Fishing in Simcoe County
Get Hooked! On Simcoe County
Simcoe County boasts some of the best year round fishing. From the beautiful waters of Georgian Bay to the shorelines of Lake Simcoe and Couchiching, and all our rivers and streams, we have something for everyone from beginners to pros.
The blue waters of Georgian Bay is a fishing mecca covering 15,000 square kilometres, it comes close in size and variety of fish to Lake Ontario. Georgian Bay species include bass (both largemouth and smallmouth), catfish, pike, salmon, trout, walleye, sturgeon and tiger muskie. Georgian Bay's miles of habitat with thousands of islands, small bays, inlets, points, shorelines and pristine waters make this area an angler's paradise.
For those who like a variety of fish, Lake Simcoe is hard to beat; with its deep sections for cold water species like lake trout and whitefish, mid-depth areas for popular fish like smallmouth bass and yellow perch, and shallower, weedy places that harbour largemouth bass, northern pike and a variety of panfish ... this lake is like none other in southern Ontario. More people fish Lake Simcoe than any other inland lake in the province! With 725 sq. km to explore, there's plenty of room for you and your boat on one of Ontario's largest inland lake.
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Fishing through the Seasons:
Spring fishing begins with the popular Orillia Perch Festival the 3rd weekend in April until 3rd weekend in May on both Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching.
Other species such as Black crappie and sunfish are also great springtime pursuits for families or hard core anglers who like to fish from shore. After the 2nd Saturday in May, lake trout, whitefish, cisco, northern pike and walleye season re-opens and anglers with a boat can launch at several locations along the Simcoe County's side of Lake Simcoe. For many from far and wide, once the 4th Saturday of June bass opener arrives … it is all bass… all the time, as few lakes on the continent can provide anglers with a better opportunity for their Personal Best smallmouth bass ever! Both largemouth and smallmouth fishing can be great out from our shores, right through to the November 30th closer.
Big bass time! This season offers the best bass and pike fishing of the year, and is also the time when you will find the least amount of anglers on the lake.
The annual Bass Pro Shop Lake Simcoe Open out of Orillia proves how big the bass can get. It holds the record for the 5th heaviest bass ever weighed in during a Canadian Bass Tournament weighing a whopping 31.05 pounds; and they were all smallmouth!
Once the open water turns to ice, Lake Simcoe comes alive with more anglers than it sees all three other seasons combined. With several ice hut operators around Ontario's 6th largest inland lake it makes it easy for families and others without a lot of ice fishing experience to try this great winter sport. For active, hard core ice anglers, the quality and quantity of fish available, brings them back year after year.
Located on the shores of Orillia and connected to Lake Simcoe by the historic Atherly Narrows, "Cooch" is a favorite destination for great perch, pike and bass action. It's also one of Canada's top bass tournament hotspots because excellent smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing prevail along with an outstanding launch and waterfront facilities in Orillia.
Southern Georgian Bay
The protected bays like those out of Midland and Penetanguishene offer anglers good waters to hook pike, walleye, large and smallmouth bass, black crappie and perch. Parts of Georgian Bay also harbor monster sized muskie. Further out in the Bay you can hire a charter or fish on your own for lake trout, rainbows or salmon. If you head west over towards Collingwood you can target big pike and untapped smallmouth bass but these play 2nd fiddle when the migratory salmon and rainbow trout 'are in'
The Nottawasaga, Coldwater, Pretty and Sturgeon Rivers at certain times of the year all have migratory salmon and trout whereas slower moving rivers like the Holland at the southern end of Simcoe County have various panfish, huge carp, bountiful bullheads and big largemouth bass.
Several smaller water bodies within Simcoe County may not receive the attention that Lake Simcoe or Georgian Bay does but are worth checking out for an exciting fishing adventure. Bass Lake west of Orillia is aptly named for its #1 attraction and the provincial park by the same name is a great place to camp. Gloucester Pool, Lake St. John or Sparrow Lake provide fine bass, pike and panfish action.
Want to fish for something different that you can't find everywhere? Parts of southern Georgian Bay and Gloucster Pool have some exceptional long nosed gar, common carp and channel cats that are sure to provide a thrill you won't soon forget.
Simcoe County Tourism encourages all anglers and others enjoying our lakes to be extremely cautious; especially on big waters like Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. Prior to heading out make sure your boat is properly equipped and check marine forecasts for wind and storm warnings. During winter months call local operator or tackle shops for the latest ice conditions.
NEW TO FISHING?
Check out Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Learn to Fish Program every summer at Earl Rowe Provincial Park in Alliston. For more information: Earl Rowe Provincial Park (705) 435-2498,
Fishing is the reel deal in Simcoe County!