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No r t h e r n P i k e
Smal lmo u t h B a s s
Br o o k Tr o u t
L a k e Tr o u t
R a i n b o w Tr o u t
Co h o S a l m o n
Ch i n o o k s a l m o n
P i n k S a l m o n
S p l a k e ( S t o c k e d )
P e r c h
Wa l l e y e
Whi t e f i s h
C i s c o
Bu r b o t
R a i n b ow S m e l t
All call the
Nipigon area home,
Making Nipigon an anglers
dream. but Nipigon
and area has a lot more
to offer, from its miles of
Lake Superior coastline,
to its small isolated lakes
and rivers for canoeing/
kayaking . Dont forget
the miles and miles of
scenic trails with breathtaking
vistas.

Nipigon River Bait Shop -button

What if I were to tell you there is a place where you could catch thirteen different species of game fish, many trophy sized and in abundance not found in more populated areas.

Nipigon, located on the confluence of the Nipigon River and Lake Superior provides nearby access to numerous lakes, rivers and streams of various sizes holding a wide range of fish species for angling. From salmon on the great lake to giant lake trout on Lake Nipigon to world record brook trout in the Nipigon River, Nipigon is an angler’s paradise. There is something to catch in any season.

Spring in Nipigon is a peak angling time. As the ice retreats the fish of all species head to the shore, rivers and streams to spawn and to feed after the long winter under the ice. Small streams like the Little Gravel river, Ruby creek and small streams on Jessie lake have good runs of smelt, first introduced as forage for lake trout, but tasty on its own. Fished after dark with dipnets smelting can be quite an adventurous outing for the whole family.

As the smelt are in the creeks the mouths of creeks and rivers will attract a more prized gamefish – the rainbow trout or steelhead as its also known. Fishing at the mouths of the Jackpine, Nipigon and other rivers and creeks early spring with casting spoons like Cleos can produce many a fine fighting fish. As the water warms the steelhead enter the Creeks Rivers and streams on their annual spawn runs. Now they can be angled with flies, streamers, eggs and spawn sacks in many of the rivers of all sizes around Nipigon. The Jackpine, Wolf and Nipigon rivers provide some of the best steelhead angling on the north shore.

The cold spring waters of the Nipigon River and bay draw lake trout to the shallows and shore to feed. Into mid to late June lake trout can be angled by trolling (no downriggers needed), casting from shore along the Nipigon river and even by fly.
Mid to late may in most years brings the jumbo perch to the Nipigon Marina on their spawning run into the lagoon, they can be seen swimming under the bridge on the CN rail line. A bit of a spectacle as the locals come down to catch these tasty little fish as they fight their way to spawn.

The Annual Nipigon Kids fishing Derby usually tries to coincide with the Jumbo perch however springtime at the marina can yield almost any fish available.

Prime fishing from May to late June in the entire Nipigon river system and Nipigon area changes, a little more work is needed. You can catch many species from shore around Nipigon all summer long, as the water warms downriggers may become necessary for the Lake trout where boat trolling takes over from shore casting.
Summer camping in the area lends itself nicely to the abundant walleye lakes in the area, from Fraser Lake to Black Sturgeon Lake to the lakes up Gorge creek road (Jean, Barbara). There are ample camping spots in and around a lot of the area lakes.
The end of June brings the Blueberries – in abundance around Nipigon which hosts an annual Blueberry festival every long weekend in August. A bus takes pickers to “secret” locations every morning for a day’s picking. www.blueberryblast.com As the temperatures start moving into fall, mid to late August sees the salmon start to run in the Nipigon, caught trolling large colourful lures trolling up and down the river and even casting from shore. This will only increase and peak into September.
The Nipigon fall fishing festival held every Labour Day weekend in Nipigon has multiple fish derbies for all ages and encompasses all the lakes in the region. www. fallfishingfestival.ca for more information.

Brook trout action before they close for their spawn also heats up in the river system. Donning their spawning colours and massing sometimes in large groups it can be a site to behold. The new bridge being built in Nipigon will have a viewing deck that should make for some great fish watching into Gapens Pool fish sanctuary located just upstream from the bridge.
Fall foliage also draws people to Nipigon area trail systems whose normal vistas can become breathtaking in the fall. The annual Hike for Health from Nipigon to Red Rock takes full advantage of the fall.

Late September brings another unique opportunity to Nipigon, evenings at the marina will bring an acrobatic show as the Lake Trout enter the marina area in large numbers. The can be caught using spoons with little Cleos my favorite. Sometimes you may even catch a giant from shore in the 20lb or better range – if you can land it.

The fall rainbow run starts in earnest into October, although a false spawn the fish are much more aggressive and can be caught in area rivers into November. October also sees the whitefish spawn on local beaches/ rivers as they mass for their spawning at the end of October.

Then we all take a month off and wait for the Ice to freeze.

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This article is from
Northwest Ontario Outdoors Magazine.
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