The Ottawa is one big, diverse river, ranging from semi-wilderness to, well, Parliament Hill. Most freshwater species can be found throughout the river, but the upper and middle reaches are better known for smallmouth and walleye. Where the lower river widens into a lake, however, its weedy (and under-fished) bays produce lunker bass, as well as muskies up to 50 pounds. For something different, there are also shad and hawg drum to be had, as well as a hot spring bite for crappies.
In 2010, Muskie; The next world record is likely to come from here
When to fish: The action is hottest in fall.
Where to fish: Focus on typical muskie habitat near Arnprior.
Tip: Troll big baits and be patient.
—Brent McNamee, co-founder and vice-president of marketing for BoaterExam.com
Largemouth bass; Good numbers of fish and lots of typical bucketmouth habitat
When to fish: All season
Where to fish: Focus on shallow back bays, such as Lochaber and Noire, and main rive weedlines and rock points.
Tip: Throw frogs on heavy tackle in back bays earlier in the season, then flip Strike King Coffee Tubes to weedlines and skirted jigs to rock points in the fall.