Lake Simcoe is the fourth largest inland lake in Ontario and hosts a fish community made up of over 55 species. The most prominent species angled through the ice include: Lake Trout, Lake Whitefish, Yellow Perch, and Northern Pike. Less targeted species include Black Crappie, Walleye, Ling (Burbot) and Rainbow Smelt. With a surface area of 722km2, the lake contains two major bays (Kempenfelt and Cooks Bay) and one large central basin. The only islands of any size are Fox and Snake Islands at the southern end; Strawberry, Grape and Whitney Islands at the northern end, and Thorah and Georgina Islands to the east. At the northern end , the Lake connects to the smaller Lake Couchiching through the Narrows at Atherley. Lake Simcoe forms a part of the Trent Canal system, which joins Eastern Lake Ontario with Georgian Bay by linking the Kawartha Lakes system with Lake Couchiching and the Severn River.
Kempenfelt Bay, with a maximum depth of 135 feet is the deepest area in Lake Simcoe. Cook’s Bay, located within the southern portion of the lake reaches a
in Kempenfelt bay. Lake Simcoe can be classified as a mesotrophic lake containing deep, coldwater habitat throughout Kempenfelt Bay and within its main basin. Warmwater, eutrophic habitat exists within Cooks Bay. Due to the invasive zebra mussel, Lake Simcoe is known for its ultra clear water with over 15 to 20 feet of visibility. maximum depth of 49feet. Jumbo perch and pike are the main targets of the shallow water fishery from Virginia Beach to Beaverton, in Cook's Bay and also adjoining Lake Couchiching. Those looking for lake trout or whitefish should fish the deeper waters out from Georgina Island and with
Lake Simcoe supports the highest angling effort of any inland lake in Ontario. The majority of angling takes place during the winter where 2000-4000 fish huts operate from January to March each year. Lake Simcoe is an attractive destination for its fantastic Yellow Perch fishery where anglers can catch 14" to 15" jumbo's and regularly bring home their daily limit of 25 to 50 fish in one day. Yellow Perch can be sought throughout the winter season and can be found in many easily accessible spots throughout the lake.
Seasoned anglers are reporting increased catches of wild lake trout, in response, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has begun reducing its Lake Trout stocking numbers from 100,000 to 50,000 fingerlings per year to enable and further promote natural reproduction of a wild, sustainable population. Over 140,000 Lake Whitefish fingerlings are stocked annually offering an abundant put and take fishery. Within Lake Simcoe, this bottom feeding fish averages between 3 to 5 pounds but can reach sizes in excess of 7 pounds. Anglers are also reporting increased catches of wild whitefish. Yellow perch and northern pike populations remain stable thanks to successful reproduction.
There are many bait and tackle shops and hut rental operators surrounding lake simcoe, check out our bait shops and ice hut operators pages for up to date information.
In addition, we ask that you follow Ontario's current fishing regulations for Zone 16. If you still have unanswered questions about lake Simcoe,feel free to leave a message on the Lake Simcoe Message Board and our community members will respond. Check out our Artificial and Live Bait pages for the hottest, newest and best baits for hardwater fishing on all the popular gamefish species in Simcoe.