Fishing Tips

Image of a man holding a French River Bowfin in Ontario Canada.

3 Important Ancient Fish of Ontario: Bowfin, Gar, and Sturgeon

Do you love history, particularly living history? Imagine yourself swimming with living dinosaurs, or perhaps even holding one. While this may not be Jurassic Park, in Ontario you can get close to that experience by encountering some of the oldest living fish still swimming on Earth: Bowfin, Gar, and Sturgeon. These three fish species have …

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Image of a Black Crappie on the French River caught by Jake Confer

Black vs White Crappie: Simplifying the Differences

What do you get when you cross a Black Crappie and a White Crappie? A Gray Crappie? No, that’s a silly joke. But seriously, what are the differences between these two fish, and why should you care? Well, if you’re a fan of fishing or eating crappie, you should definitely care. Knowing the differences can …

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Author Joe Barefoot, M.B. holding a French River in the early spring before being released.

Spawning Walleye: What You Should Know

What are the most interesting aspects of a Walleye? Some may imagine hooking into a trophy 20-pounder. Others may just think they taste delicious fried or on the grill. Sure, that’s Walleye, Canada’s favourite freshwater fish. However, have you considered their adaptability and what lends to their elusive and sometimes mysterious behaviour? Walleye spawn in …

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Comparison Image between Northern Pike vs Walleye. Both fish were caught in the French River, Northern Ontario Canada

Pike vs Walleye: Which to Catch and Why?

So, what are the differences between Pike and Walleye? Or how does Pike taste compared to Walleye? Having lived most of my life in a fishing camp in Northern Ontario these are some of the many common questions I’m asked by novice anglers. There are many differences between the two species from their appearance, hunting …

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Image displaying the difference between Northern Pike and Longnose Gar. Image on the left shows a woman holding a Pike. The other image on the right shows a man holding a Longnose Gar. Both images were captured in the French River Provincial Park in Northeastern Ontario Canada

Northern Pike vs Longnose Gar: The Toothiest Fish in Ontario

Did you ever wonder if a Gar or a Pike are the same species? Looking at them, they both have long, slender bodies, sharp teeth, and voracious appetites. But don’t let their looks fool you. They’re very different fish, with different origins, habitats, and fishing methods. I’ve worked in Ontario’s fishing industry for nearly two …

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Image of a sexual mature male sea lamprey. The adults' skin colours change like salmon with the male lamprey developing a "rope-ridge" across their back.

Sea Lamprey: A Parasitic Pest in the French River and Beyond

Sea lampreys are vampiric invasive species that have caused significant damage to the native fish populations in the Great Lakes. The French River in Northeastern Ontario is one of the many waterways they have invaded. While sea lampreys are monitored and population controlled by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Fisheries and …

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A young boy in cold weather clothing holding a French River Walleye.

Cold Water Walleye Fishing: Everything You Need to Know

Imagine hooking a fish that can weigh up to 20 pounds, fight like a bull, and tastes like a delicacy. For many, this is the allure of cold water Walleye fishing, Ontario’s most coveted freshwater fish. However, catching Walleye in cold water is not as easy as it sounds. These fish are masters of adaptation …

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French River Walleye caught near weeds during a rainy day.

Weed Out the Walleye: Strategies for Fishing in the Salad

“Weed Walleyes” is a term used to describe walleyes that are found in or around vegetation on lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. While walleye are known for their preference for deep water and rocky structures, they are also found in shallow weed beds (salad) throughout the season. Walleye Fishing in Weeds Most Walleye anglers using traditional …

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Kim Stilson holding a French River Smallmouth Bass

Hooked on the River: Smallmouth Bass Fishing Secrets

Looking for a thrilling and rewarding fishing experience? Fishing rivers for Smallmouth Bass will have you experience some of the most beautiful and diverse rivers in the world!  Image fishing places with picturesque clear cool water falling and tumbling over ancient granite rocks. Swirls and eddies over rock rubble bottom provide an excellent habit for …

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