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Brown trout still close to shore on Lake Ontario


Batavians Joe Schlossel and Mike Badami silhouetted by the early evening sun at Lakeside Beach State Park along Lake Ontario. It's that time of year when shore casters are able to cash in on Lake Ontario's trout and salmon fishery.

Sometime in early to mid-May, the trout and salmon begin to move offshore. For now they remain within reach of shoreline anglers. While the majority of anglers flock to places like Point Breeze, Mike Badami (pictured above) and Joe Schlossel (below) opted for the solitude of Lakeside Beach State Park.

The pair ventured to the park twice in the past week and each time were rewarded for their efforts. Once the trout move into deep water, these two anglers will return to local haunts and target their favorite warm water species, black bass and northern pike.

Steelheads and salmon provide respite from heat, lack of sleep


It was last Friday morning and despite the early hour the air temperature was climbing rapidly and the humidity was killer; couple that with the fact I was running on not much more than an hour of sleep and it seemed like I was going to be in for a long day. Doug Harloff, on the other hand, was his usual self -- chipper, upbeat, and eager to get down to the business at hand. I didn't know it then, but my disposition would soon match his and my lack of sleep quickly forgotten.

Our original plan called for a trip to Lake Erie to see about putting a dent in the walleye population, but at the last minute Doug suggested we play the waters of Lake Ontario, "steelhead fishin's been good" he said. As tired as I was, I figured it a good idea to be as close to home as possible. I readily agreed and moments later we were on our way to Point Breeze. 

Doug was still setting out lines when the first fish struck, a feisty steelhead rainbow that quickly got the adrenaline flowing. That said, any sleep deprivation dissipated immediately. The sight of a steelhead leaping clear of the water then tailwalking across the surface or the powerful run of a king salmon has a way of rejuvenating even the most bleary-eyed angler. And on this day we would be accommodated by both species. The king salmon pictured above made several line-sizzling runs, taking out nearly 370 feet of line!

Initially, Doug rigged up two downriggers, a planer board and a flat-line rig with lead core line, the latter being run some 300 feet behind the boat. Each rig produced at least one fish, most of which came from the 60 foot level in waters ranging from 150 - 250 feet deep. Northern King spoons were the hot bait, notably Dream Weaver 42nd's and black NK spoons with silver tape.

The further out on the lake we went the more we felt the breeze and the air temperature cooled somewhat. For the time being we had left some of the heat and humidity behind. From our position about two miles offshore it was difficult to make out the shoreline shrouded in haze. By the time we were ready to call it a day we had four steelheads and two kings in the hold.   

Because Doug lets nothing go to waste whether it be fish, waterfowl, upland game or venison, his recipes for fish and game are vast and varied. And because I would be bringing home an ample supply of fillets, I asked his opinion. Everything he suggested sounded great, the only trouble being, I could only try one recipe at a time. The following evening my wife and I dined on blackened Cajun salmon fillets cooked on the grill. The meal was delicious and the hum of the air conditioner made it all the more enjoyable.

Thanks Doug - it was a great day!

First Day of Autumn on Oak Orchard Creek


Boats are moored to their slips and the first tints of autumn are seen along the banks of Oak Orchard Creek. It was a great day to be outdoors. However, before we motored upstream, we began the morning on Lake Ontario.

John Lawrence, in back, Mike Ficarella in foreground, enjoying a balmy day. We're about two miles west of Point Breeze, off Lakeside Beach State Park.

That's the Somerset smokestack...... its actually located a short distance offshore, located around the point to the right and down the shoreline a few miles. Back in May I posted a photo of the smokestack as seen from Wheeler's horse farm on top of Molasses Hill in Wyoming County.

A gobi decided to make a meal of Mike's wobbling spoon.

A non-native species, this is a closeup of the gobi.

Out on the lake the wind began to pick up so John opted to motor up the creek.

John removing the weeds from his flatfish.

Heron scanning the creek while perched high in a tree.


Mute swan preening.

Turkey vulture swoops in for a closer look.

A bend in the river.

Another heron, this one doing its hunting closer to the water.

Soon it was time to head back downstream and lunch at the Black North Inn. Thanks John, for a great day!

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