A successful angler poses with his fishing guide holding a fish.

Loch Island Lodge, Dubreville | Mark Melnyk

Benefits of hiring a fishing guide in Ontario

A successful angler poses with his fishing guide holding a fish.

Loch Island Lodge, Dubreville | Mark Melnyk

There are opportunities for excellent angling across the province, from urban angling in Ontario towns and cities to remote backcountry access lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. In fact, with more than 250 thousand lakes and over 100 thousand kilometres of river in Ontario, anglers may find challenges in where to begin their angling adventure.

A local fishing guide will help you discover the best fishing in Ontario.

Fish with an expert

Utilizing a fishing guide service is an excellent way for new and veteran anglers alike to maximize time on the water.

  • Guides are experts in their field and on the waters they fish. With so much variety in Ontario waters, guides become experts in the watersheds in which they work. Afterall, it’s their living.
  • Guides are knowledgeable about the region, species, lures and techniques and often wildlife and plant life as well.
  • They want to see their clients have a wonderful time and experience great success on the water.
  • Guides will often take their clients to excellent water to realize that success. After all, a happy angler will probably return to fish with that same guide over and over.

Find and choose the right guide

If you’re wondering how to locate and find a guide in Ontario, start online. Websites say a great deal about the guide service. Quality photography, positive customer reviews, regular fishing reports and overall professionalism of the web presence will be a great indicator of what the angler’s overall experience will be with that guide.

If a guide’s web presence isn’t quality, chances are, the angling experience won’t be up to par either.

Ontario is fortunate to have diverse species of sport fish that are plentiful in lakes and rivers. Some of the more popular gamefish species found in Ontario include:

  • Walleye (or pickerel)
  • Bass, both smallmouth and largemouth
  • Northern Pike
  • Trout, Ontario lakes and rivers are home to many species of trout including lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, splake and some lakes are home to the rare aurora trout
  • Salmon, chinook, pink, coho and Atlantic
  • Muskellunge (also called muskie or musky)
  • Panfish including perch, crappie, sunfish and rock bass
  • Coarse fish, gar, carp and catfish

When searching for a guide, the outfitter will list the species they target in their waters. Several guides specialize in multi-species angling in Ontario.

Here are a few guides to consider from eastern to northwestern Ontario.

Fishing guides in Eastern Ontario

Jenkins Guiding Service

Jenkins Guiding Service is a fishing guide company serving Ottawa and the surrounding areas.

Owned and operated by Bill Jenkins, he has spent his entire life on the water with a rod and reel in hand. An experienced musky, bass, pike, and walleye fisherman, Jenkins has logged countless hours in the boat while helping his clients land big fish.

Ottawa River Guided Fishing

Yannick Loranger developed his love of fishing from an early age.  After years of learning the Ottawa River, he founded Ottawa River Guided Fishing in 2010 and has since guided thousands of anglers.  

Yannick is particularly fond of walleye, pike, and musky but confidently guides for just about anything that swims and has a particular appreciation for the combative, plentiful and kid-friendly channel catfish.

Rising Sun Charters

Jamie Pistilli has been guiding eastern Ontario for years.

Specializing in Ottawa River, Rideau River, Madawaska River, St Lawrence River and numerous smaller lakes, Jamie’s specialty are musky, longnose gar, pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye. With many customizable trips, he caters to kids, corporate team building and of course enthusiastic anglers.

Kingston Sport Fishing

Captain Bob MacMillan has been fishing the Bay of Quinte area for almost two decades.

A three-season guide, he specializes in spring Quinte walleye and Lake Ontario lake trout, summer Quinte walleye and fall Lake Ontario northern pike, as well as fall Quinte walleye. He aims to provide a safe, fun, and educational day for all his guests and loves to help his clients catch personal bests as well.

Southern Ontario fishing guides

Kings Landing Sportfishing

Capt. Marc Kulak fishes out of Bluffer’s Park in Scarborough. He is an accomplished tournament angler whose goal is to put his clients on their fish of a lifetime.

Specializing in trolling for coho and chinook salmon, other species he targets include all the trout species. Offering half day, full day and evening charters, he welcomes all anglers six and above to join him on his state-of-the-art sportfisher boat.

Kings on the Run

Ian Britton has been in the charter business for over 10 years. He specializes in targeting trophy chinook salmon.

Based out of Bluffer’s Park in Scarborough, he offers his guide service all season long and is constantly on the water chasing Lake Ontario trophy salmon. Fully equipped, anglers need only bring snacks, sunscreen a valid Ontario fishing license and a desire to land a trophy fish of a lifetime.

Square Tail Charters

Captain Ed Sheldrake has been guiding for more than 20 years. His guide service, located in Port Credit Ontario specializes in trophy salmon and trout.

His goal is for anglers to leave having an exceptional on-water experience, big smiles, and the need to fish with them again in the future. With many local hotel and restaurant partnerships, anglers local and from away will enjoy the full and robust Square Tail Charters experience.

Metcalfe School of Fly Casting

Though Mikey Metcalfe runs a fly casting school, he is also a staple guide in the southern Ontario region.

Based out of Fergus, Mikey is well versed in guiding all ages and abilities on his home waters of most southern Ontario tributaries. Specializing in trout species, he also guides warm water species like smallmouth bass. His passion for the sport has allowed him to become a full-time guide in Southern Ontario.

Niagara Fishing Adventures

Captain Aldo Nava logs 30 years of angling experience and now calls the big water of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario his home water.

He guides clients all year long fishing Lake Ontario from April through October for salmon and trout then switches to the Niagara River from October until March targeting lake run rainbow trout. He can accommodate corporate trips as well as individuals priding himself on chasing trophy fish.

Fishing guides in Northern Ontario

Tyler Dunn Guiding

Tyler Dunn is a seasoned guide for multi-species based out of Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario. Tyler specializes on the big water of Lake Superior, Huron, Nipigon, St. Mary’s River, Nipigon River as well as the smaller tributaries and lakes dotted along the north shore region of Ontario.

He is a multi-faceted fishing guide targeting steelhead, trout, salmon, musky, bass and walleye from shore or from his boat. He offers kayak angling and ice fishing as well.

Angling Algoma

Adam Vallee has been fishing the Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma regions of Ontario his entire life. A tournament angler, Adam brings his unique tournament experience to clients of all ages and abilities.

Guiding all year long, Angling Algoma focuses on the waters of the north shore including river, lake and ice fishing. A multi-species guide, if it swims and anglers want to catch it, Angling Algoma will guide for it.

Redwood Sportfishing Charters

Redwood Sportfishing Charters is in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and specializes in multi species angling offering salmon and brook trout packages for anglers.

Brook trout angling is on a private lake while the pacific and Atlantic salmon charters are conducted in an 18 foot sport fisher in the St. Mary’s River and Lake Huron.

Affinity Angling

Neil Leduc is a multi species fishing guide based out of Nipigon.

He guides Lake Nipigon, the Nipigon River, Lake Superior and its tributaries as well as many smaller lakes and rivers in the area. Northern pike, walleye, salmon, trout, walleye and bass are his specialty. Years of experience have allowed Affinity Angling to be one of the more flexible and adaptive guides in the area.

Gord Ellis

Gord Ellis is an outdoor professional angler, writer, photographer and fishing guide.

Specializing in the Nipigon watershed, Gord’s lifetime of angling turned passion into a guiding career in the Thunder Bay region. His specialties are the brook trout, lake trout, walleye and northern pike.  

Archie’s Fishing Charters and Lighthouse Tours

Archie Hoogsteen has been chartering Lake Superior for over 25 years. His specialty is targeting salmon, rainbow and lake trout in the Thunder Bay area.

He offers guiding fishing excursions, group tours and lighthouse tours. Anglers need not worry about gear as Archie’s Fishing Charters has all the rods and reels, tackle and other equipment to get anglers on fish.

Jeff Gustafson Outdoors

Jeff Gustafson is an independent fishing guide based out of the Kenora region of Northwest Ontario.

He is a professional angler with his fingers on the pulse of angling opportunities in the Kenora region for multi-species. He guides all year long and is a big supporter of catch-and-release angling practices. His home water is The Lake of the Woods.

Dave Bennett Outdoors

Dave Bennett is a seasoned angling guide out of The Lake of the Woods region of northwestern Ontario.

He guides 365 days a year for multi species. Musky, pike, walleye, lake trout and bass are his specialty species during the boating season as well as the ice fishing season.

The Fishin’ Magician

Brent Kruger is a past tournament angler, tv host and outdoor writer.

He has been guiding The Lake of the Woods region for over 30 years. With a love for guiding, his specialty species include walleye, bass, pike, musky, crappie and lake trout.

Last updated: April 5, 2024

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