Hook, line and sinker

by Scott Haddow | May 1, 2013


Writer Scott Haddow, a Lively resident, hold up the catch of the day — a smallmouth bass. PHOTO SUPPLIED

I was introduced to fishing by my mother, Margaret. She was introduced to fishing by her father, Herb Hunter. Fishing is in my blood. It’s the reason I will hike, paddle, drive, fly and essentially do anything to fish. I am fortunate to have been taught the art of angling. I am more fortunate to live in Greater Sudbury and have access to an amazing freshwater fisheries system in the city and the surrounding area.

Within 30 minutes to an hour of driving from the heart of the downtown core, an adventurous angler can be on a lake or river or creek fishing for almost anything his/her heart desires. Drive a bit further and the options are endless.

This is what I love about fishing around this part of Northern Ontario, there is no shortage of fish species to go after, and there is no shortage of awesome ways to try to catch them. Trout, bass, northern pike, walleye, muskie, panfish and catfish are the main targets. These fish can be found all over. Some big, some small and some just right for a frying pan and hot oil.

Fishing isn’t hard. All it takes is the will to get outdoors and drop a line. It’s catching fish that can be the hard part. Whether you’re new to angling or a seasoned veteran, some days, the fish will not bite, no matter what you do. Get over this hump and you’ll be fine.

Sudbury is home to some lakes and rivers that can produce a good day’s fishing and fun. And some of these lakes are easily accessible by foot or car or bus. Spots such as Ramsey Lake, Nepahwin Lake, Long Lake, Whitewater Lake and the Vermillion River are excellent places to start if you don’t own a boat or truck and ATV. (Any body of water that one can reach by foot or car is prime for fishing.)

I have fished from the shores of these systems and caught fish. I have also been in a motor boat and canoe in these systems and caught fish. (Sorry, but I will not reveal some of the better spots my friends and I hit up.)

If you have the resources, and own a boat, options for fishing are nearly endless in the Sudbury region. Canoes and jon boats are great alternatives to pricy motor boats and can easily handle a family or a couple of friends looking for an aquatic adventure.

I own a canoe and like to get into hard-to-reach places. I’ve portaged my canoe five kilometres through thick bush to get to a little trout lake or fishing hole. Sometimes it is off a highway or off a trail. I like doing this because if it is hard to get to, chances are the water body hasn’t seen a lot of pressure. Grab a map and your gear and follow a road and look for lakes. The key is to just get out there and start exploring — it’s not always about catching fish.

I am lucky to have some wild and wacky fishing buddies to share these outdoors adventures with. Get a fishing buddy to maximize your chances.

I bring my camera, and not just in the hopes of taking a trophy fish photograph. A lot of times, because of the remoteness of the location, there is always an amazing wildlife opportunity to be had. I’ve taken photos of a bull moose that was no less than four feet away from me and my buds. I’ve watched loons swim after fish under my canoe in clear, pristine water. I’ve seen big old black bears swimming across lakes.

Fishing can bring you back to a simpler time of life. Living in Sudbury affords us the chance to get out and enjoy the outdoors without having to drive hours and hours.

I ask only one thing of anyone going outdoors for any reason: Please bring back all your garbage and don’t leave it in the forest or in the lakes. I see too much of it out there. It’s the only thing that spoils a good day fishing, even when the fish aren’t biting.

For more information on which fish are in season, visit the Ministry of Natural Resources website, mnr.gov.on.ca, or pick up a copy of the 2013 Fishing Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary.

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