Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Today’s post comes from year-round multi-species angler and writer Ashley Rae of SheLovesToFish.com.

Located just north of Parry Sound at Point au Baril, Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park is located on the picturesque shores of Georgian Bay.

Georgian Bay, a large bay on Lake Huron, is known for its granite bottoms, but also for the excellent fishing opportunities found here. Sturgeon Bay is the perfect place to hang your hat while exploring these picturesque waters.

Accommodations

Accompanied by my partner Eric, we traveled from our home in Ottawa to spend a couple of days in the park.

View of the exterior of the cabin.  Square brown building with a small porch in the front.

We stayed in one of the cabins, which included two bedrooms and a full kitchen (fridge, stove, cabinets, sink, hob, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, kettle, and dish rack). There is also a communal living area with a kitchen table and a bathroom with a shower.

We lit up the barbecue after each day we spent on the water and also enjoyed ending our nights with a bonfire. The cabin was a great base camp for our fishing adventure.

Exploring by boat

We started our fishing adventure by renting a boat at Sturgeon Bay Marine, located just a minute from the park.

The marina staff were very friendly and provided us with all the necessary safety items on board the boat, along with a paper map of the area.

View from the park overlooking Sturgeon Bay Marina.

The marina is located on the water across the bay from the park, making loading our fishing gear and hitting the water quick and easy.

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There is a boat launch located in the park, along with docking docks that can be reserved if you have your own boat. If you prefer to paddle, canoes can also be rented in the park.

Fishing opportunities

There are a wide variety of fish species found in Georgian Bay including: northern pike, walleye, musky, smallmouth and largemouth bass, longnose gaff, perch, sunfish and more.

Ashley driving the speedboat she rented across the bay.

We saw boaters and kayakers chasing bass and anglers of all ages fishing from the docks and along the park’s shoreline. There are many ways to enjoy fishing in Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park.

Chasing Bass and Northern Pike

Since our visit fell on the bass opener, we decided to focus on areas that are typical habitats for this species: rocky points, sandbars, and weed lines. There is a lot of this type of structure to explore and the incredible scenery just adds to the experience.

Ashley holding a northern pike.

I started this fishing trip by landing a nice Northern Pike on a weedy flat on a Chatterbait not far from the park shores. Eric and I ended up catching a few pike during the trip, along with several Smallmouth Bass.

We fished a few different techniques including: Ned Rig, Chatterbait, drop shot and some topwater lures like the Whopper Plopper.

The Ned Rig worked very well during the day as we worked our way along the shoreline and aimed to scoop out this soft plastic worm and jump it back to the boat.

When there were thicker weeds, I picked up my Chatterbait and worked it over and through the weeds (with a few quick snaps to free myself from the vegetation I picked up). A spinnerbait is another great option in this environment.

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In the evenings the top water scoop was ON! There’s nothing as exciting as when a fish explodes out of the water on your top water lure! The Zara Spook worked very well on smallmouth, and we even managed to pick up a few pike on the top of the water.

A memorable catch

My biggest smallmouth bass of the trip came on a Chatterbait that I was casting along a windswept shoreline, setting it over the brush. This fish was between 3.5 and 4 pounds and was released back into the bay, along with all of our other catches.

Ashley holding a bass.

I know there are bigger fish roaming these waters and catching and releasing them is certainly one way to keep them growing!

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to explore Sturgeon Bay and get a taste of the incredible fishing opportunities found here!