Ice Fishing

Already dreaming of colder temps and hard water? Add Lake Simcoe – the mecca for ice fishing anglers – to your destination list next winter. Located just southeast of Georgian Bay, it’s within easy driving distance from major Ontario centres. If you’re new to the sport, there are operators ready to assist with equipment and hut rentals. It’s been called the “Ice Fishing Capital of Canada” for good reason.  Up to 4,000 fishing huts create a small village on Lake Simcoe’s frozen ice surface during the ice-fishing season, which, weather permitting, runs from mid-January to mid-March. From these huts, anglers snag perch, lake trout, whitefish, crappie, pike and walleye – although hooking the latter can be a challenge.

There are some other spots to drill your hole through the ice.  By the end of February, the inner bays of Owen Sound, Wiarton and Colpoy’s Bay are usually frozen solid with safe conditions for perch, pike, lake trout, Chinook salmon, rainbow trout and whitefish.  For the more experienced angler, frozen smaller inland lakes are ideal for winter fishing – note that no rentals or other amenities are available in these locations.

Check Ice and Weather Conditions Before Heading Out

Before heading out, be sure to check both ice and weather conditions.  Contact local information centres and operators (bait and tackle shops, fishing hut operators) for up-to-date ice conditions.   And, they have the inside track on what’s hot that day!  Also check out the Original Lake Simcoe Message Board, with current posts from anglers on current ice and fishing conditions. Most operators are on social media, too, where they post up-to-date ice conditions and rental availability.

Fishing Regulations in Ontario

Information on fishing seasons, licence information, hut registration and regulations can be found on Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s website.  Check out Zones 1314 and 16 for information specific to BruceGreySimcoe.  Note that fishing licences are required to fish in Ontario for those over 18 and under 65 years old (except for licence-free periods in February, May, June and July – Canadian residents only).

Ice Fishing Operators in BruceGreySimcoe

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