Fishing the Humber River – Claireville Reservoir

Located north-west of Toronto near the suburb of Woodbridge, the Claireville Reservoir is a medium-sized impoundment created by a substantial concrete dam on the Humber River. The dam, built in 1957 as a flood control device in the wake of Hurricane Hazel, is located near the intersection of Finch Avenue at Highway 427. The site offers abundant parking, washrooms, and is served by public transit.

The resultant reservoir is prone to considerable fluctuation in water level, yet still provides fishing opportunities for a range of warm-water fish, including largemouth bass, carp, brown bullhead, punkinseed, yellow perch and white suckers. Anglers also catch the occasional goldfish – part of a small naturalized population that were illegally introduced at some point in history.

Lying within property owned by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Claireville Reservoir is subject to the Authority’s policy banning all live bait except worms. Barbless artificial lures are encouraged.

The reservoir offers reasonably good fishing for largemouth bass, some of which reach weights of over four pounds. Weedless spoons, spinnerbaits, Texas-rigged soft plastic worms and twitchbaits are the most effective lures. Rain can impact water clarity, so most anglers carry lures in a wide range of colours in order to best match conditions.