Find Fish On Lake Ontario

We’re often asked how we find fish on Lake Ontario. There are several factors that play a part in being successful at doing this. We will discuss some of the parameters which point us in the right direction to do just that. Generally speaking, having the right equipment and knowledge will go a long ways in getting you there. A little bit of luck doesn’t hurt either!

The Right Equipment

find fish on Lake Ontario

Marking a thermocline helps find fish on Lake Ontario

When one desires to find fish on Lake Ontario, a good fishfinder is an absolute must. On our charter boat “The Ace“, we employ a Furuno FCV  585 with a through hull transducer. This unit is remarkable in that we can mark fish at speeds over 20 mph on plain. It also has the resolution to show the thermocline during low light conditions. When we head out in the morning, usually in the dark, the Furuno FCV 585 marks the thermocline (temperature break) on the display. This is huge in that before coming off plain, we already have an idea where to set our lines. The Furuno also marks bait and fish while on plain.

We have previously discussed how to use the Furuno FCV 585 and the proper settings to achieve the desired results in a previous post. When running and up on plain, we use the 200 khz setting. We set the scroll speed to 4/1 which is the fastest setting available. These settings show bait and fish that are present under the boat at speed.

Lake Knowledge

Knowing where to go to find fish on Lake Ontario before you even leave the dock contributes to success! Time on the water, specifically, being out there on a daily basis, tips the odds in your favor. If the wind direction and lake conditions haven’t changed the temperature profile, the fish will most likely still be there. Limnology, a fancy word for how a lake sets up and acts, is key. Wind direction plays an important part on where a fish’s preferred temperature will be on any given day.

Seasonal differences dictate just how the wind effects the temperature location. In the spring one usually looks for the warmest water they can find, especially when brown trout fishing.  Fishing on the down wind side usually leads to warmer water. Contrarily, later in the season usually finds us fishing into the direction of the wind. When the winds are out of the west, we fish west. When the winds are out of the north, we tend to fish deeper. Again, time of the year plays a huge roll on the limnology.

Putting It All Together

  Experience, gained by time on the water, is the best teacher to find fish on Lake Ontario.  Knowing how to “read a lake” helps to formulate a plan of attack to start the fishing trip. Using your electronics to verify that you are in the right area i.e, bait and fish on the screen, confirms your starting point decision. But, what if your plans fall through. What if you don’t find fish. All is not lost! Let’s go hunting! Cover water while fishing in temperature. If you have friends and/or other boats that you work with, now is the time to get on the horn. Usually, someone, somewhere, is getting them.