fishing - Perhaps it’s the brisk air that hones your appetite
and the cold waters that improve their flavour, but fish you
haul through the ice seem to taste better than at any other time
of the year. Ontario offers winter action as varied as during
the open-water seasons. Many of our fish are even more
accessible than in summer. Deep-water species like lake trout
and whitefish often move from deep holes and become available
over a wider area. Whether it’s lunker lake trout, northern
pike, walleye, or tasty perch or crappie, Ontario remains the
place to catch them when our lakes don their winter coats of
For well-equipped anglers willing to fish in the open air and
explore, the options are unlimited. Many resorts stay open all
winter and can be used as home bases for ice anglers. On some
lakes you can enjoy all the comforts of home in heated shanties,
rented for reasonable rates, perched over the best fishing
holes. On-ice transportation to the fishing grounds is included.
In the northwestern part of the province, big lake trout keep
anglers smiling all winter. Lake of the Woods, for one, just
might give up that trout of a lifetime to an ice angler. But the
area also offers fast action for walleye, whitefish, brook
trout, pike, and slab-sided black crappie. There’s more exciting
trout, walleye, and pike fishing as you move northeast.
in the “Near North,” Lake Temagami has rental huts where you can
settle in to jig a limit of whitefish, walleye, or lake trout.
For a smorgasbord, from perch to walleye to fat lake herring,
try huge Lake Nipissing. Its hut operators offer package deals
that include on-shore accommodations and meals for extended
Moving south again, the Haliburton Highlands and Muskoka harbour
more lake trout and whitefish. Then it’s on to Lake Simcoe in
the south. Lake trout, whitefish, and northern pike are again
winter mainstays, but Simcoe and adjoining Lake Couchiching are
also hotspots for jumbo yellow perch and black crappie. Each
winter, Simcoe is dotted with fishing villages.
There’s a lot more. Across eastern Ontario many lakes feature a
variety of trout, walleye, and panfish all winter. The
Bay of Quinte just might offer one of the best chances in the province
to catch a walleye weighing more than 10 pounds (4.54 kg). For
perch and crappie, the Rideau system and smaller lakes from
Napanee to Ottawa are tough to top. Give the winter action a try
in Ontario. It’s hot!