The Ottawa River is rich in musky fishing history. Flowing hundreds of miles across the province of Ontario, the Ottawa River produces some of the largest muskies caught in North America every year. I had the opportunity to fish with pro guide John Anderson who operates The Ottawa River Musky guide service.
The River had just been victim of a giant summer storm and launching the boat, the visibility was significantly limited. We fished several spots that consisted of large weed beds associated with either a creek mouth, bay or quiet area of the river. We fished both large bucktails, such as Cowgirls and softplastics such as Bulldawgs. After fishing a few spots where the water color was brown and visibility was approximately a foot, we moved to a different section of the River, which had the typical three foot visibility. As my spinner approached the boat a giant musky appeared and engulfed my lure. The water exploded and the battle was on. The musky stayed deep and made powerful runs, as river muskies are extremely strong. Over time, we were able to net the giant and after a few pictures, release a 51-inch Ottawa River trophy musky. It was the type of fish of musky angler’s dreams.
The stretch of the Ottawa River below the city of Ottawa near Plantagenet, Ontario in the Prescott-Russell Region is an incredible musky fishery. We stayed at Place 19-67 which was a few minutes from the boat launch. Place 19-67 is incredibly convenient with nice accommodations and incredible food. Living in Chicago, I was surprised with how good the pizza tasted.
John Anderson is a wealth of knowledge, as the muskies in the Ottawa River have been studied extensively by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. It was great to hear the many stories of specific spots and habits of individual muskies that were implanted with transmitters and tracked by scientists. It was also great to finish fishing and relax at Place 19-67 and rehash the highlights of the day.
The great part about the Ottawa River is that despite the storm that went through the area, the water clarity quickly recovered and the muskies were active. We boated several other muskies during our three day trip, but unfortunately, John and I lost a few others. In the end it made for an awesome episode of The Musky Hunter television show, and demonstrated why the Ottawa River is know as The Musky Factory.