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Fish of Ontario


Ontario's Great Lakes offer a remarkable sport fishery for a variety of warm- and cold-water fish. Extended and year-round seasons make it especially good for non-boating anglers seeking salmon in rivers.

There are more spectacular boat-fishing opportunities for trophy Chinook and coho salmon in Lakes Ontario and Huron than anywhere else in the province. Lake Erie, which is better known for its world-famous giant walleye and smallmouth bass, also offers fine salmon fishing and big rainbow trout in its waters.

Fall and spring, these spectacular brawlers can usually be found in warmer near-shore areas, in rivers, at harbours, and off sandy and gravelly windward shorelines.

Trolling in a zigzag pattern will increase your success rate significantly. The lure's dropping action on wide sweeps, combined with the lifting and darting motion when the line straightens, is a great fish seducer.

They take a variety of lures including spoons, streamer flies, wobbling plugs, spinners, and cut-bait in holders. Spawn sacs and their imitations also account for many salmon at rivermouths and in rivers.

Salmon facts

Ontario records:
Chinook 46.38 lbs (21 kg); coho 28.64 lbs (13 kg);
Average sizes:
Chinooks 10 to 30 lbs (4.5 to 13.6 kg)
Temperature and habitat:
Chinook and coho 50 to 55°F (10 to 12.7°C)
Spawning runs in the Great Lakes from early September to November.
All of Ontario's Great Lakes.
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