9 Campsites In Ontario With Easy Access To Great Fishing
Your perfect fishing getaway
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Canada has more lake area than any country in the world. In Ontario alone, you can find more than 250,000 lakes with over 154 species of fish. Some of the most common are Pike, Perch, Bluegill and Walleye.
This is great news because it means that fishers in the Barrie area don’t have to travel far to cast a line in well stocked waters.
If you’re looking to go on a fishing getaway, here are some locations with great campsites for you to stay at.
1. Rice Lake
Rice Lake is in southeastern Ontario, just south of Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes. The lake is famous for its large Muskies, thanks to an abundance of panfish. Fishers regularly catch 10 to 15 lb Muskies, though they can weigh as much as 30 lbs.
If Muskie isn’t your fish of choice, Rice Lake also has Walleye, Large and Smallmouth Bass and Crappie.
There are public launches in the towns of Bewdley and Hastings. There are also tons of great campsites in the area, including Stoney Point Resort.
Stoney Point Resort offers full service waterfront campsites for tents, trailers and RVs. There’s also a boat launch and docks on site, as well as a fish cleaning facility.
For those who are looking for more than fishing, there are lots of other great activities and amenities on site.
2. Sturgeon Bay
Just north of Parry Sound is the town called Pointe au Baril. Here you will find Sturgeon Bay situated among the 30,000 islands, which leads to Georgian Bay.
Some of the most popular catches in this area are Northern Pike, Large and Smallmouth Bass. There are also Walleye, Muskie, Longnos Gar, Perch and Sunfish.
If you’re looking for a campsite with easy access to fishing on Sturgeon Bay, head to Sturgeon Bay Provincial Park. The park has campsites for tents, trailers and RVs, as well as cabins that can be rented out. The park has good shoreline fishing but also has a boat launch with slips for those who want to get out on the water. If you want to fish from a boat, but don’t have your own, don’t worry. The park rents out canoes and there’s a marina across from the park where you can rent boats.
Sturgeon Bay Park is one of the smaller provincial parks in Ontario, with only 115 campsites. That makes it the perfect fishing getaway for anybody looking for a quiet locale with access to amenities.
3. Georgian Bay
If you’re looking for excellent camping and fishing right on Georgian Bay, head to the Parry Sound District.
Here you will find Killbear Provincial Park. It’s the perfect setting to take in stunning shorelines and windswept pines while you fish.
While you are welcome to visit for the day, the park also has great camping. Killbear has 7 campgrounds for all types of camping equipment from tents to RVs. Shoreline fishing is limited but there are lots of areas to explore by boat.
On the eastern side of the Killbear Peninsula, there’s a productive Lake Trout fishery on Big Sound. Blind Bay, Lighthouse Point and the back bays of Parry Sound are also good areas to check out. These waters are full of Smallmouth Bass, Pike, Perch and Walleye.
If you are fishing in this area, there’s one site that is off limits. In Kilcoursie Bay, on the west side of the peninsula, is a Trout Sanctuary. This area is closed off year round.
There are no docks at Killbear Provincial Park but you are allowed to beach your boat or moor 8m from shore. Smaller boats, (less than 20 meters in length) can launch at the Lighthouse Point Campground. Larger boats will have to launch at Blind Bay or Killbear Marina, which is a 3 minute drive from the park.
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4. Red Cedar Lake
In Marten River, you will find Red Cedar Lake with more than 133 kms of nearly untouched shoreline. The lake itself is over 7,000 acres and is connected to other lakes, bays and inlets to explore.
The lake is full of Walleye. Some fishers say you can easily catch 10 to 15 a day at the rocky shoals and points. There are also plenty of Northern Pike in the weedy back bays and Smallmouth Bass in the narrows. For Lake trout, cast a line near the drop offs throughout the lake.
Red Cedar Lake has plenty of areas to launch your boat. It’s also great for those looking for a cabin camping experience.
Red Cedar Lake Camp is located right on the shores of Red Cedar Lake next to Loon Bay. The camp offers self-guided tours, as well as fishing packages. Their Deluxe Package includes accommodation, meals, boat, gas, bait, fishfinder, equipment and more. There’s also a cleaning facility on site.
If you don’t want to take advantage of their fishing packages, you can also choose to simply rent a boat or launch your own and keep it at their docks.
5. Trent River
Along the Trent-Severn Waterway between Lock 14 and 15, you will find some of the best fishing on Trent River. The area is known for Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye and Muskies. It’s also home to Perch, Crappie and Largemouth Bass.
While the area was said to be dead a few years back, populations are up.
If you would like to camp and fish the Trent River and Crowe Bay, stay at Cole’s Point Resort & Trailer Park. The resort is located below Healey Falls where the Trent River meets the Crowe River.
Cole’s Point is 15 minutes from Campbellford, Havelock and Hastings and has cottage rentals and 108 seasonal trailer sites. The on site store sells bait and tackle and the resort has boat rentals, a boat launch and docking.
NOTE: Their Sanctuary between the dam and the bridge on Hwy 7 where you can’t fish.
6. Pigeon River
Pigeon River leads to the Trent Severn Waterway and links Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. The river takes up nearly 14,000 acres and has a max depth of 56 feet.
Popular catches include Muskies, Largemouth Bass and Crappie. There are also Walleye, Perch, Bluegill and Smallmouth Bass in Pigeon River.
For Bass and Crappie, fish the weed pockets on the south side of the lake or troll around Big Island. While the Bass average 1 to 2 pounds, it is not uncommon to catch a 5+ lb Bass. You can find Walleye on the north end of the river.
If you want to spend the weekend camping while you fish Pigeon River, head to Emily Provincial Park. The park has two boat launches, live bait and tackle at the store, canoe rentals and lots of car camping spaces.
If you have any young or new fishers with you, the park also has a Learn to Fish program for beginners. They also offer equipment through the TackleShare program. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters sponsors this program.
7. Six Mile Lake
While Crappie populations are on the decline, Six Mile Lake is a great spot for Northern Pike, Small and Largemouth Bass. It also has a great Sunfish population, which is great for kids if they will be tagging along.
If you want to stay right by the lake, head to Six Mile Lake Provincial Park. The park is well-known for its recreational fishing and has 7 campgrounds with a combination of drive-in and walk-in campsites.
Six Mile Lake Provincial Park also has many semi-private waterfront sites and has a boat launch and docks that you can use.
8. McCrae Lake
If you’re looking for an adventure, head to McCrae Lake. Located across from Six Mile Lake, McCrae is great for those who enjoy shoreline back camping and light portaging.
The lake itself is known for Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Muskie and Smallmouth Bass.
To get to the crown land where you can camp, you will take a 10 minute paddle through McDonald Lake and portage 350 m. If you want to bypass McDonald Lake, you can portage directly from the parking lot.
While there’s no charge to camp on crown land, weekends can get busy. There’s also a conservation area on McCraw Lake that you should try to avoid.
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9. Haliburton Forest
Less than 2 hours from Barrie is the Haliburton Forest. This area is just under 100,000 acres and has 100s of lakes, ponds, streams and creeks. The park stocks four of these lakes annually with Rainbow and Brook Trout. This includes:
- Blue Lake
- Doug Lake
- Snap Lake
- Duck Lake
The various bodies of water also contain Lake Trout, Large and Smallmouth Bass, White Sucker, Ling and Perch.
Be sure to read research park rules before you arrive. The park does not allow live bait or outboards larger than 9.9 HP on most lakes. The park also prohibits gasoline outboards on some lakes.
All the lakes in the Haliburton Forest are reachable by road and have boat landing, though some require a short portage.
If you wish to camp and fish the many lakes of this forest, consider staying at the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve. The reserve has campsites at 17 of the lakes that are accessible by car, as well as waterfront cabins. None of the sites have electricity, running water. They are, however, right along shore, have outhouses and are private. Some of the sites also offer excellent shoreline fishing.
For those who prefer access to water and hydro, you can stay at one of the vacation units. These units were originally used by loggers in the 1800s.
The reserve also has many other activities for the non-fishers in your group. This includes a wolf reserve, museums, walks, swimming and tours.
These are just some of the many fishing spots close to Barrie that make perfect camping getaways. There is even more to explore in other areas of Ontario. So grab your camping gear, pack up your rod and get ready to share your next story.
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