Author Topic: Early salmon - where are they  (Read 2731 times)

Offline TurkeyTom

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Early salmon - where are they
« on: May 04, 2021, 03:24:43 pm »
I have fished salmon for 25 years on the bay . My average catch is between 30 to 40 fish a season. I concentrate on our treasured islands.

Each spring and thru June I am trying to find some spring salmon. No trouble finding Lakers.

I recognize we have some spectacular salmon fishermen on this site. Letís have a discussion about extending our seasons by finding fish before July and after late August.

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Offline VioletHill

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2021, 02:05:09 pm »
We bought a cottage 2 years ago on Portage Island (in the Shadow, west side). Lots of success bass fishing in our area.
Fishing in The Hole and south of Giants Tomb downrigging and long lines, we only caught a few small clipped Lake Trout ... no Rainbows or Salmon yet.

Does anyone have any info of/on fish species south of Portage Island, in Portage Bay/Big Bay/Deep Bay? Not sure of proper name ?  We have marked a lot of fish in 75 to 120 foot range. Temps down deep were very warm last year in the high 50's. Are they Lakers or Whitefish or Rainbows/Salmon? We have caught nothing yet. Are there any Walleye? We seem to be the only boat out here?

Thanks

Offline Krawler

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2021, 03:55:11 pm »
Great questions, at this time of year its a crapshoot out there in our area.  Ice is always leaving late and keeps the waters cool so that doesnt help.  The key to finding early season salmon is warm water and bait.  Typically your warmer water will be on the bottom of the Bay in deep waters 150ft+, bays and basins or you can try river mouths such as the Notty.  Its been off and on there this year with the variable weather condtions we have been having.  I have heard of some salmon being caught off Sawlog, Awenda and the Tomb but i think any fish being caught are lucky catches, no multiple fish days unless you go to warm water areas as mentioned. 

Eventually the Bay will flip usually in May and salmon will make there way up the water column or move to shallower waters.  Key is to find bait, fish wont be too far off, fish these areas in early am or pm and you should hook up.  Run cheaters too as the fish can be anywhere in the water column.  Size 28 or standard size spoons in glow are best and highly reflective colors after 9-10am will work.  vary your speeds to see what they want but try and match your spoon choice to your speeds. Last year Methodist area produced good May/June fish, bait seemed to congregate in those areas. But watch the winds, they seem to push the bait around.  Hope island and east side beckwith was good in May/June as well. 

If you want to burn some gas and time go for a run to the Blue Zone in May/June when water temps reach high 40's or low 50's.  Flatline 200-300' back small body baits or run 1-2 color cores.  Lots of bows out there on the surface, you will see them jumping and surfacing chasing small shiners or eating bugs.  Orange J7 cant go wrong. 
Or you can save on gas and troll the mainland shorelines in May and June and stick to the shallows10-20ft, big bows will cruise the shallows all day. 

Main ingredient to catching fish in our area at this time of year is TIME.  Silver fish can be anywhere in the water column.  Thats why anglers will target areas with warm water to increase their chances of hooking up.  But if you have the time then I suggest running and gunning, try each spot for 30 min then run somewhere for 10 min and try somewhere else.







Offline TurkeyTom

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2021, 04:06:22 pm »
Krawler great and helpful reply. The bows have been difficult to find inside. I ran a charter on Lake O and when had times when salmon were sparse we ran for the blue water and looked for temp breaks on the surface. They proved to be the ticket.

I have been amazed how much bait we have over the last couple of years. There is biomass there that could support a million new sport fish if we had the hatcheries or better natural reproduction. Too many warm streams I think.

Again thanx for your insight.

Tom Ekers (TurkeyTom )

Offline Krawler

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2021, 12:25:17 pm »
Bows always hard to find on the inside.  After a big blow from the West or NW we will find them stacked up in a few places but that will only last for a day or 2 and then they are gone.  Since bows can tolerate higher temps they may also been found shallower but when Kings are not to far off, who wants to go for the elusive bow?!?!  If we could run more lines id have a 4 color out all day with an orange/yellow spoon for bows higher in the column. 

Offline andrew9638

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2021, 09:28:47 am »
Krawler, Iíve got to say thanks, you always provide a wealth of info that is so helpful for those of us who donít have the time to go figure it out on our own. At least having something to start with makes it feel more hopeful out on that big water.
I will be going out for our first trip the last weekend in May. My 8 yr old son has been asking every day how many days until we go, lol.

I launch out of Jacksonís park and often just fish within a few miles of the ramp along that mainland. Is it worth fishing this area earlier in the season or would we have better chances heading up to the islands?
Unfortunately I donít have a temperature sensing unit yet.

Offline JL

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2021, 11:28:26 pm »
FYI Tiny hasnít even started to think about clearing the sand out at Jacksonís yet so you may want to rethink that plan.

I imagine they didnít want to have to make a decision re provincial direction so hey just drug their feet.

Hopefully todayís announcement gives them a little kick in the ass.

Offline Krawler

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2021, 07:41:58 am »
Krawler, Iíve got to say thanks, you always provide a wealth of info that is so helpful for those of us who donít have the time to go figure it out on our own. At least having something to start with makes it feel more hopeful out on that big water.
I will be going out for our first trip the last weekend in May. My 8 yr old son has been asking every day how many days until we go, lol.

I launch out of Jacksonís park and often just fish within a few miles of the ramp along that mainland. Is it worth fishing this area earlier in the season or would we have better chances heading up to the islands?
Unfortunately I donít have a temperature sensing unit yet.

Tiny beaches area is an ideal place to start end of May.  Salmon that hang around the Notty all spring will slowly move there way up coast towards the islands.  If you look at the satellite imagery on the Bay you can see plumes of green water coming from the notty pushing up the east side of Nottawasaga Bay, the fish will move with this warm water.  However with the recent lack of rain you wont see those plumes as much anymore.  Nevertheless Salmon are on the move.  Early season you wont need a temp sensor, water is cold everywhere except on the surface.  I would fish a stealth approach in the shallows 40-70 fow long long leads or leadcore/planer board set up in 3-6 color segments.  Or just long leads on the rigger minimum 100 ft back.  Good idea to flatline small body baits too as rainbows will be high in the column looking for small shiners or bugs on the surface.  If this doesn't work in the early am then head out to 80-120 and work a summer program, the salmon are still climatized to cold water and they will be seeking smelt post spawn as the bait transitions to deeper water. 
Early season is always tough, watch your graph and be ready to drop your riggers to a hungry laker which are usually on the bottom.  The islands are always the last area to heat up because of the currents moving the water around so much, but as always find the bait and you may find some actively feeding fish.  Last resort or first resort for me is a Blue zone run, in some years we would find huge patches of debris (trees, leaves, picnic tables, pollen etc) floating out there all stuff coming from the Notty, flatline these areas and you will hit bows.  On the way out watch for temp changes on the surface, current, scum lines, and often you will see bows surfacing as you crusie along, if you see any of these stop and troll, small body baits, slow speed. 

Good luck if you make it out, lets us know how you do. 

kris

Offline Kevin B

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2021, 02:44:21 pm »
Maybe this is a dumb question....Ive fished salmon in Georgian Bay for years but never been out to the "blue zone".  Where is the blue zone from Collingwood ?  Thank you.

Offline Krawler

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2021, 02:53:23 pm »
Deep water far offshore.
You will see the water out there turn to a deep blue, hard to explain but the water takes on a bit of a different color.  For me i like to run 5-10 miles west of Christian Island, minimum 250fow.




Offline Kevin B

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2021, 02:56:35 pm »
Awesome thank you sir.  Ill head out there Monday.

Offline andrew9638

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2021, 10:13:52 pm »
FYI Tiny hasnít even started to think about clearing the sand out at Jacksonís yet so you may want to rethink that plan.

I imagine they didnít want to have to make a decision re provincial direction so hey just drug their feet.

Hopefully todayís announcement gives them a little kick in the ass.

Thatís good to know, thanks! I will definitely call the township before heading out there.

Offline andrew9638

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2021, 10:23:25 pm »
Tiny beaches area is an ideal place to start end of May.  Salmon that hang around the Notty all spring will slowly move there way up coast towards the islands.  If you look at the satellite imagery on the Bay you can see plumes of green water coming from the notty pushing up the east side of Nottawasaga Bay, the fish will move with this warm water.  However with the recent lack of rain you wont see those plumes as much anymore.  Nevertheless Salmon are on the move.  Early season you wont need a temp sensor, water is cold everywhere except on the surface.  I would fish a stealth approach in the shallows 40-70 fow long long leads or leadcore/planer board set up in 3-6 color segments.  Or just long leads on the rigger minimum 100 ft back.  Good idea to flatline small body baits too as rainbows will be high in the column looking for small shiners or bugs on the surface.  If this doesn't work in the early am then head out to 80-120 and work a summer program, the salmon are still climatized to cold water and they will be seeking smelt post spawn as the bait transitions to deeper water. 
Early season is always tough, watch your graph and be ready to drop your riggers to a hungry laker which are usually on the bottom.  The islands are always the last area to heat up because of the currents moving the water around so much, but as always find the bait and you may find some actively feeding fish.  Last resort or first resort for me is a Blue zone run, in some years we would find huge patches of debris (trees, leaves, picnic tables, pollen etc) floating out there all stuff coming from the Notty, flatline these areas and you will hit bows.  On the way out watch for temp changes on the surface, current, scum lines, and often you will see bows surfacing as you crusie along, if you see any of these stop and troll, small body baits, slow speed. 

Good luck if you make it out, lets us know how you do. 

kris
Awesome, awesome info thank you so much for the help. I happen to have a 4 colour lead core rod and an in-line planer so that will be put into play. The other two lines will be a downrigger and a flat line.
Hopefully I can get out from Jackson or I guess it will be wasaga and run north a few miles.
Tomorrow I will finally fire up the boat, change the oil, and go over the fishing gear and trailer.
I will definitely report back, hereís hoping the weather cooperates! If not we will have to skip out a day of my sonís online school, lol.

Offline andrew9638

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2021, 11:13:41 am »
I called Tiny township today and it sounds like the Jacksonís launch wonít be open for at least a week.
How far north of wasaga would I have to run this time of year to find fish?

Offline andrew9638

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Re: Early salmon - where are they
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2021, 11:22:32 am »
Also, NE winds and cooler temperatures forecasted for the next few days. I wonder what that would do to surface temperatures in this area?