all those acres of water...
Cpt. B. Ashmore running the spiffy clean Fin-natic Bayliner fished dawn early on Memorial Day because he knew he'd have his best action early and then yep it shut down for him by mid morning. He fished over 80 fow and found a few high cohos to go along with a few deeper Kings. Lakers are there on the bottom too if you want to give them a go and the Captain also figured some browns had to be lurking on the ledge staying close to all the alewives he was marking. Cpt. Lou Borrelli of Get the Net Fishing Charters
says the fishing has been challenging the past few days with scattered fish that are off the bite. He's hopeful the lake will set up nicely soon. You gotta' love an angler's optimism!
This fourth week of May still means relatively light fishing pressure here at the Oak Orchard and Point Breeze. Some charter operations have yet to move back from their western pursuits and on any given day you may find just a few rec guys. Therein lies some of the attraction for Oak Orchard action - the less harried waters. Look for more fishing pressure to return by about the Memorial Day holiday weekend and for sure by the Oak Orchard Open tourney time June 9 - 11, 2023. For now get out there and find some unpressured fish!
Cpt. Andy Krull of Gone Coastal Sportfishing
is doing just that today, Tue May 23, 2023. He's just west of port trying to put things together after a medium E blow yesterday. Today may be the day because the forecast is for some N winds tomorrow with a drop down cold front. He's seeing good number of marks on the fish finder and thinks that things could start to set up nicely for consistent action. He's working around 110 - 130 fow water and seeing those tell tale marks all the way from 45 ft to 100 ft down. A few more boats around him means the fleet has found a concentration of fish.
Some other new Lake anglers fishing with Tightlines Charters
Cpt. John Oravec just recently got into mixed bag action for Kings and lakers. That's the name of the game for spring time action, mixed catches of Kings and cohos and lakers and browns. Although the browns have become scarce off the beach they are probably lurking close by on the ledge. But these regular tributary anglers have now added a new dimension to their fish catching out in the open Lake. Good to see some cross over anglers making it an all year pursuit! Cpt Oravec found action to the east of port in 50 - 100 fow down 30 - 50 ft. Bright fluorescent spoons were the ticket for a #14 Atlantic too.
May 15, 2023
There's been quite a stretch of stalled weather over the past week + with next to no winds - neither onshore or offshore. Lots of flat and calm Lake waters with inshore waters going clear with little or no brown trout bite. Some boaters have commented it seems more like summer by the Lake and water temp conditions. LOC Derby efforts for the Spring are over for now, until the Summer Derby kicks off for all of July. Still some charters and serious rec anglers targeting the western waters nearer the Niagara bar, but look for those anglers to start easing back to eastern home ports like Point Breeze. For the stay at port guys they've found the unpressured waters favorable with pretty good King salmon and laker action. Captain John Oravec, at captjohnoravec.com led his clients of 31 years to a nice morning catch of 9 Kings over the past weekend. They capped off their stay with good eats at the Black North Inn and lodging at Ernst's Lake Breeze Marina. Captain John found some lakers too at 120 fow down about 80 ft. And rec angler Randy G. aboard his 21 ft Bayliner Trophy got some 2 year old kings and lakers like the one pictured below in 80 - 100 fow west of Point Breeze about half way to Johnson Creek. This week's weather looks somewhat more variable then the previous week with already "breezy" SW winds forecast for the start of the week and chance of N winds about midweek with the matching cool down. A little change up from the previous stagnant conditions probably wouldn't be a bad thing!
May 9, 2023
Here we are in a stretch of warm, bright, dry, clear, calm weather. Pleasant to fish in for sure! But for open Lake Ontario action we might want some winds to make better water color, especially for near shore brown trout action. In the near term forecast it looks like more of the same weather, so anglers will have to make the best of it. And the general lack of fishing pressure here - thanks to many guys heading west toward the Niagara bar - should help keep local fish in a better biting mood. Some anglers are definitely making the best of it, including Andrew K. who boated the current LOC Derby lake trout leader with a 29.03 pounder fishing out of Point Breeze. Otherwise by most reports of charters and rec guys the King numbers are pretty good by spring standards. Captain Chris from U-Betcha Charters was fishing just this past weekend. He said "the King numbers are good. We had action in 75 - 105 fow and 45 - 75 down." Fishing straight out from port, more or less, he had a good spoon bite on riggers and a few hits on the junk lines. One of his young anglers, Ava M., has a king close to the top in the salmon division and youth award in the LOC Derby. Congrats to the young lady! Two good fish that show not all the action is on the western end!
May 2, 2023
About now, pre LOC Derby
and during the Derby, there’s typically a routine migration of activity toward the Niagara bar. Of anglers, of course! Trollers are chasing a good concentration of Kings and Lakers from there all the way back toward 4 Mile and Wilson and Olcott. The Spring LOC Derby for this year runs from May 5th – 14th, 2023. Good luck if you choose to compete. Don’t be one of those anglers every year that reels in a derby qualifying fish but didn’t purchase at least a one day derby ticket! You can compete and still practice catch and release for fish not making the derby cut since cold and mostly shallower water spreads afford the chance to release hardy fish this time of the year. Small Kings now become big Kings by fall and next year! Otherwise hard working anglers like Captain Chas from Searcher Charters
keeps plugging the home waters around Point Breeze and takes full advantage of the lack of other trollers. “It’s been good over the past week, conditions are changeable, there’s colder water around just lately. It’s been a mixed bag catch for salmon on divers followed by lake trout and then cohos on the surface. Most productive has been in 80 – 130 fow with 72 Monty spin doctors and flies.” Captain Tim Hummel from Fish in the Box Charters
also has been targeting the lake trout for some clients who really like those heavyweights. He’s had some action in the eastern waters off Point Breeze.
Pier pressure and land lubber shoreline casters are also into a few brown trout thanks to that same cool water Captain Chas commented on that’s hanging around. The weather for now definitely is cool enough not to chase brown trout back to deeper water and there’s near shore bait lurking.
At the last Lake Ontario Fish Advisory Panel (LOFAP) on Apr 11, 2023, NYSDEC introduced the concept of Parentage Based Tagging or genetic coding of broodstock salmonids. This is an exciting method whereby stocked fish (Kings for now) are genetically matched back to parental broodstock. Validation studies so far show this method to be as accurate or more then mass marking or fin clipping for determining hatchery vs wild fish. This can give an accurate picture of salmonids in the Lake and can be used for further investigations beneficial for the fishery as the technology and library of coded fish expands.