Couple Fishing off Boat

These Pick Up Lines Will Guarantee the Best Fishing in YDH

Are you looking for the perfect catch? York Durham Headwaters is the fishing rod you’re looking for because we’ll reel you right in! Whether you’re new to casting a line or have a box full of tackle, you’ll be lured right in with these best fishing spots in YDH.

Tackle Box

Before You Get Hooked in YDH…

It’s important to know the rules and regulations for fishing in Ontario. You don’t need to have the ins and outs fully memorized, but it’s important to know the basics.

Before you touch your rod, it’s necessary to have a valid Ontario fishing license! They are attached to your outdoors card and can be purchased online via the Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service, at a licensed issuer such as a bait or tackle shop, or at participating ServiceOntario locations. Head to the Government of Ontario website to find the closest location to you.

Depending on how many times you’re looking to cast a line to see what bites, you can choose between the length of your license as well as the limits of how many fish you’re entitled to keep. If you’re looking for the best fish in the sea, err, lake then a conservation license is probably for you. However, if quantity over quality is more your style, than a sports fishing license might be best for you.

You should also be aware that the York and Headwaters Region fall into Fisheries Management Zone 16 while Durham Region is in Zone 17. This means there are different allotments allowed depending on your fishing license. Brook Trout, Lake Trout, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Sunfish, Walleye and Sauger all have distinct limits and regulations in Zone 16 versus Zone 17 and other species may not be allowed to be caught at all! For full details, dive deep into the Government of Ontario’s Fishing Regulations Summary.

Planning on Fishing Often?

If you’re looking to hook as many fish as you can, it’s worth investing in your tackle box. There’s no better place to do that than Bass Pro Shop in Vaughan. Located in the Vaughan Mills Mall complex, it’s one of the largest in the country!

Fishing Reels

In order to land the perfect catch, you’ll need a few items to get you started. Most importantly, a fishing rod and reel is necessary or you won’t be snagging anything! Next on the docket is a variety of lures. Depending on what species of fish you’re hoping to hook, different colours, shapes and sizes of lures can help. The fine folks at Bass Pro Shop should be able to help. Then, it never hurts to stay organized so a tackle box is the next best step. Now you’re well on your way to becoming the catch of the day!

Remember, you don’t have to buy the top of the line version of everything. As you get out there and practice, you’ll find out what the right lures are for you to catch whatever your heart desires.

Top Fishing Destinations in York Durham Headwaters

Now that you’ve got the gear, it’s time to hit the water! There’s plenty of great fishing in York Durham Headwaters. What better place to start than Lake Simcoe?

Not only is Lake Simcoe a year round destination for fishing but it’s also the Smallmouth Bass capital of Canada! These aren’t the only fish you’ll find as it’s common to reel in Lake Trout, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike and more.

Couple Fishing off Boat
Boat in Whitby
Fish in Net

Make a full trip of it by heading to the adorable town of Georgina. It may be popular for skiing in the winter but Georgina has much more to offer including adorable cafes, great eats and craft beer! It’s easy to enjoy a stellar weekend getaway by grabbing a room at the Ramada Jacksons Point Resort & Spa. Another great destination is Beaverton where you’ll enjoy the countryside views of North Durham and plenty of off-the-beaten-path adventures. Not to mention no trip to the area is complete without saying hello to the cutest critter in Durham Region, Ginger the Alpaca.

Another fantastic option is Lake Scugog where anglers of all skill levels can rope in both Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Perch, Black Crappie and Catfish. The area around Port Perry is a hotspot for Bass and the perfect destination for a weekend getaway! Not only will you find some of the best patios in YDH but there’s also a number of fantastic golf courses close by to make Port Perry the perfect spot for a guy’s weekend.

Last but certainly not least, Lake Ontario offers some stellar fishing. Here you’ll find both Salmon and Rainbow Trout looking to be hooked on your line. Spend the day on the water and then head into one of the cities along the shore like Whitby and Oshawa. There’s lots to see and explore including great local restaurants, craft breweries, unique galleries and shops. Not to mention Bowmanville has lots to offer as well as the greater area of Clarington!

Yes, You CAN Fish for Free!

Usually if it sounds too good to be true, it is. However, the Canadian residents can fish in Ontario for free four times every calendar year! Exact dates will vary year to year but in 2024, you can fish for free:

  • February 17 to 19 during the Family Fishing Weekend
  • May 11 & 12 for the Mother’s Day Weekend
  • June 15 & 16 for the Father’s Day Weekend
  • June 29 to July 7 for Family Fishing Week

This means you can cast a line without having to purchase a fishing license. These days are great for those of you looking to give it a shot before committing to purchasing all of the gear necessary! If you have a friend you can borrow a rod and some tackle from then you’re off to the races. However, not everyone is so fortunate!

Luckily, Darlington Provincial Park has their Learn to Fish program where their skilled staff will show you the ins and outs. They also have equipment for rent so this is another great alternative for those just starting out on their angling journey. All you need is your fishing license and then see if you can reel in the various fish species of McLaughlin Bay like perch, pike and catfish! Click here to visit the Darlington Provincial Park website for more details.

Boy Fishing

Orangeville’s Island Lake Conservation Area also offers a TackleShare program through Credit Valley Conservation where visitors can rent gear to go fishing within the park. Think of it as a library but for fishing. Just sign out a rod and reel along with an assortment of tackle and return it once you’re done for the day! Once you’re equipped, you can fish the 400-acre lake either by boat (yes, you can rent them from the conservation area until July 31st each year!) or cast your line from the shore. There are 10 accessible fishing piers scattered along the south shore between parking lots 1 and 4 for visitors to see what they can catch.

Island Lake isn’t the only Credit Valley Conservation location that has a TackleShare program! You can also head to the Ken Whillans Resource Management Area in Caledon Village to see what bites. Here visitors can test their luck in two ponds featuring small fishing piers. Orchard Pond is home to Northern Pike and is stocked with Rainbow Trout every spring while Kidd Pond has Largemouth Bass just waiting to nibble at your line. There’s also the Credit River where Brown Trout are just waiting to be hooked!

Not Ready to Fly Solo? Go With the Pros

If you’re unsure about jumping in with both feet, we’re fortunate to have a number of guides in York Durham Headwaters that will happily show you the ropes!

One such guide is Cooper Gallant who grew up fishing the waters of Durham Region. Specializing in Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye and Northern Pike, he’ll happily take you out on your lake of choice in Durham Region. Hop on one of his guided tours where he’ll supply everything you need and show you some techniques to hone your angling skills. Not to mention he’ll snap some photos of you with your trophies so you can show them off to your friends!

Fishing off Boat

They say Lake Simcoe fishes like one of the Great Lakes and with giant Smallmouth Bass just waiting to be snagged, Joe Ford knows how to reel them in. He knows the ins and outs of Lake Simcoe as he’s spent many hours scouring trophy lakes and systems across both Southern and Eastern Ontario. Whether you’re an experienced angler with your eyes on a trophy or a beginner looking to hone your skills, Joe will tailor your trip to be exactly what you’re looking for.

Looking to try your hand at salmon fishing? There’s no better guide than Duchies Sport Fishing. Located in Bowmanville, head linecaster Kyle will take you out on Lake Ontario for a day you’ll never forget. He knows exactly where they bite and you won’t come out empty handed! A quick look at the Duchies Facebook Page shows just how big some of these bad boys can get. It will be a thrilling day of fishing to say the least that anglers of all ages and skill levels will enjoy!

For families looking to get out for a day of fishing, these might sound a little intimidating. However, Burds Family Fishing in Stouffville is built for families. Cast a line in their twin half acre ponds that are perfect for Rainbow Trout Fishing. They have everything you need including rod rentals and bait. And the best part? A fishing license isn’t necessary! It’s the perfect spot to bring the whole family to test the waters of angling. Not only this, but the fine folks at Burds will clean and package the fish you catch so it’s ready for you to fry up when you get home.

YDH is A Trophy Catch for Fishing


As you can see, we know fishing here in YDH and we’ll have you hooked on angling in no time! Just remember to snag your fishing license and review the rules and regulations for your fishing destination before you break out the tackle box. Otherwise, cast your line and see what bites in York Durham Headwaters!

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