Ah the joy of a day spent fishing on the water. Create great memories with the kids, or consider a weekend escape with the guys. There is fishing for all styles of anglers in the Kawarthas

Large and small mouth bass can be found, in addition to pickerel, wall eye and muskie. Of course there is never a shortage of panfish either, perch, sunfish and black crappie.

You can launch for the day, drop in at one of locks, or go for an organized excursion. So many resorts in the area cater to fisherman and you might even have your own private dock from your rental cottage.

With more than 100 lakes in the Kawartha region, it is fisherman's paradise. The hardest decision will be what to fish for and where.

Business Address Contact
Pirate's Cove Tackle & Variety
Tracey & Paul Lakovnik
579 County Road 36
Bobcaygeon, Ontario
K0M 1A0

Phone: 705-738-1352
Trude's Cottages & Tackle 3359 Buckhorn Road
Buckhorn, Ontario
K0L 1J0
Phone: 705-657-8738
Chemong Lake Fishing Charters
Rick Daniels
  Phone: 705-292-5449

(A Taste of the Kawartha's)

Ah! Fishing in the Kawartha's. Whether you are fishing in Pigeon, Sturgeon Upper/Lower Buckhorn Lakes or any of our lakes in the Kawartha Region, you can enjoy the view as well as the fishing. What can start out as a relaxing and peacefulness that comes about by being on the water, can turn into an adrenaline, heart pumping, man against fish tug of war challenge.

A lot of people are unaware that pan fish is open all year in the Kawartha's. You can ice fish in the Kawartha's so gear up and get out there and catch the crappie, yellow perch and sunfish. Limit on the pan fish depends on what fishing license you have. If you have a sport license you are allowed 50 perch, 30 crappie and 300 sunfish (not 30 may be greater than 18 cm (7.1 inches). If you have a conservation license you are allowed 25 perch, 10 crappie and 15 sunfish. Don't forget to check out your bait shops for equipment, lures and, of course, bait. Also, the bait shops can advise you on the colours of lures that the fish are attracted to and what is seems to be working out on the lakes. Also, some bait shops will answer any questions you may have and provide you with information on how to tie knots, how deep to fish for a particular breed and any other questions you may have.

Once you have caught the pan fish you can try out some recipes. For example did you know that you can boil pickerel? Most common household ingredients are batter (Fish Crisp) butter, lemon, garlic and your own secret spice(s) that you like.

Some of the other changes that have occurred within the Ministry of Resources is to the bass fishing opening. It now opens the third Saturday in June and closes December 15th. And in order to help re-stock our Walleye there is a slot size which means that all Walleye must be between 35-50 cm (13.8 inches - 19.7 inches) in order to keep the fish. This season is open from the second Saturday in May to November 15. And last but not least is the Muskie. Their season starts the first Saturday in June to December 15. Many fishermen enjoy the challenge of bringing in the Muskie. This fish will fish all the way. Remember you must have a sport license and the slot size is greater than 112 cm (44 inches).

We would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to get out there and get fishing. It is fun for the whole family and friends, young old and to encourage young fisherman there are a couple of Children's Fishing Derby's that are held throughout the Spring/Summer Season. More information on this can be found on our Events Page.

If you have a story/video or picture of your prized catch that you would like to share, please submit to Don't forget to submit your recipes as well.

The Three Seasons of Bass
by Scott Gauld

bass Fishing in the Kawartha Lakes and specifically Buckhorn Lake has been an activity that I've enjoyed my entire life. I began my angling life by catching panfish with a bobber and worm but from a very young age I was obsessed with catching what I perceived to be the pinnacle of sportfish: BASS! As a kid I could have cared less if they were largemouth of smallmouth, all I knew was that I had to pursue them! In fact I’ve basically gone on to target only bass when fishing the Kawarthas with exception of spring crappie and the occasional muskie thrown in for good measure. Over the years I've developed some universal techniques and patterns that help me catch bass from the season opener in June through the fall. Many are quite simple and all can employed across the Kawartha chain of Lakes.

bass Upon the opening of bass season in June one can always find both largemouth and smallmouth bass feeding and recovering from spawning adjacent to shallow spawning bays and flats. Look for water less than five feet deep with emerging, but not overly thick weeds. The early morning is the best time to search for these fish with a variety of topwater baits. Be ready for vicious, slashing strikes as these voracious bass take advantage of low light conditions to feed on their unsuspecting prey. Usually the first two hours of light provide the best action so be ready to leave the dock early! As the sun progresses higher in the sky I find that bass still remain active but tend to orient themselves closer to the bottom in the weeds. A perfect place to find the bass then is anywhere rocks and weeds meet. I'll usually use a variety of Texas rigged soft plastic baits around these areas but you cannot go wrong with a lightly weighted stick worm (Salty Sling, Senko, etc.). Carefully work the worm through the weeds, shaking it from time to time and keep a good eye your line. The bass in these spots often just begin swimming away with your bait and the "hits" are far more imperceptible than the active topwater strikes. The evening often sees the return of a surface feeding frenzy similar to that experienced in the morning. Often the last hour of sunlight provides tremendous action.

As summer progresses some bass and especially the smallmouth populations tend to move somewhat deeper. It is at this time that I’ll look for largemouth bass along heavy weed edges in ten to sixteen feet of water. Again a variety of heavy bass jigs, Texas rigged crayfish imitations and finesse dropshots will all connect with bass in these areas. During high sunlight periods I'll search for smallmouths in the deeper, rocky areas of the lake. In Buckhorn this includes any area from "The Narrows" northward to the locks. Tube jigs and dropshotting are my preferred baits and techniques during the summer months. However, don't abandon the shallower spots that you had success in earlier in the season. There are days when those spots will still produce quality fish!

The fall brings the best of all worlds together. Light boat traffic, spectacular colors and of course, a bass feeding frenzy make for a great time to fish the Kawarthas. It's at this time that I often employ a combination of the techniques discussed earlier. Warm fall days often see bass making feeding forays into the shallower waters once again. However, strong fall cold fronts or prolonged cold weather will send them deeper. As a general rule of thumb I will "zigzag" from shallow to deep spots until I contact bass that are hungry and willing to bite. I may increase or decrease the size of my baits depending on what it seems like the bass prefer. This is truly the season where versatility and good instincts pay off.

Hopefully these suggestions on bass baits and locations send you in the right direction on the Kawarthas. I'm certain you'll enjoy numerous great days of bass fishing by trying these techniques. But remember that we all have some bad ones as well. That's why we anglers call it "fishing" not just "catching"!


Fishing is still the most popular pastime in the Kawarthas, and with good reason. Our lakes provide outstanding fishing for both the 'pro' and the casual angler.

Lower Buckhorn, on which several resorts are located, offers great fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass, pickerel (walleye) and of course the 'giant' muskie. The lake is also full of panfish including perch - many feel this is the best-tasting fish of all - bluegill and crappie.

Always a home for large carp, this is becoming an increasingly popular 'sport' fish.
Check our fishing regulations page for the latest information on season dates, catch limits and license fees.


Species Open Season Limits Size
Pickerel / Walleye 2nd Saturday in May to November 15 Sport fishing: 4
Conservation: 1
Only between 35-50cm / 13.8"-19.7"
Bass, Largemouth & Smallmouth 3rd Saturday in June to December 15 Sport fishing: 6
Conservation: 2
Northern Pike Open all year Sport fishing: 6
Conservation: 2
Muskie 1st Saturday in June to December 15 Sport fishing: 1 Over 112cm / 44"
Yellow Perch Open all year Sport fishing: 50
Conservation: 25
Crappie Open all year Sport fishing: 30
Conservation: 10
Sunfish Open all year Sport fishing: 300
Conservation: 15
Only greater than 18cm / 7.1"

Fishing License Fees 2014

License Ontario resident Canadian resident Non-Canadian resident
Temporary Outdoor Card $ 9.68 $ 9.68 $ 9.68
Sport Fishing $ 28.89 $ 54.03 $ 81.57
Conservation Fishing $ 16.46 $ 32.13 $ 50.52
1-Day Fishing $ 13.23 $ 13.23 $ 22.44
8-Day Sport Fishing     $ 52.41
8-Day Conservation Fishing     $ 29.97

How to Catch the Big One?

Have you ever wondered why fish will bite to certain types of lures and then other times just a worm on the hook seems to work. Below are some ideas when you are getting ready to fishh for the big one. These are only suggestions to help however not guaranteed to snag the keeper and storyteller fish.

Top Water Lures - These are lures that will skim or skip across the top of the water. Heddon, Hula Poppers, Jitter Bugs and Snagproof are examples of these. A person would cast out the lure and reel in with a jerky motion. The lure will skim across the top of the water and some of the lures will make a noise. Example Hula Poppers will make a popping sound. These lures will attract Bass.

Divers - These lures are lures that will dive under the water a certain amount of feet. The trick is to look at the lip on the front of the lure. The bigger this lip the further the lure will go under the water. Depths are located on the box the lures is contained in. Example of these lures are Rapala, Cotton Cordell and Storm. These lures attract Walleye.

Musky Lures - These lures are usually large in size. Some examples are Believers, Suick, Mepps Musky Killers and Mepps. Musky are usually hungry when they attack a lure but if they are not hungry the idea is to provoke and anger the Musky into striking. You should also make sure you have a two to three foot steel leader on as musky have teeth and fight aggressively and will spin around and bite your line and swim away.

These are a few examples of lures. Keep in mind there are other ways of catching fish like using Buck tail Jigs, spinners and rubber. Our local bait shops can provide you with any other fishing information you may require.

Happy Fishing