Read Me First
Enjoy yourself with all the fishing opportunities near the St. Maximilian Retreat House. However, please keep our fishing-related policies and abide by the law.
- Never clean and stored fish inside any building. Do not store any caught fish in the refrigerator in the main house. If you plan on keeping your fish for more than a day, please bring a small cooler or freezer and ice packs. Fish entrails and scales can be disposed of in the lake provided there is no fishing line and tackle attached.
- Do not use the boating dock and patio decks as a cleaning or chopping platform. Please bring a proper chopping board appropriate for cleaning fish (especially large fish).
- Ensure you have the necessary fishing license especially if you are fishing from public sites.
- Fishing tackle left in the water will spoil the water and wildlife over successive generations. Please ensure line and lures, especially lead weights, are removed from the water.
- Never take more fish than what the Ontario conservation laws permit you.
Retreat House Dock
The easier way to get started fishing is directly from the dock of the Maximilian Retreat House (GPS location: 44.39756, -77.80943). Immediately in the waters are smallmouth and largemouth bass. In addition, there are various other smaller fish including perch, sunfish, pumpkinseed and crappies. It is best to fish here using braided 20-30 lb test lines and worms. The best time is usually between 4 PM and 8 PM.
There are several fishing spots around Lock 13 quite obscured from the public. Not many people know of these gems. When fishing here, please do not bring little children. There are a few hazards to keep in mind. When you arrive at this site, there is parking on Highway 50 (GPS location: 44.31996, -77.7868). To get to the fishing spots, you will need to walk across the lockgate walkway to the other side of the lock. The walkway is a narrow path so be careful to fall or drop equipment. When you arrive at the east side of the lockgate, you can either walk south to end of the pier (44.31896, -77.78663) or north towards the Lock 13. You can fish on the west side of the Lock 13 (GPS location: 44.32378, -77.78289) and the flow of water tends to create so much oxygen for fish to favour this area. If you plan on fishing on the dam, I must add a strong word of caution. It is very dangerous to cast on top of the dam especially by the lock lifts or concrete separators, not to mention that it is nearly impractical to reel in larger fish.
On the east side of the dam, there is another fishing spot where the water pools down (GPS location: 44.32353, -77.78041). There are great spots for fish to rest before going downstream. I have been fished in these spots many times and caught various fish including bass, carp, gar, catfish and various other species. Worms are my choice here. My final advice to you is to bring a life jacket, never bring alcohol and avoid bringing younger children. Be careful when you traverse the dam walkway from one side to the other.
This a popular and well-known spot. Sometimes it is a bit crowded on weekends. When the lockgates are open, there is a lot of oxygen flowing into the water and you can expect to see much activity and action. There is parking just in front of the dam area (GPS location: 44.33609, -77.77569). There is often plenty of fish just on the first lockgate immediately west shoreline of the lockgate. This site is quite easy to find and safe to fish. If you bring hip waders, you can enter the water and walk across the river as the water is usually quite shallow. Be careful of underwater structures and ensure you have a friend with you.
To fish on the east side of Lock 14, I recommend you cross the bridge in Campbellford (GPS location: 44.30835, -77.79902) and travel north on Front Street North and then north on Northumberland 38. There is parking near the spot (GPS location: 44.33645, -77.7724) .
Nappan Island East
Nappan Island is the large island on Lake Seymour. There are numerous fishing spots around here. On the west shore of Nappan Island, I have personally found success here (GPS location: 44.38767, -77.82654). These are weedy waters containing sizable largemouth bass among other types of game fish. You can get to this spot by using one of the boats directly from the shores of the Maximilian Retreat House.
Fishing at Lake Seymour can be challenging. Over time, I have discovered a few secrets to success. A heavier and braided line should be used. I recommend 20-30 test. The braided line helps ensure the survivability and retrievability of lures. A weedless or weed-proof hook or jig is also recommended to ensure the lily pads do not snap the lure. Plastic frogs and power baits have been known to yield success.
This spot is known for many large catches and plenty of action (GPS location: 44.30851, -77.95603). It is located in the town of Hastings. Some people fish on the bridge. Some fish on the pier located on the north side of the bridge. There is a parking lot on Pond Street (GPS location: 44.3091, -77.9558). The north side of the bridge is generally preferred over the south side probably due to water flow and oxygenation.
Fishing Cruises & Tours
Crowe Lake Cruises
Offers charter boat rides and fishing tours on pontoon boats. They are licensed to accommodate up to six passengers. For more information, please visit their web site.