September 2018 / Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
The Bluffers Park Journal
Anglers Active During Summer Months
By Jim Sanderson
Fishing is a popular activity in Bluffers Park during many months of the year, especially during the summer. Anglers of all ages and abilities can catch a wide variety of fish from shore, from boats launched at the public ramps or yacht clubs, or out on the lake with an expert guide from the Marina. Local species include Carp, Pike, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Brown and Rainbow Trout, and Chinook and Coho Salmon, the latter two types regularly stocked in the Park and other locations across Ontario by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Salmon and Trout are found in deep water during the summer, then come into the Park lagoons to spawn in Fall. To fish for them and other species all that is needed is the right tackle and a valid Ontario Fishing
license, which is available at many outdoor stores.
Guided outings are typically 4 or 5 hours, but hourly and all-day trips are also available. If you can afford one of these excursions your chances of coming back with good salmon, trout or other fish like Jumbo Perch, are greatly increased. I have been eating fish from the lake all my life, however, these days, precautions should be taken. An excellent guide can be found by searching www. Ontario.ca for “Eating Ontario Fish”. An interactive map there describes different fish throughout the province and how safe they are to consume. In general, larger fish (over 60 cm or 24 Inches) are more apt to contain higher levels of contaminants.
But none of that dampens the enthusiasm of Anglers participating in derbies in Bluffer’s Park. The Scotty ‘King of Kings’ Salmon Tournaments – a Spring contest held on June 16th and a Summer event held August 4th, were one day competitions in which participants headed out on the lake at 6:00 AM and returned by 3:30. Each boat contained an observer authorized by the organizers to ensure contest rules are followed. And no wonder – some serious money was on the line!
The Spring first prize was $ 20,000, and the Summer purse a whopping (get it?) 40 K! Sponsors included Scotty Fishing Products, Bluffers Park Marina, Gagnon Sports in Oshawa, a number of gear manufacturers, and even ‘Fat Nancy’s’ in Pulaski New York, a famous tackle shop named after the giant salmon that hangs inside the front door.
Contest organizers Chris Currie and Vito Cirone of ‘Sure Thing’ Charters deserve mention since they organize these tournaments entirely without pay. Participants are by invitation only, based on performance in previous events. A waiting list of new applicants is consulted on a first-come, first-served basis when spots open up.
The summer winner was ‘Team Peak Flow’ and they received their cheque and trophy in a ceremony on Saturday afternoon, August 4th. The Runner-up was an American team aptly named ‘Yankee Troller’.
Another competition open to anglers all over northern Lake Ontario, including Bluffer’s Park, is a summer long affair that runs from early July to the end of August, the Great Ontario Salmon Derby. Sponsored by the Toronto Star and Toronto Sportsmen’s Show this is actually a series of weekly contests, a ‘heaviest fish’ winner announced every Friday after 10 weigh-in stations from St. Catherines to Brighton have reported their results at 8:00 PM. After the weekly winner is declared, usually between 25 and 35 pounds, another contest starts at 12:01 AM on Saturday. In addition to these weekly prizes, there is an overall Grand Prize of $ 50,000 and a Toyota 4-Runner, all awards doled out at a ceremony in September. Several Bluffers Park Anglers have done well in the Great Ontario Salmon Derby (GOSD), including Lloyd Proctor from Scarborough Bluffs Sailing Club, who won a $ 10,000 purse in 2017, and Reel Action Charters based in the Marina. But whether you are ready to take on the pros in contests like these, or just sit in the sun and watch your bobber from the shore of one of Bluffer’s Park lagoons, it’s good to know that excellent fishing is readily available right here in our community.
Jim Sanderson is a local bluffs resident, and the author of Toronto Island Summers, (James Lorimer and Co.)