Fishing in the region is top notch, and sure to offer both challenges and excitement to everyone from the rookie to the seasoned angler. Balsam Lake is particularly well known for its bass fishing. Whether you are looking for smallmouth or largemouth bass, you are in the right place. Balsam Lake provides a lot of structure, so you can go hunting for bass along island shorelines and weed beds throughout the lake with great success.If you are looking for Walleyes, try some shallow water trolling first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening. Overcast days are also good, as walleyes tend to be more dormant when the light is too bright. May to June is peak walleye season in the area. They can certainly still be caught all summer long, you just might have to work a little harder to get some of these delicious fish in the boat.

Balsam Lake has some of the best fishing opportunities in Ontario.. Below is a brief listing of what you can expect to reel in on Balsam Lake

SMALLMOUTH BASS

smallmouth bass

  • Smallmouth are most active from late spring to late autumn and can usually be found in more open water or along rocky points, drop-offs, or shoals.

  • When targeting smallmouth try curly-tailed jigs, crankbaits, shallow-diving spinnerbaits, in-line spinners, streamer flies, or crayfish imitations.

  • SMALLMOUTH BASS FACTS

    • Average sizes: 1 to 3.5 lbs (.45 to 1.58 kg)

    • Habitat and temperature: Live in deeper water, often around rocks, sand, or gravel areas.They prefer water temperatures under 70°F (21°C).

    • Biology: Spawn in late May and June in fanned-out bottom depressions.They deposit their eggs in shallow, gravelly areas.Males guard eggs and fry.

LARGEMOUTH BASS

largemouth bass

  • Largemouth Bass are most active from early summer to early autumn.

  • They can typically be found in areas rich in aquatic plants, as well as in areas that have a lot of flooded stumps, logs, standing timber, and brush.

  • Popular lures for largemouth are plastic worms, top-water lures, shallow-running crankbaits, weedless spoons, as well as buzz- and spinnerbaits.

  • LARGEMOUTH BASS FACTS

    • Average sizes: 1.5 to 4 lbs (.68 to 1.8 kg)

    • Habitat and temperature: Inhabit shallow, warm waterbodies with aquatic vegetation, submerged wood, man-made cover, and rocks. They prefer 79 to 81°F (26 to 27°C) water.

    • Biology: Spawn in late May and June in fanned-out bottom depressions. Largemouth prefer vegetated, quiet bays.

MUSKIE

  • Though rare, muskie exceeding 70 pounds (31.8 kg) still roam our waters — so, in prime habitat, you never really know if you’re going to experience a relaxing day of fishing or set a new world record.

  • It’s best to fish for these powerful predators after the season opens in June and again in September when water temperatures begin to cool. July and August, however, produce substantial numbers of small to medium-sized muskie.

  • Key fishing times during the day include morning and evening when baitfish activity peaks, and between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. In many lakes, muskie are also active for a few hours after midnight.

  • Good habitat varies from lake to lake and river to river, but the basics usually remain the same. Sunken islands, points, saddles between visible islands, bottlenecks in current flows and weedbeds all hold promise if they’re within casting distance of deeper water. Look for muskie to hold in transition zones at drop-offs. Work each location top to bottom.

  • Effective lures for muskie are large surface or diving lures, spoons, and bucktail spinners. They also like live bait such as suckers, chubs, and frogs.

  • Don’t forget landing and release equipment. Muskie are powerful fish with razor-sharp teeth. Care must be used when handling them to avoid injuries to both the angler and the fish.

  • MUSKIE FACTS

    • Average sizes: 10 to 20 lbs (4.5 to 9 kg).

    • Temperature and habitat: Often found in water up to 78°F (25.5°C), but big muskie, like big northern pike, prefer cooler water. Optimum spawning temperature is 55°F (12.8°C). Lives in a range of habitats, usually near cover or structure, but will suspend over deeper water.

    • Biology: Spawns in spring later than northern pike in many of the same vegetated flooded areas. Can hybridize with northern pike to produce sterile, fast-growing “tiger” muskie.

WALLEYE

  • Anglers can find these prized game fish everywhere on Balsam Lake. In fact many have been caught right off the dock from Balsam Resort!! When you do catch them, there’s a great shore lunch just waiting to be had!!

  • Walleye are most active during spring and fall. It’s best to fish for them at night, on overcast, windy days, or in stained water, as the walleye’s eyes are specialized to help the fish feed in low-light conditions.

  • Many anglers catch walleye by trolling after dark with crankbaits along weedlines, rocky points, and over sunken reefs. Some of the largest walleye are caught this way during evenings of a full moon.

  • During the day, walleye can often be found in deeper water over rocks and in weedy cover. Then, one of the easiest and most effective tactics is to drift and jig just off bottom over likely cover until you locate a school.

  • Some anglers prefer to troll using spinners, spoons, and deep-running crankbaits. Others specialize in the delicate presentations of minnows, night crawlers, crayfish, or leeches.

  • Walleye are a schooling fish, so it’s a good idea to throw out a marker once the first fish is caught. Once located, casting to the school can be quite productive.

    • Average size:Between 1.5 and 3 lbs (.68 to 1.36 kg). It is, though, common to catch walleye topping 10 lbs (4.54 kg) in Ontario.

    • Temperature and habitat:Prefers stained waters in the 60 to 70°F (15.5 to 21°C) range, usually on hard, rocky bottoms, but also frequents weedbeds in shallow, fertile lakes.

    • Biology:Spawns after ice-out in rocky rivers and over wind-swept, rubble-strewn shoals and shorelines. Walleye are prolific and scatter eggs randomly.

PANFISH

  • Balsam Resort waters grow a variety of panfish, including, crappie, bluegill, perch, and more. They’re the perfect summer fish for kids of all ages.

  • Crappie travel in schools during the summer and winter. Open-water anglers get their first crack at them as ice clears from backwaters in April or early May and the fish move inshore to feed.

  • Top spots include man-made boat cuts and canals and shallow bays with cover (wood, weeds, docks).

  • More fish move in by late May and June to spawn. In summer, the fish are along deep weedlines or suspended farther out.

  • They’ll hit during the day, especially during overcast weather, but morning and evening are prime times.

  • Black crappie and other panfish will take small live minnows, spinners, panfish jigs, mini-crankbaits, and streamer flies. Perch are more bottom-oriented than crappie.

  • Light slip-sinker rigs or split shot and a hook with a worm or small minnow are all you need to catch them. Panfish jigs, cast or hung under a slip-float, are also effective.

  • BLACK CRAPPIE FACTS

    • Temperature and habitat:Spawn in shallow, weedy areas when water temperatures reach 68°F (20°C), usually May through June.

    • Biology:Males guard eggs and fry. For much of the year, they suspend offshore, but move to the edge of weedlines, points, or shoals, or rise to the surface to feed in low-light conditions.

  • YELLOW PERCH FACTS

    • Average size:To .75 lb (.34 kg).

    • Temperature and habitat:Summer habitat ranges from weedy areas to rock/sand/rubble shoals to mossy mud flats, but perch occasionally suspend to follow forage. Preferred water temperature is 68°F (20°C).

Biology:Spawn in early spring, scattering eggs in shallow water around vegetation and submerged wood

What you can and can not catch in Balsam Lake Area 17