The Ottawa River Musky Factory is located half way between the dams of Ottawa and Carillon which gives us easy access to and 80 mile (125 km) stretch of water. We offer charters on the Ottawa River, Lake of Two Mountains and seasonally on the Rideau and Madawaska River.
We can accommodate the needs of all anglers; casting, trolling, shallow, deep, at a tournament pace, at a crawl, from beginner to seasoned professional. We will strive to make your trip everything you want it to be.
The Ottawa River has it all!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are your rates? A half day for 2 people is $450 and an extra person is $50. A full day for 2 is $725 and an extra person is $100. If you wish to have a full day split (morning and evening fish) it’s an extra $100. These rates include HST. A half day is 5 hours, a full day is 9 hours.
What does that include? Guide, boat and all first-class equipment (Shimano).
What do I need to bring? A fishing license (unless under 18 or over 65, or if you have a CNIB card, a valid Ontario accessible parking permit, or are a member of the Canadian Armed Forces – then you do not require a license, proof must still be presented). You can get a license online, at Pro Nature or Canadian Tire in Rockland or at the depanneur in Plantagenet. A Quebec license is also acceptable as we are fishing boundary waters. Food and water. Weather appropriate clothing, sunscreen/bug spray, rain gear, sunglasses (polarized if you have them) and a PMA (Positive Musky Attitude)!
Can my kids fish for musky? We recommend that children be 12 and up. We use 8’6” rods and use bait casters to throw big heavy baits which is very physically demanding.
Can I bring my own equipment? You are more than welcome to bring your own equipment as long as it is a musky set-up with at least 80LB braid. Using lighter gear can put extra stress on the fish. We do not use spinning gear. Don’t worry if you are not comfortable with a bait caster reel – we can get you comfortable in no time!
What happens if there is bad weather forecasted? Bad weather is good weather for muskies! They are often more active with a dropping barometer caused by a front moving in. We work around small storm cells with lightning by closely monitoring the radar (we get off the water as it passes through). We do not take chances with safety and will cancel due to extreme high winds or intense storm systems with extreme precipitation. If we cancel due to weather you have the option of a refund of your deposit or we can look at rescheduling you to another day.
What are the chances of catching a musky? Do you cast or troll? Muskies are the “fish of 10,000 casts”. On an average full day we get 5-6 contacts (a follow into the boat, a swipe at a lure or a bite). Your guide will work hard to make sure you are ready to take advantage of these opportunities by working on your casting technique, your figure eights at the side of the boat and your hookset technique. We are proud to have an 80% success rate for full days and a 50% success rate for ½ days. There are days when the fish are glued to the bottom and we don’t see a fish but it is very rare. We mostly cast but take trolling breaks when necessary and while eating/taking a break. It is a personal preference and we will target them how you wish!
What is the best time of year to target muskies? Our season on the Rideau opens on the first Saturday in June. The Ottawa river season opens on the 3rd Friday in June and ends on December 15th (weather permitting). We catch muskies all season long. On an average day during the year with 2 people casting we contact 5 to 6 muskies and catch 1 to 2 per day with a solid 75%+catch rate. There are slightly more contacts in the last week of June and first couple of weeks of July, depending on how spring unfolds and when the fish spawn. The beginning of September on marks the fall feeding period when muskies eat more food more often. Later in the fall is considered high risk (less contacts), high reward with fish gaining weight every week! Catches and results are more extreme in every way. Overall, the single biggest factor for success is the daily weather no matter what time of year it is or where in the moon cycle we are.
Where will we launch from? We use 4 different launches along the stretch of the Ottawa River between Orleans and as far as Hawkesbury. We also fish the Rideau River early in the season. Your launch location will be shared with you once you book as it depends on who is guiding you and where you are staying.
What is your cancelation policy? We ask for as much notice as possible if you need to cancel your trip, ideally 6-8 weeks as our schedule is filled in advance. If the cancelation is within 2 weeks, we will try our best to fill the spot, however if we are not able to fill it the deposit will not be refunded. We are flexible and will work with you if you need to cancel due to things out of your control (Ie Covid travel restrictions).
Are there local accommodations? There is a clean basic motel with an attached diner in Plantagenet called Place 1967. On the Quebec side there is the 5-star Fairmont Montebello, if staying here we will pick you up from the dock. There are 2 chain hotels in Orleans and the River Rock Inn located in Rockland. There are also several Airbnb options in the area.
Do you provide life jackets? Are you commercially insured? We are commercially insured and our boats are registered as commercial vessels with Transport Canada. As we follow commercial regulations we are required to carry “life jackets” not PFD’s (personal floatation devices). The life jackets are not possible to wear while fishing (as they are very bulky and go on over your head) so if you would like to wear a PFD while fishing, please let us know before your trip so we can pack the appropriate size (currently all our compartments are filled with the life jackets!). You are also welcome to bring your own.
What if I fish in the area? We love taking local anglers out fishing – a big part of what we do is teaching people the right way to target muskie (proper gear, handling and release techniques) and of course strategy to find the fish! As an angler you know that pressure on the spots we work can greatly affect what we do and the service we provide for our guests. All we ask is that you take what we teach you and use this transferable knowledge on a different section of the river whenever possible as we strive to give our guests the best experience possible! The Ottawa is an incredible fishery right on our doorstep and there is over 300km of musky territory to explore!
Can I bring Alcohol? It is illegal in the province of Ontario to have alcohol on board our type of vessel.
Thank-you for contacting the Ottawa River Musky Factory: Dream Big!
John Anderson – Owner/Operator