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2017 Was One for the Record Books

As Winter refuses to let go of her hold on the Northeast, we have had a few reminders of Spring. This has brought about thoughts of drag screaming, line-peeling king salmon!!! It has long been said that the King is the engine that drives the Lake Ontario fishery. In those terms the 2017 King Salmon fishing was an engine out of a race car!
Every year since 1985, the DEC has conducted a survey of boats fishing Lake Ontario between April and September.
The summer of ‘17 was one for the record books. According to the DEC’s preliminary Lake Ontario Fishing Boat Survey for 2017, “Despite limited access to the lake, those able to fish experienced good to excellent fishing quality. Chinook salmon catch rate reached a record high, and coho salmon catch rate was among the highest in the 33 years surveyed. Rainbow trout catch rates improved from recent years across much of the NY shoreline. “
Chinook Salmon – The 5.5-month lake-wide catch rates for Chinook salmon were at the highest levels between …
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Anglers Are Out Chasing Steelhead in Oswego County’s Tributary Streams

Now that the holidays are over and the winter doldrums have set in, anglers in many areas have accepted the long hibernation until spring. Meanwhile, anglers in Oswego County are busy enjoying themselves chasing steelhead in the many tributaries that empty into Lake Ontario.

The two major rivers in Oswego County -- the Salmon and Oswego rivers -- are both hydro-release rivers. This means that neither completely freezes over even during the coldest of winters. Steelhead enter the tributaries in Fall, but remain there until Spring, creating an incredible open water Winter fishery.
Steelhead can be taken by a variety of methods. Fly fishing, drift fishing and float fishing are the most popular. During the winter the water typically runs low and clear, forcing anglers to lighten leaders and downsize their baits. This makes for some exciting battles with these spectacular fish.
When float fishing, suspend your bait under a fixed float, keeping your bait off the bottom and drifting the same spe…