Guest Writer: Jordon Detlor
As an avid Fisherman, that’s now filming my second Season of "Off The Hook With JDon" that's featured on ROGERS TV in Grey County, I've always enjoyed and appreciated the comforting and warm welcoming small town feeling that Meaford has to offer. If you’re looking for the ultimate four-season fishing trip, then Meaford is the right place for you!
I’m a recent transplant to Grey County, having moved to Meaford in 2013 from Toronto. I originally came to know Meaford a little bit during fishing trips over the years. Once I was here permanently, I really discovered its charms and have fallen completely in love with all it has to offer.
Fishing in Meaford offers a little something for everyone: From first-time fishers that just want to catch fish, to avid fishers looking to target that dream trophy catch. The Big Head River runs alongside the Trout Hollow Trail in Meaford and is home to some of Grey County's best fishing spots and hiking trails. The Big Head is known for its Smallmouth Bass, Carp, Rainbow Trout, Chinook Salmon, and Steelhead. You can also find the odd Gar Pike, Brown Trout, and Muskie making their way into the harbour.
But in addition to fishing, Meaford is a bustling hub of activity, a community that offers fantastic fishing and is also home to plenty of shops, restaurants and activities to make your fishing trip complete. To help make your fishing trip in Meaford a great one, I’ve created a list of insider tips of how to enjoy the best of Meaford’s shops and restaurants while you’re out on a day of fishing.
Always my first stop before heading out on any fishing trip, McGinty’s Cafe has great coffee and freshly made daily sandwiches, pastries and other snacks that I can easily pack for a full day. Their whipped hot chocolate always keeps me in the good books with my kids when they’re joining me on a fishing trip.
Looking to stock up on some lively dew/trout worms, fresh roe eggs, or tackle for your fishing adventures? Alex's Gas Bar has everything you need to get started! Located right in the heart of Meaford’s downtown, Alex's is a full-service gas station that always has the right directions or advice to offer!
Forgot your fishing rod or don't have one? No need to worry, the Meaford Public Library has you covered! You can't drive through the downtown area without noticing the newly built Meaford Public Library. Not only can you take out some great reads for yourself or the family, but you can also take out a fishing rod that comes along with a small tackle box and some tackle to start you off on your journey! Visit the staff at the front desk to sign up for a guest library card!
I'm just going to get it right out of the way now. The Kitchen has the best butter tarts in Canada, and anyone that's been to Meaford or the surrounding area will second that! Located right in the heart of downtown across from Meaford Hall, The Kitchen is best known for their butter tarts and tasty treats, Fresh made sandwiches, focaccia, salads, quiche, hot homemade soups, and daily specials all prepared in-house! If you're looking to take something home for later, The Kitchen also offers frozen prepared foods & appetizers that are also made in-house.
Located right in the heart of Meaford’s downtown across from the Big Apple, The Leeky Canoe has been serving up amazing pub grub since 1999! Their patio known as “The Dock” is the perfect place to enjoy wings, fish n’ chips, or one of their famous gourmet hot dogs.
What says fall more than apple pie? Grandma Lambe’s is much more than your average family-run local fruit stand. This place is a bit of an institution – a household name in Meaford – and is a must-see pit stop as you make your way home from any Meaford fishing trip. Pick up their freshly baked apple pies, local fall produce and other baked goods to take home. And don’t forget to grab some local fresh artisan made gourmet sauces from Big Mama's Kitchen Creations. They will be perfect pairing at home for when you’re preparing your fresh catch from your memorable day in Meaford.
With by far the BEST pizza in town, Amici's is definitely worth the stop in when visiting Meaford. Whether you're stopping by to enjoy some finger foods and cold refreshments at the bar, or you're bringing the family & friends in to enjoy a night out after a day of fishing, Amici has a wide selection of specialty pizzas and a menu guaranteed to please everyone.
The perfect spot to hang out, Ted's Range Road Diner is always at the top of my list of places to visit. Ted’s is best known for its unique and exotic meats menu items and generous portions, as well as it's Wednesday night jam nights. Make sure to call ahead to book a reservation, because seats fill up fast for dine in and patio seating!
Scale Up on Safety
For a perfect fishing experience, be safe and protect yourself from the elements by packing hats (wide brim is best), sunscreen and insect repellent. Watch the weather, and pack in your gear at the first sign of a thunderstorm. Every member of your party should wear a life jacket, even when fishing from shore. Bring a first aid kit, just in case, and be sure to wear waterproof boots or shoes you don’t mind getting wet (they WILL get wet!) Remember to avoid horseplay near the shore and on a boat, and do not consume alcohol or other intoxicants while fishing.