Fishing on a Canoe: Unlocking the Wilderness Adventure

Imagine the picturesque landscapes of rocky shorelines and serene beaches. Towering pines and black spruce form a stunning backdrop to the pristine wilderness that awaits you. And in this tranquil haven, you experience that magical moment when you feel a gentle tug at your rod tip. Welcome to the extraordinary world of fishing on a canoe.

Luring: Unleash the Power of Precision

While mastering fishing skills can be a rewarding pursuit, the truth about fishing in the North is refreshingly simple. All you truly need is a canoe, a fishing rod, and a handful of tips and tricks to embark on an unforgettable adventure.

When it comes to lure setups, efficiency and simplicity reign supreme. Traveling light on a canoe demands versatility, and two setups will help you catch a diverse range of fish. Harness the power of white Mr. Twister plastic grubs mounted on jig heads of varying weights. With this combination, you can effortlessly reel in buckets of fish. Whether you’re jigging for lake trout, targeting pickerel in a current, or casting into the shallows for bass and pike, a well-chosen setup can make all the difference.

Unlocking the secret to success, three-way swivels become an invaluable asset in your minimalist tackle kit. Equipped with a reliable swivel to prevent line twisting, you can send your favorite spoon to great depths without the need for a downrigger. Simply tie a weight to the bottom loop of a short piece of line, while the spoon attaches to the back loop. This innovative technique allows you to troll with precision, keeping your spoon tantalizingly close to the bottom or gracefully gliding just beneath the surface.

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Locating: Nature’s Hidden Gems

The thrill of finding elusive pickerel or trout is an endeavor prized by seasoned anglers. While the time of year and the body of water greatly influence their location, the quest is always worth the effort. One strategy for locating pickerel (or walleye) involves bouncing a jig off the bottom of a 7-meter-deep lake at dusk, enticing the fish to strike.

However, a more captivating tactic lies in exploring the allure of mid-river rapids or currents flowing into a lake. These natural forces beckon pickerel to congregate in the deep, tranquil pools below. Mastering this dark art requires finesse. Allow your jig to enter the current, reach the bottom, and glide along the very spot where pickerel lie in wait. As for lake trout, their whereabouts are heavily influenced by the changing seasons. During early spring, they venture closer to the shallow waters, while the late summer may find you fishing in depths of up to 20 meters to encounter these magnificent creatures. In most cases, your best bet is to stay close to the lake bottom, ensuring every cast counts.

Landing: Triumph Over Challenges

Landing a fish while aboard a canoe presents its own unique set of challenges, particularly when dealing with trophy-sized catches. Whether alone or with a companion, equipped with a net or relying on your own cunning, triumph awaits those prepared to face the obstacles. Should you have a partner onboard, they can take charge of landing the fish while you skillfully work the rod. However, regardless of your circumstances, a small net can prove to be a reliable ally.

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Of utmost importance is considering the fate of your catch. If the fish is destined for release, it’s crucial to execute a quick release alongside the canoe, preventing any harm to the fish and the ensuing chaos it might cause. On the other hand, if your appetite is ready for a sumptuous lunch, a “fish relaxer,” more commonly known as a club, can stun your catch, allowing for a safe and efficient landing and dispatch. In both scenarios, remember that maintaining balance in your canoe while reeling in your prize is of utmost importance.

Cleaning and Cooking: A Culinary Delight in the Wilderness

Picture yourself reveling in the satisfaction of having successfully landed your meal. As you seek solace on a pristine beach, ready to indulge in a well-deserved lunch, the question of cleaning your catch arises. Fear not, as a simple solution presents itself. Utilizing your trusty paddle as a makeshift workstation, cleaning the fish becomes a breeze, keeping pesky sand at bay.

While a cast iron fry pan remains a staple during many canoe trips, opting for a compact, non-stick pan offers a convenient alternative. This smaller pan is easier to heat, promotes crispy fish with less oil, and can be conveniently stowed away for quick shore lunches during your journey.

However, if you plan to consume your catch at your campsite, it’s wise to clean the fish elsewhere or venture away from your location to fillet your prize, minimizing the potential attraction you may unwittingly create for local wildlife.


For those seeking angling adventures that combine leisure, pleasure, and nourishment, the province of Ontario in Canada offers a boundless array of possibilities. Renowned angling experts Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman from Fish’N Canada offer their top 5 recommendations for canoe and kayak fishing destinations. Armed with the perfect lure, a keen eye for depth, and unwavering determination, you’re poised to reel in the catch of a lifetime.

  1. Visit UpStreamPaddle to explore the untapped fishing destinations waiting to be discovered.

  2. Discover the mesmerizing waters of Algonquin Provincial Park, where bass, trout, and pickerel are awaiting your presence.

  3. Georgian Bay entices anglers with its breathtaking beauty and abundance of fish species, including salmon, trout, and bass.

  4. Feel the adrenaline rush as you venture into the remote wilderness of Lake of the Woods, renowned for its thriving walleye population.

  5. Traverse the majestic French River, where you’ll encounter muskie, bass, and the elusive walleye, all surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes.

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In conclusion, fishing on a canoe offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature. With each cast, you embark on a journey of discovery, where the tranquil beauty of the wilderness intertwines with the thrill of the catch. So pack your fishing gear, hop on a canoe, and allow your senses to be captivated by the unspoiled treasures that await you.