Lake Nipissing Fishing – How to Catch the Most Popular Species

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Lake Nipissing is known as one of the best fishing lakes in all of Ontario. Due to its large size and relatively shallow depth it offers a very strong and diverse fishery. The most popular fish species targeted by anglers are Walleye (Pickerel), Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass and Muskies (Muskellunge). Each of these fish species will be attracted to different lures, bait and presentations so it’s important to be aware of their preferences.

Walleye is generally the most popular and sought after fish in Ontario. Many fishermen are attracted to the challenge of catching them and the enjoyment of eating them. Walleye have particularly good vision in low light conditions due to a variation in the structure of their eyes. Their eyesight advantage also extends to rough or stained water conditions giving them a significant advantage over their prey. Walleye are especially active in low-light conditions which makes a dusk fishing trip your best chance for success. Walleye also can see well in deeper water and can be found there, especially during the warmer summer season. Some of the best Walleye spots are in South Bay and along the south shore of Lake Nipissing. Lure and bait selection can vary widely but a simple jig with live bait is often the best strategy for most fishermen. Your success with Walleye will often have more to do with the local conditions than anything related to tackle selection. Walleye are cautious fish and are famous for taking a little nibble before attacking their prey. It’s important to hesitate just a little before setting the hook.

Northern Pike are plentiful in Lake Nipissing and generally fun to catch. They prefer shallow, weedy areas as well as cold, clear rocky waters. Fishing for Pike from shore can often be quite effective, especially in springtime. Quite often the first fish ever caught by a beginner will be a Northern Pike. All Pike are ambush predators but especially the small and medium sizes ones as the larger ones do not generally have much to fear. They can wait motionless for a very long time waiting for their prey. They body shape allows them to strike extremely quickly and fishermen generally will have no trouble recognizing a bite. Larger Pike can be caught with dead fish as bait although many fishermen still prefer trolling with various lures and live bait. This technique often works better in the summer and fall when the Pike will seek out deeper waters and locations that provide more cover. The natural structure of Lake Nipissing provides many shallow, weedy areas mixed with rocky islands and as a result is nearly perfect for fishermen targeting Northern Pike. Muskellunge are quite similar to Northern Pike and exhibit many of the same preferences and hunting patterns. Both Northern Pike and Muskellunge make for great trophy fishing.

Lake Nipissing also provides a great habitat for Smallmouth Bass. Smallmouth Bass are generally a fun fish to catch as they often put up a good fight highlighted with some aerial acrobatics as they reach the surface. Many different types of lures and bait will lead to success catching Smallmouth Bass including crankbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits. Smallmouth Bass generally prefer cooler water and are often found in rocky areas or near sandy bottoms of which Lake Nipissing has many.

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