I have been to the Gouin Reservoir and loved my vacation there. The place is huge but we did well and left knowing the potential of this place to produce great numbers of walleye and pike. In my opinion the Gouin Reservoir is one of the few places in the Northeast that can rival the walleye fishing of Northwestern Ontario for numbers and quality. Chris Aretakis fishes the Gouin a couple times a year and provides us a ton of great information about fishing this legendary body of water in Quebec.
Why do you like fishing the Gouin?
I have been going to Resevoir Gouin now for four years now, the main reason why I like going there is because the walleye fishing there is unbelievable. I have been to 3 Pouvoiries in the four years I have been fishing there…Baie du Sud, Baie du Nord and Chalets Gouin. Gouin is a huge body of water with plenty of walleye and pike and its a beautiful piece of water with very little fishing pressure this is why i keep going back.
Do you have a recommendation out of these places?
I highly recommend Baie du Nord and Baie du Sud. These two pouvoiries are really good and convenient because all the spots where we caught the most and biggest fish were five to ten minutes away by boat. The cabins are very nice they both have a great and helpful staff,so those two I highly recommend.
I see that you recently fishing the Nemio River area where I fished. How did you do?
I was fishing out of Baie du Nord and the river was about a ten minute boat ride from the dock. We were fishing post spawn late May just at the mouth of the river trying to get some females who have just finished spawning and we were able to catch about 15 walleye over 5 pounds at the mouth of the Nemio River.
How would you describe the quality of walleye fishing?
Depending on your skill level as an angler, Gouin is a paradise for walleye, I have had days where we have caught over 120 walleye in one day, If you know how to fish for walleye and you find a school it is common to get these types of numbers in one day. The walleye fishing is simply amazing.
What time of year do you prefer to go? And what fishing techniques for walleye do you like to use at that time of year?
We always plan two trips per year, We go the 3rd week of may for 12 days and another trip at the end of August for one week.
May is very cold up there. Sometimes it goes down to 2 degrees. The fishing on the other hand is the best time of the year in my opinion to catch walleye. In may you will get a lot of fish congregating off wind blown points, near the river where they have just finished spawning. We jig 90 percent of the time in May because the fish are so stacked up on points, I use 15 pound braid with a 12 pound fluorocarbon leader on a medium fast action rod and and i use a drop shot rig with a live leech works amazing when your fishing vertically off points.
August the fishing is still good but the walleye will be scattered this time of the year but they are also bigger. We do a lot of trolling in August. We use a bottom bouncer with a worm harness and what we do is we troll and when we catch a walleye we will turn around and pass over the same spot and if we catch another one normally we know we are on to a school and we will start jigging and when it slows down we start trolling again and if we catch a couple more we will jig again so we basically go back and fourth from bottom bouncing and jigging.
What is your biggest walleye from the Gouin?
My biggest walleye on Gouin was 9 pounds. It was actually this year in late May, we were jigging off a point near the mouth of the Nemio river. I remember it was extremely cold it must have been about 2 degrees and it was raining a lot that day, we even contemplated staying in but we decided to go anyways. It was the middle of the day and I was drop shotting a live leech in about 12 feet of water and pulled up a nice 9 pound walleye.
How would you describe the quality of pike fishing on the Gouin?
The pike fishing is very good. When I was at Baie du Nord this year a guy actually caught a 35 pound pike. The best time to go for the pike is very early in the season because all the big females will be shallow so mid May is your best chance to get pike up to 25 pounds plus. You can find them anywhere you find weeds and later on in the season it is a lot harder to get the big pike because they go deep but pike from 3 to 6 pounds you can catch all day. We use spinnerbaits and bucktails and some top water and you pull up to a baie where you have a lot of vegetation adjacent to deep water and you will catch pike pretty easily.
Do you target pike?
We do target pike but definitely not as much as the walleye. I use a baitcaster, medium heavy action with 30 pound braid and an 80 pound flurocarbon leader. I personally love using Mepps Bucktails with a red tail and when the pike are really aggressive nothing beats using topwater,I use the Live Target frog and mouse and it has worked well for me.
What are 5 things that someone should know when considering/planning their first trip to the Gouin?
1) The weather. It’s very unpredictable and can change very fast, so make sure you dress warm or always have warm clothes in the boat. Do not forget your rain gear. It can be sunny and in ten minutes there will be a huge thunder storm. Being dressed appropriately will let you fish longer, and you will catch more fish and enjoy your trip a lot better
2) Fishing gear.The pouvoiries generally do not have a lot of supplies so make sure you bring spare reels and rods. Bring a lot of stuff for jigging and trolling and you should be good to go.
3) Wind and waves. Gouin is a huge body of water but it can be deceiving, because the structure of the Reservoir is made up of alot of points and bays but when it is windy the waves are huge and if you are in a small boat it can be dangerous. So always be aware of the wind. Gouin like I said before is made up of a lot of points and bays so it is easy to get lost so make sure you have a GPS or a map because the last thing you need is to get lost.
4) Walleye. The most important thing in my opinion on finding big schools of walleye is the wind. if you see wind blowing on a point you will find the walleye. I prefer points that have baseball sized rocks because the minnows hide in the crevasses of the small rocks and I also like when there is an abrupt drop on the point as well and in my experience the magic depth of water is 12 to 15 feet. No wind days start by trolling near drop offs and points and sandbars and you will get walleye with a bottom bouncer worm harness.
5) Pike. Early season is the best time for a trophy, cast spinnerbaits, bucktails, and Red Devil spoons. Find a big bay with a lot of vegetation and always fish the wind blown side of the bay. Early season the north side of the bay will warm up faster then anywhere else so for a trophy cast those lures and you should hook up to some nice pike. Later on in the season the big females go deep so use a deep diving crank baits to try and get the big ones, But you will always catch pike anywhere you see vegetation when you are fishing Gouin and make sure you always have a metal or flurocarbon leader.
Ready to go to the Gouin? I know I am ready to go back with this new information. Thank you Chris. I will be following Chris’ Instagram account next May for the results of his next trip. Can’t wait.