Must Try Ice Fishing Lakes in Ontario

For those unencumbered by thoughts of cold winter days, but rather relish the hard water heaven, this list is for you!



Ontario’s reputation as a world class fishing destination doesn’t change when winter arrives! It’s referred to as “Hardwater Heaven”!  With approx. 250,000 lakes in Ontario, it’s no wonder it’s the best province to fish!   There’s nothing better than getting together with friends and enjoying the day fishing.  As winter closes in, though, our past time of lake fishing in the boat and fly fishing in the rivers comes to an end.

For those unencumbered by thoughts of cold winter days, but rather relish the hard water heaven, this list is for you!  Ontario has endless fishing opportunities, and there are so many amazing lakes to list, it would take 365 days of writing to fill just a small portion.  The list I have comprised is sourced from my own personal experiences, and from fellow fishing experts. Although there are endless amazing lakes to fish in Ontario, this is a merely short list! 

With out further ado:

Crystal Lake, Atikokan, Ontario

Atikokan Ontario, surrounded by beautiful lakes and trees, is located along scenic Highway 11/17 in the southeast region of Sunset Country. Atikokan is a fun, family-friendly community that relishes its small-town charm. There are plenty of lakes to ice fish, but for this article, I will focus on this one particular lake.

Crystal Lake offers excellent Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, and Lake Trout fishing

Lake of the woods, Kenora Ontario

A spectacular location for multi-species ice fishing and known as “Walleye Capital of the World”. Other popular fish include: perch, pike, crappie, whitefish, trout, small mouth bass, lake trout, & musky.    

Guides available: Ryan HainesDarcy Cox,  Jeff Gustafson 

Wawa, Ontario

Wawa residents love ice fishing! So much so, that Wawa hosts an annual ice fishing derby that boasts a whopping 140,000.00 + in prizes and cash giveaways to derby winners!

If that’s not enough, all entries have a chance to win one of the randomly drawn prizes!

The derby lakes are: Wawa Lake, Hawk Lake and Manitowik Lake.

Accommodations in Wawa are: Wawa Motor Inn, Park way Motel

Black Bay, Lake Superior 

Off the mighty Lake Superior close to the city of Thunder Bay. The north shore is blessed with a smorgasbord of fishing available.  Black Bay makes the list for it’s multi-species fishing but especially it’s big perch!

A drive to the location from the TransCanada Highway.

Guides and huts available:  Bear Trak OutfittersHamilton Baits & Ice Huts

Lac des Mille Lacs Lake, Thunder Bay, Ontario

This lake spans an area of 94 sq miles with a drainage basin of  685 sq miles.

The out flow rivers drain into Hudson Bay.  Lac des Mille Lacs is a lake that has a long outstanding history for its year around fishing. Ice fishing is popular and there are a good amount of facilities that cater to the winter angler.

Some suggested locations that also offer ice hunt rentals are: Sugar Shack Hut RentalsOpen Bay LodgePine Point Resort

Wakomata Lake, Ontario

Get off the beaten path, yet not too far away!

Approx. 90 minutes from the Sault Ste. Marie, and located 32 miles north of Thessalon on Hwy 129, Wakomata lake is in the District of Algoma.

The lake reaches maximum depths of 240' with average depth of 100'

A perimeter of 41.6 km (26 miles) and a surface area of 2,468 hectares (6,100 acres). Wakomata offers sensational fishing year around!

Species to target: Lake trout.

Winter ice fishing Accommodations:  Snowshoe camp,  Wakomata resort

NightHawk Lake, Timmons Ont.  

Fish for lake trout, rainbow, brook, splake and mooneye!  Excellent year around fishing!

This lake is part of the James Bay drainage basin.   

Bonus lake to check out: While checking out Timmons fishing, you may want to try your luck on Dunn Lake, 16 km from Cochrane, Ont. 

Nipissing Lake, Nippissing

When it comes to impressive lakes, this big lake ranks at the top.  Its fishery is impressive and is legendary for its ice fishing.  The waters of Lake Nipissing are home to many species of fish. The sport fish most sought after is the walleye and rightly so. Trophy pike, muskie, jumbo perch and bass are Nipissing specialties too.

The list for ice bungalows is even more impressive! 

Lake Simcoe

Lake Simcoe has been titled “Ice fishing capital of Canada“! This amazing lake is located approx. 1 ½ hours from Toronto Ontario, is 48 km’s long and 29 km’s wide with maximum depth being 136 ft.  

Species to target: Pike, walleye, perch, white fish, lake trout. The lake also has smallmouth and large mouth bass, there is smelt fishing in the spring as well.  

Bay of Quinte

On the northern shore of Lake Ontario, it is west of the head of the Saint Lawrence River that drains the Great Lakes into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Located about 200 km’s east of Toronto and 400 km’s west of Montreal – Bay of Quinte is a hot spot for fishing!

Ice fishing Bay of Quinte is highly regarded.  Year around the lake is famous for it’s massive trophy walleye – some of the biggest I’ve ever seen are consistently being caught/released in this body of water!

Popular species targeted for ice fishing: Giant Walleye

All season guides and ice hunt rentals:  Muddy Waters OutfittersSunset CabinsFish Finder Charters

Quinte Ice fishing heated huts: Phone Pete (613)847-3384 or Kirk (613)876-2666 

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