OSWEGO, N.Y. – According to the lyrics of the song, in the summertime, the living is easy and the catfish are jumping.
For anglers booking charter trips this summer on Lake Ontario, however, all that matters is that the fishing is as easy as it gets. That is especially true for those targeting king salmon, which, while not exactly jumping into the boat, they have been aggressive and caught in good numbers.
Evidence of a good summer was experience by a group of friends who recently booked an afternoon trip with Berwick native and New York State fishing guide Capt. Troy Creasy of High Adventure Sportfishing out of Oswego Harbour. All four anglers had limit catches on the lake, and then did some stream fishing in Oswego County before coming home.
New York State offers a lot of fishing options, and Oswego County developed the most productive waters in the country, ranking even better than the Pacific Ocean.
Oswego County's territorial waters outrank the Pacific when it comes to raising certain salmon species. This is supported by the International Game Fish Association world record for coho salmon, a species native to the Pacific Ocean, with a 33-pound, 4-ounze fish being caught in the Salmon River in 1989 by Jerry Lifton.
Interestingly, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, a heavier fish holds the state record. That 33-pound, 7-ounce fish was caught on Lake Ontario by Steve Sheets, Jr., August 13, 1998.
Holding the New York State and Great Lakes Chinook salmon record is a fish caught by Kurtis Killian of Berwick in the Salmon River while being guided by Creasy, September 7, 1991. That fish weighed 47 pounds, 13 ounces.
A world record Chinook-coho, a hybrid recognized by the IGFA, but not the NYSDEC, is a 35-pound, 8-ounce fish taken in the Salmon River by Brooks Gerli, in October, 2001. Here again, the Chinook salmon is indigenous to the Pacific.
And, yes, even the New York record for brown trout came from Oswego County territorial waters. Holding the record is Tony Brown, who caught a 33-pound, 2-ounce fish, June 10, 1997.
Even so-called "junk" fish come big in Oswego County, with the state-record shorthead redhorse, a member of the sucker family, being caught in the Salmon River. Joe Williams caught the 11-pound, 11-ounce fish, May 26, 1996.
For information on fishing Lake Ontario with Capt. Troy Creasy of High Adventure Sportfishing, access the website at www.highadventurefishing.com.