Ready to reel in the catch of the day, or possibly the catch of a lifetime? With thousands of lake and rivers to choose from, you can find a fishing spot that’s yours alone, with nothing but the sound of your line casting into the water – which will be followed by shouts of excitement when you reel in the big one!
Fishing is a four-season sport here in Ontario’s Highlands. In the spring, summer, and fall you can spend a relaxing day on the water, casting off from your boat, a dock, or fly fishing. In the winter, we’re an ice fisherman’s paradise, with a variety of fish waiting for you under the frozen surface of our waterways. Grab your gear, or get some here, and discover all of the great fishing opportunities that Ontario’s Highlands has to offer!
Local Lakes and Rivers
With a lake or river system located near every town and city, in provincial parks and conservation areas, and throughout the region, you don’t need to venture far to experience the fishing trip of your dreams. Plan your fishing adventure with these helpful tools and maps identifying the bodies of water found in Ontario’s Highlands.
|Fish ON-Line interactive map, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources – Locate rivers and lakes by water body name, fish species, or by inputting GPS coordinates – keep to those found within Region 15, 17, and 18 on the map|
|Fishing, Ottawa Valley Tourist Association – An overview about fishing in the Ottawa Valley|
|Haliburton County fishing chart – Discover the lakes and rivers of Haliburton County with this chart that also identifies fish species and popular ways to access the water systems|
|Land O’Lakes fishing guide – Find out what fish are in which lakes|
Types of Fish
Welcome to freshwater fishing paradise, where recreational anglers can catch fish of many species and sizes. Cold-water fish species such as smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge (a.k.a. muskie) can be found in the Ottawa River and many of the region’s lakes. Various species of lake trout are also abundant in the region – particularly in the Land O’Lakes. For warm-water fishing, cast your line in the Rideau system’s lakes and rivers to turn up some largemouth bass and crappie. Check out the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Fish ON-Line interactive map to search for fishing spots by species.
Just because a thick layer of ice creates a barrier between you and the plenitude of fish below doesn’t mean fishing season is over. There’s nothing quite like ice fishing, whether it’s out on the open lake or from an ice hut. With the proper outdoor clothing and a spirit for adventure, ice fishing can be rewarding (with the reward being fish!) and enjoyable too.
|Everything you need to know about ice fishing – Ice fishing 101 with content on how to stay comfortable, stay safe, and catch fish with the right tools and equipment|
|Ice fishing – Information about ice fishing including safety considerations, tackle, cutting a hole, bait, and fishing strategies|
If you’re looking to add a little competition to your day out fishing on the lake, look for a local fishing tournament while staying in Ontario’s Highlands. There are fishing events in both summer and winter for you to prove your skills with a fishing rod. Ask your accommodations or the local marina for more information about fishing derbies and tournaments near you.
|Fishing tournaments, Elephant Lake Lodge – A listing of upcoming fishing contests at Lakes Elephant and Baptise|
|Kids Pike Derby, Baptiste Lake – An annual summer event at Baptise Lake for children age 16 and younger|
|Ontario family fishing events – A listing of locally driven, Ontario fishing events taking place in summer and winter|
|Timberfest Fishing Derby – Takes place the weekend before the Timberfest weekend, typically in February|