Expedia.ca recently asked me about my favourite fall fishing destination.
When fall rolls around, my favourite way to spend the season without a doubt is chasing the large migratory walleye on the Bay of Quinte. Located in southern Ontario between Toronto and Montreal on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, the Bay is a known fishing hotspot! For more information on all Ontario has to offer check out this guide to Ontario from Expedia.ca. This body of water is unique and offers trophy-sized Lake Ontario grown fish that move into the Bay during the fall and winter months prior to their spring spawn. During this time of the year anglers have the opportunity at a true fish of a lifetime, or several! Having grown up in the region, I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time on the Bay and have landed several memorable catches. There’s nothing like a big hunk of Quinte gold and it keeps me coming back each year!
My most memorable trip on the Bay this year was with my grandpa, dad, and good friend Nick Werner who operates a charter called Werner’s Angling Adventures. Fishing is my grandpa’s favourite activity although at 82 years young, he isn’t able to get out on the water as frequently over the past few years. Having a covered and heated cabin along with offering a very smooth ride, Nick’s boat was just what my grandpa needed to be comfortable out on the big water. At this time of the year trolling is the key to effectively cover water and a great way to target the suspended fish. It’s also a much less physically demanding style of fishing when compared to spending the day casting which is perfect for my grandpa.
We met up with Nick at the boat ramp in Picton, Ontario around 7am and made our way out of the harbour. Shortly after our trip began the first rod bent and a fish was on! The first fish of the day was a whopping 12-pound sheepshead, also known as a freshwater drum. My grandpa was over the moon! He had never caught one before and it was large and in charge! He had a blast reeling it in even with a little assistance from me. Thanking Nick, he said his day was made, but we weren’t quite done yet. My grandpa is thankful for any opportunity he has to get out on the water and each fish is a bonus. Sheepshead are a blast to catch, a challenge to reel in and often frequent many of the same locations as walleye do in the Bay. But, it was walleye we were after so Nick was determined to keep searching for some gold for grandpa.
Nick had a spot in mind that had been successful for him on previous outings, so he suggested we head there and give it a shot. It wasn’t long after we arrived that my grandpa was up again, reeling in what seemed to be another monster! As the fish got closer and closer to the boat, we could all tell it was indeed a good one. My grandpa reeled away while I steadied the rod, Nick was ready with the net, and my dad was snapping photos. I caught a glimpse of the fish just before it hit the net and screamed excitedly. Nick brought the fish aboard and high-fives were happening all around as my grandpa looked at the fish in disbelief. The scale read 11 pounds, 12 ounces! We couldn’t have been happier for him to catch such a fish and he was absolutely thrilled! We captured a few photos and I was shaking a little at the sight of this gorgeous fish. The feeling never gets old!
What’s great about the fall walleye run on the Bay of Quinte is that it’s possible for anglers of nearly any age or skill level to enjoy. Whether you have a boat of your own, or want to hire a charter to get out on the water, the opportunity to hook into a catch of a lifetime of your own awaits! And when you do catch that big trophy walleye, please be sure to release it so others can enjoy this incredible fishery for years to come!