Wellington is a unique fishing hole, situated at the western end of West Lake and adjacent to the channel that leads to Lake Ontario.
A MNR netting program in 2007 identified 17 different species of fish inhabiting West Lake, most prominent were, Black Crappie, both Large and Smallmouth Bass, Pike, Walleye, Yellow and White Perch, Common Carp, Bullheads, Sheepshead, Bluegill, Bowfin, Catfish, Rock Bass and Longnose Gar.
In the Lake Ontario waters around Wellington can be found, Brown, Lake, and Rainbow Trout, Chinook, Coho and Atlantic Salmon and the occasional Muskie.
For boaters there are two launch ramps along with ample parking, for shore anglers a town dock and shoreline in the park along the channel from West Lake to Lake Ontario.
Where else in Ontario can one find such a wide variety of fishing in one place?
FISHING GUIDES IN WELLINGTON
Several full time fishing guides operate out of Wellington.
Kevin South operates: Strike II Charters Tel:613 399 3711
Spring and Fall Walleye fishing in the Bay Of Quinte, Salmon summer fishing on Lake Ontario, as well as Bass fishing in West Lake.
Ian Scrimshaw operates: Open Season Charters Tel:613 399 5033.
Spring and fall Walleye, summer Salmon.
Scott Walcott runs: West Lake Willows Charters Tel:613 393 321
Spring and Fall Walleye, summer Salmon
WHERE and WHEN
Due to stocking programs by the MNR of 8-10 inch Brown Trout into Lake Ontario along the Sandbanks shoreline east of Wellington, a spring fishery is growing.
At this time of year the Browns can be found in close to shore in 6-15 foot of water. Most productive technique is using planer boards, with small silver, silver/ blue spoons, or small silver thin body baits, with long leads 25-50 yards, employing regular “S” turns to change lure speed and action.
Do not be surprised to find Rainbow Trout as well, as there is a growing population that come to the small creeks in the area at this time of year, so try a shallow diving body bait such as a jointed Rapala, orange being a very productive colour.
CLOSA - Central Lake Ontario Sports Anglers - a club well worth joining, in conjunction with MNR has been stocking the Wellington area with Chinook fingerlings for the last five years.
Each year in April, 10,000 fin clipped fingerling Chinooks are reared in pens at the Reel Thing dock, for 6-8 weeks, and then released into Lake Ontario. CLOSA members feed these fingerling, as well as another 10,000 in pens in Wellers Bay, every 2 hours. This penning technique has proved that fish reared this way imprint on the water and then return to the area later in life to spawn, creating a fall fishery for the area, as well as the spring and summer one.
In addition the MNR release another 15,000 Chinook fingerlings directly into the Wellington channel each year.
For CLOSA membership information contact Bill Ross at 613-394-3934
The start of Walleye season. West Lake has a large resident population of medium size Walleye 2-3 pounds as well as larger fish to 10 pounds .The lake is shallow and weedy, so best results are along side the weedbed edges, around the sandy shoals where drop offs occur to 15-20 feet. Techniques vary, trolling, drifting, jigging the holes, spinners tipped with worms, bottom bouncers, worm harness’s, drop shotting to body baits.
Around these areas there will be Pike as well, mostly 3-5 lb range with the occasional rod bender.
After dark the lights on the town dock attract bait fish to the area, and large Walleye and Pike come in from Lake Ontario to feast on them. 10 pounders are not uncommon, and daily limits often achieved before midnight. 5-6 inch body baits being the most productive lures. Come early as the dock gets crowded.
Cold water from Lake Ontario is continuously pushed down the channel to the town dock resulting in large numbers of Yellow Perch inhabiting the area until the water warms in mid summer .The Bass know the season for them has not opened yet, so tantalize those fishing around the docks.
May 2nd sees the start of the local Rapala WHIP annual Fishing Derby which runs until August 30st.
The Walleye and Pike fishing in West Lake and around the docks continues to flourish. By mid June Chinook Salmon and Rainbow Trout are starting to appear off Wellington in Lake Ontario, the shoals around Salmon Point being the most productive at the start of the season .Dipsey divers, slide divers, down riggers, lead core long lines for the Salmon, long line body baits for the Rainbows.
The third week of June sees the opening of Bass season. West Lake has close to 20 kilometers of shoreline, with docks, overhanging trees, lily beds, rock outcrops and shoals, fallen trees, weed and reed beds. Bass habitat in abundance.
There is a large population of Largemouth Bass, to 5 pounds, and a smaller population of Smallmouths.
Much overlooked, but growing in popularity is Carp fishing, for the angler who is fishing for fun and skill testing, a twenty pounder on 10 lb test will give plenty of both. West Lake has a large population of large Carp.
Salmon fishing is now at its best from Salmon point to the famous Scotch Bonnet. The Sun, Great Ontario Salmon Derby (www.sportshows.ca/salmonderby) starts the first week of July running for seven weeks. The Wellington area has long been recognized as the water to find the big ones, especially in the early weeks of the Derby.
In 2007 two of the seven weekly winners weighed in at the Wellington weigh in station at The Reel Thing Fishing Pro Shop. As well as 6 other anglers who made the top 10 in the weekly list, to qualify to go to the “Fish Off”
CLOSA start their summer Derby for Salmon and Trout, the WHIP derby is in full swing, so there are numerous prizes up for grabs.
The waters of West Lake are starting to warm up, making the Bass more active and aggressive, pleasure boating activities are on the increase, so seek out the quiet bays and the Bloomfield Creek, an area to make to make the mouth water, as it is a natural Bass habitat, difficult to fish, lots of weeds and lily pads, but rewarding to the skilful.
Conversely there are some very shallow areas in West Lake, less than two feet, with lily pads and fallen logs, that can be fished from a canoe, with surface baits.
The Walleye have headed to the deeper cooler water and are inactive during the day, dawn and dusk now become the most productive times . Night fishing now comes into its own with jigging in the various holes producing good size fish.
Gar Pike now appear in schools, cruising the surface. They are difficult to catch and even more difficult to unhook when caught. One technique that seems to work well is several strands of cloth strips from a mop pulled across the surface, when a school is sighted, the mop strands get tangled in the rows of teeth in the beaks. Some use fly rods for this method of fishing.
West Lake has a good population of Crappie, they appear to move around the lake, so it is a search and seek program, find the holes around lily pads and weed beds.
With West Lake water now at its warmest, the Bass are at their aggressive best.
The Salmon fishing continues , not at the levels of July, but still rewarding for the search and seekers, as the fish stocked in the area in the past, are still to be found.
Pike are very lethargic, and Walleye are in the deepest holes, Crappie are active around the shoreline. The Derbies are coming to an end, with the current leaders anxiously watching the leader boards each day.
Most of the summer visitors have gone home, the amount of boat traffic has considerably reduced, the lake waters are cooling, and all the fish are feeding themselves up for the winter. No better time for a weekend getaway.
At the end of the month and into October, the Walleye fishing picks up again. Then comes what many consider the event of the year, the Chinook Salmon that had been stocked in the area in previous years, return. 25 pounders are caught off the main dock and at the entrance to the channel from Lake Ontario. Excitement to round off the season.
OCTOBER INTO DECEMBER
The action now switches to the Bay of Quinte, rated as one of the top Walleye fisheries in N America, 10 pounders are the norm. The fish come in from Lake Ontario, thus areas around the Glenora ferry are the most productive spots at this time of year. Main boat ramp is in Picton harbour.
LURES AND TECHNIQUES
Our store is located on West Lake at the town dock, and we are the weigh in station for the three main fishing Derbies that operate throughout the summer. Consequently we are constantly updated on WHAT is catching WHAT, WHERE, and are pleased to pass the information along, on old favourites, new wonders and sometimes the secret lure.!
Feel free to call us for any information, about fishing, accommodation, charters, boat rentals.
Tel: 613-399-3646 or 1-866-822-5776