Learn more about the species you find on the the Westarm of Lake Nipissing:

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Muskie   Northern Pike   Small Mouth Bass   Large Mouth Bass   Walleye   Perch



The Muskellunge or muskie or musky (Esox masquinongy) are large, relatively rare freshwater fish of North America. They are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae. The name muskellunge comes from the Ojibwe word maashkinoozhe, meaning “ugly pike,” by way of French masque allongé (modified from the Ojibwe word by folk etymology), “long mask.”
Muskellunge are called various names, such as, Ohio Muskellunge, Barred Muskellunge, Ohio River Pike, Allegheny River Pike, Jack Pike, Unspotted Muskellunge, Wisconsin Muskellunge and Barred Muskellunge.
Muskies prey upon anything small enough to fit in their mouths, including other fish, crayfish and frogs, to ducklings, snakes, muskrats and other small mammals. Their bill-shaped mouths are large with many sharp teeth. Muskies engulf their prey head-first, sometimes in a single gulp. Although the animals are capable of swallowing something up to 30 percent of their total length, selection must be made carefully. Muskellunge are sometimes found dead with their last meal lodged in their throats. Large Muskies have been known to eat fully grown ducks.
Anglers seek mature muskies as coveted trophies or simply for a good fight. Their linear speed is had at the expense of maneuverability. While not the marathon runners of the ichthyological world, muskellunge do have a good deal more endurance than their closest relative, the Northern Pike. They are known by anglers for long, powerful runs, and stunning aerial acrobatics. A challenging fish to catch, the muskie has been called “the fish of 10,000 casts”. Anglers most often use lures of conventional configurations, but extremely large size, to fish for muskie. The average lure used to catch Muskie is 8-12 inches (20-30 centimeters) in length. Larger lures can also be used to catch large muskies, and many of these types of lures can range from 14-26 inches (35-66 centimeters) in length.

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Northern Pike

The northern pike (known as the pike in Britain), Esox lucius, is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox (the pikes). They are typical of brackish and freshwaters of the northern hemisphere. They are also known by the somewhat misleading folk name, "water wolf".Within North America, there are northern pike populations in northern Minnesota, eastern New York, northern New England, most of Canada (though pike are rare in British Columbia), Alaska, the Ohio Valley, the upper Mississippi River and its tributaries, the Great Lakes Basin and surrounding states, Missouri, and Nebraska. They are also stocked in, or have been introduced to, some western lakes and reservoirs for angling purposes, although this practice often threatens other species of fish such as trout and salmon, causing government agencies to exterminate the pike by poisoning lakes.
Northern pike are most often olive, shading into yellow to white along the belly. The flank is marked with short, light barlike spots and there are a few to many dark spots on the fins. The lower half of the gill cover lacks scales and they have large sensory pores on their head and on the underside of the lower jaw which are part of the lateral line system. Unlike the similar-looking and closely related muskellunge, the northern pike has light markings on a dark body background and fewer than six sensory pores on the underside of each side of the lower jaw.
Pike grow to a relatively large size; lengths of 150 cm (59 in) and weights of 25 kg (55 pounds) are not unheard of.
Northern pike occasionally breed with muskellunge to produce the hybrid commonly known as the tiger muskellunge (Esox masquinongy x lucius or Esox lucius x masquinongy, depending on the gender of each of the contributing species). In the hybrids, the males are almost invariably sterile although the females are sometimes fertile.Another form of northern pike, the silver pike, is not a subspecies but rather a mutation that occurs in scattered populations. Silver pike, sometimes called silver muskellunge, lack the rows of spots and appear silver or silvery-blue in color.).
Pike are found in sluggish streams and shallow, weedy places in lakes, as well as in cold, clear, rocky waters. Pike are typical ambush predators; they lie in wait for prey, holding perfectly still for long periods and then exhibit remarkable acceleration as they strike. The fish has a distinctive habit of catching its prey sideways in the mouth, killing or immobilising it with its sharp teeth, and then turning the prey lengthwise to swallow it. It eats mainly fish, but on occasion water voles and ducklings have also been known to fall prey to pike. Pike will aggressively strike at any fish in the vicinity, even at other pike. Young pike have been found dead from choking on a pike of a similar size. Northern pike also feed on frogs, insects and leeches.

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Smallmouth Bass
Deutsch: Schwarzbarsch

The smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of order Perciformes. It is a popular gamefish sought by anglers throughout the temperate zones of North America, and has been spread by stock to many cool-water rivers and lakes in the United States and Canada. The smallmouth bass is native to the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, the Saint Lawrence River–Great Lakes system, and up into the Hudson Bay basin. Its common names include Smallmouth, Bronzeback, Brown Bass, Brownie, and Bronze Bass.
The smallmouth bass is generally green with dark vertical bands rather than a horizontal band along the side. There are 13-15 soft rays in the dorsal fin. The upper jaw of smallmouth bass does not extend beyond the back of the eye.

Today, smallmouth bass are very popular game fish, frequently sought by anglers using conventional spinning and bait casting gear, as well as fly fishing tackle. In shallow streams it is a wary fish, though usually not to the extent of most trout. The smallmouth is highly regarded for its topwater fighting ability when hooked - old fishing journals referred to the smallmouth bass as "ounce for ounce and pound for pound the gamest fish that swims" Smallmouth bass are taken for the table, with filets of white, firm flesh when cooked.
In conventional fishing, smallmouth may be successfully caught on a wide range of natural and artificial baits or lures, including crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and all types of soft plastic lures. They may also be caught with a fly rod using a dry or wet fly, nymphs, streamers, or imitations of larger aquatic creatures such as crawfish or leeches (see Fly lure). Floating topwater popper fly patterns are also popular for smallmouth fishing.

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Largemouth Bass
Deutsch: Forellenbarsch

The Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), also known as Black Bass, Green Trout, Bigmouth Bass, Lineside Bass and Bucketmouth Bass is in fact, not a bass. It is instead a member of the Sunfish family. The name comes from its resemblance to members of the temperate bass family, which includes the striped bass.
The largemouth bass is marked by a series of dark blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along the length of each side. It can also be totally black. The upper jaw of a largemouth bass extends beyond the back of the eye. The average bass weighs 2 to 3 pounds and measures between 10 and 18 inches long.
Largemouth put up a very respectable fight for the sport fisherman, though many say their cousin species the smallmouth bass can best them pound for pound. Adult largemouth bass generally occupy the apex predator niche, even though they are preyed upon by many animals while young. This dignifies them with a level of sporting prestige as quarry. Anglers often fish for largemouth bass with fishing lures such as plastic worm, crankbait and spinnerbait.
It is common practice among anglers to release them alive. Largemouth bass respond well to catch and release because of their hardiness, and the ability of their large mouth to withstand repeated hook injuries without compromising their ability to feed or damaging their gills.though scientist now days are saying if we don't realease the bigger bass it will create a upset in the balance and will cause the future generations to become smaller thus having less fun catching the fish and having the fish prayed on too easily.

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Deutsch: Glasaugenbarsch

The Walleye (Sander vitreus vitreus) is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. In some parts of its range, the walleye is also known as the walleyed pike, yellow pike or pickerel (esp. in English-speaking Canada), although the fish is related neither to the pikes nor to the pickerels.
The common name, "walleye", comes from the fact that their eyes, like those of cats, reflect light. This is the result of a light-gathering layer in the eyes called the tapetum lucidum which allows the fish to see well in low-light conditions. In fact, many anglers look for walleyes at night since this is when most major feeding patterns occur. Their eyes also allow them to see well in turbid waters (stained or rough, breaking waters) which gives them an advantage over their prey. Thus, walleye anglers will commonly look for days and locations where there is a good "walleye chop" (i.e. rough water). This excellent vision also allows the fish to populate the deeper regions in a lake and can often be found in deeper water.
Walleyes are largely olive and gold in colour (hence the French common name: doré -- golden). The dorsal side of a walleye is olive, grading into a golden hue on the flanks. The olive/gold pattern is broken up by five darker saddles that extend to the upper sides. The colour shades to white on the belly. The mouth of a walleye is large and is armed with many sharp teeth. Walleyes grow to about 75 cm (30 in) in length, and weigh up to about 7 kg (15 lb).
The walleye is often considered to have the best tasting flesh of any freshwater fish, and, consequently, is fished recreationally and commercially. Because of its nocturnal feeding habits, it is most easily caught at night using live minnows or lures that mimic small fish.
Since walleyes have excellent visual acuity under low illumination levels, they tend to feed more extensively at dawn and dusk, on cloudy or overcast days and under choppy conditions when light penetration into the water column is disrupted. Although anglers interpret this as light avoidance, it is merely an expression of the walleye's competitive advantage over its prey under those conditions. Similarly, in darkly stained or turbid waters, walleye tend to feed throughout the day.
"Walleye chop" is a term used by walleye anglers for rough water typical with winds of 5 to 15 mph (7 to 24 km/h), and is one of the indicators for good walleye fishing due to the walleye's increased feeding activity during such conditions.
Casting or trolling with spinners or minnow-imitating plugs is a good bet. Special worm harness rigs of spinners and beads are often trolled. Jigs, either traditional bucktails, or tipped with any of the modern plastics, a piece of worm or minnow are walleye angling favorites.
Live baits are often still-fished, drifted or trolled on slip-sinker or "bottom-bouncing" rigs. Excellent live bait includes leeches, minnows, earthworms and crayfish.
When ice fishing walleye are caught jigging or on tip-ups. Tip-ups are generally set up with a dacron backing and a clear synthetic leader. For bait, the most common minnows are Fatheads and shiners. Size for bait is anywhere from 1 to 7 inches.

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Deutsch: Flussbarsch

Perca is the genus of fish referred to as perch or yellow perch, a group of freshwater fish belonging to the family Percidae. Perch, of which there are three species in different geographical areas, lend their name to the largest order of vertebrates: the Perciformes, from the Greek perke meaning perch, and the Latin forma meaning shape. Many other species of fish are also called "perch." Also there is the lateral line system.
Perch are a popular coarse fish, mainly because they are common, and are one of the most beautiful fish. They can be caught with a variety of methods, but the 2 best methods are float fishing and lure fishing. Spinners work exceptionally well. When Float Fishing, the angler will need a discorger at all times; Perch are notorious for swallowing the hook, and will need aid of a discorger or forceps for unhooking. They will take a variety of baits, including worms and maggots. They grow to around 5lb, but fish growig to this size are becoming increasingly rare.

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