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Top Three Ontario Musky Waters

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Top Three Ontario Musky Waters

Lake of the Woods is known as lake of the muskies because it seems any spot that looks good usually holds muskies. • Credit: Jim Saric

There are many waters across Ontario that hold the fish of 10,000 casts

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So you want to catch a musky. The fish of 10,000 casts. Are you sure? Musky fishing is never easy relative to fishing for other species; however, it’s not nearly as difficult as some people think.

There are lots of waters across Ontario that hold muskies, but some are easier to fish and catch muskies than others. For example, if you decide to try and catch your first musky from the trophy waters of Georgian Bay, you are going to have to put in some time. Catching your first musky is an incredible experience and it may change your life…your fishing life. After all, once you catch a musky, everything else is just bait! 

Having a good opportunity to catch your first musky is all about fishing the right water with a big population of muskies that can put the odds in your favor. If your bucket list or dream is simply to catch a musky, below are my top three waters in Ontario, where you can get it done!



Lake of the Woods, in Northwest Ontario's Sunset Country, is often known as Lake of the Muskies. The lake is huge and relatively shallow, with thousands of islands. The overall fertility of this water supports a tremendous musky population. This is a water where it seems like every spot that should hold a musky does.

Island, reefs, bays, and shorelines with character including rocks, sand, points, and emergent vegetation typically hold muskies. One of your best tools to locate muskies on Lake of the Woods is your eyes. If you have a musky follow your lure from weeds on Lake of the Woods, most likely you’ll notice some type of emergent vegetation or sand along the shoreline. To find other potential musky hot spots, simply look for similar areas.  

It’s amazing how easy it is to reproduce similar spots on Lake of the Woods. Pull up to that sandy area and most likely you’ll find a weed bed, and more muskies. Taking advantage of the multitude of musky spots and muskies is what makes musky fishing on Lake of the Woods so enjoyable. 

Expect lots of daily musky encounters whenever you fish Lake of the Woods! There’s lots of great places to stay all across Lake of the Woods. Check out Sunset Country.



Pigeon Lake is one of several of the Kawartha Lakes, located approximately two hours northeast of Toronto. The Kawartha Lakes are simply loaded with muskies. Pigeon Lake is in the heart of the Kawarthas and has a wide variety of spots that can hold muskies. The northern end of Pigeon Lake has several shorelines with weeds, mid-lake humps with weeds, large points, and flats extending towards the deep basin, along with several islands.

The southern portion of Pigeon Lake is very shallow and has lots of vegetation that holds muskies. You’ll see deeper areas or holes in these shallow sections of the lake that are summer musky holding areas.

Pick any of these weed spots, and either cast an inline spinner or jig a soft plastic such as a Bulldawg along the weed edges. Any color is good as long as it’s black on the Kawarthas! 

Expect to run into a pack of muskies, and it’s not uncommon to see and catch several muskies from a particular weed bed. The Kawartha lakes may not hold giant muskies, but it’s one of the best locations in all of Ontario to catch a musky!



The Indian Chain of lakes in Vermillion Bay, Ontario is often overlooked, as it’s in the shadow of famed Eagle Lake. However, although Eagle Lake is often a trophy adventure, if your goal is to catch your first musky the Indian Chain is your best bet. I have met many musky anglers who have caught their first musky on these lakes. 

The Indian Chain is comprised of nine lakes that make up some 30 miles of fishable musky water. There’s a variety of clear and stained lakes that provide you multiple options regardless of the conditions. I have fished several of the lakes in the Indian Chain and stayed at Indian Lake Lodge while filming in the area. We managed to catch all of the muskies we needed for the show on Indian Lake, and saw muskies what seemed to be everywhere.

There’s only one word to describe this musky fishery…fun. The Indian Chain offers the variety of several smaller lakes with a variety of watercolors and places to fish.

If your goal is to catch your first musky, there are lots of places throughout Ontario to make it happen. If you fish any of the above-mentioned waters, you can be sure that the odds are in your favor and it won’t take you 10,000 casts to catch one. It’s never easy, but I am pretty confident that fishing any of these waters will make catching your first musky in 2020 an attainable goal.

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