Fishing on Georgian Bay
Fishing on Georgian Bay is not a well-kept secret.. but in order to get the trophy fish, you better know where the hotspots are!
This past week I decided to venture out on Colpoys Bay in the boat with my two brothers. We launched our boat at the Bluewater Park boat launch at around 6pm and headed straight out into the middle of the Bay.
Salmon, Whitefish, and Trout are the most common fish caught in Colpoys Bay.. but we were hungry, and were hoping for a giant Salmon to take home for dinner.
After setting up our fishing poles, we chose a special yellow lure as bait, and set the rods into the downriggers. Downriggers operate on a winch-type mechanism that feeds cable off a rotating reel through an extension arm. A weight is attached to the end of the cable, and the line release is attached to the weight. The line from our fishing poles is attached to the release mechanism, so that when a fish bites, the weight releases the cable, and the fishing pole will either bounce or release to an extended position. Now that our gear was in place, all we had to do was wait! Easy enough, right? Wrong!
Lots of different things can trigger the release mechanism on the downrigger cables. If a fish cruises by and nips at the lure, it can cause the downrigger to trigger, making us think we had a big one on the line! After reeling in a few empty hooks, we decided to try the hotspot—which is marked by 3 specific flags on the north shore near Mallory Beach. It can also be located by the mass amount of boats that troll the area!
We decided to set our downriggers at a depth of 70 feet, and we trolled back and forth, at a slow pace along Mallory Beach in about 100 feet of water. The fish finder was going off like crazy! We marked fish everywhere we cruised, but it wasn’t until about 8:30pm that we finally hooked a big one. My brothers of course jumped out of their seats when the pole triggered, and it was Tim’s turn to reel this one in. After a decent fight with the pole and our mystery fish, we finally scored a beautiful 14 pound Salmon!
Now it was time to head back to shore before dark. The Wiarton harbor was recently dug out, making it easier to navigate to the boat launch area. You’ll notice the big pile of sand along the shoreline.
Once on shore, we made use of the fish cleaning station that is located in Bluewater Park, just off the boat launch parking area.
At home, we used our special recipe to put together a batter for the fish to be fried in:
- Sprinkle your fish filets with Cajun seasoning
- In a bowl, combine flour, sea salt, ground pepper and cayenne pepper
- Coat the fish in the flour mixture, and rub off any excess
- Dip the filets in an egg wash (eggs + water)
- Dip the filets in crushed salt and vinegar chips
- Fry the fish in coconut oil until lightly browned (approx 4 minutes on each side)
This made for one delicious, hearty, and locally sourced dinner! If you head out on Georgian Bay, and aren’t fortunate enough to come home with a catch, head to Howell’s Fish in Wiarton, who provide locally sourced Whitefish, Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, and Perch.