Discover world-class fishing on the St. Lawrence River along with amazing amenities and small town charm.
Whether you’re in search of a fun fishing outing with the kids or on the hunt for a trophy fish, you’ll find it in Cornwall.
The city is the ideal doorstep to the mighty St. Lawrence River, one of the world’s best destinations for freshwater fishing. From bass and walleye to muskie and carp – and countless other catches in between – you’ll find it on the St. Lawrence in Cornwall.
Make Cornwall the destination of your next fishing trip – you’ll be hooked!
The Guide to Fishing in Cornwall
Family Fishing Week
This year’s Family Fishing Week in Ontario has been extended by 7 days!
Running from July 4 to July 19, Family Fishing Week is a province-wide opportunity for Canadian residents to fish Ontario waters without the otherwise mandatory fishing version Outdoors Card.
There’s never been a better time to give fishing a try – or to introduce friends and family to fishing.
The summer event is one of four license-free fishing periods designated by the Ontario government throughout the year.
For more information on Family Fishing Week, please click here.
The Great Waterway
One of the world’s greatest river systems, the St. Lawrence River has been the lifeline of the Cornwall region for generations. It is steeped in history, culture and wildlife – including fish (and plenty of them).
The river in the Cornwall region is essentially bisected by the R.H. Saunders Generating Station at the west end of Cornwall. The area below the power dam is known as Lake St. Francis while the area above the dam is Lake St. Lawrence, a headpond created for the dam during the massive Seaway and Hydro Project of the 1950s. You’ll find great fishing and a myriad of freshwater fish species to target both above and below the dam.
The Cornwall region forms part of Ontario’s Fisheries Management Zone 20. This zone includes the Canadian waters of Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and the Lower Niagara River.
There are zone wide seasons and limits that anglers must adhere to, as well as specific exceptions within the zone.
For more information on limits and restrictions in the zone, please click here.
A prize catch
The St. Lawrence offers anglers a bit of everything, with a myriad of warm and cool-water species calling the river home.
Bass, walleye, northern pike, muskie and perch are the most common targets for anglers, but you will also find carp, sunfish, catfish and even the mighty sturgeon (a protected and endangered species).
Get on the water
There are several great options in Cornwall to get your boat on the water.
Below the dam, you can access the St. Lawrence via the public boat launch at the west end of Lamoureux Park, behind the RCAFA Wing 424 building. The cost for boat trailer parking in this location is $10 a day, $40 a month or $100 for the season. Users can purchase a daily parking permit at the on-site machine. Permits can also be purchased online or in person at the Building and By-law Department on the second floor of the Cornwall Civic Complex (100 Water Street East).
Click here to see a map of the boat launch and the designated boat trailer parking area.
The next best thing to being on the water is being next to it – and there’s a bunch of great spots in Cornwall to fish from shore. In fact, urban fishing in Cornwall is a whole other experience unto itself, with some great fishing holes being located right in the heart of the city!
One great place to start is Lamoureux Park, Cornwall’s downtown waterfront park. The park offers a number of good spots to cast out – and some kid-friendly ones to boot – including the point and the bay just east of the public boat launch at the west end. These spots are great for children and with some worms on the line you could catch anything from perch and sunfish to pike, bass and more!
Further west, the Cornwall Canal offers some fun shoreline fishing in a distinctly historic environment. There’s plenty of space to pull up a chair or grab a seat along the canal wall and cast out.
Heading east, the Cornwall Harbour offers another access point directly to the water’s edge. There’s fish to be caught but be warned, the current is strong so extra weight on your line is a good idea.
East of the harbour, the mouth of Gray’s Creek provides another scenic spot to test your shoreline fishing skills and potentially come up with a memorable catch.
There are a tonne of other great shoreline spots beyond the city’s borders, including the Lancaster wharf to the east and the entrances to the Long Sault Parkway in the west.
Of course, every spot is a potential fishing hole waiting to be discovered so have fun exploring. Just remember to be safe and only fish where you’re allowed to do so!
Fishing gear and tackle
There are a number of local establishments ready and waiting to help you with all of your fishing tackle needs, from bait and lures to fishing rods, line and everything in between.
Fence Depot offers a full line of fishing supplies from rods and reels to bait, lures, clothing and accessories. Fence Depot is also an authorized fish licence issuer – you can purchase yours in person at the store.
Located a short drive west of Cornwall, Relic Outfitters offers fishing tackle as well as live bait like minnows, leeches and worms.
Worms are a popular choice for live bait in the area and they’re not difficult to find! Most convenience stores in Cornwall and area have worms available for anglers (look for the fridge or ask upon entering)!