Pike Season Opener in Southern Ontario

The Greater Toronto Area is home to many species of sought after gamefish. Within the Lake Ontario waterfront portion of Canada's most populated region, trout and salmon reign supreme among elite anglers - thanks in no small part to the influx of over one million of these salmonids that are stocked annually by MNR. Rivers from the Ganaraska in the east to the Credit and Bronte in the west offer these anglers remarkable fishing opportunities. Further north well outside of the GTA ... rivers such as the Nottawasaga, Saugeen and Syndenham also produce. This spring has been no exception ... especially with delayed rainbow runs that provided remarkable fishing opportunities even on the regular trout opener (last Saturday in April) for fishing enthusiasts.

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Open Water Lake Trout & Whitefish Tactics

The second Saturday in May in southern Ontario means one thing and one thing only for thousands of avid anglers… Walleye Opener! For those who focus on Lake Simcoe however, it means so much more than that. Not only do walleye open, but so too does northern pike, whitefish and lake trout season. So many great species to fish for, so little time, ah the dilemma of the Lake Simcoe angler.

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Bass Fishing Lake Joseph

I was on the lake for less than an hour and was working my Rapala Skitter Pop across the surface in 30 feet of water. One tip I had before my arrival was that Lake Joseph's big smallmouth love to feed on suspending ciscoes.

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The Mysterious Rapala

I can remember getting butterflies in my stomach at the prospect of going tackle shopping.  Not only did it mean that a fishing trip might be in the offing, but I was well on my way to "coming of age", having now been invited on one of these ritualistic excursions.

In the small Southern Ontario town of Welland where I grew up, there were not all that many places to buy tackle. 

There was Whelan's Marine down by the river that while specializing in outboard motor parts and repairs did carry the odd bit of tackle. McCrae's on Main Street had tackle, and something really special for the grown ups that was sold out of the back room, away from the prying eyes and big mouths of us kids, and of course we had a Canadian Tire.

None of them had much in the way of stock, but every store had plenty of atmosphere, character, and a particular odor that was unique to each of them.

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