Ottawa is known as a city of lights and art, but it is also quite a famous fishing spot for anglers.
Bass, muskie, sunfish, and a lot of other species of fish call the numerous bodies of water in Ottawa their home. Due to the diverse species here, it attracts all sorts of anglers, from amateurs that want to learn how to fish to the most seasoned experts.
While I’m not exactly the most hardcore angler out there, I enjoy casual fishing in the different lakes, rivers, and streams that are near Ottawa. It’s a pretty good activity to bond with my friends and family as well as pass the day.
Where can I fish from shore in Ottawa?
In Ottawa, you can fish from shore in Dows Lake, Petrie Island, Victoria Island, Kars, and Eccolands Park. These bodies of water have plenty of fish species that you can catch without having to get into a boat.
Where is the best place to fish in Ottawa?
Ottawa has plenty of great places to fish in. Here are some of the most popular locations for fishing, the known species that live in those areas, and the contact info and addresses for the locations.
All of these locations also offer boat rentals as well as bait.
|- Large and Smallmouth Bass
|1001 Queen Elizabeth Drive Ottawa, ON K1S - 5K7
|- Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass
|Parking lot, 795 Trim Rd, Orléans, ON K4A 3P4, Canada
- Smallmouth Bass
|1600 Carling Ave Suite 650, Ottawa, ON K1Z 1G3, Canada
|Shirleys Bay Park
- Lake Trout
- Bigmouth and Smallmouth Bass
- Northern Pike Crappie
|Shirley Blvd, Ottawa, ON K2K 2Z2, Canada
|Dick Bell Park
|3259 Carling Ave, Ottawa, Ontario, K2H 1A6, Canada
|- Yellow Perch Fingerling
- Channel Catfish
|421 Chimney Park Drive Windsor, CO 80550
- Northern Pike
- Lake Trout
|34 Beckwith St. South, Smiths Falls, Ontario
|Kars Recreational Arena
|- Smallmouth Bass
|1604 Old Wellington St, Kars, ON K0A 2E0, Canada
|602 Hog's Back Rd Ottawa ON K1V 1H8, Hog's Back Rd, Ottawa, ON K1V 1H8, Canada
- Smallmouth Bass - Pike
|334 River Rd, Gloucester, ON K1V 1C8, Canada
Address: 1001 Queen Elizabeth Drive Ottawa, ON K1S – 5K7
Fish Species: Large and Smallmouth Bass, Muskellunge, Pike, Carp, Crappie
A small, man-made in Ontario, Ottawa, Dows Lake is part of the Rideau Canal and is located 2 km north of Hog’s Back Falls in the middle of Ottawa.
This lake was named after Abraham Dow, an American-born settler in the 19th century who owned land in this area.
Dows Lake is home to plenty of fish species that make for great catches like large and smallmouth bass, muskie, carp, bluegill, and perch.
Thanks to this diversity, Dows Lake is a great option for both beginners and experts alike who are looking for a great time.
Another thing about this lake is that it’s open all year round, which means the restrictions for what you catch are pretty light.
I’ve found this place to be ideal for people who want to fish for carp, as they grow to pretty good sizes here and tend to swim in schools just under the water’s surface.
Address: Parking lot, 795 Trim Rd, Orléans, ON K4A 3P4, Canada
Fish Species: Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Muskellunge, Garpike, Ling, Sturgeon, Crappie, Bluegills, Sunfish
For Ottawa locals such as myself, a short drive along Highway 174 will take us to Petrie Island. The quick ride and abundance of fish species in this location make it a really popular angling site for city folk who want to go for a few rounds of fishing.
If you are a panfish angler, I can say that you will enjoy the abundance of panfish species such as perch, crappie, and bluegills that live here. In the early parts of spring, you will more often than not spot crappie close to Petrie Island’s shorelines.
Besides being great for panfish anglers, I also recommend Petrie Island for family outings. The fishing action here is pretty fast and gets quite exciting at times, which I’m sure both kids and adults alike will enjoy!
Address: 1600 Carling Ave Suite 650, Ottawa, ON K1Z 1G3, Canada
Fish Species: Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Pike, Catfish
A short walk from Parliament Hill will take you to Victoria Island, a fishing spot that also boasts one of the best views in Ottawa. It offers plenty of great catches regardless of the season.
Walleye and smallmouth bass enthusiasts will enjoy this island since the populations of these species are pretty abundant and thus make them quite common catches.
Besides walleye and smallmouth bass, you can also catch pike here by using some heavy fishing spoons. Catfish are also found here by tossing globs of worms into the water, one of the activities that I had the most fun with.
Shirleys Bay Park
Address: Shirley Blvd, Ottawa, ON K2K 2Z2, Canada
Fish Species: Catfish, Lake Trout, Walleye, Bigmouth and Smallmouth Bass, Sunfish, Northern Pike Crappie, Muskellunge
Shirleys Bay is an important conservation area on the Ottawa River, situated at the western boundary of Canada’s Capital Greenbelt. Being a natural wetland means that Shirleys Bay Park has better water quality compared to other locations.
Here, you can find a large variety of fish ranging from catfish and pike to big and smallmouth bass. The most common catches here are the bigmouth bass and pike, both of which come in pretty good sizes.
This is also a pretty good spot for ice fishing, and I’ve taken my kids, friends, and relatives to Shirleys Bay Park on several occasions.
Dick Bell Park
Address: 3259 Carling Ave, Ottawa, Ontario, K2H 1A6, Canada
Fish Species: Gar, Catfish, Bass, Perch
Beautiful green space, paved walkways, and stunning views can all be found in Dick Bell Park. Of course, it’s also a great fishing spot for any angler out there.
Gar, catfish, bass, and perch call the waters of this park their home, with catfish being the most common catch. I’ve had the pleasure of catching all of these fish before, and I consider it to be one of my best achievements!
But that’s not the only thing that the park has going for it. The abundance of catfish in Dick Bell Park has made it one of the most popular locations for catching said fish.
Annual catfish tournaments are held every first month of June to catch the biggest catfish out there, and seeing how competitive it gets makes it pretty exciting to watch!
If you want to participate in the annual catfish tournament, mark your calendars for June and make sure to visit the Red River Area Sportsmen’s Club Facebook page for the latest news and developments.
Address: 421 Chimney Park Drive Windsor, CO 80550
Fish Species: Yellow Perch Fingerling, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Trout
Windsor Park is another great spot for all-year-round fishing as long as there’s no ice around the area. If you’re eyeing yellow perch fingerling, bluegill, catfish, or trout, this is a great place to go.
This is one of my favorite spots for night fishing since the water remains pretty visible during the evening. If you want to do this activity, it’s limited to the west side of Windsor Lake.
To get there, head to the south end of Highway 257’s parking lot to the north of the inlet bridge. You can find a spot there where you can drop your fishing line.
Address: 34 Beckwith St. South, Smiths Falls, Ontario
Fish Species: Bass, Walleye, Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Muskellunge, Perch, Crappie, Sunfish, Whitefish, Catfish
At over 202 kilometers long, the Rideau Canal connects the Ottawa River to Ontario’s Saint Lawrence River. This large body of water also offers anglers the possibility of getting one of the best catches in their lifetime.
Large and smallmouth bass, pike, trout, and other fish call this place their home, and they come in many different sizes. Needless to say, this is an ideal place for fishing for anyone regardless of their experience.
I’ve heard some stories of anglers catching largemouth bass that measured over 30 inches long. It’s 8 inches shorter than the largest specimen recorded, but still pretty darn big!
Address: 1604 Old Wellington St, Kars, ON K0A 2E0, Canada
Fish Species: Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Bullhead, Pike, Bluegill, Sunfish
This fishing spot offers a gravel launch ramp that anyone can use. The lake near Kars is connected to the Rideau River and also offers plenty of fish like perch, bullhead,
pike, and bluegill.
For shore anglers, they have two options to pick from in this park: to fish near the cement ramp or from inside the park.
This is also another hotspot for largemouth bass enthusiasts since plenty of them can be found swimming near the surface. Panfishers will also love this place as several panfish species also live here.
I’ve had friends who have some photo-worthy moments where they were chasing muskie fish in the area. I myself have found 30-pound fish but they take a bit more effort since they won’t let you catch them so easily.
Address: 602 Hog’s Back Rd Ottawa ON K1V 1H8, Hog’s Back Rd, Ottawa, ON K1V 1H8, Canada
Fish Species: Panfish, Crappie, Bluegill, Sunfish, Walleye, Pike, Carp, Muskellunge
Another expanse that is part of Rideau river, you can get to Mooney’s Bay by heading to the south of Hog’s Back just adjacent to Riverside Drive.
You can choose to fish either by the shore or by boat here, and there are plenty of possibilities available for you. During the early spring, panfish action is most exciting as crappies and bluegills are most numerous and active in this period.
At times like this, the fish can become a bit finicky, which means you will have to try other bait options. I’ve had recommendations from veterans to try small minnows or maggots that are suspended under a float, and they’ve given me some decent results.
Address: 334 River Rd, Gloucester, ON K1V 1C8, Canada
Fish Species: Panfish, Crappie, Bluegill, Sunfish, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Pike, Perch, Bluegills, Sunfish
For fans of muskie, Eccolands Park is the place to go. Located on River Road which is south of Hunt Club and adjacent to the Ottawa Airport, you can access a free launch ramp that features a small stretch of Rideau River.
This spot is dominated by muskies and they will more often than not go after larger bucktails and other bait. The flats are great places to throw your line, with the weed lines, rocks, and boulders being great options too.
If you want to catch something else other than muskie, I recommend you go to Eccolands Park during the spring, as walleyes appear in pretty good numbers during this season.
When’s the best time to fish in Ottawa?
The best time to fish in Ottawa will depend on the type of fish that you want to catch. Some fish appear all-year round, while certain species tend to show up in spring in specific locations such as the walleye in Eccolands Park.
If you’re eyeing a specific fish, it’s best to do some research so you know when you should prepare your fishing rods and what season you should wait for. Species like catfish, sunfish, crappie, and yellow perch are present for the entire year.
For seasonal fish, muskies and large/smallmouth bass show up from autumn to winter. Walleye appears during the winter in Mooney’s Bay and Eccolands Park.
Do I need a license to fish in Ottawa?
You need a fishing license if you want to be able to fish legally in any of Ottawa’s fishing spots. This is a requirement if you are within the age range of 18-65.
If you are under 18 or over 65, you will need to carry a government-issued ID with your name and birthdate while fishing.
Fishing license prices vary depending on the type of license you want to get. Here’s a table of the license types and how much they cost.
|3-year sport fishing license
|3-year conservation fishing license
|1-year sport fishing license
|1-year conservation fishing license
|1-day sport fishing license (No Outdoors Card required),
Valid for 1 day starting at 12:00 midnight