Ice Fishing

Lake Simcoe – the mecca for hard water fishing!  This bountiful body of water is located just southeast of Georgian Bay and 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.
 
This lake has been called the “Ice Fishing Capital of Canada” for good reason.  Up to 4000 fishing huts create a small community on frozen Lake Simcoe during the ice-fishing season, which usually runs from mid-January to mid-March (weather permitting – contact local operators for info on conditions).   From these huts, anglers snag perch, lake trout, white fish, crappie, pike and walleye – although hooking the latter may be a challenge!
 
Perch are by far the most plentiful catch and like to congregate at Cook’s Bay near Innisfil and in Lake Couchiching with their ideal habitat conditions.  Perch travel in schools searching for food, so if you have no luck at your first hole, keep moving until you find the schools. And you may even hook the odd pike in your quest for perch.  If fishing especially for pike, try shallow water, less than ten feet.
 
Crappie prefer to gather high above the perch grounds, near docks and marinas.  The deeper waters of the lake produce whitefish (notably Kempenfelt Bay near Barrie) and lake trout around mid-winter, while in early March the perch move to shallow water to get ready for spring spawning.
 
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 and fishing conditions.   And, they’ll also have the inside track on what’s hot that day!  Visit Tourism Simcoe County’s ice fishing page and that of Ontario’s Lake Country, too, for more ice fishing info.  Also check out the Original Lake Simcoe Message Board, with current posts from anglers on current ice and fishing conditions.
 
Information about fishing seasons, licence information, hut registration and regulations can be found on Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources website.
 
Introduce the family to license-free fishing on Family Day Weekend, February 16 to 18, 2019.
 

Have questions or comments?

Contact us