The Grand River most definitely lives up to its name. This heritage river spans 280 km, and varies greatly from place to place. During times of regular flow you can wade clear across the river along the stretch from Caledonia to York. The river deepens and widens from Cayuga to Dunnville dam and south of the Dunnville dam to Port Maitland making it more suitable for powerboats.
Sections of the southern Grand River suitable for powerboats include:
- Middleport to the Caledonia Dam,
- Cayuga to the Dunnville Dam
- Dunnville Dam to Port Maitland on Lake Erie.
Lake Erie is the fourth-largest of the great lakes and is over 25,000 km2 and is also the shallowest and the furthest south. With all that open space, the weather can change quickly and strong winds shift the sediment on the bottom, leading to shifting sandbars. According to Wikipedia, it is know as one of the world’s largest freshwater commercial fisheries and Lake Erie’s fish populations are the most abundant of the Great Lakes.
- Bob Baigent Memorial Park (Public Ramp)
- Byng Island Conservation Area
- Fishmasters Ultimate Charters
- Grand River Marina & Café
- Harrison Landing
- Hoover’s Marina & Wharfside Restaurant
- Knight’s Beach Resort
- Maitland Shores Trailer Park and Marina Resort
- Mohawk Marina & Hippos Restaurant
- Port Maitland East (Public Ramp)
- Port Maitland Esplanade & Pier (Public Ramp)
- Port Maitland Marina
Additional Boating Resources:
Yearning to drop your line in a quiet bay and hear the water lap the side of your boat as you wait in anticipation for your first bite of the day? Haldimand County is a fishing hotspot for novice and experienced anglers alike. You can bring your boat or fish from shore or pier on the Grand River or Lake Erie.
Species of Fish Found Here
Over half of the fish species in Canada are in the Grand River watershed making the fishing extremely diverse. From fast running coldwater trout streams, to slower moving stretches filled with smallmouth, pike and walleye you may just find a surprise on the end of your line. Learn more about the top 10 species of fish you can expect to find on right tab.
Bait and Tackle Shops
Get outfitted for your day of fishing at one of our local Bait and Tackle shops.
Additional Fishing Resources:
- Fishing Experiences Charters
- Fish ON-Line Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
- Grand River Conservation Authority Fishing Map
We have asked the experts and locals for the best places to fish in Haldimand. Don’t take our word for it, come out and try them all.
Bob Baigent Memorial Park
There is a free municipal ramp here and deeper water to launch your boat. Located in Cayuga.
Both Upper and Lower Grand River can be accessed. Because of the dam, it is a hub for carp.
Caledonia’s Kinsmen Park
Fish from the shore or fishing platform (accessible). Easy to access the other side of the bridge.
In Caledonia, the water slows down quite a bit here, launch your boat from Harrison Landing next door and do some fishing! Great for perch.
The wind on the lake can get pretty rough, but in the Bay the wind is much more controlled making an easier launch from Mohawk Marina. Located in Lowbanks.
A favourite fishing location for perch and walleye. Launch your boat with ease from Hoover’s Marina.
Port Maitland East
Much less windy on the east side, there is a free municipal boat ramp located here. Caledonia Bait and Tackle says to target perch or walleye in this area.
Port Maitland Esplanade & Pier
A highly popular spot for entering Lake Erie. There is a boat ramp available and shoreline fishing is good.
Not too busy, and is a great spot to do some fly fishing. It’s fairly shallow, meaning you can wade out quite far.
Shoreline and fly-fishing are very popular here. Hooked4Life Fly Fishing calls this their “Carp Hole”.
See map below for locations of the 10 fishing spots and businesses to assist in you your fishing adventure including places to buy bait, marina’s and fishing outfitters.
Additional Fishing Resources
Fish Species and How To Catch Them
Here is the run-down on the most likely fish you will pull out of the Grand River and Lake Erie in Haldimand County.
Carp love to be in shallow water, making them perfect for fly-fishing. Try a large rubber legged nymph in a crayfish pattern while wading in muddy areas. Learn more about the Common Carp.
Mudcat (Channel Catfish)
The Grand River is a hub for channel catfish. Try drifting with a float or cut bait. They eat sucker species, so this works well, or you can try with a worm. Learn more about the Channel Catfish.
Crappie prefer cold water and can be found in both the Grand River and Lake Erie. Head out during spring and fall, looking in weedy areas close to shore, especially at dusk as they are nocturnal feeders. Learn more about Crappie.
Described as a fun fish to catch, they prefer to live in moving water. Use a float with crickets, worms or trout bait. Learn more about Mooneye.
During early Spring and late Fall they can be found in dense weeds. Mohawk Marina suggests using crank or jerkbaits when casting. Learn more about Pike.
The main steelhead run in the Grand River starts in August and goes until December 31. Preferring colder water, try using a downrigger or a dipsy diver in Lake Erie with a silver spoon. Learn more about Rainbow Trout.
Sheepshead (Freshwater Drum)
Hooked4Life Fly Fishing suggests using a soft bait with a crayfish pattern and head out to deep, still water. Learn about the Sheepshead/Freshwater Drum.
Sticking close to the weeded areas along shore, rocky shoals, and submerged islands, use soft plastics in a crayfish pattern. Use your so plastics in a Carolina rig and bounce along the bottom. Learn more about the Small Mouth Bass.
As the water heats up, Envious Sport Fishing suggests using lead core lines with dipsy divers and downriggers. Light coloured baits work best in shallow water, while dark colours are best in deeper areas. Learn about Walleye.
Found mostly in Lake Erie, try using a small jig with a maggot. Or, in the summer months when targeting in deep water use a sinker and two hooks with minnows. Find out more about the Yellow Perch.
The family will love paddling on the Grand River. The Dunnville Marsh is home to an abundance of wildlife in the long reeds that line the river here. Paddling near the shoreline may stir-up a mudcat lying on the bottom of the river and make a big splash as they head to deeper waters.
Rent a fishing kayak and drop a line in one of the best places to fish.
With 87kms of Lake Erie waterfront, you can find your beach adventure in Haldimand.
Many of the public parks have limited parking, but the Provincial Parks, Conservation Areas and resorts have amenities and support additional parking.
Of special interest is Rock Point Provincial Park’s diverse shoreline including beaches made of varying sizes of pebbles and one kilometre of sandy beach and sand dunes. Another shoreline area at the park is completely made of crushed shells and also has large flat rock shelfs that contain exposed fossils of a coral reef dating back to over 350 million years embedded in the limestone.