A Guide to Ice Fishing Near Toronto

Winter is in its final days, which means that your chance to partake in the great Canadian sport of ice fishing is growing thin. But there are still plenty of fish in the frozen sea. (Okay. Lake.) Here’s where to catch them.

Lake Simcoe
Size:
744 km2
The catch:
bass, laketrout, walleye
Its proximity to Toronto means that Simcoe attracts crowds, including lots of American tourists. The upside: Amenities are readily available, and for about $50, you can find an ice hut operator (our favourite: Lucky Son’s) to set you up with gear, bait, pick-up and drop-off. More info.

Lake Nipissing
Size: 873 km2
The catch: walleye, pike
Avoid crowds at Lake Nipissing, which is large but shallow, rife with sandbars along the coastline. Rent a hut from Glen Echo Cottages and enjoy the quiet.

Lake Scugog
Size: 68 km2
The catch: crappies, perch
Scugog is mighty but small, which means it will melt sooner than the big boys. Though the lake’s man-made, the crappies are very real. Rent from Lake Scugog Ice Hut Rentals.

Rice Lake
Size:
32 km2
The catch:
muskies, bass
Rice Lake opened to the public this winter for the first time in 90 years. Go on the right day, and you’ll have it all to yourself. For hut rentals, www.ricelakecanada.com.

The Essentials
1. One-day fishing licence. $11.25
2. Blackcat by Coleman heater. $89.99
3. Rapala rod and reel. $36.94
4. Monofilament line. $7.99
5. Corkscrew ice saw. $94.94
6. Sub-zero ice cleats. $9.99

Image courtesy of Sankax.

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