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Fishing in Chatham-Kent

Lake Erie

The term "Great Lake" does not do it any justice. Lake Erie is an experience beyond words, and needs to be on every angler's bucket list. The water and structure create the perfect habitat for so many species, from rainbow trout, to small and largemouth bass, with so many in between. 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 may launch for a fee. Known for open and hard water fishing, Lake Erie is the place to be all year round. 


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 is not to be skipped. Lake St. Clair can accommodate just about any angler's experience level, with the muskies being relatively easy to catch during the spring, and the walleye known to give anglers some trouble. There are a number of access points into the lake, Mitchell's Bay and Lighthouse Cove are popular spots to launch a boat. 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!


Rondeau Bay 

Our 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 large mouth bass can be found in Rondeau Bay. Rondeau Bay has vast mats of weed growth which over the years has 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 on planet earth. 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; it is as delicious to eat as it is fun to catch. In the fall, the Bay is dominated by world class waterfowl hunting. Thousands of Canadian geese, mallards, redhead ducks, widgeons and canvasback ducks flock to the Bay in the fall during their migration south, making Rondeau Bay a waterfowler's dream hunting location. Come winter, the Bay freezes over to add another dimension to the sport of fishing. Ice fishing draws in angler's from all over looking to get the next big catch, some of which can include large pike, crappie, and jumbo perch. It's easy to say that any time of year is a great time to enjoy one of Ontario's best kept secrets. 


Sydenham River

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. 


Thames River

Great fishing to be had all year round, the Thames River is an option for walleye. 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. Access can be tricky at times, but there are launches located in Tilbury, at Lighthouse Cove, and the Thames Grove Conservation Area. Regardless if you prefer open or hard water, the Thames River makes for some great fishing! Each area of the river is different from the last, meaning every trip will feel new.


Know Before You Go 

A valid Outdoors Card is required to fish in Chatham-Kent. For the location of the licence issuer nearest you, visit ontario.ca/outdoorscard or call 1-800-387-7011 or 1-800-667-1940.

Complete Ontario fishing regulation information can be found here

*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 as well. 


Fish Without a License Days

Four times a year, Canadian residents can fish in Ontario without buying a fishing licence, during:

  • Family Fishing Weekend in February 
  • Mother's Day Weekend in May 
  • Father's Day Weekend in June 
  • Family Fishing Week in July