Best Fishing in Ontario: Top 10 Large Fishing Lakes

View of the thick wilderness, pristine water and a remote lodge on Lake of the Woods from above

We have listed these lakes from the largest to the smallest, but don’t let this deter you as some of the smaller lakes in this list have the biggest fish. 

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The Ultimate List of the Biggest and Best Fishing in Ontario

Lake Superior 

  • There are 78 different species of fish in Lake Superior.
  • By surface area, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, and it contains 10% of the world’s fresh surface water.
  • The deepest point in the lake is 405 m (1,333 feet). 
  • The average underwater visibility of Lake Superior is about 8 m (27 feet), making it the cleanest and clearest of the Great Lakes.
  • About 350 ships have gone down in Lake Superior, not a lot but one of them had a famous song written for it “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.

Lake Huron

  • Home to Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world.
  • Georgian Bay on Lake Huron is large enough to be among the world's 20 largest lakes – even though Georgian Bay is not a lake.
  • The lake measures 330 km (206 miles) across and 295 km (183 miles) from north to south, with an average depth of 314 km (195 feet) (approximately 750 feet, maximum).
  • Huron is home to rainbow trout, steelhead, chinook salmon, coho, pink salmon, walleye, whitefish and perch.

Lake Erie

  • Lake Erie is approximately 388 km (241 miles) long, 92 km (57 miles) wide and is home to 1,402 km (871 miles) of shoreline, including islands.
  • Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, steelhead, lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, white perch, northern pike, king salmon and walleye can all be found in Lake Erie.
  • It is the southernmost, shallowest, warmest and smallest by volume of all of the Great Lakes.
  • Lake Erie has a length of 388 km (241 miles) and a width of 92 km (57 miles) at its widest points.

Lake Nipigon and the Nipigon River

  • Lake Nipigon is the largest lake located entirely in Ontario.
  • The lake is 110 km (70 miles) long and 80 km (50 miles) wide with maximum depths of 165 m (540 feet).
  • The World Record Brook Trout was caught in the Nipigon River by Dr. J.W. Cook, weighing in at 14.5 lbs. and 34.5 inches long over a hundred years ago.
  • Species include pike, brook trout, lake trout, walleye, perch and whitefish.

Lake of the Woods

  • Known as the sixth Great Lake to many, Lake of the Woods is home to the largest predatory fish in Ontario.
  • Lake of the Woods is huge, at 90 km across at its widest point, 137 km long and its deepest depth is 95 m.
  • Home to walleye, northern pike, perch, sauger, crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, lake trout, lake sturgeon, whitefish, suckers and muskellunge.
  • There are over 14,000 islands on Lake of the Woods.

Lac Seul

  • Lac Seul measures approximately 241 km (150 miles) wide, has 4,800 km (3,000 miles) of shoreline, and covers over 560 square miles (358,400 acres). With this massive size, the “Lac Seul” name meaning “lake alone” in French makes sense.
  • Famous for its musky, walleye, smallmouth bass, lake trout, northern pike, and whitefish fisheries.
  • Whether you have a Sport or Conservation fishing license, you are not allowed to keep any musky caught on Lac Seul. This regulation helps to keep the musky population healthy.
  • Located along the shores of Lac Seul are the Memorial Cairns dedicated to members of the Legion Branch #139 from Hudson who fought and died in WWII.

Lake St. Clair

  • A smaller lake, it is 42 km (26 miles) long and 38.5 km (24 miles) wide, with a surface area of 430 square miles and 209 km (130 miles) of shoreline.
  • Lake St. Clair is relatively shallow, with an average depth of about 3.05 m (10 feet).
  • Home to Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, Coho salmon, Atlantic salmon, lake whitefish, lake trout, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and muskellunge.

Lake Simcoe 

  • Lake Simcoe is known for its cold water fishery that includes trout, whitefish, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, largemouth bass, northern pike, black crappie and walleye.
  • Each year, the lake is stocked with 150,000 whitefish and 100,000 trout by staff from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
  • With a surface area of 722 sq km and a shoreline 240 km long, Lake Simcoe is large. It has an average depth of 15 m, but it does get to a depth of 42 m.
  • Lake Simcoe lies between Lake Huron's Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario, 65 km north of Toronto.

Rainy Lake

  • Rainy Lake is well known for its smallmouth bass, big walleye, huge northern pike and crappie fishery.
  • The famous Rainy Lake Mermaid was constructed in the 1930s out of steel rods, old boat propellers and cement. She sits upon a rock in the middle of beautiful Rainy Lake, keeping her eye on the lake.
  • The Canada/United States border cuts through Rainy Lake near Fort Frances, Ontario and International Falls, Minnesota, with about 70% of the water in Canada and about 30% in the United States.
  • With an area of 932 sq km, Rainy Lake is about 80 km long, 56 km of which forms the international boundary, and has an average width of 8 km with a maximum width of 43 km.

Lake Nipissing

  • Lake Nipissing is about 65 km long and 25 km wide with an average depth of 4.5 m.
  • Musky, northern pike, smallmouth bass, walleye, perch, largemouth bass are all species found in Lake Nipissing.
  • When using a boat on this lake, remember that its relatively shallow waters have many abrupt depth changes, countless shoals and clusters of islands, so make sure you always pay attention when traveling at higher speeds.
     

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