Lake Simcoe Top Winter Fish Species

Perch, Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Whitefish


Perch is a most popular fish species targeted during the ice fishing season on Lake Simcoe. Perch - 12" and up is called jumbo.
Daily limit: 50 - sport fishing licence, 25 - conservation licence.

Winter perch movements:
- early season, mid depth: 12-20 feet
- mid season - deeper, up to 60 feet
- late season - back to shallower water, close to spring spawning grounds.

Bait: live minnows - emerald shiners, raw shrimps, maggots.
Artificial Baits: various jigging spoons: Swedish Pimple, Kastmaster, tubes, mormyshka jigs, vertical jigging lures. Almost any lure will catch an active perch. Perch lures depends a lot on personal preference. Don't be fooled if told Simcoe Bug or Slab Grabber are the best lures for Lake Simcoe perch.
Popular Locations: Cook's Bay, Virginia Beach, areas out from Pefferlaw and Port Bolster.
Hot Tip: To stay on fish keep moving and drill different spots. Be creative.

Perch Lures

Northern Pike

The significant increase in water clarity caused by the filtering effects of zebra mussels make pike difficult to catch. In extremely clear water don't use traditional wire leaders. Instead use fluorocarbon or thin wolfram leaders.

Daily limit: 6 - sport fishing licence, 2 - conservation licence.

Wolfram Pike Leader

Bait: live minnows or dead baitfish
Artificial Baits: flashy spoons
Popular Locations: Cook's Bay
Hot Tip: Search out the remaining green weeds. Big pike move into deeper main lake areas in mid winter. Utilize two holes.

Lake Trout

Scientific name: Salvelinus namaycush. Namaycush is of native American origin meaning "dweller of the deep". Lake Simcoe lake trout is considered the most prized catch through the ice. This cold water species in winter can be found anywhere in water column. In clear waters lake trout can see at great distances, use
flashy spoons to attract fish to fishing zone. Average size between 4-10 pounds. It's not uncommon to catch a lake trout over 20 pounds mark.
Daily limit: 2 - sport fishing licence, 1 - conservation licence.

Bait: live minnows. Use slip float rig to suspend the bait.
Artificial Baits: various jigging spoons: Williams; ice jigs: Meegs, Badd Boyz, Blue Fox Lil Foxee, Humpbacks, vertical jigging lures, Strike Zone Swammer, Rapla Clackin' Rap, tubes.
Popular Locations: Kempenfelt Bay, Bear Point, Big Bay Point, Shanty Bay, Oro Line 7, Jackson's Point, Fox Island
Hot Tip: Finding the baitfish is the key. Carefully watch your sonar.


Lake Simcoe whitefish is a coldwater species, an average size 4-6 pounds. Greater size whitefish is known locally as humpbacks.
Daily limit: 2 - sport fishing licence, 1 - conservation licence.

Whitefish movements:
- early season: near shoals, points islands
- late season: deep, main lake basins

Bait: salted or live emerald shiners on single hook or spreader rig. Use tip-up with pre baited spreader on bottom. Well balanced tip-up detects when whitefish touched the bait. For fishing above the bottom to suspend the bait use slip float rig or straight line with sinker.
Artificial Baits: various jigging spoons: Williams, ice jigs: Meegs, Badd Boyz, Blue Fox Lil Foxee, Humpbacks, vertical jigging lures tipped with tube, mormyshka.
Popular Locations: Beaverton area, Cook's Bay, Kempenfelt Bay, Big Bay Point, Long Shoal, Jackson's Point, Inisfill Beach, Virginia Beach
Hot Tip: Downsize or change the lures for inactive fish.


Last modified on Friday, 03 February 2017 08:42
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