It's a funny thing, in retrospect, that for the last few years I've been averaging about 130 days of fishing per year and the quietest time for me is surprisingly mid summer. For some reason July is generally roadtrip deficient, causing my focus to shift from abroad to local opportunities. This was the case a year ago last July when a friend told me he had the car for a few hours and asked where we could go to do something other than carp fishing. Taking into consideration the time constraints, we decided to check out Toronto's western shoreline and headed out for Colonel Samuel Smith Park at the foot of Kipling Ave.
Colonel Samuel Smith Park
We started out casting spinners and small crankbaits in the harbour and methodically worked the water out along the inner breakwall. On previous forays, this method proved effective and produced quite a few small bass and panfish, but on this day the fish were nowhere to be found.
After half an hour of no results, we found ourselves overlooking a small enclosed area twice the size of an average driveway and it appeared to be the perfect spot for our elusive quarry. Five minutes of casting proved the area was devoid of feeding fish and as we were about to move on, my friend noticed some movement in the far corner near the bushes. This was all the motivation we needed to reassert our assault on the pool. It obviously wasn't a bass, but by then we'd settle for a carp.
Twenty to thirty casts later, and several more breaches by the "creature" in the bushes, we were ready to move on again. Just as we're turning away from the pool, a large V wake moves out from the corner, 40 feet (straight as an arrow) and the "creature" beaches itself directly at my feet. Flopping around in front of us is a 20Lb. "chromer" chinook salmon that had apparently decided to commit suicide.
Struggling to Remain Composed
Since neither of us put a hook into it, we both claimed ownership. Between uncontrollable fits of laughter, the requisite photos were taken and we eventually made our way back to the car, stopping occasionally to recount an unbelievable tale to the many admirers.
To this day, all you have to do is mention the occasion to either one of us, and the laughter returns with the same intensity. Once again we didn't catch our target species, but who cares! The dog days of summer can be difficult when you're stuck in the city, but an afternoon on the lakeshore can have surprising results you may never forget.
Just don't expect the fish to offer themselves up all the time!