Manitoulin Island travel destination travelling fishing destination fishing spots

Standing with my spouse, Lois, on the shore of Lake Mindemoya, we watched fish breaking the calm lake floor. It had been greater than 20 years since my final go to to Manitoulin Island however lastly, I had returned.

It took me a few minutes to understand an insect hatch was underway. A number of huge shad flies perched on the boat seats had been extra proof of that. This walleye-and-perch meals bonanza may very well be each a blessing and a problem.

The final time we visited Mindemoya, our reward for a morning of early July fishing was a restrict of eating-size walleye. This journey was in late June, so we hoped the timing would supply us with constant motion. Dave Patterson, a extremely revered angler and manufacturing supervisor for the Manitoulin Expositor newspaper, had provided to take us out for a night fish.

Heading out from the launch ramp to our first spot, Patterson advised us that just a few nights earlier he and his spouse had caught and launched a number of walleye utilizing backside bouncers and worm harnesses. Our technique can be to make use of an electrical motor and transfer backwards and forwards over a shoal with good perimeter weed development.

The sonar confirmed hooks indicating good-sized walleye each on backside and suspended however getting them to cooperate was going to be a bit of more difficult. Lois caught just a few good 10 to 12-inch perch, however walleye weren’t biting. It was solely our first night, so we weren’t disenchanted with extra outings deliberate over the subsequent few days. We loved a wonderful sundown on Lake Mindemoya and the Manitoulin magic was simply starting to evolve.

Island geography

Manitoulin Island is the most important freshwater island on the planet. Positioned on the northern finish of Lake Huron, this land of gently rolling, rocky terrain scattered with forest and farmland is dwelling to 108 lakes. A wonderful street community covers the 160-kilometre size of the island and serves the everlasting inhabitants of virtually 15,000 folks. Driving from one neighborhood to a lake at one other location is an absolute pleasure, with little visitors to cope with.

The most important city, Little Present, is positioned on the northeast nook of the island and linked to the mainland by Freeway 6 and a swing bridge. That is the one direct entry for automobiles. Different inhabitants centres embody Mindemoya, Gore Bay, Kagawong, Manitowaning, M’Chigeeng, and Wiikwemkoong. The economic system depends considerably on out of doors recreation and in consequence, companies and facilities are wonderful. There are lots of extremely rated procuring areas, eating places, and resorts positioned all through Manitoulin.

Lake Manitou

Manitou, the most important lake on Manitoulin, has the distinctive distinction of being the most important freshwater island lake on the planet. Its title is derived from the Ojibwe phrase for a spirit or energy being. It has 140 kilometres of shoreline and depths of greater than 150 ft, making it the deepest lake on the island. Quite a few shoreline resorts can be found for household stays.

The primary time I fished Manitou 20 years in the past, I had the privilege of sharing a ship with legendary information Jack Hayes. We spent a late June morning vertical jigging in 50 to 60 ft of water. His custom-made bucktail jigs had been a favorite for lakers. We completed with 5 trout between three to 6 kilos. Hayes had no hassle convincing me Manitou was a particular lake. After I returned this time, I contacted Kevin Hutchinson, a revered native angler whose household owned a lodge on Manitou.

“My father began promoting bait out of his home at Sandfield at 5 years of age nearly 90 years in the past,” he stated.

Manitou has traditionally been the preferred lake on Manitoulin, Hutchinson added. It’s deep sufficient to assist a wholesome lake trout inhabitants and gives loads of alternative for whitefish, smallmouth, perch, and walleye. The massive lake has many islands and shoals with loads of construction for a wide range of species. There are three public launches and extra at resorts.

Lake Mindemoya

Mindemoya runs a detailed second to Manitou in reputation based mostly on accessibility and its long-term observe report for walleye, perch, whitefish, smallmouth, and northern pike. There are lots of resorts on the lake and we had the nice fortune to remain at Pirates Cove Cottages (www.manitoulin- island.com/piratescove) on the south shore, a five-minute drive from the village of Mindemoya. Simply behind our wonderful two-bedroom cottage is Brookwood Brae Golf Course, additionally a part of the resort. The general public launch ramp is lower than one kilometre away with docking services accessible on the resort.

Lake Mindemoya is about eight kilometres lengthy and 6 kilometres broad. Depths common about 30 ft.

“Walleye motion is greatest in Could and June till the fly hatch and peaks once more in October and November. Perch fishing within the fall might be wonderful. The perch common 12 inches and are true jumbos,” Patterson stated.

Neil Debassige is the host of Wild TV Community’s Gasoline the Hearth TV and proprietor of Island Dawn Cottages on Mindemoya.

“The smallmouth bass fishing is great. July and August are prime time to fish the shoals with plastics and dropshot rigs,” stated Debassige, who additionally operates a constitution fishing enterprise together with salmon/trout guiding out of Windfall Bay.

Lake Kagawong

Kagawong is the second largest of the inland lakes. It’s deep sufficient on the east facet (100 ft) to assist whitefish however many of the lake averages 30 to 40 ft. Kagawong has an excellent number of construction and helps a superb inhabitants of walleye, perch, pike, and smallmouth.

“Smelt and yellow perch are the meals base for walleye so most anglers in Could and June troll minnow diving lures that observe at about 20 to 25 ft,” retired Ministry of Pure Assets and Forestry (MNRF) Conservation Officer Ian Anderson stated. “Walleye will common three to 6 kilos with some within the 10 to 12-pound vary,” he added.

Glorious motion for smallmouth is obtainable in the summertime and good perch might be had year-round.

Lake Huron

The north finish of Lake Huron adjoining to the southern shoreline of Manitoulin helps a wonderful trout and salmon inhabitants. Patterson coordinates the yearly Manitoulin Expositor Salmon Basic, an excellent alternative for native and visiting anglers. One in every of Patterson’s pals, Moe Gauthier, operates Screamin’ Reels Charters (screaminreels.ca) out of South Baymouth. His constitution schedule is often closely booked, however Moe was capable of squeeze us in for a night.

Our plan was to begin about two kilometres from shore in 60 ft of water. Huron has important underwater construction that concentrates fish in sure productive areas. Lake and rainbow trout, in addition to coho, pink (Pacific), and Chinook salmon are a part of the every day catch. “There’s at all times nice motion right here because the construction helps kind present which in flip attracts baitfish and predators,” Gauthier stated.

It didn’t take lengthy for one of many downrigger rods to fireside and Moe handed the rod to Lois. After a short however spirited encounter, the five-pound lake trout was netted by Gauthier. “That one goes onto the barbecue once we get dwelling,” Lois stated.

Throughout the hour, I landed one other laker and requested Moe about his salmon season. “The salmon and trout fishing has been wonderful and we’re seeing much more alewife of their stomachs, most likely essentially the most in 15 years,” he stated.

Simply as we completed our dialog, the rigger went off and a four-pound Atlantic salmon joined the social gathering. Gauthier advised me some days you may attempt for the grand slam on Chinook, coho, pink, and Atlantics.

Salmon and trout fishing on Huron often begins in June and continues by way of September. Most anglers fish out of Windfall Bay, South Baymouth, Wiikwemkoong, and Little Present. Main spawning runs happen within the east finish of Manitoulin within the Kagawong, Manitou and Mindemoya rivers, and Blue Jay Creek.

North Channel

The a part of Lake Huron between the Manitoulin and north to the mainland is dwelling to an array of angling alternatives.

“There are many species to maintain all anglers completely happy,” Anderson stated.

Rainbow trout and lake trout are notably ample each east and west of the channel in Little Present. Largemouth are present in MacGregor Bay, and large smallmouth weighing as a lot as six kilos might be caught almost in every single place. A wonderful walleye fishery is obtainable from Little Present all the best way to the Spanish River on the north shore.

“The walleye fishing within the North Channel is great and similar to Lake Erie,” Patterson stated. “All 12 months lessons are represented together with fish over 10 kilos.”

Backside bouncing in 18 to 25 ft of water early within the 12 months and 30 to 40 ft within the fall is efficient. Guests to the Manitoulin at all times remark about how pleasant everyone seems to be on the island. Mix that with nice surroundings, a number of actions, and excellent fishing and its simple to see why it is a vacation spot to not be missed.

Locations to go to on Manitoulin

Manitoulin Island fishing bridal veil falls waterfall Manitoulin Island

Bridal Veil Falls: Positioned at Kagawong, this gorgeous waterfall has a wonderful viewing space and photograph alternatives

Windfall Bay Seaside: A protracted sandy seaside on Lake Huron’s crystal-clear water. Comparatively uncrowded and nice for strolling

Cup and Saucer Path: A wonderful mountaineering path throughout a part of the Niagara Escarpment with wonderful lookouts. Gives trails with various ranges of issue

South Baymouth: The scenic ferry terminal, port, and light-weight home provide a range of actions together with wonderful photograph alternatives

Wiikwemkoong: The one formally acknowledged unceded Indigenous Territory in Canada

Up Prime Sports activities Store: A family-owned enterprise in Mindemoya for greater than 100 years. An incredible retailer for fishing gear and data

Initially revealed in Ontario OUT of DOORS’ 2023 Fishing Annual 

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