Published November 24, 2020

Escape to the lake with 6 Ice Fishing Hot Spots in Ontario

Hook, line, and sinker!
Ice Fishing Hot Spots

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It's almost that time of year again! If you're the type of person who waits all year for the water to freeze, or maybe you want to give it a try for the first time, we have the best ice fishing Hot Spots for you to check out in Ontario.

Getting Started

If it is your first time ice fishing, you might be wondering about licensing. There are two things you're going to need the first time you head onto the frozen lakes of Ontario: an Outdoors Card and a Fishing License.

However, there are a few groups that look a little different:

  • If you're under 18 or over 65, you won't need an Outdoors Card to go ice fishing. Just grab a license, and you're good to go.
  • If you're a veteran or active Canadian Armed Forces member, you can enjoy free fishing across the province. Just carry a Canadian Forces ID Card, Record of Service Card, or Canadian Armed Forces Veteran's Service Card.
  • If you plan to fish for a single day, you do not need and Outdoors Card. Just pick up a one-day sport fishing license.

There are also four times a year that any Canadian resident can fish in Ontario, no license necessary. One of those times is Family Fishing Weekend from February 16 to 18, a perfect weekend to try ice fishing!

Finally, if it is your first time, be sure to check out the Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary.

Ice Fishing Hot spots

Now that you've got everything you need, it's time to hit the lake. Whether you're going on a bit of a road trip or just want to cast your line a bit closer to home, Ontario is flush with amazing ice fishing hot spots.

Lake Simcoe

Lake Simcoe has gained a reputation as the ice fishing capital of North America. It has one of the most diverse ranges of species including herring, perch, trout, whitefish, and pike. The lake also completely freezes over in the winter, so there is no shortage of places to rent a hut with nearly 10 in and around Barrie itself.

If it's your first time, start here. If you're a seasoned fisher, you know Lake Simcoe is a reliable way to go ice fishing.

Lake Couchiching

Sharing some of the same waters as Lake Simcoe, Lake Couchiching is another awesome ice fishing hot spot sitting on the north-eastern edge of Orillia.

Set up your hut here, and you'll be catching all manner of bass, perch, pike, and trout. If you need a break, Orillia is also a fantastic place to take a break and grab a delicious bite to eat.

South Georgian Bay

We all know that South Georgian Bay is one of Ontario's biggest hot spots when it comes to summer beach life, but you might not know it's also equally sought after as an ice fishing hot spot too.

The towns that dot the shore, like Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, are beautiful places to visit, but you might be too busy catching salmon, sturgeon, and pike to spend much time not ice fishing!

Lake Nipissing

Northern Ontario is world renown for its stunning beauty and people travel all across the globe to witness its splendour. Lucky for us, we live here!

If you're looking for some destination ice fishing hot spots, it's hard to beat Lake Nipissing. You'll be catching tons of walleye, perch, pike, and whitefish while taking in the gorgeous scenery and breathing in that fresh northern air.

Wawa Lake

This one is definitely a bit of a journey but if you talk to any ice fishers who have made it up to Wawa Lake, they all can't recommend it enough. In fact, the town loves ice fishing so much that they have an annual ice fishing derby on all the many surrounding lakes.

Book yourself a cozy play to stay and escape up north for an ice fishing weekend getaway in Wawa!

Related Local News: Winter weekend getaways near Barrie

There's something about packing all your favourite snacks (and maybe a few beers), grabbing your kids, partner, or friends, and getting away from it all with a day on the frozen lakes of Ontario.

Did we miss any of your favourite hot spots? Where is your go-to lake when it comes to ice fishing?

Featured image: Tima Miroscnichenko via

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