There’s a lot more than just lake trout or walleye fishing to be had in Ontario, Canada. This province has more than 158 species of fish! We cannot cover all of them in this article, but we would like to introduce you to a few species that are popular for anglers and explain a bit about why they are so popular.
Lake Trout Fishing in Ontario
Lake trout can be found in one percent of Ontario Lakes. They can live up to 50 years and can grow into quite a catch. The record for lake trout in Ontario is 63.12 lbs and 51.5 inches. The average size is anywhere between 2 and 10lbs. They prefer to be in water around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll typically find them in deeper lake waters during the summer.
Lake trout are popular with anglers coming to Ontario because they don’t exist in more southernly climes, not in these sizes. Plus, their proclivity for deep cool waters makes them more of a challenge to catch. Add to that, they have flesh that is high in fat and particularly good smoked.
Walleye Fishing in Canada
Walleye are found across North America, and Canada has its fair share of them. Ontario alone has 250,000 lakes. (Fun fact: these lakes contain about one fifth of the world’s fresh water.) These bodies of water provide the perfect habitat for walleye and it’s common to catch walleye up to 10 lbs. The record catch was 22.25 lbs and 36.5 inches long. They prefer low light conditions, so you’ll have better luck fishing for them at night, early morning or evening, or on cloudy days.
Walleye are prized because they have tender flaked flesh and, most importantly, because they are an elusive, hard-to-catch fish. Fortunately, due to low fishing pressure and healthy populations bolstered by proper management, walleyes are easier to catch in Ontario than throughout much of their range.
Northern Pike Fishing in Ontario
The best northern pike fishing is found in Ontario, although varieties of this fish can be found throughout the northern hemisphere. The average size caught in Ontario runs between 4 and 10 lbs. The record caught was 42.12 lbs. Northern pike will pretty much eat whatever moves in the water so if you’re out fishing for walleye you may find yourself catching a pike instead. You can find northern pike in the same areas as you do walleye, as they enjoy the same habitats.
The northern pike found in Ontario are popular for anglers because they are relatively easy to lure, they taste good, and they put up a heck of a fight when you’re trying to reel them in.
Muskie Fishing in Ontario, Canada
Muskies weighing close to 70 lbs still roam the waters of Ontario! To be fair, that size fish is incredibly rare. The average size muskie is 10-20 lbs. The official recorded muskie caught was 65 lbs and 58 inches long. The smaller ones are found in water up to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. But the larger fish prefer deeper, cooler waters much like the northern pike do. While there are some natural habitats for muskie in the northern states of the US, mostly they prefer the cool waters of Canada. Within this range, they can reside in a variety of habitats that provide shelter or structures to hide in.
This fish is desired by anglers as a trophy due to its size and appearance.
Bass Fishing in Ontario
Bass may be the most popular gamefish in all of North America. Ontario has both small and largemouth bass in its waters, from the Great Lakes to the subartic waters of the province. The record catch for smallmouth bass was 9.84 lbs and 24 inches. The record catch for largemouth was 10.43 lbs and 22.0 inches. The average catch size runs between 1 and 4 lbs, with largemouth being slightly bigger. Smallmouth bass prefer waters around 70 degrees and reside in deeper water around rocks, gravel, or sand. Largemouth bass like it warmer (79-81 degrees), shallower, and with aquatic vegetation or structures (like logs or rocks). In large deeper lakes with fish diversity, their habitats can overlap.
This fish has a great sense of smell which allows it to discern between artificial and natural bait. It also puts up a decent fight once hooked, adding to the excitement of the catch. It has a strong flavor that many people like.
Panfish to be found in Ontario
Then there are a variety of smaller fish referred to as panfish because they are perfect for cooking in a pan for lunch or dinner. These species include yellow perch, black crappies, bluegill, pumpkinseeds, rock bass, among others. Crappie and yellow perch are the most popular because they tend to be the largest. They are a schooling fish, so once one is caught odds are that there will be more. They bite pretty well throughout the day, but evening and morning are the most popular times to fish them. The record black crappie catch was 3.78 lbs and 17 inches. The record yellow perch was 2.46 lbs and 15.25 inches.
They are perfect for families fishing together as they are easy, reliable, and good eating.
There is so much fishing variety in Canada!
The fish listed above are only a small percentage of the fishing experiences that can be had in Ontario, Canada. If you’re interested in the fishing records for a number of different fish, go to the Ontario Record Fish Registry. You can also get the rules on how you might be able to make your own record… if you catch that elusive large fish.
Wildewood on Lake Savant Offers the Best Fishing in Ontario
Okay, we may be a bit biased here, but we honestly feel like the fishing experience at Lake Savant is the best! The fishery is remote with no public access, and the ecosystem is beautifully balanced for all species. In fact, the gene pool for North American and IGEA World Records is out of Lake Savant. That’s saying a lot about the quality fish we have.
Contact us for more information about what kind of fishing experience you can have here, and how we can help you!