Anglers excited about pike and walleye

Jeff Morrison with a decent early-season northern pike he caught in Cobden.
Valley anglers in search of northern pike and walleye have been out in full force with both species now fair game in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15. Be sure to check the rules and regulations before hitting the water this weekend! Where length limits apply, anglers should measure their catch carefully, and any fish caught must also be kept whole so it can be measured by a conservation officer. If you should accidentally catch another species for which the season is still closed, it must be immediately (and safely) returned to the water. FMZ 15 is a very large Zone covering much of northeastern Ontario, extending eastward to the Ottawa River, south to Arnprior, north to Deux Rivieres and west across all of Algonquin Park to Parry Sound. Best of luck in all your northern pike and walleye endeavours. I am hoping to land a few myself this weekend in Cobden. Early season northern pike offer great table fare too with four to five pounders being the best eating size in my opinion.

Conserving trout

When it came to brook trout, in my younger days it was always felt that ‘a fish caught was a fish kept’ but it doesn’t need to be that way anymore. To safely release a brook trout requires patience and a soft touch at canoe or boat-side. Barbless hooks and a good set of long-nosed pliers are a must. To witness a beautiful brook trout swimming away after a nice battle is an incredible feeling. Sure, you can keep enough smaller fish to bring home but doing your part for conservation will surely pay off in the end. If you had asked me 15 years ago about letting a two to three pound brook trout go, I probably would have laughed. Practising conservation of the species requires self-control but offers copious long-term reward.

Bear hunt across the river

With all the hubbub around pike and pickerel, don’t forgot about the spring bear hunt across the river which also got under way this past weekend. Hunters need ‘bear’ in mind that in certain sectors of the Outaouais the season closes on June 15, two weeks earlier than for rest of the province which allows bear hunting until June 30. With the month of June fast approaching, the once cautious animals will have become accustomed to feeding regularly at bait sites, and with the onset of mating season, adult males’ travel extensively in search of a mate. Both of these factors will have a positive effect on a hunter’s success rate. For more information on bear hunting across the river, contact Tourism Quebec: 1 877 BONJOUR (266-5687).

Fish, Hunt & Ride magazine spring issue

The spring issue of Fish, Hunt & Ride magazine is now available at over 130 outlets across eastern Ontario and Western Quebec FREE of charge. Our exciting new issue features black bear, spring trout, steelhead, turkey filming, ATV events, shed antler hunting, fly-fishing tips, an interview with ‘Uncle’ Ted Nugent and more. Pick up your copy of FHR in such towns as Barry’s Bay, Killaloe, Forresters Falls, Golden Lake and Madawaska up the Ottawa Valley, and across in the Pontiac, at Fort Colounge, Gracefield and Low. In Pembroke, look for copies available at Pembroke Esso, Suny’s, Bee Line Wreckers and more, or in Petawawa at Petawawa Guns and Petawawa Pizza. For more information on where to find an outlet near you, check out our website: http://www.fishhuntandride.ca.

14 thoughts on “Anglers excited about pike and walleye”

  1. I saw a plethora of boats out on the Ottawa just below the filtration plant on the parkway in the east end. Not sure I would fish there lol

    1. Well Johan, you will be disappointed to know that we did NOT even go to said secret lake this year!
      Health issue in the family kept us closer to home. We spent the weekend at our hunt camp instead fishing some of the old trout lakes I grew-up fishing in. On the UP side, we actually caught (& ate) some trout, but on the DOWN side all those pristine mountain trout lakes are now f’ing polluted with yellow perch…ughhh..turn me off! Makes me sick just thinking about it!

      So, in a nutshell, our secret trout lake will go unfished this year so expect that next spring things will be crazy up there!!

      Outdoorsguy

    1. Fishr, we fished four of the old lakes up there, including the two you used to fish and they ALL have tons of yellow perch in them. Very sad indeed..two of the four have had perch for 20 years at least, but the other two must have only been in recent years. The lake you know, which is the name of a native Canadian hardwood tree, as well as the one just over the hill, both have perch now and did NOT have them 8 years ago when we were last there.

      The strange thing is there is no waterway connection between the two lakes you know and the other two lakes. I know 30-40 years ago there was such a thing as ‘Lake Reclamation’ where a waterbody is shocked with Rotinone to kill off ALL fish species and start anew. Of course this would eliminate the native trout stocks also. Not sure those efforts are allowed anymore or if Rotinone is even legal in ON and QC.

      Outdoorsguy

  2. Jeff, that’s very unfortunate. Those are beautiful lakes and the trout fishing used to be great at one time. The yellow perch will probably eventually decimate the trout population. I checked Google Earth and it appears that a road has been built into at least one of the lakes, so someone must have had easy access that enabled them to bring in minnow buckets.

  3. But minnows are strictly illegal in Quebec specifically for that reason. What a shame. And I’ve necessary heard of anyone using Perch as bait.

  4. Some great fishing today on the Ottawa River East of Ottawa. On the river at sunrise (5:30ish) and we did quite well with the Pickerel. Had a great snack for lunch. oh! and I caught my first freshwater drum. Quite the feisty little one! Fishing is really good for you! 🙂

  5. Iggy, someone may have fished with live minnows before the ban went into effect in Quebec. It’s unlikely they intended to use perch for bait but there may have been some in their minnow bucket which they later dumped into the lake.

  6. True fishr, but if I’m not mistaken fishing with live minnows in Quebec has been illegal for a long long time, also, in order for them to breed they needed at least two fish so it wasn’t a one off. Anyhow, it’s a shame to see that happen.

    1. Iggy, there is still some ‘live & dead bait’ permitted in QC, but only in very limited areas and only during Ice Fishing Season. As of April, 2017 ALL Live and Dead Bait fishing will be restricted completely.

      The ‘invasive species’ we encountered around my hunt camp was Yellow Perch which, technically, are a ‘game fish’ and have never been permitted for use as bait. Also, the use of minnows as bait has never really been a technique employed by many brook trout anglers, although on lakes with good minnow forage base, brookies will eat them. Salvelinus fontinalis isn’t typically known as a piscivorous species..or one that eats other fish; however, one of the lakes back home used to have brown trout in it, so perhaps that was where/why the perch showed up. That old brown trout lake was, incidentally, the first one we noticed perch in back in the early-mid 1990’s.

      Anyhow..sad story all around. Ask any fisheries biologist and they’ll tell you that soft-rayed species and spiny-rayed species rarely flourish in the same body of water, except in the case of lake trout.

      Outdoorsguy

  7. hi Jeff the big Rideau has been on fire we have caught so many lakers I could feed a small army but my wife keeps yelling at me to get some walleye , I think the best area is up near Trenton what do you or your readers think , keep in mind I live near Almonte and have tried the Mississippi

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