Northwestern Ontario also has a good variety of other species you may be interested in including in your fishing trip: Whitefish, Perch, Crappie, Sauger and Largemouth Bass.
Muskellunge is Canada’s largest freshwater fish. Spawning usually occurs in the spring and they grow relatively fast. Muskie are easily recognized by the dark bars or stripes on its sides. Of the top 15 Ontario Muskie catches on record, 11 were caught in Northwestern Ontario.
According to Muskie: May 1996, “In a reader survey, 70% believe the next world record Muskie will be caught in Northwestern Ontario.” The current Ontario record is 65 lbs.
Nicknamed “the freshwater shark,” the Northern Pike has a very long body with duck-like jaws and many light-colored spots on its sides. This fish spawns in the spring immediately after the ice melts. They reproduce quickly, but grow slowly. With an Ontario record of 43.13 lb., you can see that some just keep getting away to fight another day. For others, it’s the year's voluntary catch and release that’s making a difference. According to the Ontario Fisherman Fishing Annual, “Northwestern Ontario, is a Pike Paradise. Several regions in Northwestern Ontario seem to continuously produce more big pike than others.” You got that right!
Most Smallmouth Bass average 8 to 15 inches in length and are usually taken still-fishing, casting, trolling or by fly fishing with artificial lures. Spawning usually occurs over a period of 6-10 days in the late spring and early summer. Growth is rapid at first. When it comes to Smallmouth Bass fishing in Northwestern Ontario, perhaps the Northern Ontario Outdoor Guide by The Outdoor News says it best.
“The Sunset Country region of Northwestern Ontario has the best smallmouth bass fishing in the world. The bass are plentiful here, and can go to 6 pounds. And growing numbers of largemouth bass are found in several lakes.”
Easily recognizable by the blunt point at the front, large opaque eyes and sharp teeth, this fish is usually caught still fishing with artificial lures such as spinners, spoons, plugs and jigs. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to catch this steady battler. Locals often call these fish “Pickerel”. According to the Northern Ontario Outdoor Guide by the Outdoor News “Northwestern Ontario, is a Walleye Wonderland.” With an Ontario record of 22.25 lbs. it’s easy to see why. Spawning takes place in spring or early summer.
Highly prized both as a game fish and as a commercial species, they grow and reproduce at a very slow rate.
If you’re looking for a big one, then Northwestern Ontario is the place. Just read what In Fisherman had to say in their acclaimed fishing magazine. “In this region, most “lakers” run 2 to 12 pounds. But Al Linder and company have landed them up to 28 pounds.” By the way, the Ontario record is 63.13 lbs..