Best Fishing Lakes in Ontario: Top Destinations for Anglers

best fishing lakes in ontario

Ontario boasts a wealth of beautiful lakes and an unparalleled fishing experience, attracting anglers from across the globe. With stunning landscapes and diverse fish species, it’s no wonder fishing enthusiasts consider Ontario a premier destination. In this article, I will share some of the best fishing lakes in Ontario for an unforgettable fishing trip.

First off, Lake Nipissing is a favorite among anglers, as it offers a wide variety of fish, including northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, and perch. This popular spot is known for its abundance of muskie, trout, salmon, and sturgeon. Another top choice is Lake Erie, where walleye and bass grow to impressive sizes thanks to the plentiful baitfish. Perch fishing is also popular in this area, especially near Crystal Beach.

Moving toward Northern Ontario, trout fishing takes center stage. Anglers have the opportunity to target four different varieties of trout – rainbow, lake, brook, and brown trout. Rainbow and brown trout are primarily found in Southern Ontario and the Great Lakes, while brook and lake trout inhabit rivers and lakes as far north as Hudson Bay. As we explore the best fishing lakes in Ontario, you’ll be well-prepared for an amazing fishing adventure.

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Best Fishing Lakes in Ontario

Lake of the Woods

I love fishing at Lake of the Woods, as it offers exceptional bass fishing opportunities. With over 14,500 islands and multiple inlets, it’s a perfect habitat for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Other fish species include northern pike, walleye, and perch. Popular fishing spots are Bigstone Bay, Big Traverse Bay, and Little Traverse Bay.

Lake Nipissing

As a favorite Ontario fishing lake, Lake Nipissing is home to numerous fish species, such as northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, and perch. The lake also acts as a habitat for muskies, trout, salmon, and sturgeon. This diverse bio-network appeals to me and my passion for fishing.

Lake Erie

I find Lake Erie to be an excellent location for recreational fishing. The lake teems with walleye and bass, which grow to incredible sizes due to the abundant baitfish supply. If I want to catch perch, this is my go-to lake. A beautiful beach to spend hours away from fishing is Crystal Beach, near Fort Erie.

Lake Huron

Lake Huron provides me with ample opportunities to catch a wide variety of fish, including salmon, trout, walleye, bass, and more. One of my favorite hot spots is Georgian Bay, where I can find various species of fish and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the region.

Lake Superior

When it comes to cold-water fish species, I always head to Lake Superior. It’s an incredible spot to catch brook and lake trout. The lake’s depth and chilly temperatures create the perfect habitat for rainbow, lake, and brown trout, as well as salmon.

Lake Ontario

My love for bass fishing is just as strong in Lake Ontario. It’s indeed a bass fisherman’s paradise, with both largemouth and smallmouth bass thriving here. Other species I enjoy fishing in Lake Ontario are salmon, walleye, and perch. The eastern part of the lake and the Bay of Quinte are my preferred fishing spots here.

Top Fish Species to Catch

Ontario offers a wide variety of fish species for anglers to target. In this section, I will discuss the most popular species to catch in Ontario’s fishing lakes.


When it comes to Ontario, many anglers think of walleye fishing. This prized sportfish is both fun to catch and a delicious meal, making it a favorite target for anglers. Some of the best lakes for walleye fishing in Ontario include Lake Nipissing, Lake of the Woods, and Lake Erie. The most effective techniques for catching walleye include jigging, trolling with crankbaits, and using live bait such as minnows or leeches.

Northern Pike

Another popular species to target in Ontario is the northern pike. Known for its aggressive nature and hard-fighting abilities, the pike is often considered a top sport fish. Northern pike can be found in various lakes across Ontario, but some of the best include Lake Nipissing, Lake of the Woods, and French River. To catch northern pike, I recommend using large lures such as spinners, spoons, or topwater baits and focusing on areas near weed beds or underwater structures.


The muskellunge, or muskie, is another sought-after sport fish in Ontario. With its large size and fierce personality, anglers often consider it the ultimate freshwater trophy fish. The top lakes for muskie fishing in Ontario include Lake of the Woods, Lake St. Clair, and the Ottawa River. To target muskies, I suggest using large lures like bucktails, jerkbaits, or swimbaits, and focusing on areas with structure or cover.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass are a popular species to catch for their aggressive strikes and acrobatic fights. They can be found in numerous lakes and rivers throughout Ontario. Some of the best places to target smallmouth bass include Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the French River. To catch smallmouth, I recommend using a variety of lures, such as tubes, crankbaits, and topwater baits, and targeting areas with rocky or gravel bottoms.

Largemouth Bass

Similar to smallmouth bass, largemouth bass are also a popular sport fish in Ontario. Known for their explosive topwater strikes and powerful fights, they can be found in many lakes in the province. Some of the best lakes for largemouth bass fishing include Lake Simcoe, Lake Erie, and the Kawartha Lakes. To catch largemouth bass, I recommend using lures like frogs, spinnerbaits, or jigs, and focusing on areas with cover like weed beds, docks, or fallen trees.

Provincial Parks and Fishing Lodges

I recently discovered some fantastic fishing lodges and provincial parks in Ontario, which offer an incredible experience for any angling enthusiast. Here are some of my favorite locations:

  1. Yellowbird Lodge & Chalet (Sioux Narrows, Ontario) – This beautiful lodge offers a wide range of fishing opportunities, including walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike.
  2. Moose Horn Lodge – I found this place to be an excellent location for targeting multiple fish species, such as walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and lake trout.
  3. Lost Lake Lodge – Another gem of a location offering fantastic fishing opportunities amid the stunning natural scenery of Northwestern Ontario.

While exploring these fishing lodges, I also came across some noteworthy provincial parks that are perfect for an angling adventure:

  • Lake Nipissing Provincial Park – My visit to this park was truly unforgettable. Lake Nipissing is one of the top Ontario fishing spots, known for its thriving populations of northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, and perch.
  • Lac Seul Provincial Park – Located in Northwestern Ontario, I found Lac Seul to be an incredible fishing destination. The crystal-clear waters are home to numerous fish species, including walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike.

When planning your next fishing trip to Ontario, I recommend considering some of these magnificent provincial parks and fishing lodges. The diverse range of services, accommodations, and unique angling experiences they offer will surely make your trip an unforgettable one.

Fishing Season and Regulations

During my fishing adventures in Ontario, I have learned that fishing seasons and regulations in the province can vary depending on the species and location. Some common fish caught in Ontarian lakes include northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, perch, muskie, trout, salmon, and sturgeon.

I am aware that for unlisted species like sucker and rock bass, the fishing season is open year-round. However, it is crucial to be mindful of the opening and closing dates for specific species and regions to obey the local fishing regulations.

When I fish for trout in Ontario, I encounter four different varieties: Rainbow, Lake, Brook, and Brown Trout. Rainbow and Brown Trout are typically found in Southern Ontario and the Great Lakes, while Brook and Lake Trout can be caught in rivers and lakes as far north as Hudson Bay.

Bass fishing on Lake Ontario is a popular summer activity. From my experience, the season typically starts in late spring and ends in early fall. I have found that the best times to fish for bass are during the early morning or late evening, as they tend to take shelter during the day. When I have trouble catching bass, I usually try changing my lure, which often helps.

I have also noticed that fishing on Lake Ontario is highly productive from dawn to sunrise. In the winter, I focus my efforts on the shallow waters (between 10-25 feet) of the lake. One of the best places for ice fishing on Lake Ontario is the Bay of Quinte area.

It’s essential to always be aware of the fishing season and regulations when planning a trip to Ontario’s lakes. Doing so will help ensure a safe, enjoyable, and responsible fishing experience.

Equipment and Tips

As a fisherman, I know how important it is to choose the right equipment and have a solid understanding of useful tips for successful fishing in Ontario. In this section, I will provide some recommendations and advice based on both my experience and research.

For Ontario’s lakes, I recommend using a medium-heavy rod and a spinning reel with a capacity for at least 200 yards of 12-15 lb test line. A braided line can be helpful for increased strength and sensitivity, especially when fishing in deeper water.

When it comes to choosing lures and bait, here are some popular options for Ontario lakes:

  • Spinnerbaits: Effective for Pike, Bass, and Muskie.
  • Soft Plastic Baits: Great for Bass and Walleye.
  • Crankbaits: Suitable for targeting multiple species, including Bass, Walleye, and Pike.
  • Live Bait: Minnows, leeches, and nightcrawlers work well for a variety of fish.

Fishing techniques can vary depending on the target species and lake conditions. Here are some worthwhile tips for fishing Ontario lakes:

  • Make use of fish finders: Modern fish finders can help locate fish and provide valuable information on water depth and structure.
  • Understand migration patterns: Fish such as Lake Trout tend to move deeper during the summer months. Adjust your fishing approach accordingly.
  • Research local knowledge: Speak with local anglers or fishing guides to gain insight into the best spots and techniques for each specific lake.
  • Be aware of weather patterns: Weather can affect fish behavior, so keep an eye on the forecast and prepare for changing conditions.

By following these equipment recommendations and tips, I believe you’ll have a greater chance of success fishing in Ontario’s beautiful lakes.

Captain Tyler Brady

Captain Tyler Brady

Hi, I'm Captain Tyler Brady, founder of A Fellow Fisherman. Thank you for reading this post and visiting my site. I strive to provide the best information when it comes to fishing, whether it is myself or A Fellow Fisherman that is part of my team. Now stop reading and GO fishing!

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