Fishing at the cottage is the favourite pastime for many cottagers. There is something extremely relaxing about tossing a line into the lake to shed away the stress of everyday life. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice fisherman or an expert angler, the excitement of waiting for that bite is priceless. In today’s world where we spend hours looking at screens and living a fast paced life, slowing things down with an activity like fishing is therapeutic.

For many who grew up with a family cottage, fishing at the cottage brings back memories from childhood. Learning to take care of your rod and wheel, baiting a hook and being patient and staying quiet as you wait for that bite are life skills that extend beyond the sport itself.  Fishing is also an excellent way to learn about the eco-system of the lake your cottage resides. Its a hands on education of the health of the species that live in your lake.

As Father’s Day approaches, for many, the weekend is spent at the cottage, we have put together some tips for fishing from your dock.

Species

  • Largemouth Bass – During the summer Largemouths use docks for both food and protection. Largemouth Bass are ambush predators, so the shade and shelter of the dock is ideal for hunting.
  • Smallmouth Bass – Although Smallmouth Bass don’t favour the shade and shelter as compared to the Largemouths, they prefer rocks over weeds. If your shoreline and lake bottom are rocky, keep an eye out.
  • Crappie -Crappie hang out under docks at various depths. They are most prominent in the spring after the ice thaws and the water reaches 19°C. They flock to the shores in search of food and for spawning.

Equipment

  • Rod and Reel – Check out Canadian Tire, Bass Pro Shops etc. for sales.
  • Tackle Box – Spare Line, Bobbers or Floats, Sinkers, Plastic Worms, Bait Hooks and Basic Lures.
  • Bait
  • A Sharp Knife
  • A Bucket
  • A Cloth and Gloves
  • Pliers
  • First Aid Kit

Safety

  • Fish away from boat motors and ladders.
  • Never leave your rod and reel unattended if you have your line in the water.
  • Apply sunscreen to exposed skin.
  • Ensure your dock is clear of any obstacles.

Fishing Regulations

  • Always pay attention to fishing regulations. Check with local authorities about catch and release rules and limits. Ensure you have your ID and permits with you.

Fishing Resources:

Learn to Fish – Ontario

Outdoor Canada

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