Lake Superior salmon fishing

September salmon fishing on Lake Superior

Did you know there are parks along Lake Superior’s eastern shore with great salmon fishing? Park staff who fish Superior’s north shore recommend two in particular: Pancake Bay and Lake Superior Provincial Parks. These parks are just forty minutes apart on the northeastern shore between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa off Highway 17 (aka the Trans Canada Highway).

Pancake Bay Provincial Park

fishing rod in front of Lake Superior sunset

Pancake Bay Provincial Park‘s beach is one of the finest on the Great Lakes and this is where staff suggest casting your fishing line. In September, salmon stage just off shore, close to a little tributary known as Black Creek. You’ll spot it by its brownish water, which contrast the bay’s Caribbean blue.

man with salmon beside canoeFor history buffs, Pancake Bay is near where the SS Edmund Fitzgerald — immortalized in a 1976 hit ballad by Gordon Lightfoot — sank on November 10, 1975. The stretch of water is known as “the graveyard of the Great Lakes.” Nobody knows how many shipwrecks are here, but marine historians figure there are hundreds. Lookout Trail is where to head if you want to see where the big ship went down.

Park campgrounds include tent sites, electrical sites and five yurt rentals, including three with a beachfront location. Book early. This park closes the second weekend of October.

Lake Superior Provincial Park

man fishing on shore

There’s great salmon fishing at Lake Superior Provincial Park. Just ask Park Superintendent Bob Elliot.

An avid angler himself, Elliot says chinook, coho and pink salmon run up all the bigger park streams, including Speckled Trout Creek, Agawa River, Sand River, Coldwater River, Baldhead River and Old Woman River.

salmon beside fishing rodThe general rule of thumb is that the further you fish from park access points, the better the fishing. If you’re willing to hike in, Elliot suggests taking Orphan Lake Trail to the Baldhead River. It’s an 8 kilometre loop rated moderately difficult so be sure to share your travel itinerary with a friend before you hit the trails.

If you’re looking for easier access, try the Sand River which is above Highway 17 and accessible from the park’s day-use area.  Old Woman River is pretty easy to reach too. Park in the day-use area and walk down the beach to the river.

What do I need?

Bring your Ontario fishing licence and a valid park permit for Ontario Parks. Check out our website’s fishing page for more information and a link to the latest Ontario Fishing Regulations. No boat required.

Nothing beats a warm September afternoon spent reeling in pan-ready salmon. Have you planned your fall fishing getaway?