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Fish Species

Fish Species

Northern Ontario Walleye Fishing

We offer multiple Walleye fishing opportunities. You can fish Gowganda Lake or we have several boat caches on remote backcountry Walleye lakes that actually give you access to six different lakes to fish and all are stuffed with Walleye.

Gowganda Lake Walleye Fishing

Gowganda Lake is one of a string of lakes through north-eastern Ontario that can be followed south through Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park and all the way south into Algonquin Park. The one thing all these lakes have in common is the presence of gigantic trophy Walleyes. These monster Walleyes are all genetically related as the area used to be one big lake at the end of the last ice age. Only the bigger lakes like Gowganda Lake have the food resources to produce these big Walleyes. The lake is very nutrient. It has tea-colored water that many people call Walleye Wine. There is also a very diverse structure with deep holes, ridges, shoals, islands and deep drop-offs from rock faces. You can find sand bars with Wild Rice, back bays with Pickerel Grass, Lily Pads and even patches of Musky Cabbage. In the spring the Walleyes love to hide out in the weeds during the day.

On Gowganda Lake you are not going to experience extremely high numbers of small Walleyes rather you are going to catch quality Walleyes. The Walleyes average around 4 pounds but Walleyes up to 13 pounds get caught and released from time to time all season long. The largest Walleye caught by one of our guests since we have owned the lodge was 15.2 pounds. There have been bigger Walleyes caught. Whether it is spring, summer or fall, the number of Walleyes you can catch in a day stays consistent. The only difference is the Walleye move to different areas of the lake. It’s hard to tell guests how many Walleyes they are going to catch but generally most guests catch 5 to 15 nice Walleyes in a day of fishing on Gawganda Lake.

During early spring the smaller males are still hanging around spawning areas, which can be sand bars, beaches or feeder streams. The big trophy Walleyes are always female and tend to head out to open water after dropping their eggs. They like to stay suspended over deep-water structure like drop-offs, ridges and shoals feeding on baitfish such as Lake Herring, Shad and Cisco. It is theorized that because of the high population of bass along the shore, it’s too hard for the big Walleyes to find enough food so they head out to open water. Big Walleyes need a lot of food to maintain their weight. If this type of Walleye fishing is new to you than don’t worry; we will show you how to get into these big Walleyes. Guests are provided with live bait and a detailed map showing all the hotspots. Guests also have the option of hiring a guide for the whole week or just a day or two to get them started. Guests do not have to go far from camp before getting into good Walleye action and only 2 to 3 miles from the lodge are some super-hotspots.

Backcountry Portage Lakes

Stumpy Lake, Wapus River, Penassi Lake, Obushkong Lake & Elkhorn Lake are our backcountry Walleye Lakes. In these lakes you will catch high numbers of Walleyes but generally they are smaller.

The average size Walleye in our portage lakes is around 2 pounds. Guests have pulled Walleyes over 9 pounds out of these lakes but you can’t expect to catch one of the monster Walleyes that Gowganda Lake produces. You will catch great numbers. In early season on average guests usually catch between 20 and 50 Walleyes in a day. In the heat of the summer that may drop to 30 Walleyes per day but there are always days when the weather is just right and guests catch over 80 Walleyes. On days when it’s overcast with a little bit of rain and some wind to make the water choppy; Walleyes will feed like crazy. Not only are our backcountry lakes a great way to experience high numbers of Walleyes, it’s also an option if it’s too windy to fish on the big lake.

Our backcountry lakes are more than just a Walleye fishing option, they are an adventure. You have the option to fish a different lake every day and experience new sights as well as spot some amazing wildlife as our backcountry lakes are remote and can bring you deep into some real wilderness areas. Please remember that we have guides available that will show you what works best in our lakes. They also cook up a shore-lunch you will never forget.

See our list of lures you might consider adding to your tackle box before you visit Auld Reekie this year.

Walleye Baits & Lures

  • An assortment of 1/8 ounce jigs: – Colors: hot pink, chartreuse, yellow, & white.
  • Berkley Power Grubs: – Colors: yellow, chartreuse, smoke & pumpkin seed.
  • Rapalas & Thundersticks: 5 1/2-inch to 7 1/2-inch: – Colors: fire tiger, perch, black & silver.
  • Spinner Baits: – Colors: orange, chartreuse, silver & hammered brass.
  • Crank Baits: – Colors: orange, white & perch.
  • Cotton Cordel Big “O”: – Colors: perch, white & Tennessee shad
  • Thin Fins: – Colors: white & orange

Fishing for Northern Pike on Gowganda Lake in Northern Ontario

We offer multiple Northern Pike fishing opportunities. You can hunt down Northern Pike on Gowganda Lake or we have several boat caches on remote backcountry lakes that actually give you access to five different lakes to fish and all are stuffed with Northern Pike of all sizes.

Gowganda Lake Northern Pike Fishing

Like all Canadian Shield lakes Gowganda Lake has a diverse structure so the Northern Pike exhibit a diverse feeding pattern. Small Northern Pike in the 1 to 4-pound range are extremely common and can be found everywhere. Guest catch them near shore, out in open water and even down deep while trout fishing. The average size Northern Pike caught is around 24 inches. If you target Northern Pike you should get into a couple bigger ones in the 5 to 10-pound range and maybe even a 20-pounder during a week of fishing. Guests do catch 16 to 22 pound Northerns in the 36 to 45-inch range on Gowganda Lake many times during the season. Since we have owned the lodge the largest Northern Pike was 46 inches. You will find the bigger Northern Pike at the points leading into shallow weedy bays and sometimes they go right into the bays to feed on Perch but the big ones are usually going after bass and Walleye when they are near shore.

Gowganda Lake offers sandy areas with Wild Rice, rocky points and narrows between islands. There are weedy bays with Pickerel Grass, Muskie Cabbage and other species of weeds. In a few places we have weed-lines leading from islands all the way to the shore. This is a good place to start if you are targeting Northerns. Some of the bigger Northern Pike have been caught deeper along ridges beside a drop-off. Walleye, Smallmouth Bass and feeder fish are always changing depth to compensate for changes in atmospheric pressure and the big Northern Pike like to sit on the ridges and ambush their prey.

The amount of Northern Pike you can catch in a day on Gowganda Lake is hard to say because most people only fish for Pike in the middle of the afternoon when the other fish slow down. People also catch lots of Pike while bass and Walleye fishing. If you spend the day targeting Northern Pike in the spring and you catch 20 to 40 in a day then you are having a good day. In the summer, an average day would be 30 Pike, but on a good day in the right conditions it’s not uncommon to catch 60 or more. The fall Northern Pike fishing is basically the same as the spring. The Northerns are more active during the warmer part of the season. It takes just as much effort and skill to catch a small Northern Pike as it does to get a big trophy on your line. It’s just luck of the draw and takes perseverance.

Northern Pike Fishing on Backcountry Lakes

We have boat caches on a number of remote lakes that have awesome Northern Pike Fishing. Some of these lakes can produce 50 to 80 Northern Pike in a day if you work real hard and are good at taking the hooks out of a Pike’s mouth.

Wapus River, Penassi Lake, Obushkong Lake and Dinny Lake have great Pike fishing with high numbers and the potential for a trophy. If you are really gunning for a Trophy Northern Pike than Cripple Lake is where we will send you. It only has Northern Pike and some of the biggest Northern Pike ever caught by guests have come out of Cripple Lake.

Here are a few lures you might like to consider adding to your tackle box prior to your visit to Auld Reekie this year.

Suggested Northern Pike Baits

  • Spoons: – Colors: blue & silver, five of diamonds.
  • Spinner Baits with skirts: – Colors: white & orange.
  • Mepps Black Fury: #4 & #
  • Mepps Musky Killer: #4 & 4
  • Rapala:- 5 1/2 inch to 7 1/2 inch: – Colors: fire tiger, perch, gold & silver.
  • Johnson silver minnow: 1/2 ounce and up.
  • Daredevles 3/4 ounce: – Colors: red & white
  • Buzz Baits

Amazing Tips

Pike are aggressive feeders and can be caught year round. Key fishing times include the morning and evening when baitfish activity peaks; however, pike will bite throughout the day.

A medium-action rod and reel will cover most situations, however strong leaders should be used to prevent the pike’s sharp teeth from biting through the line. Pike will take just about every kind of live and artificial bait, including very large streamer flies.

Common Baits

Spoons, In-line spinners, Crankbaits, Topwater lures, Spinnerbaits, Buzzbaits. Live baits include large chubs, suckers and shiners.

Northern Ontario Fishing for Smallmouth Bass

We offer multiple Northern Pike fishing opportunities. You can hunt down Northern Pike on Gowganda Lake or we have several boat caches on remote backcountry lakes that actually give you access to five different lakes to fish and all are stuffed with Northern Pike of all sizes.

Gowganda Lake Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Gowganda is a typical Canadian Shield lake. It has beautiful big outcroppings of Precambrian Rock at the water’s edge that are visible and kept clean by ice flow in spring. On top are towering pine trees and an abundance of wildlife. Just one look at Gowganda Lake and you know you are going to get into some great Smallmouth Bass action.

Smallmouth Bass are found everywhere on Gowganda Lake. Any rocky point, island or shoal will produce bass. Guests have run into patrolling hunting packs along the shore and catch bass after bass for hours. When bass are spawning in late May and early June you will find the bigger bass in sandy areas with a lot of deadfall and rotting branches. They lay their eggs near rotting wood but on sand because the wood moderates the alkalinity of the water and greatly increases the survival rate of the young. In this situation the bass are not aggressively feeding and spook very easily. Guests who are stealthy and present live bait can get into some big ones. Early June is not the greatest time for numbers but huge Smallmouth Bass in the 4 and 6-pound range can be caught.

By the end of June the bass are back feeding in their regular habitat and are very easy to catch. If you spend a day fishing for Smallmouth Bass you could catch 50 to 75 bass on an average day and 75 to 100 bass on a really good day. The smaller bass in the 1/2 to 2 pound range are usually in schools and when you get into them you can catch a mess of them. The bigger bass in the 3 to 6 pound range are usually loners or in mating pairs. You will have to comb the shoreline and shoals to find them. Just about every week guests catch Smallmouth Bass in the 4 to 5 pound range and once in a while somebody pulls out a 7 and even an 8-pounder. The largest Smallmouth Bass caught on Gowganda Lake by one of our guests since owning the lodge was a monster 10 pounds. This bass was released and could have been an Ontario record if properly documented.

Backcountry Portage Lakes:

We have boat caches on seven backcountry lakes, which are just a short drive from the lodge. The Wapus River and Obushkong Lake have Smallmouth Bass as well as other species. For guests who are hardcore Smallmouth Bass fanatics we send them to Hangingstone Lake, Frying Pan Lake or Elkhorn Lake. These are lakes that produce high numbers as well as some good size bass. Guests have reported catching between 80 and 100 Smallmouth Bass in a day on these lakes. You should get into some 3 and 4-pounders but most of the bass you will catch will be smaller than 3 pounds. These backcountry lakes are so much fun because you are catching tons of bass and getting a chance to see some real wilderness.

Bass Angling Tips

In most of the province bass season opens the 4th Saturday in June. Fishing is often best in the early morning and late evening. Smallmouth Bass can be found near deep underwater points, rocky shoals, submerged islands and weed edges. When fish are not biting, change your lure and your tactic.

Smallmouth Bass are usually in more open water so you can use a light to medium action spinning rod and 6 to 10 pound test line. Small, deep-diving plugs and lures, as well as surface lures (in early morning and evening) are effective. Soft plastic lures such as crayfish imitations, twister tails and small worms or tubes are among the best smallmouth baits. These are often fished deep, in combination with a jig.

Best Smallmouth Bass Lures

  • Crank Baits (small): Color: purple
  • Tube Jigs
  • Plastic Frogs & plastic Crayfish / Crawdads
  • Top water Poppers
  • Spinner Baits: – Colors: red, yellow & bright greens

Common Live Baits

Leeches, Worms & Minnows. It is illegal to use Crayfish/Crawdads for bait in Ontario.

Lake Trout Fishing on Backcountry Lakes & Gowganada Lake

There are Lake Trout in Gowganda Lake. Traditionally guests catch most of them in the spring from ice-out until the first or sometimes the second week of June. Gowganda Lake is a big lake with holes that go down to 150 feet deep. It’s also a rocky Canadian Shield lake and has a great forage-base with Lake Herring, Cisco, Chub and Suckers. The lake was build to be a Lake Trout lake. With a lake this big there is no reason why Lake Trout in the 30-pound range are not present.

Traditionally we have not promoted the Lake Trout fishing so very few guests with good knowledge of summer Lake Trout techniques have spent time targeting them. In the spring our guests catch them shallow while fishing for other species and we have seen trout close to 10 pounds being caught even though most are in the 2 to 5 pound range. In mid spring the water starts to warm up and the Lake Trout head deep. After this time we see very few guests catch trout because they are not fishing for them.

If you are an experienced Lake Trout hunter we would love for you to come and explore the lake and show us what we have.

Aurora Trout Fishing

Aurora Trout

Aurora Trout is the rarest trout in the world. They are so rare that if you catch one you will be in an elite group as only a handful of anglers have ever caught one. Aurora Trout is a genetically distant cousin of the Brook Trout and in lakes their behavior is very similar to Brook Trout so you would use the same methods to catch them as you would for Brook Trout. MNR Lake #21 is only open for angling from August 1 to October 15 every three years, which is 2020, 2023 and 2026.

Northern Ontario Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout

Dobie Lake has Rainbow Trout and they fight like the Devil is inside them. That is why they are one of the most popular trout in the world. The Rainbow Trout is also called the Steelhead Trout and has a flavor closer to salmon than trout species indigenous to North America. The Rainbows will be down deep in the 50-foot range in the summer.

Northern Ontario Perch Fishing

Perch are not considered a game fish but they sure taste great and with a sports fishing license you can bring fifty home with you for the big fish fry.

Perch are found in just about every lake in Ontario and in Gowganda Lake they can be found in great numbers and decent sizes.

Just after ice-out in late April and May, perch are plentiful near shore, where they spawn. Fishing weedlines and large, flat sandy or silty areas with scattered vegetation near deeper water pays off through the summer. Perch are comfortable in bright light and do not see well in dim light. Schools of perch begin feeding in mid-morning and they may continue to feed off and on throughout the day. Schools break up during the evening. The best way to catch them is anchor and fish straight down with a hook, sinker and a tiny piece of worm or tiny minnow.

You can also catch really big Perch down deep. Perch can be found 30 to 50 feet deep hanging around ridges and structure. A prime spot is down deep between two islands or between an island and the shore. They like places where there is some water moving between structure because these places also attract minnows. Perch will hit ting jigs and lures but a worm and a hook always work best. Many of our guests catch Perch while Walleye fishing.