There is “reel” fun to be had in Simcoe County

Okay, so you decided you want to learn to fish, but you don’t know where to go or what equipment you need? Tourism Simcoe County can help you get started! One of the greatest draws for tourists visiting Simcoe County is the incredible recreational fishing available.

We are fortunate to have several beautiful provincial parks to stay and fish at while visiting Simcoe County:

Mara and McCrae Provincial Parks are on the northeast side of Lake Simcoe and are close to some of the finest smallmouth bass waters on this 740 square kilometre body of water. Lake Simcoe is recognized as one of the top trophy smallmouth fisheries on the planet thanks in no small part to a strong catch and release ethic by most anglers. Some shore fishing exists but so to do boat launches to reach bass and some jumbo yellow perch far from shore.

Bass Lake Provincial Park, just west of Orillia is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, as well as several panfish species like perch and sunfish. You can rent a canoe or launch a boat right in the park.

Awenda Provincial Park, a little further north on the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay near Penetanguishene, and to the west is famed Wasaga Beach Provincial Park. You will need a decent sized boat to reach big water areas holding smallmouth bass, pike, walleye and smaller panfish. Bass and panfish are also found in Kettle’s Lake which is within the park and perfect to fish from a canoe you can rent from the Park. For Wasaga, most visitors go there for the beach but those with a seaworthy boat can enjoy bass and rainbow trout fishing. You can also try your luck anywhere near the Nottawasaga River bank within park boundaries. A fishing access point is located in the dunes area of the park. Boat launch facilities in Beach Area 1 allow easy access to Georgian Bay.

Besides a great family camping experience within well run and clean campgrounds holding all the amenities …one of the true benefits to staying at a provincial park while visiting Simcoe County is that you are so close to the waters you want to fish. For provincial park and reservation information visit ontarioparks.com.

Finally, Earl Rowe Provincial Park near Alliston is yet another park in Simcoe County and offers Ministry Natural Resources & Forestry’s Learn to Fish Program. This tailor-made program is for family campers staying there in summer and includes one hour of dryland instruction followed by an hour of actual fishing. Many families enjoy this Fishing 101 as a stepping stone to fishing on their own in the park or elsewhere in Simcoe County afterwards.

So go ahead and try your hand at casting a fishing line in one of our county’s lakes or rivers. Check out our complete Simcoe County Fishing Guide at experience.simcoe.ca. It provides useful information and maps on everything from local hotspots, fishing licenses, and charters to shore fishing locations for the whole family to enjoy. There is “Reel” fun to be had in Simcoe County!

Fishing facts provided by Wil Wegman an award winning outdoor writer and seminar host.