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.||
Babe Winkelman, TV host "Good Fishing," and Art Barefoot muskie fishing on the French River, Canada. Fishing French River Delta. Fishing Lodge.
|Boats and Motors
16 foot and 14 foot Lund and Nadan aluminum V-hull boats with matching 25
and 20 h.p. 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 equipment is 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. Free fish freezing space is available
for trophy fish. A Certified scale is available at Bear's Den
Lodge. Walleye and Pike opener May 18, 2013, available
Lund boats with Mercury 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 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 this premiere French River resort lodge today! Ontario fishing.
are not required, Bear's Den Lodge strongly recommend 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.
Guided day of fishing in the French River, Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada. Trophy Canada Fishing. Expert outfitters, wilderness adventures, American Plan meals, and 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 today. A
few bear hunting spots remain for 2013.
|Bear's Den Lodge
Hartley Bay, R.R. 2, Site 3, Box 10
Alban, Ont. P0M 1A0
Tel/Fax: (705) 857-2757
124 Shagbark Rd.
Alum Bank, PA 15521
Tel/Fax: (814) 839-2443
French River pike, Canada Northern pike fishing. Canadian expert outfitter, trophy Canada fishing, meals, relaxed.
Trophy river muskie released while angling.
Warm clothing (nights are cool), two piece rain suit, extra pair of shoes, 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. Items may not exceed 70 pound weight limit per box or item.
LICENSES - Fishing and Hunting
2013 - Fishing, Outdoor Cards, and Hunting licenses are NO longer available at the Hartley Bay Marina. Please purchase fishing licenses online, at Pointe Au Baril, French River Trading Post, Canadian Tire or MNR prior to your arrival at Hartley Bay.
Please register your vehicle license at the Hartley Bay House and Marina - after stopping to cross the high speed railroad tracks. Please request their staff to call Bear's Den Lodge for water taxi if required. Hartley Bay Marina provides valet supervised parking and valet boat launching - your vehicle keys remain at the Marina.
Bear’s Den Lodge is just
a 5 minute boat ride from the Marina. Bear's Den Lodge is
located in Bear's Den Bay - three bays
from the marina on the right side of channel. Stay in the
center of channel from Hartley Bay and come directly into our
front dock to unload.
19th Year For Fishing Slot Limits - Introduced in 1994
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.
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 prior to arriving at Hartley Bay
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. Non-resident 8 day Fishing License - $29.40 Canadian Funds - 2013.
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.
Muskie - Musky - Open dates for Muskie or musky fishing is the 3rd Saturday in June.
Largemouth Bass and
Smallmouth Bass- Largemouth bass fishing and Smallmouth
bass fishing opens the 4th Saturday in June.
FISHING REPORTS - Northern Ontario Fishing Hotspot - Fishing Reviews
Walleye: 9-12# walleye caught in 2012 despite low water. 34" walleye released June 20, 2009 with many in 28" and smaller. Opened May 15, 2010 with numerous fish 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. A 10 pound walleye will produce 250,000 eggs for the next year spawn. The French River Delta in Northern Ontario is seeing an ever increasing walleye or pickerel population. A 9 year old catches his first walleye of 25 1/4 inches and measured it for the Conservation Officer! A great keeper and a definite fish mount to be proud of! Walleye are being caught throughout the French, Pickerel River, and northeastern Georgian Bay. Several 20 inch blue walleye were caught and released in 2010-2012. 25-28 inch walleye were caught in 2010, including several walleye measuring 28 inches in June. Fishing Tips: Walleye were scattered off rock points in May, producing increasing 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. Check your current areas for walleye. 31 inch walleye released late August, 2010. Water levels were at normal for late September 2012 and fish were hitting at 10-30 feet.
Smallmouth Bass: 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. See more smallmouth bass pictures. 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 2010-2012.
Largemouth Bass: 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 fisherman include many largemouth bass caught between 18-24 inches. Bass are enticing the fisherman from the dock and teasing them while sitting on the deck 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 these 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, 2006. The Ministry of Natural Resources ask the French River Delta Association to assist in placing gravel in the Delta for bass spawning beds. Bear's Den Lodge assisted in the project July, 2006. Guests report the bass are slamming their lures and "so fat that you can't get your hand around them!" The spawning beds proved to be effective. Top water lures are enticing the largemouth in June and July. Green and white are hot right now. Check you weed edges for action of largemouth. Largemouth continue their activities throughout August and into late fall.
Northern Pike: Fishing French River Delta - 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 bigger ones having been lost and gotten away to be caught by the next fisherman or fisherwomen. Many fish are being caught within the slot and returned daily to the French River to reproduce and be caught again as trophy northern pike. A 38 inch pike was released along with 5 over 34 inches mid June, 2006. 2007 is producing many pike some with increasing 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. Pike Fishing Tips: You can't beat a Daredevil for action. Try buck tails for fall fishing. Weeds are still green and fish are hitting in the weed beds. 2008 weed conditions are producing pike in the shallows. Gar are surfacing, hooked and released June and into early July. FishTV placed a gar in the fish tank at the lodge!
58" muskie caught and released while walleye fishing June 23,
2009 on 12# test then a 54" just days later by same fisherman.
49" Muskie released by Chris from Ohio June 24, 2009. July,
2009 produces 9 muskies for 4 men while hooking 7 other fish -
largest fish boated was 52 inches. 43" muskie released opening weekend in May with 3 others
from 6 lbs. to 36" in 2009. Breaking news!
54.5 inch muskie released opening Muskie 2008. 52 inch muskie
released July 14, 2008 while another fisherman reports loosing a
good heavy 50 plus incher. 50 pound plus muskie released on opening walleye. 48" muskie
released off Bear's Den Lodge dock early June 2008 and down
river June 25, 2008. Muskie Canada group lost huge muskie close
to 60" 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 too. More
giant trophy muskie sightings reported by musky hunters
with a 51.5 inch muskie landed and released by a return guest.
This brings this angler to a record of 14 fish over 50 inches,
most of which have been caught at Bear's Den Lodge. 2007- 40
inch muskie released May 28th and a "45 inch muskie released
after a 2 foot rise in the Delta and two sharp cold fronts this
past week." Another fisherman in late June reports a "60 inch"
muskie "fought for 45 minutes. At boat 10-12 times could
not lift into boat. Had 12 year old son 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" just this week, while 5 muskies were released in a week by guests - largest being 37
inches. August produces more muskies for release with a 49
incher. Fisherman report silver spoons and white
producing muskie that week.
Pan Fish - Dinner plate size rock bass caught from the main dock - rock bass too big for display in the fish tank at the main lodge. Catfish, perch, crappies, sunfish keep all ages busy with action. Catfish are abundant and action is increasing for catfish. 10# catfish released early June 2008. Perch are reported to be increasing in size in 2012.
BEST FISHING TIMESWhen is the best time to go fishing? 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. French River Fishing 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 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.
If you have any questions regarding walleye, muskie, Canada northern pike fishing, largemouth bass or smallmouth bass fishing, or black bear hunting, our fly-in or boat access only, our services, or would like to make a reservation, please contact your hosts, Art and Brenda Barefoot for your next Canadian vacation destination.
Fishing in Canada at Bear's Den Lodge will put you at some of the best fishing spots you can find. If you're looking for French River lodges, fantastic adventure fishing in Ontario, not only will you love Bear's Den Lodge in the French River Delta, you'll find our service is second to none. We are the only full service American Plan Lodge available in the French River Delta. Bear's Den Lodge is an Ontario Fishing Lodge, an informational, historical, educational site, fishing trip, camp resort and Canadian outfitter. It is the greatest vacation spot in Canada! Whether you want to casually do some fishing or try some more serious angling; 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. We offer 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, and French River history. Bear's Den Lodge is known as a local museum on the French River. Come equipped, rent our boats, plan a guided 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 vacation destination. Bear's Den Lodge has been known as a respite 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. Enjoy a French River lodge for fishing.
Recommended Fishing Lures, Tackle,
and Rods - Canadian Hotspot Fishing
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 surrounding beaver ponds. Silver normally works better than copper colors. Top water lures appear to work better during cooler water temperatures. Pink and purple are fall choices when the Pink Salmon come into the French River system.
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 - 12-40# 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. Bass opens the 4th
Saturday in June for Northern Ontario fishing. Ontario Fishing Regulations 2013.
List of License issuers can be found on the site.