Canal Park is surrounded by the largest Great Lake, Lake Superior. This lake offers many different activities for locals and tourists to engage in! From enjoying a stroll on the lake walk, to sea glass hunting along the shore. But, what about fishing? Does one have to drive up the shore to find a hot fishing spot? Or can an angler head on down to Canal Park and catch some tasty morsels right in town? We chatted with one of the local experts about his thoughts about this topic.
We interviewed a board member from Minnesota Steelheader, which is a nonprofit association that is dedicated to improving the North Shore fishery. He grew up in the Duluth area and has about 10 years of experience fishing these shores. I asked him a few questions about fishing specifically in Canal Park. Here are some insights and tips from a local angler:
Q): Does Canal Park have fishing opportunities during the spring months?
A): There are a couple fishing opportunities during the spring months. Casting is a favorable technique that locals will partake in. Another commonly used technique is smelting, which is usually done down by Park Point.
Q): What species of fish can you typically catch in Canal Park?
A): Salmon and lake trout are the most popular fish you will catch around that area. Occasionally, you can catch a steelhead as well. And as previously stated, smelt are abundant down by Park Point.
Q): When would you say the BEST season to fish is?
A): Best time to fish is during the spring typically- mid February to mid May. The best spot during this time period is by the Canal Park entry, salmon and lake trout are typically what you will catch. Any time during the day is a good time to fish, sun up to sundown. Summer is not as productive due to fish moving out to cooler water. During the summer months charters are the favorable method of fishing.
Q): Is there a certain fishing method you would personally recommend?
A): Casting spoons is one of my personal favorites for three reasons, you can cover more water, a wide variety of species will eat them, and it is simple for most beginning anglers to use!
Q): Would you say you have to be a pretty experienced angler to fish in Canal Park?
A): No, not necessarily anyone can do it if they have the right gear and set up.
Q): What gear would you recommend?
A): Here’s what I would recommend as “must haves”:
-9 foot, medium, power rod
-Higher line capacity spinning reel
-Light monofilament line (6-8 pound)
-Long net (able to reach down 14 feet, some people will tape their net to a roof rake handle)
-Clothing that is suitable for the weather conditions
Q): What are the best weather conditions for fishing in Canal Park?
A): There are no “best” conditions, you typically can fish in any condition. But, ideal conditions would be light waves, with mild wind. Avoid Northeast winds because the waves because those are the strong waves that typically crash over the walls in Canal Park.
Q): Any specific spots you would recommend to fish at?
A): When trying to catch trout or salmon, I would recommend along the wall by the lighthouse. Again, I would recommend along the shores of Park Point for smelting.
Q): You said charter fishing is better in the summer, would you recommend charter fishing in general?
A): Yes, charter fishing is a great opportunity to explore lake superior’s north shore because you get to see a lot of shoreline. You can also target more fish and you have the guidance of someone with more experience!
Q): Are there any other good tips you have?
A): Yes, here are my final tips for fishing in Canal Park:
-Chest waders are required because the water is cold in the spring
– Be sure to look up all fishing regulations before going (trout stamp is required as well as a fishing license)
-Popular spoons- orange, gold, and bronze.
-Try to arrive early to get a prime location (can get busy)
-Fish about 6-7 feet down
For more information about fishing the north shore, check out: www.minnesotasteelheader.
By Maddie Youngquist