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Your Guide to Fishing in Ontario Top 10 Destinations

Your Guide to Fishing in Ontario: Top 10 Destinations

Ontario is a real paradise for folks who love to fish. We’re talking about nearly half a million lakes, rivers, and streams here! 

It’s like Ontario’s got a seventh of the whole world’s freshwater tucked away. And we’ve been on a fishing expedition ourselves, exploring all those fishing spots across Ontario to bring you the absolute best. 

So, go ahead, grab your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable angler’s adventure that’s too good to pass up!

Lake Erie


Lake Erie may be the smallest in terms of volume among the Great Lakes, but it’s got its charm. Stretching out over 241 miles in length and 57 miles at its widest, it doesn’t seem that small anymore.

And here’s the cool part – don’t let its size fool you because it’s packed with a bunch of fish species. We’re talking largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, steelhead, lake trout, and rainbow trout – just waiting for you to cast your line and make some memories!

What’s even cooler is that the whole area around the lake is a goldmine for outdoor fun and jaw-dropping scenery. You’ve got hiking trails, nature parks, spots for bird-watching, and a whole lot more — a pretty good family activity idea, eh? 

Pro tip:
If you’re looking to make the most of the lake, you’ve got a bunch of shore fishing spots and boat launch points. And for the ultimate fishing adventure, check out the various fishing charters available.

And oh, before you dive in, remember to watch out for those algae-filled areas on the lake. Keep an eye on the weather, and be sure to pay attention to the beach signs. 

Lake Huron 


Let’s chat about Lake Huron; it’s the second-largest Great Lake, with a vast surface area of 23,000 square miles, making it the fifth-largest freshwater lake globally. And that means it’s a top-notch fishing destination here in Ontario.

Here’s the scoop on this lake – it’s like a playground for big-water fishing, where you can reel in some serious lake trout and leaping salmon. While you can have a blast fishing here all summer long, the real salmon action kicks in come fall.

Plus, there’s more in the mix here since you’ve got a healthy bunch of walleye, whitefish, and perch in these waters. This whole gang of aquatic creatures adds an extra dash of excitement for all you fishing fans out there.

Pro tip:
And hey, if you’re hitting up Lake Huron, don’t miss out on Manitoulin Island. It’s a real gem, offering a mix of stunning natural beauty and a rich indigenous culture.

Having a boat with you can really up your fishing game on Lake Huron, making it a fantastic experience. And here’s a little tip – even in the summer, the water tends to stay on the cool side, so remember to bring along something warm to stay comfy.

Rainy Lake


Here’s the lowdown on Rainy Lake – it’s sitting right on the border of Minnesota and Ontario, and it’s like a haven for smallmouth bass fishing that can get your heart racing. But that’s not all; you can also score some trophy northern pike, crappies, and walleyes too. 

You see, the fish in Rainy Lake are pretty current-savvy, and their hangout spots and activity often follow the flow. And here’s a neat trick: a bit of wind can also kickstart their appetite— doing a little research can go a long way in helping you hook the big ones. 

In this hotspot for anglers, you’ll find everything a visiting fisherman could wish for – think cosy places to stay, boat launches to get you on the water, and even spots to fix up your boat if it needs some TLC.

Pro tip:
You’ll come across loads of fishing guides in the area. Just keep your eyes peeled for them – they can seriously level up your fishing game.

The best time to go after them is right after the ice melts, typically in early May. It’s when they’re in pre-spawn mode, and with the weather warming up, they head to the shallow rocky areas in big numbers to feed.

Lake of the Woods


Meet the “sixth Great Lake,” that’s what folks fondly call Lake of the Woods. It’s like living proof of Ontario’s amazing aquatic world, and given its vast expanse, you’ll find some predator fish species around these parts.

This place is pretty famous for its muskie fishing. But don’t be fooled; there’s a whole cast of characters in these waters, from walleye and pike to bass, lake trout, perch, crappie, and whitefish.

If you’re thinking about a fantastic family fishing spot, Lake of the Woods should definitely be on your radar. Plus, they’ve got a bunch of campgrounds to set up shop, and you can even kick it up a notch by renting a houseboat.

Pro tip:
Given the lake’s vast size, hiring a local guide is a smart idea. They’ll help you navigate these waters like a pro.

If you’re not from around these parts, don’t fret. There are tons of lodges and resorts on Lake of the Woods that you can book for a sweet getaway.

Bay of Quinte


Let’s talk about the Bay of Quinte in Prince Edward County, a long stretch of water up on Lake Ontario’s north shore. It’s like the go-to spot for walleye, bass, pike, crappie, and all sorts of panfish. 

When it comes to the Bay of Quinte, the anglers are all about the walleye, especially in the Belleville area. These guys are a hit, and the real action goes down during spring and fall, even though they’re still a hot catch during the winter season.

You know, this place might be all about big water, but it’s got some great protection that makes it accessible for fishing even if you’re not rolling in with a massive boat. And as for the cast of characters in this fish tale, you’ve got salmon, muskie, and even perch joining the party.

Pro tip:
You can have a blast fishing here all year round, but if you’re on the hunt for those trophy-sized champs, fall is the way to go. And, word on the street is that night-time fishing is where the real magic happens.

Bass can be a bit sneaky when they’re not chowing down. So, if you’re trying to find them, keep your eyes peeled for places where they like to hang out, like thick weed beds and hidden underwater spots, such as rocky hideouts, shoals, and islands.

Algonquin Provincial Park


Algonquin is like a hidden gem, offering a unique blend of pristine headwater lakes, winding rivers, and a real sense of seclusion from the hustle and bustle of development. Picture this – over 1,500 lakes and 1,200 kilometres of streams and rivers tucked away in the wilderness. 

Plus, only a handful of anglers enjoy these serene waters each year. It’s also home to a whopping 54 different fish species, but what really steals the show is the world-class trout fishing that lures anglers from all corners of Ontario and even beyond.

Also, note that the fishing season in Algonquin Park starts on the last Saturday in April and goes until September 30th. Spring is fantastic for trout, while bass season starts in late June and continues through the summer.

Pro tip:
Just a heads up, Algonquin’s got some unique fishing rules in place, like a total ban on using live bait fish. They’re all about safeguarding this incredible fishery.

In the interior of Algonquin Park, the native fishery remains undisturbed, making it a paradise for dedicated anglers who prefer to fish from a canoe.

Lake Superior


Now, when we talk about Lake Superior, we’re diving into some seriously clear waters – we’re talking an average visibility of around 27 feet or 8 meters. That’s crystal clear, folks, and it makes Superior the king of transparency among the Great Lakes. 

And as for the fish, there’s a lot of them down there – like lake trout, northern pike, walleye, and some less famous ones, such as cisco, whitefish, and siscowet. With this diverse crew, it’s a hot spot for anglers, whether you’re into the sport or looking to catch some goodies for the market.

Notably, the Canadian charter captains here offer a bunch of different trips, so you’ll find one that fits your group’s skill level. If you’re just starting or you’ve got some newer anglers in the crew, a half-day trip is a great way to dip your toes into the world of Lake Superior fishing.

Pro tip:
If you’re up for a private 4-hour Lake Superior fishing trip, it’s about $338. And if you’re planning an 8-hour private trip, that’ll cost you around $505.

Now, if you’re planning to extend your stay, Lake Superior’s got you covered. You can go old-school with tent camping or roll in with your RV. And if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s also backcountry camping on the menu.

Lake Simcoe


Turning our attention to Lake Simcoe, you’re looking at a world-famous ice fishing destination that’s a hit with folks of all ages and skill levels. Thanks to its proximity to Toronto, it gets plenty of fishing action throughout the year, with winter being the top pick for ice-fishing enthusiasts.

During the ice fishing season on Lake Simcoe, you’ve got a pretty impressive lineup of target species to go after – think pike, whitefish, trout, yellow perch, walleye, and ling. Catching pike is an adventure, and one of the most popular methods is using a tip-up with some bait.

But, a quick heads-up: when it comes to Northern Pike, they can be a bit tricky to handle, so take some extra care to avoid any accidental mishaps.

Pro tip:
When you’re planning your visit – don’t forget to check out the local fishing regulations. They can change from year to year and might have different limits and seasons for the species you’re aiming to catch.

Lake Nipigon


Lake Nipigon is a real angler’s paradise, with almost 1900 square miles of prime fishing territory. You can also hook some impressive pike, lake trout, walleye, and whitefish—even the world record 14.5-lb. brook trout were reeled in right here on this lake!

Even now, they’ve got some pretty strict size and possession limits in place, but let me tell you, the fishing here is still top-notch. You can expect to catch many fish weighing in at over 6 lbs., and there’s even a lucky few that break the 10 lb. mark every year.

And for those who fancy a bit of fly-fishing, it’s a real treat. The Nipigon River is where the action’s at, and you can enjoy it from May right up until the lake freezes over.

Pro tip:
If you’re planning a trip to this place, make sure you’ve got the right-sized boat ready to roll. Alternatively, you could opt for a charter if that’s more your style, or at least have a game plan for those days when the wind decides to kick up a fuss.

Kawartha Lakes


You know, the Kawartha Lakes, they’re this fantastic chain of lakes right in the heart of south-central Ontario. Whether you’re a fishing pro or just itching for a fun family fishing adventure, well, you’re in for a real treat here.

From panfish to sportfish, including large and smallmouth bass, pike, perch, rock bass, pickerel, and the elusive muskie, Kawartha Lakes is a hotspot for year-round freshwater fishing. 

Surrounded by rolling farm country down south, things start to get a bit more rugged as you head north into the rocky Canadian Shield landscape. The cool part is that this terrain sets the stage for some fishing opportunities, whether you’re after warm-water or cold-water fish. 

Pro tip:
For a private fishing trip that lasts a good 8 hours out on the Kawartha Lakes, you’re looking at an average price of around $439.

This list pretty much has a variety of destinations, whether you might want to go during the summer, winter, or even with your kids!

At the end of the day, there’s more to choosing which fishing spot you want to try out since you also need to consider things like seasonal changes, fishing regulations, and difficulty level. 

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