Thu. Feb 29th, 2024
Northeastern Ontario's Top 5 BIG Fishing Spots

Northeastern Ontario: undeniably big, incredibly close.

We could not agree more! If you are looking for a GREAT fishing experience, this is the post for you.

Northeastern Ontario Tourism asked its readers to vote for their top fishing destinations and the votes are in!

Join us as we count down the Top 5 BIG Fishing Spots in Northeastern Ontario:

5. Mattawa River

The Mattawa River runs from North Bay to the town of Mattawa along the Quebec border and is a good place for both boaters and paddlers.

Landscape of Pine Lake on the Mattawa River

The Mattawa has lake trout, smallmouth bass, northern pike, musky, walleye and yowza!…

…some BIG loudmouths!

The man holds a largemouth bass

Do you want a base camp? Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park is located just 20 minutes from Mattawa River Provincial Park! In fact, you can canoe from SamD to Mattawa.

Canoe on the river

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

In 2017, multi-species angler Ashley Rae of reviewed the Mattawa River fishing scene. This is what she had to say.

4. Lake Temiskaming

On the Ontario-Quebec border, this lake is popular with anglers year-round. Lake Temiskaming is 110 km long and is also one of the deepest lakes in Ontario.

boats on the lake

Visit in winter to join the commune of ice cabins scattered across the lake’s surface. Or bring the boat in the warmer seasons for an open water adventure.

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The waters of Lake Temiskaming support a wide variety of species, including lake trout, walleye, largemouth bass, perch, and pike.

boat marina

Are you done fishing for the day? There’s plenty to do in Temiskaming Shores, from cheese tastings to golf!

3. Lake Temagami

Lake Temagami is a huge sprawling lake (45 km north to south, 35 km east to west) formed by long, narrow, spur-like arms from its center. More than 1,200 islands dot its surface.

man in boat, holding fish

Planning a trip? Finlayson Point Provincial Park is located just south of the village of Temagami, sharing shoreline and part of the Lake Temagami Skyline Reserve, a protected ring of pine forest surrounding Lake Temagami.

The park’s boat dock offers docking for boaters and anglers who want to take advantage of Finlayson Point’s location on picturesque, fish-filled Lake Temagami.

Lake Temagami

Taking a break from the water? Climb Caribou Mountain and Fire Tower for incredible views, or visit the historic silver mining town of Cobalt, painted by some members of the Group of Seven.

2. French River

Beginning at Lake Nipissing, the French River flows 105 km southwest into Georgian Bay on Lake Huron, and is Canada’s first heritage river.

French river landscape

The river delta is a massive network of interlocking channels that wind through the rock face of the Canadian Shield.

canoe next to high cliffs

Surely this is a list of things to do before you die. There are many ways to explore the river, from wilderness paddling to powerboating, backcountry camping, and private lodges (you’ll find more than 50 marinas and private lodges along the river).

Still, if you’re looking for a perfect sunset catch and the tranquility of nature, we recommend backcountry paddling.

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There is nothing better than the landscape!

French River is a prolific location for walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike.

After a mega Muskie? Check out this summary from professional angler Ashley Rae.

man holding musk

1. Lake Nipissing

In the eyes of NeONT voters, Lake Nipissing was the BIG winner for anglers.

fish on the hook

FIRST of all, we recommend combining Lake Nipissing and the French River at some point in your fishing life. The French River (upper), above the Dokis Dam, is basically a long bay of Lake Nipissing.

In fact, experienced paddlers and anglers can start in Georgian Bay and follow the French River all the way to Lake Nipissing. Backcountry paddlers also leave from Restoule Provincial Park and paddle out to the large lake.

boat in marina

With North Bay perched on the eastern shore of the lake and several outfitters and lodges around other access points, it’s no wonder Nipissing is a crowd-pleaser!

Be warned: this is a BIG lake with a surprisingly shallow depth. Please be aware of safety and low speed when browsing, especially if this is your first time visiting.

That said, the shallow depths, combined with many islands and sandbars, create great structure for species such as walleye, bass, burbot, pike and whitefish.

With its variety of species, access points and accommodations, Lake Nipissing is a favorite of anglers of all types. If you haven’t yet explored its waters, perhaps it’s time to plan a trip.

Do you need to fulfill your fishing fantasies? Start planning your getaway to Northeastern Ontario’s GREAT fishing destinations today!

Ontario Parks would like to thank corporate partners like Northeastern Ontario Tourism for their support.