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Hi folks! 

After a trip to Ohio two weeks ago, I have fallen in love with fishing! On land, I caught a bunch of bluegill in a quarry and one snapping turtle (accidentally). I live in Mississauga. My family and I have taken up the hobby and we're having some serious trouble catching anything! 

We have an Intex Excursion 5 dinghy with a solid floor and trolling motor. The majority of our fishing is from the dinghy. We've tried the Credit River in Port Credit, Erindale Park on land, the cove at Lakefront Promenade park and Mountsberg Conservation area. In all those spots, the only fish caught was a young Pike as a miraculous "one last cast" with a red devil at Mountsberg in Campbellville. 

I know that the Credit is well known for its great fishing. We also camp yearly at Balsam Lake Provincial Park. Do you have any troubleshooting suggestions for an enthusiastic but slightly frustrated beginner angler and her family? When I caught bluegill, all I needed was a hook and a worm and swarms of little fish would come. I'd catch fish in less than a minute. I can't manage to find any panfish in my spots. I don't even see ANY fish. I fish near structure in search of rock bass or other smaller fish and I haven't come across anything. I'm using artificial baits with an appropriate hook. I also recently bought jig heads and grubs. 

I know that all fish are different and different baits and hooks and methods will attract different fish. I'm primarily interested in bass, panfish, perch, and rainbow trout. My brother is more interested in walleye, musky, pike. 

Any and all bait/hook/tackle suggestions are graciously wanted and any spots or methods would be greatly appreciated. I really want to learn and I really want to catch fish!! 

Thanks in advance. :-) 

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Welcome aboard!  If you are having fun with the smaller panfish species, the good old hook, sinker, worm and float will get you boatloads just about anywhere.  In areas where there is less concern with weeds or rocks eliminate the float and drag the bait on bottom for some different experiences, walleye among them where present.  There are tons of you tube videos demonstrating different techniques for varied species.  It will soon be apparent why most anglers have tons of tackle, rods and other gear!  Tie on one of your jig heads with a twister tail, add a minnow or even just a bit of worm on the barb and bounce it along the bottom.  This can also be used with a float, varying depths to find suspended fish and adding action just by twitching your rod a bit.  Good Luck and Tight Lines!

 

Michael

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In my opinion, anywhere within mississauga and lake ontario pier fishing is tough fishing and really teaches you patience. I often wonder if there actually are fish after many outings of not catching anything. Anywhere on the shores of Lake Ontario, fishing with a worm will get you gobies galore,  small catfish, or the odd bass. Anything significant means you really have to work hard at trying to catch them. Off the piers,live minnows are best but you have to be patient.timing is also important . Early morning or an hour before sunset is best in my opinion.

Lakes outside the gta would probably be easier fishing and having an inflatable is a great advantage. Ive finally taken out my inflatable boat for the first time and tried it on a smaller lake close by and did pretty ok.

 

Good luck and dont give up trying!

 

 

IMG_20190721_1414250.jpg

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Location, population, presentation. L.P.P. You must fish where there are fish,  a large population of those fish make fishing less "luck" driven. You need to feed the fish what they want if you are going to catch them. 

Location:

As Huzzaba said you aren't fishing in locations that have high populations of fish, especially in the dead of Summer. Fish want colder water and the shorelines don't hold many fish this time of year. The closer you are fishing to big cities the population of fish are scarcer. I got the bug and pounded the shoreline of Lake Ontario for years until I had enough vacation time to head north. I don't think I caught a single fish from shore on Lake Ontario, ever. My 1st Salmon was from a boat in deep water Captained by a Pro guide on Lake Ontario. There are plenty of fish within 2 to 3 hours of the GTA. Lakes Skugog, Simcoe and The Bay of Quinte to name just a few. You have a huge advantage with a Dingy, it is shore fishing as you won't dare to venture too far out into lakes. 

Population:

The best shore fishing in southern Ontario is from the shore of Lake Erie. Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Sheephead and even some Walleye in the evenings.

Presentation:

That's the tough decisions that experience plays a huge part. Live bait will put fish on the hook more often than hardware. Don't cheap out on Rod and Reels and tackle. There is nothing more frustrating for a novice than to use a cheap rod and reel combo, line and cheap Chinese tackle like sold at Canadian Tire. Never use a Red and White plastic bobber, they shouldn't even be sold. 

There wasn't a fishing show on TV that I didn't tape on the old VCR or a fishing magazine or book I didn't buy to learn from. The tips in the books and magazines from the 70's hold true today. But getting on the water as often as possible is the key to success. Be safe in that little Dingy, PFD's on at all times. I am told all the time "life jackets (PFD's) aren't comfortable," coffins however are. Keep at er' and good luck. 

Johnny D

Edited by Old Ironmaker
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Grab yourself a pack of yamasenkos. Somebody might have to correct my spelling on that. Or google it and how to rig them up, wacky style I think. It looks ridiculous and you’ll think the hook is way to big but it works. Closest thing to a magic lure I’ve ever found and beginner friendly, plus won’t break the bank. Don’t buy a cheap knock off version, they just don’t work the same. I’d convinced myself that a lot of spots didn’t have bass till I started using them.

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6 hours ago, Old Ironmaker said:

L

That's the tough decisions that experience plays a huge part. Live bait will put fish on the hook more often than hardware. Don't cheap out on Rod and Reels and tackle. There is nothing more frustrating for a novice than to use a cheap rod and reel combo, line and cheap Chinese tackle like sold at Canadian Tire. Never use a Red and White plastic bobber, they shouldn't even be sold. 

There wasn't a fishing show on TV that I didn't tape on the old VCR or a fishing magazine or book I didn't buy to learn from. Johnny D

And the VCR was made where? lol.

Edited by ketchenany
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You should be able to catch some fish on Balsam . Right up the shore line from the park is a bay try the deep edge in 10 -12 ft you should do OK with Pike , Walleye and Bass . Try casting some spinners Mepps Agiala's #4 or #5 . Good luck let us know how you do . We also do better on the weed edge across from the park .

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There are a fair number of decent urban fishing locations in the GTA! Check out the Toronto Fishing Ambassadors' website, www.torontourbanfishingambassador.com they also host a couple of family fishing days which unfortunately has already occurred this year. Balsam Lake is a good lake for Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskies and Panfish. Great advice from Garnet about Balsam Lake! Wacky rigged Senkos definitely catch fish but there's nothing wrong with a float & live bait, I believe that you're just not around fish. Finding fish is the key! a good pair of polarized glasses will help you spot fish and see fish holding structure!

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6 hours ago, ketchenany said:

And the VCR was made where? lol.

JVC, Japan Victor Company. Made in China? Paid 900 bucks for that thing. I actually still have it. I think an episode of Babe Winkleman is stuck in it. 

  • Haha 1
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7 minutes ago, Old Ironmaker said:

JVC, Japan Victor Company. Made in China? Paid 900 bucks for that thing. I actually still have it. I think an episode of Babe Winkleman is stuck in it. Maybe Cronzy too. The millennials are all asking Babe who? And what's a VCR? Good advice on all the hardware that will catch you fish. I always encourage new guys and gals to use live bait below a good quality float and a few split shot. You can drift it with the dingy. Learn to use the slip sinker set up to put the bait on the fish, on bottom and work your way up to where you see the fish on your portable sonar. Do you have a "fishfinder" yet? If the answer is no go buy one. An entry level sonar will not break the bank.

 

Edited by Old Ironmaker
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12 minutes ago, smitty55 said:

The In-Fisherman system has been around for a long time and it still applies today.

https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/the-in-fisherman-system/153683

 

Cheers

Al Linder was my fishing Guru back in the day. And yes smitty the Lindy systems apply today, why not? We were using a Lindy Rig with floating Jig Heads for big Walters here on Erie for years when everyone else is trolling and getting bored out of their minds. Especially when lock jaw Pics are holding bottom. I was bored to death trolling, trolling and more trolling. I said tomorrow I am going to get vertical and bounce bottom and the boys thought I was nuts until I kept telling them on the VHF "another one in the box byes." 

Edited by Old Ironmaker
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