Do you want to catch the biggest smallmouth bass of your life? How about a double-digit whitefish or a toothy northern pike? Maybe a flurry of lake trout, either out on the open water or through the ice? Or perhaps a limit of jumbo yellow perch for the ultimate fish fry? Well, all of those great catches—and more—can be had on southern Ontario’s expansive Lake Simcoe, one of the best and most diverse fisheries in the entire country.
The fourth largest lake entirely within Ontario’s borders, Simcoe covers an area of 744 square kilometres and plummets 41 metres at its deepest point. This is big water, so boaters and anglers need to be careful—it gets nasty out there when the wind whips up, no matter what direction it’s coming from.
Along with the fish already mentioned, Simcoe is also home to largemouth bass, black crappies, bowfins, burbot, brown bullheads, carp and ciscoes. There’s even a run of walleye from the Talbot River, and the promise of a restored muskie population thanks to recent conservation efforts.
In our opinion, though, it’s the smallmouth bass that are king on Lake Simcoe. During a typical bass tournament, for example, a 20-plus-pound bag of five smallies is common, with the winners typically approaching 30 or more pounds. Now that’s a lot of monster bass.
During the open-water season, there are numerous public and private boat launches available around the lake, so access is easy. There are also several guiding services on the lake, both in summer and during the hardwater season. Accommodations are simple to find, too. If you get a chance to fish on this awe-inspiring body of water, do it.