Thursday, July 17, 2014

Salmon Fishing on Lake Huron

Did you know that you can catch Chinook Salmon on Lake Huron? Moe at Screamin' Reels was referred to us as being a guy who could find fish, and that's just the kind of guy we were looking for. He did such a great job that we'll probably look him up again the next time we go to the Manitoulin Island.


You need a license to fish in Ontario, but we acquired our one-day fishing licenses the day before our fishing trip without incident. Well, that's not entirely true. The cashier at the outdoor store was having serious issues with her computer trying to reissue an Outdoor Card to a guy who had lost his. I'm not a fisherman, but there are all sorts of limits and restrictions out there to be aware of. Fortunately, we had Moe with us when we departed the docks around 4pm.
Headed out!
The boat was pretty decked out with an array that included 4 boards to take the lines wide and three or four down-riggers...but today we only caught the big fish below 200'.
So much fun!
I'm going to tell this fish tale in the same order we took turns reeling 'em in. Kacey, "The Pink Lady," caught two pink salmon that we put in the cooler and also a baby Chinook that she released. I caught a 10-pound Chinook and a pink salmon. Here's a video of me catching the Chinook.
video

My Chinook
My pink was on a really long line that Moe had started to reel in, then he said I had a bite...but it might have been that he didn't want to reel it in.
Moe's just hanging out watching me reel in that looooong line.
My arm nearly fell off just reeling the line in, and there was no fight left in the fish either. Between catches, Moe tried one of the organic blue corn chips I had brought along for a snack, even though he didn't quite seem to trust our explanation of why it's blue. "Lucky Larry" ate a banana on board (which is considered to be bad luck) then proceeded to catch a "once-in-a-lifetime" 20-pound lake trout...that also bit Moe. I guess the banana was good luck for Larry and bad luck for Moe. "Old Man Kevin" also caught a 10-pound Chinook. Perhaps most amusingly, Moe was as excited about each of our catches as we were. He even joked that the blue corn chip was the lucky ritual of the evening that he might try to employ next time.
That's something you don't see everyday: a 20+ lake trout
We all caught our second fish (all were pink salmon) while pulling in the lines on the way back to port.We were also the only ones at the cleaning station. Moe told us that June & July were usually good fishing months, but everyone was in a lull these last few days. Even so, we were successful!

Also, if you're going to do this, bring a cooler and bags to keep the fish in...a frozen 2-litre bottle of ice works well to keep things cold in transport.
Our catch: Lake Trout (yellow), Chinook (salmon), Pink Salmon (pink)
If you're wondering how we cooked it: We brushed olive oil, salt, pepper on the pinks and grilled them in tinfoil. Larry marinated the lake trout in a maple syrup & whiskey sauce, wrapped in bacon, and grilled it. I seasoned the Chinooks with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice then broiled them in cast iron skillets.
This is my favorite color for the setting sun.
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