Fishing in Gogama - Northern Ontario
Pickerel (Walleye), Bass, Whitefish and Northern Pike are always lurking beneath The surface of
Minisinakwa Lake - Gogama, Ontario!
Your fish stories can be found on Minisinakwa Lake; only 580 km north of Toronto, 191 km north of Sudbury and 114 km south of Timmins.
Minisinakwa Lake is 17 miles long, averaging depths up to 20 feet. Some areas of the lake can be as deep as 30 feet and offer numerous rock points, weed lines, sunken humps as well as shallow and deep water.
Fishing for Pickerel?
Did you know that pickerel begin laying their eggs when water temperatures warm to between six and ten degrees celcius (forty three to fifty degrees farenheit). They select shallow, rocky shorelines where the eggs can settle into the cracks and crevices away from the hungry mouths of perch and suckers. The also prefer areas that are exposed to the wind and waves, in order to clean and aerate the eggs. So, during Spring, rocky shorelines with wind exposure are prime pickerel areas.
Although pickerel prefer to lay eggs in the late evening hours in knee deep water, during the day, they move out to the security of nearby deeper sections to bide their time so finding those deeper holes can give you quite a pickerel story!!
Keep in mind that shortly after spawning, pickerel tend to retreat to nearby shallow bays and coves in search of shiners and yellow perch - two of their favourite food items. So at the beginning of the summer remember, where you see shiners swimming around, there is bound to be some pickerel lurking.
Looking for that Trophy Bass?
The thrill of reeling in a bass! The way they quite often jump, break water, and deep dive back into the water adds to the excitement of catching a Bass!
Small Mouth Bass are most active from mid June to late fall and are usually found in open water, along rocky points, drop-offs or shoals. Keep in mind that they prefer depths of about 10 to 15 feet in the fall. Small Mouth Bass usually spawn in the late spring and early summer when water temperatures are between 13 and 20 degrees celcius. They will seek for shoals on leeward shores or protected bays to serve as they're spawning grounds. During the spawning season, the males are quite aggressive as they are protecting the nest. This makes them vulnerable to anglers.
Bass enjoy feeding on insects, large crustacians and small fish so live bait such as leeches, minnows and night crawlers will draw that anticipated strike you long for. Bear in mind that as soon as you get that first strike, you create a feeding frenzy for the rest of the bass lurking beneath you, so be sure you get your line back in the water quickly to maintain that feeding frenzy! A good tid bit to keep in mind is that small mouth bass usually group together by size so if you catch a smaller small mouth bass, it is unlikely that the trophy Bass is lurking near by.
The difference between the Small Mouth Bass and the Large Mouth Bass is location. Although the Small Mouth Bass prefer to hang out in rocky, clear water, the Large Mouth bass lurk in the weed beds and beaver damn areas prefering the murky waters with dense vegetation or logs and branches.
Northern Pike - The monster predator!
Northern Pike are at the top of the food chain! They are aggressive feeders that ambush their prey which primarily consists of other fish and frogs.
They are most often caught at the mouth of weed beds hunting for their dinner and are most active early morning and at dusk. Northern Pike are cold water fish, so during the summer heat find a weed bed or a highly vegetated area with a deep drop-off and you are almost guaranteed to lure in a Pike or two.
During the fall, as water temperatures decrease, the Northern Pike become very active and follow their prey to the shallow part of weed beds.
Early March is their spawning time. They hide their eggs on the weed bed towards the back of protected bays. So, where there are weed beds, or vegetation, there are Northern Pike hunting nearby.
The Sensitive, Small Mouthed Whitefish
During the early spring, Whitefish are usually waiting for you in rivers or narrow flows where the Walleye, Pike and Suckers are dropping eggs during their spawn. A perfect feeding ground for Whitefish.
In May, the flies start to hatch luring the Whitefish out of the rivers, just below the surface of the lake to snack on these spring pests.
You will find them hiding in the deeper waters (usually around 60 feet deep) during the summer months.
Whitefish return to the rivers and currents during the fall to spawn. During the spawning period, they only feed during the day and concentrate on their spawn as the night falls. Once they are done spawning, they return to the lake and lurk in shallow waters through the cold winter months.
Whitefish have small and sensitive mouths which is why you should use really small hooks and minnows or small jigs to lure in your dinner. We recommend you use a 4 lb. test line.