A professional angler, Babs Kijewski holds a large musky fish, standing in a boat.

Favourite species to fish in Ontario

A professional angler, Babs Kijewski holds a large musky fish, standing in a boat.

From rivers to lakes, all types of fishing is available in this massive province.

This list is certainly not complete. There are many other species for you to catch right here in Ontario. But these are the most sought after.

When you are shopping around for your annual fishing trip, remember Ontario. With Ontario's more than 400,000 lakes and rivers that contain about one-fifth of the world's fresh water coupled with the multitude of gamefish available, it’s no wonder anglers love to fish here.


Walleye, also known Pickerel, are a great gamefish that are fun to catch and also taste wonderful for those anglers that wish to keep some.

They are known for their glassie eyes and olive green colour with yellow and gold hues.

A fisherman in a boat holds a bass fish

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are aggressive and spectacular fighters, no matter how you fish for them.

They will go for worms, lures, flies and most small baits. Bass fishing is a favourite of new anglers and Ontario is blessed with trophy-sized fish in both rivers and lakes.

Northern Pike

Northern Pike is a major predator fish and a strong and persistent fighter. Anglers love the challenge of catching a Northern, whether on lures or with a fly.

Many anglers like to keep smaller pike (4-8 pounds) and if cleaned correctly, they are also a great-tasting fish.


Muskellunge, the fish of 10,000 casts.

Most musky anglers will tell you that you don’t fish for Musky, you hunt them. Musky are unpredictable, moody, picky and reluctant, which is why they are so challenging to catch.

And they put up a very strong fight, even for the most experienced angler, which is why they are prized so much by all anglers!

A fisherman in a boat holds a brook trout fish

Brook Trout

Brook Trout, if ever the word pretty could be used to describe a fish, it would be a brook trout.

Many anglers have the highest regard for this species, and it is sought after by both gear and fly anglers. Ontario brookies are found mostly in smaller lakes and rivers and possess a fight that is never forgotten by any angler.

Lake Trout 

Lake Trout is not actually a trout, they are part of the Salmonidae family, a close relative of the Artic Char.

Ontario has many places to fish for Lake Trout, from the Great Lakes to northern rivers and lakes. Many consider them one of the top fighters to catch on a lure or fly!

Salmon and Steelhead 

Salmon and Steelhead (Steelhead, Coho, Pink, Atlantic and Chinook) are in just about every river and every creek flowing into Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.  

People actually travel just to watch the salmon runs in September through November.

They can be caught in the lakes during the spring and summer, and in the fall they’re available to anglers who can catch them using lures and flies swung in the river current.


Perch are a schooling fish and tend to travel in large groups, which means they are a great fish for beginners and kids.

Every angler has stories about these pan fish. They have attractive colouring and are great to eat.

Last updated: March 19, 2024

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