Ice Fishing Hut

Ice Fishing in York Durham Headwaters

Posted : January 15, 2023

Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.

Ice fishing. There are fewer winter experiences that are more quintessentially Canadian than gathering your friends around a frozen hole in the dead of winter, waiting for the tell-tale tug of a fishing line.

Around these parts, the ice fishing season typically starts in mid to late January and closes March 15 (the date all huts must be off the ice).

Ice Fisher Fishing

Whether you’re an avid fisherman or just curious about ice fishing, there are plenty of ice hut operators in York Durham Headwaters who can supply you with everything you need to get out on the ice this winter.

Fishing Reels
Ice Fisher Drilling a Hole

Ice Fishing Operators in YDH

Door of an Ice Fishing Hut
People Ice Fishing in a Hut
Hut on Lake Simcoe

Ice Fishing on Lake Simcoe

Lake Simcoe is one of the most popular locations in York Durham Headwaters for ice fishing and, in fact, is one of the most popular locations for ice fishing in the entire province. Lake Simcoe is renowned for its abundance of Perch, a small fish that is known to be delicious with a mild and sweet meat that is firm yet flaky in texture. Avid fishers will be pleased to know that Lake Simcoe also offers fishing opportunities that include Lake Trout, Whitefish,  and Herring.

Person holding their catch while ice fishing

Ice Fishing at Island Lake Conservation Area

Island Lake Conservation Area is also a great place to try your hand at ice fishing. Located near Orangeville you will find the friendly staff at the park ready to assist you with anything you need.

People taking a family photo in front of an ice-mobile

Ice Fishing Derbies

Once you catch a taste for ice fishing, you might want to consider taking part in an ice fishing derby.

Watch this space for scheduled ice fishing derbies.

Two men sitting on a couch on the ice

Ice Safety Tips

  • Ice doesn’t freeze at uniform thickness.
  • Ice is often much thicker and safer near the shore than the ice that is farther out, especially at the start of winter season
  • As you move further out on to the ice, regularly check the thickness with a spud bar or an auger.
  • Ice that forms over moving water, like a natural spring or near the mouth of a river or stream can be weaker than the surrounding ice.
  • Ice that has formed over old ice holes may be weak.
  • Keep your eye out for pressure cracks, this may indicate that the ice is weak.
  • The colour of the ice will give you a clue as to its integrity. Clear blue ice is strong, where as white or opaque ice is much weaker.
  • Beware of ice that looks honeycombed. This indicates that the ice may be thawing.
  • Driving on ice requires extreme caution, it is important to know the thickness of the ice before venturing out. Here are the recommended minimum thickness levels for safety:
    • Snowmobiles: at least 20 centimetres (8 inches) of clear blue ice
    • Light vehicles: at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) or more
    • Double the recommended thickness if the ice is white or opaque.
    • CAUTION: Heavy snow on a frozen lake or river slows down the freezing process.

These tips are provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. You can learn more about ice fishing by visiting their ice fishing resource page.

An all terrain vehicle on the ice

Before You Go Ice Fishing

  • Ice conditions can shift quickly. If you are an inexperienced ice fisher we strongly recommended that you check in with one of our seasoned ice hut operators for ice conditions before you venture out onto the lake.
  • You must have a valid fishing license. Be sure to get one before you head out to the lake.
  • Implement a safety plan by letting others know where you’re planning to fish and when you plan on returning.

  • Wear appropriate clothing and equipment both for safety and to ensure that you have the most comfortable and pleasurable ice fishing experience possible. We recommend warm layers of clothing, water resistant gloves and insulated boots—it can get cold out there and snow can get deep around the huts. Don’t forget your hat!
Women smiling with gently falling snow

York Durham Headwaters Go to Home Page