Last spring we had the pleasure of guiding Sportsman360 TV host Owen Nolan and his guest co-host former NHLer Chris Simon for steelhead in Southern Ontario. It was the worst weather we had ever fished in let alone guide anyone! Things turned out very good, and the show will be airing for the first time tomorrow, and running all week long.
Sportsman360TV: Ontario Steelhead -
WildTV(Ch 393) Tues 7:30pm, Thurs 4:30pm, Fri 3:30pm
World Fishing Network(Ch 426) Tues 10pm, Wed 1pm, Sat 1pm
Will post the video in its entirety when it is released.
Have a look if you get either of those channels. Here is the trailer
Hope you enjoy!
Lake Huron Spring Chinook Salmon
Jeff Wall | Nomad Adventures
The groundhog said six more weeks of winter from Feb 2.... he was wrong! It has been a lot of years, close to 20 since I was able to put some decent time in on the spring Great Lakes fishery. April is normally our second busiest month for river guiding, but the winter that wouldn't go away gave us some time for personal fishing.
Canadian kayak fishing guide Jeff Wall showcases his spring catch. Over 40 fish caught in six outings last spring. All were salmon or trout except one giant out of season walleye.
Steelhead, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Chinook Salmon, Atlantic Salmon, Walleye, Lake Trout were all caught and released over six separate days of fishing.
Long lining shallow crankbaits on light lines pretty much sums up the spring kayak fishing in Ontario for the Great Lakes region. We employed a variety of minnow baits, smaller spoons, and kwikfish style lures. Slow trolling with abrupt direction changes were the ticket in the open water trolling but crashing two lures thru the baitfish schools got us several doubles. I don't have to tell you how exciting that is in a kayak!
Please always consider best practices when heading out on the Great Lakes, especially when it is still winter. Better yet, hire a guide!
Be sure to look up Nomad Adventures for your next spring kayak fishing trip.
Hope you enjoy!
Giant Lake Ontario Walleye
Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon
by Bruce Ranta April 25th, 2004
Migratory rainbow trout, called steelhead, are highly prized trophies. They’re beautiful fish, leaping titans when hooked and a culinary delight on the plate. For many anglers, steelhead are the ultimate challenge.
Although they’re the same species, steelhead of the Great Lakes and the Pacific Ocean are different from rainbow trout in smaller inland lakes.
The term steelhead describes a rainbow trout that was born in a stream, migrated to the sea, and returned to the stream as an adult to spawn. Such fish are said to be anadromous. Given that the Great Lakes are every bit seas, albeit freshwater ones, a steelhead in Ontario refers specifically to the anadromous rainbow trout found in these lakes and their tributaries. Elsewhere, they’re merely rainbow trout. Or are they?
In 1989, rainbow and cutthroat trout were moved by taxonomists from the genus Salmo, which includes Atlantic salmon and brown trout, to the genus Oncorhynchus, which includes pink, sockeye, chum, Chinook, and coho salmon. Technically, the rainbow trout (oncorhynchus mykiss) isn’t a trout at all, but a salmon. It’s also the same species as the East Asian trout.
While long a fixture of Ontario’s fishery, rainbows are non-native to the province. They were once found only on the West Coast of North America, but humans have widely transplanted this magnificent fish. Today, one of the most important transplanted, self-sustaining populations of steelhead in the world is in the Great Lakes.
The first transplants to the Great Lakes watershed began in the U.S. in 1874, but the first introductions of steelhead to the lakes proper took place when the Aux Sables River was stocked in 1876. On the Ontario side, the first fish were brought in privately sometime in the 1890s to a headwater pond on the Nottawasaga River. The first known recovery of a steelhead in Ontario was a 4-pounder taken near Duck Island, near Manitoulin Island, in 1904.
With an introduction in 1878 in the State of New York, the Lake Ontario watershed was the second Great Lake to receive rainbows. By 1920, they were well established in a number of rivers on the U.S. side. The first seeding on the Ontario side took place in 1922 into a pond in Riverside Park, Toronto.
The Lake Erie-St. Clair watershed was first stocked in 1882, but no fish were recorded in Ontario waters until 1920. The first Ontario stocking was in 1936 in Norfolk County creeks.
Lake Superior was the last of the Great Lakes to receive rainbows, and this time the introduction was initiated by Ontario. Fish were stocked near Sault Ste. Marie in 1883, followed shortly by American releases, also in the eastern basin. By the turn of the century, large numbers of rainbows up to 8 pounds were being taken by commercial netters targeting lake trout.
Not surprisingly, Great Lakes rainbows are not a pure strain. They originate from a long history of stocking both wild and domestic strains on both sides of the border. It’s even possible there was some early hybridization with cutthroat trout, a species known to interbreed with rainbows in the wild. Cutthroats were planted in a number of New York and Michigan tributaries in the late 1800s.
Compared with resident stream rainbows, steelhead of the open lakes are brighter and usually silvery. The clearer the water, the brighter the fish. Some lake fish look almost nickel-plated. Once they return to natal streams, they begin to darken and display a bright red band along the body.
The steelhead doesn’t live to a ripe old age, especially when compared with long-lived Methuselahs like lake trout. Few steelhead live to see their ninth birthday, and generally life expectancy is only 6 to 7 years.
Stop by the Nomad Adventures booth if you make it to the show Feb 14-17th Family Day weekend. We will have lots of tournament information available, in support of our charity, Help A Child Smile.
We will be having draws for Ontario Kayak Fishing Series shirts, free tourney entries, a free series entry, half day guided kayak fishing trip, and a full day guided kayak fishing trip. Be sure to stop by and get a ticket!!
2014 OKFS long sleeve technical tshirts will be on sale for $25/ea or $40/two.
We will be near the indoor pond and kayak displays. Be sure to stop by the Hobie fishing kayak display at the Fogh Marine booth too!
Foul weather kept us off the rivers for a lot of November and December, so we had to chose our days wisely. The fishing sure was good when we did get out in December! In five outings in the month of fishing only Lake Huron flows, we only had one day where less than six fish were hooked. Most of those days we saw winds over 40km/hr and high water, even rain and ice. Not to mention the fog that rolled in on our last steelhead kayak trip Dec 29th when the temp went from +1C to -8C in 20mins!
Looking forward to Spring '14 steelhead!
We are now into the final month for the extended season of 2013, and the weather just hasn't cooperated. We aren't logging nearly enough time on the water because of wind, rain or high and dirty water. We are getting out though!
This past week offered the best conditions in a while but the Credit and Niagara rivers are just fishing slowly. Likely at lot to do with the windy and cold conditions from the week prior. Averaging a couple fish each per 5hrs of fishing. Not bad but way down for the time of year. Now the cold is coming and will likely stay below 0C for most days until Jan 1. So that will mean more weather stability, and fishing will improve.
We still have openings left to the end of the year, and are now booking into 2014.
This was a busy year for us and guiding river smallies!
We had numerous trips run between the prime season Aug-Oct, and the big fish did't disappoint. We ran four consecutive trips that say Smallmouth Bass 20" and larger! We even had one that was close to 22" in the third week of October.
Make sure to look us up early next year because we unfortunately were not able fulfill all the booking requests.
Steelhead arrived a wee bit earlier to Southern Ontario this fall than they normally do. We were doing well catching them in the first week of October and it will only improve into December.
The overall Series title was captured by Paul Winkel for the second year in a row. Congrats Paul!!
Adam MacKay finished second, and Jeff Wall third.
Individual OKFS event winners are as follows:
Bay of Qunite - Jeremy Parker
Black Bear Camp - Tom Callary
South River - Stefan Jackson
Boat Lake - Paul Winkel
Kashaga Lodge - Doug Culver
To all participants and sponsors, thanks again for a great year!
Looking forward to 2014!!
Standard shotting methods for float fishing. These are typical set-ups for centrepin and floatfishing that can be used on any river for migratory species such as Brown Trout, Steelhead, Salmon, etc. Each has its time and place but the most effective are the Tapered and the Slip Float methods.
This is excellent information for beginners!
FISHING NEWS ONTARIO
Ontario and Great Lakes region salmon, steelhead, and migratory trout fishing articles, information, news, and reports. Stay up to date on our most recent trips, events, tournaments, and general news on adventure fishing and kayak fishing in Ontario and Canada.