BRUCE COUNTY SHORELINE FISHING ABOUNDS!
Story and photos by Dale Hainer
some photos supplied by Chris Dwinell and Chris mahoney
With over 500 miles (850 k) of natural Great Lake shoreline, dozens of inland lakes, a half dozen Conservation Areas and a National Park, Bruce County does not lack for its share of fish infested waters. That is not even considering the couple thousand miles of river and stream shorelines!
Consider two of my favourite haunts when seeking a relaxing day of fishing with the family.
Kincardine Harbour – This town offers one of the prettiest places to view Bruce County sunsets and offers access to fishing the the long harbour pier. You can “kill two birds with one stone” here!
The Penetangore River passes through the harbour and spring flows attract crowds of early salmon and rainbow trout anglers. Lifelong resident Chris Dwinnell suggests casting a local favoured “moonshine” spoon lure or 3/4 ounce Rapala “Shad Rap” or “Fat Rap” in perch painted colours.
As spring progresses into summer, brown trouts become more obvious in the catch as they do favour shoreline waters. Summer anglers find smallmouth bass plentiful as well as big northern Pike. Walleye are also being caught from this pier as their over-all numbers increase in Lake Huron.
As fall season approaches, the Rainbow trout get the instinct to return to the river mouths and many days see limits (2 per day) of trout come from this pier. Chinook Salmon will also be present and many on-lookers get to see them porpoising in the harbour.
Southampton – I have spent a lot of time fishing the last mile delta of this river! The north and south piers at the mouth of the Saugeen offer easy access and liberal parking for those wishing a family outing. Smallmouth Bass and pan-fish are present here during summer and fall months. From the pier, cast your choice of lure to the bass as they lay in wait, feasting on the plentiful crayfish , minnows and just about anything that should happen to float downstream. Do not be surprised if you cash in on an ever growing Lake Huron walleye population here!
During April, May and fall months, this is a key location to intercept migrating Rainbow trout as they make their ways into the river. Casting a spinner, spoon or small minnow imitating lure is productive as is drifting a small spawn sack, single salmon egg or worm below a float. Never give up as the fish are constantly entering into the river during these months! Chinook Salmon demand a more obvious presence during late summer and fall months. Salmon are not a spring spawning species.
Continue up the river if you dont mind a rocky shoreline walk, to find miles of year round access to numerous riffles, sweeps and pools that hold Rainbow, Brown Trout and fall salmon. On the south side of Denny's Dam is a park operated by the MNR that offers parking and access to the fishing waters below Denny's. Across the river, on the north side is Denny's Dam Conservation Area Park, that is operated by the Ontario Steelheaders Association.
During the month of May, a niche opportunity exists near the Saugeen mouth as giant, hard fighting Channel Catfish enter the river in great numbers to spawn and feast on the available prey-fish. Set yourself up with some stout equipment for these brawlers. Fish from shore with a sinker and worms or live minnows!
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