With fishing season upon us, York Durham Headwaters (YDH) proudly presents the hotly contested debate of anglers of all ages: to boat or not to boat? The answer is—it’s complicated! Where you fish depends on a variety of factors including who you’re fishing with, what you want to catch and how much time you have. One thing’s for certain, YDH offers many exciting opportunities to fish in our region!
Fishing on land
When fishing with children, casting off from shore is a good bet. It allows kids to run and play when they need to and offers fun distractions like looking for frogs and exploring their natural surroundings.
For an urban fishing experience, there’s nothing like casting off at the dock of the Frenchman’s Bay Marina. A bustling hub of activity, the marina offers a stunning view of the bay and is within walking distance of plenty of shops and restaurants—as well as a playground for the kids!
The Primrose Trout Farm in scenic Mono offers an affordable and exciting day out for the family! You don’t need a fishing licence and you can rent gear if you need to. Note, this destination only accepts cash so be sure to stop at the ATM before you arrive.
In Stouffville, Burd’s Family Fishing has two rainbow trout ponds nestled within six acres of beautiful countryside. Bring a picnic lunch or treat yourself to the concession stand and barbeque cart. If you need help, there are plenty of friendly and experienced staff members standing by.
Fishing by boat
When you head out into the water, you’re more likely to catch bigger fish than you would catch from shore. It’s also easier to try several different spots if the fish aren’t biting in a particular location.
Lake Scugog is a popular fishing destination that’s an easy drive from Toronto. You’ll find muskies, bass, perch, catfish and more in these friendly waters. Rent a fishing boat at the Port Perry Marina and be sure to bring your fishing licence—or purchase one on-site!
Go back to nature and cast off by canoe at the Island Lake Conservation Area! You can rent boats and gear or fish from one of the accessible fishing piers. The conservation area is fully equipped with a concession stand where you can buy snacks, drinks, live bait and tackle.
Local anglers love fishing at Lake Simcoe, a world-class trophy smallmouth bass destination! First-time anglers can take the Learn to Fish program at Sibbald Point Provincial Park. This free, two-hour lesson gets you out on the water with an experienced instructor who’ll teach you everything you need to know about fishing safely and sustainably.
Before you go
Wherever you decide to go fishing, be sure to have an outdoors card and a licence to fish in Ontario if you’re between the ages of 18 and 65. Read up on the rules and regulations on fishing in Ontario and respect the environment—wherever you are. Wear a life jacket whether fishing on land or by boat and leave the booze (and other intoxicants) at home!
Written by: Erica Cuccaro