Lake Erie is an exceptional body of water and needs to be on every angler's bucket list. The water and terrain create the perfect habitat for many species of fish, such as rainbow trout, small and large mouth bass, pike, just to name a few. There are a number of access points including public boat launches in Wheatley and Rondeau Bay Provincial Parks as well as a number of marinas and fishing camps where anglers can launch for a fee.
Lake St. Clair
Famous for housing monster-sized muskie, Lake St. Clair is not for the faint of heart. Get ready to have your adrenaline pumping as you put up a fight against these trophy fish! Also known for its healthy populations of bass, walleye, and perch, this lake will keep you on your toes. Lake St. Clair can accommodate anglers of all experience levels, with the muskies being relatively easy to catch during the spring, and the walleye known to give anglers a run for their money. There are a number of access points into the lake, such as in Mitchell's Bay and Lighthouse Cove. With many fishing guides in the area, whether you're a beginner or a master angler, Lake St. Clair will make for an exciting and memorable trip!
This small bay offers a top-notch fishing experience during all four seasons. Many different species of fish such as pan fish, catfish, crappie, pike, muskie, and both small- and largemouth bass can be found there. Rondeau Bay has vast mats of weed growth that over the years have created the perfect environment for species to thrive, resulting in an explosion in fish populations. The largemouth bass population has particularly thrived, drawing in anglers throughout the summer months who are looking to land one of the most exciting sport fish in Canada. Additionally, Rondeau Bay is becoming world renowned for its plentiful numbers of white and black crappie that can be fished in the spring season. This species is an angler's favourite, as its both delicious to eat and fun to catch. Come winter, the Bay freezes over to add another dimension to the sport of fishing. Ice fishing draws in anglers from all over looking for their next big catch, some of which can include large pike, crappie, and jumbo perch.
The Sydenham River flows southwest from its source west of London and empties into Lake St. Clair flowing through Wallaceburg. This river provides habitat for 80 fish species and 34 species of freshwater mussels. It has been identified as a key biodiversity area.
Great fishing to be had all year round, the Thames River is great for walleye fishing. In fact, the best time to fish for walleye is during January and February. The rocky river floor makes for some great hiding spots for a number of species including bass, crappie, pike, and many others. Often narrow enough to walk across in the winter, and wade in the summer, this is a perfect place to do some fly fishing. There are launches located in Tilbury, at Lighthouse Cove, and the Thames Grove Conservation Area. Regardless of whether you prefer open or hard water, the Thames River makes for some great fishing!
Know Before You Go
A valid Outdoors Card is required to fish in Chatham-Kent. For the location of the license issuer nearest you, visit ontario.ca/outdoorscard or call 1-800-387-7011 or 1-800-667-1940. Click here for the complete Ontario fishing regulation summary. *In Chatham-Kent, you can purchase a license at most Canadian Tire locations, though it's best to call ahead to confirm. It's often wise to apply for your card before coming so you have it on hand. You can apply online for your fishing license as well.
Fish without a license days
Four times a year, Canadian residents can fish in Ontario without buying a fishing license, during:
- Family Fishing Weekend in February (Feb. 18-20, 2023)
- Mother's Day Weekend in May (May 13-14, 2023)
- Father's Day Weekend in June (June 17-18, 2023)
- Family Fishing Week in July (July 1-9, 2023)