Lake Ontario has some of the best sport fishing of the Great Lakes. Its Chinook salmon fishery is very good, especially on the western end of the lake near the Niagara River. Fishing is also better in the western area because the depth drops off sharply from shore and salmon are deep-water fish that like to stay near these drop offs.
Spoons are the most common lure used to fish for salmon in Lake Ontario. There are many manufacturers of spoons specifically for the Great Lakes, and local bait shops usually have their own spoons in colors that work best in their area. The best color of spoon will vary based on many factors when fishing Lake Ontario, such as water clarity and depth. You often will have to change several times before you find one that works. Bright colors such as silver, gold, neon green and orange are the most popular colors.
Crank baits work well when used in conjunction with a down rigger to get them to the depth the fish are at. Rapalas and thundersticks are the most popular brands, and both make a large variety of color combinations. Best colors are natural shad or shiny colors such as silver and gold. Local bait and tackle stores can often guide you on which crank bait, color and depth the salmon are biting at.
A salmon plug is a lure that mimics a hurt bait fish. They are reeled in an erratic manor that makes them dart in the water, and they are a shallow to mid-level lure. Their shallow swimming pattern makes them best for shore or pier fishing. Plugs come in many colors, but the best choices are cream and red-orange with black lines.