Ice fishing

Truly a four-season angling destination, Ontario is an unbeatable destination for ice fishing.

From Kenora's Lake of the Woods to North Bay's massive Lake Nipissing, Lake Rousseau or Lake Joseph in Muskoka and down to Lake Simcoe and Rice Lake in Southern Ontario, you’ll find a wide range of amazing multi-species ice fishing action. Drop a line for walleye, northern pike, whitefish, black crappie, yellow perch, lake trout and brook trout.

Resorts and outfitters specialize in packages ranging from a first-class American Plan to more adventuresome "on ice bungalows". And local guides can direct you to some great inland fishing holes that are often only accessible in winter by those travelling by snowmobile.

Quick guide to ice fishing

How to get your fishing licence

Residents of Ontario, Canadian residents outside of Ontario and non-resident visitors require an Outdoors Card and a fishing licence to fish in Ontario. Purchase them online, in person at a participating ServiceOntario location or a licence issuer, or over the phone by calling 1-800-288-1155.

Licence-free fishing weekend in February

Ontario residents can try ice fishing, licence-free, during the Ontario Family Fishing Weekend in February, which conveniently coincides with Family Day. One of four designated periods throughout the year (other periods include May, June and July), these province-wide events are designed to encourage families to discover the joy of fishing together.

Wawa Ice Fishing Derby

One of Northern Ontario’s most popular angling events, the annual Wawa Ice Fishing Derby sells out its participant and spectator spots quickly. Twelve prizes in total are up for grabs.

The Lake Simcoe Challenge

Known as the ice fishing capital of North America, the Ice Fishing Lake Simcoe Challenge takes place mid-February through to mid-March. Cash prizes and bragworthy swag are awarded to winners in various species categories.

Get inspired

Planning your ice fishing trip? Get started with these helpful articles.

Know before you go

Ontario Fishing Regulations

This annual guide to the rules and regulations for recreational fishing in Ontario contains information about recreational fishing licences, open seasons and catch limits, as well as up-to-date fishing regulations for each fishing zone.

Fishing bait rules

In some areas of Ontario and on many individual bodies of water, you cannot use nor possess any kind of live bait. Read more on fishing bait rules.

Last updated: November 30, 2023

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