Shore Fishing: Top 5 Spots in Southern Ontario

Leave the fancy bass boats with 250 horse motors in the driveway because this list is not for you. Here are five of Fish’n Canada’s recommended Southern Ontario shore fishing spots. So grab the car, the bike or just your favourite pair of hiking shoes and have at it!

Remember, these are five locations recommended by Ang and Pete. We do realize that there are many, many more, and we look forward to sharing and discussing more shore fishing options in future Fish’n Canada segments and posts.

If you’re interested in learning some techniques, baits or general shore fishing tips that we highly recommend check out our companion piece: 5 Shore Fishing Tips and Techniques!

Without further ado, here are five of our favourite shore fishing spots, presented in alphabetical order:


GANARASKA RIVER, PORT HOPE

The Ganaraska River may be the #1 Steelhead and Salmon river in all of Ontario. It’s a tough choice with other options like the Saugeen, Beaver, Bighead, Credit and the Nottawasaga, to name a few.

Pete lived in Port Hope for many years. That’s one of the main reasons this is our final Steelhead/Salmon choice. He can attest that the “Ganny” is—day in and day out—a shore-bound angler’s dream.

Also, don’t discount other species here. Brown Trout, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass (yes, Pete has even caught a few Largemouth there), Pike, Carp and Catfish all reside in the Ganaraska, making it a great shore-fishing destination.

Being so close to an urban setting (it runs directly through downtown Port Hope), anglers have the choice of putting in a hardcore day, or they can stop for a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant before commencing the afternoon/evening fish.

Here’s a featured Hotspot.

There are both public and private waters to the north on the Ganaraska. Obviously, you need to obtain permission from landowners for the private sections that you may be shore fishing from.

Bring roe (spawn) bags, garden worms, small pink plastic worms, and an assortment of flies for Trout and Salmon. Bring the rest of the kitchen sink for all other species.

Some people even fish the most southerly section of the Ganny during the dead of the winter. Ice fishing for Steelhead—fantastic!

Here is the latest episode we shot on the Ganaraska River.


NIAGARA WHIRLPOOL, NIAGARA RIVER

This is by far our most scenic shore fishing spot on this list. This is a stunning part of Ontario that has drawn tourists for years.

Everyone is familiar with Niagara Falls. However, just downriver is a fishing phenomenon. With its swirling current, clean water, and bruiser fish, the Whirlpool is a sight to behold. There are Northern Pike, Muskie, Carp, Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and even exotic species like Buffalo and Long Nose Gar.

A word of caution, though: Access to this great shore fishing spot is done via a long set of stairs. Not so bad going down. But coming up…? Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

If by chance you are going Carp fishing down here, it is wise to lighten up your gear load (do not bring your big rod pod setup unless absolutely necessary) and bring a couple of inexpensive bank sticks (alarm is optional). If they drop, no major harm is done.

Check out this Fish’n Canada episode, a portion of which we shot fishing the Niagara Whirlpool.

Want to hire a fishing guide that knows the Niagara better than most? Look no further than here.


RICE LAKE

Rice Lake is in south-central Ontario. It is known for its many species of catchable fish. There are Walleye, Muskie, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Sunfish, and Rock Bass. Also, the Carp fishing on Rice Lake is second to none, especially for numbers. We shot a unique Carp episode on Rice in which Pete fished from shore while Ang fished out of a boat. Click here to find out who did the best.

The town of Bewdley on the west end of the lake has great shore fishing access, all near a plethora of stores and shops.

Gores Landing is also a nice spot to set up for a day of fishing.

Although limited in access, the town of Hastings also has some great shore fishing.

Whether from shore or from a boat, Rice Lake is a phenomenal body of water for a multitude of fish species.

If you like the idea of fishing from shore but want to stay away from the public, then there are many resorts along Rice Lake. We highly recommend Elmhirst Resort for its prime shoreline access, great fishing, and all-around phenomenal accommodations.

This for us was a great area to bring everything we owned in Carp gear. Since you can drive right up to your fishing area, why not bring the big rod pod setup?

CONTINUE TO PAGE 2 FOR MORE AMAZING SHORE FISHING SPOTS.

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34 Replies to “Shore Fishing: Top 5 Spots in Southern Ontario”

  1. Here we go again, a fresh season is upon us as we turn the page to fish again, based to my condition which doesn’t make things easy ( Parkinson) still I’m going to give it another cast, I have schedule a trip to Lake Baker NB and Princeton Maine, also Lake Utopia NB and so on, I would love to fish in Ontario but its a long haul from here, we’re considering going to Milwaukee in S September and there’s great fishing too, Just like UFC announcer Bruce Buffer (IT’S TIME….)
    I wish I would be notified when the crew fish’n Canada tape a show here in my backyard if ever happen’s again, Thanks Henri Goguen

    1. Hey Henry, I heard Buffer say that again last weekend when the little dudes (my kind of guys) fought.
      Glad to hear you’re still hard core even with your condition. Hats off to you and best of luck this year.

  2. Road trip this summer ,we are going to try a few different lakes and hopefully The Thames River in London ,a long ways from New Brunswick , but should be fun, hope to run into you guys ,keep up the good work ,Love your Show
    Grant Brown Fairfield, New Brunswick.

  3. Growing up in Niagara Falls, the Niagara River was always my go to spot for shore fishin’ spot. Yup! It “shore” was a good ‘un. A plethora of fish species could be found anywhere along the confluence. Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Walleye Suckers and Carp among others.

    Throw in a hook with just about any type of bait or your favorite lure and you were guaranteed to catch something. The fishin’ contraptions I used as a kid were a testament to this fact. Case in point : The so called “Demented Pickerel Rig” I made out of two clothes hangers. It consisted of a spreader like technology at right angles, with four snelled hooks dangling off the four arms. It “shore”came in handy when up against the other anglers, who no doubt laughed at my invention.

    That’s were it all started Pete, when it came to making my own rigs. This store bought stuff is for amateurs.

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