Four Fantastic Ontario Musky Waters

Discover 4 hotspots that any musky angler must add to their Ontario bucket list.

Ontario has many musky waters. Whether you're angling in Sunset Country, Superior Country, Algoma Country, or Northeastern Ontario, the province has lots of musky waters awaiting your next cast. Having filmed Musky Hunter Television episodes throughout Ontario for the last 16 years, and fished many of the Ontario waters for another 25 years before that I have had the opportunity to fish LOTS of Ontario musky waters. Some are large, some are small. Some are in close proximity to large population centers and others are extremely remote. The one common denominator among all of them is they have offered some of the best musky fishing in the world.

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Muskies in Ontario live to be over 25 years in age, so they can get big. Plus, even smaller Ontario musky waters are large compared with many of the US waters.  Larger waters offer more spots to fish and bigger muskies. Add in the fact that you also have much less fishing pressure, and no matter where you choose to chase muskies in Ontario, you are in for a great experience.

Although, I have lots of great memories from waters throughout Ontario, here are four “fan favourites” that any musky angler must add to their hit list of musky waters.

1. EAGLE LAKE, ONTARIO

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Pro Guide and Resort owner Scott Jaeger with an Eagle Lake musky.

Eagle Lake is rich in musky history.  Some of the largest muskies on record have been caught from Eagle Lake, and just talk to any musky angler that has spent any time there, and you’ll hear stories of anglers seeing monster muskies following their lures in the clear water. This fishery is home to the giants!

One of the great things about Eagle is that with the 54-inch size limit, over the last 10 years there has been a boom in musky numbers.  This is no longer a lake where you fish all week in hope of a couple of bites.  There are lots of 40-45 inch muskies throughout Eagle to keep you on your toes while searching for that trophy 50+ inches.

Eagle also has different sections, which can be divided by water colour and overall makeup. The West Arm is crystal clear with islands, reefs, and deep holes, whereas the east end is shallow and stained with large weed beds. Of course, everything in-between is clear water with a mix of incredible islands, bays, rock reefs, and weed beds. Eagle is simply filled with one great-looking musky spot after another.

It’s not easy, but it’s an incredible experience with a legitimate shot at a forty-pound musky.

A couple of resorts we have filmed at Eagle Lake include Andy Myers Lodge and North Shore Lodge. They are located on different ends of the lake, and offer fantastic accommodations, along with top-notch guides that can put you on trophy muskies.

2. LAKE OF THE WOODS

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Pro Guide and Resort owner Bill Sandy and Jim Saric with a Lake of the Woods Musky.

I have written about Lake of the Woods in many articles, filmed lots of musky shows, and taught musky schools on Lake of the Woods for the simple reason it’s probably the best musky water in the world. This huge water with over 25,000 islands is full of muskies along with trophies. There just aren’t many places where you can see a spot that looks “fishy” from a distance, pulls up, and catches a musky.

The waters are shallow, stained and extremely fertile, which produces a huge population of muskies. No matter where you decided to stay on Lake of the Woods, you’ll be near some musky hot spots. Literally, any island, bay, point or reef can hold muskies. Simply divide the lake into a “workable” section during your stay and learn as many spots in the area as you can. That way, when the muskies are biting you can focus more on fishing rather than running between spots.

We filmed some great episodes of Lake of the Woods. Some of my personal favourites include:

3. LAKE ST. CLAIR, Southern Ontario

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Lake St. Clair is a miniature Great Lake! Being part of the Great Lakes system it may be small compared to the Great lakes, but it is not small water. With 2/3 of the lake in Canada, this is water where musky anglers travel all across the musky range to fish. Lake St. Clair is shallow and fertile and is loaded with muskies. In fact, we filmed a Musky Hunter Television Episode in August 2021 where we boated 13 muskies casting and were done fishing by 2 pm! As great as that day was, it’s something that many Lake St. Clair musky anglers experience every year. Many of those that troll for muskies routinely experience catching 10 muskies in a day.

Being big water, safety is important on Lake St. Clair. You need to watch the wind, as a big northwest wind can create giant waves. Likewise, big wind can muddy shallow water like Lake St. Clair. Plus, Lake St. Clair doesn’t have a lot of musky structure and the muskies follow the bait. So, Fishing lake St. Clair is often a matter of finding water that is slightly stained, has bait, and maybe even some weed growth in the area. This combination can change based on the weather so you need to be willing to move.

Whether you are a caster or a troller Lake St. Clair offers tremendous musky fishing check out Windsor/Essex Tourism and Belle River Tourism for lodging and local fishing guides.

4. LAKE NIPISSING

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As the headwaters of the French River, Lake Nipissing is big water with monster muskies. Located in Eastern Ontario about a 3 ½ hour drive north of Toronto, Lake Nipissing is home to some of the largest muskies throughout Ontario. I have been fishing Lake Nipissing for 25 years, and my friends and I have boats with some giant muskies.  When I think about Lake Nipissing my memories are full of tremendous musky fishing experiences including several days where we boated multiple muskies over forty pounds on the same day.

The spots are large and so are the muskies. Focus on fishing the many large island, reefs, weedy bays and points. There are muskies throughout all of Lake Nipissing from the West Arm to North Bay and in the French River. I have filmed Musky Hunter Television Episodes in all of these areas.

Lake Nipissing is trophy water, so it’s not all about lots of “action”. However, when conditions are right, catching several muskies in a day is not uncommon. What is common is muskies being caught over 50 inches. If you meet anyone who has spent any serious time on Lake Nipissing, most likely they will show you a photo of a giant musky. It’s what keeps musky anglers returning to Lake Nipissing….it’s the land of the giants.

We have filmed at several locations on Lake Nipissing. Here are a few of my favourites:

I could write for days about the many musky waters throughout Ontario, however, if you have limited time these fantastic four should help you catch the musky of your dreams.

About Jim Saric

Jim owns Jim Saric Outdoors, Inc., which is dedicated to elevating the sport of musky fishing to new levels by educating anglers through print, web, and television. He is the publisher, editor and owner of Musky Hunter Magazine and the Executive Producer of The Musky Hunter television series. Jim has over twenty-five years experience fishing lakes, rivers, and reservoirs from Minnesota to New York and all across Canada. He has boated more than 100 muskies exceeding 50 inches in length, the largest weighing 53 pounds.

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