Where to Fish
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 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.
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
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
- 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