Ice fishing might be the ultimate winter activity in Ontario. While you can go skating, skiing, or tubing to get your cold weather kicks, these pursuits lack the ceremony and social element that huddling up in a tiny hut on a frozen lake offers in spades.
For years, ice fishing was thought of an esoteric activity reserved for true outdoorsy types, but it’s popularity has been on the upswing for a while now. As a result, it’s never been more easy to take the plunge and try it out.
Lake Simcoe is one of the most popular destinations for ice fishing near Toronto with an array of operators offering heated ice hut rentals. At about an hour’s drive from Toronto (depending on which part of the lake you’re starting from), it’s convenient place to try it out for the first time.
Casey’s Fish Huts, Blue Hut Rentals are two solid options for day-trippers, but for those who want a more upscale experience overnight experience, you can head to the Briar’s Resort, which offers ice fishing excursions as part of its winter activity programming.
Those willing to travel further afield can try out ice fishing in Prince Edward County as part of the Winter Warrior package at the Drake Devonshire, which takes guests out to a heated hut on Wellers Bay where there’s good Walleye.
There are, of course, also Ontario resorts that completely tailor their winter programming around ice fishing, but those tend to suit experts of the craft rather than novices just trying it out. The most popular lakes tend to attract people with a range of levels.
Whether day tripping or heading out to ice fish as part of programming at an overnight resort, beginners will want to make sure to use a service that offers bait, on-ice transportation, and heated huts with pre-drilled holes. Just bring the food (and booze) and drop in your line.