Area communities are home to a range of fish species and the most diverse fish communities in the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority’s watershed. A Fishing & Paddling guide for Huron County is available from the Welcome Centre in Grand Bend.
LIST OF AREA PROVIDERS
FISH A GREAT LAKE
Head out onto Lake Huron with Blue Line Fishing Charters or Grand Bend Fishing Charters, both run out of Grand Bend from April to October. Here you have the opportunity to catch King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, and Walleye on fully equipped vessels with top notch fishing tackle and electronics. According to local fisherman, trolling with downriggers and dipsey divers will yield the best catch in the lake.
FISH A QUIET RIVER
Fly Fitters (flyfitters.ca) offers guided fly fishing, spey fishing, and sport fishing adventures on the Maitland River, Bayfield River, and Saugeen River in SW Ontario, along the shore of Lake Huron, located near the town of Goderich, Ontario.
Ausable River Cut (Port Franks): Offers a diverse warm water fish habitat, including Channel Catfish, Walleye and Smallmouth Bass. There are also migratory runs of Rainbow Trout and Chinook Salmon.
Bannockburn Conservation Area (Brucefield): Runs of Blue Gill, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Chub, Dace, Darter, Rainbow Trout, Salmon, Smallmouth Bass and Sunfish. Access at 76249 Bannockburn Line, northeast of Varna between Brucefield and Bayfield.
Old Ausable Channel (Pinery Park): Supports a warm-water fish community. It is home to nearly 50 common species, including many kinds of minnows, sunfish, catfish, perch and some top predators like Northern Pike and bass. The Channel is also home to three species at risk – Pugnose Shiner, Lake Chubsucker and Grass Pickerel – please help protect them and do not remove them from the river. Boat motors are not allowed on the Channel at any time and this a ban on baitfish use.
Morrison Dam Conservation Area (Exeter): Area boasts a 30-acre lake, which is a popular spot for family fishing. Access at 71108 Morrison Line, Exeter.
Parkhill Creek (Grand Bend): Has a similar fish habitat to the Ausable Cut, with lake resident Yellow Perch present at the pier at times.
Parkhill Reservoir (Parkhill): Located in the Parkhill Conservation Area. Populations of White Crappie and Largemouth Bass. Take Country Road 81 to Parkhill. Brochure available on abca.on.ca.
MOTORIZED BOATS & CATCH-AND-RELEASE
Motorized boats are not allowed on the Old Ausable Channel or the Parkhill Reservoir. Catch-and-release is encouraged and anglers should always return any species at risk to the water of any watercourse.
- Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority: abca.on.ca
- Maitland Valley Conservation Authority: mvca.on.ca
- Ontario Family Fishing: ontariofamilyfishing.com
FISHING LICENCE (Card & Tag)
- Canadian Tire: 100 Thames Rd. E., Exeter – 519-235-0160; 84 Union St., Forest – 519-786-2121
- Rona Hardware: 57 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend – 519-238-5500
- Service Ontario (ontario.ca): 388 Main St. S., Exeter – 519-235-4578; 93 Main St. S., Forest – 519-786-2929
- Morrison Dam Fishing Derby, Exeter – May 4, 2019
- Family Fishing Derby, Benmiller – June 23, 2019
- Family Fishing Week, Pinery Park – June 29- July 7, 2019
- Joe Brandon Memorial Trout Derby, Bayfield – October 11-13, 2019
See Festivals & Events for more events, dates, times and details.
TOP BENEFITS OF FISHING
- Full Body Strength – Battling even a small fish engages shoulders, back, arms, core and legs.
- Family Bonding – Family time promotes feelings of security and well-being.
- Boosts Immune System – Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D.
- Promotes Relaxation – Time in nature with a focused task is akin to meditation.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health – Fishing can burn an average of 200 calories an hour.
- Teaches Self-Reliance – If you can fix a rod with just ingenuity, what else can you do?
- Bestows Patience – Fishing puts patience to practice.
- Encourages Travel – Fishers are among the most travelled.
- Enjoy The Great Outdoors – Fishing inspires a closer connection with nature.
- Improves Balance – Reeling in a fish in a canoe requires balance, core strength and flexibility.