11 Best Places For Ice Fishing in Ontario

If you are looking for a thrilling Ontario ice-fishing experience, you have come to the right place. Ontario is home to some of the best ice fishing spots in Canada, each offering its own unique set of fish and conditions.

Due to its location and a large number of lakes and rivers, Ontario is one of the best places for ice fishing in North America, making it comparable or even superior to ice fishing in Colorado, Michigan, and Wisconsin ice fishing spots. In fact, many of Ontario’s ice fishing lakes also extend into US territory.

There are numerous spots to go fishing in wintertime, where you can catch walleye, pike, whitefish, and many others.

Anglers can choose to go fishing on their own or on guided expeditions. The lakes fish well through winter and there are plenty of experienced guides who offer guided jigging trips which are ideal for novices looking to get started in ice fishing.


Ontario is also home to some of the best lake trout fishing in Canada. There are some great spots for catching big lake trout through the winter months. The trick here is to use larger lures such as spoons or jigs and make sure to fish near the deeper areas of the lake where these large fish tend to congregate during colder weather.

First things first, let’s talk about safety while ice fishing. These are basic things that ice anglers should be aware of, but it’s always good to remember that:

  • Make sure the ice is safe: the ice is never uniform and there are areas where it’s not thick enough. That’s especially the case around rocky areas, river mouths, and beaver dams.
  • Dress appropriately: Assuming that you’re not ice fishing in your backyard, always ensure you’re prepared for the worst weather conditions.

With these two main points in mind, let’s delve into the best spots for ice fishing in Ontario.

Table of Contents

Lake Simcoe: Top Ice Fishing in Ontario

Located in south-central Ontario, Lake Simcoe is the fourth-largest lake in the province. It’s also one of the main ice fishing spots near Toronto.  an ideal spot for anglers looking to make the most of their winter fishing experience. Between late December and early March, Lake Simcoe turns into Ontario’s most popular ice fishing destination.

It’s an excellent lake to take up the sport of ice fishing, as it has a wide variety of species to catch. Fish such as lake trout, perch, pike, whitefish, crappie, and panfish abound here.

Ice fishing on Lake Simcoe is a great way to take in the outdoors while also challenging yourself and having some fun. To make the most of Lake Simcoe’s ice fishing opportunities, anglers need to have the right gear and supplies.

Make sure to bring an auger as there can be up to 3 feet thick layer of ice during peak season. Other necessary supplies include proper clothing and the right bait.

Anglers looking for a unique winter fishing adventure should consider Lake Simcoe for their Ontario ice-fishing trip. Lake Simcoe is sure to be an enjoyable, and potentially successful, fishing experience.

Northern Pike is one of the most common catches when ice fishing in Ontario

Lake Erie

Lake Erie is another great ice fishing spot in Ontario. The ice is usually thick enough to support fishermen by late December and by mid-January Lake Erie is a winter playground for ice fishermen.

The lake freezes over for months at a time and it’s the ideal environment for large Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch.

Icefish anglers can take advantage of Lake Erie’s large lakebed and relatively shallow depth. This shallow depth allows for the sun to penetrate further down into the water, making it an excellent habitat for Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch.

The lake is also a popular destination for those who are looking to catch trophy-size walleye which can sometimes reach greater than 20 inches. Yellow perch are also abundant and can be caught in large numbers during the winter months.

Even if you’re not an experienced angler, Lake Erie is a great place to give ice fishing a try.

Lake of the Woods

Although Lake of the Woods is a little farther north, it’s also an excellent ice fishing spot in Ontario. The lake is popular due to its expansive ice cover that provides plenty of ice-fishing opportunities throughout the winter season.

The ice fishing season usually starts in late December and typically lasts until the ice melts away in March or as late as April.

Lake of the Woods ice fishing is famous for the catches that ice anglers can expect to have when ice fishing on the lake. Common ice fishing catches on Lake of the Woods include walleye, northern pike, lake trout, burbot, whitefish, and perch.

There are also ice fishing tournaments held on Lake of the Woods for ice fishermen to compete and win prizes. With the vast ice cover and abundance of fish, ice fishermen will be sure to make the most of their ice fishing trip on Ontario’s side of Lake of the Woods.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest of all the Great Lakes in Canada, stretching 190 miles along the Canadian-US border. This large body of water is home to some of the most diverse and abundant ice-fishing opportunities in Canada.

Lake Superior is known for its deep, cold waters which make it an ideal spot for ice fishing.

There are many species of fish to be caught on Lake Superior in the winter season. Lake trout, whitefish, perch and walleye are the main species of fish sought on Lake Superior during the winter months. Lake Trout is particularly abundant and can be caught in large numbers.

Lake Trout feed on smaller baitfish, so fishing with small jigs and minnows can be more effective. Whitefish is also popular for ice fishing and can be caught using lures or jigs.

Perch can also be caught using artificial bait like jigs, spoons, and spinners. Walleye are often found around Lake Superior’s rocky shoals and can be caught using bottom-bouncing rigs, jigging spoons, and spinners.

Whatever species you are targeting, ice fishing in Ontario’s Lake Superior can be an enjoyable experience with the right equipment and knowledge.

Lake Ontario

Ice fishing on Lake Ontario can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Known for its deep, cold waters, the lake is home to many varieties of fish that can provide a great day of ice fishing.

The best ice fishing spots on Lake Ontario are located along the shoreline near the mouths of rivers and creeks, as well as along shoals and reefs.

Here, the best fish to catch on Lake Ontario in winter include rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, lake trout, brown trout, and smallmouth bass. These fish are best caught using jigs tipped with minnows or wax worms, or using tip-ups with natural bait.

In addition to these popular spots, ice fishing can also be done offshore from many of the harbors, bays, and inlets along the lake.

Here, experienced ice fishers can catch larger species such as pike, walleye, and muskellunge. For these species, tip-ups baited with minnows or large artificial lures are best.

Lake Ontario is a great destination for ice fishing, offering anglers plenty of opportunities to enjoy an exciting day out on the ice. With careful preparation and knowledge of the best spots and safety precautions, anglers can target a variety of species and have a successful day out on the frozen lake.

Lake Nipissing

Lake Nipissing is another popular destination for ice fishing enthusiasts in OntarioIce fishing is permitted during the winter months of December, January and February.

Ice fishing spots on Lake Nipissing are located along the many rocky points, shoals, and island shorelines. Popular areas to access the lake for ice fishing include Callander Bay, Corbeil Point, South Shore, and North Shore.

When ice fishing on Lake Nipissing, anglers will find different types of fish to catch, such as walleye, northern pike, whitefish, and perch.

As with other places and rivers, it’s important to bear in mind ice safety when fishing on Lake Nipissing, with anglers following all provincial laws and regulations related to ice fishing.

Ice fishing shelters can be set up on the lake to provide warmth and shelter for anglers throughout a day of ice fishing.

Ice augers are a must for a successful day on the lake and anglers should always carry a safety kit when venturing out onto the ice. Ice fishing on Lake Nipissing is a rewarding experience, with anglers able to enjoy the beauty of winter while catching some of the lake’s finest fish.

Ottawa River

The Ottawa River is a great spot for ice fishing in Ontario. Ice fishing on the Ottawa River can be a very enjoyable experience, as it offers anglers the chance to catch a variety of fish. Ice angling can be done from the last week of December until the end of March.

Ice fishing on the Ottawa River can be done from shore, or anglers may choose to use an ice hut and drill holes in the frozen river. Ice fishing equipment should include a spud bar to check the ice thickness, an auger for drilling holes and a jigging rod.

The most common fish to catch in winter include walleye, northern pike, muskie, and whitefish.

Before taking to the ice, anglers should always ensure that their fishing gear is prepared and the ice is thick enough. As basic as it may sound, make sure to check the local weather, have a spud bar handy to test the ice thickness, and be aware of where the ice is safe to walk.

Ice anglers on the Ottawa River should also be aware of any hazards in the water near their fishing spots, such as pressure ridges, and avoid these areas for safety.

Rice Lake

Rice Lake, located in Northumberland County near the town of Rice Lake, is a great spot for ice fishing enthusiasts. The lake is over 28 kilometers long (17 miles) and has several types of fish.

It is home to many shallow weed beds and rock piles that attract fish, providing plenty of great spots to target. It’s a great destination for all levels of anglers and is sure to provide hours of fun and exciting fishing.

Rice Lake’s shallow depths make it ideal for ice fishing, providing easy access to fish. The average depths range from 1.5-5.6 meters (5-15 feet) and a maximum depth of 8.2 meters (27 feet).

Ice fishers can expect to catch large and smallmouth bass, walleye, pike, perch and whitefish. There’s also a good number of pickerel and panfish.

Rice Lake is known for producing quality size walleye, with fish over 76 centimeters (30 inches) caught quite often.

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Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake is another great spot for ice fishing in Ontario. It’s the perfect destination for anglers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy a peaceful day of ice fishing. It has a variety of spots that are popular among ice anglers.

The lake is also very deep, making it an ideal spot for deep-water fishing in warmer months. On the other hand, this requires extra care from ice anglers. The area is known for having some exceptional fishing spots, and the local resorts offer guided ice-fishing trips.

During these trips, anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish, including jumbo perch, whitefish and smallmouth bass. Crystal Lake is also home to brown and lake trout.

With the right gear and a little bit of luck, anglers can expect to land some big catches.

Wawa Lake

Wawa Lake is a great spot for ice fishing located near the northeastern shores of Lake Superior. The Wawa area is known for its rugged landscape, which makes it ideal for winter activities, including ice fishing.

The Wawa Lake Ice Fishing Festival is held every year. In 2023, it’ll take place between the 3rd and 5th of March. The event is becoming increasingly popular among both residents and tourists.

This lake has plenty of fish species, including walleye, perch, whitefish and northern pike, making it an attractive spot for anglers in the area.

The lake area has numerous cottages and lodges that provide accommodation for visitors who want to stay close to the ice fishing action.

The Wawa area also offers several other winter activities, such as snowmobiling and ice skating. So it is a great spot to spend your winter days, with plenty of things to do and fish to catch.

Lac des Milles Lacs

Last but not least, Lac des Milles Lacs is another great spot for ice fishing in Ontario. With more than 245 square kilometers (94.6 square miles) of shoreline, the lake has plenty of structure and depth to offer anglers a great chance of catching several fish species during winter.

In addition to its deep water, it also has several shallow bays, creeks and inlets which offer excellent ice fishing opportunities during the winter months.

The Lac des Milles Lacs area is home to a variety of fish species, including walleye, musky, northern pike, whitefish and yellow perch.

Lac des Milles Lac has become increasingly popular with anglers due to its quality fishing and abundance of lake structures.

Ice Fishing in Ontario: Conclusion

No matter what kind of Ontario ice fishing experience you’re looking for, there is sure to be something that fits your preferences perfectly.

From walleye at Lake Simcoe to lake trout up north, Ontario has plenty of fantastic ice-fishing opportunities that will keep even the most experienced anglers coming back for more! So make sure to pack up your gear, head out and try Ontario’s top ice fishing spots this winter.



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