Lake Nipissing is the fifth-largest lake in Ontario (excluding the great lakes) and covers 831 square km. Located 50 km northeast of Georgian Bay, the lake runs in an east-west direction to a length of 80 km. It is relatively shallow (about 30 ft in most places) and is consequently well aerated, which leads to an abundance of healthy plant and fish life. Dozens of rivers and streams drain into Lake Nipissing, most notably being the Sturgeon River, Wasi River and South River. The French River, which outlets from its southwest end, drains into Georgian Bay.
The prime game fish sought by anglers are the walleye or pickerel. They are so plentiful in this lake that catching your limit is considered a bad days fishing. Other species that are abundant are northern pike, smallmouth & largemouth bass, yellow perch, muskellunge, whitefish & cisco. Lake Nipissing is also the ice-fishing capital of the north. With over 2,000 huts on the lake, anglers enjoy the best winter fishing in Ontario. For more ice fishing information visit Ice Fishing Lake Nipissing.
Walleye are everywhere in the lake. Trolling worm harnesses with chartreuse blades in 11-14 ft of water is always sure to catch a mess of pickerel. Some of the best areas are in the bay between Hardwood Island and Goulais Pt., at the mouth of the French River, especially in the spring, around Goose Island, Manitou Island, South Bay and the along the south shore from Callander to Deepwater Point.
Bass can be caught along the north shore of West Bay, the east shore of South Bay, around the Manitou Islands, and near Callander. Casting small body baits in perch patterns in 10-14 ft of water is a proven tactic for Nipissing smallies. Small tube jigs and plastic grubs worked slowly along the bottom can produce some lunkers.
Northern Pike are abundant in Cache Bay, at the mouths of the Sturgeon River and the French River, around Iron Island and Goose Island, at Deepwater Point and all along the eastern shore between Callander and North Bay. Casting large spoons in 6-10 ft of water can very productive in the spring. In summer, spinner baits with white, yellow or chartreuse skirts in weedy bays can be hot, especially on windy days. Sucker minnows fished 1 foot off the bottom is a favorite technique for catching winter pike.
Muskellunge are usually found along the western shore of Cache Bay and South Bay, and around Goose Island and Gull Rock. Casting large body baits in perch, walleye and pike patterns in 6-14 ft of water can produce some monsters.