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World Class Fishing in Northeastern Ontario

Gord Pyzer with a beautiful walleye. • Credit: Photo: Gord Pyzer.
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World Class Fishing in Northeastern Ontario

Gord Pyzer relives favorite fishing memories

Playing word association can be fun – someone mentions a name and you say the first thing that pops into your head – except when it's not one thing that springs to mind, but rather a plethora of possibilities.

For example, mention Northeastern Ontario and I am flooded with fishing memories.

Case in point: I caught my personal best northern pike a few years ago while casting in world renowned Kesagami Lake in the stunning Hudson Bay Lowlands.  I knew I had hooked a monster when I watched my rod double over, but I had no idea how big the toothy critter was until I brought it alongside the boat.  My eyes almost popped out of my head, it was so huge.

Photo: Gord Pyzer.

But I shouldn't have been surprised.

Forty years earlier, when I was a youngster, my family enjoyed the fishing vacation of a lifetime, at a resort located on the north shore of Lake Nipissing where we fished for walleye, northern pike and jumbo yellow perch. I'll never forget hooking fish after fish and struggling to reel them in.  My most vivid and fondest memory of that trip was begging my dad to take my rod, because I was certain the huge fish were going to pull me out of the boat and into the lake.

Photo: Gord Pyzer.

And talking about walleye – perhaps the most popular sport fish in the region – I landed one of the biggest winter 'eyes ever while ice fishing on picture-postcard, white-pine-studded Lake Temagami. And get this: I wasn't even targeting the gorgeous fish. Instead, a buddy and I had driven up to the lake, rented a cozy heated ice fishing hut from a local tourist operator, and were jigging for lake trout.

Temagami and lake trout go together like champagne and caviar, but that is the thing when you're fishing in Northeastern Ontario. There is such an amazing variety of species that you never know what's going to wind up next on the end of your line.

So, imagine my surprise when I reached down to pull what I thought was a trophy lake trout through the hole in the ice and instead, spotted the gargantuan peepers on a double digit walleye. I'm not sure who was more surprised, the walleye or me.

Photo: Gord Pyzer.

And talking about fishy surprises: I have to let you in on one of the hottest happenings right now. It is the unbelievable smallmouth bass fishing that for years has flown under the radar of so many visiting anglers. 

Finally, the word is filtering out.

The crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, from the mouth of the French River all the way around to Blind River and surrounding Manitoulin Island, offer some of the best smallmouth bass fishing on the continent. Honest truth, I have some bass fishing buddies who regularly catch and release smallmouth here exceeding seven pounds in weight.

Photo: Gord Pyzer.

Seven pounds! 

Most folks regard a four-pound smallmouth bass as the fish of a lifetime.  And Lake Nipissing, Lake Temagami and a host of waterbodies in the Timmins area offer bass fishing that is just as good.

Speaking about "good," it is a totally inadequate word to describe the muskie fishing you'll find in Georgian Bay, the French River, Lake Nipissing and Lake Nosbonsing. 

As a matter of fact, Ken O'Brien caught his 65-pound world record behemoth here, and many believe the record will soon be bested by an even bigger muskie from the very same waters.

So, you can see my dilemma.  And I haven't even touched on the phenomenal speckled trout, rainbow trout, aurora trout, steelhead, coho, chinook, black crappie, whitefish and yellow perch opportunities.

It is why, whenever I hear the words "Northeastern Ontario" mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is world class fishing.

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