Calling all anglers!
A frozen lake doesn’t mean fishing season is over. The Great Lakes are home to some world-class ice fishing opportunities every winter.
Here are some prime spots for you to drop a line this winter, or start planning next winter’s fishing trip:1
The Wawa Ice Fishing Derby holds an annual ice fishing derby on three lakes: Wawa Lake, Hawk Lake, Manitowik Lake. A warm ice hut and peaceful surroundings await you. For a true northern experience, consider snowmobiling into drive-in locations for a great fishing getaway.
Popular Fish Species: lake trout, brook trout, walleye, northern pike, whitefish2
Lake Simcoe is Canada’s ice fishing capital. Only one hour north of Toronto, Lake Simcoe is the perfect location to unwind both yourself and your fishing line. There are various ice fishing hut rentals available here (Adam Goy Fish Hut Rentals, Tim Hales Fish Huts, and Snake Island Fish Huts). There are shallow and deep water fishing spot throughout the lake, and hotspot cities include Keswick, Innisfil, and Beaverton.
Popular Fish Species: trout, whitefish, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass3
You can experience an overnight ice fishing adventure on beautiful Lake Nipissing, while enjoying the comforts of home. You read that right- something very unique to Lake Nipissing: ice bungalows. This is essentially the same as fishing within your own cottage, right on the ice.
There are also various ice fishing hut rentals available here (Chilly Willy’s Ice Fishing Adventure, Fish Bay Marina). Both shallow and deep water fishing spot can be found throughout the lake. Hotspots cities include North Bay and Nipissing.
Popular Fish Species: northern pike, muskie (clear, barred, or spotted), walleye, gar, smallmouth bass.4
With thousands of lakes across Muskoka, the area has become a well-known destination for ice fishing anglers. Make a weekend out of it, and turn your passion into Muskoka vacation.
There are various ice fishing hut rentals available here, including Lake Rousseau, Lake Joseph, Gull Lake, Three Mill Lake, and Lake Muskoka (Magman Outfitters and Muskoka Shores Cottages). Ice fishing tours and lessons are available, making this a great destination for beginners.
Popular Fish Species: lake trout and whitefish in Lake Rousseau and smallmouth bass in Lake Joseph5
The Bay of Quinte is home to some of the best walleye fishing in the world! There are records of walleye as big as ten-pounds. These fish hang around all year, so why not try to catch one in the winter?
There are various ice fishing hut rentals available here (Bay of Quinte Ice Hut Rentals and Bayside Outfitters Ice Hut Rentals). Hot spot cities on the Bay of Quinte include Trenton and Belleville.
Popular Fish Species: walleye, pike, largemouth bass.6
Come experience some of the best Lake Trout Fishing around in Haliburton, with records of lake trout being caught as big as a whopping eighteen pounds! If that doesn’t entice you, I’m not sure what will.
There are various ice fishing hut rentals available here (Little Hawk Resort and Haliburton Outfitters). Mountain Lake, Little Hawk Lake, and Drag Lake are popular locations in this area. Ice fishing tours and lessons are also available.
Popular Fish Species: Mountain Lake offers lake trout and whitefish. Lake Drag offers lake trout and herring.7
As the third largest city in Northeastern Ontario, Timmins has built a reputation as a premier logging and mining town with a long history of great hunting and fishing opportunities right at its doorsteps. It is considered one of the region’s hidden gems, especially during the winter months on Horwood Lake. Ice fishing huts are available here (Horwood Lake Lodge).
Popular Fish Species: Northern pike, walleye, burbot, perch, rock bass.
If you go ice fishing, share your photos with us using @greatlakesguide and #greatlakesguide.