Fishing BIG water Lake Ontario CLOSA derby

If you have never had the chance to get out and fish The BIG water in Lake Ontario it is an activity I would highly suggest giving a try. I was able to have the opportunity over this past weekend to participate in the CLOSA club fishing derby, this is a 2 day event, each boat was allowed to weigh in 4 fish per day, and your 4 biggest fish counted towards the boats total weight. The boat with the most weight of your 4 best fish over the 2 days won the $$$.

Day 1 of the Derby we landed 5 Kings and 2 bows, not knowing what the other boats had we headed back to the dock in Wellington to weigh in. Wendy (the owner of The Reel Thing Tackle store was waiting there volunteering for the event to help weigh in all the fisherman’s catches,  At 3PM the first day we were told that we were sitting in 1st place with 29.5 lbs of Chinook salmon, 8 other boats had already weighed in, but there were still 9 or 10 boats that had not.


Day 2 was a slow start for us we started on the water by 5am and by 9am the radio was nothing but chatter of guys telling of all the great fish they were catching that morning, we had nothing in our box  as of yet. Frustrated with all the radio chatter we turned down the noise and started changing up our presentations, trying to figure out what we were doing wrong? at 9:30Am we had our first hit of the day. was a good fish but it felt a lot bigger than it was.  I think it weighed about 6 or 7 lbs. then another hour went by so now it was approx 10:30AM  and we had about an hour and a half until we had to head in for the final weigh in time.

Now getting worried about finishing strong, around 10:45 one of our down riggers triggered and the line started to pull back. I took the rod and felt that there was quite a bit of weight to this one so I handed the rod to my partner Kevin and told him “I think this is a decent fish”. The fish had a sudden burst of energy and just took off,  Kevin did everything he could to just hold onto the rod as the fish tore out approx 1100 ft of line, definitely a big king. I had run to the back of the boat to bring the kicker motor to an almost stop in desparation to help stop the fish from spooling Kevin’s reel, then I proceeded to reel in every other line that we had in the water as they may all start to get tangled up if I didn’t, my arms hurt after that lol.


In the mean time Kevin was doing everything in his power to make sure the fish didn’t take all the line off the reel he put extra pressure on the reel with his thumb, essentially burning him, because the line was turning so fast in the reel that the friction burnt his thumb. then Kevin had no choice but to grab the line its self and start pulling it back in manually, or he would loose the fish. he pulled just enough line back on the spool so he could start reeling it in again.


It took about 45 minutes to land this monster King salmon, we weighed it in and it was just over 20 lbs, We really thought this one was much larger. I’ve fought a 32 lbs king that didn’t put up half the fight of this beast. With about a half hour to go we then caught another 2 fish and lost another 3 before the 12:00pm deadline and went to weigh in our catch.


All in all the weekend was a success we weighed in over 50 lbs of fish for a 7th place finish. I want to thank the CLOSA guys for a great weekend and a great derby, as well as a great BBQ on the Sunday to finish it off with.

It takes a lot of volunteers to pull off an event like this. So I would also like to thank ALL the volunteers for their time, also a huge thanks to Wendy at the Reel Thing Tackle in Wellington for holding the weigh station and weighing in all the fish. Congratulations to Chris and Eve Brant for winning the Derby with 84+ lbs total and of course my partner Kevin Gibson for asking me to join him for this event. We may not have had the biggest fish but I think after chatting with the other anglers we may have caught the most over the weekend, and we all had a blast. too bad that didn’t count for a $$$ spot LOL.

I look forward to participating again in the future.

And of course I would like to thank my sponsors

Fishbum, thanks for always making the best looking fisherman on the water.

Liuid Mayhem that Garlic Minnow has been amazing for these awsome chinook salmon.

and Seafour Lures. Like chatching KINGS with DYNAMITE.