Enjoy Trout Fishing in Ontario – A Guide to Optimize Your Experience

Planning your next fishing vacation? This time you want to stalk and catch some great trout, a perennial favorite game species for anglers everywhere.

A great experience doesn’t just happen, there are lots of things to plan. Here is some help: a “Trout Fishing Guide 101”.

There are just 5 important issues to decide. Everything else are just details.

Enjoy Trout Fishing in Ontario – A Guide to Optimize Your Experience


1. The best place to go trout fishing is Ontario, Canada.

There are more than 70,000 lakes and rivers in the northwestern part of this province! This is still pristine wilderness.

The clean, cold, beautiful waters and the fish that thrive in them are our treasure. We carefully conserve them for ourselves, our guests, and our posterity. All this makes for healthy, large, and bountiful populations of trout.

95% of trout die in their first year. Then 40% to 60% of trout die in subsequent years. After that, they survive to get bigger up to the limit that the lake ecosystem can support them.

The official record set by anglers in Ontario public waters is 63.12 lbs.

The climate, conservation, and lake ecosystems give us really big trout up here. So, choose Ontario for your trout fishing expedition.

2. The best time to go trout fishing in Ontario is within 3 weeks of “ice out”.

In the first 3 weeks after ice out, the water in the lake is nice and cold from lake bottom to the surface. This is especially ideal for lake trout.

There is much more food for trout at and near the surface of the lake. There are insects, water shrimp, minnows, daters, suckers, stickleback, perch, herring, and more.

When the entire lake is chilly after ice out, lake trout can have a feed fest right up where we can see them. And they are ready to hit on anything anglers present to them, especially if it looks like the food they love.

The ice out dates vary a bit each year with southern lakes first and northern lakes following after that. This year (2019), Lake Savant iced out around May 21st. It is already open season by ice out.

3. Select the best strategy for trout fishing in Ontario.

Lake trout

You can cast, troll, or vertical jig for lake trout at this time.

Cast for lake trout when you when you are going after the smaller ones. It is a really good idea to get something for your shore lunch early in the morning. Don’t let trophy hunting delay lunch!

If you notice lake trout taking insects, then cast flies. Or choose something else that imitates the food lake trout are feeding on.

Casting is effective when fish are schooling. Trolling is more effective when fish are scattered.

Troll when lake trout are scattered around the lake cruising for prey. You become the top predator cruising for your prey while it is cruising for its prey. Present bait or lures that look like lake trout prey where they expect to find their prey.

Vertical jig when lake trout are concentrated in a particular spot at deeper depths.

4. Choose the best gear to go trout fishing in Ontario.

The following are suggestions to get decision making started.

Casting for lake trout:

Rod: 8-foot, medium power, medium action.

Reel: same as for brook trout, or similar.

Line: 17-20 lb. monofilament.

Flies: 2/0-4/0, Deliveryman, Game Changers, musky streamers – chartreuse, orange, black/chartreuse/orange, pink, white. All with flash.

Lure: Goture Long Distance Cast Metal Spoon Fishing Lure. My suggestion to start with due to good cast ability and appealing action. They come in 8 sizes, from 1.42 in./0.17 oz. to 2.83 in./1.34 oz. No worries if you lose a few to rocks or snags. The price is about $9 to $19 a 10-pack.

Trolling for lake trout:

Rod: 8-foot, medium power, medium/fast action.

Reel: trolling, 4.2:1 ratio, line counter (ex. Daiwa Accudepth 47LC)

Line: 20 lb. line.

Rigging: Use a 3-way swivel, 20 lb. fluoro carbon line to weight, 30 lb. to lure.

Live bait: minnows

Lures: Spinners, plugs, streamers, and spoons.

A depth finder is a handy too for this operation.

Vertical jigging for lake trout:

There is a lot of opinion on this, but try something a bit different. This is the lightest and fastest set up possible to catch these large and powerful fish.

Rod: 6 ½ to 7-foot, fast action.

Reel: Spinning or bait casting, does not need to be pricey.

Line: Spool 20 lb. braided with 20 lb. fluorocarbon at the jig.

Jig: ¾- 2 oz. weight.

Bait: Frozen herring and live minnows. Be sure to cover the hook.

5. Take companions to go trout fishing in Ontario.

It is easy to have fun relaxing and fishing by yourself. And there are times when that is therapeutic.

But a trout fishing adventure in Ontario is a special experience that will be even better if it is shared. There are a few great ways to do this.

Take your best fishing buddies.

There is safety in numbers. Accidents happen. It good to know your friend has your back if you get hurt out on the water.

When you spend time on the water out in wild nature with your friends, you develop a unique and treasured bond. This does not happen the same way at work, the golf course, or the baseball diamond.

One of the best reasons to take your buddies with you is the help you get prepping the equipment.

Take your family.

If you are on the lake with your family, everyone is present together. Your children will not have their faces in their phones. The whole family is fishing, swimming, doing boating stuff, and lots of other activities outdoors. There will be bonding.

Take your son, daughter, father, grandfather, or all of them.

This is a beautiful tradition that fathers teach their sons and daughters through the generations. And the great things that happen are cemented as lifelong treasured memories.

Take your wife or girlfriend.

This one can be a challenge to get started. If you do bring her, she will appreciate your passion for the sport.

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