Discover ice fishing in BruceGreySimcoe

Feb 04, 2020

It’s hard water fishing season in BruceGreySimcoe! Thankfully, our region is home to a long list of experienced operators and hut rental companies who will help you ‘tackle’ this unique Canadian winter experience both safely and enjoyably.




Know before you go – always check local ice conditions

Ice fishing can be a truly unique winter experience but the single most important tip for planning an excursion is to check local ice conditions. Ice is volatile and ever changing and no one knows the conditions better than local operators and local anglers.

To check conditions, you can contact a local ice fishing operator. The operators will be able to offer advice on safest spots to head out. Even better, consider booking a day or a weekend with an operator. That way you get to tap into their local knowledge of the ice conditions as well as their inside info about where the fish are biting. You won’t be disappointed!

Another great place to get the scoop on local conditions is on this local Lake Simcoe Region Ice Conditions and Fishing Report Facebook page where operators and anglers offer real time updates. You can also visit Tourism Simcoe County’s ice fishing page and Ontario’s Lake Country, too, for more ice fishing info.  Check out the Original Lake Simcoe Message Board, with current posts from anglers on current ice and fishing conditions.

The truth is #noiceissafeice so the more information you have and the more informed choices you make, the more successful your fishing trip will be.


Lake Simcoe – an ice fishing mecca  

Undoubtedly, Simcoe County is home to the best ice fishing in the region and Lake Simcoe specifically is often called the ice fishing capital of Canada. 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).   

A select few operators offer ice fishing elsewhere in the region. OSM Adventure Travel/Collingwood Adventure Voyages offers an ice fishing experience in Collingwood when conditions permit. A Breath of Fresh Air Fish Hut Rentals offers full and half day ice hut rentals in Orillia.

Ice fishing doesn’t have to mean sitting on an upturned bucket dropping a line in a single hole you hand drilled yourself. In fact, today’s huts are pretty upscale—with heaters and bbqs and sometimes even overnight accommodations. A complete list of area operators can be found here.

What you’ll catch

Again, an operator knows best what’s biting and where to catch ‘em. 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.
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.

More pre-fishing homework

You need a Ministry of Natural Resources fishing license before you head out and it’s your job to understand the fishing seasons and limits. A guide will help but you can also find information about fishing seasons, licence information, hut registration and regulations on Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources website. You can also introduce your family to license-free fishing on Family Day Weekend, February 15 to 17, 2020.



For info on fishing in BruceGreySimcoe year round, click HERE.