The Best Fishing Lakes in Ontario

The Importance of Choosing the Right Lake for a Successful Fishing Trip

Ontario is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, offering an abundance of lakes and rivers to explore. However, not all fishing spots are created equal, and selecting the right lake can make or break your fishing trip. The key is to choose a lake that suits your preferences in terms of location, species of fish, and overall experience. 

Location matters when it comes to fishing trips. Some anglers prefer the convenience of easily accessible lakes close to urban centers, while others seek more remote locations away from civilization. 

Ontario offers both options, with countless lakes located within easy reach of major cities and secluded spots deep in the wilderness. The species of fish available also varies greatly across different bodies of water. 

While some lakes are known for their trophy-sized muskie or walleye, others offer great opportunities to catch rainbow or brook trout. When choosing a lake for your trip, consider what type of fish you want to target and whether the lake has a reputation for producing healthy populations of that species. 

Overall experience is also an important factor. Some anglers prefer peaceful spots to enjoy nature in solitude, while others enjoy lively lakes with plenty of activities and opportunities for socializing with other fishermen. 

Before deciding on a lake, think about what kind of experience you want and research accordingly. Choosing the right lake is crucial for a successful Ontario fishing trip. 

Consider factors such as location, species available, and overall experience before making your choice. With so many great options out there, it’s worth finding the perfect spot to enhance your enjoyment and maximize your chances of landing that big catch! 

Top Lakes for Big Game Fish

Lake Nipissing: Known for its trophy-sized muskie and walleye

If you’re looking to catch some of Ontario’s biggest muskies and walleye, Lake Nipissing is the place to be. With over 800 square kilometers of surface area, this lake offers plenty of opportunities for anglers to hook into monster fish. 

Lake Nipissing is so renowned for its trophy-sized catches that it has become a popular destination for fishing tournaments. One of the reasons why muskies thrive in Lake Nipissing is because of its diverse habitat. 

With shallow bays, deep channels, and rocky points, this lake provides ideal conditions for these apex predators to hunt. Walleye also thrive in Lake Nipissing thanks to its numerous shoals and weed beds which serve as prime feeding grounds. 

If you’re planning a fishing trip to Lake Nipissing, it’s important to note that regulations have been implemented to ensure sustainable fishing practices. These include catch-and-release rules and limits on the number and size of fish that can be kept. 

Lake Simcoe: Home to some of the largest lake trout in Ontario

For those seeking big lake trout, look no further than Lake Simcoe. This sprawling body of water boasts some of the largest specimens in all of Ontario, with fish weighing up to 40 pounds not being uncommon. 

What makes Lake Simcoe such an appealing destination for lake trout is its cold waters which provide optimal living conditions for these fish. With depths reaching over 140 feet, there are plenty of deep pockets where these fish can thrive and grow. 

Lake Simcoe also offers ample opportunities for anglers to target other species, including whitefish, perch, and smallmouth bass. However, if it’s giant lakers you’re after, this is the lake for you. 

Lac Seul: Famous for its monster northern pike and walleye

Located in Northwestern Ontario, Lac Seul is a massive lake called “one of the top fishing lakes in the world” by Outdoor Canada magazine. Known for its trophy-sized northern pike and walleye, Lac Seul offers anglers a chance to catch massive fish. One of the reasons why Lac Seul is so productive is its abundance of bays and narrows, which serve as natural spawning grounds for these big game fish. 

With ample weed beds and rocky shoals, there are plenty of hiding spots for these predators to ambush their prey. If you plan a trip to Lac Seul, be prepared for some serious angling. 

These fish aren’t easy to catch, but with patience and persistence, you might hook into a monster pike or walleye that will make all your efforts worthwhile. Just remember to practice catch-and-release so future generations can enjoy this incredible fishery. 

Hidden Gems for Peaceful Fishing

Dog Lake: A Secluded Spot with Excellent Smallmouth Bass and Pike Fishing 

When it comes to fishing, sometimes the best spots are those off the beaten path. That’s certainly the case with Dog Lake. Located in a quiet corner of Ontario, this hidden gem is the perfect place for anglers looking for peaceful fishing. 

Even better, its small size means you won’t have to compete with other fishermen. But what sets Dog Lake apart from other lakes in Ontario is its fish population. 

The lake is home to an abundance of smallmouth bass and pike, which make for great sport fishing. And if you’re lucky enough to visit during the fall months, you can catch some trophy-sized fish. 

Just pack everything you need before heading out on your trip. With no stores or restaurants nearby, you’ll want to bring your food and supplies. 

Eagle Lake: A Remote Location with Excellent Rainbow Trout and Lake Trout Fishing 

If you’re willing to venture even further off the beaten path, Eagle Lake might be just what you’re looking for. This remote location is deep in Ontario’s wilderness, making it an ideal spot for anglers who want to get away from it all. 

But don’t let its remote location fool you – Eagle Lake has some of the best rainbow trout and lake trout fishing in Ontario. The lake is also home to various other fish species, like walleye and northern pike. 

One thing worth noting about Eagle Lake, though, is that its wilderness location means fewer amenities than you’d find at a more popular fishing destination like Lac Seul or Lake Simcoe. So if you’re planning on visiting, be sure to pack accordingly. 

Wabakimi Provincial Park: A Pristine Wilderness Area with Abundant Brook Trout 

If you’re looking for a truly wild fishing experience, Wabakimi Provincial Park is the place to be. This pristine wilderness area is home to some of the most untouched lakes and rivers in Ontario. 

And because it’s so remote, you’ll likely have the entire area to yourself. As for fishing, Wabakimi is known for its abundant brook trout population. 

These feisty fish are a favorite among anglers who enjoy fly fishing, and there are plenty of secluded spots in the park where you can cast your line. But as with any wilderness area, take precautions before heading out on your trip. 

The park’s remote location means few services are available, so you’ll want to bring all your food and supplies with you. Additionally, familiarize yourself with park regulations before heading out on your trip – conservation efforts are crucial in keeping this pristine wilderness area intact for generations to come. 

Family-Friendly Lakes

Rice Lake: A Fishing Paradise for Families

Rice Lake is a popular destination for families looking to spend a day fishing on the water. With easy access from the highway and numerous public boat launches, it’s no surprise that Rice Lake is a hot spot for avid anglers and weekend warriors alike. The local government stocked the lake annually with walleye, ensuring there was always plenty of fish to catch. 

Other species, like bass and panfish, are abundant in this lake. Rice Lake offers several accommodation options, including campgrounds, cottages, and lodges that cater to families. 

The shallow waters of this lake make it safe for children to swim while parents can keep an eye on them from their boats or docks. With fantastic fishing opportunities, beautiful scenery, and plenty of activities available on and off the water, Rice Lake has everything a family could want in a fishing trip. 

Lake St.Clair: Where Families Can Relax And Enjoy Fishing Too

Lake St.Clair offers some of the best perch fishing in Ontario without compromising on amenities or comfort. It’s located a short drive from Toronto, making it an ideal location if you’re looking for a quick getaway with your family. This lake boasts several marinas that offer boat rentals or charters for those without boats. 

It’s not only about perch fishing at Lake St.Clair, as other species like bluegills and crappie are also abundant here. Whether you’re looking to teach your kids how to cast their first line or want to relax by the water with your loved ones, Lake St.Clair has something for everyone. 

Balsam Lake: A Hidden Gem For Family Fishing Trips

Balsam Lake is one of Ontario’s largest lakes outside of Algonquin Park and offers plenty of opportunities for a successful family fishing trip. With more than 300 islands, this lake is an adventure waiting to happen. The lake is home to various fish species, including largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill. 

Balsam Lake Provincial Park offers several camping options for families with access to the water. The park also has several picnic areas and playgrounds, making it a fantastic location for families with young children. 

If you’re looking for a quieter spot away from the crowds, consider renting one of the private cottages that dot the shoreline. Ontario’s family-friendly lakes offer fantastic fishing opportunities and easy access to amenities and activities that cater to the whole family. 

Whether you want to spend your days catching perch on Lake St.Clair or exploring Balsam Lake’s many islands, this province has no shortage of options. So pack up your rods and reels and prepare for an unforgettable family fishing trip in Ontario’s beautiful lakes! 

Fly Fishing Hotspots

Grand River: One of the best fly-fishing rivers in Ontario, with an abundance of brown trout

Fly fishing is not just a sport; it’s an art. And when it comes to finding the perfect spot for fly fishing in Ontario, look no further than Grand River. This river offers some of the best fly-fishing experiences and has a diverse range of fish species to catch. 

The brown trout is one of the most sought-after fish species among fly fishermen on Grand River. The river is renowned for its abundant population of brown trout that can be caught using both dry and wet flies during different seasons of the year. 

With its clear and clean water, the Grand River provides an ideal habitat for these elusive fish. But that’s not all: Grand River offers much more than brown trout. 

You can catch rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, pike, and some steelhead during their run from Lake Erie in late fall and early winter. If you’re up for a challenge, try catching carp on the fly! 

The grand river has been producing great carp action in recent years. If there is one location that no avid angler should miss out on when visiting Ontario, it is the Grand River. 


Ontario has some of the best fishing opportunities in North America, with no shortage of options for all types of anglers. Whether you’re looking to catch trophy-sized muskies, enjoy peaceful fishing at secluded locations, or experience world-class fly-fishing opportunities like those found on the Grand River, there’s something for everyone. So pack your gear and head to one or all these fantastic spots across Ontario to get your fix for adventure and excitement while enjoying world-class fishing action! 

Remember always to follow regulations regarding conservation practices so these great opportunities are never lost. Happy fishing! 

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