When it comes to embarking on fishing expeditions, one name stands out in the North Bay area: Chelsea Lynn. A native of North Bay, Chelsea’s journey into the realm of fishing began unexpectedly, transforming her from a casual outdoor enthusiast to a dedicated and passionate angler. Her story is one of adventure, perseverance, and breaking barriers in the traditionally male-dominated fishing industry.
Chelsea’s love affair with fishing began in late 2015 when she crossed paths with her boyfriend Nik, an avid angler. Despite growing up in North Bay surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors, fishing hadn’t been a significant part of her life until then. A camping trip that included brook trout fishing changed everything. Catching multiple brook trout in the four to five-pound class ignited a spark within her, setting the stage for a journey that would lead her to become a prominent figure in the fishing community.
It wasn’t until June of 2016 that Chelsea ventured into musky fishing, which became a pivotal point in her angling journey. Within her first week of musky fishing, Chelsea hooked up, but it was a long road thereafter, not landing another musky until 2017 when she landed a 48 incher. Although musky fishing posed a challenge—requiring patience, persistence, and resilience—Chelsea was captivated by the thrill. She embraced the challenge and quickly found herself hooked on the exhilarating pursuit of muskies.
As her passion evolved, Chelsea expanded her horizons to embrace a variety of fish species. From early-season smallmouth bass and walleye to pike and lake trout, her experiences grew broader. Chelsea’s fishing territory extended from Lake Nipissing to other exciting locales, adding to her portfolio of angling accomplishments.
The fishing world has long been perceived as a male-dominated industry, but Chelsea is changing that narrative. She has become an influential presence within the industry through social media, becoming a beacon for other female anglers seeking representation and recognition. In her early days, Chelsea noticed the scarcity of female anglers on social media. However, over time, she witnessed a significant surge in the number of women who shared her passion.
Chelsea’s journey in fishing led her to a landmark moment when she, alongside fellow female anglers, became the first female panel for Musky Canada’s Muskie Odyssey event with Jessie Baker, Ashley Rae, Lauren Kozak, and Meg McGregor. This platform allowed her to discuss her experiences as a female angler and shed light on the challenges and triumphs she encountered while Musky fishing. Chelsea has played an instrumental role in building a robust community of female anglers who support and uplift one another.
Sitting down with Chelsea we got to discuss her seasonal fishing trips in North Bay:
Top 5 North Bay Seasonal Fishing Trips:
- Burbot: January kicks off Chelsea’s fishing year with burbot fishing, including multiple ice camping trips on Lake Nipissing. What started as a reluctant pursuit has transformed into an adrenaline-packed venture. The burbot’s impressive fight and the opportunity to catch the Ontario record make it an enticing winter adventure. The area has limited opportunity in the early season to target larger sized fish like lake trout through the ice, and burbot fill that gap.
- Brook Trout: As winter transitions into February, Chelsea sets her sights on brook trout. Remote back lake exploration and the search to find native wild brook trout keeps her driven and motivated to find her next bite and potential trophy. The exhilaration of catching these wild beauties, coupled with the picturesque winter scenery, creates an unforgettable experience.
- Northern Pike: Transitioning to spring, Chelsea enjoys pike fishing. The unpredictability of pike fishing, combined with the potential for catching trophy-sized fish, keeps her engaged. Chelsea notes that seasonal temperature fluctuations can present ideal opportunities to catch trophy-sized Northern Pike in the area with her largest to date being a 46.5” monster.
- Bass and Walleye: Once May Long weekend arrives, Chelsea changes her focus to bass and walleye. She enjoys the break from her pursuit of trophy-class fish and goes for numbers which has often has quality fish mixed in. This is the “break” in her season mentally as she can unwind a bit more and just enjoy catching. Chelsea notes that catch and release is a top priority for her, harvesting very few fish throughout the season.
- Musky: From July to November, Chelsea’s focus turns to musky fishing. This apex predator is a true challenge, demanding patience, skill, and dedication. Musky season is characterized by intense adrenaline and anticipation, with every outing holding the promise of a new personal best, which she hit this summer with a 51” giant. Her season includes multiple week-long island camping trips and targeting them every chance she gets because you never know when the right fish will bite.
Chelsea’s journey from a fishing novice to a respected angler has been one of discovery, challenges, and growth. Her experiences on the water have taught her invaluable life lessons. Patience, perseverance, and humility have become her guiding principles both in fishing and in life. Chelsea’s journey has shown that determination and a positive mindset can lead to rewards beyond one’s imagination.
As Chelsea continues to push her boundaries, she encourages others to do the same. Her story serves as an inspiration to anglers of all backgrounds, and particularly to female anglers who seek to break down barriers and excel in a field that has long been dominated by men. Chelsea’s love for fishing is not just about the catch; it’s about the connection with nature, the camaraderie of the fishing community, and the personal growth that comes from embracing challenges head-on.
So, whether you’re a seasoned angler or just dipping your toes into the fishing world, Chelsea Lynn’s journey stands as a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the thrill of the chase here in North Bay.