Information for Ice Fishing Lake Simcoe in southern Ontario. Lake Simcoe is a freshwater fishing paradise. The lake boasts ice fishing opportunities for a number of sportfish. The most targeted species are perch, crappie, pike, whitefish and Lake Trout. Major cities on the lake include Barrie, at the western end of Kempenfelt bay, Orillia to the north, Beaverton to the east and the town of Georgina to the south. Lake Simcoe is often referred to as the Ice Fishing Capitol of Canada. It should come as no surprise that the Canadian Ice Fishing Championship is hosted on Lake Simcoe.
Located south east of Georgian Bay in southern Ontario, Lake Simcoe is the largest inland water body found in Ontario aside from the great lakes. It was originally known by native north Americans as “Lake Toronto”. Towards the end of the 18th century, it was renamed for John Graves Simcoe, the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.
A very popular destination for folks wishing to catch some of the early ice perch action is Cooks Bay in the southern region of Lake Simcoe. Several access points in this area include the town of Gilford, Innisfill and Roches Point. The ice fishing for perch is spectacular in Cooks Bay beginning around the end of December each year when the ice becomes safe. Contacting some of the local hut operators in the region will give you up to date information on ice conditions as well as how well the fish are biting. Expect to encounter incidental pike when fishing this area as well. Pike up to 17 pounds are caught each year while ice fishing in cooks bay on lake simcoe.
As the ice thickens in mid to late January, ice anglers tend to begin to focus on deeper water. Driving along the shores of lake Simcoe, you will probably notice “villages” of ice huts in the far off distance. These “on ice villages” are usually groups of ice anglers who are targeting whitefish and lake trout. Both of these species live in much deeper water than pike and perch, and this usually means traveling a minimum of two kilometers out on the ice where the water reaches depths of between 80 and 130 feet.
It is a good recommendation to visit some of the local bait and tackle supply shops around lake Simcoe on the day of your ice fishing adventure. These and various ice fishing hut operators in the lake Simcoe region will be able to provide you with valuable information about where the fish are biting, and what the preferred bait is for those anglers having success.