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Thread: Dec.10 - A Trip to the Bar
12-10-2015, 10:59 AM #1
Dec.10 - A Trip to the Bar
A thousand lake trout walk into a bar. One of them asked the bar keep “do you know where we can get hammered?” to which the bar keep says “yup, right here”. So goes the story every fall when thousands of lake trout converge at the mouth of the Niagara River through October and November to spawn on the massive shoal structure known as the Niagara Bar. The season is closed from September 30 to December 1st on the Canadian side and remains closed until Jan. 1 on the U.S.
Most years the bar is tough to fish by the opening but this year with the extended warm fall and the odd day with low wind the Queenston boat ramp is packed. The steelheaders fish the river right through the winter but there is a crowd that knows where to find the best laker fishing on the planet while weather permits. It is a 10 km run to the mouth of the Niagara from the Queenston ramp but it’s a quick trip down with the 5 to 8 knot current.
Now on my 5th last day on the water before putting my boat away,(this boat will never get winterized) Glen (TattooMan) Wagner and Todd (Bentauger) Lawler played hooky with me to get in on the action. It is a long run from Orillia for a day trip so we didn’t get a line wet until about 10:00. But we no sooner stopped the boat on a spot that Glen had fished on the weekend and I dropped a Vibrado and was hooked up in 10 seconds. By the time we had drifted out onto the bar 10 minutes later we had 7 fish boated. For the rest of the day we never went 10 minutes without a fish. We just stopped counting after a while.
We had a riot catching 10 pound average fish with some bigger fish mixed in and a couple of bonus browns including a real fatty caught by Glen. You could probably catch fish on anything but the Vibrado seem to get them faster and was more versatile. The only problem was, and I’ll never hear the end of it, I only brought my bass net. The big trout needed a little guidance and hooks kept getting caught in the mesh. We lost a lot of fish because it took so long to get the hooks out of the net so when someone need a net for a fish they had to wait. As for plastic baits, white tubes or swimbaits did the trick.
Because lake trout are closed on the U.S. side you have to watch where you are drifting. You cannot land a fish in U.S. waters even if it was hooked on the Canadian side. The area is patrolled regularly so if you don’t have a New York licence be very careful.
The safest place on earth.
[size=10pt]You might find anyone of a dozen agencies at Fort Niagara on the U.S. side. You could find the Harbor Police, DNR, Homeland Security, FBI, or several other agencies. Not a bad place to work! [/size]
Most boats tend to fish close to the mouth and that’s where we started. But there was fish everywhere so you can fish way out on the structure and there is still plenty of fish. The baitfish are thick with alewife, smelt, shad, and shiners everywhere. Some boats follow the birds pounding the surface bait. Some of the bird chasers are looking for a Kings. We even caught a bass but no salmon.
We headed in around 2:30. My boat already looked like a dirty hotel room now it looks like a serial killers torture den. The good news is its still warm enough to power spray it and get ready for Georgian Bay walleye next before heading back to Quinte. Then we will be looking for ice!
Todd caught the most big fish. This was funny because Glen gave him a rod with a goby coloured tube which he said works well. But he tolod me the night before his buddy could not get bit on that colour and the only think that worked was white. When I asked Todd what the hell he had on Glen broke out laughing.
Glens big brown was close to a PB but we didn't have a scale.
[img width=1020 height=905]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee487/5b6pjw32/JW%20small%20fish.jpg[/img]After 250 days a year on the water and ice I still feel I need more Time on the Water
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12-10-2015, 12:59 PM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
That's a fantastic trout'n day!
Never seen the back of your boat look so clear and yet so dirty! :-)
01-13-2016, 07:19 AM #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2014
Great article John. Sounds like you guys had a blast and will be praying for that weather again next year.
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