Where to Fish: Fishing in Simcoe County Provincial Parks
By Wil Wegman
Besides a great family camping experience within well-run and clean campgrounds with all the amenities, one of the true benefits to staying at a provincial park while visiting Simcoe County is that you are so close to the waters you want to fish. Read on for an overview of fishing-friendly Simcoe County Provincial Parks.
Mara and McCrae Point Provincial Parks
Mara Provincial Park and McCrae Point Provincial Park are on the northeast side of Lake Simcoe and are close to some of the finest smallmouth bass waters on this 740-square kilometre waterbody. Lake Simcoe is recognized as one of the top trophy smallmouth fisheries on the planet thanks in no small part to a strong catch and release ethic by most anglers. Some shore fishing exists but so too do boat launches to reach bass and yellow perch far from shore.
Bass Lake Provincial Park
Located just west of Orillia, Bass Lake is much smaller and is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, as well as several panfish species like perch and sunfish. You can rent a canoe or launch a boat right in the park.
Awenda Provincial Park
Further north on the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay near Penetang lies Awenda Provincial Park. At Awenda, you'll need a decent sized boat to reach big water areas holding smallmouth bass, pike, walleye and smaller panfish that are commonly found in the waters between the Park and Giant's Tomb Island. Bass and panfish are also found in Kettle's Lake which is within the park and much smaller –perfect to fish from in the canoes you can rent from the Park.
Wasaga Beach Provincial Park
Most visitors head to Wasaga Beach Provincial Park for the beach, but those with a seaworthy boat can enjoy bass and rainbow trout fishing. You can also try your luck anywhere near the Nottawasaga River bank within park boundaries. A fishing access point is located in the dunes area of the park. The boat launch facilities at Beach Area 1 allow easy access to Georgian Bay.
Earl Rowe Provincial Park
Finally, Earl Rowe Provincial Park near Alliston offers the Ministry of Natural Resources and Fisheries Learn-to-fish Program. It's a tailor-made program for family campers staying there in the summer months and includes one hour of dryland instruction followed by an hour of actual fishing. Many families enjoy this Fishing 101 introduction as stepping stone to fishing on their own in the park or elsewhere in Simcoe County. Periodically the LTF Program also travels with a mobile unit for special events in towns like Orillia. A very successful learn-to-fish event took place along the beautiful Orillia waterfront in July 2018. Stay tuned to the Tourism Simcoe County website for more such events in the future.
Get more info in the Simcoe County Fishing Guide
Make this the year you give fishing in Simcoe County a try! For more information check out our complete Simcoe County Fishing Guide. It provides handy information and maps on everything from local hotspots and charters to shore fishing locations for the whole family to enjoy.