Anglers catch salmon and trout in the deeper waters of Georgian Bay and out into Lake Huron. There are also several tributaries that offer spawning runs of chinook, coho and pink salmon to go along with good numbers of steelhead and small numbers of brown trout.
Fish the Open Waters
Learn more about the types of fish you can catch here and the parts of the bay that most anglers would launch their boats from to target these fish in open waters.
Chinook, coho and pink salmon are available in the waters of Georgian Bay. Coho and Pink Salmon are here in smaller numbers, but they are here. Chinook salmon have benefitted from stocking programs from local clubs. The trout fishing is usually better in the spring and the salmon fishing picks up in summer and runs through the fall.
Lake Huron is known as a great lake trout fishery and many of these fish call Georgian Bay there home as well. It’s a good lake trout fishery in terms of numbers and trophy fish are here too. There are fishing charters available to help put you on these deep water fish, but some anglers come here to fish the spring and fall as these fish move into the shallower bays and can be caught around the points, rocky shorelines and many of the same areas where you would fish for bass, walleye and pike. For the most part though, if you are looking to fish for lake trout here, plan on fishing deeper water by jigging or trolling.
Rainbow trout are here in good numbers. Anglers usually report very good fishing for rainbow trout in the spring and fall. As rainbows move from the deeper, open waters of Georgian Bay towards the migratory streams, anglers will have good success trolling for them. In the summer, expect to find these fish in deeper water as they seek out cooler water temperatures.
Brown trout are in Georgian Bay waters, but in very low numbers. Some anglers have been fishing the bay for years and have never caught one, while some anglers run into some brown trout every year. Consider it a bonus fish in the bay. Spring and fall will provide the best fishing for brown trout as they move closer in to shore.
Algoma Mills and Blind River are two smaller towns on the north shore of Georgian Bay. There aren’t a ton of places to stay here, but there are enough places to accommodate you if you want to visit this part of the bay. You have a lot of options here with some good inland lakes to fish, easy access to deeper water out in the bay and more protected waters to fish around the many islands here too. You can catch just about everything in this area with salmon and trout farther out in the bay, walleye, northern pike, muskie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and panfish around the numerous bays and islands.
Located on the southern shores of Georgian Bay, Collingwood is a pretty cool four season resort town. It is close to nearby Blue Mountain, which comes alive in the winter with skiers and snowboarders. In the summer, people come here from all over to experience the water and other recreational activities in the area. People enjoy the walking and hiking paths, waterfront parks, mountain bike trails, a yacht club, marina, so many shops, restaurants and excellent accommodations.
Anglers fish the deeper waters here for salmon and trout. There are some fishing charters available on this part of the bay as well.
Blue Mountain is Ontario’s premier ski and snowboard destination and there is so much to do here inside and outside.
The Franklin Island area is a very large area to fish. There are some smaller towns in this area that give you access to the excellent fishing here. Brooks Landing, Dillon, Wawanaisa, Snug Harbor and Snug Haven will give you quick access to the area’s waters. Anglers fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, muskie, walleye and panfish in the area waters.
Located on Georgian Bay at the entrance to the famous North Channel, Killarney is part of a world renowned cruising and sailing destination. The Killarney Provincial Park is here and the park draws outdoor enthusiasts from all over. For anglers, there is some excellent fishing in this area. With a lot of protected water, you can find plenty of places to fish even if the wind picks up. Killarney Bay and the area waters are home to some excellent northern pike and smallmouth bass fishing. Walleye, muskie, largemouth bass and panfish are here too.
Located on the Bruce Peninsula, this is a small village with majestic cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment. The water is beautiful here too and many people enjoy rock climbing, hiking and sightseeing. Lion’s Head Provincial Park is here, which gives people access to an awesome area. Anglers fish for salmon and trout in this part of the bay.
Manitoulin Island is a huge island in Georgian Bay that is made up of a bunch of small communities. If you enjoy the outdoors and being around water, you would enjoy some time on Manitoulin Island. The fishing is very good around the island and you have a lot of options as far as accommodations go.
Anglers can fish the lakes on the island, along the shorelines of the island or out around the island in a boat. Lake Manitou and Lake Kagawong get a lot of attention inland. Along the shorelines and out in the boat around the island, anglers catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, lake trout, rainbow trout, salmon, northern pike, muskie and perch.
Located on the shores of Georgian Bay, at the mouth of the Bighead River, Meaford is a nice community with a beautiful harbor.
Memorial Park & Campground is a popular park with a playground, day use area, picnic pavilion and a sandy beach.
Anglers fish the deeper waters here for salmon and trout. Some charters are available out of this area. The Bighead River gets big runs of steelhead and most anglers fish near town and through the Bighead River Conservation area. This part of the river is rocky with very fast water and good access for anglers.
The Parry Sound Region is one of the best destinations on the Georgian Bay for anglers. There is so many others things to do here besides fishing, so it’s an awesome vacation destination for the entire family. If you enjoy fishing, this area is just flat out awesome. You have plenty of places to fish in protected waters, so even if the wind blows, you can find a place to fish. Anglers catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, muskie, lake trout and more in this part of the bay.
Other Area Lakes
There are also so many other awesome places to fish in the many lakes in this area. Most of them have very good fishing for largemouth bass and northern pike. Some lakes will have smallmouth bass, walleye, lake trout and panfish too.
Spanish is a small town on the north end of Georgian Bay. The town has a good location for those who want to fish this part of the lake. You have the mouth of the Spanish River and the bay here and it is just a short boat ride to so many islands and bays and you can find a lot of good spots to fish on windy days too. There are a couple of resorts here and a marina. Anglers fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, muskie and panfish.
The village of Tobermory is located at the northernmost tip of the Bruce Peninsula. This small town is very scenic and it has enough here to make it worth visiting. It is a popular spot for diving and they do have a glass bottom boat that is available for viewing shipwrecks. There is some very good fishing offshore here for salmon and trout.
Fish the Rivers
The tributaries of the Georgian Sound provide good fishing for salmon and trout. Some rivers and streams will also have bass, northern pike, muskie and more, but the salmon and trout trump in these tributaries.
This river is a smaller tributary of the Saugeen River. It enters the South Saugeen River near the town of Hanover before entering the main Saugeen River shortly after. Anglers catch steelhead, brown trout, rainbow trout and brook trout.
The Beaver River is a popular river because of its excellent steelhead runs. It flows into Georgian Bay in the town of Thornbury, Ontario. This river has a few dams that the fish can pass and some fish will make it all the way upriver to Hogs Falls, which is near the town Kimberly. Besides the steelhead, this river also has brown trout, brook trout, some resident rainbow trout and salmon run up this river too.
The Bighead river flows into Georgian Bay in the town of Meaford. This river gets a large run of steelhead and is mostly fished near town and through the Bighead River Conservation area. Chinook salmon also make fall runs here in September and October.
The Boyne River is a tributary of the Nottawasaga River. It enters the Nottawasaga River in the town of Alliston and people fish right in town for steelhead, salmon and brown trout. Farther upriver, anglers do catch brook trout also closer to the town of Shelburne.
. People fish right in town for steelhead, brown trout and salmon during the trout open season and there is good access there.
The Mad River is a tributary of the Nottawasaga River and the The Noisy River is a branch of the Mad River which merges with the Mad river upriver from the town of Creemore. Both rivers have a population of brook trout and they get spawning runs of salmon and steelhead.
The Nottawasaga River, also called the Notty, is the biggest wild steelhead river that flows into Georgian Bay. It’s slower moving, deeper waters make it somewhat difficult to catch steelhead on it because it is flat, slow and slightly cloudy. When you find the fish, it isn’t as hard to get them to bite since they won’t spook as easily as they would in clearer water, but they are harder to find for most anglers due to the lack of obvious spots. You have to put your work in on this river to learn where the steelhead like to be if you’re going to consistently catch them here.
The upper sections of the river have brown trout and brook trout, but this section of the river is almost all private lands, so you don’t have access to this area. Bass, northern pike and muskie can be caught in the lower sections of the river.
The Pine river is the largest tributary of the Nottawasaga river. It has cold, clean water and good summer flows, which makes it a good river for steelhead and salmon. The lower Pine River empties into the Nottawasaga in the town of Angus. Because of good access here, the lower river usually gets pressured the most by anglers.
The Saugeen River is a huge river system and it is home to brown trout, brook trout and resident rainbow trout. It is a wide river that gives anglers lots of water to fish. Floating this river in a drift boat is common and the best way to cover some water here to catch more fish. On the lower half of the river, anglers target steelhead and salmon when they make their spawning runs. Bass and muskie are here too.
The Sydenham River has special regulations, so make sure you check the current regulations to see what areas are open to fishing and what areas are not. Steelhead and salmon make spawning runs up the river and they can’t make it passed Inglis Falls, so you have good numbers of fish in a fairly small section of river compared to some of the other spawning tributaries of Georgian Bay. Brook trout and brown trout are found here in both the upper and lower sections of the river, but most people come here to fish the spawning runs for salmon and steelhead in the lower section of the river.