Northern Ontario boasts some of the best fishing in the world. The variety of species includes walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, muskie, brook trout, rainbow trout, splake trout, salmon, perch, whitefish and so much more! The great thing about northern Ontario fishing is that you can catch year-round. For the die-hards, winter freeze-up happens in November/December and generally there is lots of good ice right through March.
Fishing the Inland Lakes
Northern Ontario is dotted with thousands of inland lakes. Many of them are drive-to, others are well off the beaten path, requiring a walk, canoe, or fly-in or an ATV ride in order to access them. Still there are plenty of readily accessible places to fish, right off the dock, or even roadside. That makes fishing something that everyone can enjoy. Fishing the inland lakes of northern Ontario by boat can sometimes be tricky, so having your boater’s license and observing all safety precautions (including always wearing your life jacket) is key. If you play safe, plan your excursion and always let someone else know your departure and arrival times, you can have an incredible time and catch lots of fish!
Northern Ontario Fishing – Rivers
Angling on one of the many rivers of northern Ontario can be just as rewarding as lake fishing. Here you can pull in huge muskie, walleye and many other species. Keep your camera handy, because if you land the big one, a photo op is a must!
Big Water Fishing in Northern Ontario
Northern Ontario is surrounded by the great lakes, particularly Lake Huron. All along the Highway 17 corridor are boat launches, campgrounds and marinas with access to the “big water.” You can launch directly onto Lake Huron, or take a boat ride on the Spanish to get there.
From Manitoulin Island, you can be in Killarney in less than an hour by boat, or exploring Georgian Bay, home to many private islands and some of the best northern Ontario scenery. Fishing on big water requires experience and the right equipment. For beginners, it’s advisable to go with a guide or outfitter, or someone you know who is comfortable navigating and has the gear to do so safely.
Depending on where and what kind of fishing you’d like to do, the possibilities are endless. Make sure to stay-up-date with rules and regulations by accessing the most current Fishing Ontario guide, always have the appropriate fishing licence, and stop in to one of the many bait shops to get advice from locals about where to go, or who to hire to help make your experience the best it can be! (Tip: Ontario sponsors several free fishing weeks and weekends throughout the year). Even if you don’t catch, you can still take in the breath-taking northern Ontario landscape.
There is definitely a lot to know when you’re planning your fishing excursion. The best way to keep up to date is with this Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary, or visit here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/fishing.