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Fishing Lake Nipissing

fishing for yellow perch

Lake Nipissing is one of the most popular lakes in Ontario. This large shallow lake, with endless shoals, islands and bays, is so nutrient rich, it is literally a fish factory. Lake Nipissing supports a wide variety of fish species, with the most abundant species being Walleye (Pickerel), Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, freshwater Drum, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge and Ling.

The most prized and sought after fish in Lake Nipissing is the Walleye, also known as Pickerel. Walleye are both challenging to catch as well as one of the best tasting fish in freshwater. Walleye are most active in low light conditions, and fishing is most productive at dusk and dawn. They will actively hunt for minnows and other small fish, during these times. Structure is key to finding good concentrations of walleye, and they will often relate near drop-offs, sunken islands and shoals. They prefer the congregate near deep water, where they often retreat to during the day. Techniques used to target Lake Nipissing walleye are slowly drifting a jig usually tipped with live bait, either a minnow or worms. Trolling worm harnesses can also be very effective, especially when walleye are scattered. Blade choices are generally bright colours, such as green, orange and yellow. Some of the more productive areas for walleye in Lake Nipissing, are South Bay , Callander Bay and the West Arm. Walleye can be notoriously finicky, and sometimes finesse fishing is key. Slowing your presentation down and setting the hook with the lightest of bites can produce on days when nothing else is working.

One of the most plentiful fish in Lake Nipissing is Northern Pike. A top predator in the lake, pike can be very aggressive. Smaller pike will inhabit shallow weedy bays, and generally fishing these areas with spinnerbaits, crankbaits and spoons can be very productive. Larger pike spend most of their time in deeper water, especially during the summer months. Trolling large spoons and crankbaits can produce some trophy class pike especially at dawn. Don't be surprised if you hook into a muskellunge, while trolling for pike, since muskie inhabit the same haunts and feed on similar forage. In Lake Nipissing, the main forage for these toothy critters, consists of small walleye, perch, bass and herring. Lures that resemble this forage and swim erratically, mimicking a wounded fish can be deadly, especially in late fall when pike and muskie are aggressively feeding. Northern pike also make excellent table fare, filleting them, and removing the Y-bones does take some practice, but one mastered they are nearly indistinguishable when pan fried along side walleye.

Lake Nipissing is a smallmouth bass haven, with so many shoals, reefs, rockpiles and drop-offs, the fish holding structures are endless. Nearly every shoal on Lake Nipissing can be productive for smallmouth bass. Like walleye, bass will school and generally when you catch one there will be others around. Fishing with tubes, jigs, and plastic worms can be deadly when you are over a school of active bass. Casting the shoreline with spinnerbaits and crankbaits can also produce some nice fish, and can yield a mixed bag, of smallmouth and largemouth bass. Largemouth bass are also abundant in Lake Nipissing. They prefer shallow weedy areas, similar to pike, near islands and shorelines in mixed weed and rock transitions.

Lake Nipissing is a world class fishing destination. Give it a try, book a cottage resort and spend the week in this northern paradise. There is something for everyone to enjoy, canoeing, paddling, swimming, hiking and of course fantastic fishing.

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