Hire a local Ontario fishing guide
Options include wading rivers to cast flies to rising trout and boarding a 30 foot charter boat to troll for salmon on the Great Lakes. The adventure could include hiking to secluded waters or urban fishing from the deck of a 300hp bass boat.
Benefits of fishing with a local Ontario guide
With the broad scope of angling opportunities available in the province, there are several benefits to hiring a fishing guide.
The thrill of the catch is combined with:
- Learning new angling techniques.
- Gaining insight on hooking the target species. Some guides specialize in muskie, others in smallmouth bass or pike.
- Local stories about the scenic waterscapes of Ontario. Fishing guides provide a wealth of knowledge on the waters they fish and the communities they fish out of.
- A fun introduction to the excitement of the sport for beginners.
- The opportunity for seasoned anglers to broaden their sport fishing horizons
Preparing for a day on the water
With such a wide range of angling opportunities in Ontario, there is a correspondingly broad variety of angling trips, and level of services offered by fishing guides.
It’s generally a good idea to bring everything required to stay warm, dry and comfortable for expected weather conditions. This can range from sunscreen to rain gear through summer or warm insulated layers through winter.
Some guides offer everything needed for a day on the water, from gear to bait to food, while others require guests to bring specific items.
It’s important to contact the guide to determine what is provided and what guests should bring.
With guides delivering a wealth of knowledge, gear and experience, showing up prepared is the best way to make the most of a day on the water with an Ontario fishing guide.
Find a local guide
Here are some of Ontario’s top guides.
Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson is a successful tournament angler in the US Bassmasters Series. When he’s not fishing competitively, he is guiding for virtually any species that swims his home waters of Lake of the Woods, Shoal Lake and Rainy Lake.
Jeff is well-equipped for open water and ice fishing.
Dave Bennett is a fixture on Lake of the Woods and knows the giant lake and surrounding waters as well as anyone.
This multi-species guide specializes in muskie, bass and walleye in open water and adds lake trout, whitefish and northern pike through winter.
With more than 30 years of experience targeting muskie, Darcy Cox is clearly focused on the giant and elusive game fish of Lake of the Woods, Eagle Lake and the Winnipeg River.
Cox has a history of putting clients on some of the biggest muskie in Northwestern Ontario.
Jayden Symonds offers open water angling on Lake of the Woods but specializes in luxury ice fishing featuring overnight accommodation in mobile Ice Castle fish houses with amenities like a refrigerator, microwave, stove, television and bathroom.
Ben Beattie is the only full-time muskie guide on giant Lac Seul. He guides for walleye in spring but from July until first ice Beattie breaks out the heavy tackle for full-on muskie hunting. Serious muskie anglers know Ben and the waters he fishes. His season books quickly.
Location: Sioux Lookout
Gord Ellis specializes in the trophy brook trout of the fabled Nipigon River system. Opportunities for lake trout, salmon, pike and walleye complement the world-class brook trout fishery.
Whether spin casting or fly fishing, few anglers know Nipigon’s trout as well as Gord. He guides out of Québec Lodge.
Location: Thunder Bay
John Guiliani’s Fishing Adventures
John has been guiding on the St. Marys Rapids for more than 30 years.
This turbulent stretch of water emptying Lake Superior into Lake Huron holds rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon and five species of Pacific salmon. John is the authority on the rapids but also guides Lake Superior tributaries for steelhead and brook trout.
Location: Sault Ste. Marie
Adam Vallee is a tournament angler and four season multi-species guide who specializes in the untapped smallmouth and largemouth bass of Northern Ontario.
His expertise extends to virtually every game fish swimming including pike, muskie and brook trout.
Location: Sault Ste. Marie
Tyler Dunn leads clients to great fishing from Lake Huron to Lake Nipigon and everything in between.
A true multi-species expert, Tyler is an authority on the broad range of trophy fishing opportunities found in northern Ontario, spring, summer, winter and fall.
Location: Sault Ste. Marie
Frank Clark excels at providing on-the-water personalized fishing seminars for clients who are new to angling.
This multi-species guide frequents the urban fishery of downtown Sudbury and the scenic waters of Georgian Bay.
Wass Tours specializes in spring rainbow trout and summer salmon fishing charters on the waters surrounding Manitoulin Island and Killarney.
Based out of Prairie Point in Wikwemikong, Luke Wassegijig gives anglers a taste of local Indigenous culture while they enjoy the beauty of the La Cloche Mountains.
Brian Still began his career guiding hard-core anglers for trophy muskie around Manitoulin Island and Georgian Bay.
These clients are now combined with families and novice anglers spin casting and fly fishing for salmon, bass and pike.
Location: Birch Island
Neil Debassige sails out of Providence Bay on Manitoulin Island, fishing for trout and salmon during the open water season.
He rents ice huts on Lake Mindemoya where guests catch perch, burbot and walleye through winter.
Shawn Degagne guides out of Bear Creek Cottages targeting the large muskie and northern pike of Lake Nipissing.
Rob Hyatt Outdoors
Rob Hyatt has no web presence, but he is one of the most experienced guides on Lake Nipissing.
Give Rob a call at 705-499-4917 for an eye-opening day on the water targeting walleye, bass, muskie and pike.
Nick Day runs Nipissing Ice Bungalows where clients spend the night in large kitchen-equipped heated ice shacks and can fish for perch, walleye, pike and whitefish right from their bunks.
Mike Bertelsen has been guiding for bass and pike in the Muskoka areas lakes for 35 years.
Now joined by his sons, Leif and Erik, they offer exciting fishing combined with tips and techniques for guests to improve their angling skills.
Through winter Tom Carr guides ice anglers for lake trout, walleye and burbot.
He is known for developing specialized techniques for whitefish on his home waters of Lake Simcoe.
Tom hits the Muskoka Lakes, Georgian Bay and Simcoe in open water.
Matt Clayton is a four season guide probing the waters of Lake Simcoe and Muskoka area lakes.
Ice fishing centers on Simcoe’s trophy whitefish and lake trout, as well as perch. Open water angling focuses on lake trout.
Jesse Kerr admits to having a full-blown obsession with muskie and spends the open water season guiding on the Kawartha Lakes, mainly Cameron, Balsam and Sturgeon, for these toothy game fish as well as offering trips for walleye.
Location: Fenelon Falls
Bass tournament angler Joe Ford offers experienced anglers big water trips for fat bass at the east end of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. He also offers novice and expert anglers the chance for walleye, smallmouth or muskie on the Kawartha Lakes.
Greg Amiel is a multi-species angler who is just as comfortable guiding for Chinook salmon on Lake Ontario as he is for walleye on the Bay of Quinte or bass on Lake Simcoe.
Guests choose the species they want to catch and Greg will find the best waters within a few hours of the GTA to make it happen.
Location: Richmond Hill
Taro Murata shows guests how great the fishing can be a close to downtown Toronto.
Clients catch pike, bass and salmon within sight of the CN Tower. Taro also ventures to the Bay of Quinte for walleye or Lake St Clair for muskie.
JP Bushey has a passion for imparting his angling wisdom to his clients. With more than 30 years experience fishing Georgian Bay, Lake Simcoe, Lake Nipissing and the Bay of Quinte, a day on the water with JP is time well spent.
He practices his multi-species teaching through the ice and through the open water season.
Matt Martin is a fly fishing guide working the flowing waters of Lake Huron and Lake Ontario tributaries.
Novice anglers experience a steep learning curve when fly casting with Matt, whether it’s for brown trout, smallmouth bass or even warm water species like carp.
Craig Hall starts the trolling season in southern Lake Huron catching Chinook and Coho salmon as, well as lake trout before moving to Lake Erie’s central basin mid June to target trophy walleye and steelhead.
Location: Port Franks, Erieau
Dave Boon guides on lower Lake Huron from spring to fall for Chinook and Coho salmon, rainbow, brown and lake trout as well as walleye. Dave’s 21 foot boat is easily moved by trailer to explore other angling destinations like the St. Clair River.
Location: Kettle Point
Jeremie Brooks has more than 30 years experience fishing Lake Erie and follows the fish, moving his 27 foot charter boat from the west end of the lake at Colchester to central Lake Erie at Eireau for trophy walleye and acrobatic rainbow trout.
Location: Colchester, Erieau
Jim Fleming’s guests focus on the giant schools of perch in western Lake Erie through spring before moving to Lake St. Clair to target muskie summer to fall.
Location: Leamington, Tilbury
Rampage Sport Fishing Charters
Terry Van DeWauwer concentrates on the incredible muskie fishing in Lake St. Clair. These predators average up to 46 inches and clients regularly catch giants up to 53 inches.
Location: Lighthouse Cove
Ryan Hare’s clients chase Lake Ontario steelhead and Chinook and Coho salmon aboard a comfortable 33 foot charter boat within sight of downtown Toronto.
Catching fish is guaranteed. If guests don’t catch fish the next Toronto charter trip is free.
Scott Walcott is squarely focused on the walleye of the famous Bay of Quinte from early spring into June before switching gears to target Lake Ontario’s Chinook salmon through summer. October marks a return to the Bay of Quinte for trophy walleye that can run over 10 pounds.
The Niagara River offers a potent mixture of muskie, steelhead, lake and brown trout and Frank DiMarcantonio knows how to put anglers on fish.
He even makes his own lures, called Frankie Baits, and employs a technique known as grinding to connect with big Niagara muskie.
Anglers choose from the all-star guiding team of John Anderson, Michael Kadoura and Lisa Goodier who are all adept at connecting with the muskie that swim the Ottawa, St. Lawrence and Rideau rivers.
Yannick Loranger is a multi-species guide specializing in the walleye, pike and muskie of the Ottawa River through open water.
He rents ice fishing bungalows accommodating up to six guests through winter.
Rob Jackson is a multi-species angler who will guide clients to the most popular game fish swimming the Ottawa River. He also broadens anglers’ horizons by targeting non-traditional fish like carp and long nosed gar.
Learn more about fishing in Ontario, including fishing for beginners, ice fishing, fly fishing and tips on hiring a fishing charter.
Last updated: February 22, 2023