You have made the decision to take up fishing as a hobby. Maybe you have heard “big fish” stories of people. Or seen those stunning photos of trophy walleyes. Ontario Canada is known to have some of the best walleye fishing in North America. The Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has done an excellent job of conserving of its pristine forests, lakes, rivers, wildlife and fish for decades. Our lakes and fish are healthy and plentiful. We’ll go even further and state that Wildewood on Lake Savant has the best walleye fishing in Ontario.
We have established the fact that there is great walleye fishing in Ontario. The question now becomes: can you as a beginner catch walleye here? We know you can. Let us tell you how you can catch walleye as a novice fisherman.
Invest a little money in your new hobby by buying the right gear for the task at hand.
This is what we recommend that our guests bring when they come here to Wildewood. And this equipment should work anywhere in northwestern Ontario.
You need a light fishing rod so you don’t get fatigued casting all day. Your rod needs to be flexible so you can cast accurately to the spots you suspect the walleye are hiding. (More on that later.) And, this is important: you need a fast action tip. This will aid in casting, but it will also help you tell the difference between a rock on the lake bottom and a walleye striking your hook. So, our recommendation is to buy a medium light- to medium-weight 6’6” to 7’ graphite rod. Invest in a quality rod, it will last you a long time and you will have much more success as your skills progress. Get a reel to match your rod for weight and balance, a salesman can help you choose this.
For fishing line, get 6 to 8 pound test.
For bait, get ⅛ ounce to ¼ ounce jigs in the following colors: white, black, yellow, pink, and chartreuse. Also, get twister tails 1 ½” to 2 ½” long. Road runners, floating jig heads, fuzz-e grubs, rapala, shad rap, rat-L-trap, thunderstick, and floating mag rapala. For you, as a novice, I also suggest slip bobber set-ups which can be productive when the walleye are not aggressive and makes hits obvious, allowing you to boat more fish.
For live bait, there isn’t much you can bring across the US/Canada border. Just worms without dirt in buss bedding. It is best to buy your live bait in Canada. For walleye, we recommend earthworms, ciscos, leeches, and minnows. Some resorts, like Wildewood, have live minnows on hand and include them in the price of your trip.
If you acquire as much of this as you are able, you will have what you need to catch walleye. You even have the potential to catch a trophy fish in the lakes of Ontario.
Get your fishing license and Outdoor Card before you leave home.
Ontario requires you to have both a fishing license and an Ontario Outdoors Card. The license is very similar to ones issued by the various states in the US. The Outdoors Card serves as an ID card issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. It identifies you to enforcement personnel and that, with the appropriate license, you are authorized to hunt or fish in Ontario. I know it seems redundant to Americans to need both, but that is how we do it in Ontario. But don’t worry, the Outdoors Card is inexpensive. It is less than $10. You can buy them online at Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Service website here.
Be prepared for the unpredictable weather in Ontario.
The temperatures often start out cool in the morning, warm in the midday, and are cooler again in the afternoon and evening. Fishing at night can be productive because walleye are nocturnal predators, though they can also be caught quite readily during the day. The point here is to be able to dress in layers so you are able to add or subtract clothes as the temperature changes. Don’t forget to bring gloves to handle your first (and subsequent) walleye. The anterior (front) dorsal fin on this fish has stiff, prickly spines.
Find a guide.
This could be a new fishing buddy who has experience walleye fishing in Ontario. Ask him or her to take you to their favorite lake. Spend the day casting in their favorite spots. They will likely have different favorite spots for morning, midday, and evening or night. This is because walleye change their behavior throughout the day due to changing light conditions. Your fishing buddy should be able to explain why the walleye you are going to catch is hiding in weedy shallows in the morning. Or why he is lurking in deep water later during the day. And why he is somewhere else later on.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a fishing buddy yet that can act as your guide, you can hire one at many of the fishing resorts in Ontario. The northwestern part of Ontario is often referred to by locals as Sunset Country. There is a website “Sunset Country Ontario Canada ” that promotes outdoor activities in this area. You can find many places to stay and fish. You can search it using several fields, including whether they offer guide services. Not all guide services are included in the price of the resort. Of course, we would prefer you make a reservation with us. Wildewood on Lake Savant is in Sunset Country and you can find us on this website as well. We offer the guide service you want as a novice, included in your fishing vacation rate.
Do a little homework before you head to Ontario.
Lifelong fisherman never stop learning new things about the fish they like to catch, the lakes they like to fish, all the different equipment options, or the baits and lures they can use. Do not be intimidated by this. This is part of the fun. The reason fishing is a great hobby or sport is that it is essentially simple. A novice can quickly learn a few basic things and techniques and start catching fish right away. A good resource for beginners to read about walleye fishing is “Walleye fishing tips for Beginners” published by Fishing Magazine. Get familiar with this article and you will get more benefit from your guide when you get to your fishing resort here in Ontario.
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