Best of the Best
By Species of Fish
View Lakes & Rivers on a Map
Take a look at some of the best lakes and rivers for planning a fishing trip to in Canada.
Best of the Best (Lakes & Rivers)
Lake of the Woods – Rating 10.0
Probably the most popular lake to fish in all of Canada. Located on the border of Minnesota and Canada, you can choose to cross into Canada or stay in the states. Either way, you will find plenty of fishing opportunities for pike, muskie, walleye and bass. Lake of the Woods gets a good amount of fishing pressure, but there is so much water here and so many fish to catch that you can usually find a spot to yourself where you can catch fish after fish all trip long.
Lac Seul – Rating 10.0
Lac Seul may be the best drive to lake in Canada that gives you the opportunity to catch huge numbers of walleye to go along with big fish too. Walleye, muskie, pike and smallmouth bass are available. You will find more muskie and smallmouth bass on the eastern part of this lake. Pike and walleye are all over the lake in good numbers.
Red Lake – Rating 10.0
Red Lake has some incredible fishing for northern pike, walleye and lake trout. It is a good numbers lake and trophy fish are very common. It’s a big lake and it’s a long drive, but there are a surprising amount of resorts and services here to help make your trip a memorable one.
Eagle Lake – Rating 9.5
Another good Canadian drive-in lake for muskie, pike, walleye and smallmouth bass. You can find a lot of trophy-sized fish in Eagle Lake. It is a huge lake and you may have to put some time in to find good numbers of fish, but they are in here and at times, the fishing can be outstanding.
Rainy Lake – Rating 9.5
Rainy Lake is right on the border of Minnesota & Canada. This lake is a great lake for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and crappie. Because of its location, you don’t have to travel way into Canada to experience awesome fishing. You may have to make an occasional long boat ride to catch the numbers of fish you are looking for, but if you put in a little work, you can catch a lot of fish here with some trophy fish too.
Lake Nipissing – Rating 9.5
Lake Nipissing is a good drive-in lake for muskie, pike, walleye and bass. If you put in the time to learn the better spots, you can have a lot of success fishing Lake Nipissing. Trophy fish are possible too.
View Towns on a Map
Take a look at some of the better towns for planning a fishing trip to in Canada.
Best Canada Fishing Towns
Kenora is home to some outstanding fishing. It is one of the better places to plan a fishing trip out of in all of North America. Lake of the Woods is here and it is known for its excellent fishing for smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, muskie and more. You can catch so many different species of fish here, but the smallmouth bass really stand out here. You can catch dozens of them if you know how to fish for them. The Kenora area is also home to part of the Winnipeg River system. Just north of town, you can fish for walleye, pike, smallmouth bass and perch.
Sioux Narrows is an awesome vacation destination. It is right on Lake of the Woods. Located in between Nestor Falls and Kenora, you will definitely find some areas where you won’t see another boater. This area is known as an awesome smallmouth bass destination. Around some of the vegetation, you may also find some nice largemouth bass here too. The northern pike fishing is very good and many muskie anglers have success down here too. The walleye fishing can be good, but depending on where you are staying here, you may be in for a little bit of a boat ride to find the better walleye fishing. The water is clear in this area, so you may have to go with lighter line or use fluorocarbon to get more bites.
The Sioux Lookout area is one of the better drive-to fishing destinations in all of Ontario. This area has Lac Seul, which is known for its outstanding walleye fishing. Lac Seul is the big draw and on some of the other parts of Lac Seul, walleye and pike will be plentiful, but muskie and smallmouth bass not so much. In the Sioux Lookout area, you can target muskie and smallmouth bass to go along with excellent walleye and pike fishing. The variety of species to go along with good numbers and trophy fish make this area an awesome fishing destination. Some of the other popular lakes to fish are Abram Lake, Minnitaki Lake, Botsford Lake, Big Vermillion Lake & Little Vermilion Lake. In this other lakes, there are a lot of options for targeting different species of fish. Muskie, pike, walleye, smallmouth bass and lake trout are all available.
Ear Falls is located on the northwest end of Lac Seul. The fishing is outstanding on Lac Seul for walleye and northern pike. You also have the English River system below the dam, nearby Pakwash Lake, Wenasaga Lake and some other area lakes to target. This is a great fishing destination. Most anglers have a hard time exploring all the awesome waters up here because the fishing is so good up here. Few anglers want to leave the body of water they are on since they are catching a lot of fish.
Nestor Falls is home to Lake of the Woods. This part of the lake is not super crowded, but there is still plenty here to help you have an awesome fishing vacation. Lake of the Woods is known for its excellent fishing for smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, muskie and more. You can catch so many different species of fish here. There are also some other lakes in this area with resorts and outfitters available to help with your stay. Crow Lake (Kakagawi) and Crooked Pine Lake are home to fishing resorts and there are multiple fly-in fishing companies who fly out of this area as well.
Red Lake, Ontario is located north of Ear Falls. It’s a far drive, but well worth it for those of you willing to make the drive. The most popular lakes to fish in this area are Red Lake and Gullrock Lake, but the Gullrock Chain of Lakes is made up of 5 lakes and they all offer good fishing to anglers. Northern pike, walleye and lake trout are the main species of fish to catch up here, but some anglers do fish for smallmouth bass, muskie, perch and whitefish.
Vermilion Bay is a small town located on Eagle Lake. Most people come here to fish Eagle Lake, however, some people use this as their base as they can head several different directions to experience some awesome fishing up here. If you are looking for better numbers of fish, most people would go farther north for a day trip. Drive 45 minutes to an hour and a half north and you have a lot of options in the Ear Falls and Perrault Falls area. In this area, you can catch everything. Northern pike, walleye, muskie, smallmouth bass, crappie and perch are all available. Some lakes are better for certain species of fish, so do your research before planning your trip.
The Perrault Falls area has so many lakes to fish that you’ll wish you had a full month off from work to fish it all. The major lakes that get most of the attention here are Perrault Lake, Wabaskang Lake and Cedar Lake. If you have access to a smaller boat though, there are so many other lakes that you can fish in this area. Walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, perch and muskie are all here.
Dryden is a smaller town that is located near a number of lakes to fish with a variety of options for lodging. Dryden is located on Wabigoon Lake and that is a very good fishing lake for smallmouth bass, pike, walleye, crappie, perch and lake trout. The other big lake in this area is Eagle Lake. This lake is huge and is a very popular lake for many different species such as muskie, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye and more. There are also several smaller lakes in the area that anglers can fish as well. Most anglers that come to Dryden will either want to fish the west end of Wabigoon Lake or have the option for bouncing back and forth from Wabigoon to Eagle Lake on their vacation.
Fort Frances is a border town where you either come into Ontario from the U.S. or leave the U.S. and enter into Fort Frances. Most people that come over the border will keep on going, however, for some of them, they have realized that the fishing is good on nearby Rainy Lake and the Rainy River. There are plenty of places to eat or shop at here, but you won’t find many fishing resorts just over the border. Don’t let that fool you though. There is some very good fishing very close by.
Thunder Bay is located on Lake Superior, but in Ontario, Canada. The bay is known for its excellent fishing, but this is definitely big water fishing. Boats will go out and target chinook salmon, rainbow trout and lake trout. In this area, you will have a lot of people plan trips just away from Thunder Bay and they will come back into town or they will stay in town where there are plenty of amenities and they will venture off for a day or two of fishing. Some of the better lakes to fish will be just away from Thunder Bay. Whitefish Lake is popular. Sandstone Lake and Arrow Lake are close to Whitefish Lake. Just north of Thunder Bay is Dog Lake, which offers some very good fishing too.