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Where to Fish

Southern Ontario

Southern Ontario is a great destination for anglers, offering a variety of exceptional and scenic waterways, including Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.

Away from the big waters, many pastoral rivers draw anglers to great fishing. The Grand, the Niagara, the Ausable, the Maitland, and the Saugeen are just a few that offer surprisingly diverse fisheries. Bass, walleye, rainbow trout, salmon, panfish, catfish, and carp are all available in the lower reaches, while brook and brown trout inhabit headwaters.

In Haliburton's deep, clear lakes, troll for lake trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass, and whitefish. Or fish for muskie and walleye and largemouth bass in other waters just minutes away. Whether you fish from a fully rigged fishing boat or a simple canoe - there's plenty of water to explore and fish to catch.

The Land O’Lakes area contains 5,000 lakes with a large variety of fish, as well as fishing experiences. Try your hand at fall fishing which often yields the best results as the Bass gorge themselves preparing for the winter and Pickerel (Walleye) come out of their summer depths.

Lake Simcoe, part of the Trent-Severn Waterway, has an incredible multi-species fishery that includes lake trout, whitefish, jumbo perch, northern pike, bass, crappie and even giant carp. The historic Atherley Narrows, which connects Lake Couchiching to Lake Simcoe, has some of the province's finest spring perch and crappie fishing, but northern pike and bass are what this area is best known for in other seasons. The Kawartha chain of lakes are also connected to the Trent-Severn and are a popular fishing destination.

Since the 1960s, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) has been monitoring and stocking Lake Ontario and many of its tributaries with salmon and trout. This stocking program creates a world class off-shore fishery where charter boat captains can supply all the equipment you'll need for a memorable day of fishing. During the spring and fall fish run up adjacent rivers all along the Lake Ontario waterfront, offering shorebound anglers a chance at catching the trout or salmon of a lifetime.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishers can cast their line to the abundant brown trout, steelhead and feisty small mouth bass in the region of southern Ontario. Popular destinations include the Grand River, a short drive from Detroit, Buffalo or Toronto, and the beautiful Credit River on the outskirts of Toronto. Visiting fly fishers can even focus their efforts on sections of these rivers with 'special regulations' tailor made for them and others who fish with barbless hooks, no live bait and practice catch and release. These areas are outlined in the OMNR's Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary within the 'Exceptions' pages. If you're looking to find action in a venue a little further north, think about paying a visit to the Saugeen or Maitland Rivers in Southwestern Ontario or the Nottawasaga River, just east of Toronto, whose wild and picturesque settings are bound to impress even the most seasoned fly fisher. Southern Ontario offers fantastic fly fishing opportunities for everyone, from the novice to the expert.

Ice Fishing

Despite being so close to millions of anglers, ice fishing opportunities in southern Ontario are some of the finest available in the whole province. Most ice fishing enthusiasts drill their holes somewhere on the 280 square miles of hard water available to them on Lake Simcoe just an hour north of Toronto. Known as the ice fishing capital of North America, this giant lake can have as many as 4,000 ice huts dotting its hard waters from January 1st to March 15th every year. Of these huts, many are owned and operated as commercial ice hut businesses that cater to ice anglers of all skill levels from all over the world. You can bring your own equipment or they can supply it all- and they'll even drill the holes for you. Despite the cold temperatures outside, the warm, comfy huts inside can produce some red-hot fishing for jumbo yellow perch, big lake trout, tasty whitefish and feisty northern pike. For those who would rather ice fish smaller inland lakes, southern Ontario also has plenty of those ... some with commercial ice hut operations, some without. So, next time you are thinking of an economical and fun winter activity for the whole family, why not try southern Ontario's great ice fishing ... and you too can discover how much fun it is to walk and fish on our hard waters.

Southern Ontario, with its mix of big-city sophistication and small-town charm, is by far one of the most diverse fishing and tourism areas in the province. Whether you are here on business and only have a day to fish, or vacationing with your whole family, the southern part of our province offers excellent fishing opportunities that you don't want to miss!

Southern Ontario Trips

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Southern Ontario Tourism Contacts

1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce
Bancroft and District Chamber of Commerce
Bay of Quinte
Bruce County Tourism
Chatham-Kent Tourism
Elgin County Tourism
Explorer's Edge
Georgian Triangle
Grey County Tourism
Haliburton Highlands
Headwaters Tourism
Huron Tourism Association
Lanark County Tourism
Land O Lakes Tourism Association
Muskoka Tourism
Niagara Falls Tourism
Norfolk County
Northumberland Tourism
Ontario East Tourism Corporation
Ontario's Lake Country
Ottawa Valley Tourism Association
Peterborough and The Kawarthas Tourism
Tourism Burlington
Tourism Sarnia-Lambton
Tourism Toronto
Windsor, Essex County & Pelee Island

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