August-September Fishing in Sodus Bay
August fishing in Sodus is all about King Salmon! As the dog days of summer progress, the fish go deeper and deeper… but the draw of spawning also starts to call them in. Our fishery is mostly near shore in 200 FOW or less. I am looking for cold water, especially in August, ideally where 48 degree water meets the bottom. I find that big kings like the ice water, and I will always have at least one rigger down there. My setup will consist of big spoons, flasher/fly and cut-bait in 48-56 degree water.
Late in August they will start to stage, where you essentially get a big congregation, or “halo” that gather near the outflow of major tributaries. These fish will start in 150 FOW or so and slowly start to make their way in shallower. Depth finders will often be lit up with big fish lying right on or near the bottom- do NOT assume that these are lakers!!! Most of my big late season kings have raw, pink bellies from lying in the sand. These fish will be inactive for HOURS… and then all turn on at once. Sometimes you just have to grind them out. They may all eat at first light, at 9 am or even at noon!
We use big flashy presentations such as flashers, mag spoons, J plugs. I am convinced the salmon hit a lot of these presentations out of pure annoyance, rather than a desire to eat! A pretty good technique is to start in 80 FOW and slowly troll out until you find where the line of fish is, then work it hard! Also, as the day progresses they do tend to go a bit deeper.
Another strategy during august is to go out deep and catch the silver kings that haven’t gotten the call to spawn yet. These fish can be from 200-600 FOW depending on the conditions. This can be “needle in a haystack” fishing, but at times can be awesome! Similar patterns, consisting of spoons, flasher/fly, and cut-bait are used.
Browns are still around, and as before consistently in the 100 FOW or less range. Browns are hitting on regular and mag spoons most of the time. Steelhead will also mix in as summer progresses to fall.
To be honest, as we get closer and closer to spawning season, it probably makes more sense to go way east or way west towards the waters of major spawning trips. many guys go to Oswego and the Genesee river in September and October.