Getting Bites on Lake Ontario

Getting bites on Lake Ontario is not always easy. In fact, some days it seems near impossible. So when this happens, and if you fish long enough it surely will, what’s an angler to do? In this post will talk about how we attack this situation when it happens on one of our Lake Ontario charters. 

The first thing we try to do is figure out why we are not getting bit in the first place. The first question that always comes to mind is, “are we on fish?” In our previous post, we talked about using our electronics to verify we are in the right area or “on fish.” If we’re “on em,” and not getting bites, then it’s usually one of a couple of things that aren’t quite right! We have a system developed over many years of trolling that we employ when faced with this phenomenon.

Getting bites on Lake Ontario

Employing The System

Perhaps the most important variable that needs to be controlled when trolling and not getting bites on Lake Ontario,  is eliminating the crab. Crabbing is when you spread is not running directly behind the boat but off to either side when you are trying to troll straight. There will usually be two directions that you can troll in and be crab free. Finding those directions is the first thing we do when initiating the troll.

If we are crab free and still not getting bites, the next thing we look at is speed. Typically, if we’re not getting bit we speed up. If this doesn’t work, then we try slowing down. Usually on any given day, there will be a speed that generates bites. Finding it and keeping it ups the odds of getting bites on Lake Ontario. But what if we are still not getting bit?

Don’t Forget Temperature

We have discussed many times in the past about fishing in temperature. If you are marking fish in or near temperature, then this is where you need to be. If the fish are out of temperature we chase them by raising or lowering our presentations to be at or just above them in the column.

By now you must be noticing that we have not mentioned changing lures or items in our spread. That is usually the last thing that we do if all our other adjustments haven’t worked. It’s our belief that changing lures or switching items is much less important than presenting them the right way. The right direction, speed, temperature, and depth of water is more critical to success than lure selection.  Think of it this way!  If it was all about the lure type or color, then everybody would have to be running the same thing at the same time to get bites. If this were true, there would be only one lure company!