Ontario official Family Day holiday weekend
Ice fishing is a family affair this upcoming Family Day weekend in Ontario. Some of the best ice fishing in years is available over the long holiday weekend starting on February 14 through until the official holiday Monday February 17.
This year, Canadian residents can fish without a license in Ontario from February 15 to 17 (12:01 a.m. Saturday to 11:59 p.m. Monday) but note that even during license-free fishing events, you need to follow the catch limits.
Where to go ice fishing
More than 25 resorts, lodges and cottage resort country destinations offer ice fishing getaway packages with overnight accommodation, meals, bait and transportation to an ice hut. Ontario has many frozen lakes ready for an outdoors experience
A close to Toronto destination for ice-fishing day trips include Minet's Point in Barrie on Kempenfelt Bay Lake Simcoe. The Ministry of Tourism offers an official Ontario Ice Fishing report on current ice thickness, fish being caught in specific resort destinations.
Check ice conditions
Check thickness regularly with a spud bar or auger as you move further out on the ice. Ice does not freeze at a uniform thickness across most lakes and rivers.
Not all ice is created equal. Ice that has formed over flowing water, springs, pressure cracks, old ice holes or around the mouths of rivers and streams can be weaker than surrounding ice.
Fishing Regulations in Ontario
Anglers fishing without a license on family fishing weekend must adhere to the conservation fishing license limits which are set out in the current Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary. See copies of the regulations on the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources website. Many other fishing license issuers will have copies for the public.
Find more information for the summer free fishing weekend on the website Ontario Family Fishing Events.