Sat. Feb 24th, 2024
Mattawa River Fishing

Today’s post comes from multi-species angler and writer Ashley Rae of

Fishing a new body of water is always exciting and also presents a challenge.

Fishing a new lake means learning the lay of the land without having to fall back on fishing areas or fishing spots from past adventures to rely on.

That is precisely why I love traveling and visiting various parks in our beautiful province. It’s an opportunity to dissect new waters and create memories.

Any day on the water is a day well spent, but landing a memorable catch in a new body of water certainly adds a satisfying element to the experience.

Exploring the Mattawa

Landscape on the Mattawa River

A recent adventure took me to spend a couple of days at Talon Lake, located within Mattawa River Provincial Park. The Mattawa River runs from North Bay to the town of Mattawa along the border with Quebec.

There is a lot of history in this picturesque area. Indigenous communities have used the river for more than 6,000 years, followed later by European trappers, loggers and travelers. A large portion of the river has been protected since the 1970s, when it was designated a Canadian Heritage River.

If you take a look at this unique area on a map, you will see several lakes and ponds located within the park, all connected by the river.

With so much to explore, it’s a paddler’s paradise with 14 transportation routes. It’s also a great place to take a fishing boat. Some sections of the river also offer rapids.

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find the fish

Ashley holds a bass

Although I only spent two days on Lake Talon, it was certainly a good sample of the area’s fishing possibilities.

Shortly after launching our boat, my fishing buddy and I noticed some bait activity on our fish finder. This quickly led us to some active Smallmouth Bass.

What a view, what a place, and eating fish right away was the icing on the cake!

We were eager to see what other species we might encounter.

In addition to Smallmouth, this body of water is also home to Lake Trout, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskie, Walleye, and more.

Closeup of a northern pike

We targeted Muskie for a while, but didn’t see any activity. However, we did stumble upon a nice Northern Pike, which satisfied our craving for toothy critters. I caught a small eager pike on one of my musky lures.

A memorable catch

The memorable fish of the trip wasn’t caught by me, but it was so exciting it might as well have been.

With the rain pouring down and the strong winds blowing at us, we decided to take shelter in a bay and concentrate on fishing the shores. The area we ventured into also included some docks.

Eric cast a Chatterbait along one of the docks and quickly hooked up with a nice largemouth. Before he had time to grab the net, he lifted the fish over the gunnels and into the boat. The fish was barely hooked, so Eric decided not to wait for the net to arrive.

And boy, what a catch it was! It was without a doubt the biggest bass of the day and the trip!

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Although we are both avid year-round fishermen, every time a nice big fish comes to the boat, the excitement is as if it were the first fish of our lives. The cheers and laughter are enough to be heard across the lake.

We placed the fish in the livewell until the rain stopped long enough to take a couple of pictures. This beautiful largemouth bass returned to Lake Talon to perhaps be caught again as an even bigger fish.

Needless to say, we give Mattawa River Provincial Park a thumbs up!

Interested in camping?

Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park is located just 20 minutes from Mattawa River Provincial Park!

Why not book a campsite and spend the trip chasing the big one?