Fishing French River: Walleye, Canada Northern Pike Fishing, Muskie, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Guides, Bear Hunting, Cottages, Boats, Meals, Canada Fishing, Northern Ontario Fishing, Bear's Den Lodge
|Fishing French River, Canada fishing has been rated as one of the top trophy walleye producing rivers in Canada and this is our most abundant game fish. Ontario fishing early spring season is best for volumes of walleye and northern pike. Late spring and summer bring the added challenge of lunker size largemouth bass, small mouth bass and dinner plate size crappies that are being caught in ever increasing numbers. Throughout the summer and well into late fall, huge tackle smashing muskie and northern pike patrol French River waters, with an appetite that increases as the water starts to cool down. The fall season is a world to itself - gorgeous color, warm days and cool nights make this our favorite time of the year. Large walleye are migrating back up the river from the Georgian Bay, the smallmouth bass are feeding in full frenzy and the muskies' appetites are at their sharpest in Northern Ontario fishing hotspot.||
Fishing French River, Canada, Babe Winkelman, TV host "Good Fishing," and Art Barefoot muskie fishing. Fishing French River Delta. Fishing at a French River lodge.
|Boats and Motors
rentals are 16 foot and 14 foot Lund & Nadan aluminum V-hull boats with matching 25
and 20 HP. Mercury outboard motors. The boats are equipped
with cushioned swivel seats for your added comfort. Boats and canoes
rentals are fully equipped with M.O.T. approved life preservers,
anchor, paddles, and safety kit. Floating bait buckets and landing
nets are available upon request at no additional charge. All French
River rental equipment are maintained in top condition and serviced daily.
Boats do not have running lights and are used by guests after dark
at their own risk. Depth finders, trolling motors, canoes, gas, oil,
worms, ice, rods and reels, tackle and groceries are available at
the dock and lodge. Trophy fish. A Certified scale is available at
Bear's Den Lodge Tackle Shop. Walleye and Pike opens each year on 3rd Sat.
of May; Musky opens 1st Sat.- June 2, 2016. Available French River
cottages. French River Bass opens 3rd Saturday, June 16, 2016.
French River Maps are $2.00 at Bear's Den Lodge - a detailed French River Map.
Lund boats with Mercury Marine Motors well maintained for an outdoor adventure or Canadian fishing vacation in Northern Ontario, Rainbow Country Travel area Canada. Enjoy angling, boating, canoeing, wildlife viewing, swimming, or exploring the Historic Heritage French River Park with Bear's Den Lodge's comfortable French River boat rental equipment. Call today to reserve your Canadian adventure getaway with American Plan meal packages, or plan your own meals and rent a Housekeeping Cottage. Fish Ontario at a premiere French River resort lodge today! Ontario fishing, French River Provincial Park.
are not required, Bear's Den Lodge strongly recommends that the first time visitor take advantage of
this service. Guide duties include cleaning the catch, operating the boat
and motor, and cooking the shore lunch. A good guide makes a great
trip even better. Please book a guide when making reservations. A guide is a must to travel to the Georgian Bay for a day of
adventure tours and fishing. The French River, Georgian Bay, Ontario
fishing offers trophy walleye,
northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and muskie. See
fishing French River tips and tackle below or on
Bear's Den Lodge Facebook. Explore French
Guided fishing in the French River, Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada. Trophy Canada Fishing. Expert outfitters, wilderness adventures, American Plan meals cottages.
Canada - Avid
hunters will find plenty of game within easy reach of the lodge.
There is a large population of ducks - including but not limited to woodies,
blacks, mallard, etc. and other game birds such as partridge. Of course
there is trophy Black Bear Hunting at Bear's Den Lodge, French River.
Bear Hunting Fishing Combo Packages are available upon request. Book
your Canadian hunt for fall today. Resident Bear hunting for
Spring 2016 in French
River at Bear's Den. News of possible non-resident spring bear hunting
are in review at this time in local media. Be bear wise when in the
great Canadian wilderness outdoors French River Provincial Park.
|Bear's Den Lodge
Hartley Bay, R.R. 2, Site 3, Box 10
Alban, Ont. P0M 1A0
Tel: (705) 857-2757
124 Shagbark Rd.
Alum Bank, PA 15521
Tel: (814) 839-2443
French River pike, Canada Northern pike fishing. Canadian expert outfitter, trophy Canada fishing, meals, relaxed.
Trophy river muskie released while angling French River. Best Ontario cottages.
River musky fishing tips.
Warm clothing (nights are cool), two piece rain suit, extra pair of shoes or boots, flashlight, camera, sharp knife, small portable cooler, swim suit, sun screen, fishing gear. Mosquito coils and repellant with DEET is helpful. Passport or Passport Card must be valid to reenter United States. See bottom of DIRECTION PAGE for U.S. passport requirements or passport cards. In addition, for hunters - hunting gear along with a current or previous hunting license from your state or province – a must! All guests are reminded to limit the amount of gear and weight of travel items for transport to the lodge. Please limit boxes to 70 pound weight limit for safety purposes.
LICENSES - Fishing and Hunting
Fishing, Outdoor Cards, and Hunting licenses are NO longer available at Hartley Bay Marina. Please purchase fishing licenses online, at Pointe Au Baril, Canadian Tire or MNR prior to your arrival. Bear's Den Lodge will assist you if you arrive without your fishing license. Bear's Den Lodge will provide full service to our guests.
Please register your vehicle license at Hartley Bay Marina - after stopping to cross the high speed railroad tracks. Please request Marina staff to contact Bear's Den Lodge for our water taxi, if required. Hartley Bay Marina - valet supervised parking and valet boat launching - your vehicle keys remain at the marina. Serviced in order of arrival - no need to call ahead.
Bear’s Den Lodge, a full service resort, is just a quick 5 minute boat ride
from the landing, Hartley Bay Marina. Bear's Den Lodge is located in Bear's
Den Bay - three bays from the marina on the right side of
channel. Navigate in the center of channel from Hartley Bay
and come directly into Bear's Den Lodge
front dock, Bear's Den Bay, where staff will assist you to unload.
23 Years Success For Fishing Slot Limits on French River-1994 Introduced
The introduction of a slot-size fishing program was a realistic effort to restore the sport fish population in the French River and it has definitely worked in the French River Delta, not only sustaining the quality, but improving the quantities of fish for each species. The Ministry of Natural Resources has studied our positive results in the significant improvement of our fishery and since then, started implementing slots sizes throughout Ontario, Canada. The slot sizes of fish represent the breeding stock of each species of fish determined from the biological research completed in the French River. Walleye Index netting from fall 2013 reports the best fishing is in the French River Delta, Lower French River. Send, post or share your fish photos and stories from your stay at Bear's Den Lodge Facebook. See current fishing French River photos and current news stories!
Smallmouth Bass and Largemouth Bass Fishing in Canada - live release between 13" & 17" (Length)
Walleye - Pickerel - live release between 15.7" & 23.6" (Length)
Northern Pike - live release of all between 21" & 34" (Length)
Non-Resident Outdoor Cards
- $9.68 valid for 3 years
required with purchase of fishing or hunting license -
Please purchase online prior to arriving at Hartley Bay launch.
Anglers with Conservation Licenses may only posses 2 fish of each species. Only one fish of each species may measure over the specified "Slot-Size" length or Trophy size. Non-resident 8 day Fishing License - $30.53 Canadian Funds - 2016. A great value for CPR -catching, photo and releasing!
Legal length of Muskie is 48 inches, however, Bear's Den Lodge has been honoring live release of all Muskies under 50 inches, while encouraging measurements - length and girth of the trophy fish, with a quick photo, then live release. A fisherman with a Sport Fishing License may posses only 1 fish over 48 inches as per the Ministry of Natural Resource Fishing Regulations in Zone 10 - French River and 54 inches in Georgian Bay - Zone 14. See LINK PAGE or below for access to the full Fishing and Hunting Regulations.
OPEN DATES FOR FRENCH RIVER FISHING
Walleye or Pickerel and Canada Northern Pike Fishing - Walleye, pickerel, northern pike fishing open the 3rd Saturday in May, prior to this, pan fish is open for Northern Ontario Fishing.
Muskie - Musky - French River Muskie or musky fishing opens the 1st Saturday in June.
Largemouth Bass and
Smallmouth Bass- Largemouth bass fishing and Smallmouth
bass fishing opens the 3rd Saturday in June.
FISHING REPORTS - Northern Ontario Fishing Hotspot - Fishing Reviews
Walleye: Walleye are scattered in October and deep in currents in September. 27.5" walleye July 12, 2015. 28" walleye 2015, just one of 20 walleye caught, photographed and released (CPR). 23" walleye caught at Bear's Den Lodge dock in June with July producing more walleye. Fish are shallow with the Mayfly hatch. July 2014 produced a 30" plus walleye released. 46 Walleye were caught June 9-15, 2014 by two fisherman; largest was 22", with 134 fish in total. 100 Walleye caught June 1, 2014 CPR. 9#4 oz. 27" Walleye 2014. 28" French River Walleye October 20, 2013 by fisherman from Fenwick, ON. 30" Walleye end of June 2013. 11 Walleye released opening day 2013. 24.5" Walleye released May 31, 2013. Over 60 plus walleyes caught in 3 days late May 2013 during high water levels. 9-12# walleye caught in 2012 during low water. 34" walleye released June 20, 2009 with many 28" and smaller. May 15, 2010 with numerous walleye caught and released, some measured 27", but averaged somewhat smaller for eating. 31" released late June 2010 with a 30" released July 16, 2008. Fisherman and guide report 40 fish caught over 9 lbs. mid June 2007. French River Walleye - Fact - A 10 pound walleye will produce 250,000 eggs during spawn. The French River Delta in Northern Ontario is continuing to enjoy an increasing walleye or pickerel population. A 9 year old caught his first walleye of 25 1/4 inches and measured it for the Conservation Officer! Walleye are caught throughout the French, Pickerel River, and Northeastern Georgian Bay. Several 20 inch blue walleye were caught and released in 2010-2014. 2010 produced 25-28 inch walleye, including several walleye measuring 28 inches in June and a 31" released late August. Fishing Tips: Walleye are scattered off rock points in May, this will increase and produce more catch numbers for fisherman. Check current in June for walleye in 10-20 feet. July water levels are normally changing and fish are diving to depths of 25 feet. Water levels change approximately 13 feet through the season. Migrating male walleye, muskie and other fish species, return to the French River for next year's spawn in late August and remain there until early June. Large walleye fish remain in the French River Delta all season! Are you booked for 2016 spring walleye season?
Smallmouth Bass: 18" Smallmouth released early Sept. 2015. 4# Smallmouth bass by Great Canadian Female Angler #GCFA released August 16, 2015. 17-19" smallies June 20, 2015. Walleye fisherman shaking off hungry smallies without calendars prior to opening! 2015 Bass tip- French River smallies will be hitting off rocks in high water. Lots of big bass released in 2014. 22 smallies were released by 2 October fisherman 2013. 7 lb. smallmouth in 2012. 20" smallmouth bass released opening 2009. 31" smallmouth released July 1, 2008. Many smallmouth bass are being caught between 18-22 inches with an ever increasing population and size of smallmouth bass in the river. Bass Season opens on the 4th Saturday in June. Smallmouth bass are quite active - 22 inch smallmouth bass released late May 2010. Smallmouth remains active off points and in current areas in July. August produced many 3 lb. plus bass in 2010-2014. When weeds are dying - fish rock points. Great Canadian Female Anglers boated bass for photos, smiles and then released their catch!
Largemouth Bass: Largemouth bass were hitting surface and buzz baits late September and October and on crayfish and even a shrew in late August to early Sept. Lunkers hitting on opening day, June 20, 2015 some are 19". 7# Bass September 12, 2014 along with over 100 Bass released same day! Fish TV produced fishing show with one day's catch. May 28, 2013 produced the "largest largemouth bass in 60 years of fishing" for French River fisherman. 7 lb. plus largemouth bass released in 2012. 6 1/4# Largemouth bass released June 25, 2009 - by Mark from Ohio. 2 Kg largemouth bass released opening 2009. 21" released by 9 year old from Altoona, PA - June 14, 2009 - Nice fish Zion! Reports from 2014 fisherman included many largemouth bass caught between 18-24 inches. Bass enticed and teased the fisherman from the dock and while sitting on the decks overlooking Bear's Den Bay. French River Tips: When May flies hatch and the crayfish are molting, use gray! Lily pads are another favorite hiding spot for trophy largemouth bass. 2 Largemouth bass were released measuring 20 1/2 inches one weighed 4 lbs. and the largest was 5 lbs. late June. Ministry of Natural Resources ask the French River Delta Association to assist in placing gravel in the Delta for bass spawning beds July 2006. Bear's Den Lodge assisted in the project. Guests report the bass are slamming their lures and "so fat that you can't get your hand around them!" Spawning beds proved to be effective. Top water lures entice the largemouth in June and July. Green and white were hot. Check weed edges for action of largemouth. Largemouth continued to be active throughout August and into late fall.
Northern Pike: Fishing French River Delta 38" Pike - 11 lbs. Pike are active. Lots of Pike - 24"- 30+" in 2015. Sept. 12 a 39" and 40" pike released August 2014. 2015 produces many pike. Many pike caught and released in June 2014 largest was a 36.5" Pike. Spring of 2013 reported "catching pike on each pass". 17 pike caught and released opening 2009 from Bear's Den Bay - 31" largest of these. 41" Northern released July 15, 2008. Anglers are reporting many 3 foot size Canada northern pike being caught within our maze of rivers and bays. 34 inch pike caught and released by a guest off the dock while pan fishing. Stories of the larger pike having been lost and gotten away; to be caught by the next fisherman or fisherwomen. Many slot size pike are caught and released to the French River to reproduce and be caught again as trophy northern pike. A 38 inch pike was released mid June 2006, along with 5 over 34 inches. 2007 is produced many pike some with increased size and weight including a 36 inch pike early June and a 33 inch pike in Bear's Den Bay late August. July produced more pike around reefs and weed beds. French River Pike Fishing Tips: You can't beat a Daredevil for action. Fish buck tails for fall fishing on French River. Green weeds will produce northern pike in the shallows as weeds begin to die in fall, fish rock points and ledges. Gar are hooked and released normally in June and early July.
French River Musky produced lots of 40-48" muskie that were released
in 2015. 52", 50.5" 47", 42, 41" muskie released June 15-22, 2015. 40" muskie released while walleye fishing 2015. 57" Aug. 24, 2014 and 42" Muskie Aug. 22, 2014 CPR by same
fisherman. 47" Muskie released in Bear's Den Bay October 5,
2014. Two 47" Muskies released within 1.5 hours and a 43"
September 23, 2014. 49" and 42" Muskie released July 13, 2014 plus 3 more muskies
same week. 52" Muskie and 45" muskie released opening Muskie 2014. 50", 45", 40" French River Muskie Released October 10-11, 2013
by 1 fisherman, 52.5" released Sept.12, 2013, 52 1/4" muskie released July
12, 2013 his first muskie was released. 50 in Muskie marked
this fisherman's 16th muskie over 50" from Bear's Den Lodge
in July 2013.
Several muskie 50" plus were hooked or teased anglers once
again. 58" muskie caught and released while walleye fishing, June 23,
2009 on 12# test and then a 54" just days later by same fisherman.
49" Muskie released by Chris from Ohio, June 24, 2009. July,
2009 produced 9 muskies for 4 men and hooked 7 other French
River musky -
largest fish boated was 52 inches. 43" muskie released
opening weekend in May with 3 others from 6 lbs. to 36" in 2009.
54.5 inch muskie released opening Muskie 2008. 52 inch muskie
released July 14, 2008 while another fisherman reported loosing a
"good heavy 50" plus". 50 pound plus muskie released on opening walleye
season. 48" muskie released off Bear's Den Lodge dock early
June 2008 and another on June 25, 2008. Muskie Canada member lost
a huge muskie close
to 60" on July 5, 2008. 56.5 inch muskie caught and released September 2006. "A
true Musky of a lifetime!" June 14, 2006 a 53.5 inch
Muskie was released.
55.25 inch Muskie released by avid fisherman along with 4 other muskies
on annual fishing trip in August- placed as Lunker of the Month
in Muskie Inc. and second largest Musky listed for Muskie Inc.
2005. A monster 55 inch Muskie was released. More
giant trophy muskie sightings reported by musky hunters
with a 51.5 inch muskie landed and released by returning guest.
This angler has a record of 15 fish over 50 inches,
caught at Bear's Den Lodge. 2007- 40
inch muskie released May 28th and a "45 inch muskie. Another fisherman reports in late June, "A "60 inch" muskie
"fought for 45 minutes, at boat side 10-12 times but could
not lift it into the boat. My 12 year old son was with me in
boat. Lots of fun, some pictures, fish of a lifetime!"
A multiple 50 inch club member reports "his hook tangled and was
unable to hook a really good fish," while 5 muskies were released,
largest was 37". August produced more muskies for
release with a 49". Fishing tips: Fisherman report silver
spoons, white and top water lures produce muskie in shallows.
Black and something is always a good choice. In January, watch for the
new Muskie Alamac by Bill Hamblin with photos and expert advise
from Art on fishing French River.
Pan Fish - Dinner plate size rock bass are caught from Bear's Den Lodge main dock - rock bass are too big for display in the fish tank at the main lodge. A great way to watch the French River ecosystem and educational for all ages. Catfish, perch, crappies, sunfish keep all ages busy with action. Catfish are abundant and action is increasing for catfish. Great action with catfish and the largest catfish reported at 30#. Perch are reported increasing in size in 2015.
Sturgeon 6'3" 127# Released May 2015. Read about sturgeon.
BEST FISHING TIMES - French River TipsWhen is the best time to go fishing on the French River? The best fishing times, as reported by Bear's Den Lodge outfitters and lodge owners, are anytime there are three days of stable weather pattern. Fishing French River Tips: Three days of stable weather pattern creates the best fishing periods and times. Being in the right place, with the right lure, the right equipment, the right action, presentation, retrieve and landing will produce the best fishing times. Another important fishing French River tip to keep in mind for selecting lure colors is the water is a tea-stained color due to the tannic acid from surrounding beaver ponds. French River Fishing tip: If you are not catching fish or catching some ones, select black and fish deeper.
If you have any questions regarding walleye, muskie, Canada northern pike fishing, largemouth bass or smallmouth bass fishing, black bear hunting, our fly-in or boat access only lodge, Bear's Den Lodge personalized services, or would like to make a reservation, please contact your hosts and experts, Art and Brenda Barefoot for your next Canadian vacation destination.
Fishing in Canada at Bear's Den Lodge Team will put you at some of the best fishing spots you can find. If you're looking for French River resort lodges, fantastic adventure fishing in Ontario, not only will you love Bear's Den Lodge in the French River Delta, you'll find our professional service is second to none. We are the only full service American Plan Lodge available in the French River Delta, roofed accommodations in the backcountry French River Provincial Park camping area. Bear's Den Lodge is an Ontario Fishing Lodge, an informational, historical, educational site, fishing trip, camp resort and Canadian outfitter. Bear's Den is the best vacation spot in Canada! Whether you want to casually do some fishing or try some more serious angling; fishing French River Delta, Ontario is an angler's paradise. Nowhere else can boast such a diverse catch- the largest fresh water lakes and rivers in the world, a huge diversity of fish, and walleye in abundance with the least number of rod hours on the entire French River. Bear's Den offers an entire range of experiences from adventure tours to fishing trips, corporate retreats, Canadian family vacations, a get away, or respite retreat. Best cottage areas Ontario. Visit Bear's Den for all your vacation, outfitting equipment, area information, French River Maps, and French River history. Bear's Den Lodge is known as a "local museum" on the French River. Come equipped, rent our well maintained French River rental boats, plan a guided fishing trip, canoe, choose one of our fishing packages, or be your own guide and take yourself to where there's just you, the fish, and wildlife on the French River. Discover the beauty of a true Canadian wilderness vacation destination. Bear's Den Lodge has been known as a respite tourism retreat for corporate executives or where corporate executives can retreat to create a team building experience and soar to new heights while enjoying the great out of doors. Bear's Den Lodge teaches techniques, how to fish the French River, and they are noted for sharing their knowledge to assist other fisherman. Proud sponsor of Great Canadian Female Anglers - GCFA. Enjoy a French River lodge for fishing.
French River Fishing Tips, Lures, Tackle,
and Rods - Canadian Hotspot Fishing - Bear's Den Lodge Tackle
Walleye, Pickerel, and Crappie - Jigs 1/4 -3/8 oz.
Largemouth Bass and Canada Northern Pike Fishing - Fishing lures: Spinner baits, spoons, jigs, crank baits, Repala, and Mepps in white, red/white, silver, chartreuse. Dardevele in red/white can't be beat.
Muskie or Musky - Believers, Swim Whiz, Grandma, Big bucktails, Eagletails, DepthRaiders, Mepps, and Repala. in black, especially bucktails with orange or chartreuse spoons, perch pattern, orange, chartreuse, florescent colors. Fishing tip: the water is a tea stain color from the decaying leaves and branches in surrounding beaver ponds. Silver normally works better than copper colors. Top water lures work better during cooler water temperatures. Pink and purple are fall color choices when the Pink Salmon come into the French River system. Visit Bear's Den Lodge tackle shop for specialty handcrafted lures for fishing French River.
Fishing Tackle and Rods:
Canada Walleye, Pickerel, Smallmouth Bass, and
Crappie - 4-8# test line
Canada Largemouth Bass and Canada Northern Pike
8-12# test line
Canada Muskie, Musky - 20-40# test line.
NEWS RELEASE - Zone 10 for the French River
Delta and Zone 14 for Georgian Bay. Muskie size limit
for Zone 14 - Georgian Bay- 54" minimum. French River Bass opens the
Saturday in June for Northern Ontario fishing. Ontario Fishing Regulations 2016.