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The Chain of Lakes

The chain of lakes known as The Chapleau River is 10 miles long. The water flows north into James Bay. The lakes are fed at their south end by two small rivers. At the north end of the lakes the waterway again becomes a narrow swift flowing river. The chain of lakes is therefore a part of the Chapleau River system. Have a look at this map of the lakes.

Where to get live bait in Chapleau

Live bait must now be bought from a licenced dealer. Trapping your own bait is no longer legal. Please look at the page at this link which that tells where to purchase bait in Chapleau.

How many lines and hooks are allowed ?

You can carry several rods in the boat but each fisherman can have only one line in the water.

A fishing line must not have more than four hooks attached. A hook can be a single-pointed hook or a multiple-pointed hook, like a treble hook. A snagger or a spring gaff is not allowed.
The number of hooks includes any single-pointed or multiple-pointed hook that is part of a lure.

Using the Umbrella Rig (Alabama Rig) to fish in Ontario is permitted if modified to four strands or arms to accommodate only four hooks. An Ontario four-arm version of the Alabama rig is usually available in Ontario stores.

Is there a best time of year?

Through the years I have found that there is no week or month that is consistently better or worse than the others.

May, June, July, August and September are all good for walleye, perch and northern pike but with the usual ups and downs from one day to the next.

I recommend that you simply pick a time when you can best get away from work. No two years are exactly the same. One thing is certain, you will always catch enough to eat fish every day, even if you hit some slow days.

You will improve your chances by fishing early and late in the day. Too many fishermen call it quits in the evenings just about when they should go out. I suggest that you fish early in the morning till about 11 am and then have brunch. Then take a long nap or play cards if you like. Have an early supper and fish again till dark.

Some walleye (pickerel) suggestions

Perhaps the most reliable artificial lure for walleyes in our chain of lakes is the No. 9 black and gold floating Rapala. Don't buy a cheap imitation. It won't work as well.

When you fish with a floating Rapala, put a pea size piece of split-shot on the line, about 4 feet from the lure. The split shot will take it down and the Rapala will then float up slightly and miss most of the snags. Troll or drift with this if there is a breeze.

You might want to bring eight to ten pound line. Light to medium action rods are preferred.

Here is another very effective walleye rig that works surprisingly well in our waters. We call it Jack's method:

Use a small single hook with a night crawler bunched up on it. Tie it to your line without a steel leader (a leader adds too much weight). About 4 feet from the hook, put a quarter ounce of split-shot (about pea size). Troll or drift with it in 6 to 10 feet of water. Leave the bail of your reel open when you have let enough line out and put your thumb on the spool to prevent more line from going out. Troll as slowly as possible. When you think that you have a strike, don't set the hook but rather take your thumb off the spool, put the motor in neutral and let the line go out. Do nothing for an entire minute and then reel in and see what you have. This method works well in the shallow area in front of our cabins.

Another good walleye lure is a jig with a white twister tail on it. Use the single tailed, not the double tailed twister tail. Use a jig with a quarter ounce head and troll with it.

Northern Pike

For northern pike, all types of spoons and spinners work well. Northerns will usually strike anything in your tackle box. Trolling, drifting and casting all give good results with northerns.

If you have an electric trolling motor, you might consider to bring it along. We have electric outlets near the docks where you can plug in your battery charger. Our motors troll very well but an electric motor is great on the canoes that we provide for canoe excursions. You can use an electric motor to move your canoe once you have reached the "canoe-only" lake.

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch are easier to catch near the beds of rushes that grow in many places near our cabins. We still-fish for perch just outside the rushes in three or four feet of water. A bobber and a piece of night-crawler works best.

Smallmouth Bass

Sixty years ago we did not catch smallmouth bass in this chain of lakes. But about 25 years ago we started to notice the odd bass coming in, a few more each year it seemed. That trend has accelerated in recent year to the point where we now catch some smallmouth bass. Not many, but you will probably see several during a week while fishing for walleyes, pike and perch.

Seasons &

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