Lake Simcoe is noted for its winter ice fishery and, as such, is one of the most popular locations in Ontario for ice fishing. The Southern part of the Lake is located within an hours drive from Toronto and typically opens up for ice fishing in mid to late January and closes on March 15, the date all huts must be off the ice. The lake is the perfect location if you are either experienced or new to ice fishing.
If you are experienced in ice fishing and wish to venture out on your own, Lake Simcoe is home to Trout, Perch, Pike, and Whitefish. Lake Trout populations are supported through yearly stocking by the Ministry of Natural Resources and hotspots for fishing include Kempenfelt Bay, Big Bay Point, Long Shoal, Oro Beach and the deeper waters north of Fox Island, according to Lake Simcoe Outdoors.
For Perch fishing head to Cook’s Bay, Lake Couchiching, Virginia Beach, Snake Island, Innisfil Beach and Beaverton. Pike tend to inhabit similar environments as Perch and can also be found in Cook’s Bay, Lake Couchiching, Virginia Beach and around Snake Island as well as Thorah Island. Target Whitefish in the deeper waters around Fox and Snake Islands, Long Shoal, Kempenfelt Bay and Oro Beach.
Ice conditions can shift quickly and it is strongly recommended that you check in with either ice hut operators or online resources such as www.fishinglakesimcoe.ca or www.lakesimcoeoutdoors.com for ice conditions before you venture out onto the lake. If you are a Canadian resident a fishing license is required for adults aged 18 to 64 and can be obtained here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/fishing-licence-canadian-residents
For non-residents, click here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/fishing-licence-non-residents-canada
For those with no experience or looking for a higher level of comfort, there is an abundance of ice hut operators to choose from on the southern half of Lake Simcoe:
- Georgina’s Ice Fishing Outfitters offers some of the best Perch and Pike fishing around Georgina Island and provides, clean, comfortable, insulated huts that are heated by vented propane furnaces and supplied with padded benches and a bucket of minnows.
- Casey’s Fish Huts in Port Bolster are located on prime Perch, Pike and Whitefish grounds and they have twenty, four-man fish huts with propane heat and lights and a fish cleaning station on site.
- Beaverton’s Floyd Hales’ Fish Huts are located on Perch, Whitefish, and Lake Trout grounds and have 40 modern fish huts, each with a capacity of 4 to 6 guests. They are equipped with GPS navigation system, cook stove, propane heating and light, minnow bucket, and foam benches with leatherette covers.
- Mitchell’s Fish Huts, also in Beaverton, locates their huts on Lake Trout, Perch, and Whitefish grounds. They have two ice bungalows for weekend rentals and large four-person huts. They offer day or night fishing shifts and provide safe propane furnace and lights as well as an ample supply of live bait.
Consider trying out the variety of ice fishing opportunities on Lake Simcoe this winter either own your own or with one of the ice hut providers listed above. If you decide to venture out let us know about your experience in the comments section below.