The species are quite diverse but my favourite are bass. There's lots of them and you can usually count on getting a couple of four pounders in an outing. The average is 1.5 to 2 lbs. A trophy can go 6 lbs+. Plenty of bait for them to eat (sucker and shiner minnows, shad, cisco and whitefish along with crayfish).
Basic requirements would be spinner baits, top waters and plastics to fish bass on this stretch of the Ottawa.


LARGEMOUTH BASS - Try around the islands in Fitzroy Harbour (watch for rocks though!) or in Constance Bay out in the weedbeds. Shirley's Bay probably holds monsters but you cannot enter the back bay area because it's part of the National Defense firing range and is off limits.
The water level, which can fluctuate a fair bit, has a big effect on where they will be so keep an open mind. Spinnerbaits and weedless spoons are good to locate them, then slow down with some plastics once you find them. The biggest I've got so far is 6.8 lbs but I know there's an 8lb'er there waiting for me ;-)

SMALLMOUTH BASS - Tons of them the whole stretch of the river. Try any drop offs, points or weedlines. If you are going out for a quick fish, these are your best bet for quantity and quality in a short time. The most fun is topwater baits: buzzbaits and popper type plugs but bring plenty of plastic tubes too.

MUSKIE - There's a very healthy population of mature fish (thanks to slot limits and an on going public awareness campaign for catch and release by Muskies Canada ). Powerful, aerobatic fish. My legs shake after I boat a good one :) Biggest I've got was 30lbs. Troll the weedline (or even deeper) where the hydro wires cross the river at Woolsey Narrows, just downstream from Quyon. These fish are extremely sensitive to handling. Keep them in the water and release them as fast as possible. If you need to pick one up for a quick pic, then support the belly as well as the jaw. As with all fish, try not to remove the slime off their bodies. A cradle is best.

NORTHERN PIKE - Some people hate these fish and feel they are a nuisance. I don't know why, I like them. There's bigguns :) Plenty in the 5 to 10lb. range. The biggest I've caught was a twenty pounder in Pontiac Bay in late fall. The best spot by far is Constance Bay with Shirley's Bay a close second. They will bite on anything (leader required). The big ones go deep in the summer but can be caught in the shallows when the water is cold.

WALLEYE - (alias pickerel) This is the most sought after fish on this stretch of the river for those who eat fish. Everyone's got a different opinion on where the best spot is (which is a good thing, I guess). They don't seem to follow traditional walleye patterns; sometimes I've got biggun's in stagnant Buckham's Bay (up to 9 lbs.). Get most on spinner baits. Weird, eh? But I'm not one to argue.

SAUGER - These were rare but are prolific now. They look like a small walleye with a patchwork pattern. They don't get any bigger than about 2lbs. When I've caught them, it's always off flat sandy bottoms.



GAR - These ancient dinosaurs are a beautiful fish to see. They grow big and are not shy of boaters. I saw one that was longer than my 6 1/2 foot fishing rod and with a belly like an alligator on August 4/03. It's common to see pairs of them cruising the shallow backbays. They will chase your top water baits but their very boney mouth is tough to penetrate with a hook. Some people in this area specialize in trying to catch them, using homemade minnow rigs with trailing treble stingers. Did you know these fish can breath air? 

CARP - I don't fish for these much ( I should though really - it's a blast) but every spring I head to the mouth of the Carp River in Fitzroy Harbour to watch them spawn. There are thousands upon thousands of them and they look huge. Along time ago, as a kid, I would just throw my line out and snag them and get the battle of a lifetime.
In the summertime, you can see them breaking the surface in the evenings just about anywhere.


CATFISH- There are Channel Cats to 40lbs. according to legend.  In that channel below the hydro dam at Fitzroy Harbour, 8 to 10lb'ers are commonplace. Very respectable, businesslike fish.They pull like a smallmouth on steroids. Worms work best but I have taken them on spinnerbaits, spoons and plastics too. Barbut or bullheads, depending on which side of the river you're from, are plentiful in the creek mouths in the late spring.

CRAPPIE - Always lots along the weedlines and creekmouths. Fun to catch with plastic grubs before bass season opens. Some of them get pretty big and can give a respectable pull.



EELS  - I don't fish for these but they do put up an impressive fight if you're into it. They chase the minnows up on the shore at night which is kind of fun to watch with a flashlight from the dock. They have to swim all the way back to the ocean to spawn!

STURGEON - Only ever saw one. Very cool. I wonder how large they get?



BROWN TROUT - These are stocked fish. I've never caught any but have heard stories of fish up to 4 lbs. The best spot is at the Deschenes Rapids, from shore where Britannia Bay outflows, according to those that go for them. One was caught in the mouth of Buckhams Bay throught the ice.

PANFISH - Any weedbed or creekmouth will produce rock bass, yellow perch and sunfish. 

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