Henderson Harbor Area of Eastern Lake Ontario
Take it from a Henderson Harbor NY fishing charter captain. Winter is long in Upstate NY, and many anglers’ look forward to the summer season and deep water fishing. Many believe, on the eastern end of Lake Ontario that is the best time to fish for a variety of species of fish. King salmon, brown trout, steelhead, lake trout, northern pike and bass are all readily available with walleye entering the picture in late summer. The big difference between the outstanding spring fishing and summer fishing is that king salmon and bass are available.
A Great Fishing Experience for A First Timer
Many novice fishermen are not familiar with what the eastern end of Lake Ontario offers. But let this Henderson Harbor NY fishing charter captain tell you: this is a unique area. Not only does eastern Lake Ontario offer wide open lake but areas of flat sandy bottoms, rocky points, shallow to deep walls and islands with exceptional structure which in turn holds a lot of bait to catch lake trout, brown trout, black bass, walleye and so many more fish species.
Novice fishermen ask: where are some of the best places on eastern Lake Ontario to find a variety of fish? In my experience as a Henderson Harbor NY fishing charter captain, I’ve learned that one of the best places to start would be the trench, just outside Henderson Harbor between the mainland and Stony Island. Other “hot spots” are Stony Point wall – west of Stony Point light; southwest of Galloo and Calf Islands and around what’s called “the finger” – 3 miles off Stony Point light. Downriggers are the preferred method for taking fish usually fishing down 60-125 feet in 100-165 feet of water. Water depth can change, justas water temperatures change.
The Best Brown Trout Lures
A first timer might ask, What are the best brown trout lures to use in eastern Lake Ontario?
It’s always a great day to catch big browns when you’re using some Michigan Stinger lures. As a Henderson Harbor NY Fishing charter captain, I find these troll well at slow, medium and fast speeds with excellent action. Some of my favorites are green wiggle, orange gator, UV mixed veggies, UV black tuxedo, rosemary’s baby, killer tangerine, yellow jacket, Sunkist and Michael Jackson to name a few.
Mid to Late Summer Fishing Conditions
King salmon fishing really picks up in the same areas as brown trout in July. Pretty much most use the same techniques as browns, but maybe going to the bigger Michigan Stinger Stingrays.
August into September Fishing Experience
As it gets into late July, August-September time frame many switch to flasher-fly combinations. We like Michigan E-chip flashers in mountain dew UV, pretty girl, black-eyes peas, green wiggler, yellow killer and Carmel dolphin; but colors can change daily. Our best flies that we use are “A-Tom-Mik” flies made in Oswego, NY. Glo-Pro-Am Hammer, Sweet Pea and Mirage are our favorite flies.
Trophy walleye fishing starts in August and can be hot in September. Best places are off Calf Island spit, little Galloo Island, big Galloo Island, north pond and gas buoy. Most run planer boards or in-line planers with leads of 100-200 feet. Working water in the 20-60 foot depths usually is best fishing on and off points and humps. Reef Runner lures have always been a favorite to most walleye fishermen but we like deep diving Husky Jerks in size 12. Best colors are the normal blacks, blues, gold, fire tiger and purples which can change daily.
The Henderson Harbor Area Fishing Experience
“Home of the black bass” has been on a sign leading into Henderson Harbor since the 1930’s. There are hundreds of places in the Henderson Harbor area of Lake Ontario to fish this feisty fighter. Many seasoned anglers consider the black bass ‘pound for pound, inch for inch’ the mightiest fighter of them all! Most like fishing crabs, minnows, leeches or worms with ultra lights getting the best pounce for the ounce. Best places are same places as walleye, also Ray’s Bay, Sawyer’s Bay, pillboxes, Gull Island, Bass Island, Chaumont Bay, Black River, Campbell’s Shoal and Bull Rock Point to name just a few. Best depths are usually 8-35 feet of water.
Lake trout fishing has been fantastic in July and early August. Many fish in the 12-24 pound range with an occasional bigger one are taken. Best places are north-south and west of the “finger” off Stony Point light and south of Galloo Island. Many like using cowbells in watermelon. Monkey puke, blue, fire tiger and chartreuse-silver followed by glo-green peanuts or spin & glo’s, flat fish and fire plugs. We like using flasher-fly combinations same as you are using for king salmon. Fishing with downriggers close to bottom in 110-160 feet of water produces. Always keep an eye on depths around the “finger”, out off the “finger” you can bump bottom with no problem as it is flat.
Don’t hesitate to try some fantastic catfish fishing in the Black River out of Dexter and Sackets Harbor. Best place is the deep hole by the islands heading toward Black River Bay. Best baits are usually chicken livers and shrimp. Stop and see Judy Kirch at B&J Bait on the Lake in Dexter for best info.
Stay Up-to-Date on Lake Ontario Fishing Information
Best place to call for information on Henderson Harbor
fishing charters, lodging, and anything else you need to make your trip a great experience is at eastern Lake Ontario is Henchen’s Marina in Henderson Harbor. Whether you’re looking to catch lake trout, bass, salmon, northern pike, brown trout or any other of the abundant fish species found here, they usually have updates on current fishing reports to get you pointed in the right direction.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast, and prepare for all possibilities (bring your rain gear!). Many novice fishermen hook up with fishing charter captains with pen & pad in hand to learn techniques and places to fish, to get a jump on the knowledge needed to go out into the big lake. Either with a fishing charter or without, Eastern Lake Ontario offers a great experience fishing for novice fishermen and seasoned anglers alike.
I hope these few basic tips from a seasoned angler help the novice get a start on fishing the area but try to remember to have fun and take a kid fishing!
Original Article By Captain Bob Dick
About the Author
Captain Bob Dick is the owner and operator of Moby Dick Fishing Charters, in Henderson Harbor, NY.