Your Guide to Lake Huron Boating, Fishing and More!
It’s understandable why so many flock to the Great Lakes, especially as the weather gets warmer. Lake Huron has much to offer on and off the water. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy her waves more, this guide to Lake Huron boating in Bruce County should help. You’ll quickly see why it’s a favourite pastime for many!
Ride the waves and soak up the sun with a day of zipping around Lake Huron by boat! On a hot summer day, the lake is full of vessels exploring what this vast lake has to offer. There are plenty of bays and beaches to be explored, plus it’s always fun to lay anchor offshore so all you can see is water!
There are a number of marinas scattered across Bruce County that make exploring our waters a breeze. Lake Huron is your oyster with marinas in Point Clark, Kincardine, Port Elgin and Tobermory as well as along the Sauble River with the public boat launch and the Kit-Wat Motel. On the Georgian Bay side, stop in at Wiarton’s Bluewater Park or Lion’s Head for a completely different experience. Check out our boating and sailing page for more details about Bruce County’s fabulous marinas.
While Georgian Bay is technically a part of Lake Huron, its rocky features are much different than the vast sandy shores of its western counterpart. Spend a day cruising along the shoreline admiring the Niagara Escarpment and all the brilliant formations that have been crafted over thousands of years. Roam the waves towards the North Channel and enjoy the views of Flowerpot Island and Cove Island. Let’s not forget Manitoulin Island, the world’s largest freshwater island!
Not everyone has access to a boat so there is always the option of chartering a boat or hopping on one of the Lake Huron cruises in Bruce County! The most iconic is certainly the cruise from Tobermory to Flowerpot Island. Blue Heron and Bruce Anchor both offer multiple cruise options so you can see more of this beautiful area. Opt for one of their shuttles to the island where you’ll see some of the iconic shipwrecks along the way or check out one of their sunset cruises around the Bruce Peninsula where you’ll see unforgettable sights like the Tobermory Grotto.
Just down the peninsula in Southampton, you can hop on a cruise to Chantry Island with the Marine Heritage Society. They will take you to the island where you can climb the lighthouse for some incredible views of Lake Huron. Along the way, your guide will share the history of Southampton and the surrounding area, as well as tell you about their hard work in restoring the Chantry Island Lighthouse.
If you find yourself in Kincardine, you can hop on board “The Sceanic View” with Kincardine Boat Cruises! Their tours range from 1 to 3.5 hours in length where you can enjoy beautiful views of the shoreline, afternoon tours up the coast to the Bruce Power nuclear power plant, journeys to the Point Clark Lighthouse south of town, and sunset adventures. Or if you have a big group that is looking to experience the waters of Lake Huron, book a private charter and feel the wind in your hair while sailing Lake Huron!
Cast a Line and Snag Some Lake Huron Fish
With over 850 kilometres of gorgeous Lake Huron shoreline, ten Conservation Areas along with two National Parks, plus the endless bounds of lakes, streams and rivers, there are plenty of opportunities for some stellar fishing. Grab your tackle box and cast a line from the shore at these great fishing spots across Bruce County!
In the spring, there are salmon and rainbow trout galore. Brown Trout become more frequent as we progress into summer as well as Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike. You might even spot a Walleye if you’re lucky! In May, however, a unique phenomenon occurs as Channel Catfish begin to appear at the mouth of the Saugeen River in Southampton to spawn. These guys are pretty feisty so make sure you come prepared!
As for where to cast your line, the possibilities are endless. Southampton is a great spot with the Saugeen River crafting some unique waters as it meets Lake Huron. Kincardine is a fantastic destination for anglers as the Penetangore River flows through the harbour with the pier being the perfect spot to set up shop and see what bites. Walkerton offers a variety of species including Brook, Brown and Rainbow Trout, Salmon, Pike and Saugeen Musky. It’s also fantastic for fly fishing! In Tobermory, you can toss your lure out from Big Tub Lighthouse or even off the rocks in the harbour as you watch the Chi Cheemaun sail away. There really is no bad spot to fish in Bruce County – as long as the fish cooperate!
Local Tackle Shops and Outfitters include:
- Junction 4 and 19 in Walkerton
- Southampton Outfitters in Southampton
- Poppa Bobber’s Outfitters in Lion’s Head Home Hardware
Of course, you can always take your angling to the next level with a guided fishing charter. Dwindle’s Dream is run by Rick and Penny Dwinnell who have been taking folks out to fish their hearts out for 25 years now. Leaving from Kincardine Marina, they provide everything you need from rods to life jackets. After you’ve snagged your catch, their crew will even clean and package your fish for you! You’ll be in good hands as Rick has been fishing since he was just three years old and has extensive experience as he hunted Salmon while with the Canadian Armed Forces, and has fished in Newfoundland, Panama, and the Dominican Republic.
Another stellar guide who will show you his fishy ways is Colton of Fish the Bruce. He may originally be from Southern Ontario but he has spent his summers in Oliphant fishing Lake Huron as a seasonal camper. That just enforced his passion for fishing and he has competed in over 20 tournaments in Canada and the United States, starting when he was just 14! He’ll certainly show you a thing or two as you cast for Baitfish, Perch, Crawfish, Gobys and the possible Trophy Bowfin in the spring and both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass in the summer months. It’s guaranteed to be a wild ride!
If you’d rather go manual for your Lake Huron boating, there are plenty of fantastic places to get out for a paddle. These are still Great Lakes waters though so if you’re not the most experienced paddler, it’s best to stick to centralized launch points to ensure a wonderful experience.
There are a number of harbours and boat launches that are great spots to launch your canoe or kayak. Kincardine Harbour is a favourite for many as you can traverse the Penetangore River a bit as well as along the shoreline for a variety of views. Enjoy the sights of the lighthouse and keep your eyes peeled in the water as you just might spy some fish! Southampton also has a great boat launch and there is always the beach launch at Horseshoe Bay, Oliphant Beach, Black Creek Provincial Park and Inverhuron Provincial Park.
Enjoying nature’s creations along the gorgeous Niagara Escarpment always makes for a treat when on the water. Paddle the turquoise waters of Georgian Bay as you launch towards Lion’s Head from the town harbour. A bit further south, the calm waters of Wiarton’s public dock are great for those looking to enjoy a peaceful afternoon paddle. Further up the coast, take in the views of the Devil’s Monument and sneak a peek at the Cabot Head Lighthouse from Dyer’s Bay.
Of course, Tobermory is a hot spot in the summer for many reasons with one being the fantastic kayaking opportunities! Choose to launch from Big Tub Harbour or Little Tub Harbour and paddle your way around the shoreline. Paddle above the magnificent shipwrecks like the Sweepstakes which you can see clearly through calm waters. There are also Dunk’s Bay and Little Cove Beach where, if you’re feeling adventurous and the conditions are right, you can make your way to the iconic Grotto and Indian Head Cove of Bruce Peninsula National Park.
However, if Lake Huron is a little too intense (it is one of the Great Lakes, after all!) then you can always get out on the Saugeen River. With multiple access points throughout Bruce County, you can easily spend an afternoon splashing around or plan an epic week-long adventure. If you need some persuading, here are more than 10 reasons why you should plan to paddle the Saugeen River!
How could you not be? It’s one of the top things to do in Bruce County! Don’t forget that safety comes first and follow all protocols whether that be listening to your fishing guides or wearing your lifejacket while in your canoe. Above all, always check the Lake Huron marine forecast to ensure weather conditions are safe and that you have all the safety gear required for your voyage.
If all else fails and boating just isn’t in the cards for your visit to Bruce County, you can always enjoy some of the fantastic beaches and festivals we have to offer. There are so many rural gems to be discovered that we know you’ll have a stellar time along the Bruce Peninsula!