FISHING IN SAUGEEN SHORES
A Fisherman's Paradise!
Fishing in Saugeen Shores
There is lots of variety of fish in our waters. Cast a line into the Saugeen River from our river banks or fish off one of our piers located in Southampton or Port Elgin. Port Elgin also has a Kids Dock. Sunsets are only one of the Lake Huron Shorelines' claims to fame...the fishing is divine and guaranteed to lure back the most ardent fisher again and again!
Fish for salmon out on Lake Huron or wade into the Saugeen River for brown trout, rainbow trout, small mouth bass and others just waiting for the right hook to be dangled.
Fishing licenses are mandatory in Ontario for the ages of 18 - 65 and are available locally at J&S Tackle in Port Elgin and so is the Ministry of Natural Resources Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, which includes everything the angler needs to know about seasons, possession limits and general fishing regulations. For the online version visit the Ministry of Natural Resources website:
Bait & Tackle:
You can buy bait for fish at the following locations:
Fordhams Bait and Tackle in Southampton
J&S Tackle in Port Elgin: Website
Lake Huron Rob and Gun in Underwood: Website
Where to Fish:
The Saugeen River can be fished from the bank, wading, or canoe/kayaking in the upper stretches of the river above Denny's Dam. The river offers a wide variety of paddling conditions from broad slower flows to stretches of class I and II whitewater. There are 13 possible access points along this stretch of the river. The river is also good for just canoeing or kayaking. Often, groups get together for a day of paddling. For those who want to go for a paddle but don't have the equipment, stores like Thorncrest Outfitters in Southampton rent canoes, will take you to an access point, help you launch, and pick you up at a designated point down river.
Southampton Harbour & Pier: Towards the lake from the bridge in Southampton is the harbour with large stone blocks on the south side and a cement pier on the north side. The pier also has a working lighthouse on the end to help guide the boaters in. Bass, salmon, perch and rainbow trout can all be caught at times in this area as well as the occasional catfish or carp.
Southampton Boat Launch:
Located off South Rankin St. from Highway 21 on the north side on the bottom of Chesley Street. There is no cost to launch at this time and there is lots of parking. This is a popular spot to fish off the shore. There is also a fish cleaning station location on Chesley Street as well.
Denny's Dam is located on the north end of Carlisle Street on Denny’s Dam Road. Denny’s Dam is an important fixture on the river as it provides a canoe/ kayaking launch point and has a fish ladder for the various species to reach the upper reaches of the river. There are picnic tables and washrooms available at this location.
What is a fish ladder?
A fish ladder is a structure which allows fish to move past an obstacle such as a dam. Without fish ladders, fish would be stuck downstream of the obstacle, and this could potentially have a negative impact on the breeding cycles and lifestyle of the fish. Many dams are equipped with fish ladders, often to satisfy requirements from government agencies, and some dams have turned their fish ladders into wildlife viewing areas, allowing visitors to watch the fish as they move up the ladder.
Grant Ferris Fisherman’s Park:
Grant Ferris Fishermen's Park is located on the north end of Southampton just past Chippewa Golf Course and right before the Saugeen First Nation Reservation. This is a good place where you can park your vehicle and take steps down to the river. You need to be in good shape for these steps as it is fine on the way down but it can be a difficult climb on the way up - especially in chest waders.
Port Elgin Harbour and Pier: Many people launch their boats at the Port Elgin boat. The Port Elgin Harbour offers amenities such as washroom facilities, restaurants, and a location at the marina where you can get fuel for your boat. Port Elgin Harbour is able to handle boats up to 150 feet long (though not very practical for fishing) there is docking available for overnight or longer stays for a fee.
The Port Elgin Harbour also has a fish cleaning station built by the Lake Huron Fishing Club and is operated by the town of Port Elgin. It is located on the north side of the large boat launch parking lot.
Also for kids, the Lake Huron Fishing Club has built a kids' fishing dock in the Port Elgin Harbour which is well used and even has benches for the adults (when needed). It is amazing what can be caught from the dock. You can often see perch, salmon, carp, or pike in the water from the dock or when walking along the harbour walls.
Boats Launch Rates:
Harbour Launch Ramp Day Rate $8.85 (plus HST)
Harbour Launch Ramp Seasonal Rate $44.25 (plus HST)
There is also a “Tackle Share” program located at both the Port Elgin and Southampton Libraries in Saugeen Shores. The Tackle Share Program gives new and young anglers the opportunity to go fishing at no cost. There are many barriers to introducing new anglers to fishing on today’s waters. The Tackle Share removes these barriers by providing the equipment and knowledge to get them started. Participating anglers simply sign out a rod and reel, as well as an assortment of tackle in the same way that they would borrow library material.
For more information on the Tack Share program visit:
The Annual Chantry Chinook Classic Salmon Derby: Lake Huron's largest annual fishing derby runs from Saturday July 22 To Sunday August 06, 2017.
For more information on The Chantry Chinook Classic Salmon Derby visit their website at
The Lake Huron Fishing Club
The Lake Huron Fishing Club is a conservation based Sports Club formed in 1983 by a dedicated group of anglers on the Ontario shore of Lake Huron. Thousands of hours of volunteer work are completed each year by our Club Members operating two fish in Port Elgin (salmon) and in Kincardine (brown trout and rainbow trout) that stock the Saugeen River and surrounding tributaries to Lake Huron with thousands of fish yearly. Although they are stocked at night, cormorants take their fair share in the following days. The Lake Huron Fishing Club also looks after stream enhancements, environmental improvements, projects in schools, endeavors to protect the fishing rights of all citizens and assisting government agencies on assessment, enforcement etc.
For more information on the Lake Huron Fishing Club visit: http://184.108.40.206/LHFC/index.html
The Ontario Steelheaders is a not-for-profit network of dedicated volunteers with the following objectives:
To improve access to suitable spawning habitat for migratory steelhead rainbow trout.
To provide young steelhead rainbow trout with suitable nursery and juvenile habitat.
To enhance and protect steelhead rainbow trout angling opportunities in Ontario.
To provide relevant and appropriate input to government, agencies and other organizations consistent with our mandate.
To promote sportsmanship, fellowship, and etiquette consistent with the preservation of our natural resources
To educate members and the public on relevant issues, conservation practices and proper angling techniques.
To protect and increase public access to our waterways for steelhead trout fishing and recreational purposes through exemplary co-operative partnerships and input to government, Ontario landowners and other relevant organizations.
Fishing Cleaning Stations:
Port Elgin: located in the same building as the washrooms on the north side of the harbour
Southampton: Located on Chesley Street