Why: First-class accommodations, food and hospitality; incredible scenery; big chinook and coho salmon.
When: June to August.
Where: All around the island.
How: Mooching with cutplug herring.
2. Esnagi Lake, Ontario
Why: Great numbers of walleye, pike and brook trout.
When: Any time during summer.
Where: With its outstanding food and hospitality, Lodge Eighty Eight is the place to go. For pike, the north end of the lake near the outpost camp is best. Any points and drop-offs work for walleye, while neighbouring Rock Lake is best for beautiful brookies.
How: Use spinners and jerkbaits for pike. Jig with a minnow or leech for walleye. For trout, I had great success with a Thumper Jig and minnow during a mayfly hatch.
3. Grand River, Ontario
Why: Easy access; good numbers of rainbow trout, brown trout, walleye and summertime smallmouth bass.
When: Spring, as soon as the snow melts and the river rises.
Where: As close to the falls at the Paris Dam as you can get your bait.
How: For trout, cast in-line spinners or small minnowbaits. For walleye, toss jigs. For smallies, drag tubes.
4. Lake Joseph, Ontario
Why: Little fishing pressure; good numbers of smallmouth bass.
Where: Rock drop-offs and isolated rock piles in deep water.
How: Drop-shotting four-inch Gulp! Mud Minnows.
5. Puslinch Lake, Ontario
Why: Little angler pressure; big largemouth bass.
When: Any time during the open season.
Where: Typical largemouth structure, such as stumps and weedbeds.
How: Use spinners or shaky head jigs with eight-inch, bubble gum-coloured floating worms.