What Floats Your Boat? – Fishing charters and pleasure cruises on Lake Ontario

Picture this: you and your friends on a fishing charter waiting for a bite as you all swap fishing stories from summers past.  One of the rods gets a nibble and someone yells “Fish on!”  The scene changes from serene to elation.  Or maybe you, along with family and friends, sit starboard and sip wine on a sunny summer day cruising on the lake. Chartering a boat or taking a private pleasure cruise is a great way to spend the day on Lake Ontario.

Angling for Adventure
Several companies, such as Boomers Sporting Adventures in Bronte, offer both fishing charters and pleasure cruises.  If you are looking for a really fun day out with your fishing buddies, consider a fishing charter.  You may be surprised to learn that Outdoor Canada Magazine ranked Lake Ontario #6 in their ranking of all time Canadian fishing hot spots. The lake is full of big fish, from trout and salmon, to pike, bass and walleye.  Bronte is right in the middle of all the action for trophy Chinook, Coho salmon and large Rainbow trout.  Guests aboard Boomers Sporting Adventures have hooked many 20 – 30lb Chinooks. 

Carefree Cruising
Going for a leisurely Sunday drive is nice, but experiencing a range of emotions from tranquility to excitement on a leisurely boat cruise is hard to beat, and with the captain at the helm, everyone gets a chance to take it all in.  A morning, afternoon or evening cruise on a luxury 52’ yacht would be a unique way to kick up your summer gatherings a notch, wouldn’t you say?

Fun for Kids
If you are concerned that your children would not handle a full day out on the water too well, or if you’re just looking to fill a morning with a fun activity for the whole family, the Hamiltonian is a 12 passenger tour boat that offers a 50 minute narrated tour of  the Hamilton Harbour.  The kids can even take turns at being captain for a minute or two and, when the ride is over, there’s a Williams Café, snack bar and Scoops (an ice cream shop) to go to for a treat.

The Hamilton Harbour Queen was built in Owen Sound by Russell Brothers shipyard in 1956 and was originally named the Johnny B.  In the last 60 years, the ship has navigated the waters of Great Slave Lake, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Newfoundland.

Don’t worry about packing sandwiches and beer for your fishing trip, or fussing over the picnic basket for your cruising guests.  Most of the charter companies offer onboard catering.  That way you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the spectacular lakefront views and the gentle rocking motion of the boat.  As your hair blows in the breeze and the sun rises or sets on your waterway adventure, you will have time to appreciate our own special corner of Lake Ontario.

What to Bring on your Fishing Trip

Fishing license
Comfortable shoes
Jacket or sweater
A cooler (if you want to keep your catch)
A camera to capture it all

What to Bring on your Pleasure Cruise
Comfortable, light-soled shoes onboard
Bathing suits (if you want some extra sun)
Lightweight sweater or fleece for cooler breezes
Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
Waterproof jacket
Mobile phone, camera, IPods & chargers (if you want to listen to your own music or make some calls)
Seasickness remedies (if any guests experience tummy trouble while onboard)

Local Links
Witching Hour Sportfishing, Bronte Harbour

Andrews Charter, Port Credit Harbour

The Hamiltonian Cruises, Discovery Drive, Hamilton Harbour

Boomers Sporting Adventures, Bronte Harbour

By Becky Dumais

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