Fishing and Hunting in Algoma Country
It would be difficult for even a fisherman to exaggerate the angling opportunities in Northern Ontario’s thousands of lakes and rivers. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional – whether you prefer trolling deep for the elusive lake trout, fly fishing for the brook or speckled trout in cold streams, ducking for bass near rocky shelves, channels and shoals or perch on a quiet sunbathed lake, casting for the mighty muskie or its prolific and voracious cousin the northern pike – you can find it all in our accessible wilderness. Fishing seasons vary with species of fish and location. A few glasses of water provide open season on some fish all year; others have more specific regulations and some have special closures. For detailed fishing information including licenses, seasons and creel limits consult the district offices of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Ministry personnel in Blind River, Chapleau, Sault Ste. Marie, Wawa and White River district offices have prepared information on fishing lakes and rivers in each of their respective areas. Other good sources of fishing information are lodge owners, local bait shop or sporting goods store, operators. Hiring a guide is also a good way to find the “hot spots”. There’s nothing like a shore lunch with fresh fish sizzling on a buttered frying pan.
If you crave some fast action go after the Northern. They’re common virtually everywhere in Algoma Country. They like to hang around weed beds in water from 4 – 15 feet deep. In rivers, they prefer the current near the edge of the pool below a dam or waterfall. Try still-fishing with live or dead suckers or smelts.
Walleye or Yellow Pickerel
Walleye make fine eating and are found in much of Algoma Country with 8 – 10 pounders common in larger bodies of water. They are bottom eaters so they must be fished very slowly and as close to the bottom as possible. Walleye travel in schools so if one strikes stick around. Worm on a harness has proven effective in our area.
The biggest member of the trout family swims deep and likes cold lakes. In summer use heavy tackle and wire line in the deep water. In spring try shallower areas. Batchawana Bay and Michipicoten Harbour are popular fishing spots, along with several lakes in East Algoma.
Rainbow Trout (Kamloops, Steelhead)
Rainbow Trout is a scrapping jumper that can range up to 15 pounds in the Great Lakes and rivers of the Great Lakes. Fish a spinner very slowly – just fast enough to make the blades revolve and stay out of weeds and snags.
Brown Trout, This is the sly fox of the trout family. They can live in water with a wide temperature variation and are found in most of our area. One of the most difficult to catch. Try night angling. Never fish a Brown Trout downstream, always fish upstream or across it.
Brook Trout (Speckled)
A favorite of the fishermen, brookies have small scales making it the easiest to prepare for cooking. Found in cool streams or spring-fed lakes. They lie close to the bottom, in pools or undercut banks behind rocks, or under logs. Average size is between 1 and 3 pounds. Hits best in January, June, and early September.
Small Mouth and Large Mouth Bass
Pound for pound bass provides some of the best action. They generally cluster near rocky shelves, in channels, over shoals in open bays and lakes. Largemouth is a warm lake water fish. The smallmouth prefers clear flowing streams, rivers and cool lakes.
An all-seasons fish that is found virtually everywhere. When they’re biting you can hit two at once. Lots of bones but very tasty as a fillet or soup base.
April to June and August to October, Chinook salmon can be found in the St. Mary’s River, the North Channel of Lake Huron, Batchawana Bay, Michipicoten Harbour, and Goulais Bay. Average size 10 – 20 pounds, but up to 30 pounds is possible. Troll with a J-plug, bombers, silver streaks or Northport nailers.
August to September, every other year (odd years), Pinks can be found along any shore area of the St Mary’s River and the North Channel of Lake Huron. Spincast or troll with a host of lures; pixies and buzz bombs are favorites. Sizes from 2 – 4 pounds.
April to August, all over Algoma Country. Jig with teardrops, wax worms, goldenrod grubs, pork, corn, worms or dry mayfly imitations. The common size is about 1 – 3 pounds.
Great Lakes Muskellunge (Musky)
Large fish like the Great Lakes musky need a large body of water for the living room. Although not as abundant as they were before 1900, a good many are caught on the Great Lakes each year.