Take Advantage of Put-and-Take Fisheries
With Ontario’s reputation for naturally sustainable fisheries, it can be hard to notice other opportunities such as stocked fisheries.
These lakes are isolated from and have little effect on the watersheds around them, providing an excellent area to introduce a species unknown to the lake, but not necessarily unknown to the area.
Stocked lakes are unique in their own nature. They offer extended seasons and opportunities to anglers, including but not limited to, a food source year after year, few closed seasons making early and late ice fair game while you wait for your favourite fishing season to open, and a chance to get the family out for a low-key outing involving high-key fun.
Choose your Adventure:
Stocked lakes in the Bancroft and surrounding area offer an abundance of adventure levels to choose from. You can find them on roadsides to backcountry day trips and everywhere in between.
How to Find Them:
Check out FishONline.com (link at bottom of page for that) for maps of stocked lakes, their species and location coordinates.
Half of the fun is mapping out your route to these lakes. If you’re bringing along kids, don’t underestimate how fun being in on the planning can be for them. (Link to taking kids fishing article in that last line) It will make the first fish they catch on that lake that much more rewarding!
Considerations for the Shoulder Season:
Safety is of utmost importance. Ice safety being at the top of the list. Taking advantage of the yearly open-season can tempt one to go extremely early or late in the season.
If you’re planning such an adventure during early or late ice, here is a list of things that could keep you safe:
Ice spud to test ice
A friend or two so you are not alone.
Ice picks you wear on your neck
A floater suit
Leaving an itinerary behind so family/friends know when to expect you
For early spring, be sure you get ice reports from others in the area, as the ice may or may not be off the lake enough to launch a boat, canoe, or even enough to cast from shore.
Species to Expect:
Brook Trout: Or as the locals call them, speckles, are a favourite among anglers for their fighting spirit and being easy on the eyes.
Rainbow Trout: A tasty and nutritious opportunity for anglers hoping to feed their families after a fun day’s fish.
Lake Trout: Some of the most fun to reel in with their big runs and heart stopping moments at the boat-side or ice hole.
Splake: This hybrid between the two char species of Lake Trout and Brook Trout has the best qualities of both and can grow very large where successful stocking has taken place!
Some lakes have multiple stocked species in them as well. Picking your poison should be easily done in the Bancroft area, especially using online resources such as FISHONline.com and other Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry sites.