Salmonboy Sportfishing

About Salmonboy Sportfishing
Captain Joe Oakes of Salmonboy Sportfishing is a professionally licensed Charter Captain through the US Coast Guard.  He has been fishing for trout and salmon on lake Ontario for over 25 years.  Over the years, he has proven himself in Lake Ontario tournaments to be a very capable fisherman and is excited to offer his services to provide a fun and memorable experience for his customers that will bring them back year after year.

Salmonboy Sportfishing operates out of a North Coast Express.  This is a big water boat that is powered by twin outboards and is designed to run to quickly and comfortably in big water. This allows Captian Joe to take you, the customer, to were he feels the best fishing is, instead of being stuck having to fish unproductive water.  
Tournament Record

​2010 - 1st Place, Salmon division, Orleans County Derby
2012 - 6th Place, Salmon division, Summer LOC
2012 - 7th Place, Steelhead division, Summer LOC
2012 - Big Fish of the Tournament, Sandy Creek Shootout
2013 - 4th Place, Lake Trout division, Spring LOC
2013 - 1st Place, Amateur division, Day 2, Niagara County PRO-AM
2013 - 4th Place, Amateur division, Day 1, Niagara County PRO-AM
2013 - 2nd Place, Amateur division, Orleans County PRO-AM
2013 - 8th Place, Sandy Creek Shootout
2015 - 4th Place, Amateur division, Niagara County PRO-AM
2016 - 2nd Place, Amateur division, Niagara County PRO-AM
2016 - 6th Place, Sandy Creek Shootout
2017 - 4th Place, Steelhead division, Summer LOC
2017 - 7th Place, Sandy Creek Shootout
2017 - 1st Place Niagara Fish Odessey 
2017 - 2nd Place, Salmon division, Fall LOC

​​Charters are booking now for Spring, Summer and Fall 2019 at very reasonable rates.

Don't wait to book the fishing trip of a lifetime.

For more information, click here: 
Fly Fishing in Alaska
Captains Log, Star Date 2017 07

I have been fishing in Lake Ontario and its tributatries for trout and salmon my entire life and I have always been very curious to compare home to Alaska, supposedly, one of the greatest salmon fishing experiences known to mankind.

In Summer 2017, I finally got the chance to experience Alaska salmon fishing for myself.  My wife and I planned a trip in late June/early July for the sockeye run. We started out headed North from Anchorage towards Denali.  We stopped in several smaller rivers on the side of the highway and near our campgrounds (used ABC Motorhome Rentals; they're not quick to get you checked out and on the road, but overall it was an ok experience).  We caught Rainbow and Grayling easily in these smaller rivers which included the Lower Troublesome.  We spotted some Kings, but there are a lot of regulations about where you can fish for them, plus we didn't purchase King stamps, so we were forced to watch them swim on by.
Alaska was certainly the most beautiful fishing backdrop I've ever had
One of many firsts - a grayling

After doing some touristy stuff including a Bus Trip to Wonder Lake, checking out the sled dogs and learning about the Iditarod at Jeff King's Husky Homestead; we hit the road again.  We traveled back South of Anchorage and camped before going on an awesome White Water Rafting trip with Nova on Six Mile Creek.  Not for the faint of heart, we started with a swim from one bank to the other in the frigid 38 degree water (wetsuits were provided, but it's unclear how much they were helping with the temps).  The next day we had an equally awesome ATV trip with Alaska ATV Adventures, around Girwood.  

Back to the point of the trip, fishing.  After the ATV trip, we checked into the Russian River Campground.  Can you guess what's in the Russian river in early July?  Sockeye salmon, lots of them.  And almost as many people trying to fish for them.  The campground did a decent job controlling admission but it was still combat fishing by my measure.  Not having a meal for dinner (I was confident in the grocery store earlier in the week we could catch something), the pressure was on!  After a couple hours of striking out, I finally landed one!  

Walking down paths like this at the Russian confirmed our good decision to bring along our S&W 44 magnum.
Another first - sockeye.  Also, dinner.

​​It grilled up nicely.  We took a walk around the camground and river after dinner and for the first time in our Alaskan experience, we were a little worried about a bear encounter.  We were not empty handed, but did not really want to test the Smith and Wesson 44 mag we brought along.  By the way, coolest thing about Alaska, almost everyone had a big gun holstered somewhere, and no one batted an eye.  The next morning I walked back down to the river and perfected the art, even had some wide-eyed spectators as I landed one fish after another.  They were probably shocked I was releasing them but we were catching a flight the next morning and we were not prepared to clean, package or ship the fish home at this point in our trip.

Our last day for this leg of the trip was a catch and release drift charter on the Kenai river with
Alaska Troutfitters .  Our goal was mostly Rainbows and although we caught a few, these fish were definitly shell-shocked from the sheer number of people fishing for them.  I can't say enough about our guides for this part of the trip, all were top notch and we had a fantastic time with them.

Best Rainbow of the trip was 23 inches, caught it 30 minutes in, gave us a false sense of hope that we'd catch more
Kenai River scenery was also beautiful
​​From there we departed to return our RV and check in to the Sheraton in downtown Anchorage, do laundry and sleep before catching an early morning flight to Yakutat, home of the Situk river.  ​​​​

​​​​Yakatat was amazing in so many ways.  You can only get there by airplane or boat, everything was so casual and the people were very friendly.  Also, like all parts of Alaska, it was beautiful.​​

We traded in the RV life for a stay at Leonard's Landing Lodge .  Since it was just the two of us, we rented a room in the main building but larger cabins were available.  It was right on the water, they had fish processing available and they had a super cool golden retriever roaming around (we're dog people and we were missing our pack by this point in the trip).  Our plans were to fish the Situk, and explore.  Unlike the first part of our trip which was packed with activities, our only set plan was an Ocean Charter with Glacier Bear.  Glacier Bear was another lodge in town but it was a little more expensive and not located on the water.  Ultimately Leonard's Landing was a better fit for us because we had access to a community kitchen and could cook our own meals.  Glacier Bear provided meals, hence the more expensive accomodations.  We did eat there once and they had good food, but now that we've been there, we can say for certain that we'd go back to Leonard's Landing.

I think I'd be happy to watch the sun set here everyday for the rest of my life
View from Leonard's Landing dock of the waterfront cabins available for rent
So, the question I'm sure you're waiting for me to answer - did you catch fish? After 6 days, 5 nights in Yakatut, we flew home with 76 lbs of Sockeye, 64 lbs of Halibut (from two fish), and 10 lbs of Sea Bass (quite tasty).  Our daily limit of Sockeye was three each, and with the exception of one day, we caught our limit.  We got so good by the last day it only took 45 minutes for catch six fish.  The Halibut charter was great, Captain Bill from Galcier Bear is a cool guy.  We had four others out with us but there was plenty of room and plenty of fish.  After we caught our limit of Halibut, we moved to a different location to catch Sea Bass.  With five in the box already, the six of us could keep 30 total.  Needing 25 fish, Captain Bill set up four  jigging lines and it took us about ten minutes to hit our limit.  We then trolled for Coho with little success but did manage to catch one King, which one person was able to keep due to having pre-purchased a $45 King stamp.  She was esctatic with her catch.  
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Daily Sockeye haul
Captain Joe with his hundred pounder
Sea Bass
Captin Joe getting advice from Captain Bill
Hands down, the worst part of the trip was flying home.  We fished in the morning and caught a 6pm flight out of Yakatut, arrived in Anchorage a little after 9:30pm and between a layover there and in Chicago, we didn't have wheels on the ground in Buffalo until 1:20pm East Coast time.

That said, would we go again? In some ways, we wish we never left.  In others, we're glad we're home, but you can bet another trip is always in the back of our mind.  It was an awesome experience to catch different species that we don't have around here (Grayling, Sockeye, Halibut, I even caught a few Cutthroats) but we realized the best place to fish for King Salmon and Steelhead is right in our own backyard.  There were a number of times I wish I had business cards to hand out for people who went to Alaska for Kings and were disappointed and empty handed.  It's just not normal to take a trip on Lake O and stike out.  It seemed to be the case up there, which is partly why we decided to focus on Sockeye.  We do question if we'd like our next trip to be for Sockeye or Silvers, but we can say for certain we won't be spending travel money on catching Kings in Alaska.  

If you are planning a trip and have questions about ours, send an e-mail.  We loved our trip and we'd be happy to share any details missing here with you so that you can enjoy yours as well.  Photo cred to the wife.

                                                                                                                                     - Captain Joe      

Lower Troublesome, North of Anchorage
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Wonder Lake, Denali National Park
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ATV Trip in Girwood
Digging for mussels in front of Leonard's Landing
Canon Beach, Yakutat 
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Upper Situk River area 
Harlequin Lake, filled with icebergs from the Yakutat glacier
Walk to Harlequin lake, not for the faint of heart as we were stepping over and around bear droppings everywhere!
At the mouth of the Situk with our daily catch of sockeye